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Oct 20

The lesser of two evils is being chained to the stove.

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I don’t think anyone in this world really likes doing chores. I know it’s a love/hate relationship for me. I love having a clean house. I love having clean clothes and clean sheets. I love not being able to smell evidence of cat ownership when I walk through the door at night. I hate the work that goes along with those things. I hate chores so much that I spent hours one night procrastinating on said chores so that I could make a color coded Excel spreadsheet which neatly assigns chores to Ken and me, thereby preventing me from doing more than half the housework.

And yet it still doesn’t matter. I still end up following behind him to finish his chores because Ken’s version of a finished chore differs from mine greatly. In Ken’s mind, (which exists a great deal of the time in The Simpsons universe) there’s the right way and the Max Power way, which is, in fact, the wrong way, but faster! Examples include vacuuming without moving any furniture, cat toys, or paperwork because hey! Dirt can’t get in if it’s sheltered by other stuff! Declutter the living room and dining room? That’s a bunch of putting things in neat little stacks all over the house so that I can’t find anything an hour later. Clean the kitchen after dinner? Loading and starting the dishwasher, but forgetting the dishes in the living room, computer desk and even the bathroom, and then leaving food spilled and splattered on the stove and countertops. But at least he helps out, which is more than I can say for most roommates I’ve had. He even does the laundry, once I sort it.

I hate laundry with the passion of a bajillion fiery suns, yet I insist that it get done one a week because I have no wardrobe to speak of. Seriously, I own approximately 3 pairs of pants, 5 if you count my massage scrubs. Laundry even has its own laundry list! There’s the hassle of having to hunt down all the laundry in the joint, sorting the laundry, lugging it down three flights of stairs and then back up to fold it… none of which happens if you forgot to buy quarters (Wisconsin, why haven’t you ever heard of WEB laundry services?!? Quarters are for the vacation jar, not for clean clothes!) I’m exhausted just thinking about it and laundry day is still about 3 days away.

I tidied up, made the bed, cleaned the kitchen and litter box, and vacuumed before we left for the weekend. Not a full on tweak session, but enough to make me look all Martha Stewart and domesticated and shit for the person who was coming over to feed the cat in our absence. Thus, when we got home Sunday afternoon, there wasn’t much to do other than unpack and gorge on weekend leftovers. Unfortunately, Monday after work was a different story. Somewhere between Sunday and Monday, the laundry in the hamper asexually reproduced, the food in the refrigerator was begging for consumption, and the toothpaste ring in the master bath had become sentient. Plus, I still needed to cook dinner.

Now, I’m a phenomenal cook and I enjoy it immensely, most of the time. The past couple weeks though, I’ve been spread pretty thin and used all my creative and physical energy, so cooking feels like just another chore. But given the choice between spending an hour throwing together a decent meal and doing laundry, I’ll cook a seven course gourmet meal before I’ll lug a laundry basket and a bunch of dangly fabric softener testicles all over hell and back.

So without a menu plan for dinner, I consulted the fridge and pantry and decided on breakfast for dinner. I had a half pound of bacon that was a little on the not-so-fresh looking side that needed to be sizzled and served up, and as any person worth their salt knows, you pair the meal with the bacon, not the other way around. And so it became that waffles were on the menu. But I don’t do boxed waffles. Oh, no! Not this girl. We make it from scratch or we didn’t really want it. I have an amazing waffle recipe that always comes out perfectly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, and requires a great deal of manual labor in the form of whipped batter.

And so the scene plays out, with me in our 8 x 10 galley kitchen measuring ingredients into a bowl and arranging the bacon lovingly in the skillet, then measuring the wet ingredients and mixing them into the dry ones. Every 3 minutes or so, the waffle iron chirps a little reminder that it’s ready to cook and I’m desperately trying to fulfill its deepest desires.

But now the bacon needs to be turned, and dammit, why don’t I have any tongs? Scoop it up with a fork, flip it over. Get attacked by grease splatter. Throw the fork, which sticks in the linoleum next to the cat who, up to this point was just minding his own business and enjoying his own dinner. Mutter a half hearted apology to the cat. Turn back to the batter and prepare to spoon it into the waffle iron. But wait! You didn’t add the beaten eggs to the batter. You didn’t beat the eggs! Get the eggs out. Separate three egg whites into a small mixing bowl. whip the yolks into the rest of the batter. Start whipping egg whites furiously until foamy. Take a break to flip the bacon again. Ignore the angry chirping of the waffle iron. Go back to beating egg whites. White and foamy but still not stiff. Dump them into a tupperware container, snap on a lid and shake it like a British au pair. Finish it with a fork and fold gently into the batter. And since the eggs are out anyway, how about some scrambled eggs? Whip up six more eggs with some half and half. Dump in a small frying pan. Remember the bacon, now turning from crisp red to angry crispy brown, but it’s still good! Cue more angry chirps from the waffle iron.

