Tiny Bit of Crazy

A chronical of the laughter, revelations and transformations that are possible when you embrace the crazy

If You Can’t Beat ’em… April 16, 2012

I had a little run in with Chris’s crazy neighbor the other day. Remember her?  Well for the last year she’s gone out of her way to avoid talking to me, even as she went out of her way to talk to everyone else, including Chris’s daughters and their friends, routinely holding them captive on the sidewalk or half inside their cars.

But apparently she’s had a change of heart.

It started small – one day last week I passed her on the sidewalk and she made a random comment about something to do with her kids and playing in the parking lot.  I offered an unconvincing laugh and something along the lines of “oh… hmmm” as I continued walking. She called something else after me as I turned the corner so I gave an even less convincing head nod and vague hand wave as I continued on my way. (At that point it occurred to me at perhaps Chris and his girls simply aren’t rude enough.)

Then this week, as I walked up the sidewalk toward Chris’s house, she came out of her house, her gaze locked on me, and I knew with certainty that we were going to have a conversation.

Part of me was a little excited that I was going to get a “Neighbor Lady” story of my own to share when everyone else told theirs.

As we came face to face in front of her car, she reached out to put her hand on my arm, surprising me so much that I froze in my tracks, thus eliminating any small hope of escape that might have existed.

“Can you talk to Chris about,” she said, and my brain immediately shifted into slow motion and several things moved through my mind:

“She has a problem with Chris?”

“How can she have a problem with Chris? Nobody ever has a problem with Chris.”

“What could this bitch possibly have to say about my boyfriend, and why does her tone suggest I’m his mother?”

“Should I set my bags down in case I need to scratch her eyes out?”

And then I realized she was still talking, so I clicked my brain back into gear and rewound the tape so I could get the rest of her sentence. Which was:

“…about recycling.”

Ok, so I should explain. Chris doesn’t actually recycle. I know, its shocking and you’re probably suddenly worried that you’ll be guilty by association for reading a blog by a person who is in a relationship with a person who doesn’t recycle. (Don’t pretend you weren’t doing it.) I don’t want to get sidetracked from this story with a meta discussion about social shame and recycling, so I’ll just say that I asked him why he doesn’t recycle a few months ago, and what I took from the conversation is that he’s not adamantly opposed to recycling like some right-wing nut who thinks it’s another way for the government to control us. It’s more that he sees it as just one more thing to coordinate and deal with on top of all the other things he has to deal with and coordinate in his life. I got the impression that if someone else wanted to take responsibility for it, he wouldn’t object.

So back to my conversation with the Neighbor Lady.

Once I process her statement, I realize she’s staring at me waiting for a response. My liberal shame and social guilt is quickly replaced with glee as I realize she’s giving me blog content.

Me: oh yeah…um, well… sure…

NL: Because really, he should recycle. Why doesn’t he recycle?

Me: Yeah…I don’t know. He’s quirky like that.

NL: I can get him a bin. I think if we just make it really easy for him, we can get him to do it.

Did you see what she did there? “If WE just make it really easy for him.” WE. Apparently she and I are now a team. Apparently since she couldn’t get rid of me, she’s going to partner up with me.

My personal opinions on recycling are replaced by my desire to not be a team with her.

Me: ah? uh huh…

NL: I went through his garbage the other day and I noticed that it’s mostly plastics and so if he even just started with that…

Yes, she said that. Unabashedly. I had to contain my glee at how good a story this was going to be.

Me: yeah…he does use a lot of plastic…

I say this just to have something to say, but I then immediately feel disloyal. Saying something like that is not going to demonstrate that I’m on Chris’s team, not hers.

NL: I mean, if he just did plastics and maybe some cans…

Me: yeah, that would make a difference

Crap! I’m the worst teammate ever. I’m torn between getting away and getting more material.

NL: But really, why won’t he recycle?

Me: ahh, yeah. I don’t know…he has a thing about it…?

I know it doesn’t sound like it, but this is actually me being a good teammate. I’m not going to explain to her why he’s not recycling because that will reveal too much about him. But I’m also not willing to engage her in a conversation about the reasons against recycling because that will make it look like I care what she thinks.

NL: You know, if he doesn’t start recycling its going to make the trash pick up cost more. You need to talk to him! For everyone’s sake. They’re already doing it in Alexandria. 

Me: Oh really? I’ll tell him that.

