Thursday, January 19, 2012

This Might Give A Lesser Man A Stroke



My husband is a neat man. Organized in a way that you'd wonder a few things about him if it weren't for the fact that he has bits of normal here and there. Like occasionally leaving an empty coffee cup near the TV. But only when he gets interrupted from his morning's routine. Something unexpected happens, like a phone ringing, and yeah, a coffee mug may get left on a table. But it's a momentous occasion, and the kids will point and screech in surprise Dad! you left the coffee mug on the table! Mom! Dad left the coffee mug on the table! Meanwhile, Mom has left coffee cups on the stove, on the island, in the microwave, on the toilet tank, and that's before 10 a.m.

To him, there is only one way to load a dishwasher: efficiently. He feels that if you take note, and commit to memory the exact pattern of plate and glass and pot placement, you will get the most bang out of your dishwashing cycle. Why waste time and brain cells loading the dishwasher a different way every night, just follow the pattern, large to small, glasses on top...and stand back and enjoy the joys of your linear plate lip line up. He'll tell me, You can't just stick bowls with cups and plates and glasses and hope it all fits. The care of this dishwasher loading, well, thank goodness I'm not the jealous type because there is a questionable appliance relationship here. *not questionable if you ask him, questionable if you ask me*

When the kids and I do the laundry, we let him take care of his own. Our clothes finds their way off the floor and into drawers. He takes his socks and underwear, and performs advanced origami folds on them that would win him a 4-H blue ribbon. His dress socks are rolled differently than the athletic socks. Which he keeps apart from the socks he wears only for snow shoveling...which need to be kept separate from the socks he wears only for working in the yard. My teen son comes home from school, sees me, and peeks under my pants leg, Mom. Really? My socks again? I tell him they're the most comfortable.

He keeps his pajamas folded and at the edge of the bathroom counter. I will confess here that many times during the month, if my day's clothes are of the comfortable type? They will assume the magical role of tada becoming pajamas at the stroke of midnight.

He feels you should stop and fill up at the closest gas station when you see your car's dashboard signal you're low on gas. Attributable quote: Saying you're a little out of gas is like saying you're a little bit pregnant. I convinced him to take his car instead of the minivan to pick up the boys from swimming tonight because we're on empty, and I was going to get gas later tonight, but then it got too late, and then it got to be almost below zero outside, and for sure I will fill up first thing tomorrow morning.

The evening routine in our house ends with him polishing his shoes for the next day, and placing them side by side with shoe trees inside. (I think I kicked my boots off in the laundry room tonight, I can't remember, I hope so. I'll look tomorrow...)

He likes his shirts medium starched, for his slippers to be kept upstairs in the bathroom where he changes after work so he can step out of his shoes and straight into them, and he likes to open the mail before he sits down to eat. And the night always starts out on a better note if I remembered to bring the mail in.

It surprises me every time I flip the garbage disposal switch instead of the light switch. When he sees me jump, he shakes his head. It's always going to be the one on the right.

He loves order and routine, it makes him happy, he finds it soothing after being gone all day.

And while I'm in the midst of the January Crabs, the kind where just the sound of him clearing his throat makes me want to hurl a handful of Luden's at him, I stop and remind myself of how he likes his world. And how it's not, because of me, and I think, A lesser man would've had an aneurysm by now. 

 
Photo Credit

46 comments:

  1. You need to talk to Deb Thaxton at Web Savvy Mom. She's married to a Class A OCD and her stories about how he runs their household are scary funny. (he weighs all the ground beef to make sure all the hamburger patties come out the same way)He remakes their son's bed if he doesn't like the way she makes it.

    I've learned from the internet that having a husband would make me SUICIDAL.

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  2. Yep, I'm a little OCD like your hubby, minus the shoe shining.

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  3. Your husband and I must be of the same mould (except my flip flops can't be shined, try as I might).

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  4. And all I could think about through this whole post... was his holey shorts. Are you sure this is the same man?
    Dana

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  5. Your husband and I may be related. We have the exact same philosophy when it comes to the dishwasher, laundry, and pajama placement. Mostly the dishwasher. No, actually all of it...

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  6. Advanced origami sock folding...I love it!

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  7. My father was the same way. We had little decorative trash cans in the bathrooms and one in the family room. I say decorative because they were not for trash. If someone came to the house and didn't know and actually threw something out in one of them, before you knew it my dad had already picked it out and tossed it in the trash under the sink. It always made me laugh.

