M. Giant's
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Monday, December 30, 2002  

The division of labor in our household isn’t specificially quantified, either verbally or in writing. But one thing that’s pretty clear is that I’m in charge of the laundry. I could talk about how I took the job over when Trash washed my favorite shirt in hot water and turned it into her favroite shirt, or I could launch into some quasi-feminist blather about freeing women from the drudgery of housework, but the truth is that I’m in it for the tips.

The thing is, Trash always forgets to empty her pockets before she puts her clothes in the basket. I never forget to check all the pockets before I put the clothes in the washer. Sometimes I’ll find a pen or an important receipt, thereby averting disaster. More freqently, I’ll find some cash in one of Trash’s pockets, thereby averting a trip to the ATM.

Yes, I get to keep the money I find. Many’s the time I’ve been sorting clothes, hollered out, “Tip!” and heard Trash answer with a growl of frustration. You’d think she’d learn. “How much?” she asks, and I tell her, truthfully, anywhere from three cents to thirty-some dollars.

I don’t mind the fact that she leaves the pockets to me, or the fact that she’s apparently never learned how to fold money and by the time I get it it’s become transdimensional origami. It would be pretty tacky of me to complain about that when I miss a few coins and they end up in the lint filter. After years of feeding money into coin-operated laundry machines, I’m plenty pleased to have reversed the situation.

It’s not enough for me to quit my job, especially since the cash is coming out of accounts we both share anyway, but it still brightens up the task and makes me feel like I’m getting paid for it. My rate for this past weekend was $5.06, which seems like a pretty stingy salary until you remember that I also got clean clothes out of the deal.

I suppose it would be nice of me to reciprocate by sneaking random amounts of petty cash into places where she’ll find it when she goes to pay the bills, but since she wouldn’t get to enjoy it then, it seems like it would kind of defeat the purpose. And I’d just as soon spare her that kind of heartbreak.

Lately there hasn’t been as much cash in her pockets. On the other hand, blank checks and credit cards have begun showing up. These items I return to her, saying “Cash only!”

For now, at least. I can’t wait until my credit card reader gets here.

* * *

Yeah, short entry today, but I’ve got a lot of mail to answer tomorrow. It’ll even out. See you then.

posted by M. Giant 3:34 PM 0 comments


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