Friday, January 11, 2013

Boys. Are. Children.

How is it, that no matter how old a male individual is, they still lack enough traits to qualify them as true adults? This is of course based on the males I know. Perhaps there are males out there that indeed are adults. Anyone? Does anyone know one? Bueller? I thought not...

Source of my current rant: My boyfriend's complete INABILITY to pick up after himself. I swear, he is a tornado. Mess follows him. His cleaning abilities were stunted somewhere around the age of 8, where he realized if he took long enough, or did something wrong enough times, he could convince someone else to clean up for him because it was easier than nagging him to do so. Fast forward 19 years and I am still fighting with said 8 year old, he's just taller and much more sarcastc. His mother actually pulled me aside one day to apologize to me for him being such a slob. "I don't know what happened to him Ally May; I don't know where I went wrong."

I love Reed with all my heart, but when I see the growing pile of dirty laundry, coffee grinds across the kitchen counter, clean laundry spread across the floor rather than moved to the closet or a drawer...I have to remind myself that his good qualities far exceed this beyond annoying bad quality. "He makes you coffee every morning. He takes you out to dinner every night and never lets you pay. He remembers everything and is beyond thoughtful. He can have adult conversations about your future and money and has a very good career and head on his shoulders...blah blah blah." This is the internal dialogue going on as I simultaneously consider burning his house down so the mess bothers me less.

So, what's a girl to do? Clearly, I am not breaking up with an otherwise near perfect match just because he can't figure out what a vacuum cleaner is for. But I also don't want to fight about dirty laundry every weekend. I've tried a few approaches to this dilemma, with less than impressive results.

First, I tried imprisonment (the adult version of grounding?): We are not going anywhere or doing anything until this house is clean. I went "Gloria" on him, (Reed's favorite knickname for me when I start waving my arms around and yelling like the crazy Columbian wife on Modern Family). I dictated every move as we cleaned the house from top to bottom. I ended our successful session with high hopes and positive affirmation. "Now you just have to maintain it; just do a quick clean once a week." Fail.

Then I tried Ninja Warfare. I'm not saying a word or picking up a single thing; he will have to live in his own filth until he's so sick of it he does something about it. Major fail. He didn't even notice.

Last, I tried the Mom approach. He's not going to do it to my standards and I'll just have to do it again anyway, so I may as well just clean it myself. Fail Fail Fail. He still didn't notice and I became silently resentful until I blew up. This is also a quadruple fail because now I'm just feeding into the other tool he learned at a young age: delegation. Another tidbit I learned from his mother - Reed's elementary school teacher informed her one day that he had mastered the art of delegating responsibilities to other children. While this has worked well for him in life, as he owns his own company, for me, it seems nothing more than an uphill battle. We met in college; assigned to the same group for a project in Accounting  class and guess who did all the work (though he swears up and down he killed it on presentation day, and that's why we got a good grade). Six years later he's delegating household chores and we don't even live together. In the words of his people; OY VEY.

My current approach is trying to walk a fine line of cute "reminder" notes, constant nagging, cleaning here and there, and the occasional outbursts resulting in him escaping to walk the dog and the laundry basket staring me down from the kitchen table (we're currently in this situation; not speaking over a basket of sweatpants).

Suggestions and sob stories from other frustrated girlfriends/fiances/wives will be received with open arms. 

P.S. For you male readers who are thinking you're the exception to this post because you are, in fact, truly a grown up: I'd bet anything that you will still do anything to see boobies (even for a second) and you still think farts are the funniest thing ever. So, I rest my case.