Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Is it ok to be a bitch sometimes?

If my boyfriend David's sister hadn't been in the girl's bathroom, I wouldn't have had to use his, and I wouldn't have thrown trash on his floor. Yeah, that sounds crazy, and it is, but I'll explain myself. The fact that I'm posting this and subjecting myself to possible insults, should tell you that I do feel guilty. But I want to know if you think what I did is justifiable under any circumstances.

I was at David's house for band practice with our friend Luke (yes, we're in a band, but we're not that good yet). It wasn't a very productive practice for me because I had a headache before we even started. I wanted to leave early, but I have a policy of working through whatever is blocking your creativity. Maybe I should have left early. It didn't seem like it at the time, but I probably wasn't in the most stable of moods because of what happened yesterday. I'll tell in my next blog what happened.

Anyway, it was a good practice for David and Luke because they both wrote some new stuff. So did I, but I wasn't very satisfied with it. After practice we went into the house (we had been practicing in the garage). I needed to go to the bathroom, but somebody was in the girls' one, so I decided to go in the one next to David's room. His room was in the usual state of chaos, but I ignored it and walked through it. When I opened the bathroom door, the first thing I noticed was the pile of hair sprinkled around the edge of his inadequate trashcan. Either the mountain of trash had caused the hair to roll off onto the floor, or he had just let it fall where it may- as if being in the vicinity of the trashcan was good enough. It disgusted me, but I averted my eyes because I didn't want to get mad- it had never done any good to complain to him about his messes before. Then I noticed a collection of shampoo and body wash bottles on the floor of his shower. Really?, I thought, He needs that much? I picked one up, and not surprisingly, it was empty. A flash of anger was ignited in my chest. Is it really that much of a hassle to throw those bottles in the recycling in the kitchen? I know it's on the other side of the house, but he could throw it away when he's getting something to eat- which I know he does, because he's alive. I tried to suppress my anger, and reached for the toilet paper. As I grabbed it, the whole roll fell into the trashcan. When I picked it up, there were some ants on it who had been eating out of the trash. The level of laziness appalled me- he really thinks it's too much trouble to take the old roll off of the thing and put a new one on? He'd rather rest the new one on top. I noticed a daddy-long-leg spider in the corner, with a pile of dessicated ants on the floor below it. The trashcan was alive with ants. My boyfriend's bathroom has it's own fucking ecosystem.

We've been together for four years, we've talked about moving in together. There's no way I'd put up with even half the level of squalor he creates. It frustrated me that I've told him so many times how much his room disgusts me. He says it bothers him too, but apparently not enough to maintain his bathroom up to the standards of an outhouse. I was tempted to take the trash and throw it on the floor in his room. If the current state it was in didn't bother him, then why should that? I figured it was too mean, so I decided not to. When I opened the door, he was sitting on his bed talking to Luke. I don't know what I expected myself to do, but I picked up the trashcan and asked him, "Do you know what's funny?" An overwhelming impulse made me dump the ant-covered contents of the trashcan onto the floor. "I can't even tell the difference," I said to him. He was shocked and obviously angry. Luke looked sort of uncomfortable, but it's hard to tell with him. David didn't say anything.

After that, I didn't know what to do. I just walked out of the room, said goodbye, and went home. I talked to his mom on the way out the door. He'll probably tell his mom what I did. She'll probably think I'm a bitch, which I am. Today, at least. About a year into our relationship, we told each other what bothered us the most. He told me he hated my outbursts and meanness, and I told him I hated his room. I hardly ever loose my temper like that anymore, but he hasn't made much progress with keeping his room clean. It seems fair to get angry, but I still feel guilty. There must be some way to convince him how important it is to me that he clean up after himself, but I can't think of one at the moment.

1 comment:

  1. *sigh*. I'm sorry you're dealing with this, Whitney. It sucks. And this is going to be long, but maybe it will help.

    I can relate to your side, and I can relate to David's side. My boyfriend and I do live together; we have practically since about six months after we started dating. We've been together almost two years. I'm the type of girl who didn't want to move in with the guy I was with until we were engaged, but it got to the point where I was always there anyway, so what the hey. Anyway, we started unofficially living together at his old place, a rented apartment. Because it was his place, I didn't do much of anything-- mostly because he didn't want me to.

    But then in April, he bought a house. I'm not on the mortgage, but I am paying for some of it. It's OUR place now. And it can be frustrating. Mostly because he still treats it like it's his place, and so do I, to a degree. We just got in the habit of him strewing his stuff everywhere and me not wanting to touch it because it's not my stuff. He, like my dad, doesn't like it when I don't do things his way. And I, having grown up being the person responsible in my house for cleaning for the most number of years (my sisters got it easier when I got old enough to start doing that stuff), I refuse to clean unless I can do it my way-- and alone. I won't clean in front of another person now because it just grates on me to have them over my shoulder, telling me how to do things. And I don't clean often, because my boyfriend is always home when I am. Not because I don't want to, but because I can't make myself.

    I can't really explain why I have this block, but it's there. I know rationally that it has a lot to do with how I grew up, but I still can't get rid of it. I feel bad about it, because I feel like I'm not always pulling my weight around the house. And occasionally I will get the motivation or the drive and clean whether he's there or not, but I still don't touch his stuff.

    Result? His laundry is EVERYWHERE. This is the part I hate the most. And when I ask him to clean it up, his response is, "Well, you could do it." And my answer is no, I can't, because I'll screw it up and do something you don't like, and then I'll never want to do it again. So I just don't touch it. And so we continue.

    And you're not alone. I have thrown shoes and clothes across the room before in frustration, usually after I trip over them.

    Anyway, the only advice I can give to you-- and this is where I go all therapy on you, so please forgive me-- is to try and find out why he doesn't want to clean. It sounds like you feel bad about what you did, so maybe start by apologizing for it, and then add a "but, I really worry about the mess you make here. I can't see us living together in this kind of situation" and ask him if there's anything that stops him from cleaning. Maybe it's something the two of you can work on, or make a deal about. I don't know. I hope you figure it out.

    PS-- how cool that you guys have a band :)