html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: Mutually assured destruction

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mutually assured destruction

My new roommate Bec is tremendously conscientious. She does chores before I get to them. I've been wracking my brain, but I am pretty sure that I have not experienced this since I left for college in 1990. She has made food for me more times than I have made food for her. (I haven't yet made food for her, I don't think, but she has fed me several times. This confuses me, but on occasions when I am prepared to cook, I come home and delicious food is already made.)

Honestly, I am at a loss. I do not know how to be in a living situation where the other person is doing his or her share of the domestic work*. It hasn't happened before. I have upped my game to match her, of course. We haven't had dishes linger in the sink since she moved in. I've mopped floors, which I normally put off. I've made my bed every day, so that I can leave my bedroom door open. I've swept the porch twice. I did manage to get there ahead of her yesterday, and hang both of our laundry out on the line. The most likely outcome of all this is a polite and thoughtful escalation. She's not going to stand down, and good though she is, she can't take me on the doing-chores front. It is madness, but a few more weeks of this and my books will be dusted and the windows washed. My house looks great. I love living like this.

*My sister surely does. I was looking forward to living with her, in a house where both adults kept it steadily clean. I hadn't thought I would get a taste of that before moving in with my sister.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a waste of time, you should both go find something more exciting to do.


12:42 PM  
Anonymous D said...

hooray for somebody that is the same level of neat as you, M. As a curiosity [damnitDavid, why must you be curious?] Almost evey unhitched feamle I know in Cali. has a roomate. Does it seem like that to you? Is it price, more fun, safety? Perhaps it's just a sampling issue...

12:54 PM  
Blogger Noel said...

Get her to read this blog. She'll waste* so much time she won't have any left to do chores.

Or, what Justin said.


1:24 PM  
Blogger Noel said...

Also, my Gran's love to one-up one another on the chore front. I call it a "polite fight". It starts with making teas and rapidly escalates to scrubbing down the house.

1:26 PM  
Blogger Megan said...


For all of the daily chores, I get a huge utility return on the small amount of effort they cost. As long as I enjoy cleanliness, it isn't a waste at all.


Don't know why your other friends do it, but I have a roommate for the company. I don't need the rent or the security.


She does read it, but I don't think it will capture her, 'cause I don't think I talk about her main interests. Hi Bec!

1:31 PM  
Blogger bec said...

I was going to wash the window over the stove the weekend you were away, but I think there's a black widow living there.

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Peter said...

Can you send Bec to come live with me and my family? We'd appreciate the help with housework. Hope she likes (many) cats.

1:40 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

This can only end in tears.

1:45 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Peter, NO NO NO! Just because people CAN live clean doesn't mean they want to help you with your cleanliness. I could clean for other people too, and I have no interest in that. We don't clean for the love of cleaning, we clean because we want the place we live to be neat. Margie already made that joke to me today, and it is just an imposition on people who are willing to live up to their standards.

1:47 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Besides which, I do not send Bec anywhere, seeing as how she is an autonomous person.

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful post. -K.

2:21 PM  
Anonymous margie said...

Well, you could send Bec over. You did say she wanted to hang with more of her people. I'd pay her for her services, of course.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Dudes! She's not magically in love with cleaning and even if she were, we don't exploit that. As one of the more-likely-to-be-the-cleaners, I'm not enjoying the "she can come over and clean" perspective. Fuck that.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous margie said...

I'll pay you guys extra if you clean nekkid.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

I can understand that.

3:39 PM  
Anonymous D said...

"I'll pay you guys extra if you clean nekkid." - Margie

just when you thought the commentary couldn't veer in an even more interesting direction...

it does. :D

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Peter said...

I'll pay you guys extra if you clean nekkid.

There was a Seinfeld episode in which Jerry's current girlfriend enjoyed going around the apartment in the altogether. Jerry was excited at first, but when he saw the girlfriend strain to open a jar and squat to pick up something from the floor he realized that some activities are best not performed nekkid.

And so it is, no doubt, with doing housework.

7:50 PM  

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