Friday, March 09, 2007

Household cleaning -- yeah, it's our sore spot

Most journalists are fed public relations fodder on a daily basis, and since Deirdre and I write about relationships and sex, you can imagine the field day PR flacks had with us around Valentine’s Day.

We didn’t want to inundate you with rambling facts or useless percentages, but there is one survey we received in an e-mail that I keep thinking about, even though Cupid’s holiday is almost a month past.

PayPal commissioned a “Can’t Buy Me Love” survey of more than 3,000 people, and though the results focus mostly on how couples like to hide purchases from their spouse, one little factoid resonates with my relationship: “Money beats out sex and house-cleaning as the number one issue couples fight about – 37 percent of young couples report that they fight more about money than cleaning (34 percent) or frequency of sex (28 percent).”

Oddly enough, my husband and I don’t argue that much about money – when you don’t have a surplus of it, it’s hard to fight about it, at least that’s the way we see it. One issue that pops up with some frequency is house cleaning. I hate doing dishes. He hates doing laundry. So you would think we would have it made; we each do the chore that the other loathes, but it doesn’t always work out that way. There are some days when the dishes pile up or the laundry takes on a life of its own, and we both drop the ball.

Let’s set an all-too familiar scene in the Hord house:

Me: “Hey hun, will you please do the laundry today?”
Husband: “Don't worry, I'll get to it.”
Fast forward two days later.
Me: “Oh, love of my life, when are you going to do the laundry?”
Husband: “Tar Heels are playing right now, Alisha. I’ll do it tomorrow.”
A day passes – not one shirt has made it to the washer.
Me: “What’s it gonna take to get the laundry done?”
Husband: “Did you do the dishes yet? When you do the dishes, I’ll do the laundry.”

Aaaaaahhhh!!! This little scenario plays out more often than I ever thought it would. And don’t get me wrong, I’m just as guilty as my husband is at putting off household chores and then saying I’ll get to them later.

So when I read that 34 percent of respondents in the survey argue about cleaning, I was relieved. You should have heard the sigh I let out. I thought it was just us who consider daily chores to be a frequent source of, um, let’s just call it pleasant disagreement.

Please, tell me we’re not alone?


Anonymous said...

No girl, you are not alone. My husband of almost 2 years and I have the same issue. I'm glad we're not the only ones!

Anonymous said...

Heck naw my wife of 7 year go at the subject week in and week out for 6 of them. Til we added penalties for not doing chores. If laundry day is Thursday and it isn't done by Saturday then hmm thanks hun for that new fishing rod, or whatever it worked for us.


Anonymous said...

Cleaning is a bigger argument to me and my husband than any other argument we have! Since we both work full time and have a small child, I think that everyone in my household should pick up after themselves. I love to clean, and I do not mind doing the "real cleaning," but when I have cleaned the whole house and it is trashed the next day, it is really annoying!!

Anonymous said...

You certainly have beat a path around the real reason that it is an issue, you both procrastinate to the point that the cleaning is so overwhelming that it takes an army to get it done! Just a suggestion - Every day one thing a day, makes it easy when you have to really clean! From A Mom

Anonymous said...

Georgiaboy sez:

Lish, if you're too busy to put your family ahead of your job (including putting out for Richard) then you're TOO BUSY, and don't have your priorities in proper order. I highly suggest you borrow your mom's copy of "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" by Dr. Laura and READ it. NOW! While you still have a marriage to save.