Part of me is shamefully, secretly, enjoying her presumption that I have power over Chris – a presumption based in a recognition of my legitimacy as his long-term girlfriend. She’s gone from inviting Chris to the singles group at her church, to assuming I’m the kind of woman who is in charge of her man. I have this urge to go with it, to let us be those suburban women who stand on the sidewalks of their subdivisions, possibly with a glass of wine in the early evening, talking about “our men” and how hard it is to keep them in line.

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Worst. Teammate. Ever.

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NL: You know he has daughters? Who are educated!

Her tone implies this could be new information for me. I hate her again. I start to walk away.

Me: yes, he certainly does.

NL: They are going to college. They understand…

Me: yes, they do go to college…

Now I’m laughing. I’m suddenly giddy with how ridiculous this conversation is, how much material she’s feeding me. I want to ask her again about going through the garbage, but instead I keep walking.

NL: Tell him to recycle for them! So they are proud…

Unmoved by the argument, I keep moving, not looking back at her.

NL: They’ll get married some day! I assume. They are going to have babies. And those babies are going to want a grandpa who recycles!

This makes me stop, and I look at her for a second, tempted to tell her that of all her arguments, that’s her worst. There are few topics more likely to agitate Chris than talking about him becoming a grandpa, and all that that implies.

I try to stop laughing long enough to give some sort of appropriate response. But then decide that laughing is probably as appropriate a response as any.

She’s yelling things after me as I walk away, things about how she teaches recycling in the schools and can teach him. I offer a vague wave of my hand as I continue walking away, trying not to skip in my excitement to tell this story to Chris.

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Of course, I’m sure you all now realize that as long as Chris lives there, he can never, ever, start recycling.

Sorry Earth, but seriously, what did you expect?  I’m a terrible teammate.

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Buddha’s Diet November 23, 2011

Filed under: Food — Meredith @ 10:30 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’m a slave to protein.

That’s what this whole diet has basically boiled down to: Protein, and my endless need for it.

It’s the master of my schedule, the ruler of my moods, and the deity to which I regularly bow.

Because that’s pretty much all I can eat. And when you only eat protein, it burns up fast. See the nice thing about complex carbs like the one I typical ate – with lots of whole grain and fiber** –  is that they are slow burning. Slowly burning into sugar, yes. But slow burning nonetheless. This is an attribute of carbs I took for granted when they were a part of my life.

But when protein is king, I can go from not hungry, to starving in less than 3 seconds. Every choice I make in my day somehow relates to, or is influenced by an opportunity to intake protein.

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I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, because really, over all, this diet is the best thing that’s happened to me, health wise, in years.

Pounds and inches have been lost. (More inches than pounds actually, which seems impossible, but is apparently true and according to the doctor, not uncommon. But smaller is smaller, so I’m not complaining).

But more than anything, a lifestyle has emerged.

A lifestyle of mindfulness. Mindfulness about when I’m going to eat, what I’m going to eat, and of course, how much protein will be in the meal. I have to make daily decisions about whether and how much GF and sugar-free protein bars or apples, or cheese sticks, or nuts, I need to put in my purse.

Fast food is a thing of the past, we can’t eat anything out of a box, and very few restaurants offer us more than one or two options on the menu (although the few that do, like Mongolian BBQ, we patronize often.)

On Friday afternoon Chris and I start thinking through our weekend and what our schedule will be like, and before we can settle in for the evening, we have to make sure we at least have enough eggs, fruit and breakfast meat to make breakfast Saturday morning.

At breakfast we talk through our day in detail, thinking about where we’re going, what our food access will be, if we’ll need to bring food or come home to eat. If we’ll come home to eat, what will we eat, will we have time to cook or do we need something quicker.

Crock-pots are an invention of the gods.

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After a few weeks that all becomes second nature, especially to detail oriented planners like me and Chris.

But then there’s another level of mindfulness, having to do with correcting habitual eating and cravings.

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I realized that I used food as rewards- a diet sabotaging habit if ever there was one.

Several times a day I’d think, “I’ve made it through a hard day, I should get myself a cupcake,” or “I’ve had a great day! I should stop at Starbucks for a frap,” or “I just did the bare minimum amount of work I need to do to stay employed. Time for some M&M’s!” At first I just focused on not robotically steering into the Starbucks or bakery parking lot.

