Friday, October 21, 2016


It's Friday night and I have spent the past month writing the 34- now 24-page release notes for the latest software release at work, which involves working with a German engineer to understand the benefits of the new features. I like this guy a ton for going out to dinner, but getting him to think abstractly and about market benefits is a challenge.

For instance (and we were not really talking about describing the feature as blue, but as I have no interest in giving away trade secrets and losing my job, for this blog, the feature is blue):

Me: So. Can we say this feature is blue?
German: No. It's indigo.
Me: But - indigo is a kind of blue.
German: It's indigo.
Me: Blue is the higher level of indigo. If we say this feature is blue, we are not being untruthful, correct?
Engineer: But that's not accurate!
Me: It's true, right?

I am weary. I am too tired to think of other words.

I don't want to be a nasty person who is unkind about nice people. Part of the challenge of this blog now that Sly and Doris are dead is that really is not a villain to the story. Oh sure, Ted is trying, but eventually he will go away.

I hope.

I hope he will go away. Please please please go away, Ted. You are not wanted here.

But no villain. I learned in my organizational behavior class in grad school that one of the best ways to create unity in a dysfunctional team is to unite them against a common enemy. I have united us (you, my wonderful readers) against the common enemies of Sly and Doris, but they are gone.

I need an enemy.

Where can I find an enemy?

Today, Primo asked me to teach him how to make hospital corners so he could make it the way I like it.

Nope. Nope. Nope. He, at the age of 50 - 51? - how old is he? Whatever. At his age, he has never learned how to make a bed properly.

Yay! We can resurrect an enemy!

Sly and Doris - you never taught your son how to make a bed? Honestly.

I need to ask Primo if he even made his own bed as a kid.

Are you guys shocked when you find kids who don't make their own beds? I am. I am almost as shocked when that happens as I am when I learn that parents are paying someone to cut the grass and shovel the snow when they have perfectly healthy kids around. Or are washing the dishes themselves instead of making their kids do it.

Maybe Doris made the beds. I don't know. Why would she? Even if she didn't care that she was spending all of her time doing boring housework that she could have delegated, didn't she think about what Primo might need to know how to do as an adult?

(And no, I am not even considering the idea that Sly might have done part of the housework just by virtue of living in the house. Even retired, he didn't help. Last year, when Doris was in the hospital and Primo did a load of laundry, Sly had no idea where to put Doris' clothes or the kitchen and bath towels. HE HAD NEVER PUT THE LAUNDRY AWAY! And of course there is no excuse for not being able to figure it out. He just didn't care.)



  1. I taught my children how to make the bed and all their beds had top sheets and blankets0 but it turns out it didn't really matter. They all just use a comforter. No top sheet, no blanket, no corners to make.

    1. Libby, they get to make their own choices when they are grown, but you did the right thing. :)

    2. True and I just laughed when they complained about cold feet.

  2. I'm with you Goldie. My kids do a fair chunk of the housework (their own laundry, dishes, their bathroom, vacuuming.) Dad and I work all day, we bring in the income that keeps us all fed, clothed, housed, and you know watching cable ect. They can contribute and do some cleaning. Is it done quite as nice as I'd like...meh no, but that'll come with doing it more not less. I refuse to send them off to their future roommates and/or partners unable to be a helpful housemate.

    1. Yeah, I am willing to put up with things done not my way if it means I do not have to do them! And your children's future SOs thank you.

  3. My husband cannot make a decent bed, not because his mother did it for him, because no one cared. I taught my son everything and they don't make their bed either. But he knows how to do the laundry and iron a shirt. I just remake the bed the next day.

    1. It never occurred to me that Sly and Doris might not have cared! But they clearly were not house proud!

    2. GD, I love your blog but I have to say: House proud and hospital corners have nothing to do with each other. I take great care and pride in my home, however hospital corners always make my feet to confined and hot, so i never tuck my sheets in (guest room does get hospital corners though).

    3. :) Point taken, Anon.

  4. We are constantly amazed at our neighbor who cuts his own grass ... while his 19 year old son play his sax! Seriously. He says that Son can't do it right. if he can learn to play sax, i say he can learn to cut grass.

    1. Yeah, it's not rocket science!

    2. Catherine from CanadaTuesday, October 25, 2016

      And you can't learn to do it right until you've done it wrong a few times...

  5. I love those sheets. Very Marimekko.

    1. Yes! They are! I found them on sale last summer!

  6. Catherine from CanadaMonday, October 24, 2016

    I have six children - now grown and out of the house (horray!) Once you get over four, it's bigger pots and more laundry and crowd control. I always told my kids, "This is not a hotel and I am not your maid. This is a home and we work together."
    By the age of 7 they all had their own laundry day, their day to wash the dishes, a Saturday chore, and by age 10 if they wanted cookies, they made them themselves.
    They bitched at the time - oh how they bitched - but they have all thanked me later, especially the kids that shared a house (hole) with friends at university. They knew how to keep clean and cook economically and were shocked at how helpless their housemates were. I always figured my role was not to be their friend, but to bring them up right to be happy, healthy, independent, functional adults.
    (I also, when necessary, used to get in their faces and say, "you may be bigger than me, but I'm still meaner.")

  7. My Mom never taught us how to do laundry, because we weren't allowed to touch the washing machine and clothes dryer. I still only do the bare minimum and leave the majority to my husband.

    My kids don't make their beds. They hate a top sheet (I just don't understand). So once a week, they strip their beds, the sheets are washed, and put back on me. A fitted sheet and pillowcases. They all have a pile of fleece blankets they use, that get washed probably less than is optimal.

  8. JuggerBaby is under two right now and is in charge of putting all the dirty socks in the washer and also putting the clean socks in the right place when they're out of the dryer. Ze is terrible at pairing them up properly but that can come later.

    We were never taught to make our beds because my family didn't have beds with sets of sheets like Americans, we just had blankets. Making the bed was a funny concept for me when I got older.