Sloppy Joes

There are lots of sloppy Joes, Mikes, Bills and (in my case) Steves in this world. Many women I know cite their husband’s sloppiness as their number one complaint. It seems my house isn’t the only one plagued with strewn clothing, scattered dishes, abandoned food wrappers, orphaned tools and obstacle course style shoe storage. As efficient as I try to be at righting the chaos, my beloved seems to out pace me 10 fold in the distribution of his debris.

So many women can relate to my challenge, yet there is still a fear of being judged by other women as lazy or sloppy myself should one happen to see my house in its full tornadic glory. Why is this? I know I’m not the only one whose heart sinks to the floor when a surprise visitor rings the doorbell. My husband promptly opens the door without hesitation and happily invites in the masses. Not one thought is given to what the individual may be in store for once crossing the threshold. I just want to hide in the corner and bury my cheeks, flushed with embarrassment, in my hands.

There are times when I wonder where my husband’s confidence comes from. Is he secure in the knowledge I’m more likely to be judged for the appearance of our home or does he truly see no big deal in sharing our mess with the world? I fully believe women are mostly to blame in all of this. We have allowed men to exist for ages with the impression we like picking up after them. Secondly, knowing what is likely at play in most households, we still take it upon ourselves to judge other women harshly who are in the exact same boat as us. It may not be a judgment in the form of words, but many are familiar with the looks, sighs and sounds of disapproval.

4 Responses to “Sloppy Joes”

  1. Leslie says:

    A bit of clutter is acceptable; downright sloppiness isn’t. Guys shouldn’t think it’s OK to get away with continuing to act like children and expect you’ll be their mother there to clean up after them. You have every right to be embarrassed to have others come over and see that kind of mess. And if he cared anything about you, he’d clean up his act, literally. Of course, it’s up to you to let him know it bothers you and then see what he does. If you don’t, then he’s right in continuing to assume it’s OK.

  2. lisa says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Leslie. My beloved is well aware of my issue with his messy ways. He’s lucky he has many redeeming qualities.

    What’s interesting to me is that many of the gals I commiserate with feel their husband’s would be a bit better with the mess if their brains actually registered its existence. There are times when I honestly believe our eyes aren’t seeing the same environment.

    The addition of kids makes it more complicated. There are even more messes to deal with and a greater chance of unexpected visitors.

  3. Leslie says:

    I’m sure your husband has many wonderful qualities; otherwise, why would you be married to him? I guess one has to choose her battles–if it got to the point where it drove you absolutely bonkers, then maybe it would be worth a confrontation. I’ve always said, “You can be as messy as you want, just as long as I don’t have to look at it.” In other words, keep it confined to a single room where you can gather up his stuff and just throw it in there and shut the door quickly before it escapes! Perhaps a bit passive-aggressive, perhaps not.

  4. Tricia says:

    My husband isn’t messy, THANKFULLY, but he doesn’t see the same level of grime that I do. Even when he cleans, he never does it as thuroughly as I do. I’ve learned to be OK with that since he at least is fairly annal in picking up after himself, etc. But your bigger question about women judging each other because of the state of our homes at any given time bothers me as well. I always think it’s the true friend who can stop by with only a moments notice and who doesn’t care if there are toys strewn, etc.