The Small Things: Cleaning Edition


I vividly remember doing those dreaded chores as a kid. In true non-feminist and unfair fashion, “taking out the trash” was designated to either myself or my brother. “Women don’t take out the garbage” according to my mother. I won’t go into how wrong I think this is now but back then I just thought of it as unfair.

- What chore does Alisha have that we can’t do?

I loved to pose that question because Mom never had an answer. Her only weak comeback was her classic “[insert what child said] YOUR BEHIND if you don’t [insert what child must do]” retort.

- I’ma chore YOUR BEHIND if you don’t take that trash out!

This is when I would walk slowly to the trash bag with a confused look on my face and do what she says.

When divvying up chores, the first one we would all try to take first was vacuuming. Vacuuming was pretty easy. I would try and make patterns on the carpet and everything. I liked hearing the little pieces of debris get sucked up into the vacuum. It wasn’t the easiest job though. Dusting was the cush job that Alisha (the non-trash-dumper) would normally get. But vacumming was my jam. You covered a lot of area, so it seemed you did a lot of work, but it didn’t feel like hard work. Hard work was the dishes. I HATED doing dishes. Why couldn’t dishes be something boys don’t do, Mom? I remember when we had a dishwasher that Mom wouldn’t let us use.

- Mom why can’t we use the dishwasher?

- Because I gave birth to three of them.

This is when I would slowly walk away. Sweeping was an annoying task for me. I wished that I could use the vacuum to sweep the hard floors. But not in our house. Vacuums were for carpet. I accepted these rules. Boys took out the trash. Girls didn’t. Dishes get washed by hand. Vacuums clean carpet. I carried those rules into adulthood. It was the way it was supposed to be. Right?

Then I moved to Sweden. First of all, I haven’t seen carpet at all. Swedie (and every other Swede I’ve met) thinks it’s nasty. Personally, I prefer a hard floor, but I would understand it if people liked carpet here. It’s cold here and people remove their shoes while inside. Perfect for carpet. But no. They don’t rock the carpet here. Sounds like a lot of sweeping right? Nope! THEY VACUUM HARD FLOORS HERE!

That’s right, folks. I’m a kid in a candy store! I get to vacuum on the floor like I always wanted to. Guess what I do after that. If you guessed I do the dishes with the dishwasher then you’re damned right! Of course I’m still scarred from my upbringing, so I basically wash all of the dishes by hand first. I may need to talk to a therapist about that. And to make things wilder and crazier… sometimes… my wife (A WOMAN) TAKES OUT THE TRASH! It’s like chore heaven in Sweden! There’s equality, usable appliances and vacuums on hard floors. Take that, Mom! I already know what Swedie is going to say.

- If you like it so much then clean up more frequently.

Get out of my head, Swedie. This blog is supposed to be my safe space. It’s like I married my mother. I know, I know. You’re gonna MARRY MY BEHIND… Until next time…

For FunJonathanComment