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Monday, May 08, 2006

Who Are These People and Why Are They Living in My House?

Saturday was a nightmare and it was our own damn fault. We had put off going to the grocery store so long that we were out of everything needed to sustain life except Heinz ketchup, soft margarine, and olive oil. As I began helping to put all the groceries away, it hit me.

I share my home with some very objectionable people. People with whom I have very little in common. People who, were I not related to them, I probably would not choose to spend much time with. Individuals who, if I had not lived through and witnessed their bodies being propelled forcibly from my own, I would deny had any genetic material in common with my own. And one person in particular who, if he had not the official document to prove it, I would--at times--not believe I had chosen to spend the rest of my life with.

Let me explain, and start with the refrigerator to do so. "My" items, such as chevre, capers, English blackcurrant preserves, and homemade basil pesto jostle for space amid "their" Velveeta, kosher spears, gallon jug of Hershey's syrup, and salsa. I can hardly get past the quart of neon Kool-Aid to get my coffee creamer. And when I go to the basement refrigerator, the array of beers is sometimes staggering now that Jared is 21. Regardless of this, my husband purchased a 12-pack of Killian's Red. I said, "There is plenty of beer in the basement already."

And that was my mistake. At this, he assumed a professorial stance and looked at me pityingly. He sighed. "Nance," he said in a softly instructional tone, "the Coors Light is my 'emergency beer.' It is in cans and is for you to cook with and for me to drink should I run out of the other beer. The Trinity Oatmeal Stout is my 'trial run experimental beer' and is almost gone. I got it to see if I liked it, and I drink it every once in a while to decide. The Miller Light is Jared's beer that he got with his own money, and I don't drink that. Killian's is my 'regular beer'. I'm almost out. So I need more. So I'm getting it. See now?" Aaaarrrggghhhh.

These people! They drive my car and when I get into it, the CD player blares their music. Or what passes for "music", because it's nothing I'd call music. It's more like the soundtrack of tribal thuggery. There's no melody, nothing uplifting or lyrical, just nonstop verbiage. If I want to feel harangued and nagged at, I'll call my mother and tell her some things I did when I was away at college. IF, that is, I can even understand any words at all--Sam usually has the bass line turned up so far that what comes out of what's left of the speakers is a fuzzy, blurred boom that is not only mercifully indecipherable, it immediately gives me a jolting arrhythmia. At the other end of the spectrum and almost as frightening is my husband who, at this later stage in our marriage, has suddenly developed a fondness for--of all things--country music. His job involves long hours of driving from job to job, and he finds country music relaxing. He likes the fact that the songs tell a story. (I guess the fact that they all tell the same three stories doesn't bother him.) When I discovered this horrifying fact about his newfound musical taste and added it to the fact that he drives a small truck for his construction supervising job, I sat him down immediately. "Promise me right this minute," I begged him, "that you are not now, nor have you ever been, nor will you ever be a Republican!" He assured me that he isn't, wasn't, and wouldn't be. And yes, I extracted an oath that he would never, ever listen to Toby Keith. Whew!

Aliens! They mess up my house and don't even care! Cat vomit is invisible to them all! Cat hair on the draperies does not bother any one of them, only me! They only vacuum if I ask them. They only empty wastebaskets if I tell them. Sometimes I play a game. I leave the same glass or empty Pepsi can on the bookshelf for days and days and days. I can outlast them, I think. I will wait and see how long it will take before someone finally takes it to the sink or the recycling. But they win! They always win! I self-destruct before them! Take this damn glass or Pepsi can to the kitchen! I scream insanely, instantly at DefCon 5. Do you know how many days it has sat there? Eleventy billion and ten! Am I the only one who can take a drinking vessel to the kitchen?!?!?!? They all turn and look at me. They are patient and kind and a little bit sad. "Wow," they say or think, "all you had to do was say something the first day."

I am no Martha Stewart. I am just a person, really. I eat Marshmallow Fluff! I like those neon orange cheese cracker sandwiches with the peanut butter in them. I don't listen to classical music. I say the word "fuck" way too often--just ask my husband. But really--these people who live in my house...they could use some shaping up.

2 comments:

  1. Oh Nance, your entry says a lot of what I've been feeling around this neck of the woods, in particularly regarding the house cleaning and the country music (though the political fear is "COnservative" not "Republican").

    My husband nees re-introducing to the laundry hamper on a weekly basis. I've had to calm the fears about wiping counter tops, "Yes dear, the dishcloth IS your friend".

    Is it too late for a refund??

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  2. Hi, Roxanna! Honestly, isn't it annoying? Today, my CD player, which scrolls the name of the songs across its face marquee- style, said "PUT YOUR ASS INTO IT". I noticed it while we were driving my friend to the airport; it had the sound turned all the way down--thank goodness! Sam strikes again.

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