Monday, February 23, 2009

The War of the Towels

or, "My Wife is Trying to Drive Me Insane."

I have an odd problem with The Mrs. She is a compulsive towel collector. By this, I don't mean that she steals the towels from hotels, or that she needs to buy unique towels from tourist destinations. No, I mean every time she sees a towel, she feels compelled to put it in the laundry basket. Not compelled to wash it. Not compelled to replace it. Just compelled to remove it from the place one needs a towel and to deposit it in the laundry until a "full load" of towels is hoarded.

Since the switch to the front-loader washer, this means quite a number of towels can be built up in the laundry before any washing needs to take place. However, interestingly, my problem doesn't have anything to do with running out of clean towels. We have, probably, 35 towels. We have enough for all the bathrooms three times over.

No, my problem has to do with there never, ever being a towel in any of the bathrooms. Case in point: Friday, it was my job to put MaxieC in the tub. Naturally, there were no towels in the bathroom. I got three clean bath towels from the laundry room (where they build up in big piles on top of the dryer, never to be distributed to towels racks) - one for MaxieC, one for HannahC, and one for a bath mat - plus a hand towel for the sink. I grumbled about how there are never any towels, but left it at that.

Then, Sunday, I went to put MaxieC in the tub again, and again there were no towels. Now, I was in a bad mood Sunday, so I complained vociferously to The Mrs. about how I put brand new towels in there Friday night, and they were gone already. It went like this:
Me, CherkyB: "Why did you take the towels out of the kids' bathroom?"

The Mrs.: "I see dirty towels, I wash them."

Me, CherkyB: "But you took all the towels out of there on Friday, so they were only two days old!"

The Mrs.: "If I see a dirty towel, I clean it. I'm like a hotel maid. All I ever do is wash towels."

Me, CherkyB: "But they weren't dirty. They had been used only twice."

The Mrs.: "Oh, is your hotel service not good enough? I'm not a good enough maid?"

Me, CherkyB: "I just want there to be towels in the bathrooms. Is it so hard to replace towels when you remove them?"

The Mrs.: "Oh, you're complaining about the maid service? I work harder than a hotel maid, and you're complaining!"

Me, CherkyB: "Arrrggghh. A hotel maid wouldn't take all the clean towels and not replace them. A hotel maid would replace the towels the minute she took the old ones. And a hotel maid would clean the room, too. You are a terrible hotel maid!"
Which makes me kind of wonder if this shouldn't be the next installment of "Something Not to Do."
Me, CherkyB: "Look, I want you to do less work, not more. We don't need to wash the towels after every use. I'm not asking you to wash the towels more often. I'm asking you to do it less often. Like once a week."

The Mrs.: "I'm busy. I have to teach these kids school all day. I don't have time to be your damn towel maid. I don't have time to wash the towels every day for you."

Me, CherkyB: "AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRR!!!!! I don't want you to wash the towels every day! I want you to NOT wash the towels every day! And I want you to not collect the towels if you aren't going to wash them. Just leave the towels in the bathroom until they're dirty."

The Mrs.: "Well, maybe you should take over the cooking since I'm going to be spending all my time washing towels for you."
OK, not going well. I retreat to my basement bar/lair to ruminate. Then, I complain over Yahoo Messenger to her mother. As soon as I do that, I regret it.

Yeah, it's kind of turning into a Something Not to Do post.

Well, today I got home from work a bit early because of a little snafu in The Company's security software that trolls the HR database to find any "change in status" of employees with security clearance, and then issues 14-day renewal notices that require you to re-justify why you still need access to that particular data set given your change in status. My change in status was that my boss went on to the next project, so they transferred me to another boss (who will continue on as my new boss on my next project, which is a different next project from my old boss's). That transfer showed up on Friday. On Saturday morning, my "change in status" was discovered by the HR crawler, and immediately all my clearances were revoked. The automated system sent me six different emails (one for each security clearance they revoked) telling me that I had ignored all the renewal notices (that they never sent) and let my renewal period expire (despite the renewal period being 14 days, and this was less than 24 hours later), and now I'd have to reapply for everything from scratch (which takes up to two months for factory data, unless you know someone).

So I spent my entire morning trying to figure out if there was a reason the renewal period was skipped and we went straight to revocation (which also happened to the other guy on my team who switched at the same time as I did for the same reasons), and how to file a bug ticket, and if there was any way to undo the revocation so that I wouldn't have to go through the two-month unless you know someone process. I managed to get a bug ticket filed, but that was it.

Thus, when I got to the end of the day and needed to pull the most recent factory data in order to make some foils for my work group tomorrow, and I still didn't have factory access cuz I didn't know any of the approvers personally, and my buddy in Arizona that does know the approvers personally cuz they're in his group couldn't find any of them to fast-track my approval, well I just said, "Fuck 'em," and I went home.

When I got home, HannahC was doing schoolwork, and MaxieC was practicing the piano, so I watched TV. Eventually, all the noise stopped, so I wandered upstairs to see what was up. I found The Mrs. in the laundry room. She pointed at a big laundry basket of towels and said, "There you go. I finished washing all your precious towels. Now why don't you go hang them up in the bathrooms."

So I did. Then...
Me, CherkyB: "Uh. Why did you replace the towels in The Childrens' bathroom?"

