Division of Labor

It’s funny; sometimes couples will sit down together and decide the division of labor. And it isn’t always what you think; that is, some women prefer to do things like washing the vehicles, painting the living room wall, mowing the lawn and so forth. Some men enjoy cleaning out the pool, cooking, vacuuming, and knitting (the Crankee Yankee’s dad enjoyed knitting. In fact, he knitted the Crankee Yankee and his brother woolen hats and mittens each winter). It all depends on what each partner likes to do.

With us, the Crankee Yankee does the creative work of fixing and improving our house, planting and weeding our gardens, managing the bills and so forth. He also is the one to get up at 4am to *feed the cats. Later in the morning, he cleans out all the litter boxes (with six cats, we have seven litter boxes; cats like variety, too) and puts down fresh litter for them. He also takes care of our vehicles, and he faithfully registers my car every year.

For my part, I do the cooking and baking, washing the dishes (well, getting them ready for the dishwasher, that is), emptying the trash, tidying up, making the bed and changing the sheets, and keeping up with the laundry. I keep the calendar updated with vet and doctor appointments and so on, and I pick out the birthday, holiday and thank-you cards.

It’s a good system, and it works for us. When I was in my teens, my mother would talk to me about what to look for in a husband. She would warn me that looks and slick talk don’t mean a thing; it’s all about who the person is in his own skin. She taught me to look at the real person; was he truthful, honest, kind, forgiving, intelligent, loving?

She told me not to be fooled by first appearances; as she said, “they will want to impress you so that you will like them. But, remember to watch how he is with people other than you. For example, say he is taking you out to dinner and he is rude to the waiter. Know this: sooner or later, you’ll be the waiter.

As usual, Mom was right. The Crankee Yankee and I have our own ways of doing things, and it works for us. Another thing I learned from Mom was this: even though the other partner has only washed out his coffee cup, dried it and put it away, it’s worth a “thank you.” A little thing to say to be sure, but it is after all the little things that make a difference. The division of labor works, and so far, no one’s complaining.

Win, win!

*Our cats have a regular feeding schedule, just like newborn babies. The Crankee Yankee set it up and it works. Our cats can’t tell time, but they certainly know when it’s time to eat!

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