A message to my wife.
Fold A Fitted Sheet: Heaven knows I’ve tried. Heaven knows I’ve been shown how to do it. I’ve tried folding it from the corners. I’ve tried tucking the outside of the stupid elastic inside the rest, or something like that. I’ve folded and unfolded until I get so frustrated I give up and wad the stupid thing into a ball. In fact, just looking at a fitted sheet makes me feel embarrassed. It’s like some great accomplishment that I’ll never achieve.
Load the Dishwasher: The problem with loading the dishwasher is that I go into it like I do most things around the house. I don’t think about it. Dirty dishes go here. How complicated can it be? However, I constantly get critiqued on my dishwasher loading. Nothing came clean. Did you rinse these off? You could’ve gotten so many more dishes in here. Did you think about this at all? Part of the problem is I labor under the assumption that loading the dishwasher makes me a saint, even if I do a shitty job. Mel has given me Dish Loading 101 a few times, and I do it for a little while, but I often fall back into old habits. It’s an ongoing problem that I don’t see an end to.
Wrap a Present: It really shouldn’t be that hard, but in fact I often run into multiple problems. I often cut the paper too short, which means I have to add a random patch of wrapping paper that makes the gift look like a black car with grey passenger door. Or I cut it too long, but don’t realize it until I’m well into the project. I’m too invested to start over, so I end up doing one of two things:
1. Crumpling up the extra paper and taping it to the present making it look like a tumor.
2. Trying to cut it to fit after I’ve already started, which makes the present look like Mickey Rourke after he had all that plastic surgery.
All of it I find very frustrating. If I had to pick between warping presents and slamming my junk in a car door, I’d take the car door.
Speak: I talk like sailor. I mean, I try not too, but it really is my default setting. I grew up with a metal shop behind my house, and it impacted my language. Furthermore, my mind seems to fall into the gutter really easily. For example: this one time at a Christmas party I told a 10 min anecdote about how some upstairs neighbors I used to have had really noisy sex, and how I avoided these people for a year because I was afraid they might be unattractive. The whole time I thought I was telling a really funny and charming story. But when I looked at Mel’s red face, I realized I was actually being that gross loud-mouth at the party.
Home Repairs: Home repairs make me feel like a failure. A few weeks ago I changed the fill valve in our toilet (keep in mind that I didn’t know what a fill valve was until just before the project). I watched several YouTube videos on how to do it, got directions from two people at Home Depot, and spent most of the morning doing the job. Once I got done, it was the first time I’d ever fixed something without dropping an F-bomb, smashing something, or punching a wall. I felt satisfied with my work until later that night when I realized the toilet makes a funny water rushing sound every hour or so.
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Clint Edwards was blessed with a charming and spitfire wife, a video game obsessed little boy, and a snarky little girl in a Cinderella play dress. When Clint was 9-years-old his father left. With no example of fatherhood, he had to learn how to be a father and husband through trial and error. His essays on parenting and marriage have been featured in New York Times Motherlode, Huffington Post Parents, Huffington Post Weddings, and The Good Men Project. He lives in Oregon. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
Photo by Lucinda Higley