Swistle and Paul Discuss Rogue One and Rearrange a Pantry

We saw Rogue One.

Swistle: “I wish they had cut out about thirty minutes of the ‘[*zooms her hands like fighter planes*] PEW PEW-PEW PEW-PEW-PEW PEW PEW PEW-PEW PEW-PEW PEW PEW-PEW-PEW PEW PEW-PEW!!!!!’ and used that time to explain who people were and what was going on.”

Paul: “I wish they had cut out the thirty minutes where people were talking or having feelings or looking meaningfully at each other, and filled it with more PEW-PEW-PEW-PEW-PEW.”


I don’t want to nitpick about an otherwise perfectly acceptable person with many indisputably fine qualities, but see my tagline because yes I DO want to and here I go: Paul puts things into temporarily-empty spaces. Like for example, I can still get worked up about him “organizing the pantry” a couple of years ago. He went striding down there as if he thought only his manly super-intelligence could solve this little domestic issue, and into every space where we were currently low on flour or tomato sauce or cereal or whatever, he crammed items from other shelves. He made our pantry into Tetris: every item was packed beautifully for maximum conservation of space—and minimum ability to remove that item or put away any further groceries.

And when I said, “Wait, but I can’t put the groceries away because there’s no room for them, and we can’t get to the cereal or crackers because they’re behind all the canned stuff,” he was pissed and huffy. Pissed and huffy is my least-favorite spousal state after “So Sick He Will Probably Die of this Head Cold that Is Definitely Flu Because Listen to How Much He Is Groaning and Sighing; Can I Feel His Forehead and See if He Has a Fever?”—and also Pissed and Huffy is MY specialty and he shouldn’t be copying me. …I am not sure firstborns should marry each other.

Bright side: the pantry DID get organized, because I had to move every single thing back again.

Not every space-filling episode is as dramatic and disastrous as The Pantry Incident. Sometimes it is a matter of him helpfully moving a stack of bowls over to an empty place in the cupboard—a place where, when the dishwasher is unloaded, it will turn out the dessert plates normally go: that place was not just sitting empty because we were too silly to use it for something. Sometimes it is putting a plate into the dishwasher so that it blocks water to the inside of a bowl. Sometimes it is taking a pad of paper on which I’ve written an important reminder, and adding it to the mail stack on the counter where I won’t see it. Sometimes it is taking a bunch of things out of the upstairs freezer and moving them to the downstairs freezer—right into the space where I will then not be able to put away that week’s groceries, which include replacements for the things I thought we were out of because they were not in the upstairs freezer. But always, ALWAYS there is that lethal combination of “HE’LL take care of this issue!” + MAKING THINGS WAY WAY WORSE AND CREATING A LOT OF WORK + pissed and huffy that “making things worse and creating a lot of work” is not praised and appreciated. Stick to what you do WELL, Paul. LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE, Paul. It has been OVER TWENTY YEARS OF SWISTLE BEING QUITE VOCAL ABOUT YOU NOT REARRANGING HER THINGS, Paul.

Comments suggesting I should be grateful that he WANTS to assume I don’t know what I’m doing and fix it for me will be answered with the delivery of Paul to your house to rearrange your pantry and stand there proudly expecting you to be grateful for it. I will infect him with a head cold first, so that afterward he will lie on your couch groaning and shivering until you ask him if he’s okay.

63 thoughts on “Swistle and Paul Discuss Rogue One and Rearrange a Pantry

  1. Monica

    Yep. I love my husband and he does a lot of work for our family, both inside and outside the house, but so much of this resonates with me.

  2. Denise V.

    My husband waits until I’m out of town or otherwise occupied to “organize” the kitchen for me. Generally he is very smart and helpful but I breathe fire when I can’t reach nor find things I know were just there.

  3. heidi

    As a first born married to another first born, I agree. First borns should NOT marry each other.

