Mike grew up in an ultra-clutter-free home. Wrapping paper is immediately thrown out into the wastebasket on Christmas morning. I grew up in a home where the Christmas morning wrapping paper was allowed on the floor until all the presents were opened. Then, we picked up the paper. There was something festive about the various brightly colored papers strewn about the floor in reckless abandon. This may possibly cause the difference in the way Mike and I view messes, but I think it has more to do with the fact that men and women view things differently.
The male members of my household like to take off their socks in the evening and go barefoot. The problem is that they take their socks off in the living room or family room and leave them lying on the floor. The females (except for one) take their socks off in the bathroom or bedroom.
Before we moved here, I spent months putting multiple layers of primer and paint on all the walls and ceilings in this house. We will have lived here 2 years now and there are a few places on the walls that have marks. Mike has been putting up wainscotting on the walls of the stairway and mudding the walls above the new woodwork. It looks beautiful and I'm really excited about how well the project is looking. He had some leftover mud from the stair project and decided to repair all the spots on the main floor of the house. Every main floor room has white patches on the walls. I hadn't planned to paint the walls until spring and had only planned to repaint the family room. The wall damage bothered Mike. The white patches drive me crazy. Obviously, another male/female difference.
I've been working on scrapbooking and card-making recently. My supplies are on the dining room table during the day, because I work on my project whenever I have a few minutes. Mike finds my craft supplies annoying. He doesn't complain, but avoids being in the dining room.
While working on his stair project, Mike needs a lot of tools. There are tarps on the carpeting, nails, hammers, levels, yard sticks, drills, ladders, and dry wall supplies. He faithfully cleans up the tarps, and dry wall tools each time he works on the stairs. The other tools are left in the laundry room, on shelving in the living room and resting on the overhead-ledge in the stairway. I avoid the living room and frequently drag the ladder out to the shed. It annoys me to trip over his tools, but he's working on a big project that is primarily too make me happier about the way the stairway looks. Still his mess is annoying, but mine is work in progress and confined to one area of the home. Another difference of opinion.
I'm so blessed to have a husband who works hard all week at work, then comes home and works on household projects to make me happy. He also doesn't complain about my messes. It amuses me that we can look at projects and messes in completely different ways. I see walls the same color.....he sees walls with flaws. I see huge white patches, while he sees smooth wall surfaces. While tools strewn throughout the house seem haphazard to me, Mike knows where his tools are and the location makes sense to him. He sees a dining room table cluttered with papers, scissors, glue and markers. I see a craft area where work is being created.
Men and women have different priorities. Mike is supportive about my projects, so I keep my opinion about his messes to myself. Being inconvenienced by a few tools in the wrong rooms is a small price to pay for having projects get completed around the house and living where quarreling is not normal behavior. Now, if I could only get the guys in this house to put their socks in the laundry basket.