The Mrs.: "They were dirty."

Me, CherkyB: "The ones I put in there last night?"

The Mrs.: "I see dirty towels, I wash them. Just like you make me."

Me, CherkyB: "But they weren't dirty. They were one day old. They had been used once."

[The Mrs. dialing the phone]

Moother: "Helloooooo"

The Mrs.: "I did his stupid towels, and now he's mad because apparently I did them wrong!"

Me, CherkyB: "I didn't say you did them wrong! I asked you very specifically not to wash the towels cuz they were clean, and you did it anyway. The only reason I can think of at this point that you did it was just to annoy me."

The Mrs.: "I don't know what you want. You complain that there aren't clean towels, so I wash the towels. Now you're mad about that."

Me, CherkyB: "No! I complained that there weren't any towels at all. I didn't complain that there weren't clean towels. I complained because you keep washing clean towels and not replacing them. That's it. New rule. You are only allowed to collect towels one day a week."

[I hang up the phone]

The Mrs.: "What day?"

Me, CherkyB: "I don't care. Since you did them all today, how about we start with today. Monday. You can collect the towels on Mondays."

The Mrs.: "A lot of times I'm busy on Mondays. That'll never work."

Me, CherkyB: "AAAAAAAAUUUUGGGHHH!!!! You're doing this just to piss me off! I know you are! You aren't this stupid! You have strutured your entire life around figuring out what I want, and then doing exactly the opposite. Is this really how you want it to be? Just spending all your time trying to figure out how to drive me insane?"

HannahC: "Boy, this sure is a stupid thing to fight over. You people are idiots."

Me, CherkyB: "AAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!"
Then, I did something the genius of which was apparent only to me. I opened up the dishwasher, full of nice clean dishes, and I got out a ketchup bottle and squirted it all over them. Then I announced with much fanfare, "Oh look at that. The dishes are dirty. I guess we'll just have to wash them all again!"

I retire to my bar/lair to ruminate. When I return, she's on the phone with her mother again.
The Mrs.: "I'm only allowed to wash towels once a week now. I'll run out of dish towels and wash cloths in less than a week [because we only own 25 of each - ed.], but I guess we'll just have to live like that."

Me, CherkyB: "You can wash the dish towels and wash cloths if you need to. I just want you stop washing the clean towels in the bathrooms."

The Mrs.: "Nope. Those are towels, too. And I'm not allowed to wash towels, so I guess we'll just have to go without."
I put MaxieC into the tub for his bath. A little while later, I hear her talking to her mother on the phone again, which is easy enough because she only talks with the phone on speakerphone.
The Mrs. [to her mother]: "I guess he should be taking over all the cooking then, since I'll be so busy washing towels for him."

Me, CherkyB: "Wait. You just complained that you were only allowed to do them once a week now. How is it that this leaves you with no time to cook?"

The Mrs.: "I'm pretty busy doing laundry to your liking. I think you should take over the cooking."

Me, CherkyB: "OK, if you'll take over earning the money."

The Mrs.: "No."

Me, CherkyB: "Why not."

The Mrs.: "Cuz I'm not the one complaining about how you earn money."

Me, CherkyB: "Less work! Less work! I'm asking for you to do less work. If you would do less work, it would make me happy. I can't believe you won't agree to do less work. And I can't believe that suddenly doing less laundry means you don't have time to cook or to vacuum anymore."

The Mrs.: "Oh? Now I don't vacuum?"

[Oh shit.]

Me, CherkyB: "You vacuum like once every six months."

The Mrs.: "I don't think you could even tell if I vacuumed."

Me, CherkyB: "That's because you don't."

Moother: "Oh, will you two shut up about the towels already! For Christ sakes."

The Mrs. [to her mother]: "I think you should move in with us so that you can be in charge of this 4:00 towel check. I just don't have the time to check that there are towels in the bathrooms every day precisely at 4:00."

Oddly enough, this is pretty much standard fare around these parts.


ellie said...

Last time I was at a hotel I had to call front desk because they forgot to replace the towels.

ellie said...

one thing you could do is, if there is no towel, just go out in the buff to the closet where they are stored. that'll learn her!

Anonymous said...

That's not exactly what I said but it will do. The first time the Mrs. called I very quietly hung up the damn phone. If I wanted to hear that BS I would have stayed married to Husband #1. The second time I said the F word forgetting that the Mrs had the speaker on. HannahC started giggling and I told her that if she ever says that word I wil wash her mouth out with soap.

Then I proceeded to give HannahC the chore of overseeing the towels in all 4 bathrooms at 4:00 PM. I told her I would call her at that time every day to remind her to do so. Jeez. It's a bitch being a peace keeper.

Sounds like CherkyB had a frustrating day at werk.

paula said...

Thinks if fat moother moved in there might not be the war of the towels lol

Anonymous said...

AHA! CherkyB hung the towels up on the towel bar instead of leaving them in a heap on the floor! VICTORY!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like HannahC had the right perspective on the towel crisis!

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the great wire hanger crisis a while back!

ellie said...


Anonymous said...

check out the ads on ad sense!

Anonymous said...

I suggest using a pneumatic brad nail gun and affix them to the wall.

ellie said...

That's quite a way to discipline children.

blogauthor said...

I am on the side of the angels. For the intellectually impaired, that would be the womens