I do a lot of stuff. It drives me crazy to sit around and do nothing. Still, I’m no spring chicken and it’s getting more and more difficult to take care of the stuff that bothers me.
Sometimes I feel like I’ve been trying to change everyone’s bad habits for years and years and not getting anywhere. Like a hamster on a wheel, I just keep running and running and the scenery never changes. DH is a total slob. I’ve been harping and nagging for more than 40 years and he still does the same things he always has.
I know I shouldn’t run around behind him picking up all the time but I just can’t ignore it. Believe me, I’ve tried. Again, this morning, he went to work and when I got up, I found toothpaste in the sink, his toothbrush on the counter. His prescription meds on the table, his towels on the floor along with his dirty underwear. His coffee cup is on the table and creamer is sprinkled all over the kitchen counter along with little pink packets of Sweet-n-Low.
I just went ballistic on him last night! He was sitting in the bedroom watching TV and had a bag of chips, a two-liter coke, salsa, and dirty ashtrays on his nightstand. Little foil wrappers from Hershey kisses were thrown on the floor like confetti. He just went to bed and left it all there. I went to bed later and saw the mess and discovered that his cigarette has fallen out of the ashtray and burned a hole in the nightstand. I woke him up raging and he just mumbled, “Okay, I’m sorry. What are you going to do, shoot me? It was an accident.”
Just like that. “Okay, I’m sorry…” I’ve been hearing that for 40 years. I love him but I have to admit, he drives me CRAZY. It just never sinks in. He does the same things over and over.
I’ve always worked my butt off. That’s just the way I was raised. I was raised to work hard, get nice things and take care of them. He was raised in a family where they didn’t clean very well. Things were picked up but they didn’t scrub and clean the way I was taught. His parents always bought the cheapest stuff they could find and then bought more when it was torn up. Dishes didn’t match, glasses didn’t match, towels didn’t match.
Our upbringings were very different and I’ve accepted that he won’t ever change. Believe me. He won’t ever change. Our entire marriage has consisted of me working every minute and usually carrying a full-time job as well as a part-time job. DH has always worked only as much as he has to.
We have very different values. I value hard work and nice things. He values relaxation. He had the GI Bill and was paid to go to college. I did most of his homework for the year he attended before he decided he wasn’t college material. I took care of the kids, delivered three paper routes every morning, went to the office where I worked from 8:00 to 4:00, attended classes at night and tutored on the side for the next six years while I completed college. One of the students I tutored was the son of a local businessman who made me a proposition. If I would travel 25 miles to his home and tutor all his kids in math, he would pay me $100 per hour in furniture from the furniture stores he owned. And so I did. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I would travel to his home and tutor each of his three kids. That was six hours a week and $600 credit in his furniture stores. I furnished our entire home from tutoring.
The day came when I told Mr. O that I didn’t need anymore furniture. Over the first couple of years, I furnished every room in the house with really good quality stuff and still got a few things for my sister and my parents. He asked what I needed and I told him I needed carpet. He worked out a deal with a friend of his who owned a flooring company and gave him furniture while he gave me flooring. The best quality carpet and tile went into my house.
I think it’s because all of our stuff never cost DH a penny that he hasn’t valued it the way he should. Is it that or is it just because of how he was raised? I don’t know. All I know is that he’s totally ruined every piece of furniture we have. He actually eats off the coffeetable and then brings a wet dishcloth in to wipe it down. He’s burned holes in tablecloths, comforters, pillows and furniture. I went ballistic when he burned a hole in a $200 comforter that set the pattern for the entire guest room and he replaced it with a K-Mart Bed-N-A-Bag set. He thought I’d be happy! All for $19.98!
In a lot of ways, we complement each other. I like to think I raise his standards a little bit. He likes to take a lot of time off and I make the money for the trips we take. He makes me stop working sometimes and I make him get to work sometimes. He patches and fixes things and I buy new things. Like opposites, we sometimes attract. Other times, like today, we totally clash.
I’ve gotta go. I have cleaning to do. Enough ranting.