Andreas and I have been living together since 1998, and for the most part, we’re pretty solid domestic partners. I contend that a big part of this compatibility is that we both make a very concerted effort to appreciate and call out the housework the other one has done.
Basically, whenever we notice the other has done something around the house, we tell them how much we appreciate them. In fact, we do it quite literally. “I APPRECIATE YOU,” we’ve said for years. Literal appreciation is literal. Then, a few years ago, it started morphing into a little song:
There’s nothing special about this tuneless, barely-rhyming little song. There’s nothing special about the ridiculous arrhythmic performance art-style dances that often go along with it. The only thing that’s special about it is that it is a way around taking your cohabitants for granted. The song may be ridiculous! The dancing may be awful! But when you take the time to recognize the work your partner or roommates have put in, you’re putting some love pennies into the collective house happiness piggy bank.
No denying: living together can be drudgery, especially when you’ve been living with the same person or people for years and years. But when you take the time every day to demonstratively appreciate the people around you, it makes folding the laundry a little bit less tedious.