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it is very rare for us to fight, very extremely rare, but
basically tuesday night m stated you are so messy and
bugs in the kitchen the dishes and the sink and you are
so messy and when he walks into a room there is a silent
and secret sigh at my pile of things which maybe he thinks
i do not see but i do see it or at least i feel it. it is a silent
sigh and sometimes only done with his eyes or in the way
he tightens his mouth firmly. so now what. i am left feeling
slightly tired and increasingly resistant since before i moved
in i thought i tried so hard to make him see how i am and
showed him here, see, this is how i live, a tower of laundry,
see, this is how i live, a garden growing in my dishes, and are
you sure, are you really sure, i am messy, evangelically and
relentlessly messy, and he would smile and kiss me on top
of the head and say yes yes yes i love you it is all so cute and
so i thought ok. but now it is no kiss on the head but instead
it is the he is the one who is doing everything to keep this
house together and i am really treating him unfairly speech
so i am left feeling a bit duped and like the one who is doing
nothing and also the feelings of a lazy inconsiderate bum
which is what, i suppose, the messy one is left to be.

and so yesterday on the internet i looked up "fighting about
cleaning" and "fighting couples messy" and both gave me
nothing until i discovered "couples cleaning messy neat"
which was the answer. and eventually i found this article
which presented all the reasons in which i relish being messy
and all the reasons i have thought for myself about messiness
and creativity and why i could never actually be great friends
with someone who says i am going to spend all saturday
cleaning or even worse, i am going to spend all weekend
cleaning because really what a bore and drag they must truly
be. but the article. this article has such things as so and so
says "cleaning is a huge waste of her time as she could be doing
far greater things than decluttering her office" and "piling allows
for a lot of creative accidental thinking — because you're forever
bumping into things you don't expect to and suddenly bouncing
off them to create potential new ideas" and "constantly filing,
finding and re-filing things requires a huge hidden cost in anti-
mess maintenance time — more time I suspect than many
messy people spend looking for things" and "that mess is really
more of an aesthetic issue than anything else — and that one
person's mess may be another's laboratory, with a hidden
underlying order that only the mess-maker understands
perfectly." and i thought, yes, finally, this is it exactly. it is not
so much an issue of lazy as it is an issue of how i want to spend
my time or even how i don't want to spend my time of which
i have so little of my own anyway and also a matter of how i
like sitting in the midst of piles of things and the discovery and
the dig and having all of my projects around me to look at and
contemplate and how they are there to pick up once i am ready
again.

but trudging through the rest, most said the answer is to let the
partner know what he is getting himself into beforehand which i
thought i had but i guess i failed already, and then the next
answer is compromise which is no surprise and a yawn, i mean,
of course, that is what all counselors are taught to say
since they first took psych 101, but also that the best and most
effective answer is to allow the messy person a room of their
own in which to be uninhibited and unabashedly messy. which
in our small house is not a luxury we have or can even consider
having. there is no room or spot for my things as it is, they are
basically in the attic or in the overflowing spare room or stacked
in boxes in front of all the spots for his things. there is not even
really a regular spot of my very own, a private uninhibited and
unabashed spot even less so. so i am only left with the answer
of compromise which in this case is defined in my head as do
what i am asked to do as he asks me to do them in order to
keep some semblance of peace and not appear as the lazy do
nothing one. which really slowly builds resentment and
resistance behind my ears and on my shoulders and makes it
difficult to make eye contact and say casual everyday things in
the same way that i can when things are as usual. instead of my
day was fine i had lunch with ann and then i googled how many
minutes after birth before a fawn learns to walk and would you
believe it is only 90 minutes, it is just my day was alright and a
polite smile before staring down at my plate again or taking a
long drink of water to look away. and i am quiet for a few days until
gradually we forget and i try little by little to smile for a while
longer and then it is back to usual. i would rather it was different
and i would rather not feel so each time it comes up but to instead
smile and agree and go along and it's not really as if i feel that
he is asking things of me that are unreasonable, it is not as if he
is the bad guy, but in the same turn i also feel as if they are
things that are not in my being to be want to always do. in a world
of neatzi's it is the messy who must reform. and compromise, i guess,
they always say it is the answer.

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