Service update

I can hear you asking yourselves, “I wonder how that whole service sub thing’s going over there at Maison de Belle Fille?” You are, right? You’re totally asking yourself that. I can hear you.

OK, well, even if you’re not, here’s the list of things I said I’d do back when I introduced the idea a little over a month ago along with a note as to how I’m doing:

  • I will make all the beds every day.
    With the exception of the days I was traveling recently and one day where I just ran out of time in the morning, I’ve done this every day. I’ve made my 11-year-old son make his own, but that’s more about turning him into a productive member of society than it is anything else.
  • I will make her coffee every day.
    This I do. I’m supposed to set it up the night before and I’m getting pretty good at that (especially lately), but there have been days when I forget. In those cases, I get up with her alarm and make it then. I think once or twice in the past month (excluding days I wasn’t home), she made it herself, but in general I’m pretty good at making sure she’s got her coffee when she wants it.
  • I will feed the kids breakfast every day.
    This one’s fallen by the wayside, for the most part. Belle gets out of bed before me as does my daughter who, as soon as her foot hits the floor, wants food. Belle makes it for her. Then, she usually makes the boy’s food, too. I don’t know if she’d rather me make it, but at this point it’s almost always her.
  • I will take the dog out every morning.
    Like the coffee and the beds, I’m pretty good with this one. She’s occasionally offered to do it for me, but I don’t recall her doing it for me because I hadn’t done it yet more than once or twice.
  • I will do all of the laundry, including folding and putting away.
    This is my biggest issue. I get around to the laundry, but not as often as she’d like. Also, I’m pretty bad at putting it away once I’m done folding it (like right now – there’s a basket of it staring at me from the corner of her bedroom). Of all my expected service tasks, this is the one in which she’s most often had to involve herself by either starting loads or even folding them for me. I find it really hard to stay focused on it and, with four people in the house, it’s a never-ending task.
  • I will pick up both kids from school at least twice a week.
    Nailed it. I get them Tuesday’s and Thursday’s and usually at least one other day in the week. I think this makes her life easier in that she can finish up things at work and not have to bring them home with her. In any event, I’m lucky I can pretty much set my own hours and leaving right at 5:00 is hardly ever a problem for me.
  • I will prepare a majority of the dinners and be primarily responsible for all the dishes.
    I do this, too. I did notice, though, the day after my last orgasm that I didn’t hop to it quickly enough and she ended up making dinner that night. She still makes dinners on the weekend sometimes when they’re more of a special event and will volunteer to help me clean up during the week, but I feel this is essentially my responsibility. I own it and immediately start thinking about what we’re going to eat as soon as I leave work. In the old days, this was never the case. I hope this opens up a lot of time in the evening for Belle to do whatever she wants.
  • I will take out the trash and recyclables and make sure they get to the curb on time.
    This one’s also kind of fuzzy. Last weekend, she did it herself early Sunday afternoon for Monday’s pick-up. She didn’t need to, but did because the garage door was open and everything was just there. This one’s tricky in that there is no exact time it needs to happen as long as it’s out by Monday morning. If she wants me to do it, she should let me.

I’ve discovered a couple things after this month. One (which I already knew), Belle just isn’t all that good with receiving service. It goes against her natural disposition. Mind you, she’s gotten a lot better and let’s me do most of what I’m supposed to, but she’s just as inclined to do something herself than to remember that it’s my job (or to just tell me to do it). Sometimes, this bothers me because it feels like she’s not accepting my gift of service, but I also know she’s trying and getting better. Truth is, a lot of my service tasks have just become part of the household routine now. Nothing wrong with that.

The other thing I’ve learned is how much I really like having her boss me around. Rika says I should do all these things in anticipation of her needs, but when she tells me to do something it puts me in a warm and fuzzy headspace. This weekend she said she liked ordering me around, so hopefully she’ll use that technique more for anything she wants above and beyond the default list of tasks she wants me to do.

I still find myself recoiling when she asks me to do something (ie, “Would you mind…”, or “Could you…”) and when she thanks me for doing it. I don’t want her to ask. Or course, I will always do whatever she says. I’d rather she just say “I want you to…” or even just “Do it.” And instead of thanking, I’d rather she tell me how good a job I’ve done (or not). We’ve talked about this and she knows my preference. Sometimes, she does it my way, sometimes not. I’m working on accepting it in whatever way says it since, like everything else, it’s entirely up to her. There’s a lot more good going on here than otherwise for me to get all hung up on semantics.

So anyway, we were hanging out in bed the other night and Belle told me, when considering my performance to date, that she wouldn’t give me better than 70%. That’s a C, right? Not so good. And it’s all because of the fucking laundry.

I need to try harder.

10 thoughts on “Service update

  1. My wife likes to mess with me, she’ll start conversations on IM with “I need you to…” and then something completely .

    I hear you on the laundry issue — I’m pretty good about putting it away once it’s folded but it’s getting to the folding that gets me. Sometimes it sits clean in the basket for a day or two before I take the time to take care of it.

  2. Wow, Thumper, apparently you’re a lazy SOB. 🙂

    Actually, except for the laundry, I do pretty much all of those things anyway (and more), but never thought about it in terms of being “service.” We tend to think of it as balancing the chores so that neither of us is too tired after work.

    Lately she’s been making dinner because I’ve been working late. But generally I cook the bigger meals, especially when it’s warmer and I can grill everything.

    But laundry… See, I have this theory about laundry: if you toss everything into the washer and put in lots of soap, then it should all get clean, right? Towels, underwear, wool sweaters… what? There’s a difference?

