Strengths and Weaknesses

Lots of individual projects were started, completed, on contemplated today. Soup was made, sap buckets were checked, tea brewed, firewood carried… the regular normal activities for this time of year. Two events stood out in my mind, however. The floors were vacuumed, and the dishwasher was emptied.

I’ve long been fascinated by the differences in people. What motivates one person can be boring or worse for another. And somehow, the jobs get done to the level that they need to. One advantage to a long and successful marriage like mine and Alice’s, is that we’ve worked out a lot of these details, thereby avoiding a lot of frustration. (Maybe that is why the marriage has lasted; because we managed to work these things out.)

The particular skill I think I bring to this household is order. And Alice brings cleanliness. We often work together to prepare our evening meal, and I honestly enjoy the aftermath, when we work together to put things away. If we’re lucky, as we were tonight, the dishwasher’s LED reads “0,” meaning it is time to put the dishes away. While I do enjoy the emptying of the dishwasher a lot, I like that I do it equally as well. Because if I don’t do it, it often gets done by someone that puts the pot lids in the wrong place. The small pot lids go on the left side of the shelf of our pot holder, nested, and the large pot lids go on the right, also nested. On occasion I find the large and small pot lids mixed between large and small in the same stack, and sometimes the stacks get completely reversed! You can bet that little problem gets corrected the minute I set foot in the kitchen.

On the other hand, running the vacuum is not high on my priority list. Once Alice tried to wait me out, I think. Towards the end of week 2 or 3, I noticed she was getting a little edgy. I was suspicious that her edginess might have been because the pot lids were out of order, so I checked, but they were fine. Eventually, I figured out that it may have had something to do with the coating on the floor that was obscuring the color of the carpet under the dining room table. I don’t remember if I finally saw the light and started the vacuum, or if poor Alice capitulated, but the task was completed, and the tension dissolved from the air.

I wonder if there is only so much room inside our heads for a certain number of these traits? If there really are people that are both neat and clean because they like it? I’d have a lot more to say on the subject, but I heard some rattling around in the kitchen just now, and feel the need to make sure the pot lids are in their proper places.

Leave a Reply