Friday, August 10, 2007

"Talking Dirty"

By Jerry Zezima
The Stamford Advocate

In 29 years of living in wedded bliss, I have discovered that the key to keeping the romance in marriage is for a husband and wife to talk dirty to each other. That is why my wife will often give me a come-hither look and, in her sexiest voice, say, "Would you clean the bathroom?"

And I will gaze into her beautiful brown eyes and reply, "Sure. You want me to do a load of laundry, too?"

"Yes. And vacuum upstairs."

"I love it when you talk like that."

"And don’t forget to take out the garbage."

So I was not surprised to read that the Pew Research Center, which was probably named by a spouse with a dirty bathroom, recently conducted a survey of married people and found that the sharing of household chores is considered the most important element in a good marriage.

According to the survey, 62 percent of the 2,000 respondents put chore-sharing at the top of their list, ahead of child-rearing and, yes, sex. I’m not sure who these people are, but I’m glad I don’t know them.

Still, it is a fact that housework is the glue that holds a marriage together. Unfortunately, the glue must be cleaned up, preferably with a damp cloth so it doesn’t ruin the furniture.

Not to be outdone, I conducted my own survey, with the sole respondent being my wife, Sue. When I asked her about the importance of doing chores, she said, "I wish I had a housekeeper."

"You don’t need a housekeeper," I told her. "You have me."

Sue acknowledged that I am "cheap labor," adding, "You’re much better than you used to be." Then she pointed out that it took me 25 years to learn how to use the washing machine.

I am ashamed to admit that for a long time, I was laundry-challenged. It was probably due to a traumatic experience I had in college. I went to a Laundromat, stuffed my dirty clothes into one of those industrial washers, threw in a box of detergent and walked up the street for a beer. When I returned, the entire Laundromat looked like a scene from "The Blob," with suds creeping across the floor. Naturally, they were coming out of my machine.

With Sue’s guidance, I am much better now and have even been known to do multiple loads without flooding the house.

When I asked Sue which chore is my strong point, she said, "Cleaning the bathroom." I am flush with excitement to say that I could give the Tidy Bowl Man a run for his money.

My worst chore: vacuuming. "Your vacuuming skills aren’t the greatest," Sue said. I hate to vacuum because I keep running over the cord. I’m lucky I haven’t been electrocuted. I can best describe this chore with a word that also describes what a vacuum cleaner is supposed to do.

Here are some of my other chores.

Loading the dishwasher: This used to be my weak point. One night I put in too much detergent. Like my college laundry experience, the result was a cascade of suds. Sue often criticized how I loaded the dishwasher, but now I can do it without breaking a glass that might sever a major artery and cause me to bleed all over the floor, which I would then, of course, have to clean up.

Taking out the garbage: I create most of it, so I might as well get rid of it. It’s a dirty job, but, well, you know the rest.

Dusting: I am dust and unto dust I shall return. Until then, I solemnly Pledge (lemon-scented) to keep our furniture clean.

Sweeping the kitchen floor: I also use the broom to sweep Sue off her feet.

After returning home from a recent trip to the supermarket, Sue remarked, "The house looks spotless." That’s because I had cleaned the bathroom, loaded the dishwasher and taken out the garbage. I even vacuumed. "You did a very good job," Sue said. "I guess I don’t need a housekeeper after all. I have you."

I was going to say that I should get a French maid’s outfit, but I figured it would kill the romance.

Copyright 2007 by Jerry Zezima


Anonymous said...

Hi : That amazing dog is is a true performer. They have always said that border collies are among the most intelligent dogs .I guess you don't need to be a thorough-bred to make your mark . Hollywood here she comes.

Anonymous said...

Foxy roxy said " It only took 29 years to get you there" How about a side job without the french maids uniform ? We wouldn't want to wreck a marriage.

Anonymous said...

Now I know why Sue calls you Mr. Clean. With more hair. I assume the only heat you generate in the kitchen is of the romantic kind ?! I'm guessing what REALLY keeps both of you alive is that you don't have time to cook what with all your other chores....