Then one day it hit me: “Why do I need a reward for every goddamn thing that happens in my life? Am I 4 years old? Should I get M&M’s for making a pee-pee in the potty?”

First I thought “Well, it wouldn’t hurt,” but then I thought “NO. This is no way for an adult to live!”Because, as an adult, I’m responsible for my life. I’m responsible for all of my choices and my actions. I shouldn’t need a reward to get through a day in a life that I created.

“But,” I asked myself, “what about when things go wrong, and you’re too sad to do anything but eat a cupcake one crumb at a time?”

That pulled me up short because, I mean, seriously, WHAT ABOUT THE CUPCAKES?

Well here’s the thing about the cupcakes:

They served as a pseudo solution for situations I didn’t want to resolve for real. Relationship trouble? Lets not look at the ways in which I’ve participated in letting him make me feel bad, that’s icky, I’ll just eat a cupcake instead. Pain from physical therapy after my car accident? Eh, getting perspective about healing time and the human body is hard, I think I’ll mope and eat a cupcake instead.

The sugar and the feeling of getting what I want would make me feel briefly better, but quickly disappear leaving me feeling lonely and sad again. A terrible cycle that has now ended.

I’m not saying I’ll never have another cupcake, but it will be when my sugar intake for the day has been low, when its GF, and when its only because I want a cupcake, not because I’m using it to hide behind. Because being mindful also means having choices. I can choose to have a peanut butter cup, or a slice of GF apple pie at Thanksgiving because I can make choices about other things I eat – skip the potatoes, go easy on the citrus fruit and pick carrots over corn so my sugar intake is as low as possible when I eat the pie.  I can pretty much do whatever I want as long as I’m always mindful of the big picture. Which makes me hate this diet a lot less.

Next, I realized that I mostly crave sugar and carbs when I’m dehydrated or just plain hungry. The body wants a quick fix, so it wants carbs and sugar. So I had to learn to ask myself what I was actually in need of – water? protein? just something in my mouth to chew?

What I didn’t expect to happen was that I eventually trained my body to crave what it actually wanted. When I’m dehydrated I crave water, when I need protein I crave cheese or meat, when I just want something to chew images of apples and carrots come to mind.

Swear to Protein, I’m telling the truth.

But it’s really easy to undo. One little slip – like eating rich chocolate desserts every night because you’re stuck in a hotel in the middle of the desert and you’ve only been able to eat like 20% of every meal and you’re sick of your protein bars and it’s not fair and a little bit of sugar isn’t going to hurt, and damnit why does everything have to be so effing hard all the time – and you kind of have to start the retraining all over again. But it is easier the second time around.

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I was explaining these details of this diet to my dad a few weeks ago, and he said “So its like a Buddha diet. It’s all about mindfulness.” Which is the first time I thought to put it into that context. Of course, if we wanted to be very literal, Buddha’s diet would be vegetarian, but I like to think he’s cool with my using his name this way. Mostly because Buddha is pretty much cool with everything.  But as soon as I re-contextualized this diet from a pain in the ass list of restrictions, to a lifestyle of mindfulness, everything got a lot easier.

For example, I’ve finally accepted that there were no short cuts anymore, that my idea of indulgent eating is adding kidney beans to my salad, and that I will spend an inappropriate amount of my life thinking about eggs.

And in exchange I have a clear mind, high energy levels, stabilized moods, a smaller waistline, and better functioning organs.

Seems a fair trade.

Except when I walk past a Starbucks and see a picture of their holiday drinks and wonder how many more times I can walk past before I run inside, order 12, and then sit in my car behind a dumpster pounding one after the other until I pass out in a pool of melted whip cream, chocolate curls and my dignity.

Those days suck. But mostly its, you know, the other way.

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**this is an after post edit for clarity. I realized that by just saying “carbs” as I did originally it was misleading and just plaing wrong. But I’d been eating complex carbs, and whole grain/fiber filled carbs instead of simple carbs like white rice, white pasta etc, for so long that I didn’t think about what I was saying.

 

Timing is Everything September 7, 2011

I have two things I wanted to blog about, but neither one is really long enough or interesting enough to be their own blog. I feel like if you are going to take the time to click the link, or type the address into your browser, or open your google reader, it should be for something that in quantity at least, if not quality, makes the effort worth it. Because I’m always thinking about you. I’m a giver like that. And then I realized they are both about timing (in a way), so I’m doing two blogs in one 🙂 You’re welcome.

