When doing something as mundane as the dishes I will rinse dishes and load the dishwasher. Once the dishwasher is full, I start it then turn my attention back to the remaining dishes that must wait for the next load. I will rinse them, clean the sinks and stack the dishes inside the left sink to await their turn.
So imagine my incredulity when I return to find that a bowl of half eaten cereal has been dumped all over the dishes waiting in the left sink, and a plate covered with spaghetti residue and what appears to be fruit snacks in my no-longer-clean right sink!
I can throw my hands up, and complain about the problem, which I try very hard to do without sounding like a hag. If I’m lucky I will hear, “I’m sorry. Don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of it.” Sure enough, it will be taken care of…days later after both sinks and all the counter space around have been filled with dishes!
My capacity to wait out the other members of my household regarding the gross just isn’t as endless as my patience for other things. Clutter I can let stand. Tantrums I can ignore. But filth I cannot abide! I try to grit my teeth and do nothing. I shouldn’t be the only one taking care of the gross stuff, right?
But if you made a tally, which I have to amuse myself and prove my point, it is me who keeps us from living in a cesspool. I take out the trash three to one over anyone else around here. I empty the Diaper Dekor ten to one. I pick up the discarded Pull-ups six to one. From hairballs to spilled milk, I clean it all because I just can’t stand to leave it there. That is how they win.
It isn’t because I am the woman. It isn’t because I work at home–this was the case when I worked outside the home, too. It is because I do not want to live in the bug infested, smelly house, which is what I fear will happen if I go on strike. I am terrified of what would happen if I just stopped taking care of the icky things and waited for others to do it.
The longest I’ve ever gone without doing at least something to reduce the buildup is a day, at which point I’m scrapping the food out of the sink and off the dishes to throw away. Then I can leave them there to pile up for another day before I’m dumping out the unfinished juice and milk left in the glasses on the counter. I shudder to even think about leaving them there for another day.
I have left the house and my family to survive without me for a weekend here and there over the years. I did not come home to a pig sty or a CDC quarantine, so I am fully aware that they play on my weak will in this. It is my curse. But just because I know this about myself it does not keep me from complaining and wishing with all my might that they would just clean up after THEMSELVES!