  3. I know you like the mindset behind doing the laundry as a service for Belle, but that laundry would still need doing even if you weren’t in this dynamic.
    Chores would have to get done even if you were living alone in a tree. How does the framing of the job-as a service to Belle, instead of a job that has to be done to keep your household running around in clean clothes-change how you approach it? The early morning coffee is a great place for service to happen-not essential but wonderful for the recipient.
    Perhaps you and Belle can revise your tasks so that what you do in service to her specifically is more differentiated from stuff you do to keep family life in good shape. (And in an only partly ironic statement, she may be thinking that it’s good for the kids to see you both doing chores and such.)
    I can see that if you see her doing stuff for herself as selfish and ignoring you wants you’ll end up in a bad space. Sometimes it’s just easier to take out the trash cans than remember to order someone else to do it.
    Glad to hear you’re having fun!

  4. Chores would have to get done even if you were living alone in a tree.

    You obviously never saw me when I *was* living alone.

    How does the framing of the job-as a service to Belle, instead of a job that has to be done to keep your household running around in clean clothes-change how you approach it?

    With regard to this and Tom’s comment about “balancing the chores”, the whole point is that Belle should never have to do those things that are my responsibility. There is no balance. That’s the service that I offer to her. If, in the case of a meal, she chooses to make it or offers to clean up (usually because I have work to do, but not always), then that’s her prerogative, but in my mind there isn’t an equitable division of household labor in the slightest. It’s all about what I can do to make Belle’s life easier and less stressful.

    It isn’t that I feel she’s being selfish if she does things for herself that I’m supposed to do. It’s more of a feeling of disappointment that either she felt the need to do it herself or didn’t allow me a chance to do it for her. Rika says something about how it’s a two way street. I should offer her my service, but Belle needs to accept it. Each of us have responsibility for maintaining the dynamic (me fighting off my slothful tendencies and she resisting her urge to just do it herself).

    I think a lot of people read this kind of thing and wonder why she has to go to such extremes to get me to do work around the house. I think that misses entirely the undercurrent of our dynamic. My *intention* is to serve her and make her life easier and make her happy. One way I do that is through mundane housework. Focusing on the work misses the intent which, as far as I’m concerned, is the more important thing.

  5. Not to belabor the point, but one of the big selling points of femdommery is that your partner will do more chores, while you can relax (I got this out of the sales brochure).

    I mean, that’s nice, and all, but to those of us who aren’t service oriented it seems rather dry. And on a philosophical point, it makes me wonder about the intentional *imbalance* that it creates when you (or anyone) takes on more of the household responsibilities.

  6. Belle has a hard time relaxing in general. I’m not trying to fundamentally change that aspect of her (because I can’t). I know that by freeing up more time for her, she’ll sometimes use it to relax but will more often use it to do some other form of work (either real 9-5 kind of work or some other household project). That’s what makes her happier. I’m being careful not to try to define what *she’s* supposed to do (relax vs. work vs. hula hoop vs. whatever) since the whole point of offloading the stuff I do is to leave her with time of her own.

    I don’t equate what I do around the house with what you do because, as I said before, our intents are different. To an outside observer, it would look the same (laundry, dishes, whatever) but what’s going on in each of our heads and how it plugs into our different relationships is very *not* the same.

  7. Thumper:

    I find it interesting that the laundry comment has evoked such a strong response. You skip over the fact that there are four people in your house, as mine, and I do 80+percent of the laundry. Folks there is a reason why Kenmore advertises 20 pairs of jeans a load. We are not talking about hand washing your honey’s intimates. Please do not under-estimate the commitment that Thumper has made in this regard.

    I have a few questions starting off with “What’s up with women’s clothing.” The damm buttons are on the wrong side and nothing stays on a hanger straight. Not to mention how many different types of hangers are there. What about the washing instructions something different for everything. It is a cotton shirt but sure enough one needs hot and the other needs cold. It has me confused.

    My question is: do you or any of you have a punishment for shrinking clothing? I know that doesn’t speak well about my abilities but when you are looking at 40 plus tee shirts (at 2, undershirt and top shirt, a day times 4 people times one week) it is easy to miss her new favorite top.

    Looking for something task appropriate and fun.

    Thanks

    gat1207

  8. Please do not under-estimate the commitment that Thumper has made in this regard.

    Can I hear an AMEN!

    😉

    …do you or any of you have a punishment for shrinking clothing?

    I don’t seem to have punishments for much of anything. My punishment is seeing her do something I should have done for her.

    That being said, I don’t think I’ve screwed up anything like that yet. A lot of her stuff I know to hang up and leave out of the dryer.

  9. You made one comment that really hit home to me:

    “I still find myself recoiling when she *asks* me to do something(ie, “Would you mind…”, or “Could you…”) ….”

    I had (and I still continue to have) the exact same reaction to my Sweet Wife and Mistress. While I had no problem with her issuing a straight command, I absolutely hate it when something is couched as a request. As if I had the option to say “no!”

    It took a while for me to understand that she wasn’t comfortable with “the syntax of command language.” and always issues her commands as if they were requests.

    I don’t know why that rankles me, but it does. I much prefer a straightforward command.

    Eventually when I learned that her “requests” really were *commands* things got much better for both of us. Mostly because I began to hear some of her more subtle commands and learned to respond to them immediately.

    As for my Wife’s input on the subject, she couldn’t quite put her finger why it bothers her, but I eventually came to see that the command syntax seemes as ungracious and unrefined to her as belching out loud at the table. She just won’t do it.

    As for the laundry… I’ll give you the *AMEN!* for your commitment

    How’s your ironing? Talk about never ending!

    RE: punisment: There is no feeling worse than the feeling that you failed even slightly in the service to the one to whom you are you devoted. No corporal punishment could come even close.

    BT

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