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At first it was cute, then I got annoyed. My husband had delighted me with a gift he knew I’d love (an antique shopping cart to haul laundry), then filled it with strangely wrapped and slightly warped packages. The first was heavy, obviously a liquid – I thought it was a body spray, maybe a lotion.

It was glass cleaner, albeit in a refreshing mint scent.

This was followed by eucalyptus toilet bowl cleaner, almond and ginger floor cleaner, lavender all-purpose spray cleaner, and a microfiber duster – all tucked inside a wrinkly-wrapped bucket. Yes, he wrapped a bucket.

“How many women got toilet bowl cleaner for Christmas?” he asked gleefully, obviously enjoying himself. “Hopefully, not many,” I answered. It appeared he’d learned nothing from the vacuum-cleaners-are-not-appropriate-birthday-gifts-for-your-wife lesson back in 2002.

Just as I was about to throw in the towel (or the microfiber duster, aimed at his head), one more package appeared. I tore off the paper to find an empty paper towel tube. This was getting un-funnier and un-funnier all the time. But tucked inside the tube was a printed certificate that read:

  • Weekly Cleaning
  • 3 Bedrooms, 2 Full Bathrooms, 2 Half Bathrooms
  • And the Rest Of The House!
  • I love you very much.
  • Enjoy your extra time each week!

Now that’s what I’m talking about! He’s not in the squeaky clean dog house anymore, no sirree bob.

What’s the equivalent of cleaning toilets in your shopping cycle? Is it making product comparisons? Finding a salesperson? Figuring out all the options? Getting to your store before you close? Waiting for a delivery? What does Ms. Jones absolutely hate to do that you can eliminate for her?

When she figures it out, she just might do a little happy dance for you, like this Ms. Jones is going to be doing every Thursday afternoon for the next twelve months.

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