Tony announced about a week or so ago that he had decided that it was our turn to host his boy's night poker tournament, and that he had invited all of his buddies over for this Saturday night. And since I heartily encourage Tony to socialize, I was fine with that.
"But", I told him, "You'll have to be in charge of getting ready for it since I have that reunion that I'm going to and therefore AM GOING TO BE OUT OF TOWN THAT WEEKEND."
And he said, "No problem."
And so I went about my own business. Except that I couldn't help but notice that all the little things that I would have been doing to prepare for this little poker/cookout shindig were not being done. So I said again,
"Remember that you are in charge of all the cleaning and the food buying and the making sure that the lawn looks nice and that the porch is swept and the chair cushions cleaned and the whole screened-in porch is covered with pollen so that probably all needs to be wiped down with a wet sponge and I AM NOT GOING TO BE AROUND TO DO IT".
And he said, "No problem".
Now, Tony is not a stupid guy. Nor is he lazy. He is a modern man, and is always happy to do his part with keeping the house looking nice. He's in charge of bathrooms and the kitchen (well, except for the glass table because the boy can not master the streak-free shine to save. his. life.), litter box patrol, taking out the garbage, and mowing and the spin trimming of the lawn. And he does all that stuff really really well. But I am usually (except for in cases when I WILL NOT BE IN TOWN) doing the sweeping and the dusting and the glass table and the weeding and flower upkeep and food shopping and all the special miscellaneous things like wiping the pollen off the porch and making sure that the patio chair cushions get washed and picking up the extra card table so that the 10 people (and one dog- don't ask) will have someplace to sit and eat and play poker when they arrive this Saturday.
And because I know that Tony relies on me to do that stuff, and I WILL NOT BE AROUND TO DO IT, I asked him when he was going to tackle what is normally my half of the list. And he said...
And I said, "Eh? What is this eh? You are planning to do the sweeping and the dusting and the de-pollening and the cushion washing and the food buying, aren't you?"
And he said "Eh".
And that's about the time that I realized that he was not planning to do that stuff at all! All that cleaning that I do? He considers that optional. Because in Tony's world, it does not matter if the fan blades are dusty or the patio cushions are dirty or the glass table has kitty prints across it. He doesn't care about that stuff, so why would anyone else?
Ohhhhh but I care. And I know that other people care (maybe not poker guys specifically, but you never know who's going to show up and be secretly disgusted that we let the fan blades get that gross, you know?) And while I don't require a surgical level of clean (my personal level of housekeeping is one step above "if the health department showed up, would they shut us down for this?"), I do like to keep things looking nice for when company comes over.
(I know it isn't PC anymore, but you know there are still people out there who think that housekeeping is the wife's job, and even if she gets hubby to help out, the final supervisory position falls to her. And if someone walks in and goes, "Ewwww! Fan blades!" I don't want them blaming me for the oversight even THOUGH I AM NOT THERE!)
So I had a choice. I could either run around frantically cleaning in advance, or I could just trust that Tony is a big boy and wouldn't embarrass us by inviting people over without cleaning the toilet first. So I left. (Okay, I did clean the pollen off of the porch and sweep it. Just to help him out, you know? But the rest I left to him). And you know what? When I got back into town later, it really was "No problem". He did a beautiful job cleaning. (Even dusting, which he hates with a passion). The house looked fabulous.
And I know you're probably wondering what the point of this story is, right? I mean, I'm talking about dusting here. And not even me dusting. Tony dusting. But I guess that is the point. Because sometimes it's just the little things. I really do have the most wonderful husband in the world. Not because he cleans (although yay!), or because he's a responsible guy (and he is), but mostly because even through he claims that absolutely NO ONE EVER looks at fan blades, he knew it would be important to me, so he did it anyway. WHEN I WASN'T EVEN THERE!
And no, it isn't grand gestures of devotion, or flowers and chocolates and poetry. But I think it's better. Because flowers die and chocolates get eaten and have you ever heard any of Tony's attempts at poetry? (I'll give you a hint...it all starts with Roses are red, violets are blue.) But a clean fan blade? A pointless clean fan blade? Cleaned for someone who wouldn't be there until later? How's that for letting someone know you love them?