of us have heard of the honey-do list. Right?
do this… honey do that… the simply requested, innocently suggested,
desires of the significant other.
reality, of course, is that those of us being handed such tasks
know the honey-do list never ends. It is an on-going, ever expanding,
chart of chores that borders right up against being defined as
might be getting a bit carried away on that. Demands is a bit
strong. Too strong, actually. But there is at least a shred of
truth in the intent…
the closer the relationship… the stronger and more committed the
relationship… often you’ll find is directly proportional to the
weight and involvement and difficulty of the list.
you’re casually dating, and perhaps not even in a committed relationship,
I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that several loads
of laundry and scrubbing a toilet probably aren’t on your list
for the upcoming weekend stop at the significant other’s place.
lovely bride is a master of the honey-do list. She brings it to
new levels, all while recreating the concept itself. (The trick
is, she’s almost always within reason, and virtually without exception
has a way of cleaning that results in an amazing result, and often
involves certain products for certain situations. Carpets might
get one type of cleaner… bathtubs another type… windows and glass
another… you see the idea.
if I’m moving between what I believe are similar surfaces—surfaces
that are all clearly included on the list of “use this product
on” found on the label—I don’t give any thought to what a different
cleaner might do. Big mistake. Because usually that stubborn stain
wouldn’t have been so stubborn at all had I only listened to her
general idea to take from it is this… my wife is absolutely justified
for having her eyes filled with the realization that I truly am
that stupid as she holds a pair of red jeans in one hand and pink
socks in the other. You know, pink socks that had been white socks
before I tossed them into the washing machine and then the dryer
with the never-previously-washed red jeans.
it comes to the honey-do list however, she brings it to a level
of mastery that I have yet to see matched. See, she is an expander.
you tell me to head out to the garden and grab a couple of tomatoes…
and, let’s say I happen to know we’re making BLTs for dinner and
that’s what the tomatoes are for… I’ll come back in the house
with a couple of tomatoes. I might—might—bring back as
many ripe tomatoes as I could carry. But chances are good that
with specific instructions that directed me to a couple of tomatoes
for our meal while the toast was already being made, there is
little chance I looked around at the green beans, peppers and
zucchini. Tomatoes was on the to-do list. Harvesting the day’s
haul from the garden was not.
take that approach of mine and apply it in and around the house
and yard and any other place where I might have something to do,
and you can arrive at some miraculously great… and some brilliantly
trick is… I get it.
some guys I know try to tell me they have no clue what will trigger
an outburst from their wife. And for me… the outburst idea doesn’t
apply. When I’m folding pink socks… and neither my wife nor I
have ever purchased a pair of pink socks… and only our clothes
were placed into the laundry… yeah. This isn’t about an outburst.
what hits me is how quickly, efficiently, and quietly I try to
approach any to-do item. Because once something gets her attention…
time she came out when I was cleaning gutters to let me know lunch
was almost ready. While talking to me, it occurred to her that
since I was on the ladder already it might be convenient to clean
the outside of the windows on the second floor. When she came
back out with a rag and some window cleaner for me, she asked
if I thought we might be able to get the shutters down and painted
that afternoon as well.
repeat… cleaning gutters was the starting point… washing windows
and explaining that we would not be able to paint the shutters
and put them back in place if we tried to do just half of the
shutters was where we ended up.
perfect examples, but good enough to get across my point. (I think.)
I tried to say, I’m not complaining. When I’m an idiot, it’s kind
of hard to defend myself against accusations of being an idiot.
It makes sense.
the realities of the honey-do remain… the longer the relationship,
the longer the list… the stronger the relationship, the more demanding
the list. (And I wouldn’t have it any other way.)