Posts Tagged ‘Homemaking’

Chore Evasion

The hits on the Do-It-Yourself post keep coming. Apparently I hit a nerve in the universe.

So let’s turn now to housework.

Not unlike scofflaws who evade taxes, there are family members who exist (you know who you are) who spend as much time devising ways to evade chores as it would take to get the dern job done in the first place.

Perhaps I only notice this because I, as a female, am outnumbered 5:1 in my home.

9:1 if you count the various non-human species, not including the live-food fish in the tank of the vicious but cute snapping turtle (although he’s partial to rotisserie chicken from Publix).

Snapping Turtle

Not that I’m saying that men evade chores in general. Just men in MY house.

I will give them credit, however. They have developed a system of staggering the order of their efforts in a manner which prevents me from bitching about chore evasion on any given day.

I’m so pleased to see somebody helped with the floors that it distracts me when the dishes guy sticks me with a dishwasher to empty, which I blindly do while reveling in the goodwill of the doer-of-the-floors.

Better yet, they suck up to elevate me daily to try to buffalo me into feeling good about being their domestic goddess. Most the time, I can’t complain.

It gives me a place in the family and allows me to rack up points in the eyes of my sons come time for future daughters-in-law to invade my planet. God help me if I ever rule with an iron rolling pin…

This is not me. It’s some photo off

Last but by no means least, it entitles me to the occasional free pass when I am sick, on my cycle or assert myself and command that it’s MY day at the beach by myself, sans chores –


(Yes, life is beautiful in the southeast!)

Here is a summary of ways one can evade chores by guaranteeing the more conscientious family member will assume the duty:

Dishes: Ensure that at least two specks of dried-on food are left on each plate, cup or bowl. Bonus points for leaving a milk ring intact.

Laundry: Send at least one stained, critical garment through the laundry without applying Spray-N-Wash or Stain Stick or whatever your family uses. Make sure it goes through the dryer for a full cycle so the stain becomes permanent. Ditto for red-clay-stained socks, baseball pants etc. if you live in the South. Sharpies in pockets count triple.

Vacuuming: Go out of your way to suck up the little kitchen rugs in front of the sink and oven so that they become frayed and/or noticeably frazzled. Don’t forget to suck up the pearl earring that’s been missing for a month and any haphazard Matchbox cars left in the way.

Extra credit for leaving a lingering, smoky odor about the house that reeks of a combination of unemptied vacuum bag, burned up rubber thingamabob and thoroughly chewed up lingerie which went missing under the bed last week.

Other floors: When you sweep, swiffer or whatever, leave your pile smack-dab in the middle and conveniently forget it so multiple pairs of feet retrack it throughout the home.


http://www.marthastewart.com/267641/how-to-sweep (Perfect sweeping? shut up, Martha…Just. Shut. Up.)

Dusting: Take the shortcut like my dad always did to my mom, by writing the date in the dust several days before she gets to it. There is nothing more infuriating. Of course my wise-guy comeback is to doodle a little smiley face or other backatcha-message and leave it there to be discovered.

In honor of my dearly departed dad, bless his passive-aggressive soul.

Windows: Leave eye-level streaks. ‘Nuff said.

Bathrooms: A veritable cornucopia of evasion opportunities! Ignore floss-splatter on the mirrors. Clean all but one obvious spot in the toilet. Leave a ring in the tub but make sure to get the ledges, or vice versa. Wink at the toothpaste sludge in the sink.


This can also apply to cooking simply by burning anything, not having the right ingredients and all other manner of screwing things up, necessitating the process of ordering out or raiding the MREs.

This just happened to someone I know at work, and they got an entire new kitchen, flooring and everything in their house cleaned or replaced, out of the mandatory insurance deal.

The typical reaction is woe-is-me: “Oh, brother…I’ll just do it myself if I want it done right.”

This is NOT the way to solve this problem. I urge you to hang in there and withstand the discomfort of things not getting done “properly.”

I have found that over time, eventually, the offenders themselves are driven crazy by their own efforts to evade chores done adequately. Eventually somebody else will start ranting about the toilet not getting cleaned at least twice a week, the shameful dust and the becursed state of the dishes. Take heart!

Moral: Don’t go bonkers over housework.

After all, you will not find “Cleanliness is next to godliness” anywhere in the Bible.


Read Full Post »