    1. Sara

      Yes! Plus we have a first born, so while the three of us are sparring to be the alpha, our second/youngest runs the house with her sheer IDGAF attitude, getting away with murder because we are too busy first -born squabbling to pay attention.

  4. Imalinata

    Oh yes. We have lived in our house for 10 years now, 5 since we had it remodeled but did NOT touch the kitchen cupboards. He will still empty the dishwasher and for half of the items either leave them on the counter (and not ask for help) because he doesn’t know where they go or put them away in the wrong place for the same reason. TEN. YEARS.

    See also the garage I reorganized and cleaned while nesting that he thought was ridiculous and yet stacks shit instead of putting it away where it belongs while later complaining that things are in the way. I’m looking at you, Christmas decorations…

    1. Katie

      My husband also has this affliction! Such a smart man, and yet cannot seem to figure out where the dishes go, despite being told 34832904839 times since we moved into our house!

      1. WL

        Yes yes yes! I don’t know how many times I have said, “We have BOTH lived in this house for xyz years, figure it out!”

    2. Maggie

      LEAVES THE CLEAN DISHES ON THE COUNTER! Sorry to all caps but this drives me INSANE. H does it all the time. He wants to be thanked for emptying the dishwasher, but no thanks are given if one literally just empties it, but does not put everything away. H knows where things go, he just thinks they need to “dry off” more before being put away but will not actually dry them. So they “air dry” until I put them away. ARGH.

      p.s. he has many good qualities like dealing with IT issues, but the dish thing makes me insane regularly

  5. Angela

    My husband recently tried to blame me for losing /selling/putting away a pair of his black work pants. This went on for several days, until I asked him if he ever unpacked them from his luggage after his emergency trip to out of state several months ago. He hadn’t. They were still there, exactly where they had been the night he got back from that trip. But at least he can cook!

  6. Melanie

    When we moved into our current house (20 years ago), my husband was still living in the town with the old house for a few months (work stuff). He came to the new house a couple of weekends a month. One day – when I was out with the kids – he got frustrated that I hadn’t finished unpacking, and he unpacked all of the boxes that were still in our closet and reorganized it. He put all of my shoes on the top shelf (the room has 10 foot ceilings). He put the Easter baskets on the shelf at chest level. He was so proud of this – now he wouldn’t have to get a ladder out every Easter. Of course, I would be on a ladder every time I wanted a pair of shoes. He arranged my shirts by color. I arrange shirts by sleeve length and by dressy level. And on and on and on. I had to undo it all. It still irritates me.

  7. girlonfire

    My husband is obsessed with putting dishes in the dishwasher the VERY SECOND they are no longer being actively used. Last week, I made myself a glass of ice water to take a pill, then jumped into the shower, planning to move my water to my bedside table afterwards and go to bed.

    He emptied out the glass and put it in the dishwasher WHILE I WAS STILL IN THE SHOWER. I mean, there was still ICE in the sink when I went back to get it, so OBVIOUSLY I WAS NOT FINISHED WITH THE WATER.


    1. Christa

      This is my MIL. When we recently visited over Easter I was using my third cup by 11am. I cannot imagine living this way.

  8. Rosalie

    Man, that made me laugh!
    I am currently learning to live together with a very well meaning, kind man who remembers every piece of local history of the past 2500 years (not kidding), but who can’t remember the trick to the oven or where the bowls go or to close the bathroom door or or or…. Just today he almost melted a €60 appliance because he turned on the wrong stove burner. He’s lived here for 6 months already!

  9. Matti

    Hahahahahaha. AMEN. My husband does the empty space thing too. Let’s say we have a bunch of ingredients out from the pantry because we’re making dinner. If I ask him to put some of them away, he will just put them wherever there’s an empty space. Even though that’s totally NOT an empty space, but an intellectual place holder for the IDEA that at some point in the near future the flour container is going to go back to its home of nine years.

