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 Texas : Features : Columns : "The Girl Detective's Theory of Everything"

I Hate My Boss

by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
I know that in the past I have devoted entirely too much time and space in these columns to the subject of housework. It is dreary, it is boring and I hate it. I work full time, I bring half of the money into this house and yet there it is, always in my face, always nagging at me, the need to clean the house. I want to give full credit to my husband. He will often come home after working a full 10 hour day, cut the grass and then cook supper. He often does the grocery shopping and is a good sport about doing laundry. This problem of mine is not because he doesnít help. It is because there is always plenty of housework to go around and just about the time you finish you have to start again. And I hate it!

I used to tell the kids, "Hey! I just got a phone call from the White House! The President and First Lady are coming to dinner and they will be here in two hours!" They knew I was playing, but it was a very fun way to get us all galvanized, working fast, and doing a good job. Only the kids are either gone now or unavailable. My husband wonít play and I canít convince myself that it is true. Besides, we have a different president now. So thatís out. Lately I have been doing the bare minimum. Tidying up as opposed to cleaning. That wonít do either because, while I donít like to clean, I do like things clean.

I have come up with a solution. I pretend that I am my own maid and that cleaning the house is my job. I know that I have to do a good job because my boss (me) is very particular. And I am not very nice about it when I donít do a good job. I need this job so I donít want to make me mad and end up getting fired. I always try to finish up in a timely manner because I get so irritated when I come home and find me still working and my cleaning supplies junking up the place. I work very hard all day and I need for things to be nice when I get home. I donít like a bunch of hullabaloo and I donít like it when I bother myself with inconsequential details like we are getting low on Pine Cleaner or something stupid like that. I am a grown woman and if we are running low on Pine Cleaner I expect me to know what to do about it and not bother me with the gory details.
TE Postcard Archive
This method is great! I did a fantastic job on the living room yesterday, sweeping, dusting, moving furniture, polishing woodwork. It looked great. I was sure that I would be pleased with the results but just as I came in to inspect it I noticed that I had forgotten to dust the mantle. I noticed the same thing at almost the exact same moment. Who could miss something like that? If I had been cleaning the living room I wouldnít have missed it and I donít expect me to miss it either. What do you think would happen at my job if I paid as little attention to detail as that? "I dunno," I muttered, but inside I was hating me and I was wishing I would just shut up and go away so that I could dust the mantle in peace and get out of there. I was so mad. So was I.

As if I needed any further aggravation, I think my husband was trying to come on to me. I noticed that I sometimes take him for granted. He seems like a really nice guy and I am not sure that I really know how good I have it. I canít blame him for responding to what I consider to be common courtesy and kindness. But I must say it makes me feel a little uneasy to know that when I am going about some task his eyes are always on me. Of course, and I am not saying this to be vain, I am better looking than me, and I am certainly nicer. I think he and I probably have more in common than me and him. But believe me, I am not going to get all tangled up in something like starting a relationship with my husband. I know I would fire me and then where would I be? Back to cleaning my own house, thatís where!
© Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
"The Girl Detective's Theory of Everything" - November 2, 2005 Column
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