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  8. After a cleaning day I asked my oldest if she was going to live in a tent when she left home. She looked at me and smirked, No Mom, I am going to find a room mate who is ocd ;)
    Think she was trying to tell me something ... but the comfortable in the day thing - totally translates to pjs at night for me!!!

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  9. I am dying to see a pic of your husband's fully loaded dishwasher!

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  10. Way to be 1920's, dude.

    How did you guys meet? Was it an arranged marriage or did he just club you over the head and drag you into his cave?

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  11. So it sounds like I'm the perfect blend of you and your husband. While I'm anal about the dishwasher being loaded a certain way, I tend to forget where I've left my coffee at least 3 times in any given morning and have to re-heat it at least twice.
    note: I've learned to look in the shower first
    The pajamas on the bathroom counter?
    A wee bit "Sleeping with the Enemy"
    LOL

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  12. I'm so glad I'm not married to an OCD man! :) LOL! Although I am a bit OCD on how you load a dishwasher and have a fit if my husband messes with it. ;)

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  13. I'm telling you, cabin fever...this must be killing him.

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  14. Somewhere, somehow over 8 years of marriage, mine also has assumed control over his own laundry, cleaning his own bathroom and obtained an advanced degree in dishwasher arrangement.
    I am not sure how it all happened; perhaps it is his survival mechanism kicking in, or he's given up on my ever doing these things. But, I prefer to take the credit....I am convinced I have become the ultimate "husband whisperer."

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  15. I think my husband could use a little MORE OCD in his life. :)

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  16. God I wish I was married to your husband - my boyfriend doesn't even know where about in the kitchen our dishwasher is x

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  17. It seems that your husband and my husband are brothers from another mother. When I was on bed rest and my mother came to stay to help out, I noticed a dismayed expression on my husband's face after a few days. I asked him what was wrong and he said that while he loves having my mom with us (her cooking) and appreciated her help, he just couldn't handle the way she ROLLED HIS SOCKS.

    And the garbage disposal switch gets me every time.

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  18. Your husband sounds like my father-in-law. He even rearranges the silverware in the dishwasher for "maximum water penetration." His words, not mine.

    And yeah, we have a row of light switches and I still flip all of them to see which one turns on the hall light. Hey, 3 out of 5's not bad. Right? Right??

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  19. I think you totally wrote this about me and my husband. Several years ago, we were laying in bed talking and the dishwasher came up. He got me up to "show" me the correct way to load the dishwasher. To this day, I rinse my plate and leave it by the sink. He can load it however he likes. It works for us.

    He also does his own laundry. And he is a creature of habit.

    Me on the other hand, I am a creature of spontaneity. I generally have no idea where I am.

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  20. I like to keep things tidy and I am definitely the organized one in the house. If something goes missing no one asks Scott, they ask me. But, any kind of paperwork, document, papers with the word tax on it are all Scott's domain. I loathe, loathe filling out forms unless they're field trip forms...and even those make my eyes glaze over.

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  21. I am renown for my dishwasher filling skills. It is IMPERATIVE that you put things in the right order and in the right place. Otherwise the universe will implode. Don't you understand that?

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  22. This must be what they mean about opposites attracting.

    In which case, if I ever get married, it'll probably be to the most OCD man in the world.

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  23. an ANEURYSM!! Splitting a gut here laughing. A little too much identification about the dishwasher. I too would be very interested in seeing your husband's 'properly loaded dishwasher'. (Maybe we should all send in pictures of ours...) You may have pulled me back from the maws of my late January divorce fantasies.

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  24. My husband has the same dishwasher issue. I told him I will no longer load it if he's just going to go all Sleeping With the Enemy on me (minus all of the psychopathic violent tendencies) and just re-do it "the more efficient way."

    As for the shoe trees, I always wondered who actually used them :)

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  25. So....my poor suffering husband.

    Looks like I'd drive anyone nuts.

    What can I say: I'm the good enough girl.

    Eh...good enough.

    xo

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  26. Beautifully worded Emp. Your husband sounds like a gem, and he loves you. :)

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  27. I'm turning green from head to toe in envy.

    Let me explain: My husband's coffee cup has been sitting on the back of the toilet, yes the toilet, for two days. I refused to pick it up because my life is about picking up after him and who leaves a coffee cup on a toilet, much less even brings it into the toilet area? This morning he caught an early morning flight. I was still in bed, but I heard him exclaim from the bathroom, "Hey, there's my coffee cup! I was looking for that the other day. What, did you put it here?" Yes. I put your coffee on the back of the toilet because I am INSANE like that. The fact that he is a kind, loving man saves him every time I walk into the bedroom and see all his dresser drawers hanging open.

