One thing to consider in the small space we called home is that endearing personality quirks turn into monsters. Yes, mine too. Some days I couldn’t even stand myself. As well as turning from amiable to irritable at the drop of a pile of tee shirts, the inconsistency of our day-to-day lives made me lazy.
What’s the point of starting something – like making that necklace I’d bought a clasp for weeks previously – that not only had to be put down when we travelled but put away and stuffed in the dark recesses of a locker where it’s very existence quickly faded from my tiny mind. When I cleaned out the overflowing locker weeks later I came across the unfinished string of beads as well as other treasures.
“Ooo. Look what I found.”
“What’s that?” himself asked with an edge of disgust in his voice.
Damn. I didn’t mean for him to see that. I’d hidden it from him in there. “It’s my Key West Coke bottle,” I replied a little deflated.
“You’re kidding aren’t you?”
“No. Look. It’s got Key West in raised letters on the bottom. I’m sure it’s collectible.”
“In your world. It’s just junk. Throw it away.”
With my back to him, I rewrapped it in a plastic bag and hid it again with my coveted collection of unremarkable stones from all over the States.
Our haphazard and disrupted schedule depended on the weather, how well we slept (trains, rain, cold, diesel engines, motorcycles, jets, flies, drunks – all making an impact) therefore what time we managed to fall out of bed, who was ready to go first, who was more desperate to get going, how far the next campsite was, whether we loved it or hated it when we get there and how much or little we were speaking to each other when we got there, but it mostly depended on doing everything together and agreeing on everything we did. The only absolute constant in our day was a glass of wine at 6:00 and even that was dragged forward to 5:30. We managed to agree on that.
Our little trailer that seemed so perfect when we bought it is cramped and wherever we stand or sit we’re in each other’s way.
Our styles of accomplishment are different. Jimmy completes one task in one place, focuses, moves on to the next. Methodical. Male. I flit from one thing to the next, juggling several activities – cooking, while running back and forth to the laundromat, while keeping an eye on the TV, while checking emails and ignoring the acrid smell coming from the oven and putting the laundry away. Multi-tasking. Female.
All the while, wherever Jimmy settles to complete whatever task he is concentrating on is just where I need to be – the locker under his bum, the drawer behind his knee, the fridge he’s leaning on in a vain effort to stay out of reach of my flailing arms as I kick a cupboard shut, stir a saucepan with my left hand and reach for the fridge with my right.
Then there is the bathroom. As teeny as it is and as much as I complain about it, I would like to lay claim to it exclusively.
“Are you ever coming out of there?” himself pleads.
“I’ve only just got in here.”
“Rubbish. You’ve been in there for half an hour.”
“No I haven’t. I’ve just come back from the washing machine. You could have got in there then.”
“I wasn’t ready to go in there then.”
“Well, tough. You’ve missed your slot.”
“I need to get in there! NOW!”
“OK. OK. OK. I’ll just get my make-up box together and come out. You could have just asked me nicely in the first place instead of picking a fight.”
“I didn’t pick a fight. You did.”
“No I didn’t. You did.”
“No I didn’t.”
Petty. Petty. Petty. A nonsensical argument that wouldn’t have happened in a bigger living space.
The only time we are in complete harmony is when we are asleep and insomnia wrecks that a lot of the time.
BTW: I’m the morning grump.