On Murdered Angels, Compromise and Shiny Floors

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Back when we were just dating, and in an effort to convince me married life wasn’t as scary, the hubby made a promise he would do the laundry once we got married. And in an effort to prove to him I knew how to be fair, I promised I would keep our house clean.

And I thought that was a good deal, considering I hated doing laundry. {To be truthful, I hated housework but I had heard marriage was about compromise. So I compromised.}

And we started off with potential, as evidenced by a story a good friend likes to tell…

We were a year into our marriage. We were both in seminary then, and at the time of this particular story, were in class pretending to listen to our professor lecture on. All of a sudden, the rain poured. Just like that. And my hubby, with thoughts of nothing but the laundry he had hung out earlier to dry, stood up and exclaimed, “Yung sampay ko!” (My laundry!). He then ran out toward the married dorm area. My friend and I watched him from the window, cackling as only wicked women can cackle.

 

 

Fast forward to almost 15 years later…

The hubby still does the laundry, although there is now no longer any need for the sun, clotheslines, and running to save the freshly laundered clothes from the weather’s sudden mood swings.

And I do an almost passable job of keeping the house clean, simply because I have grown into the role, and I have, I like to think, become a bit more responsible in my old age.

But I do like to grumble. Especially when the house becomes too much of a mess, and the evidences that a dog and three boys live here with me start to collect dust that can’t be easily wiped off as I’m heading out the door.

Oh yes, I do like to grumble then.

 

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Yesterday was one such day. Sigh. So I rolled up the rugs and moved the furniture out of the way. Out came the broom, the steamer, the vacuum cleaner and the various sprays and disinfectants from their hiding places.

I was in no mood to be disturbed.

 

But then, as I was steaming the floors, I had a sudden picture of myself as a teenager, pushing furniture around.

And I saw myself on my knees, waxing the floors with a red-stained cloth.

And then the wax was dry, and I saw myself scrubbing the floor with a coconut husk.

And finally, I could see my shadow on the shiny floor that resulted from my elbow grease and the obnoxious red floor wax.

 

Huh.

Story of my life.

But one that instantly made me grateful.

 

True, I still have the same chores, and I still do not enjoy doing them.

But I was suddenly reminded of how the hubby has kept his word—I’ve only done the laundry at most four times since we got married;

and of how much easier housework has become these days;

and of how, although I have floors I need to keep clean, I do have a roof over my head to keep them dry.

 

Confession time: I have been known to make fun of the prevailing idea of the Proverbs 31 woman.

See, I’ve always felt like that chapter in the Bible has been taken {perhaps by well-meaning people} and shaped into an ideal that’s not necessarily a possible reality for all women. And while some have taken the idea behind it and fashioned a more probable heroine, I have, like Virginia Woolf, killed the Angel in the House and sought to establish another that looks more like me.

But unlike Ms. Woolf, I have sought to incorporate my less-than-literary responsibilities with those I love to do, simply because they are that. Responsibilities.

And while I am the person sitting on the farthest seat from Martha Stewart, I have managed to not run away from the pile of clothes waiting to be ironed or the dirty dishes in the sink waiting to be loaded.

It is during moments like yesterday, when I am reminded of how life has gotten to be harder, and yet simpler, that I see how counting my blessings can surprise me.

And in marriage, as in everything else, compromise really helps.

There IS truth to that rumor.

 

I/we had started out with a promise.

And it has been kept.

I suppose I should continue to keep mine as well.

 

 

Ouch!

With school starting back up again soon, I was on Pinterest looking for school lunch ideas. Some of the posts were very creative, clearly the people behind them had either talent or a lot of time to spare. Shaking my head, I exclaimed to no one in particular, “These are too much!” My older son, as is his wont, responded, “Weeell, I guess those moms really love their kids.”

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One response »

  1. Again, your blog is an amusement to my daily grind as a working mom. As usual, I can relate to everything you said about compromises. You are not alone every time your teenager says those things, lol. My son has peanut butter for lunch everyday at school (he started yesterday), I guess I don’t love him that much? But seriously, continue writing these kinds of blogs. It helps me pause and think of how other tiger moms/wives are coping.

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