Mess Made in Heaven

Slice 1

Um, no thank you. I began the process, last night, of cleaning the dinner-encrusted cast-iron pan that had been sitting out while we listened to music over dinner, and as she fell asleep afterward on me on the couch while I started another episode of Sunny. When she finally nomaded her sleep area from me to bed I filled the pan with water for boil cleaning and set out to put the rest of the kitchen to sleep. 

It was a true mess. All of dinner’s origins, so nicely plated earlier, were now mixed with those plates and their sticky remnants. Wine glasses. Desert knives. Sunday night – back to work for a full week in the morning and I was done with the day. And I have to admit that for a second I was peeved. For a second I wanted to march right into whatever dream she was having and guilt nightmare her into seeing what she left me. I admit it. Just for a second. I probably sighed loudly, hoping she’d hear. It was an astonishing chore, given my exhaustion. I could tell it was at least 30 minutes’ worth of work. About the size of a Sunny I maybe didn’t need to watch again for the 12th time as a way to grip the back end of my weekend, hoping it would linger just a bit more. 

The cast-iron water began to boil as I sorted what the dishwasher cleaned last cycle from what it mysteriously didn’t to make room for this cavalcade of filth and I allowed this mini contempt to influence suspicion that perhaps she lazily mingled, rather than sorted, the last time she opened the appliance.

But then I remembered the steam that billowed out when I looked for a fork after seeing none in the drawer back before she served me my dinner. Back when she mashed the potatoes and baked the rolls, and even cooked the beef roast in the cast-iron pan – despite her texting me earlier, after leaving the store where she bought all of this dinner stuff for us, that she might want me to do that part since she’s beef-reluctant. It usually makes her feel sick and cooking it is icky to her. I saw it already in the cast-iron when I got there and while she cooked and played music for us, DJing and commenting, I played this dumb new game on my phone. I was already exhausted from a busy kid weekend and coaching and almost immediately after showering entered the couchlock phase I remained in until beddy-bye chore time. 

This wasn’t a “kitchen work is for women” situation. Ew. Gender norms aren’t a thing with us. Neither of us fulfil roles based on 1950’s (or 90’s) sitcoms. We are both the pants wearers (and I can throw on a skirt with no qualms if necessary). If we don’t currently cook/clean/shop at exactly even rates right now then I am sure it will all even out over the hopeful expanse of time before us. Or it will settle, at least, well away from squabbling levels of discrepancy. But sometimes we need reminders. And that’s ok. 

I felt bad for my lapse for a second and it almost immediately transformed into gratitude. How lucky am I to have someone to do nighttime chores for? That mess only existed because another human I met decided some of her precious time on an exhausting Sunday was worth spending on adding caloric value to a stomach that could definitely do without. I wasn’t cleaning up her mess, it was ours. I get to have a mess with someone. That might not be for everyone, but for me? Um, yes. Yes please.

7 thoughts on “Mess Made in Heaven

  1. How often every one of us feels like this! I know I do – both the “why can’t you do it” and the “oh, I have someone I care about to do this for.” Thanks for writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sometimes I do the same! I resent all of the work I am doing while forgetting all the work someone else has done. But dishes really are aptly named – a chore.

    I like how this slice turns from one feeling to another. I love this really reflective sentence: “If we don’t currently cook/clean/shop at exactly even rates right now then I am sure it will all even out over the hopeful expanse of time before us.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The healing power of cleaning! This line cracked me up – “About the size of a Sunny I maybe didn’t need to watch again for the 12th time …” Love how your thoughts change, moving all the way from blame to appreciation…yes, I think you’ve made a good case for cleaning up dinner! We can find meditation and tranquility in all sorts of surprising ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As of late… while I’m up disinfecting baby everything, I light an incense and watch it burn as I chore up. Helps me to refocus any negative thoughts or feelings, most times.


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