Most of my showering is done in our daughter's bathroom these days; my husband takes her from her bath and starts getting her ready for bed while I quickly wash myself. This means that a lot of time can pass before I shower again in our master bathroom. And when I do, I always sigh at how dirty it is.
Who knew dust could accumulate on the edges of a tub? And in certain parts of the country, it's amazing how quickly pink mold takes over.
My first instinct is to get mad. You know, that stay-at-home-mom mad where you have the entire argument in your head while you scrub: I have to do everything around the house and hubs never pitches in, and now it's his shower and his grime so why on earth should I have to be cleaning it...you know.
But the more I cleaned up, the more I thought of something different. I think the military has a tendency to push people to extremes. It can either push you to be completely OCD about hospital corners and dirt, or it can set your bar so high that nothing ever seems dirty.
Our friend falls in the former category. His father swears that he was messy in high school, but he says that living in close quarters with strangers for so long has made him obsessive about staying neat and tidy. You could eat off of his floors. In his bachelor pad. It's unreal.
My husband, for better or for worse, falls into the dirty category. Now I know that this is a generalization, and probably my husband would've always been a bit of a pigpen no matter what career field he'd chosen, but the Army sure didn't help.
The man just simply does not see dirt.
This works to my advantage because I am not the greatest housekeeper in the world. Luckily, my husband has never once complained about a dirty house. He has never scolded me for not having something clean. Dust, kitchen spills, mulch tracked in on the carpet...he couldn't care less.
But that means that he's never going to lift a finger to remedy those messes either.
I suppose once you've done tank gunnery in monsoon season in Korea, a little grit on the kitchen floor is meaningless. And if you can survive 28 days in Iraq without a shower, then you're not going to notice some dust or mold on the edges of the tub.
Whenever I apologize for the unruly state of the house, he usually answers, "It's still cleaner than Iraq."
I'm not sure that's the bar that we should set for our house, but at least it lets me off the hook when I don't feel like tackling a chore right away. But I also know that I will never in a million years walk in a room to see my husband voluntarily cleaning anything either.
It's a trade off I can live with, I guess.
Does your spouse fall into one of those two extremes when it comes to dirt?