One of the typical things that men do that annoys women is they leave their socks on the floor. I used to, when I was married the first time around but after spending two years alone as an adult I changed my habits considerably. Today I do most of the cleaning in the house and my wife does all of the cooking and the laundry. I do help her fold the clothes but as far as the wash I think she has a different process for almost every single item and I can’t be bothered with trying to adapt to her logic there.
When I was alone I really noticed just how much mess I made, because I had to clean up after myself. I became very good at keeping my place neat because having to clean up all of the time was time consuming. I am well aware of the stresses that “little” things repeated over and over can turn into a source of great tension.
I tend to be self-critical of myself now. I try and make sure that my impact on my “environment” at home is minimal. That is not to suggest that I never slip up, but I am more aware and far more proactive than most men I know. That being said, in my experience it really doesn’t matter how “good” a man is at cleaning up after himself…he will never be perfect…and his wife will be there to remind him of that fact.
What is my point?
Women tend to notice the “little” things. Whether they are “good” things or “bad” things, they notice. Men on the other hand either don’t notice or typically more to the point…they don’t care. Why?
Now, anyone that follows this blog on a regular basis will know by now that I am preoccupied with sex, more so how sex is a bigger factor in the decision making process of a man (this man) than anyone would guess.
“Women need a reason to have sex — men just need a place.”
One could dissect that quote further by saying that “Women need a reason to have sex AND can think of many reasons NOT to have sex. The men just need a place.”
Let’s go back to the socks on the floor. He throws them down and she picks them up. Not only is he unconscious of the fact that he just tosses them on the floor, he doesn’t notice that they are no longer there the next day. He doesn’t know or care. He doesn’t that is, until it affects his sex life. Forget the fact that excess smoking and drinking can cause impotence; this is a here and now assault on his ability to get laid.
Once she has reached her limit, once the frustration of picking up his socks EVERY day gets to her, she takes a break from another daily routine…sex. At this point the man is fully conscious of his bad habits.
As I mentioned previously I don’t leave my socks on the floor, but what I do is put the towels on the rod haphazardly after a shower. I tend to never fold them over a neatly as they should be…not that anyone would notice…right? On Monday I got chastised for exactly that, not a soft reminder but a full out rant about how “I never…blah, blah, blah”. What did I say in return? Did I pull out my list of all of the things that she does? Did I tell her not to get all worked up over such a little thing? Are you kidding? Not a chance! Why? Because I don’t want to give her a reason not to have sex. This seemingly little “thing” if I was brave enough to pursue it would become a MAJOR fight, that I would lose and would end up on the couch accordingly. I know…I have tried it…many times…many scenarios…many women. I’m actually pretty smart…over time I learn (just like a dog) that there are certain areas that I should never venture into…arguing with a woman over a “little” thing is one of them.
See, I don’t think that it is a big deal. I think that there are many other things going on in life that ARE a big deal and this is not one of them. I figured (wrongly) that by doing more than the typical male’s share of work around the house that I could isolate myself from “nit-picking” over these seemingly insignificant issues. To all of you men that have picked up your socks AND feel that vacuuming the floor as well are going to get you any bonus points…think again. The truth is, although I am not condoning this stance…is that doing the bare minimum and doing everything you can possible think of, have relatively the same outcome. She WILL find something that you have slipped up on, she WILL tell you about it and you WILL do something about it…or else. There is no direct correlation between not fixing anything that causes her irritation and lack of sex. She doesn’t actually say, “Not tonight dear, you didn’t fold the towels properly” she says, “I’m tired of having to do EVERYTHING around here”, “I’m feeling stressed”, Nobody appreciates me” lots of statements that are not direct but YOU know what she is talking about.
I think that this is another area where men and women have differing perceptions. Just for fun I spent a week making note of all of the “little” things that she does. The criteria I used for determining the eligibility of the “issue” for my list was if I felt it would cause her stress if it were something I did. Here is what I came up with:
• Leaves make-up containers all over the bathroom counter with the lids loose so if I bump them I have a ten minute job to clean up liquid foundation.
• Turns on heater in bathroom (plug-in supplemental heat) and leaves it on (until I turn it off) usually when I notice…after we come home from work.
• Leaves on bathroom light…all day.
• Leaves on closet light…all day.
• Leaves bedroom door ajar when she leaves room to go downstairs in the morning…and turns on hall light which glares right in my eyes.
• Starts working around in the kitchen as if it is 11 AM Saturday morning at 4:30 AM weekdays.
• Turns on fireplace and leaves it on….all day
• Turns up the furnace thermostat to 74 degrees and leaves it that way….all day
It should be noted that all of the above occur at 4 AM, her chosen time to wake and get up every single day of the week.
• When washing she uses an entire cap of detergent, sometimes 2 regardless of the fact that this is the SUPER-DUPER concentrated detergent that clearly states 150 loads per jug. I think we buy a new jug every other week.
• Washes dishes in a way in that we go through 6 litres of dishwashing soap per month.
• Spends a small fortune on long-distance calls (out of the blue) to people I have never even heard of in the last 2 years, then promises to call them again the next week…and does.
• Turns on the Christmas tree lights and then goes to bed. The next morning asks why I didn’t turn them off even though a) I didn’t know she turned them on b) I went to bed at the same time she did.
• She now possesses 85% of the closet space in our room. I have resorted to storing my less-used clothing in the basement. (less-used being anything I would wear from Wednesday to Friday)
• She hangs clothes to dry from wires in the basement…good idea BUT she then only takes them down one by one on the day she wishes to wear them. The balance stay hanging so negotiating the basement in semi-darkness is similar to a corn maze.
• She almost always leaves the car out of gas. I don’t find out until I have to rush to the grocery store to get her eggs or oil for an in-process dinner. What should take me 5 minutes takes 15 with the ensuing fill-up. Guess who gets told off for taking too long! Lucky guess…
• She spoils the kids rotten and then asks me to discipline them when they start acting like spoiled rotten children.
• She hates it when I have a smoke (once a week, with a beer only) because it is bad for my health ( I agree) yet buys two cases of pop for the kids to drink on the weekend alone. Huh?
I specifically went out of my way to “see” these things, I do not keep track of them. They happen all of the time and I “work around” them all of the time. They are little things, certainly not something I would get worked up over, start an argument over and DEFINITELY not things that I would use as a reason not to have sex. Men and women will always “see” things in a different light I guess, for me I am not doing too badly at keeping things on a steady keel. I try and ensure that she has little reason to feel stressed and I in turn have little stress in the fact that I get to feel her…or something like that!