    You've got a wonderful man, there. A keeper, for sure.

    I'm sorry you are having the Crabs. Come down here to Florida. Sunshine is an amazing thing.

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  28. My dear Empress.... I am sad to report that .... I AM YOUR HUSBAND. I am the super-efficient dishwasher-loader. I am the person who architects how the kitchen may be used in order to create the least mess. I am the person who will unfold dishtowels---DISHTOWELS!!---because they are folded the opposite way of how I like them folded. It is not always fun being this person, but I am unable to separate myself from the simple knowledge that there is almost always a "right" way to do things, except in art, music and writing. My boyfriend? You guessed it. Coffee cups everywhere. And the occasional used tea bag placed gently ON THE FLOOR OF THE LIVING ROOM. Because that's what makes sense to him at the time. *sigh*

    But the polishing the shoes every night before work? That's one-hundred percent my father, not quite yet two years gone, and I thank you for bringing his memory back to me as strongly, on a whiff of shoe polish. xx

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  29. Oh, A, I'm so sorry you're Down In the Winter Dumps right now. I know exactly how you feel (and our winters are so mild, but still).

    I love this post about your husband - he sounds like the perfect one-cup yin to your 10-coffee-cup yang.

    xoxo

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  30. I had to blink a few times because for a moment there I thought FER SURE this was a post about my husband!

    I'm with Chalupa, I'm sorry you're feeling down :( I TOTALLY understand!!! My only cure this time of year? Pharmaceuticals and television (preferably cop dramas) oh and cookies. Lots of cookies.

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  31. Try vitamin D.....it helps with the January blahs! And February blues, and March madness, and April........

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  32. Oh, dear god, I can't fathom living with your husband.

    My clothes, generally, go from dryer, to folded in a basket, to found when I want to wear them. And I, almost, always, just sleep in my boxers because the idea of "pajamas" is too complicated.

    As far as feeling down . . . I'm right there. The seasons never really affected me before, but I fear there's something going on. Every year, my allergies get a little bit worse, and I fear I have a seasonal-affective thing going on that's building, just a little bit, every year. And this is the first year that I'm finding it.

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  33. Sometimes I wish I'd married a neatnick, but the shoe polishing routine would send me over the top.

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  34. I just think it's so funny how Tidies and Messies always seem to end up together! Keeps the universe in balance I suppose.

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  35. The dreaded garage door opening! The sound that sets you in motion at the end of the afternoon!

    I do load a mean dishwasher, but getting me to make the effort to do so is another matter entirely. My day picks up in pace the closer my husband's return time nears. I feel like I'm in an 80's coming-of-age movie trying in vain to return the house to a respectable state in slow-motion before he walks through the door.

    Because he prefers order.

    I think he's finally resigned himself to the fact that he did not marry order. *sigh*

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  36. I think the part about your clothes magically turning into pajamas was what made me laugh hardest. Because it was the most "me". You have such a way of taking things we're all probably guilty of and making them funny. :)

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  37. Um... did I write this post? I'm sure I did. Down to the sock-rolling.

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  38. I really would drive a lot of you nuts,

    dang..

    so much for my saving my pennies to start my bloggers village.

    Still love you guys, even if you are freaky neaters.

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  39. Hey, can I borrow your husband for a weekend? I'm thinking he may be able to help me get my office into the sparkly clean and organized room I envision it to be. Tell him all the free coffee/beer/homemade Italian food he can stomach. For reals.

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  40. My husband isn't neat but, he does feel there is a right way to load the dishwasher. He does a wonderful job. I think he will keep this job forever.

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  41. I'm not the only one then in the mid-January slump, ready to throw things at the people who inhabit my house? Oh, thank goodness. :) My husband is neat as well, not crazy neat, but what is it with the dishwash-machine-packing-pickiness?

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  42. I have to laugh, because my husband and I both have pieces of this behavior. And together we might drive each other crazy, if not for a decent sense of humor and a whole lotta love :)

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  43. Loved this! My hubby is neater than me which means less work for moi! We give them other things to compensate, right?

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  44. A, I think I am your sister. Maybe we are Amelia Bedelia's distant cousins? I never know where my coffee cup is, I start one thing and walk away only to return an hour later and have no idea what I was doing. I love a cozy 24 hour outfit & I, too, get awful winter blues. The only thing that gets me through a dreary winter is an anti-depressant. Sending you a big hug & hoping you read something funny tomorrow morning to give you cheer.

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  45. It just occured to me that I am a mixture of both you and your husband.

    I just realised how strange that sounded.

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