The honey-do list.
Yeah, it’s a joke. Husbands and boyfriends everywhere laugh and joke about all the things their wives or girlfriends want them to do. At least, they laugh and joke publicly. Privately, us men have reason to fear the honey-do list.
It is a real thing. And there are real consequences when the items on the honey-do list don’t get done. It can get ugly. Seriously, ugly.
My wife Becky keeps a honey-do list going at all times. Sometimes they are small things: run to the bank, pick up a prescription, pay this bill. Look for something she lost.
The honey-do list isn’t written down anywhere so that Type-A personalities like me can keep an eye on it and work methodically to make our significant other proud of us. No, the honey-do list is kept in her head. And it changes. Sometimes from day to day. Sometimes... yes, sometimes from morning to afternoon. It can be like trying to catch a wave.
But then there is the vacation honey-do list. That sucker gets written down, in ink, and posted ignominiously on the refrigerator door for everyone to see. And it’s always long.
I took a week of vacation a couple weeks ago, in part to finish getting over the holiday rush, in part to relax without the worry of impending deadlines and, in part, to do a few things I wanted to do.
Then, on the Friday night that my vacation technically began – the night it was supposed to snow – Becky gave me the list. She went over each task in painstaking detail. There were explicit directions about how to do certain things (never mind that I’ve done some of those things many, many times.)
When Becky finished going through the list it was 21 entries long. Seriously. She wanted me to do 21 things during the course of the week since I was going to home all week taking it easy.
Some of them were fairly simple errands. I could leave the house, go two or three places and mark them off the list. Others were major undertakings like getting a new washing machine. Ours had given up the ghost the week before and Becky was down to 31 clean shirts, so the need for a new washing machine was exceedingly urgent. Now. mind you, it wasn’t my job to shop for the new washing machine. I didn’t have any input into what kind of washing machine to buy. My job was to get it from the store to the house, install it and get rid of the old one.
I was also charged with the responsibility of several other large tasks, none of which were on my radar as my week of vacation approached.
If something happened during the day and I failed to get an assigned task done, I got the pursed lips look (you know what I’m talking about) and she silently took a pen and rewrote the task on the next day’s assignment sheet. In bright red ink, no less.
I learned as the week wore on and the number of items written in red grew longer, that I better figure out a way to finish the work for her.
So I got up early Friday and dove in. By then the list was down to eight jobs, including the washing machine. I attacked the list in the best way I knew how and by 5 p.m., I had everything done except for the dreaded trip to the store to pick up the washing machine. I managed to get to the store about six and my heart sank when the store looked dark and the parking lot was hopelessly empty. Becky was down to 16 shirts. Things were getting dire.
I walked up to the door and, to my great relief, it opened.
I was able to get the machine and head back to the house. I got the machine installed Friday night and, on Sunday afternoon, carted the old one to the convenience center.
Another moment of happiness for my wife.
But I had to come back to work on Monday just to relax.