Okay, it has nothing to do with real gnomes but I do love a pun.
Good morning, folks! It's time for a dose of Stuff-You-Already-Know-But-Here-It-Is-Again. Today's topic is relationship advice. I like to think that in a parallel universe I am writing self-help books based on my paltry 2-year marital success or, indeed, hosting an afternoon talkshow in which I state the obvious but disguise it as a profound psychological insight, but in this world I get to torture you instead.
Cackle, cackle. (See my previous post. I'm practising for my twilight years.)
THE GINGERBREAD LADY'S GNOMIC ADVICE
Gem of Wisdom: If it bothers you, it's your problem
1st Amendment: If it bothers you, it's your chore__________________________________________________
Wow. Knocked your socks off, didn't I? Well, like many people in the throes of a relationship - to man, woman or beast: this advice applies to all - you might have a somewhat different approach to cleaning than your other half or halves (thirds? quarters?). Cleanliness might be next to godliness for you, but it might be next to, say, the cornflakes for your partner. In our case, neither of us is enamoured of housework and very often cleaning the Gingerbread House becomes a very dusty game of collision-course 'chicken': who can hold out the longest? I don't think I need to tell you that my husband has beaten me at Let's Ignore The Dreck about 5980 times since we moved into our home. Up until now I've been annoyed by it: why doesn't he vacuum the floor when the dust has taken on tumbleweed proportions? Why doesn't he scrub the bathtub when the white enamel turns grey ? Why am I the only person who knows where the rubbish sacks are kept or why we have a bottle of Cif under the sink? I mean, he'll good-naturedly (and thoroughly) clean anything I ask him to. But I have to ask him to and I kept expecting that to change.
But today I gave up. That's it: I gave up.
Let's go back in time a bit:
When we moved into our house, we had no cooker. So we bought one and then went looking for a nice gas hob for our new/second-hand kitchen. We stood in the display kitchen at IKEA and admired various cookers on display. I wanted a simple, 4-plate hob with an easy-clean surface. Mr G. wanted a five-plate megacool gas hob with a wok plate in the middle. ("Wok! Phwoarh!") He stood at the display unit and played with the pieces, his hairy face alight with joy. Disturbingly, he was making a lot of whooshing noises, like something going up in flames ("Brrrrooooooosssshhhhh!") as he twiddled the knobs.
"Let's get this one," he said decisively.
"No," I said, "Let's not. Look at all of those bits - they all have to be taken apart and cleaned. It's massive, it'll be a pain in the bum to scrub that every week."
"Pssshaw!" he said, "Tusssshhh!" and all kinds of other don't-be-silly noises. "I'll clean it! I don't mind!"
And he did.
Once. A few days after we bought it.
Since then, I've been the only person who minds that the shiny stainless-steel surface is covered in a sticky goo of over-boiled pasta paste or dried-in coconut milk. I mind so I clean it. It bothers me so it becomes my chore.
Now, I knew this going into this relationship almost a decade ago. I did, I swear. But I didn't want to accept it. Today, as I stood at the cooker with my sexy yellow rubber gloves on and the citrus smell of oven cleaner wafting about my person, Mr G. strode by, on his way to plaster a wall on the ground floor of the house.
"Cleaning the cooker, eh?" he said jovially.
"Indeed I am," I answered, scrubbing, scrubbing, scrubbing rock-hard spinach off the steel. The hob had acquired a patina of dried-in food that you couldn't help but see.
"I didn't even realise it was dirty," he said airily and picked up his plaster bucket.
So I give up. I accept it, I finally accept it: when it comes to housework, I'll just do it myself it if it bothers me. Or ask him to do it if having to do it myself bothers me. But there is NO POINT getting annoyed because he hasn't done it without me pointing it out.
P.S. Mr Gingerbread voluntarily plastered walls today. This piece of advice does not seem to apply to DIY. But that's the subject of another post.