“Caught myself staring at my bat the other day for way too long.” He said.
“At least it wasn’t your gun.” Husband joked.
“My gun is the in cabinet behind my bat,” he said.
We all laughed awkwardly. I mean guns aren’t something to joke about, but we both understand; living with someone is HARD.
At first it’s a breeze, you both do your best to put your best foot forward. You do little things for each other; you put the new toilet paper on the roll and dispose of the empty one. You wipe the toothpaste and shaving cream out of the sink instead of leaving large hairy globs behind. You close closet doors and put your shoes away instead of leaving them in piles about the house. But slowly it changes. Sometimes it’s because you’re caught up in your life and you forget to change the roll, or close the cupboard door until it whacks them in the head. Sometimes it’s because you’re so comfortable with your roommate your true self comes out and you happily decorate the house with empty shoes. And sometimes it’s because it’s what you know. My mom told me a story about the new house they’d built in Kenya, and how the housekeeper never washed the floor. She swept it daily but never washed it. Mom though she was doing it on purpose until she realized that the woman didn’t have a floor in her own home, her floor was hard packed dirt. So sweeping it was what you did.
But there are times when the little kindnesses are something you don’t want to share with your roommate because you think they don’t value them. When that happens, living with someone becomes a battle of who blinks first. For example, the large globs of toothpaste someone leaves to dry into hard crusty bits in the sink. Whomever it bothers the most is the one who folds first and cleans – all the while cussing their roommate blue.
In our house right now, the battle is raging over the soap dispenser. Since acquiring Joe two years ago, the soap dispenser depilates quite quickly. When you have 68lbs of dog drool on every surface, you are obsessed with hand washing. I buy the soap and I fill the dispenser because I fold first, every time. Honestly, I know I’m the only one in this war but I am not as manic as my roommate, who uses large amounts of soap every time he washes his hands and yet, I am the only one who fills the soap dispenser. Every. Time.
Now, none of this is a “staring at my bat” situation. My roommate and I are quite adept at yelling each other’s faults at each other. Well, to be accurate, I’m brilliant at muttering obscenities and then exploding at him over something totally unrelated but you get the idea. We communicate. But this time, I have drawn the line in the sand, or in this case, soap. I will wait him out.
I will not lose this war.