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1. Chris’s neighbor hasn’t been seen or heard from in a while and I’d almost forgotten about our rivalry. Then last weekend, on Saturday morning as Chris and I headed out to get our Hurricane Irene storm supplies: Kettle Corn, hard lemonade, and pastries for breakfast, we came around the corner from his front door to find his neighbor and her rarely seen husband  standing on the sidewalk in front of their town house.

She had her hair in a messy ponytail and was wearing only a bathrobe and an “Oh shit” look on her face as she saw us come around the corner.

I felt a flash of pity for her. I’ve been in her position: You finally run into the guy you’ve been crushing on and fantasizing about in your darkest loneliest moments and you look like crap and/or you’re doing something stupid.

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That may, or may not, be the summation of my romantic life from ages 18-24.

Moving on.

My flash of pity is quickly erased by the realization that  I’ve totally won this round! I’m dressed, and while my hair is wet, that’s actually when it looks the best right now and Chris is… well Chris is his normal delicious self.  As we get closer, she clutches her bathrobe at the neck and starts to stammer about the squirrel that has fallen out of the tree and is presumably dead on the other side of the sidewalk, while pointing to her husband who is so absorbed in studying this baby squirrel he barely acknowledges us as we walk by. She’s talking too fast and we don’t understand everything she’s saying, so we smile and nod and make “too bad” noises about the squirrel as we move toward the parking lot.

Once inside the car we talk about how awkward that must have been for her. “Poor girl, that probably ruined her morning,” I say, possibly with a huge grin on my face.

The next day, Sunday afternoon, Chris and I are returning home and she’s standing in front of her house with another neighbor talking about how they weathered the storm. She is dressed in a tight t-shirt and shorts with her hair and makeup done. As Chris and I walk past, she breaks from her conversation to excitedly and somewhat awkwardly call out to us to let us know that the squirrel has been removed and put into a box, or something…again, she was talking a little too fast for me to fully process what she was saying. Plus I was still thinking about how I was winning. When Chris and I nod and smile without actually saying anything she playfully (desperately?) calls out “Hey, you can have the box if YOU want to take care of it!” just as we are rounding the corner toward his front door. Chris rewards her with a polite laugh and says “No thanks!” I smile at her in a mostly friendly, only slightly superior way, before taking Chris’s outstretched hand as we walk up the steps to his door.

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2. Speaking of Chris, as I’ve mentioned a few times, I’m in uncharted territory with this long-term, functional relationship thing I’m doing. And I really want to make sure I’m doing it right.

I’ve heard women in long-term relationships sit around talking about their boyfriends/husbands, and they all seem to speak in a type of shorthand with the same complaints, the same stresses, the same rules and expectations for their men, which their men consistently violate.  And this feeds my theory that there is a formula, some set of Standard Operating Procedures for people in relationships.  Have I missed a memo, possibly titled “Things to Get Upset About”? How do I even get on the mailing list? Is it automatic after a certain point? And if so, when is that point???

I have So. Many. Questions. But no answers because every time I ask one of these people they deny any such memo or manual exists. So I’ve been reduced to obsessively studying the behaviors of people who have been in relationships longer than I have in an attempt to learn their secrets and understand the SOP, but it usually only confuses me more.

Like the other day, we had a minor earthquake in the afternoon, and the boss decided the best thing to do was to close the office early and retreat to the bar across the street.  So I’m sitting at the bar with my co-workers, 2 hours before we would have left the office on a normal day, and my one male co-worker says to the other male co-worker, “If my wife knew where I was I’d be in so much trouble!” and the other says “oh I know! My wife can never find out about this,” and then they both laughed clearly sharing in a male bonding ritual of some kind.

I spent most of the rest of that afternoon  trying to figure out what problem their wives could have with this situation, but couldn’t come up with a single reasonable scenario. Which then triggers my anxiety that I lack the natural knowledge or ability to do the girlfriend thing. AND what if I’m also depriving Chris of being able to have this type of bonding moment with his male counterparts?

Then, a few days later Chris and I were watching Pawn Stars, a reality show about a pawn shop, and I commented on how often men go in to sell something that they loved/collected/just liked having, because their girlfriends/fiances/wives told them they had to get rid of it.

After Chris agreed it was a solid pattern of this show, I started to panic and asked “How am I going to know when its time for me to start doing that? How will I know when I’m supposed to start making you get rid of stuff you like and making you feel bad for having fun?”

