Making It Work

We have the perfect work share system at our house. It’s worked for eight years now and it’ll keep right on working for years to come. It’s a division of labor that’s based on recognition of particular strengths and well, basically sending out the right person for the job.

            See Debra, my wife, has a wonderful capacity with numbers. She’s an analytical genius and her account book is an amazing set of facts and predictions. It’s all hieroglyphics to me. I don’t know how she does it and that’s why she’s in charge of our finances.

            I have no head for numbers. Math was never one of my strong points. When I was in school I thought Al Gebra was a substitute teacher or something. And Calculus? As far as I knew that was a character in a Shakespeare play. The Merchant of Menace or something like that.

            It’s not that I don’t get numbers. As a die hard baseball fan or instance I know that the team batting average for the 1958 Pittsburgh Pirates was .256. I know that you calculate slugging percentage by dividing times at bats by total bases. But those kinds of numbers only mark you as a nerd. They don’t pay the bills.

            My job is to take care of the housecleaning. I shine at that, pardon the pun. I’m in charge of dusting, vacuuming, doing dishes, laundry, mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, walking the dog, and I’ve even been known to iron the odd skirt or shirt from time to time. Maybe it’s not the manliest thing, but I’m good at it.

            There’s a particular joy in having friends over to a clean shiny house. I can think about the plot for my new novel, or listen to music while I work. I’d even whistle if I remembered that tune from the Seven Dwarfs.

            Our system works out just fine. I have no problem giving over my pay when it comes and I have no issue with toilets or folding sheets. It’s just nice to now that all things are taken care of and that I’m making a regular contribution to or comfort.

            In fact, I almost bought an apron but it would have clashed with my fuzzy slippers. It’s all about living in a spirit of cooperation – and if it works at home, it’ll work in the world. I’d bet my dust mop on it.

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About Richard Wagamese

I am a published author with 13 titles published by major Canadian publishers. I am a First Nations person from the Ojibway Nation in Northwestern, Ontario, Canada. As a professional writer since 1979 I have written for newspaper, radio television, magazines and book publishing. I love the culture of books and the people who populate it. 2012 recipient of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Media & Communications. View all posts by Richard Wagamese

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