Last week the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage left Yours Truly for another man. Actually, it was three little men n the grandsons. When it comes to grandsons, grandfathers haven’t a chance in the world. Grandmothers will drop everything, including grandfather (which is why many grandfathers limp a lot), and rush to the sides of the grandchildren for the flimsiest of reasons.
At times, I have to remember that before I was a grandfather I was a father, and before that, I was a man. Therefore, I shouldered the whole situation like the man I am, or used to be.
It was my responsibility and privilege to make the travel arrangements for my wife’s visit with the grandchildren. I’m still not sure how it all works out like this: I get to pay; she gets to play with the grandchildren.
The original plan was for both of us to make the trip. Since the parsonage treasury had limited funds, the travel arrangements were limited as well. Limited, that is, to my wife. Someone had to sacrifice, and since I lost the arm wrestling contest, that someone was me.
I made the arrangements, paid for said arrangements, drove my wife to the airport and saw her off. By the time I had done all that, I was thoroughly exhausted, not to mention broke.
Before me spread an entire week of being a freelance husband with the major responsibility of running the household. I must confess there were times I wish the household would walk instead of run.
During the week, I wore out four pairs of sneakers trying to keep up with a household that insisted on running.
I’m not sure which is more exhausting; packing up my wife for her vacation, or running the entire household for one week by myself. My biggest concern was that I would run the household into the ground.
I discovered one big disadvantage with running the household by yourself n I cannot find anybody else to blame the mess on but me. And believe me, I have looked.
Either I am the messiest man on planet Earth (which I find hard to believe) or I am the victim of a serial house invasion by the clumsiest criminal in the world. I’m thinking of filing a complaint with the messy house police.
With my wife’s help, we laid plans to run the household while she was away as efficiently as possible. This points out the great difference between husbands and wives when it comes to the term “efficient.”
Wives believe that “efficient,” when applied to household chores means no messes, no time. Everything must be put away in its proper place every day. This includes dirty dishes that must be washed every day and returned to the cupboard.
Husbands have a completely different idea about the term. When applied to the household chores, efficiency means that you don’t clean up the house until it reaches the ultimate of messiness. And believe me, it takes a big mess to really get my attention.
For example, if my wife is away for a week and is expected to return on, say, Friday. There is no reason to expend the energy to keep the house clean until Friday morning.
This may be the reason why many wives are so exhausted all the time. The husband-model of housecleaning does not demand the house be cleaned every day. Every husband is content to allow the mess to build up throughout the week.
Sure, he could fritter his time away each day by cleaning things up and putting them away, but what would the point be? It is much easier to allow the mess to pile up and then take care of it once a week.
What is the purpose of washing the dishes every day? I am a firm believer in recycling as well as water conservation. My motto is, “No dish should be washed before its grime has matured.” No real man is afraid of a little bit of grime.
This brings up the whole idea of laundry. Wives have developed a very complicated plan of taking care of laundry. Dirty laundry goes into the laundry basket, then gets transported to the laundry room, then it is sorted and finally put into the washing machine.
That, however, is not the end of the story. Then comes the dryer and following that, folding the garments and putting them away. Just listing all of it makes me tired.
This sounds like a lot of work to me. Too much work for someone who is trying to conserve energy, particularly his own energy.
I have the idea that everybody is given a certain amount of energy and when that energy is expended, that’s it. I’m trying to save up energy for old age. It would be a tragedy to reach the point of “old age,” and have used up all of my energy.
According to husbands, a garment is not a dirty until it fails the sniff test. Why, I ask you, should a perfectly good shirt that passes the sniff test be put in the laundry basket when you’ve only worn it one time?
The Bible speaks a lot about plans and preparations. “The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits.” (Proverbs 16:1-2 KJV.)