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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Try a little tenderness

The hubster and I aren't speaking right now. It won't last long, he'll need something and act like every thing's just hunky dory. My mother used to do that. She would go off on something, stop speaking and two days later start up a conversation as if she had never acted like an ass and nothing had happened.

It's popular to say women marry their fathers but that's a crock. They marry their mothers. My father picks up after himself. He takes responsibility for himself and he willingly volunteers to help people when he can. He's got faults, Lord knows, he listens to Rush Limbaugh and that's not the half of it. But, on the whole, he's a fairly decent guy, except when he was divorcing my mother but, from what I gather, 98% of decent people turn into Bernie Madoff when they get divorced so, not that I forgot it but it's not unusual for the circumstances.

When my father retired, he had to downsize. He moved to the week-end place on the mountains, which he loved. He didn't have nearly as much room and he got rid of a LOT of stuff. When we lost the house, he told me that it was hard to downsize when he did it but he was glad now. He didn't get rid of anything really important to him and he discovered all the crap he had been keeping wasn't nearly as important as keeping a roof over his head, being able to have friends, being able to walk in and be clean and comfortable. And now he can't even remember what he got rid of because, in the long run, tangible things just aren't all that important. Reading the latest Ken Follet novel is great, and passing it on to someone else, or donating it to the local thrift store so someone ELSE can read it is also great.

My mother, on the other hand, had no idea what to do with the people who loved her so she treated us like crap. She used us, ignored us and manipulated us. I was her cook, her housekeeper, her chauffeur, her bookkeeper, her mechanic, her plumber and her business manager. She was a child who continually turned to me to make her decisions for her. "I never learned how to do this stuff, your father always did this, I can't learn now, I'm too old." She was 64 when she died, btw. She was too old to do her own grocery shopping but she didn't even qualify for freaking Medicare! She was a lousy housekeeper (but still better than my MIL and the hubster) and she had a garage full of boxes of carefully packed crap - my grandmother's slips.  Seriously...she had a box full of her mother's slips. She didn't even like her mother.

In many ways, I married her and I think that's why the hubster and my mother hated each others guts - and don't think they didn't. They were SO alike. The hubster was in Vegas when she died and told me he wasn't going to bother to come back a day early for her funeral, he had lunch reservations with some business friends that day and he and my mother didn't like each other anyway. I called his father who said "I'll take care of it." My FIL called me back about 10 minutes later and said "He'll be there." His father had called him in Vegas and told the hubster that he needed to shag his ass home for his MILs funeral, she was his sons' Grandmother and it was just the right thing to do. The hubster called me 10 minutes later and gave me his new flight number. He also maintains, to this day, that HE just thought it over and decided it was the right thing to do, which is bullshit. His father yelled at him. Whatever.

I have a VERY long fuse. But I have a fuse and, eventually, it reaches the gunpowder. And last night it did. I have been spending the last few months doing nothing but driving people all over the face of the freaking earth because no one else in my family has a drivers license. We have ONE car. It was the one the hubster drove until his license got suspended for not paying his speeding tickets and he decided that it would be easier to turn his license in and just get an I.D. than to take a bus downtown, wait in line at the courthouse and get a court date so he could work his problem out. But, of course, we had to keep THAT car and not mine, mine being, well, mine.

I have spent 18 months getting the car we still have straightened out. The registration hadn't been paid in three years, that took a while. The hubster seems to think that registering the car is an option and he apparently likes paying 100% penalties on it because it's his way of donating to the State.  Then there was insurance, it needed new tires and still needs to be aligned and tuned up. But now it's up and going. And so am I.

I pick people up and drop people off. The hubster has developed a habit of saying not to worry, he's going to take a bus and then sitting there staring at me while the bus went by 15 minutes earlier and saying "I thought you were going to give me a ride." And, as the buses in this area run every six hours or so, I end up giving him the damn ride so he won't be late to what is usually a party. For the last two weeks he has been on a project to move a dozen large boxes from the house of the person who has been storing them for him because the guy, unreasonably, told him to get that crap out of his place. A dozen large boxes of...wait for it...VHS tapes. Do you know anyone who even HAS a VHS player anymore? Me neither. But they're genre tapes and, of course, GOLD. We HAVE to move them. AGAIN. We've been moving them from place to place for THREE years now, because no one wants them. No one. He's convinced they should go to a museum. You the sci-fi museum and say "hey, I have 600 sci fi movies on VHS and I bet you want them real bad." Um, no. Said museum doesn't answer his email. He takes this as a reason to continue to lug these boxes around. I take this is an in "hell no, we don't want your old tapes."  No one wanted my grandmother's slips and no one wants VHS.

