I was accused recently of squealing like a Pig Won’t every time I get asked to do something, raising the question, is whinging ever really constructive?
Particularly about my whinging.
I’m not sure if it was body language that was doing the talking, or just plain language.
But the argument seemed to be that I was obstructing progress.
In this instance, to cleaning a room. From carpet to walls to roof and every mark in between, real or imagined. Just as happy hour beckoned. So near, yet so far.
Sugar soap was to be king, elbow grease queen and the duster would make up the holy trinity of cleaning agents. If you didn’t count the humans employing them.
Now I accept that fundamental exfoliations of rooms have to happen from time to time. After funerals for example. Mine preferably, so I don’t have to do it.
But was it really necessary on a Saturday night just after dinner, simply because relatives were coming next day and needed somewhere uncluttered to sleep, and we’d been putting off this job for years?
Of course the answer seemed to be an indisputable ‘yes’ no matter how much I disputed it.
The popularity of DIY reality TV shows like The Block and House Rules suggests “prepping” a room is fun. But experience teaches me this might not be true, unless you’re a qualified celebrity with a team of hardened tradesmen at your disposal who do all the dirty work during the ad break.
Still there we were, with the footy just about to kick offf, and the thing was, the other half didn’t seem to be complaining as much as me. Not about the cleaning at least.
She did seem to be expressing considerable dismay about my whinging, though.
Hence the Pig Won’t reference, which stems from a story we used to read the kids about two little Piggies; one who would (Pig Will), and one who wouldn’t (me apparently).
Simplistic stuff which at the time I thought was good mental leverage to bend the kids to our will. Now here I was on the end of it.
Condemned for putting up, as they say in psychological circles, roadblocks. In essense, failing to follow orders without question. Lamented, actually – extensively and at times existentially – that I needed to be ordered at all.
It’s fair to say the atmosphere was slightly caustic, even without the sugar soap.
But as is the way with devoted couples, we got down to business, and as we scraped and wiped and rinsed, the conversation turned to home renovation. And how we’d struggle if we had to do a whole house.
Mainly due to tendonitis and cricked vertebra. Things Scotty Cam never mentions.
A profound moment as I arched my neck backwards, or my back neck-wards – it was hard to tell – to wipe the roof, realising there was only a mere 40sqm to go before I could take on the walls.
And as I drudged out the hard yards, the question arose: is everyone having fun.
And it depended, I was told, on whether Pig Will or Pig Won’t was in the room
And with that we squealed with delight.