Since my Dearly Beloved and I are, and always have been, Total Opposites (deserving of capital letters) it stands to reason that we would have different skill sets. That became more apparent than ever during the recent moving process. I’ll just say modestly that while I rose to the occasion, Dearly Beloved was often clearly out of his element.
Lest you think I’m bragging, let me point out that I’m not talking high finance or brain surgery, but things like how to arrange furniture, for instance, or color selections… what to keep and what to give away. In some of the areas, he assumed he had expertise. ( I am speaking of a man who chose navy and mauve furnishings for every office he ever had… and spent less than five minutes making the selections, probably.) Because I mull these things over beforehand, my decisions are usually more …um… thoughtful.
I know to blot, not rub a stain… to prune azaleas after they bloom… that one can refreeze bread… that a microwave has settings other than popcorn… In blunt terms, I know the same crap other homemakers know because I’ve done it for a long time.
One day we were riding in the car and although I can’t remember the particular incident, he acceded to my suggestion over something, acknowledging that my idea was better. The man who never utters a profane word, said in exasperation, “I don’t know SHIT, do I?!”
“You know STUFF,” I assured him. “You just don’t know SHIT.”
It has become his mantra. He tells the neighbors that he knows “stuff.”
Just stuff; no s-h-i-t. He spells the word in the telling. Then he points out to the guys that they might be similarly handicapped.
One of the areas in which he is most deficient is the concept of nesting. He can build a nest egg. but how to nest a cluster of objects clearly mystifies him.
When he retired, he announced that he was taking over the unloading of the dishwasher, something we’ve heard that many retired husbands do. (Loading the dishwasher apparently requires more advanced skills.)
Emptying the dishwasher is simple. Putting it away properly has proven to be beyond him. I even rearranged drawers to try to make it logical for him.
- This drawer is only for utensils I use at the stove: wooden spoons, ladles, etc…. I
- If it’s an unfamiliar utensil, it’s probably something I use in preparation– rubber spatulas, turkey basters, counter scrapers… so put those in THIS drawer.
- Knives have their own drawer.
It didn’t work.
The cabinets are even worse. Some have glass doors, but I keep the junky plastic items– measuring cups, mixing bowls, colanders, and some of my larger Tupperware containers and lids hidden behind solid doors. Smaller containers and lids go in a deep drawer in the butler’s pantry. To keep the assemblage neat and functional, one must sometimes take an item out to put a larger, but similar item under it. That, my friends, is what I call nesting.
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The pots and pans fare no better. Sometimes a small saucepan lid is lost for weeks in the bowels of the corner cabinet where it’s been dropped inside a Dutch oven or behind the double boiler.
I, who am not known for my neatness, despaired. I e-mailed several friends who’ve told me that their husbands unload the dishwasher at home. Possibly, I could send DB for lessons.
One sent back a photo of pots and lids lined up on the counter–her husband’s idea of unloading. A second explained that yes, her husband unloads the dishwasher, he doesn’t put the items in cabinets because that requires skill of a level equal to that of loading the dishwasher. Ahhh. A third simply sent a photo of a carton of milk in a pantry. ???
Their husbands, like mine, know stuff.
But–you guessed it… they don’t know shit.
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Happy Valentine’s Day, Dearly Beloved. I love you.