His dirty socks are a small price to pay for a better marriage.
I'm not one of those women who cares much about the comfort of others. Unlike wives who whip something up for their men if they're hungry, I'm more likely to search my email hoping to find a Seamless coupon. It's not that I'm inept. It's just that I'm not very nurturing by nature.
I am sure you can imagine how this personality trait has impacted my marriage. In addition to having the crazy idea that relationships should be all about equality, I have trouble doing things that I feel I shouldn't be doing. This includes doing my husband's laundry. Why? Because I loathe doing laundry. I loathe doing mine, so of course I'm going to loathe doing his, too. It's laundry. Need there be another explanation?
I read a lot online about relationships and how women should "behave". I also read the comment section, which I admit, is often a bad idea. When the experts say that relationships can't be equal all the time, commenters are all like, "Aww, hell no. My husband does his own laundry. I am a slave to no one!"
But even though I hate to admit it, my experience with marriage so far has taught me something that I didn't really want to believe, but alas ... it's true: Trying to balance who has the most power in a relationship is not all that effective for marriage. At least not for mine. Everything isn't going to be equal all the time, and keeping score just creates hostility. Sometimes you have to pitch in and do things you don’t like to do. In my case, it's laundry. (In his case, it's giving me foot rubs.)
Awhile ago, I decided to give in a bit and stop worrying about who was doing too much for the other person. The result? I can proudly say that I do my husbands laundry. (I still feel like I should whisper that in some circles, but it's true.) He tells me when it needs to be done (because I'm not going to, like, check in on his laundry, you know?) and I do it when I am available. He has two jobs that require work shirts, and it is now my duty (as a good wife) to make sure those shirts are clean and ready for him to wear. I guess, in a way, I've convinced myself that washing his dirty shirts is a small piece of a much larger puzzle.
Do I think I deserve an award for this small gesture? Yes, I do. A nice shiny award to display at all times. In fact, I think all women deserve an award for doing their husband's laundry, especially if they also work. (Housework counts as work, so basically all women deserve an award. And laundry-loving men too, of course.) It's a nice thing to do and it's even nicer thing to be appreciated for doing it. The more he fawns over me, the more likely I will put more love and care into it. I'll make sure to remember the dryer sheets and will even spray the shirts I air dry with Downy wrinkle releaser. (Yes, wrinkle releaser. Who has time to iron?!)
I'm sure if someone actually rated my wife skills, I'd get an E or "needs improvement" as my elementary school report card liked to call it. I'm not that good at cleaning either. I do it, but dust accumulates quicker than a troll on naked celeb pictures. I'm well aware of my shortcomings and how they affect my marriage. But I believe the effort is what makes the difference.
We've only been married for two years now, but I find that this is really working for us. I do something nice, he excessively appreciates me. He does something nice for me, I excessively appreciate him. We're both kind of like puppies learning tricks — we will do anything for the praise. That is what keeps the wheels turning and hopefully will for years to come. If that requires doing a little laundry, well, count me in. (But he better pony up for those foot rubs, not that I'm keeping track.)
For more, read Diana's personal blog, i'm too fancy.