Tammi once told me I was a better father and husband than most, and she thought she was lucky.
Transversely, I’m also not as good as others, I pointed out.
It seems my whole life I have strived to be “better than most.” I am a card carrying member of the 75% club. It would seem I am not alone in this endeavor. Wikipedia says 90 percent of people think they are above average intelligences. For me, the math just doesn’t add up.
Perception plays a role here. Most people just perform to the level of their opponent. Unfortunately, I married one of the top teams in the cleaning game. So for me that means keeping the house clean in order to keep my wife happy. There are a couple of items at play here. Not the least of which, is a standard of clean she is willing to accept. The difference between her standard of clean and mine is like night and day. Let me put it this way. When Tammi and I first met she lived in the same apartment complex. She was on the third floor and I was on the first. She would hang out with me and my friends, drinking beer on the patio. I WOULDN”T let her in my apartment to use my restroom. Somehow this didn’t raise any red flags for her…
When it comes to my new job, I fear I may have set the bar higher than I intended. In an effort to show Tammi I should resign my position to only work outside of the home part time, I ended up keeping the house spotless for about two weeks. This was clearly a mistake. I do have one thing still going for me. She thinks it takes much longer to do things than in reality. I can’t get into specifics, because she will probably read this.
She also has a few hot button items, which if not done, render the house a disaster in her opinion. The first is dishes in the sink. I could paint two rooms, do 14 loads of laundry, keep the boys alive, and mow the lawn, but if there are dishes in the sink, I have wasted my time. It also seems to bother her, when you put dirty clothes next to the laundry basket, or leave the kids in their pajamas all day. Now that I know that, I’m riding on easy street. I do the dishes, put the dirty clothes away, and dress the boys. When she comes home I let her know those three items took me three hours.
The truth is 6 months ago; I had no idea how to keep a clean house. I didn’t actually learn until we put our house in WI on the market. Tammi defiantly bought into the idea of staging our house. Every day before we left we would vacuum the floors, make the beds, clear all the clutter from the counters. You know all of the things, which I thought were just found in fairytales.
Every so often, I will take a, “day off.” When Tammi comes home she hits the ground going 100 mph. Once she slows down, I get her a drink, and remind how I am still better than most. Usually on those days she is reminded that I’m not as good as others. Oh well, just lowering the expectations a bit. I don’t want to lose my 75% card.