All Your Ducks in a Row

Okay, my friends, let’s try this again.  I was having technical difficulties when this post mistakenly popped up half done the other day.

Today I was looking at the pictures I posted of me in my new, hot shoes.  Do you think that I was just looking at the shoes and how hot they are?  Well, no.  I’m a woman, so here’s what I saw.  “OMG, I need to vacuum that rug! Oh, no!  My baseboard is all scuffed and needs to be cleaned!  How embarrassing!  Look at those floors.  They could use a good wash and shine.”  Then I went downstairs and physically looked at the walls, floors, and baseboards, and came to the conclusion that I need to go on the show Horders, Buried Alive, because omg, What A Mess!

Women can be very task oriented.  We have A List.  We have Thinks To Do.  And we don’t understand why you guys don’t have the same priorities.  Why can’t you guys see All There Is To Do?  You want to do what?  Wait, the dishes aren’t done!  There’s laundry in the dryer!  I didn’t vacuum today!  I’m not ready.  I can’t relax when there are dishes in the sink.  So you talk us into it anyway, and we are trying to get into it but can’t shut the bedroom door on the dishes.  They’re out there, as persistent as any child saying, “Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom”, over and over, and they’re saying, “Come wash me, come wash me!  You horrible housekeeper, you, how can you leave me dirty in the sink??  All this food is going to be stuck on me in the morning!”  For all you ladies shuddering over leaving dishes in the sink overnight, and for my grandmother rolling over in her grave, don’t think I’m advocating it, haha!  It’s just an example.  In fact, it could very easily be something much less significant, like today’s mail.  But it’s on The List, and it’s Not Done.

So we can’t relax and enjoy.  Then we get resentful.  “Well, if he cared for me one iota, he’d know I can’t do this when there are dishes in the sink.  Oh, that man!”  And our husband thinks, “Why would she want to do DISHES instead of sex?  How can doing dishes possibly rate as a higher priority????”

Lots of people want all their ducks in a row before they do anything.  Especially something that might be considered nonessential or even just for fun.  For example, I have this cross stitch I’ve been working on.  For 15 years.  It sits there and mocks me, “ha ha ha, you’ll never be caught up enough work on me again, let alone finish me.”  It’s the very symbol of my ineptitude as a housekeeper and a mother.  Every time I see it I feel inadequate.  Now, I would enjoy doing that cross stitch, but I’ve put it last on my list.  I’ll do it after (insert multiple tasks here). I know what you’re thinking, well, she’s doing this blog, she must have some free time.  Okay, so maybe I don’t LOVE cross stitching.  Maybe I hate it.  Did I just say I would enjoy doing it?  I think I meant I would enjoy getting it done and then burning it.  So there it is, half done, mocking me.  Can any of you relate?   I’d rather scrub toilets than work on that cross stitch.  Better, I’d rather have sex 24/7 than work on that %!*# cross stitch.  In fact, I’m going to go throw it out right now!


Okay, it’s in the garbage, but it’s screaming at me to get it out.  Will power, I need will power!   Moving on…where was I going with this???  I’m not sure–I’ll make it work somehow.

We have all these tasks to do during the day.  And if we don’t do them, it’s just going to be worse tomorrow.  And we are thinking, okay, after I get my list all crossed off, I’ll want to have sex.  After everything is just right, then I’ll feel like I can relax and enjoy.  Or even, fine, if I must put sex on my list, it’s going at the bottom of it.  It can wait.  Well, it really CAN’T wait.  The thing is, the dishes the laundry, the mail, all those tasks are recurring.  They’ll NEVER truly be done.  Our List will never be crossed off completely.  And the hour you could have spent loving your spouse can never be regained.  I’ll do it later is not a good strategy for your love life.  And just think–if you’re the person being put at the bottom of the list, under dishes, cleaning the toilet or going through the junk mail,  how horrible that must feel!

There are just certain things that have to be prioritized.  And sex is one of them.  If your List is calling, calling, calling you, you’ve got to do your best to ignore it for an hour or so at least a few days a week.  I think you’ll feel better for it!  I mean, really, orgasm or dishes?  Hmmm, that’s a tough one!  Um, I’ll take the orgasms, thank you!

So ignore that stupid cross stitch yelling at you from the garbage!  Oh!  I mean the endless List of tasks we have.  And spend some fun time with your spouse.  If you have to put it on the list so that it’ll get done, put it on the list.  At the top!  That’s something you won’t regret.


16 thoughts on “All Your Ducks in a Row

  1. As “A Guy” (pun intended), I have to focus REALLY hard to even notice that there was a floor, a wall, or anything other than some nice shoes and legs in that picture – even after going back to look at them. In fact, don’t quiz me on any of the colors of the wall, floor, or rug because I already forgot them. I do remember the colors on the shoes though. 🙂

    The post is a good one. I heard a talk by John L. Dunn where he talked about women wanting, “EVERYTHING to be done/perfect before even considering to have sex.” He was making the point that that was not obtainable in a regular life.

    • Thank you Guy! cute pun 🙂
      You make part of my point, don’t you, about not noticing things the way a woman does.
      I love that guys can be that way, I really do, and I wish women were a bit more like that. But it can also be exasperating You guys can’t win! hahaha

  2. Good point. I have a huge list of things to do that I’m always worried about not finishing. But, I also know I’ll never finish everything. I just want to make sure I’m finishing the most important things.