And Chris, proving yet again that he’s always got my back said, “I’ll let you know.”

Phew. Finally, a plan.

 

Where Crazy Lives July 12, 2011

When I started looking for a new place to live last April, I had a short list of requirements:

1. Rent below $600 a month,

2. Private bathroom,

3. I wanted to stay in the general area of where I was currently living,

4. A relatively normal roommate,

5. A gut feeling I wouldn’t hate living there.

After seeing a few really scary places, I found a listing for a room at $595, in an ideal location.  It was technically a basement room, but it was at the front of the house and had big windows that let in lots of light. The private bathroom was across the hall, next to the laundry room. The rest of the basement was a movie room that I was told was only used 2-3 times a year.

So far, so perfect.

The rest of the house was bright and airy and clean. The kitchen was large and recently remodeled, with a huge deck complete with table and chairs.

Bonus.

Criteria 1, 2 and 3? Check, check and check.

The guy who owned the house, “Bob”, would be my roommate and he seemed pleasant and normal enough. After he showed me around we talked for more than an hour about all kinds of things, and he made it clear that he wanted me to feel welcome in all parts of the house.

Criteria 4 and 5? I’m gonna go with “Yes”.

That weekend I went back to sign the lease, and brought Chris with me.  Bob was again welcoming and gregarious… Very gregarious actually. I started to realize that this guy was a talker.  And, as he and Chris got into a discussion about internet security (Chris’s area of professional expertise and Bob’s area of self decided expertise), I realized he was also a bit of a know-it-all.

But no one’s perfect, right? So I signed the lease feeling confident that this was going to be a good place to live.

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Things started out fine. As they usually do.

In those first few weeks Bob would drop by my room frequently to “see how it was going”, or he would strike up (boring) conversations as I waited for Chris to pick me up on date nights. I quickly realized that my part of those conversations was to say things like “Hmmm!” or “oh wow” or “Really? I had no idea.” It was all fine, but heading down the road to over-familiar. Because while I wanted to be friendly with my new roommate, I did not want to be friends.

And not just because its fun to be bitchy.

I have plenty of friends. And a very busy life.  I don’t  need to have social obligations  when I was home.  So I quickly  started drawing boundaries to make sure bad habits didn’t start. Fortunately the set up of the house was such that I could go straight from the front door down to my room. In the first few weeks, Bob would yell a greeting of  “Hey!” from the living room as he heard the front door open, but when I only ever echoed his greeting without expanding on it, he eventually stopped.

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Occasionally I’d find myself with a night free, and I would usually use it to cook myself a nice dinner. Inevitably I would run into Bob while in the kitchen (it was becoming clear that he spent a LOT of time at home), and he would always begin the interaction with something like “WOW! Look at you! Actually using the kitchen!” or “Oh my god! You’re out of your room!”

Yeah… I really prefer that if we’re going to have sarcasm, that it’s coming from me, not directed at me.  That’s just childish.

Chris actually had a theory that Bob had roommates as much as a source of social interaction as for income. To which my response was something to the effect of  “Too bad, so sad. He’ll get my rent, but he’ll never get my social attention!”

But I started to feel like Bob was paying too much attention to my comings and goings, and was starting to resent me for how little time I spent with him.

I don’t need that kind of emotional guilt at home, that’s what my friends are for.

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Anyway, I started to develop a vague feeling of dread anytime I thought about cooking.

The kitchen rules didn’t help.

I had to immediately wash, dry and put away any dishes or pans I used. There was actually a clause in the lease (which I didn’t notice until after I’d signed it and moved in…who actually reads those things anyway?)  that said he could charge tenants $60 a month if they didn’t follow house rules, or didn’t contribute to keeping the house clean. I was not going to get a $60 slap on the wrist for a dinner plate and fork left in the sink…But since there was no drying rack and only one tiny sponge, doing the dishes was a bigger pain in the ass than I it needs to be. It should be noted too, that there WAS a dishwasher, but it was apparently just there to taunt me.

And when I did overcome my negative feelings about the kitchen, and endeavor to cook something, there was still the issue that no matter what time of day it was, Bob would appear to offer his commentary.

For example:

Him: What are you up to tonight?”

Me: My boyfriend and I are going to an outdoor concert at [local venue].

Him: Oh cool, I’ve never been there before. Its gonna rain though.

