It’s been a hectic last couple of days. Doug’s family was in town (his dad, step-mom, sisters and niece) and they had lots of things they wanted to do. Most of them involved shopping. I can’t blame them. They live in a small town in West Virginia and shopping choices are pretty limited. So on Friday and Saturday we took them to the shops they wanted to check out and watched as they filled up their SUV with so many packages it’s a wonder they all fit into the car for the ride back home today.
Today it’s a rainy Easter Sunday. We met with the family for breakfast and then waved as they drove off (with a quick stop at Starbucks for Caramel Macchiatos to go) and headed back home. Then we came home to a quiet house where several loads of laundry were waiting for us. The first thing I did after starting the first load of laundry was curl up on the bed under the blanket and take a nap. I’m not used to shopping all day (much less two days) and I think I deserved a nice, long nap. It was wonderful.
Doug settled himself at the dining room table and got to work on his stamp collection. It’s a quiet hobby that lets him do what he does best: organize and sort. He finds it very relaxing. Once I awoke from my much-needed nap I sat down at the laptop to sort through the weekend’s pictures (posted here for the weekly photo challenge) and figure out what I was going to write about.
Doug and I are both pretty organized. Him much more so than me. Our house is almost always very orderly and un-cluttered. This is not always the case when any of the kids are with us for any period of time. We find basketballs at the bottom of the stairs, book-bags in the hallway, glasses where they shouldn’t be, etc. Because Doug is so organized and orderly, he finds it frustrating when things are out of place. I do my best to do my part but I wouldn’t be too surprised if sometimes I didn’t quite meet the standards.
Don’t get me wrong: he never gets on my case. He’s never done that. But I think he believes that since he has almost-OCD like tendencies, he shouldn’t expect me to be as fastidious as he is. If he wants something put away a certain way, he does it himself. The trouble starts when we find ourselves having to pick up after other people (mainly the 14-year old) constantly. At the end of a long day, it’s the last thing he wants to do. The trick for me is not putting myself in the role of intermediary. That is, I shouldn’t pick up after Jeremy so that Doug doesn’t have to. It’s Jeremy’s responsibility of course. So when he doesn’t do his part, we have to keep reminding him, nagging him.
Maybe the three of us (Doug, Jeremy and I) could be considered a new configuration of the Odd Couple (see today’s Daily Prompt), with Doug and I both playing the role of Felix and Jeremy as Oscar. Jeremy would be perfectly happy with only picking up and doing the bare minimum to make the place look presentable for company, while Doug and I are uncomfortable with clutter and messes.
In the last scene of The Odd Couple series, Oscar and Felix part ways as Felix prepares to reconcile with his wife.:
Felix: Your dinner’s in the oven; turn it off in twenty minutes. [pause] Oscar … what can I say? Five years ago you took me in: a broken man on the verge of … mental collapse. I leave here a cured human being. I owe it all to you. [gesturing toward apartment] It’s all yours buddy. I salute you. [empties waste basket onto floor]
Oscar: Felix, you know how I’m gonna salute you? I’m gonna clean that up.
Felix: It has not been in vain.[They shake hands and Felix exits stage right through front door. After door closes …]
Oscar: [swings his hand through the air] I’m not gonna clean that up.[exits stage left to bedroom to audience laughter][Felix sneaks back in stage right and looks at floor]
Felix: [disgustedly] I knew he wouldn’t clean it up! [proceeds to pick up trash to audience applause] (fade out)
How will it play out for us? I don’t think Jeremy will always be Oscar, but I don’t think he’ll ever turn into Felix either.
Now it’s five o-clock on a Sunday afternoon and I’ve managed to spend the afternoon doing what I enjoy: writing, working on pictures, napping, and spending some great quality time with my husband. The laundry isn’t quite done yet, and we haven’t even thought about dinner (although after all the eating this weekend, we can probably skip it), but the quiet this afternoon has been wonderful. The folks should be arriving back home about now and I’m looking forward to seeing them again when we head out in their direction in May. But for now, I’m going to enjoy a nice, quiet, evening.
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Eric is the near-OCD one. I am moderately clean, moderately organized. The kids are moderately messy (the boy) and completely messy (the girl). The way I see it, we all live together and we all share the space. We all try to accommodate each other. When Eric is getting in from a trip (a stressful time), I try to have the house spic and span. He in turn tries (emphasis on *tries*) not to nag the rest of us. I let my kids know when I’ve hit my limit with the messiness and usually they will happily clean up, and I think they do that because I don’t nag and don’t always insist on things being MY WAY. I understand they get busy and tired too. So, most of the time we find our own equilibrium, though that hasn’t always been the case.