Sometimes I wonder how women and men ever get along together. At least I wonder how my husband Rick and I do. My month-long vacation started this week and I have been busy, busy, busy, working around the house. My first goal is to renovate the laundry room and I have diligently attacked the problem.
This weekend, I dragged Rick to Lowe’s to look at washer / drier combinations. What a struggle! In the end he only went because he wanted to buy some dumb little thing for himself. That’s not to say the washer and drier aren’t important to him, he just doesn’t want to do any work to select them. Of course, he would complain if they don’t meet his unstated criteria.
We also examined sheet vinyl options. Rick has absolutely no opinion about this except price and minimizing the disruption to his life. He also commented on the affect of various colors and patterns on the resale value of our house. This is ridiculous. We’ve lived here fifteen years and we’re not moving any time soon. Furthermore, I can’t imagine that any aspect of the laundry room would be the deciding factor for a serious buyer. It wasn’t for us and the laundry room looked terrible when we bought the house--as it still does.
Aside from that, the only contribution Rick has made is to worry about how long we might be without laundry facilities. I claim that the correct order to do things is to move the old appliances out, paint the room, put in the floor and finally get the new appliances. Rick disagrees. He insists that we keep the old appliances alive and functioning right up until the moment they are replaced by the new appliances.
This is clearly insane. It would make it much more difficult to paint the room, especially since I have to paint the ceiling. Rick says I can just move the washer and drier to the opposite side of the room while I’m painting. How hard can that be? And, after all, it won’t take more than a day to do the painting.
Exasperated, I said no. I’m doing all the work and I’m making all the decisions so we’ll just move them outside and we can go a week without laundry facilities. After all, I pointed out, he took almost a year off work and didn’t get anything done around the house. I’m sacrificing my vacation, he can take a little bit of inconvenience.
His witty repartee was that he didn’t do anything around the house while unemployed because he didn’t want to. It’s not his fault that I want to fix things up. Ugh! There are a million things that need to be done around this house but Rick takes no responsibility for any of them. For example, the laundry room is full of Rick’s junk. A lot of this is tools we don’t need in the house, for example a circular saw, or drill bits without the drill. I told Rick this stuff had to go out to the garage. Rick countered that the garage is too disorganized for him to be able to find anything.
Cleaning the garage is also on my list of things to do so I understand Rick’s contention that you can’t find anything out there. In fact, you can’t even get to areas that are too far removed from where I park my car. And why is that? It is full of Rick’s stuff, probably including the drill that goes with the bits.
So why do I have to clean his mess up during my vacation? Why does Rick get away with saying that he didn’t feel like doing anything around the house? It’s my own fault really. I knew he was a slob when we first met. He and his roommate had mold growing in the ice in their freezer. Stupidly, I thought he could be trained out of this.
I’m older and wiser now. I know it is pointless to ask him to put things away. He doesn’t even know what that means. And I suppose his argument that he is disabled gets him out of doing any of the actual work. But I insist that he participate in the selection. It’s the least he can do even if it is also the most he can do.
Photo: Floor samples. I choose the one at the bottom right.