We all have household chores that we like to do.
We also have tasks that we get stuck with because we do them better than our spouses.
But then there are those things that we hate and are not good at – yet we do anyway.
Which is what defines love.
Real love has nothing to do with flowers.
Nor compliments, nor the kiss on the cheek. True love comes with a whole lot of muttering and the occasional snarl.
Like yesterday when my wife announced, “there is a dead frog in our driveway.”
“In other words,” I surmised, “you ran over a frog,”
“I did and it’s gross,” she said.
“And cleaning up a gross thing falls to me because I am a man?”
“No,” she said as sweetly as she could, “it falls to you because you love me.”
It is an argument I cannot win.
So much is like this. I haul out the trash. I clean the gutters. I scoop out the litter box. I dispose of dead mice. All these things I do because they are gross and unpleasant – and therefore demonstrate true love.
But then there are the things which are not gross, but are equally unpleasant, that I get tasked with simply because she does not want to do them.
Like preparing meals.
Cooking is something that usually falls to women because society deemed that they are better at it than men. I don’t think this is true. Instead I feel that like so many things, people get better at what they do the most.
Except for me, I will always be a terrible cook.
My wife is much better at it than I – but she hates to cook, so she decided that I am better at it than she is – thus she has been trying to get me to cook for years.
When we were first married, she bought me a cookbook.
“Here,” she said opening the book to a delicious recipe for egg-spinach bake, “all you have to do is follow the instructions.”
This was early in our relationship before she discovered that it is utterly impossible for me to follow instructions. I am simply too creative.
Why must egg-bake contain eggs? I asked myself. There was the name of course – but why be bound by that?
So I substituted bacon.
And for spinach, since I hate the stuff, I opted for bell peppers – then feeling guilty about the eggs, I added them back in.
It was delicious – or so I thought. But that is when I discovered my new bride did not care for peppers.
“PEPPERS ARE GROSS!!!” she informed me.
So I reluctantly agreed – no more peppers.
The next day, she selected another egg-bake recipe.
Again I substituted bacon for eggs but given that she did not like peppers, I added hash-browns before again caving in and blending in the eggs.
This she did not like at all.
“Why can’t you follow the recipe?” she asked. “It’s so simple – just do what the instructions say.”
“If you loved me, you would,” she said.
It is a statement that has reverberated over the years and to prove my love, I do many things. I mop up cat barf. I unplug toilets. I take on all of the nasty menial household tasks because of my affection for her.
In short, I will do anything for love – but I won’t cook quiche.