Logan and I had to have a difficult conversation last year. I’m the one who brought it up, and it honestly kind of blindsided him. But, in marriage, someone has to be the one willing to ask the difficult questions, and this time it was me.
So, one morning, I carefully approached him at the kitchen table as he was finishing his breakfast. “We need to talk about something,” I said, sitting down in the chair next to him and folding my hands on the table.
He looked up, gulping audibly. “OK,” he said slowly. “What is it?” I took a deep breath and then unloaded everything I’d wanted to say for a very, very long time: “I hate cleaning our shower – like so much,” I said. “I dread it more than any other job in the house.
“There’s so much tile and grout and bending and scrubbing. But you’re so strong – all that scrubbing is like nothing to you. And remember how I gave birth to six of your children, and that last one really hurt, and, anyway, I just don’t want to clean the shower ever again, so will you just be the one to do it from now until forever?”
I stopped talking, and he looked at me wide-eyed, like a deer that had just narrowly missed stepping in front of a Ford F-150. “That’s what you’re so concerned about?” he said. “I thought you were going to say you wanted to have another baby, or you were going to leave me for another dentist who has more hair. But cleaning the shower? Sure, no problem. I’ll do it.”
“Really???” I squealed, excited like Cinderella being told she could go to the ball but still not certain he’d understood my request. So, I pressed further: “I’m serious about this. When you die, I want to be like, ‘Why is my shower getting so gross?’ and then I’ll remember: ‘Oh, yeah, it’s because the guy who used to clean it died.’ Are we understanding each other correctly?”
“Yeah, totally,” he replied convincingly, thus earning a kiss from me and an extra 10 minutes of peace to finish his breakfast. For the first little while, our shower was a showpiece. I might kid him about having “soft dentist hands,” but he has lumberjack arms, and he really put some muscle into making that thing sparkle.
But as the weeks and months wore on, the shower started looking less and less impressive. “Maybe I was unclear in my request,” I thought one day as I picked up a scrub brush and half-heartedly went after some mildew in the corner.
“No, impossible,” I concluded. “He totally knew what he was agreeing to.” I became more and more indignant as the days went on. “The shower is looking a little nasty,” I finally mentioned a couple weeks ago. “Are you still the shower guy, or what?”
“I know, I know,” he moaned. “I’ll do it, I promise.” I didn’t hold my breath. Days passed with no improvement. But then last Saturday morning, I walked into our bathroom to find him standing in the shower fully dressed and holding our pressure washer, which was blasting soap scum and mildew to kingdom come.
“What in the world?” I yelled over the deafening hum of the washer. “This is awesome!” he shouted back, dripping with water from the mist swirling all around him but clearly pleased with himself for his scrub-free solution to our shower problem.
I shook my head and walked away. Pressure-washing the shower was certainly unconventional, but when I wandered back into the bathroom an hour later, the shower gleamed (almost) like the day we moved in. Turns out he was the right man for the job after all.
Julia Ditto shares her life with her husband, six children and a random menagerie of farm animals in Spokane Valley. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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