    Several recent talks have emphasized this: Remember Elder Oaks and “Good, Better, Best?” Excellent.

    Here’s another of my favorite quotes:
    “When priorities are in place, one can more patiently tolerate unfinished business.” –Russell M. Nelson, Ensign, November 1987, p. 88

    I find when I’ve intentionally chosen which things to leave unfinished because I’m making better choices, I’m comfortable seeing the stuff not done.

    Sex is absolutely in the “best” category.

  3. Other than the needs of children,I can think of few things more important than sex. And interestingly,actually having sex makes me more tolerant of the things that just aren’t getting done.
    As I reflect on our time with young children,now past, I also realise that even the perceived needs of children can be used to avoid intimacy. I certainly think my Darling and I saw our children’s needs as being so much more important than our need for intimacy that we failed to do right by each other and avoided dealing with our own issues.
    I think we had an either/or mindset,rather than being able to understand that both the needs of the children and the needs of the parents were equally important.
    Still,better late than never.
    As for the needs of the kitchen floor…I can honestly say they did take their place in the queue of other more interesting stuff to be done.

  4. This is a good post — especially as a follow up to this one t the-generous-husband

    This will probably make me seem like some bitter old man, but, as a man in a sexless marriage, I’ve seen so much “sex begins in the kitchen” type advice, that it is nice to hear someone suggest to the women that they have a part to play in this, too. I mean, I think it is great advice for men to pull their fair share around the house and with the kids. But it seems to me that a woman can’t wait for her list to be completed or her husband to be perfect before consenting to build a sexual relationship.

    • Hi, MrShorty, and thanks! I like The Generous Wife and The Generous Husband. Very good stuff.
      You do NOT sound like a bitter old man. You sound like someone with experience in trying to help out because you were told if you help out more, you’ll get more sex. Well, in some situations that is true. But in a situation where your spouse is a refuser, that does NOT work. For men it’s: Do the dishes and give the kids their baths. For women it’s: wear sexy lingerie and be more available. Then you’re hurt and dismayed when that advice doesn’t work. The refusing spouse just finds some other excuse.

  5. Sounds like Mr Shorty could do with some sugar in his life. I really sympathise Mr S, and speaking from experience I’d say you don’t have a day to waste. Book some sex therapy for you both,and live a little.

  6. I think some women are really overwhelmed by all the “stuff” they feel like they must accomplish, and they just don’t have any energy/concern/time left over for sex. These are the women whose sexual attitude improves when they get some help with the kids, help around the house, recognition for all they do, etc.

    On the other hand, some women just don’t like intimacy and use all the undone “stuff” as a dependable excuse not to have sex. And all the household help in the world won’t improve their attitude about sex, because for them it’s not really about the “stuff”.

    • Thanks, Norm.
      I have gone back and forth about my roll and Conan’s roll in our lack of frequency earlier in our marriage. On one hand, I know I shouldn’t have been always saying no. But on the other hand, I really DID want and NEED more help and some recognition and appreciation. I’ve said it before, I’m not really sure which came first, Conan being more appreciative or me being more sexual. Now, I never did get more help, ha ha!, but I did get some appreciation that I badly needed. I do know that if Conan hadn’t become more appreciative, my new found sexuality would have fizzled out pretty darn fast.

  7. This has been on my mind: how the little fussy things can eclipse the big. I think housework is a quick albeit false indication you have your act. Visitors see whether your house is clean and draw their conclusions, while they’re unlikely to walk in on you having sex, or appreciate it. 🙂

    A really clever bit of advice is if you go out, don’t discuss the kids. That’s like talking about work. We don’t go out enough, which is just a bad habit now that our kids can be left alone.

    Check out this very good list of the big things to keep track of in marriage, or any relationship. I’m about to give it to dear spouse with a promise to do better. Sex is in there, vacuuming is not (unless that’s a sex act? :-p ):
    Five Surefire Ways to Kill Your Marriage

    • Good link, Jules. Thanks! And good for you for striving to be a better husband!
      As for vacuuming, I suppose if one were to vacuum in their new, sexy, shoes and nothing else that might be considered a sex act! hee hee.

      • Hmm, if you’re down to vacuuming naked your life may need re-examination… 🙂 I suppose that is multitasking.

  8. But Jules, Mr Darling and I really connect when we have a chance to get away from the kids and work, and discuss strategy and policy in relation to both of those. It’s the time when we decide to get onside with each other and watch each other’s backs.

    What we have to also do is be aware how we might be using these subjects to avoid intimacy in other areas. But that doesn’t mean we can’t build intimacy with and through these things. After all,these are our major tasks as adults.

    Although talking about sex is great, and would be my preferred subject,sometimes all the other stuff does need to be worked through,as it’s also a measure of our intimacy. So,I’m voting for no forbidden subjects of conversation.

  9. I actually would like to bookmark this specific blog, “All
    Your Ducks in a Row | Sex and the LDS Woman” on
    my personal web page. Will you care in case I reallydo?
    Regards ,Lisa

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