My first year in college I invented the “wrinkled look.”

While my Mom gave great lessons on how to cook, how to do laundry was another story.

There was no YouTube video back in the 1970s on how to use a washer.

Sure, there were some instructions on the Tide box but there were no tips on how to use an iron.

So sometimes my shirts came out of the dryer a little wrinkled.

Then, Kathy and I got married.

Naturally, during my first trip to the Jardine laundromat on Friday night — that was when we went because, for this poor couple, there was no TGIF and “Saturday Night Live” was on Saturday night — there were a few mistakes.

The water was still set to extra hot when the wife’s sweater went in. Guess how that came out?

Kathy’s red shirt accidentally got thrown in with the white clothes.

Who knew? Wink! Wink!

To this day, seldom am I asked to do laundry.

Housework has to be the last thing on the list of things I want to do.

“Can’t! Dentist called. They are ready to stick me with needles and grind on my teeth.”

Housework ranks right up there with the day before a colonoscopy.

“Sorry, honey. I have to drink this stuff.” Well, you probably know the rest.

Not wanting to sound like the husband of the year, before Kathy retired I often shared in the housecleaning.

I could blame the start of this routine on our daughter Robin.

Some call it morning sickness. I would call it the 24/7 flu.

Lorne Greene’s Alpo dog food commercials would even send Kathy running to the bathroom. There was a time all she could eat were saltine crackers.

Maybe she was trying to pull a fast one like I did when shrinking the $70 sweater but I think just the sight of Comet, Windex and whatever that nasty stuff was that we sprayed into the toilet made her extremely nauseous.

So, I took over the “wet cleaning” like the kitchen and bathroom and also the vacuuming duties.

She took care of the “dry stuff” like dusting, dusting and dusting. Well, there was also the laundry.

When married with children, the kids chipped in. They made their own beds, though often Ryan made his bed after school before Mom came home.

I mowed the lawn and Kathy gave Cupcake, our dog, a bath.

Just hearing the word “bath” caused Cupcake to jump into the bathtub. She was usually only allowed in the kitchen and the downstairs but ran to the upstairs bathroom when Kathy would grab the flea shampoo and a towel.

“No fun ‘til the work is done,” Kathy would say on those Saturday mornings.

And I had a noon tee time.

We found that housework time goes by faster and a tad bit easier by listening to Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle,” Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets” and Randy Bachman and Fred Turner’s “Takin’ Care of Business.”

That is what we were doing: taking care of business.

Times have changed.

Kathy, not wanting to make her sound like wife of the year, now mows our 4 acres of yard. She even gasses up the mower when she is done. (I’m not sure if she checks the oil level so I better do that tonight.)

She now does most of the housework solo, too, with a little help from her friend Swiffer.

Maggie, our pet now, doesn’t like the Swiffer much and tiptoes away and hides when it comes out. Occasionally, I’ll chip in.

But tee time is now 10:30. Don’t know if I have time for weekend cleaning. Wink! Wink!

Contact Tim Horan at

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