Since most of the caregivers here are female they probably don’t go through the intense learning period most males must undergo when they need to become the cook, laundryman and shopper. My wife had retired from working outside the home years ago because of illness and she kept strong controls over how the house stuff got done.
I could wash my own clothes and cooked 2 nights a week (plus all the repairs and all heavy or disgusting chores like unplugging toilets) but I was clearly a guest doing a few chores and had no executive role. So I have been learning too do all those things. My wife does her own laundry because I don’t see the spots that she does and I clearly don’t know how to manage her clothes which evidently will blow up and destroy our house if not washed, dried and hung up in a certain prescribed manner.
All this is leading up to my latest realization. Our daughter and family are bringing over lunch today and my wife has a specific conception of how the first floor should look. After I did the dinner dishes and put everything away, she spent two hours making the kitchen look like it had never been used. To be honest, it will be a bit of a relief when PPA gets to that particular compulsion.
However, the table clothes that had been washed, dried and hung up a few weeks ago, needed to be freshened up. So last night, since I am always up early, she delegated a simple chore to me. She said,’in the morning would you put the yellow table cloths in the drier on low with a wet cloth to get the wrinkles out.’ Right in front of her, I wrote a note to myself, ‘yellow table cloths, drier, low, damp cloth’ and left it in my breakfast bowl at the place where I sit.
So this morning, I looked for yellow table cloths. Everywhere. I found white, pink, tan, green – no yellow. So I waited until she got up and when she was sitting at breakfast I told her I couldn’t find any yellow table cloths.
‘I didn’t say that. I said green’
I showed her the note.
‘I said green.’
So I went to the laundry room, put the green tablecloths in the drier with a damp rag and now I considering buying a small, voice-activated voice recorder to record every interaction and conversation.
I think it will be worth the money.