No one asks me what I’d like for Christmas but if they did here is what I would tell them:

If you are able to cook macaroni and cheese from scratch you are old enough to clean up the mess. I appreciate that you prepare a meal and it is wonderful with all the Velveeta-ey goodness, though my arteries might think otherwise, but if you are a big enough boy to make the meal you are big enough to clean up all the mess. That doesn’t mean putting all the dirty dishes with melted on cheese in the sink so the cheese can solidify and turn into an adhesive that could be used on the space shuttle to keep the tiles in place. Put them in the dishwasher.

If you see that the sink is empty it is not an invitation to put things like the above into it. I like the sink the empty. I really like the sink empty. We have a dishwasher and that is where we hide all the dirty dishes. Please make use of it.

If you see that the sink is empty but the dishwasher is filled with clean plates and other dishes and therefore you have no place to put your dirty dishes that means that you should empty the dishwasher. I realize you don’t know where anything goes but it’s not rocket science. It’s like playing the memory game where you match up items. If you have a plate to put away it goes with all the other plates, in fact it will fit right on top of the stack.

The animals are your pets. You two wanted them, you begged me for them and you promised me that you would feed them and let them out. I would love it if you would feed them so they don’t come in my room at 4am and stare at me until I get up and let them out. They don’t love me more because I am a wonderful human they love me more and follow me around because I am the one who gives them food and lets them empty their bladders. I don’t need to be loved in this way.

I hate nagging, I know I do it all the time but I really would like one day where I don’t have to repeat myself four hundred times. I don’t enjoy listening to myself any more than you do. If I ask you to do something reasonable like moving your smelly socks from the dining room table and putting them in the laundry hamper I’d really appreciate it if you did it right NOW.

Please do not feed the dog beans.

I pay for the utilities around this place and I would like to enjoy them. If you are “talking” to your girlfriend (but really just watching tv and holding the phone to your ear so you can watch together) and I tell you I need to use the phone that means right away. If I tell you I need the phone that means I can’t wait and that whomever I am calling is a business that closes in the next five minutes. I am not paying to heat the outdoors. We do not live in a barn, shut the damn door. Contrary to what you believe it does not take 15 minutes for the hot water to get to your bathroom. Your bathroom is located three feet from the water heater it does not need to warm up while you check your email. Turn on the water and get in the shower. I don’t know what you are doing in there and I don’t need to know but does it really take that long? You’re a teenager for crying out loud it should only take seconds if you are doing what I think you are doing. I do appreciate you doing it in the shower however.

The cat is not a fashion accessory. She does not like being draped over your shoulder and makes those funny noises to let you know she does not enjoy being objectified.