x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

A woman's work is never done

I have this recurring dream where I hire a manager with militaristic qualities to run the day-to-day needs of my one-bedroom, two-person, 700-sq ft household.

I have this recurring dream where I hire a manager with militaristic qualities to run the day-to-day needs of my one-bedroom, two-person, 700-sq ft household. This person would oversee the sorting, washing and folding of laundry; dust would never accumulate in thick layers on my bookshelves; the floors would be mopped; the lack of a dishwasher would never be an issue; long strands of hair would never be spotted on the bathroom floor and mounds of discarded clothing would never carpet the floor of my wardrobe.

Order would reign supreme and, most importantly, I would never again experience that specific nightmare where my mom and grandma show up unannounced to find that my house does not live up to their spotless standards. I believe that if I were to dedicate as much time as I am convinced is needed to keep our tiny apartment as dust-free as I would like it to be, our marriage would suffer. Really, does a husband prefer to come home to a wife stressing over the best way to remove a carpet stain, or a wife all dressed up and ready to go out for dinner? Exactly.

I used to finish household chores in the early morning, before heading to the office. That time is no longer available, because I have replaced cleaning and tidying with daily treks to the gym, where I get to sweat and toil on the treadmill instead of over last night's dishes. Now, because this marriage is a partnership one would assume that this "running the household" issue would be a conundrum for both Mr T and myself, and not something that I would have to deal with on my own.

One would be, unfortunately, mistaken. I apologise to feminists everywhere, but I am from the old-fashioned school that believes no one can take care of the home like the woman. Mr T, bless his heart, has the best of intentions. It would never occur to him to shy away from household chores, or claim he has work to finish, or make himself scarce on cleaning day. He always seems eager to jump right in there and take part, which one would assume makes me the luckiest girl in the world.

Except for the fact that he has been banned from helping around the house in any way whatsoever. I did not issue that ban easily, and was only forced into it when I realised that he does more harm than good. For example, he rushed to the washing machine to fold laundry one day, and ended up folding clothes that had not been washed yet; he insisted on vacuuming while I washed the dishes one Friday morning and I suddenly heard a crash - which was our mirror was lying shattered on the floor. It takes him 30 minutes to wash a sink of dishes that I could have finished in five.

My only concern now is a nagging thought in the back of my mind that I just can't seem to shrug off. Could it be possible that my husband is actually creating all these "accidents" on purpose, to get out of helping around the house? If so, then the guy is actually smarter than I thought.