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.