You know how your parents number-one-advice for relationship issues is always, ‘you have to compromise’? Every single time, they ALWAYS say that.
I asked my mom how they divided up the household chores, when they first moved in together and she plainly answered, ‘Your dad takes care of the gardening and everything that goes on outside the house and I take care of everything inside the house, that’s our compromise.’ I looked at her quizzically and wondered, if she ever got fed up with doing everything herself and she said, ‘Of course, but what do you want to do about it…?’
A and I tried a different approach. Either of us would do, whatever we thought was the right thing to do, as far as household chores go. For instance, it bugs me incredibly, when the dishes don’t get cleaned periodically, meaning daily. It’s an absolute must. Where as A can’t stand it when our hamster’s cage is not clean, so he will religiously clean Hamie’s cage (with much love and devotion), leaving Hamie always depressed and sad, because that’s what hamsters do, when you clean their cages, they get depressed.
There are of course certain things, that we don’t like to do. A, for example, obviously believes that the washing machine is an evil thing, that he should never, ever, in a million years, touch. Leaving me, happy, because I absolutely love my washing machine and don’t want him to mess with it. However vacuum cleaning and me, that’s a whole different story.
My vacuum cleaner and I do have a love/hate relationship. I love knowing, that I can turn it on and wuuuush, all the fuzz and dirt is gone. I do hate it though when the whole thing gets all wrapped up in it’s own cords. Obviously the cord is always too short to efficiently navigate the cleaner around, without banging against every door, every chair, every table, basically every piece of furniture in our apartment. It’s heavy, it’s hard to change the filter, it makes an annoying sound, just in general and worst of all? Since we live on the first floor and we love to have the windows open, we have to vacuum clean at least once a week, to get rid of all the dust and dirt from outside.
Now this wouldn’t be a problem, if A were fond of vacuuming, which, unfortunately he is not. So what to do? We finally, after a year living together, found an agreement (read: compromise) we both can live with.
We started playing online-scrabble when we first started dating. We never kept score of who won more often or by how much, but now we do (we have to): When I win a game, A has to vacuum clean our apartment an entire month, at least once a week and when he wins? I have to assist him in his handy-man-projects around the house (which for A include sawing, painting, fondling around with various tools and for me mean handing him drinks, food and genuinely show interest). Usually his projects leave our apartment dusty and dirty and in desperate need of a proper vacuum-clean. Guess who gets stuck with the vacuum cleaner then?!
I do hope I get to win the next game, I am really getting sick of pushing my vacuum cleaner around, but as for now, it seems like A has this one in his pocket…