Bartering of Who Does What and When

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Successful relationships are those where participats admit limitations which bring good fortune into the relationships.

Mowing the Lawn

Relationships require decisions about who does

Vacuuming the rug
  • what,
  • when,
  • why
  • where
    • and
  • how

Fortunately, or unfortunately, these negotiations continue throughout the entire lifespan of the relationship.

Consider the resulting changes a simple bartering of services may come about within a relationship.


This entity of Me Myself I consider good fortune we possess the patience of a well-fed house cat in the presence of a veritable mongoose of a mate who doesn’t appreciate my finer abilities:

We have the ability to

  • turn all under wear pink in the wash
  • Locate the clean-ishist blouse in a mountain of dirty laundry rather than loading the washing machine.
  • walk past the slightest pile of dirt and not ever notice

Over time we all determine which basic household chores can’t be ignored and which chores, the completion of which could we simply out-wait the nemesis, or partner. Prrrr.



Hard stuff requires hard negotiating. As a child we spent time on hands and knees with scrub brushes, paring knives picking corners of kitchen and bathroom floors to make everything sparkling clean.


We’ve never understood Mother’s obsession with cleanliness. She never understood our relationship with mud. We became sloppy but sanitary.

The yin yang of mother daughter.

Salvation came to us in the form of Cheri a housekeeper to clean the nooks and crannies of bathrooms and give the place a once a month spit shine.

Years later we say farewell for a few days to recon to a new desired location and leave pets and everything we own to the care of this housekeeper who is now in the process of painting the house.

An artist who loves to refinish furniture. Beautiful work. Used to own a paint store, fell on hard times, then harder…then all the way down. A survivor brought back to civilization through tenacious will.

A woman who would give a friend the shirt off her back…though not without considerable consideration.

The place shines as it did the first time we laid eyes upon the place and fell soundly in love with our lot in life.

Never under estimate anyone for their position in life.

The Old Place

This home was higher priced than we could afford…why did the realtor show it to us? He said he was just curious and wanted to see the place.

It was 30K over budget!

Both our incomes had fallen but guaranteed to grow…on a 2 year plan.

The April showers were flowing the day we walked into the house. It was devoid of furniture, All the wood work was polished and glistened in the light. Bright oyster enamel wall paint contrasted against walnut wainscotting throughout the living room and family room areas.

The floors were carpeted with the thick, soft champagne colored carpeting. Massive wood and marble fireplace gracing the focal area of all living rooms.

A great bay window set directly in view as we entered the house displayed a fairy tale backyard with landscaped pool and red wood deck pulled us into the house with the power of enchantment. Thus we silently slipped into the a home of our wildest dreams and into a neighborhood we never thought possible.

We have respected the old girl and she’s been good to us…as long as she doesn’t feel neglected. Neglect her and she’ll let you know, but it won’t be nice.

First time we tried to leave on vacation just as we were to lock the front door the stove’s exhaust fan came on high and wouldn’t shut off. Had to delay the trip a few hours to replace the switch. Thank goodness it went off just as we were leaving…

Our ancient neighbor then informed us we were haunted. While we remain open to the prospect of a haint in the house we rest assured the problem was the faulty electrical switch.

We began to wonder a few years later she let loose the hot water heater to flood the basement garage just as we packed the last bag in the van at the start of another trip.

We had to get an emergency crew for a new water heater and a carpet restorer involved.

Over time we realized our haint treats us much better when everything is working well. Which could be that she is satisfied with our efforts or we’ve simply fixed everything that is broken so far, so why would anything fail?

Turns out if a house spirit exists, she’s a low maintenance lady who insists her residents keep up tidy and hold her up front and center at all times.

We keep a constant eye out for trouble

  • Repaired her right away whenever something slipped
  • Gave her quite a few uplifts
  • Never forgot our good fortune

…otherwise she’ll dump another water heater or something.

Today we return from the reconnaissance mission to scout for new digs. Cheri has been busy with the place. Spotless!

The place is now empty down to bare essentials for showing. It feels a bit like staying in an empty hotel. Mother’s training is kicking in as we re-learn how to be neat.

Our ultimate downfall. Cats.

Creative cats are a breed of our own, where messes are ‘Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man’…

and with that attitude comes good fortune as the mongoose frantically scurries to ensure the first impression…while we attempt to care equally.

We’re more second impression oriented, always ready with an inappropriate joke to break the wind.


About Post Author


The Theory of Pat is a gradual process which will expand as we work out the mysteries of our past, present and future. We chose to share as we learn and practice how to navigate our own impulsive and irrational thoughts so we may help others better defend against those who work to exploit weakness.
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