“Dammit! I know you’re hot for my sweet, spicy batter, but I’m fucking busy here!” Hear husband snicker from other room. Make mental note to stab him with a fork later. Move bacon to papertowels. Load the waffle iron. Scramble the eggs. Turn off the eggs AND the other burner you forgot about. Hear the waffle iron signal a call to noms.

But the batter was too fluffy! I can’t get the waffle iron open! Burn hand fiddling with latch. Smoosh the lid really hard and pop the latch open. Dump unceremoniously onto the husbands plate and threaten his life if he says a word. Fix my own plate.

Ignore the fucking dishes until tomorrow morning. Still better than doing laundry.

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  1. Heather Rose

    Hi – I stalked you from Noa’s blog, since you obviously have great taste in both Jen and waffles. Not that I’ve ever successfully made a waffle in my life to know. My cooking endeavors generally involve a microwave and a lot of cursing.

    My boyfriend and I live in a 600 (if your’re feeling generous) sq ft basement apartment – you wouldnt think it’d be that hard to keep it clean. He’s off work today, so I asked him to clean, and he automatically asked what I wanted him to do. I may have gone full-on banshee and shreiked something to the effect of ‘I just want you to SEE the MESS and CLEAN it!’

    I know I’m going to get home and he’s going to have dusted just the fronts of all of the shelves…

    1. admin

      Yours dusts?!? I don’t think Ken knows what that is. I used to have an open wine rack and when I finally sold it, it had a quarter inch thick layer of dust/cat hair/Mandi hair. The china cabinet which replaced it has glass doors. I allow for procrastination on dusting that until I can’t see through the windows anymore.

      I’m just grateful that I don’t have a bunch of knick knacks all over the house.

  2. Dani

    Oh, honey… we are, indeed, siamese twins separated at birth 20 years apart. And I think we married the same man, kinda. Dan’s idea of cleaning is to put everything into stacks and then LEAVE IT THERE. On those rare occasions when hell freezes over and he does the dishes, he leaves more mess than he cleans up.

    My mother was thorough in pretty much everything and passed the thoroughness on to me. If I’m going to do it, I will be doing it right, because half-assed irritates the fuck out of me, especially with cooking and cleaning, I’d rather not do it at all than do a bad job.

    Which means I stress out like crazy every time I clean the house, do the laundry, cook for company… GAH!

    I need a sister wife. I really, really do.

    1. admin

      I feel you, but I think if I tried to share my husband with my sister wife, his head would combust in an explosion of orgasmic confusion. So I’ll keep scrubbing the bathroom nekked while I brush my teeth and wait for the shower to warm up, ala last night.

      Ever since I started hosting craft nights/nerd nights at our place, it’s provided some great incentive to keep everything at least surface clean. And where the guest room is concerned, it’s never been so easy to access my newly organized craft supplies! Nor have I ever had less time to use them…

  3. Doug Stephens

    I’m a big fan of Ken’s Theory of Vacuuming. I have to admit I follow the same principles.
    Doug Stephens recently posted..Why can’t they just call it a pound sign?My Profile

    1. admin

      I will admit, we play a fast and loose game of “out of sight, out of mind” with some of our housekeeping until we know company is coming. Then it’s a slap-dash game of “90 mile an hour fluff and stuff.”

      The one thing I won’t abide is a dirty kitchen. Because nothing says appetizing like roaches and/or cat hair condiments. I refuse to cook until the kitchen is spotless.

  4. Ken

    She organizes my desk at work too. It’s adorable.

    1. admin

      Funny, I don’t recall organizing so much as throwing out a metric fuck-ton of trash and leaving you a note calling you a dirty litle pig-boy. Be thankful I have a healthy, erm, respect (yeah, let’s go with respect) for your lab bench.

  5. Paula @ thewilyweez

    I’m pretty sure I clean like Ken…I’m just too lazy to move all that crap. My signature move is to just shove things under the couch with my foot.

    1. admin

      I made sure to buy the “there is no under the couch” model to prevent such things. That said, Fat Shit Cat manages to get toys, papers, Q-tips, foil, bottle caps, and whatever else he gets his furry little paws on, stuck underneath. Most recently, it’s been my metallic cross stitch threads. I swear, this cat is going to start shitting glittering rainbows.

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