38 of 365: I love you. Let’s live apart.

Are men and women really suited to living together under the same roof? After years of doing just that, I don’t really think so. Helena Bonham-Carter and Tim Burton have got the right idea – be a couple but live separately.

I always say to my partner that when we’re rich, we’re going to get 2 separate abodes built that are joined at the bedroom. He can live in his half and make as much mess as he wants. Mess that I don’t have to live in; don’t have to see; don’t have to care about; and, most importantly, don’t have to clean up.

He uses our chairs as his wardrobe. The area under the dining table for his boots and shoes. The kitchen bench as a spot for his scrap bits of paper, his unopened mail, his loose change, his glasses, sunglasses, iPod, keys. If someone comes over, I often have to move stuff so they can sit down. He has an entire room of his own to do with what he pleases, yet he still uses the whole house as his dumping ground. It’s as if he hates to see an empty space.

He leaves food crumbs on the carpet. He treads dirt and grass clippings inside. He uses the kitchen sink to wash stuff (not clothes, just man-stuff), that he should be using the laundry sink for. He gets drops of water everywhere, steps in it then leaves a trail of dirty dots all over the floor.

Not even gonna mention the toilet.

He never, ever cleans up after himself. If he gets something out of a cupboard, it stays out. He’s like a child who leaves a trail of toys behind him and then never retraces his steps to put anything away. He must have never had to do it when he was young.

He’s got 2 sisters and a brother. Whilst the girls were being trained in the way of the domestic slave, he and his brother were free to do whatever they wanted. Grrrrr. Drives me mad. Now I have to pay for his parents’ sexism.

I’m a neat person. All my stuff is in appropriate places. I get so very tired of cleaning up after him but if I didn’t we’d be on the next episode of ‘Hoarders’. I like space and room. I hate clutter and things in front of windows. I’m not a shopper so I don’t buy things just for the sake of having them.

The irony is, his parents are hoarders and it drove him mad! He resented how every space in their house got taken over by crap. They had a billiard table which they managed to use for a few weeks before it got used as a storage area for old newspapers and pot plants. That table continues to serve as a final resting place for all manner of unneeded things.

Yet he can’t help himself. No amount of begging and pleading from me over the years has seen him clean up his act. It’s just not a focus in his life. Mess simply doesn’t register. It’s as if he really can’t see it. In fact, he sometimes seemed surprised when I finally crack and demand, yes demand, that he put his stuff away. He gets quite affronted! For him, placing his stuff anywhere that is convenient for him to get at is logical and reasonable. He doesn’t comprehend that it’s actually inconsiderate.

He doesn’t even cook to make up for his lack of domestic pride!

He’s an intelligent man. He’s thoughtful in many ways. We love each other. This is why we still share our lives. But I’d be more than happy to continue that sharing from our own separate wings.

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