We’ve been over the shopping related things, but it left me thinking that there is so much more to explain. So here goes. (I should add a similar disclaimer that these points are not written in my husband’s likeness or anti-likeness. Girlfriends talk. So do sisters. And mothers and daughters. This is a combination of many people and issues. Beyond, I don’t even have a cleaning lady.)
Cleaning Before the Cleaning Lady
This one is simple. Cleaning ladies (or cleaning people, more accurately) don’t pick up your dirty socks and old mail. They clean. There are two different phases of cleaning: picking up the stuff and then the actual cleaning of surfaces. For example, when you are done eating dinner, you don’t just spray and clean the counters with all of the dirty dishes still there. OK, so maybe you do. But you should actually remove and deal with the dirty dishes, then clean the counters. Same goes here. The cleaning people are paid to clean bathrooms, mop floors, dust, vacuum, etc. If there is stuff in their way, they will simply go around it and you will not get your money’s worth. And this is what we tell everyone. And it’s mostly true, except there is one other thing. We really don’t want that cleaning person to judge the normal level of filth and disorder we live with.
Dish Towels vs. Hand Towels
Everyone has their own process, but dish towels and hand towels are two different things. Dish towels are fresh and clean from the drawer and are used to dry clean dishes. Clean towel to clean surface. Stuff stays clean. Get it? Hand towels are used to dry and wipe your hands either after washing, or while cooking. These get dirty fast and should not be used to dry dishes. If you wouldn’t want to eat from a plate that had someone’s chicken juice-covered hands wiped all over it, then I would suggest learning the difference.
Sponges vs. Dish Rags and those Dish Wand Things
Everyone has their own process and tools here too, but there is a distinct difference between what you wipe counters and spills with and what you wash dishes with. Sponges or dish rags can be used to wipe up messes or clean counters, so you wouldn’t want to use them to also wash dishes. Make sense? There is no real way you can claim to “clean” a pan if what you are using to clean it with has also been used to clean up a pile of spilled cereal.
Old Towels (i.e. rags) vs. New Towels
When you are working on a project or a plumbing leak and need a towel for either cleaning up or protecting a surface, you don’t take a towel from the linen closet. There are whole piles of old towels somewhere in your house. Ask where they are.
Women don’t really love snuggling. They just don’t always want to do something else. Yet, they still enjoy an expression of physical love once in a while. So, give her a night off and give her a hug that doesn’t include some sort of groping.
Women love massages. We pay for professionals to give them to us frequently. The problem with your “massages” is that they are just a code word for something else. If you truly want to give us a massage and have some sort of skill, go for it. If all you want is that something else, don’t bother with the promise of a massage. Your massages aren’t that great. Sorry.
The Next Morning vs. Late Night and Inebriated
I’m getting into territory that is making my mother cringe, so I’ll keep it brief. And this isn’t directed toward you single or childless people. You can decide when and where without my help. Here’s the deal: the next morning is way better. This is why parents send children to watch cartoons and eat donuts on Saturday mornings. I think I might have just ruined many childless people’s views of their parents and thus, their entire lives. Sorry.
Why Taking the Trash Out Made Her Mad
She is pissy that you took the trash out because you failed to put a new trash can liner in the trash can. And then she opened up the trash can or cabinet quickly and threw something messy in there and now has to scrub out the whole trash can. Taking out the trash (whoever does it) is a two step process: first take the bag out and take it somewhere, and second replace the liner.
Why Sweeping the Kitchen Floor Made Her Mad
Because you swept it all into a little pile and then didn’t do anything with the pile — instead, waiting for praise on a job well done (that she does like 10 times a day, crazily without any praise at all). Sweeping is also a two step process: first sweep, second clean up the stuff you swept.
Why You Dust Before You Vacuum
Because when you dust, you stir up a lot of dirt and … dust! It falls to the floor and makes the floor dirtier. So, dust then vacuum. Didn’t your mother teach you that one?
Why Women Don”t Want You to Vacuum
Here’s the thing. We like when you help, but after she has just cleaned the entire house, don’t offer to vacuum. It’s the easiest and most instantly gratifying part of the job. Where were you when she was picking up legos? Or when she was scrubbing the toilet? Or lifting up every little knick knack and dusting around them? If I clean the house, you can be sure as shit I am running the vacuum too, so I can get any satisfaction from a job that will be ruined in about 15 minutes when everyone starts to live in the house again.
Fine is NEVER fine in any way, shape, or form. “You should go” never means that. “Have fun” is usually sarcastic.
How Much Is Acceptable in a Given Week
Not sure, but guess what? She thinks the number is A LOT lower than you do.