Today I decided it was time to get my home ready for Christmas. We have these big windows, and in the winter, when the sun is lower than our passive solar overhangs, the sun shines through the windows and illuminates the spider crap that’s all over them.

I think because we have a one-story house, and the overhang sticks out about six feet all the way around the house, spiders think our place is the Ritz-Carlton. The light from all the windows attracts insects which get caught in the spider webs so it’s like a big bug buffet out there all the time.

Spiders, like all of God’s creatures, have to go to the bathroom; therefore there are little brown and black spots everywhere like millions of grasshoppers have been engaging in tobacco-spitting contests. Some of the spots slide down the glass. Then it dries and hardens to a cement-like substance that takes a vigorous scrubbing to dislodge.

Why am I telling anyone about this? Just because.

So I’m out there in the cold with the squeegee, and my husband and son are sitting on the couch watching some bikini TV show. I’m used to my husband and children passively watching me work. I’m like a lot of women who just get tired of nagging and do it all – which appears to be the goal of every man’s and child’s life.

Today, though, it didn’t sit well with me. I came in and made some snide remarks, which usually fall on deaf ears, but for some reason my husband got mad and turned off the TV, jerked the squeegee out of my hand and went outside to get away from the nagging. I could see that he wasn’t putting in quite the effort that I had been, but I decided even if I had to do some of the streaks over, that was way easier than doing it all alone. After a few minutes of staring at the TV where the almost naked girls had been, my son said, “Dad just gave me a dirty look. Have you got something I can do?”

These are words I have never, ever heard my son say. I dabbed at my tears of joy. “Well, I guess you could grab the duster and dust.” He did it without too much complaint – it is, after all, the easiest housework in the world. When he was done I asked if he’d help me get the Christmas stuff down out of the attic. I figured I’d better make hay while the sun was shining. This is when the avalanche of griping started.

“It’s not even December. Why are you getting all this stuff down? Where are you going to put it? You’re just cluttering up the bonus room with all this crap. Oh my gosh, how many boxes are there? Why do you have all these fake poinsettias? Nobody likes all this crap but you. Why don’t you just get rid of it? Who came up with all this decorating bullcrap anyway? You’re going to spend all that time putting all this stuff up and then just take it all down a month later…..”

I just let him go on and on because he was continuing to help as he bitched, so I wasn’t about to fly off the handle and have him use that as an excuse to walk out of the room. The second he was done he left to go get a haircut.

Meantime my husband was still washing the inside windows. He got finished and started putting the squeegee and ladder away. “Leave all that, I have to do the outside,” I said. “Well, I’m not doing them,” he said, and sat down. I immediately went and got the vacuum. He hates the noise the vacuum cleaner makes. I turned it on and started vacuuming right where he was sitting. He got up, grabbed the squeegee and went outside. I turned the vacuum off. He came back in. I turned it back on. He went back out. I figured if I kept vacuuming, I could get all the windows washed. Unfortunately, even going really slow, I had to finally stop, and he came back in, leaving a couple windows undone. I finished the job, pretty satisfied that I’d gotten my two lazy boys to help out. We all went to a restaurant for a late lunch, my son went back to U of O because there was supposed to be a party he didn’t want to miss, my husband went back to the remote control, and I went shopping. Not a bad day at all.