Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Losing my cool paid off

After sleeping in on Sun, I asked Joe to help me with that huge pile of mulch in the driveway. He was reluctant, and then started talking about 'not feeling well'. I began to get frustrated, remembering how I nearly wrecked myself the Fri of the previous week trying to tackle the mulch pile alone.

Then I went into the bathroom and saw all of his "stuff" all over the sink and the toilet tank lid. As I turned to throw away the empty cardboard toilet paper roller, I saw various pieces of trash on the bathroom floor. It was then that I lost my cool.

What follows is the gist of what I said, although I can't be sure of the exact wording. You'll get the picture.

"I can't believe you are so damn lazy that you just drop trash on the floor! You just can't be bothered to make sure that the trash winds up in the trashcan, can you? I am sick and tired of cleaning up after you like you were a child." I wasn't finished.

"And then there's all this CRAP all over the sink. You've got a medicine cabinet, that other white cabinet over the toilet, and the vanity - all of which are inside the bathroom - in which to put your crap. Then, just 5 steps outside the bathroom is an entire linen closet full of storage space! I'm sick of knocking stuff into the sink because you're too damn lazy to put it away. You've got until noon to put this crap away or I'm throwing it all in the trash. I'm not kidding. I'm going outside now, but I'm coming back in at noon and I swear I will throw every piece of crap into the trash if you don't put it away." Nope, I still wasn't done.

"I can't believe you won't help me with this mulch. I go to work every day while you're here at home. And on the weekends, my time off, you can't help me get this mulch from the driveway to the flower beds? I've never seen such a lazy person in my life! And it wouldn't kill you to push the vacuum around once in a while, either! This place is filthy, and there's no reason you can't do a little cleaning once in a while, since you're home ALL DAY LONG!" I was finally done.

It is very unlike me to blow up like that. I think part of it was that I'd been feeling the pressure of knowing there is so much to be done before we are able to put our house on the market, and with Joe leaving to start his new job in a few weeks, I felt like everything would then rest on me. Keeping bothersome feelings inside too long isn't a good idea. The rest of it was just my needing to vent to Joe about his lack of participation around the house in general, and would be the same regardless of us preparing to move. So I said my peace, although that hardly seems an appropriate term for it.

I carried a load of laundry to the basement and tossed it into the washing machine, then went to the kitchen and unloaded the clean dishes from the dishwasher. (Yes, I'd loaded and run the dishwasher the night before.) Then I took all the dirty dishes from the sink and loaded them into the dishwasher, cleaned off the counters, put away the jar of peanut butter and other non-perishable food items that had been left out, and went outside.

Losing my cool apparently paid off. A few minutes after starting to work on the mulch pile, Joe came outside in his yard work clothes and said he'd help me with the mulch. I thanked him and we started working together, as a team again. He filled the wheel barrel and I placed the newspaper down and spread the many loads of mulch he dumped. Although it wasn't spoken, I could tell he'd forgiven me for blowing up at him, and I'd forgiven him for his laziness. We talked as we worked and the time flew by.

About 2 1/2 hours later, as we'd finished the mulch, Joe suggested that we clean the screened porch. I said "Great! You go ahead and get started and I'll be there in a few minutes." I swept up the driveway, put away the tools and newspaper, and joined him in the back yard. He'd already moved all the furniture out of the screened porch, swept, and hosed/mopped the floor! It was going on 3:00 so we decided to stop, shower, and have a late lunch.

Over lunch we talked about our plans for the summer, which weekends we had friends coming to the beach with us, and then mentally reviewed the houses we'd seen so far. When we returned home I cleaned the porch furniture and moved it back onto the porch. What a wonderfully productive day!

Then we went for a drive in the convertible on the parkway. It was a gorgeous evening and the drive was as pleasant as it could be. This will be something I'll miss when we've moved away from DC.

1 comment:

Bugsy said...

Glad you all worked through that! Doesn't that make you feel like your Mother?

Every so often when I see a bowl in the sink, I think "It only takes a second to put that in the dishwasher!" Then I smile to myself thinking how many times my Mother used to say that to me as a kid!

Congratulations to Joe on his new job!

Talk to you all soon.