Reoccurring problem. My husband sees an empty space and fills it. For him, domestic space is like a supermarket parking lot. If you don’t see a car there, feel free to drive into the spot. To me, our domestic space is a like an apartment building with leased parking spaces. Only one item has legitimate claim to any given area. You cannot be where you don’t belong, or you will be towed away at your own expense.
At the end of our hallway is large desk size built in shelf. This space has been doing triple duty for more than two and half years. One third is where I store my two purses, next to that is overflow food storage, and next to that are hard drives. Don’t worry, the sugar does not comingle with the technology. They are separated by bins and baskets. As I write it out, this arrangement sounds strange. I wish it were differernt but who has the time and space to make things not weird.
So yesterday, both purses are lolling around in chairs making it hard to sit down. Tidying up, I gather them, walk them over to the purse basket and find a five-pound bag of whole wheat flour sitting in their spot! UGH! I am instantly annoyed. My kid wanders by, and I ask in a rather surly tone,
Did you put this here?!
Just as I suspected, it’s dad! I am going to teach him a lesson.
My kid looks at me skeptically. Maybe even disapprovingly. I probably should heed the message in their body language, but the rush of frustration is already in full gallop, and I march the big bag of flour to his desk and deposit it in his chair. Now he will know what it is like to find a place you intend to use blocked by a ridiculous culinary obstacle.
I bide my time, waiting for him to need his computer. I am waiting for some type of outburst. Disappointed, nothing happens.
I check his chair and the flour is gone. It’s back on the shelf next to the purses where it belongs. I retrieve it and march it back to him.
Did you notice this on your chair? I demand.
I was wondering how that got there, he says totally nonchalant. It’s like it doesn’t matter one way or another. What’s so mysterious about a five-pound bag of flour showing up in your office? It doesn’t faze him. In his world, bags of flour being accidently deposited on office chairs is just a thing that can happen that needs no explanation, that jumpstarts no line of questioning, it forces no interrogation of fellow family members. This man cannot be taught a lesson!
I attempt to explain the outlandish violation and he says he has no idea that my purses go in a purse basket. He says he thought the whole thing was grocery storage.
Well, here’s what. What I think of as our systems are really only my systems. He says now he knows and will not do it again.
That should make me happy, and it’s probably true as who wouldn’t want to avoid another run in with me in this state. But I am not satisfied. I wanted to make him be like me and he is not like me.
He is not like me.
This is a good thing. He doesn’t explode out of the blue. He doesn’t need organizational integrity to be ok. And it’s okay that I do create systems. I just need to understand that I am the person responsible for their maintenance. I am best suited for that, and he is best suited for not being a critical jerk.
I am the one who keeps not learning the lesson. I need to learn the lesson.
Sidewalk Face 1230 and 1231.