Chores! Every household is not without its share of work. How the work gets divvied up varies from family to family, marriage to marriage, arrangement to arrangement. For us, we never really agreed that I would do Y and he would do Z. The chores just evolved over time and settled into a kind of routine that’s not discussed, just expected.

But let’s be clear, there are some jobs that are more labor intensive then others, like stringing Christmas Tree lights around the house.

  1. One must crawl up into the rafters and negotiate each step down the ladder while holding a dusty box of lights, half of which may not work.
  2. Lights have to be detangled despite the careful effort the previous year of organizing them carefully. How the lights, stored in a box, can go from being neatly folded to a tangled mess is a mystery that rivals the Virgin Birth.
  3. Lights must carefully strung to outline roofline while balancing on ladder.
  4. And, not to be outdone by neighbors, each year there must a new arrangement somewhere in the yard to highlight our ever-increasing holiday spirit!!!

Guess whose job it is to put up the lights? Thankfully, not mine.

And some chores are just plain disgusting. In the winter, the mice from the creek seem to think it socially acceptable to move in to our garage and occasionally, horror of horrors, into our house. The old-fashion traps seem a bit antiquated so years ago we found what’s called the Rat Zapper.

The zapper, is kind of like a little rectangular Motel 6 for mice.  It must be baited with something tasty and positioned just beyond the metal pad in the box. Then one must establish where to strategically place the zapper, hoping to lure the rodent into the cozy looking contraption. If preparing the box isn’t gross enough, having to dispose of an electrocuted mouse when zapped is horrible. Yuck! (Please don’t think us cruel. This from a family that had pet rats for years living in this house.) Maybe we should get a cat.

I refuse to do this job! REFUSE!

I am not a diva. I get my hands dirty with gardening. I can match stroke by stroke any man with a paintbrush. Prior to Triple A, I’ve changed my share of flat tires in my life. And, most of my friends know about my days as a roofer. But there are some chores that simply have defaulted to my poor hubby. Christmas Tree lights and Rat Zapper are two of them.

Note to all young couples on the cusp of making the decision to live together or get married:

Communicate your standards.

Do your share.

Appreciate your partner’s effort.

Do your best.

Make a deal if you must.

Be clear on what you WON’T do.


And, if some chores are just too labor intensive, disgusting or distasteful, save your money and then pay someone to do it for you. There is no shame in that.






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  1. Gary Oefinger says:

    here’s a *secret* to all the guys out there… early in your relationship, do the laundry…and really botch a load, mixing colors and delicate fabrics, etc. It will be the last load you’ll ever have to do-well worth the cost of replacing any favorite sweaters. And it will be the gift that keeps on giving……:)

  2. Pamela says:

    Being a long-time married woman, I enjoyed every word here. I think it took us about 7 years to figure out where we each should be in the chore column. Now, after 31 years (!) we seem to know what we do best, and appreciate the chores that ‘the other’ does.
    Amazingly, my husband did his own wash before he met me (and he was not a youngster when we married). But somehow, that skill vanished completely during our wedding vows. 🙂

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