Most of you don’t know this about me, but my older brother lives with me. In my house. having effectively taken over the downstairs portion. It didn’t happen over night, but rather gradually over the past four years since I bought this thing. He has the downstairs bedroom so he can, in his words, provide security for the property. Um… okay. Not much around here to be secure from, but I digress.
Now, I don’t mean to get on a rant here, but really, I don’t understand how the male mind works. Maybe some of you guys out there can clue me in (without giving away any of the secret guy code stuff, of course.) What I mean is this; my morning routine is a simple one. I get up, make my breakfast and before eating my breakfast, I clean up the kitchen–washing dishes, loading (or unloading and then reloading) the dishwasher, wiping down the counters, sweeping the floor. Because, honestly, how can one person be far messier than a houseful of toddlers and dogs? Well, Bro manages.
The reason I have to clean up the kitchen is because Bro does not. He has 2 or 4 midnight snacks and leaves the dishes everywhere. Okay, if I’m honest, they are mostly near the kitchen sink. I find table knives smeared with peanut butter, bowls where he ate leftovers for dinner at 11:00 pm–long after I hit the hay–and bread bags without the twisty tie still on it and empty bowls with the remainders of soup or spaghetti.
Getting back to the morning routine, I get up, clean up the kitchen and then eat my breakfast. Pretty simple.
Now, the reason for my rant: Last night for dinner, he made stuffed chicken breast and cauliflower with cheese. Don’t be horribly impressed because the chicken breast came pre-stuffed from Harris Teeter. After I ate my dinner. Bro did not eat because he was still deep in the throes of his copious-amounts-of-alcohol weight loss plan (which is not working). He thinks if he just drinks lots and lots and beer and doesn’t eat any food whatsoever, he will get rid of his beer belly. Or as I like to phrase it, his heart-attack belly. Well, somewhere in the wee small hours, he eventually wises up for about thirty seconds and eats a peanut butter sandwich or some leftover chili. And the beer belly grows another half inch. Not because he ate some food, but because he consumed another case of beer.
Still, with the meager offerings for dinner, the sink was fulled with pots and pans and other debris from the day. I took one look at it last night and decided that I would wait until the morning to wash everything up because the mess looks less daunting in the morning sun.
So, this morning, I opened my eyes and remembered the mess in the kitchen, rolled over and hit my mental snooze alarm–just another five minutes. I woke up an hour later and launched myself out of bed. Actually, the word launch is way too strong for what really happened. Anyway, I went to the bathroom to do what people do in the mornings and I heard water running. So, he is up and washing his clothes, I thought. Yes, he lives with me, but I absolutely draw the line at some things. I don’t clean his room, I don’t do his laundry, I don’t mow the grass, I don’t take out the trash, and I don’t kill the spiders. Someone else has to do those things and I elected Bro.
Let’s think about this for a moment. He is older than me by only three years, but in his mind, that makes him far older, wiser, and totally in charge of my life. After all, he has years more experience than me plus male genitals. Why shouldn’t he be in charge? I don’t agree with that. Genitals have no bearing, at all, on who should be in charge of anything. Neither does age. (This attitude could be one reason I am not married and have not been since 1987.)
Anyhow, imagine my surprise when I came downstairs and found the dishes washed.
I think I should interject here, that the dishwasher was full of clean dishes where I filled it to the brim and turned it on the day before and the clean dishes were still inside, but the pots and pans and debris from the midnight snacks were washed and put in the dish drainer to dry.
He sees me enter the kitchen and says, “I washed the dishes.” I replied, “I see that.” He said, “I didn’t empty the dishwasher, though.” “I see that, too,” I replied. He counters with, “The sink was full of dishes.” I said, “I know.” He gave me that look that puppies get when they are expecting a treat. So I said, “Thank you for washing the pots, although you never thank me when I wash the pots. I clean the kitchen every morning and I do not expect effusive praise and thanks. Plus, I work two jobs and you work no jobs, but rather you screw around on the computer, having no source of discernible income and you expect a thank you because you did me this great big favor of washing a few pots?”
In his own defense he said, “I wash dishes sometimes.”
“Yes you do, but it is about a 100:1 ratio. You washing dishes the one time and me the 100,” I responded.
“I turn the dishwasher on sometimes,” he said.
“Oh, that’s right, you did turn it on once. Thank you. Thank you so much for turning on the dishwasher one time. You never thank me for doing the dishes every day.”
“La di da! You still never thanked me for doing the dishes, but you expect me to thank you. And I did. I thanked you. Enormously.” I said, with an air of finality that ended the discussion.
So, guys of the male persuasion, why do I have to thank him for doing the dishes once when he never thanks me for doing them day after day? What is it with men? I never get thanked when I clean up the trash he drags into the house with his boots because he doesn’t know how to wipe his feet. I never get thanked when I go behind him and clean up all the things he leaves lying about the place because he doesn’t know how to put anything away.
So why, in that single act of washing a pot, does he expect a thank you?
That is probably a question that will forever remain unanswered.