To make way for Christmas, my husband finally scraped the pumpkin guts from the front porch and tossed them into the compost heap.
After he dusted his hands and rested them on his hips for a moment, he called for me. No doubt to gloat about his major accomplishment.
I didn't quite hear him. On purpose.
We're in a war, he and I.
A war with battle lines clearly drawn over “His and Hers” chores.
What? “What is that,” you wonder?
I can hear my friendly feminists out there choking on their free range, ethically grown, non-GMO and rainforest safe coffee.
Not to worry. It's not as if our roles in this household fall entirely along gender lines:
He cooks; I clean*.
*Unless his mother is coming by for a visit, and then he cleans.
I mow the lawn; he fishes dead things from the pool filter.**
**Unless the dead thing is a snake, and then he gets one of the kids to do it. (Snakes scare him).
I rake the lawn of its leaves, eventually; He cleans them out of the gutters … ***
***Oh wait! No, he doesn't. He had the fancy leaf-repelling gutter tops installed so he wouldn't have to climb that ladder. Genius!
Let's just say whatever each of us brings to this marriage -- be it videos we borrow from the library or orange gourds we hack apart at Halloween -- we are individually responsible for the disposal of said item before its expiration date has expired.
Rarely does this happen.
Shocking, I know.
This stalemate of a rigid job description is why our lawn is often shaggier than the neighbor's; why our Pumpkins often melt into a mushy puddle before New Year's; and why our Christmas trees often linger around in various states of needle distress until St. Patrick's Day.
Basically … we're lazy.
And easily distracted.
It's not as if I want the house to look like a tornado cycloned through the first floor. It's just that I have ten minutes before I have to leave the house, and emptying the dishwasher or folding laundry better fits into that time window. After all, the snowstorm of paper bits forming a second carpet on the floor is not my doing. The resident fake snowflake fairy, who has watched the movie “Elf” at least four times this week, will have to tackle her flurry's winter fallout. Eventually.
But I digress.
The real nature of our troubles in Toyland, was that I had asked him to put up the Christmas Lights, a chore we only adopted last year when an As Seen On TV product – primarily a Christmas-in-a-Can-Light -- made climbing ladders and staple gunning your thumb to the shingles a near impossibility.
“Putting up the lights,” therefore, entails finding two extension cords and plugging them into an outdoor electricity source.
I aim the can lights and dust my hands.
But, no ... My husband had to get fancy.
He had to “Go the Extra Mile” by taking a couple of strings of mismatched Light Emitting Diodes he found in an old box and draping them under the porch roof. Making sure to point out to the neighbors that not only are we lazy, but we probably ate paste when we were in kindergarten. Most likely the toxic kind.
“So, what do you think?” he asked when he had finished my task.
“I think it looks like this should be my job next year.”
“That's what I thought, too.”