    I am painting the basement by sections because I have to move everything out of one section of the basement and into another section in order to paint the first section. I began section number three yesterday and while cleaning out a pile of things that I had walked by for about nine years now (assuming they were all pertinent to the MYSTERIOUS workings of the water treatment system that my husband insists that only he can handle), I finally went through the pile. IT. WAS. ALL. TRASH. For NINE YEARS my husband just left a pile of TRASH sitting there, in the way, doing NOTHING at all. When I (VERY CALMLY–WHERE IS MY MEDAL?) asked him about it later he replied that he hadn’t known what to do with it. HOW ABOUT PUT IT IN THE TRASHCAN SHERLOCK?!

  10. Bethtastic

    Oh my holy cats. I’m so glad you people above me commented… I’m less likely to divorce my husband knowing that it (all. the. things.) apparently is not associated with my specific husband, but with husband-kind.

  11. Gigi

    I am rolling on the floor over here while dying laughing. It’s all out of sympathy for you though.

    My husband will “help” me tidy the house when we have company coming – this is something I try to discourage simply because he likes to “hide” things rather than put them away. I then can’t find whatever it is I’m looking for and, of course, he has no memory of where he put it or the fact that he even touched it. *sigh*

  12. Dawn

    My husband is no longer allowed to have days off unless I or one of the teenagers are home with him. I came home one day and he had “helpfully” reorganized the cabinets. Now my Tupperware is in three separate places, including, inexplicably, with the cast iron pans on a shelf under the island, rather than the cabinet where they’ve lived for fifteen years.

    He also likes to shop at Costco, and come home with 96 pudding cups and 54 breakfast bars and 75 mini bags of snacks that were not on his list but that I am magically supposed to find a place for. I tend to leave them stacked on the dining room table because I know it drives him nuts. Turnabout being fair play and all that. ;-)

  13. LeighTX

    MOVING MY PAPER is the most rage-inducing thing my husband can do. It is there for a REASON and that reason is because I NEED IT THERE. Ugh.

  14. D in Texas

    When my husband announces ‘we need to organize’ [the garage, the pantry, etc.] my hackles rise and my teeth grind. Ditto with the dishes left on the counter when he empties the dishwasher because ‘I don’t know where they go’. Really? And let’s not even talk about leaving a wet washcloth crumpled in a ball, and later complaining that the linens ‘smell bad’. Good thing he makes me laugh every day.

  15. jill

    You are living my life. I would guess his love language is acts of service. Problem is, his gift is what He Thinks you need, not what you actually need. I have had that conversation with my guy multiple times. I feel your pain.

  16. Erin H

    Yyyeeeeessssss. My husband still can not figure out where to put the dishes away at and yet has no problem finding that fish when he needs it. Remember where you got it from! He also folds the towels and shoves them into the closet so when I open the door they all come spilling out and I end up having to retold them and put them away, but I should be GRATEFUL.

  17. Kim

    I have believed for a long time that if we met in real life, we would be friends. Your last paragraph proves it unquestionably.

    My husband will try to helpfully clean the clutter off the counter. By putting everything on the kitchen table, where we will (attempt to) eat within the next 30 minutes. And then clean off the table by putting it all back on the counter. When I point out that he is just moving things from one clutter spot to another, rather than addressing the clutter itself, he looks at me like I have 3 heads. That’s at least a step up, though, from putting anything he doesn’t know the home for (which is almost all the things) on my desk, thereby making it my problem. I can feel my blood pressure rising, just thinking of it.

    1. rlbelle

      My husband puts EVERYTHING he doesn’t have a home for on (a) my desk (if it’s paperish) or (b) the children’s dresser (if it’s childrenish or kids’ laundry) or (c) the floor of my closet (if it is anything else). And he can’t stand clutter, so he picks up more frequently than I do. But the reason I don’t pick up as frequently is because I have to clean out where the clutter goes before I can put the clutter away, because it does not make sense to add mess to mess. It is frustrating as heck, and I say that as someone who considers her husband pretty much an equal partner in household work. This has gotten much worse since he started telecommuting 3 days a week, because he now has to have multiple spaces in the house “clutter-free” for his video-conferences. I fear my closets and cupboards will never recover.

