As a grown man, who has held jobs, paid bills and even signed contracts, I recognize that I probably have the maturity level of a 14-year-old.
Not that I’ve gradually gotten to that point, just that 14 was probably the age that I peaked. I recognize it and don’t consider it a fault, it’s just who I am.
So my reaction to chores has been about the same for the past two decades.
Whether they were chores assigned to me, or chores that I recognized needed to be done while I was on my own, I had the same reaction:
In my defense, there are a lot of great reasons why my current inertia should not be altered for something like sweeping the kitchen floor or separating the laundry into whites and colors. For starters, I’m used to getting paid to work. My first job was at
9 years old, I have been accustomed to getting paid for work for a longtime.
But some chores I don’t fully understand. Vacuuming, for instance. I understand it’s necessary, and when I was a bachelor I got tired of walking around in the carpet of my apartment and feeling like I was walking through sand rather than a civilized abode.
I’ve since learned it is more complicated than running the loud machine with the inexplicable headlight. Now I’m told there is some sort of powder you’re supposed to dump on the carpet before you vacuum.
No one has explained to me the purpose, and it seems counter-intuitive to me to mess up the floor more before cleaning it, but I guess this is one of the new best practices of home cleaning.
On a similar note, I’ve not yet figured out the purpose of the dryer sheet. Maybe somebody with a chemistry or marketing background can explain it, but I’ve never noticed a difference between when my clothes come out of the drier with the piece of tissue paper or without. Except that a week later,
I usually – inevitably – find the tissue paper in one of my socks.
Not all of them are mysterious, however. Like emptying the dishwasher. It makes perfect sense – you can’t put dirty dishes in there if there are still clean ones in there. It’s physics.
But putting away the silverware is just monotony my over-stimulated millennial mind can’t handle. There are at least a dozen forks in there, and another dozen spoons. All going from the same place to the same pace. For five minutes it’s sheer drudgery and the only person I can think who could empathize with me – Cinderella – is fictional. She’s also friends with talking mice. I’m not one to judge, but I know that history wouldn’t make her the best witness on the stand.
Instead, I say we don’t have to unload the cutlery each and every time we unload the dishwasher. It’s not as though it can be too clean. It just gets washed again. And if we need a fork in the meantime, we just open the dishwasher and take one out. It’s certainly more efficient, and less painful that having to put away every spoon – even that weird one with the teeth around the edges, or that other weird one that is really long and skinny but terrible for eating soup with.
My thoughts have evolved on some of the other chores. For instance, I now see the benefit of folding clothes and putting them away in a dresser or some other storage receptacle. As easy as it was to pull laundry from a dryer and put it in a basket, and then live from that basket until it was empty, rinse, repeat, there’s just no substitute for having clothes free from wrinkles.
Cleaning the shower is another one.
For a long time, my logic was, since all I was doing in there was using soap and water, it was a self-cleaning room. It’s not like it ever got so bad there were mushrooms growing in the corner.
It’s clear now that even soap can make things grimy, however, and a good wash every now and then just makes it a more pleasant place to be while cursing your alarm clock in the morning through eyes still closed with sleep.
None of them are fun, however.
Even when I know I need to vacuum the carpet, lest it become more like soil than home, I would still rather stay on the couch and watch the game.
It’s not like there’s a mushroom growing in there.