posted by Matt W on December 9th, 2011

Since caveman days there have been honey-do lists. “Honey, I would like you to kill the Saber-tooth Tiger outside the cave, its terrorizing the kids; roll that large wheel looking boulder out of the cave; and while you’re at it throw out the Mammoth bones that are in the corner. It kills my back when I try to move them. I wrote it all down for you on the wall of the cave” There you have it, the first honey-do list (and cave drawing). Over the years the list has come to include a variety of different chores, but here are my top 10 items on any man’s list.

10.     Plumbing – I have lived in fairly new houses for my entire marriage. As such, the actual plumbing I have done over the years is pretty small (although the amount of swearing involved ranks right up there with any category). No wonder plumbers charge so much.

9.       Electrical Work – I am pretty good at electrical work. I am very fast at electrical work. My wife does not know this. I try to do electrical work when my wife will be out of the house for long periods of time and there is a game on TV. “Just finished honey!”

8.       Pruning Trees – I have a landscape architecture degree, have taken numerous horticulture maintenance classes and still don’t like pruning trees because one false snip and I get to hear about it for years. All I can say about pruning is don’t top trees and practice on the back side first and you’re probably fine. A local arborist and I were chatting one time and he referred to the topping of Crape Myrtle trees as Crape Murder which I thought hilarious (but that might only be because I have a degree in landscape architecture).

7.       Carpentry Work – Unfortunately, guys just don’t get to do enough carpentry work. But when we do, we invite over buddies and have a lot of fun. No wonder shows like that do so well on TV.

6.       Miscellaneous Yard Work – Raking, repairing fences, fixing sprinkler systems, all fall into the miscellaneous yard work category. This is the best category to have on your list. You get to work out of the house, and my wife doesn’t have a clear understanding of how much time it takes to do most tasks. So if the sprinkler system takes me 5 minutes or 5 hours to repair, it takes me 5 hours to repair.

5.       Anything Requiring a Ladder – Like my wife is going to get up on a ladder.

4.       Painting – I hate painting. I actually wanted to put it in my vows. “I promise to uphold my vows of marriage as long as I never have to paint or iron.” Well that didn’t actually come to fruition and I have painted and ironed more than most other jobs in the house (I found out I could watch as much sports on TV as I wanted as long as I had an iron in my had). Painting sucks.

3.       Mow the Lawn – The staple of every Honey-Do list. For awhile I got my sons to do it but ended up doing it now as my daughter has her mother’s veto on her side. “I think that practicing the piano is more important than mowing, why don’t you just do it for her this time.” “Yes, dear” (the official honey-do response for thousands of years now.)

2.       Fix the Toilet (Including Plunging) – While it seems like it could be incorporated into plumbing I view the toilet as its own special category as plunging plays such a prominent role in “fixing” it. I have replaced numerous toilets, fixed the internal components of even more, and can’t even count the number of toilets I have plunged. “Fiber son, fiber. It’s important for a variety of reasons.”

1.       Clean the Garage – For the most part, every category on my honey-do list requires some form of tool. And as every tool should have its own place, that place is usually the garage. But as is often the case, tools don’t make it back to their exact spot when the job is done. Whether I am running off to the hardware store for the 5th time to pick up that final piece to fix another toilet, or rushing to catch the 4th quarter, tools end up being thrown in the garage for a future garage clean-up day. While cleaning in general is not a preferred use of my time, going out to the garage every once in a while to “clean” (and spend some quality garage time) is indeed relaxing. It’s the only room in the house that is truly mine.

Well, off to cross off a few items of the old honey-do list. I think I’ll start outside.

File Under King of the Castle