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do it like dish winning the battle over doing the dishes by Yee-Fan Sun | 1 2 3

I have long maintained that the boy, my boy, is the very best boy in the world. It's something I tell him all the time, which makes him roll his eyes, but with a small smile on his face so I know that secretly, despite the silliness of my proclamation, he likes to hear it anyway. Asked to list all the things that are good about him, I could wax on and on. Suffice it to say that the boy is kind and smart and thoroughly adorable, and he makes me laugh and loves me even when I'm at my prickly worst. (And when I think about it, those last two are really the only things that matter.)

Still, while I have always felt very, very lucky to be sharing house with this sweetie of mine, there was always this one little thing that made the best boy in the world just shy of perfect. Yes, even when I'm at my mushy lovey-doviest, I have to admit: the boy has a blind spot for household chores. He simply doesn't notice when they need to be done; there's a fundamental disconnect in whatever brain receptor signals most people to tidy up when the visual cue is "total pigsty".

It's not that my own housekeeping standards are particularly high. As my mom would be all too glad to confirm, I've never exactly been a neatnik. Growing up, my idea of cleaning up meant transferring all the clutter of a room into the nearest available closet. To this day, it frightens me to have to open the door to my old bedroom closet, as I know my mother's still waiting for me to weed through the decades of ill-fitting clothes, middle school notes, unwanted Christmas presents from well-meaning relatives, plus who knows what else, and hence an avalanche of junk awaits me on the day when I finally get around to doing that particular chore. (Soon, Mom, I promise, soon!) In my own home, I find that I have entire junk cupboards where less-slobbish folks have a single junk drawer. I once lost my favorite skirt in the scary crammed chaos of my own closet. I have a hard time remembering to vacuum until I can see my long detached hairs starting to form a second carpet over our existing one. Few people would describe me as either tidy, or particularly clean. For someone who's obsessed with most things home-related, I'm surprisingly lax about actually maintaining the presentability of my abode.

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