Taking Stock - October 3, 2011

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WHAT do you do with a day off work?

Go to the cinema? Head out for a stroll? Enjoy a cheeky drink or two?

All great ideas but I bet, like it or not, there’ll be at least one chore that gets in the way.

At this point, I should probably point out I’m writing this as something of an apology.

You see, today is my second wedding anniversary, and if there’s anything standing between me and marital bliss it’s my inability to follow instructions – particularly when it comes to household tasks. My idea of a day off, without the little ones, involves a good deal of lounging, some eating, some sleeping and, if there’s time, a game or two on the Wii.

That, of course, is somewhat at odds with My Good Wife’s vision of my day off, in which sleeping and gaming are replaced with washing, vacuuming and any other tasks which have gone undone during the regular working week.

I know she’s right and, equally, I know how hard she works to keep the household running like clockwork, not to mention doing her own job.

The problem is, as long as I can put off a job, I will – leaving everything until the last minute or until someone steps in to do it for me.

It’s not a new phenomenon.

As a student, I’d try to save up all my washing for a trip home, carrying the lot 100 miles across country – with two changes of train on the way – and I’d never be the first to crack and do the washing up in my digs. I’m not that bad any more.

I do know where the washing machine is – although the precise workings remain a mystery.

Settings, which to a domestic god or goddess might make perfect sense, might as well be written in Russian for me.

Is 30 degrees good? What’s a pre-rinse?

The result is everything gets bunged on a delicates cycle – my theory being that way the least damage can be done. Equally, having once seen a fire safety video, I’m terrified of the tumble dryer and the possible implications of turning it on for more than half an hour at a time – a strategy which inevitably ends in damp clothes for all.

At work I’m not much better.

Much fuss was made recently when I cleared my desk of paperwork – many thinking I’d turned over a new leaf.

The sad truth was I’d lost my keys.

I know I’ve got to do better. After all, I’m a grown up now.

It is, I think, time to clean up my act.