We’ve been traveling a lot during the weekends over the summer and this past weekend was the first time in a while we’d decided to stay home and relax. Or more specifically, I decided to stay home and relax, while JB decided to tackle a bunch of projects. He’s been working long hours during the week so he had some backup, like stacking a massive amount of firewood in our recently-build structure.

He worked on this at various times during both Saturday and Sunday, while I pulled up a chair nearby and sat with a book. It wasn’t until late yesterday afternoon, after I’d closed my eyes for a half-nap and idly complained about our September heat wave that I sort of realized I hadn’t bothered to help at all. Like not even once did I pick up a single piece of wood. Meanwhile, he was coated head to foot in splinters and dirt while the woodshed steadily filled with fuel that would help keep my lazy ass warm during the winter.

I apologized, more for not even thinking of helping than the fact that I didn’t actually do so, but then I thought of something a friend had told me recently that I greatly enjoyed. She said she’d had a fling with a hot MMA fighter. Nothing serious, but he had this super-smoking body straight out of a men’s magazine, abs you could play in an old-timey jug band, that kind of thing. She said, “You know how sometimes when you’re sticking to a healthy diet and you’re working out and you just get that tantrumy sort of feeling about it all, like where’s my damn medal for having fucking salad? Linda, he was my medal.” This made me laugh and laugh, and that’s how I ended up justifying not helping with the firewood. I pictured every thankless, cyclical household task that I’m solely responsible for — laundry, vacuuming, grocery shopping, cooking — and I decided having three cords of wood put away while I essentially reclined with a box of bonbons was my medal.

It turns out I was wholly justified in my inactions, too. Later I found a dirt-smeared towel just sort of tossed over the shower curtain rod in the bathroom and when I asked JB about it, he said he was sorry but he didn’t know where to put it. You guys. My HUSBAND didn’t know where to put a SOILED TOWEL. I’m running that stove 24/7 this December just because.

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Josey
7 years ago

LOL. Oh my gosh, this is SO dang true. I will be referring to this post next weekend when my husband decides to repaint our fence. ;)

Christine
Christine
7 years ago

YES, it was your medal. Also, I love your friend and I don’t even know her.

Caroline
Caroline
7 years ago

My 10 year old had a couple wrappers underneath the pillow on his bed. I asked him why didn’t he put them in the trash. He said because the trash was full.

Andrea
Andrea
7 years ago

I love you. I so love you because you put into words what goes through my head. I can so relate. Although I would have been chopping the wood because I love brainless labor. I’m the snow-shoveler in this household.

Ellie
Ellie
7 years ago

Linda, I just love you so much (in a non-creepy sort of way)
This plays out at my home too. I’m claiming every medal I deserve!

Sharon
Sharon
7 years ago

Yes, you totally deserve your medal. I will keep that in mind!

Tatyana
7 years ago

God, that is so true. My husband does this all the time. Yesterday I was going to bed and I mentioned to him that we need to wash all the dishes because we’ve recently acquired fruit flies (that he really hates) and the dirty dishes will attract them. He told me to do it. While he was watching tv. And I was GOING TO BED. And yet I always feel bad when I sit and do nothing while he works. It’s ingrained.

Karl
Karl
7 years ago

Re the towel, I think JB gets a point for saying any sentence with “sorry” in it somewhere, and another point for not just dropping it on the floor. Which is probably what I would have done. (somewhere out of sight, of course, like behind the toilet, so that nobody would have to look at an ugly dirty towel…)

Sande
Sande
7 years ago

Yes and YES! You go girl. I had the epiphany last night. I had 5 seconds of guilt then justified my behavior. No man wants a woman to make of list of each others’ household duties. The woman will win every time. Just sayin’.

Jill
Jill
7 years ago

I try to convince my husband that the trash/recycling should fall strictly into his realm since pretty much every other thing falls into mine. He reacts by outsourcing the tasks….to our 5 year old. Which irks me every.single.time. because he is 5, And small for his age, and I asked *you* to do it, not pass the chore along.
That said, putting away wood is TOTALLY the kind of job my boys would love to get in on, which is why if I were you I would have been all “Oh I’m so sorry….that I didn’t think to make the kids help you!” Ha.

Shawna
Shawna
7 years ago

Speaking of outsourcing to the kids, that is a good idea right there.

Our kids are expected to help at least a token amount at stacking wood for the winter at their grandparents, but much more rigourously enforced are their household contributions: the 6 year old wipes down the counters and table and sweeps the kitchen floor (he does a much better job now that we got a stick vacuum for this), and the 8 year old cleans the bathroom they share, and they both have to keep their rooms tidy and fold all the laundry and put away their own clean clothes. The 8 year old is starting to make her own school lunch since she complained too much about the sandwiches we were making her, and she also packs some easy components of her brother’s lunch now too since she’s in making-lunch-mode anyway.

I get to be the “walked-up-hill-to-school-both-ways” curmudgeon if they complain, because I grew up on a farm; I was hauling hay, building fences, and milking cows at their age so my tolerance for aggrieved sighs is low.

Jenny
Jenny
7 years ago

Sunday night was long ago delegated as Dad Makes Dinner night. Every Sunday, I sit and feel slightly guilty about not helping cook or clean up and then I remember that hold on, NO, I do both dinner and clean up the other 6 days a week. And then I pour myself a glass of wine and leave the room. ‘Medals’ are few and far between, grab them when you can.

Alison
Alison
7 years ago

I’m going to remember this and not feel guilty next time any opportunity for a medal rolls around.

Telegirl
Telegirl
7 years ago

Similar situation recently. My husband had made his third trip out to get firewood and got a splitter for the next morning (Saturday) to split and put it away. We always argue about when is too early to start operating loud machinery so I heard him get up at 6 and go out of the room. Let him! I told myself. Then I heard him an hour later throwing the wood out of the trailer and “prepping”. Let him! Then at 8:05, the dreaded splitter started up. LET HIM! Finally, I felt guilty enough to get out of bed, dammit, but we have trade-offs including me forcing flexibility in my workday so I do all the shuttling to daycare and school every day and I do all the laundry and most of the cooking and he can’t juggle finances so…the list goes on. (and admittedly the home project list is in his favor). I get it. SO LET HIM!!! But I still helped him stack the damn 3 1/2 cords of wood. I should have just observed my medal, savored and enjoyed it!

Mary
Mary
7 years ago

I thought you were going to say that your medal is having a husband who is ripped from lugging around firewood all day. I suppose no-effort winter heat is nice, but so are lumberjack biceps.

julia
julia
7 years ago

(chuckles to self, has erotic reverie about Emmett Ottter)

Bethany
Bethany
7 years ago

LMFAO. About it all!

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