  18. Ashley

    It’s so nice to know this is just a husbands-in-general thing. I suspected as much, but it’s nice to see all the examples here in writing.
    This entry reminded me of a recurring argument between me and my husband. We go through this about once a quarter:

    Him: You’re too stressed out. You need to delegate more to me. I’m free, I can do something.
    Me: Fine, here, why don’t you [assigns some basic task]
    Him: [Completes basic task in a way that somehow makes WAY MORE WORK FOR ME, ala your pantry example. As just one example, he asked how he could help me one night so I asked him to make dinner. I set out all of the ingredients, pulled up the recipe for him on Pinterest, told him I’d be back in an hour. Came home and he had made something completely different using up just a couple of the ingredients I had set out for him plus a bunch of stuff he took out of the cupboards and fridge. Which meant a) the food I was trying to use up that night before it went bad then had to be thrown out because it didn’t get used up before it spoiled and b) he used up ingredients that were meant for parts of two future meals, which meant to use the rest of the ingredients for THOSE meals I had to make an extra trip to the store and repurchase the ingredients he used up in the random dinner he made up. Thus a waste of my time AND our money.
    Me: [Explains all that to him, gritting my teeth and trying not to be a total harpy.]
    Him: Fine! I’ll never help you again! You obviously don’t appreciate my help! I just won’t offer any more!

    I think he truly doesn’t understand that his “help” is sometimes the exact opposite of helpful.

    Glad I’m not alone! He’s a fantastic guy in just about every way, but this particular issue drives me batty!

  19. Jd

    I don’t understand how my husband cannot get the concept with “like goes with like”. I could see if we have different groupings (one sorts by color, the other by sleeve lengths) and I would be ok with that. But wooden cooking spoons end up with Tupperware lids and the mixer bowl with pots. socks and shirts mixed in drawers, but only on the rare occasion he puts them away. I am training my two year old son the concept of “like” now. Hope future daughter in law will thank me for it.

    1. rlbelle

      OMG, my husband ends up folding most of our laundry (excepting kid clothes, because he can’t tell the difference between clothes for the three-year-old and clothes for the six-year-old), and he puts my stuff in ANY. OLD. DRAWER. I do not understand this, I will never understand this, especially since he puts his OWN stuff where it goes. AS DO I.

      1. M.Amanda

        A few years ago I realized I was down to 1 pair of yoga pants. I checked the laundry, my dresser, the laundry basket of clothes that never seem to get put away. Nothing. I went out and bought 4 more pairs. Two months later I dig into the back of my closet for a blouse I hadn’t worn in a while. My husband had put 5 pairs of yoga pants on hangers and “organized” my closet with them at the back. I’ve been saying for years that if we ever divorce, it will be because he insisted on doing laundry, but didn’t bother to learn how to do any part of it right.

  20. Alexicographer

    Oh, hahaha, urk. My DH is actually pretty good about some of the tasks you describe but — but — not the one of knowing where (some of our) dishes go (in fairness these are the “good” dishes that he never uses, so there’s that). Also, he seems largely incapable (?) of putting groceries away and even if he does manage to put them away, doesn’t put (or throw) the packaging away. Ditto for food he’s gotten out … wrappers, boxes, etc. left on the counter. Also also, he leaves cupboard doors and drawers open after getting stuff out of them. Forever. Drives me nuts. In fairness, I have my own other annoying housework qualities and plenty of them, so we balance each other out.

    1. Chrissy

      If I ask my husband to unload groceries, he unloads the cold ones into the fridge/freezer, and then leaves the rest in the bags, on the table, and goes on with his life. Why would you do this, a sane person would ask him, calmly. Because the rest can wait until later, he says. Till later? When the ELVES come by to magically unload them????

