8 Oct 2007

How To Discourage Your Partner From Doing Laundry


Although we went to Cyprus with only hand luggage, we still somehow came home to a shockingly high Mt. Laundry.

Even Mike was taken aback when he saw the pile of clothing. And that's saying something. Mike is great at helping out around the house, he is a pretty good washer-upper, a super-duper vacuumer, and, most importantly, a fantastically hands-on dad.

But so far in our 11.5 years of marital bliss, Mt. Laundry has been my personal peak to climb. A solo conquest. For him to have even noticed the laundry speaks volumes about the sheer size of it.

And so it was that yesterday morning, as I was trying to catch up on an endless number of work messages that had accumulated while I was holidaying 'sans Internet', Mike set about teaching himself the art of sorting clothing and operating the washing machine.

Bright and insightful people would no doubt have encouraged this behaviour, perhaps even been thankful. Apparently, I am none of these.

First, I complained when he came to ask me how the washing machine worked, because I was chest-deep in panic emails from people who evidently cannot function without a Scandinavian translator on hand at all times.

Then he was told that he'd sorted the clothing wrong. In my defense, I was really thinking of the boys when I redid the sorting. I would have looked fine in the resulting pinkish hues.

But I digress.

After thinking about it for a while (not lightning fast, this one), I did apologize for being cranky and went back to my work mess.

I wish the story ended there. But nope, there's more.

I am ashamed to admit I also proceeded to correct the way he was hanging up clothing (that's right, we have no dryers in Norway) and the way he was packing the new load in the washing machine too tightly.

My pièce de résistance was this morning, when I criticized the way he was folding the dry clothes and putting them on dusty surfaces in the laundry room.

No wonder Mike finally had enough and told me so. In hindsight, I can't believe he even lasted as long as he did.

So now I am eating humble pie, while Mike will soon be enjoying lots and lots of chocolate bought by yours truly.

My name is Heidi. I'm a control freak.

15 comments:

Victoria said...

Ooo...you need to break yourself of your control freak tendencies in regards to Laundry, Heidi! I gave up doing it years ago, and it's mostly my Hubby's task. I hate the way he folds, but I've learned to walk away. *grin*

Who She She said...

I know exactly how you feel. That's why in our house, my husband never does the laundry and I never load the dishwasher.

ALM said...

I think everybody has their "thing". I'm compulsive about refrigerators... they have to be arranged just so... old food thrown out immediately, that sort of thing. My mom will not let anybody else stack the dish washer... she has precise ways to put in the dishes...

It's hard to give up some chores to others... BUT - it has to be done!!

Candy said...

New to your blog, but enjoying living your very exciting life vicariously.

After lamenting the destruction of several dry-clean only sweaters, I finally forbade(!) husband to wash any laundry not specifically his own. He ignored that request for quite some time, until the last time I submitted a bill for replacing all the ruined clothing. That kind of got his attention!

hellomelissa said...

there are some things i want total contol of, and laundry is one of them. i don't even want my mom to do it.

those mountains of clothes when we return from travels so disgruntled me that i began taking old, throw-away clothes on trips. i'd wear 'em and leave 'em. two problems solved. although i always look like a bag lady....

Gina said...

I'm the same way, my friend.

Lisa@Take90West said...

I'm a laundry control freak too. You would think we could just appreciate that someone else was doing the laundry!
But, no dryers??? Isn't it a bit cold there to be hanging clothes outside?
Your Cyprus pics are gorgeous. That is one amazing place. How cool is it to say "When we were in Cyprus...." You must have great memories.
I, on the other hand, can only say "When we were in Wisconsin..."
Not very exoctic I'm afraid.

Kellan Rhodes said...

Hi - my name is Kellan - I'm also a control freak.

Rimarama said...

Oh, I had to laugh about the part about him putting the clean folder laundry on a dusty surface. That (along with all the other stuff) would have sent me over the edge.

Also, I am very intrigued by your job as a Scandinavian translator.

Welcome back from your vacation! Hope it was grand.

Cyn said...

We hadn't been married very long when I told DH that he was folding the towels "wrong." (in my defense, they weren't straight and therefore didn't stack nicely on the shelf. in his defense, he was folding the towels the way he had folded them for many years as a bachelor and they still did their job when it was time to use them, plus no one ever goes in that bathroom except us.) Anyway, he said "fine, then you can just do it yourself" and for the next 5 years did not fold a single towel. And still today he rarely will fold a towel, but that's because it's the kids' job. FWIW, he does his own laundry and will help with the washing / drying for the kids.

morag said...

You blew that one Heidi. But Mt. Laundry still can't be as high as some of those peaks you've already climbed in Norway.

Karen MEG said...

I think we should start a club - control freaks united. Although laundry does tend to be Ian's forte (I also made it quite clear before we got married that I don't iron - at least not as well as he does).
Recycling used to be his job, but because I got so anal about how the papers should be stacked and the boxes flattened, I ended up with the dirty job ... regrettably, I must say. But I'd like to think that the recycling guys at least appreciate my curbside appeal.

hokgardner said...

Oh no. I learned a long time ago not to complain too much when B does the laundry, even if it doesn't get folded.

But one friend has somehow instituted the system that she does the laundry for herself and the kids, and her husband does his own laundry. I think it's a brilliant plan, especially since he's a cyclist and has lots of grubby clothing. I'm just trying to figure out how to make that work at my house.

Hae Yung said...

I can see it all happening. Mike trying to help and you getting frustrated as he does things not your way. I know it is the hardest thing to just let it be...because we know it's the wrong way. If we keep doing this, they'll stop trying to help and we'll have to do everything and that's really not an option. Mike's such a great guy to try and help.

I don't think Daniel has done the laundry our 11.5 years of marriage either. But, it's a good thing we separate our roles and we do not overlap our responsibilities, since we are both control freaks. That's what makes our marriage work. Separate responsibilies.

Snoskred said...

Hey, thanks for dropping by my blog! ;) I love yours and am adding you to my feed reader.

I also am a control freak. I never knew this until recently when I began to take control of these jobs. I used to let the other half do the laundry!

I wonder, this is something I have been wanting for a while. Is it possible to get a voice recording of yourself or anyone else saying snøskred for my about me page? People are curious about how it is pronounced. I had a friend from Norway who was going to do it but they have never got around to it..

Cheers!
Snoskred
www.snoskred.org