In some ways, my husband and I fall into the traditional gender roles. If we found ourselves in a dangerous situation, he would put me behind him and protect us both. And just last week when the bat flew into our house, I screamed like a silly woman and let him handle it. In most other ways, we share the traditional gender roles between us, like shopping, cooking, cleaning, and child rearing. However, the garage is most definitely his domain and I tend to stay out of it.
If you’ve read my novels, you know my men are usually strong alpha types with a sensitive side. They are as likely to cook as the heroines in the stories. Not surprisingly, I married someone with the qualities I love.
So today I entered his sanctum (allergies be damned) as we had many boxes to break down and clear away for recycling. Recently some space had been cleared on the garage shelves so I mentioned reorganizing a bit. He was totally game.
You should know, I’m not particularly anal about cleaning and frankly I wish I was more so. My mother keeps her house at an A on a scale of A to F and I’d say I’m more in the B- range. My worst offense is my endless tile floors. I tend to sweep them plenty but don’t mop them often enough. Having said that, to rate the state of the garage accurately, I’d have to give it an X. ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK.
As much as my husband helps around the house, his garage was sorely neglected. (“That’s a bit of an understatement gov’na!” Extra points if you know where that quote is from.) He had taken to using the middle of the garage as a sort of trash heap. A thick layer of sawdust, plastic, nails, pieces of wood, etc., littered the floor. We have a neighbor who has the quintessential garage like they tend to show on TV with everything in its place, all the tools hanging on the walls, and all surfaces dusted. Envision the opposite.
In my husband’s defense, he does tend towards an organized chaos and he seems to be able to find what he needs when he needs it.
What started as a bit of reorganizing turned into a full-scale cleanup job and he was very happy to continue. We moved on to unearthing the garage floor and wow, what a big difference that made. I found out my favorite power tool is the shop vac. I wish my vacuum cleaner had that much suction and believe it or not, I’m not making a sexual reference. 😉
We spent three hours cleaning and organizing, removing four industrial garbage bags of waste, moving several items into a pile for a dump run, and loading the van with many more items to take to Goodwill.
Will I make a habit of entering his domain? Probably not. However, it was a very satisfying experience and was even worth riling up my allergies.
I now can give the garage a firm C+. Our relationship? An A+.