My wife hates to clean, but she loves to do laundry; it makes her feel like she’s accomplished something. Laundry goes on her checklist, is begun with zest and enthusiasm (yes, I know, it’s just dirty clothes, but I love my wife very much), and is checked off finally with a flourish and a smile; while house cleaning is a looming chore that weighs down upon her like an impending mammogram or colonoscopy.
DEB: “When I clean, it’s all good for a few days, but then a week later it’s all dirty again!”
ME: “Okay, sure, but with laundry aren’t you still — ” <sees That Look on her face> “ — in a different situation entirely. Yes, dear.”
I have done household laundry at times. I don’t do it wrong, it’s just that the satisfaction of laundry being finished is greater for Deb when she does it herself. (She does let me help fold, however, and even though I don’t fold underwear the same way she does I do an acceptable-enough job.) Which leaves house cleaning.
ME: “I can do house cleaning.”
DEB: “You did the cleaning at the place you lived when I met you?”
ME: “Of course!”
DEB: “The first time I was there, did you go to extra effort to clean the place up?”
ME: “Well, yeah!”
DEB: “Uh huh. We’ll call that Plan B, Jackster.”
So cleaning we’ve outsourced, on the advice of married friends who also have both halves working. After Deb got her promotion it wasn’t hard to figure out how to afford it, so essentially she’s paying for it. They’re a nice couple, they come every two weeks or so, and although I did the research and vetting Deb now handles the scheduling and details.
And when we come home at the end of a long day and see the reminders that the cleaners have been at work, she looks around, sighs contentedly, and announces (sometimes to me, sometimes to the general universe):
DEB: “I like having people!”