Every few days I get this "oh, I'm enlisting a friend to help, you don't need to do anything" and then tells me "We have to go to Joe's tonight for those boxes" because his friends don't call him back and offer to move those damn things either. So we go to Joe's and stuff boxes in the back of the car. We can't put as many in as might fit because they might touch the headliner and we can't have that. We have to then drive around with the boxes in the car and the back seats folded up and out of commission until I'm told to drive them  20 miles west and help carry them into the office of someone to babysit them, someone who, quite obviously doesn't WANT them in his office but does the hubster pick up on the message?

Then we do this all over again. Last night, we pick up MORE boxes. BUT I have to pick up the kids so we have to take boxes out so I can use the back seat again and we have no room to put them because, even though we can't pay the rent we have to maintain two full storage units because the hubster doesn't see downsizing as an option..Then we go back for the last boxes and do it again. And again. Hauling boxes 20 miles out and back.

Anyway, last night, it was 7:15 and I'm off work at six and hadn't been home yet. I drop off the hubster and leave to help a friend jump a car then then I have to go to the store and get something for dinner, go home, cook, do the dishes, give someone else a ride to the west valley and I tell him this and the hubster says "Okay. See you later."

NO! It is NOT "okay". It is NOT okay for me to work until six and then not get home until 8 and start cooking dinner because no one ever stops to think that maybe, just MAYBE, they're taking advantage of me. It is NOT okay that I'm living in a place where the carpet gets vacuumed only when I do it and I'm expected to spend my evenings doing it- and doing dishes and robbing Peter to pay Paul and trying to work in homework and worrying about the rent. It is NOT okay that I come home at lunch to find the sink full of dirty dishes and the hubster in his pajamas. It is NOT okay that I'm expected to rent extra storage for CRAP he hasn't looked at in over three years. It is NOT okay that the cupboards in the bedroom are filled to the brim with old magazines and newspapers that are still in their protective plastic mailing wrappers and have been that way since we MOVED! It is NOT okay that I have 1/3 of the closet because the hubster refuses to put his clothing on anything except wood hangars while mine stuff is crammed into three ween of slimline hangars. It is NOT okay that I come home to an unmade bed and five foot piles of dirty clothes all over and I'm expected to take it all to the laundromat after work. It is NOT okay that he spends the 2 hours  a day he's not playing games on his laptop flopped on the love seat watching yet another effing rerun of "CHOPPED". It is NOT okay to complain you need a haircut if I mention I need a haircut. It is NOT okay that the carpet is full of black spots where the cat pees and no one ever cleans it except me. It is NOT okay that we can't get to the windows to open them because of all the boxes piled up in front of them and it it NOT okay for me to keep hauling it to an unrewarding job while everyone else sits around waiting for something that is suitable for their skills. It is NOT okay that the vacuum and the carpet cleaner sit in the living room because the closet is full of shopping bags and souvenir t-shirts from conventions that were supposed to bring in work and brought in bills instead.

This attitude, btw, is what the hubster feels is irrational hostility on my part and thus the current lack of communication which, I know, will thaw the minute he needs something.

Does anyone ever do something just BECAUSE anymore?  Does anyone ever stop and say "hey, she's working 40 hours a week, wouldn't it be nice for her to come home and not smell the litter box?"  No, it's basically, wait as long as possible and don't do it until she finally loses her temper and does it herself and then complain about her losing her temper.

That song is right, you know. I do get tired wearing the same worn out clothes day in and day out. I get tired fighting with this mop of hair, it hasn't been cut in months. I get tired not being able to have a manicure every now and then. I'm tired of using the six year old glasses I'm still wearing.

We had our picture taken for a magazine last year. The stylist let us keep some clothes. The hubster, instead of being happy to have new clothes for free, bitched that she hadn't given him the shirt he really liked. So I found the shirt he really liked and bought it and gave it to him for Christmas. I finally shook it out and hung it up a few weeks ago, price tags still attached. 

And that's the way THAT goes...

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