Case in point: I haven't a clue how the oven, dishwasher or washing machine work. Maybe I could find the manuals, but failing that I'd starve to death in my own filth within weeks. As for Joy, the snow blower, riding mower and string trimmer are alien concepts as complicated and mysterious as the Phoenix Mars Lander. She might last a little longer than me, but would soon be smothered in a tangle of weeds or buried alive in snow drifts up to the eaves. However rigid our roles may appear, there are some household duties that don't fall neatly into either of our portfolios.
Window cleaning is one of them. Man job or woman job? Hard to say. But I got it and I'm not sure how. It's no small task either. By actual count, we have 26 windows that require my attention every spring and fall. And it's not just about glass. These new-fangled vinyl windows never need painting and they do tilt neatly inwards eliminating the need to risk my life on a quivering ladder as I attempt to reach the uppermost windows. That's all good. But vinyl windows (at least mine) have more channels, nooks and crannies that collect dirt and bug carcasses that are almost impossible to remove even with a Q-tip or pipe cleaner. It's one hell of a job. As for the glass, there has to be a better way. No matter how long or hard I spray, wipe, shine and polish, the windows that looked so pristine when I finished the job reveal themselves to be nothing more than a collection of smears, streaks and smudges the moment the sun hits them.
Oh, I've read all the articles and all the trade secrets. Don't clean on a sunny day. One side horizontal, the other vertical. Polish with a crumpled newspaper. Use a squeegee. Wash from the top down. I have news for you - those tips don't work. None of them. And it's damned frustrating. I know it's not nice to hate, but I hate this job and what it does to me. But Joy refuses to take it off my hands. I've tried all the inducements I can. I'll cook dinner for a week... if she shows me how to use the stove. I'll do the laundry for a month... if she teaches me how to turn on the washing machine. I've even offered to do the grocery shopping, but Joy guards her turf like a pit bull. There's nothing I can offer to persuade her to even share this job with me. "It's something we could do together," I plea. "It would bring us closer to each other," I whimper. But she's a hard, hard woman.
I'm at my wit's end. I'm desperate. Maybe you have a secret that really works, not all the lies I've got off the Internet. I need a real solution. So if you have one, maybe I'll cook your dinner for a month. I might even do your shopping. It's all negotiable.