      1. Sara

        Yes! My husband regularly comments when the “laundry fairy” and “water bottle filling fairy” have been falling down on the job. Grrrr.

      2. Ashley

        My husband does this exact same thing! Why not just finish the job while you are already in the kitchen working on it?! I don’t get it.

  21. Sandra

    My husband does this. It drives me POTTY. He also “helps” me with the laundry by a) hanging washing on the line without pegs and including underwear (which has a separate indoor drying place, where I match up the socks first so I don’t have to find all the socks even distributed throughout the laundry pile and mysteriously missing their partners) and then piling up the dry laundry without folding.

  22. Ann

    Ugh, yes to all of the above, but especially to husbands who do things that they know you won’t like, then are shocked at your reaction. The day before I left town to stay with my mom, who ended up passing away two weeks later, the dryer broke down. I asked my husband to take care of it while I was gone, assuring him that I wouldn’t be picky about it if he ended up buying an inexpensive one, going so far as to suggest Craigslist, because I don’t really care about dryer features, just that they dry clothes. He is a notorious sprendthrift, and I am, well, let’s not say cheap, let’s say careful with our money. When I get home after the funeral, I discover that he bought a brand new washer and dryer. I was furious! There was nothing wrong with the washer!! He said he thought he was doing something nice for me, but admitted that he knew I’d be upset about it. Um, what? If you know I’ll be upset, then you’re not doing something nice for me! To this day, every time those machines do their irritating little song, I grit my teeth.

  23. Ami

    I went into a Blank Rage state at the line “crackers behind the canned goods.” Blank rage, in case you’re wondering, is the kind of rage that leaves no space for words to form, only room for internal screaming.

  24. Surely

    This is in the category of “No court will convict you.”

    I feel like making you laminated cards that say “Don’t” “NO” and “Stop touching my stuff.”

    Kevin doesn’t help and he thinks it’s because I’m a great wife. *adorable*

  25. JESSEE

    This is quite possibly my favorite blog post ever. I rate so much and oh how I wish I did not!! And the nerve they have to get MAD at US for their mistake/bad judgement/arrogance!!

  26. Anna

    Where did you see Rogue One? I just looked and it doesn’t seem to be in any theaters in my area (NJ) any more.

  27. Shawna

    When we moved into our previous house, I put all the Tupperware-type plastic storage stuff into a low cupboard. He decided that that cupboard HAD to be used for tall bottles, and moved all the plastics to… the prime upper cupboard between the sink and the stove. And he got super-testy when I was… let’s say “displeased”, and he insisted he had been right to do what he did. And then he swore every time that upper cupboard was opened and plastic tubs fell out, because it’s not like our plastic storage stuff stacks perfectly. This was generally topped off by his chucking the fallen thing back in and dislodging several other pieces, at which point he swore even more, while I seethed in silent, self-righteous satisfaction at the fact that this was evidence he’d been wrong and it was a STUPID place to put that stuff.

    This went on the for FOUR YEARS we lived in that house. He never conceded and put it back the way I wanted; stuff never failed to fall out of where he’d put it and infuriate him.

  28. Alice

    My husband won’t put things into the recycling bin in the kitchen. He puts them on the counter next to the recycling bin.

    And on occasion, he decides to clear out boxes in the garage by chucking them into big recycling bin that goes out to the curb. He does not believe in breaking down boxes, so the bin is completely filled almost immediately. Our recycling is picked up every other week, and he usually chooses to do this about 2-3 days after the pick-up. I typically discover this when I go to take out the household recycling, having just deposited his junk mail in the kitchen bin and broken down his used-up cereal box and milk carton … and have nowhere to put any of it. That day, or for the next 10 days. We can generate a lot of recycling in 10 days.

    What’s the issue with putting the recycling into the bin?!? He puts the trash into the trash bin, why is recycling a no-go? And seriously, why not break down the dang boxes?

