After living a year with my husband, it's become clear to me that there are some fights you just can't win. Before I delve any further, I have to say that if these are the only things that bother me in our marriage, I'd say we have it pretty good.
There are three things that we constantly bicker about: cleaning, recycling and gardening.
I know, we're so granola.
He and I have different ideas of what IS recyclable and what isn't. I keep telling him soiled thin plastics like meat packaging and saran wrap aren't recyclable, he begs to differ. I also harp on him about his gardening fantasies. We have a skylight and he wants to grow stuff in the edges or put mirrors up to reflect light like some kitchen scene from Ridley Scott's 1985 Legend movie. I've already given him the front balcony, the back deck (which is huge) and part of our living room. I don't want our house to be THAT green, and those plants are so messy with their dead leaves! Couple that with rolling balls of fur, it's just a recipe for disaster.
Anyway, my biggest beef is typically cleaning. I dream of a spotless, nicely decorated and minimalist apartment. We're not anywhere close to it yet. We spend most of our time in the kitchen, so the mess thankfully only stays there. But I like having clean counters and an empty kitchen sink. It is never so, not with his habits. Coffee spoons left on the table, counter, kitchen edge sink but not in the sink, and stains of honey and sauce are everywhere. It drives me bonkers. It's fine to make a mess, but I typically expect people to clean up after themselves. But this isn't the case and no matter how much nagging I've done, it just doesn't get done.
Being messy with the bed or leaving trinkets around the house, I'm actually ok with that. It's the stains I hate. The dirt and grime on the table, the bits of food. It just spells unsanitary, you know? And we have stains galore in the kitchen.
But I see that after a year of nagging, my progress is zero. So I basically have come to the conclusion that on Fridays, I'll simply have to clean the kitchen spotless when he's not around. Despite the protest of my colleagues who say that it's just a trick for me to clean up after him, I simply can't take it anymore. The dishwasher is also a case of complaint on my part, but he insists on loading it, but always overloads it and thus always end up with dirty dishes regardless. Taking control of the kitchen is the only way I can keep my sanity.
He's pretty good with everything else, takes out the garbage, recycling and composting, he sweeps the floors once in a while and takes care of the mopping. My duties are pretty small compared to his where I make the bed, clean the litter box, vacuum and do house laundry.
Again, it's difficult to get rid of anything in the house as he's keen on reusing things and the clutter simply piles up. I can't imagine that if we lived in a bigger place, it would just gather more clutter. Unless we had a large basement or storage area so he can just put all his stuff there and I don't have to see it. Ahh the dream apartment.
We also have these crazy vines that have suddenly blossomed in the two weeks we were gone so when we came back, our back deck was an amazon forest and the neighbour's tree has left hundreds of helicopter seeds that I also have to clean up.
As I've said before, my complaints are small, they're things that we bicker about, but never really escalates to anything more. We have a busy summer lined up for us with a bunch of concerts, a standup show, two trips in the fall and discussions of getting a new bed frame. It's a simple and chill life, but goddamnit he needs to put those spoons in the sink!