Next month, I am going on my first-ever BIG trip without kids or husband since I’ve been married. And I am absolutely terrified.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not scared about being away from my children or hubbie. In fact, I am actually looking forward to it and think it’s much deserved, seeing as I have never left my family for more than 2 days.
No, the reason I am nervous about leaving for 4 whole days is much more mundane: I am absolutely petrified about what my house will look like when I return. You see, Siig is a bit of a slob (that’s the understatement of the year). I accepted this fact about him early on in our relationship. It’s just who he is. Messiness is in his DNA. I’ve observed how it is physically impossible for him to put things back or pick things up. He takes OJ out of the fridge, it doesn’t quite make it back in. He brings a jacket into the car, it will stay there for the next year. Dirty socks on the floor? Those soon become part of the furniture.
So, part of my job as his wife and roommate has been to become Maintenance Supervisor. I am constantly maintaining the household, putting away his crap, minimizing the clutter. I allow him his piles of clothes that spring up everywhere as long as they stay in our room and on his side. Once they spread to the living space, that’s when I draw the line and throw a tizzy-fit. Siig CANNOT put clothes back in drawers or hang them on hangers to save his life. We have tried everything imaginable to find a system that works for him – hooks, baskets, chest of drawers – to no avail. Sooo….the floor it is. The downside for him, however, is that this means I cannot distinguish clean clothes from dirty, so I don’t do his laundry. I look at it as his just reward for being a total slob.
As Official Maintenance Supervisor, I have seen what happens to the house in my absence. Forget four days, a few hours is all those kids and Siig need to turn the house into a disaster scene on par with Hurricane Katrina. Last Wednesday, I returned from a board meeting at 10 p.m. I was nervous to enter the house, knowing full well that I would have some tidying up to do. But nothing prepared me for what I discovered. The entire pantry had been emptied into my living room. I found out later that the kids had discovered their Easter baskets (Note to self: destroy baskets next time) and decided to go “Easter egg hunting” in the pantry. Cereal boxes, diapers, nails, hammers, bottles of medicine, forgotten swim floaties – you name it, it was in the middle of the living room. Basically, two years of crap I had been hiding away in the pantry was now covering my coffee table, couches and floor. There was nothing to do but cry.
And curse. Of course, I cursed Siig’s name in vain a few times for leaving me with this terrible mess to clean up at 10:00 at night when I so badly wanted to go to bed. Could it have killed him to pick up one or two things? Would he have pulled a muscle, altered his DNA? I did cut him some slack because he has to wake up at 5 a.m. every morning, so I knew he was tired. But why did he let the kids have their way with the pantry in the first place? For fuck’s sake, he could have at least vacuumed the cornflakes off the carpet. That would have at least reduced my heart-attack to a minor stroke.
So, you can understand my fear about leaving for four whole days. Who will assume the role of Maintenance Supervisor? My 2-year old? I think not. I am worried that for four days, no dishes will be done, not one toy will be picked up, no clothes will be put away. My house will turn into a pigsty. And I’ll be the one to clean it all up.
What’s a girl to do? I’ll be in Alaska visiting my 24-year old sister. If Siig doesn’t promise me that he will keep the house in order, maybe I’ll just threaten to stay and get a job on a fishing boat. It can’t be any harder than cleaning up after one messy husband and two toddlers who have been left to their own devices for a long weekend.