Homework: Household Squabbles

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Tiffs, spats, arguments: whatever you call them, every household has them. Listeners aren't shy about sharing the pet peeves that come up over and over again with loved ones: everything from how to load the dishwasher, to how to treat the kitty cat.


Judging from your homework assignments this week, some of you could have a go at it in the ring. We asked what you fight about at home. You know, the stupid little things that somehow loom large in a relationship. Like the thermostat setting, or the toilet paper roll, and definitely the kitchen.

Mr. TRAVIS DURHAM: Hey Andrea, this is Travis Durham in Dallas, Texas. I myself am a sloppy individual, there's no question at all, but my wife is extremely anal in all aspects of keeping the house spotless and clean with the exception of the kitchen. So from time to time I'll bring it up that hey, maybe we can be a little cleaner in the kitchen and clean this up a little more.

And inevitably leads to the bitter battle of who am I the slob to tell the mistress of clean how to take care of her kitchen. The battle goes on, never ends, love her anyway, hopefully she loves me.

SEABROOK: Then there's the guy who throws his banana peels into the neighbor's bushes. He calls it composting. This drives his partner nuts, of course. Katie Johnson in Cincinnati writes, when I try to stop him, he asks me why I hate the environment. Listener Georgia Griffin in Clinton Township, Michigan loves organic produce and gets a weekly assortment from a local organization.

She writes, the issue of what comes in these boxes almost led us to divorce one year when week after week our box arrived with a pineapple in it. He generally enjoyed it, but nonetheless he grew tired of pineapple on the menu and demanded we discontinue our organic produce deliveries. Writes Griffin, I insisted we continue and I won the argument, sure enough, our next box of organic produce arrived, this time with two pineapples.

Ms. AGNES BARCALOW(ph): My name is Agnes Barcalow, I'm from Burlington, Vermont. My boyfriend, we argue over the alarm clock. He has this old, old, old alarm clock that is exactly like my sister's alarm clock as she got when she opened up a checking account when she was in the seventh grade. So I hate the noise of his alarm clock so I've opted to use my cell phone, and he hates the noise of my cell phone. It's a horrible thing to wake up to first the alarm clock and then to the face of disgust as the alarm clock is going off.

SEABROOK: And then there were the things you fight about early in a relationship.

Mr. BEN STEIN: Hi, my name's Ben Stein, I'm from Amherst, Massachusetts. My fiancée Julie and I are getting married in less than a week and we got a cat a few months ago and he doesn't like to be snuggled and he likes to bite and scratch a lot if you snuggle him. I really need some affection from my kitty and Julie thinks that it's okay for him to not give it so I snuggle him forcefully sometimes, and Julie and I argue about it quite a bit. And I think he's on her side.

SEABROOK: Congratulations, Ben and Julie, hope you weren't too scratched up for your wedding day. And I think you'll find that whatever you fight about, as long as you can laugh about it later, you'll be okay. This week we dare you to tell us your stories of childhood truth or dare. Go ahead, we can take it. Send them to homework@NPR.org, or call the homework hotline at 202-408-5183. Make sure you give us a number so we can get to you. That's homework@NPR.org or 202-408-5183.

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