    I don’t actually want to understand his logic. What I mainly want is for him to be considerate and THINK.

  29. WL

    My husband decided he had to organize our coffee mug/water bottle/travel coffee mug shelves. It’s a corner cabinet so not super functional to begin with. He removed All The Items! Then put Some Of The Items back where they looked so pretty and so functional! Then got mad b/c the tall things didn’t fit. Then to move the tall things to the tall shelf the normal height things didn’t fit. I ended up with a cabinet full of not-really-optimized pretty cups/mugs and a COUNTER TOP FULL of “stuff that didn’t fit but has to fit because we need it and can’t be tossed”. I let it sit there for FIVE DAYS waiting for him to fix it. Nope. I eventually just shoved it all back in.

  30. Mary

    Oh my word, thank you, thank you for putting this into words. Also, the comments have made my day. I am sorry, though, that we seem to share the same husband.

  31. Beth

    This is…perfect. What I’ve tried to explain (obviously not very well) to my husband is that there is a lot of thought that goes into decisions about where I put things. That includes papers (oh, PLEASE don’t move my papers, I will never find them again), upstairs/downstairs/outside freezers, pantry, dishes. Just because the location of something is not immediately apparent to YOU, doesn’t mean there isn’t a very good reason for it to be there.

    This all started very early on in our marriage, and we still laugh about the first time I chewed him out, in our tiny apartment kitchen: NESTING dishes is a concept he was not aware of, I guess.

  32. Kalendi

    Ha, ha, after 36 years of marriage I can relate to some of this. Most of the time I don’t care what he organizes because he is pretty good at it. He unloads the groceries and is very organized in that, but then he never puts the things back in the same spot he got them out of (and that he put them in). So I make a new grocery list and don’t know that we still have something! The one thing he likes to organize when he has a day off and I don’t is…my clothes. Why, why, why? They are my clothes…he doesn’t wear them, he doesn’t put them away, he doesn’t have to find them. Please leave my clothes alone and go organize the refrigerator instead, HA!

  33. Laura Sampson


    My husband’s fave is “your phone was lying there so I picked it up and put it my pocket for you” While I tore around the house looking for it so I could leave and maintain a schedule. I ‘DIDN’T KNOW you purposely left right next to your fresh cup of coffee…
    R E A L L Y? I finally shouted at him in anger and stress because it was all too much, he did it like 4 times in a week and then after 15 minutes of looking he would pull it out of his pocket and hand it over. I fear his retirement years!

  34. Chris

    This is the most wonderful post and comments I’ve ever read here after many years of reading! Oh our darling husbands, whatever would we do without them! GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  35. M.Amanda

    YES. I know of this.

    Every time my husband empties the dishwasher. EVERY. TIME. I open the cupboard later that day and stuff falls out. “Why are all the plastic cups on the PLATE AND BOWL side of the shelf!? And where is the sandwich container I put in K’s lunch everyday? Oh, somebody took that dish we use 3 times a year out of the dishwasher first and didn’t think to put it in that perfectly empty high cabinet and so put it where there was space, then found another space to cram the cups, then obviously HE never makes a sandwich to take to work, so that sandwich container is something we NEVER USE and should be tossed into a high cabinet – tossed so that it ends up in the back behind the pitcher we use to make sun tea.” And I’m supposed to be glad he’s helpful enough to unload the dishwasher! Ha! It’s twice as much hassle to find stuff than to empty it myself!

    My head hurts. I’m going to take a nap.

  36. Christina

    My husband is in the Navy and is constantly rearranging the garage just before leaving, usually on deployment, so it can take weeks before getting a reply to an email asking where the hell the (whatever tool I need) is hiding!

  37. CC Donna

    How long does his head cold usually last and can you infect him on a Monday so, darn! I have to be at work all week, though I can certainly work at the office on the weekend…. because if he does yard work, I want him!

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