I remember my ex. Of course I do; we were married for a number of years, had a child together, and have interacted at least some since our divorce. But I remember him probably not always like he’d like to be remembered. You see, my ex imagined himself as enlightened, as a good husband who did all sorts of things around the house, who didn’t expect his wife to take care of him. I worked more hours than he did, and brought in more money, and he felt sure he was doing his share. Then one day, I heard him complain to someone that he was tired of doing half the housework. This was a shocker. There were two things wrong with that. One, why shouldn’t he do half the housework? I certainly wasn’t living off him. Two, he didn’t do half the housework. He didn’t even do ten percent of the housework. I realized, and studies since that time have shown, that men perceive their housework to be more than it is, and women’s share to be less than it is…so they honestly believe they have done half when they bend over to pick up that pair of socks and put it in the hamper of dirty clothes you will wash later, or when they load the dishwasher for you every couple of months.
Then people came over, complimented him on how well he kept the house.
I suppose today’s poem comes somewhat naturally, considering on Tuesday I work twelve hours (and often more). So tonight I give you my new poem, Tired. Please be kind…I am, in fact, very tired.
All my life, tired.
Get up in the morning,
Make the coffee,
Run out the door.
All my life, work.
Hassle with bosses,
With whoever comes through the door.
All my life cook.
Find the right recipes,
Buy the right ingredients,
Have it ready when you come through the door.
All my life clean.
Scrub kitchens and baths,
Wash laundry and dishes,
Everything sparkles from back door to front door.
All my life tired.
The days seem endless.
From home to work, from work to home,
My life seems like one revolving door.
All my life disgusted.
The work I do, the house is nice.
The child is clean, you are clean.
You usher friends proudly in the door.
And you get all the credit.