Me: We have tarps and ponchos and umbrellas.

Him: You can’t use umbrellas there.

Me: Actually you can.

Him: No…. I don’t think so (little laugh at how silly I am)

Me: (instead of reminding him that he’s NEVER BEEN THERE, I focus on the cookies I’m baking.)

Him: Are those cookies for tonight?

Me: Yup

Him: you’re only making a half-dozen? That’s not enough.

Me: It’s just the two of us.

Him: that’s not enough for 1 person! You have to make more.

Me: Well we have a lot of other food (I’m very careful to look anywhere other than his gigantic stomach which juts directly out from his body like an undeveloped conjoined twin)

Him: Still. You’ll need more cookies!

Me: Just because we COULD eat more cookies, doesn’t mean we SHOULD eat more cookies.

Him: (self-conscious laughter).

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Is it too much to ask to not have to be hassled or told what to do when I’m at home? That’s what work is for.

But I wasn’t ready to give up just yet. I still kept a little bit of food in the kitchen – mostly fresh fruit and vegetables, that I would eat when he wasn’t around, having turned avoiding him into something of a hobby.

But then a “Paper Only” label appeared on the lid of the kitchen garbage can.

I assumed this meant no food in the garbage, which seemed weird because…what else do you put in the kitchen garbage? But fine, whatever. I started throwing my organic waste in the disposal, assuming that was what he had in mind as the alternative.

Except his disposal sucked.

I started experiencing increasing high levels of anxiety anytime I did anything in the kitchen. On the rare occasions when he wasn’t home, sometimes I’d dash into the kitchen and try to whip up a vegetable omelet or something, but the anxiety surrounding what to do with the organic waste cost me precious minutes. I would do this dance between the sink and the garbage as I debated which was the less likely discoverable/fine-able offense: putting food in the garbage, or gunking up the shitty disposal?

Finally I just decided to stop cooking entirely and rely only on frozen meals from Trader’s Joe’s. I confidently assumed that “Paper Only” allowed for cardboard containers and cellophane wrappers.

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Then one day he came home while I was heating up a frozen vegetable lasagna in the microwave. He propped himself against the counter and started holding forth on some topic or other. As I took the lasagna out of the microwave and took the plastic wrapper off, he jumped up and said “Here -” and then pulled a grocery bag from beneath the sink and held it out for me.

Confused, I just looked at him with the wrapper in one hand, my other hand cupped under it to catch the drops of condensation.

“You can throw that in here, and so when you’re done, you can also throw the container in here too,” he said, as if this were the most obvious and normal thing in the world.

“Okay….” I said as I put the wrapper in the bag and turned back to my food.

“I’m the one who put the Paper Only sign on the garbage,” he said with a chuckle.

“I’d assumed as much,” I said with a half-smile as I sat down at the counter realizing my quick and peaceful meal was history.

“Yeah, I just prefer not to have any kind of food go in the garbage. It’s just easier this way.”

I shoved a forkful of lasagna into my mouth so I don’t ask “Easier than what? And what do you do with the shopping bag full of food containers?”

The problem, I realized, is that this is a man who doesn’t cook. As far as I could see the only food he consumed came directly out of either a cardboard box or a paper bag.

“This way you can just take the bag out to the outside garbage when you’re done. It’s just easier,” he said, as if reading my mind.

Again I swallowed my question: “Easier for whom exactly?”

To take the garbage out to the cans requires this bagging up of the offending item, then unlocking the door to the deck, which stuck and was actually really, really hard to turn. Then the sliding screen door was falling off the track and it was a contortionists’ trick to open it and get out without it falling off. Then I’d have to walk across the deck, down the stairs, across the patio to the garbage can, then reverse it all. We’re talking an extra 10 minutes minumum to my “quick” lunch.

This was my breaking point.

I started to wonder if he was just going to keep making up rules to make my life harder to punish me for not wanting to watch TV with him.

As a result my hobby now focused on me having as small a footprint in that house as possible.

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I started keeping peanut butter crackers and power bars in my room to sustain me in an emergency.

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One day he saw me filling up my 16 oz. water bottle from the filter on the fridge – the second time  I’d done that in four months – and he commented that he was about to replace the filter. The next week when he gave me my utilities bill, he had charged me $15 for “water filter”.  So now when he’s not home, I sneak up to the kitchen and fill large bottles full of water so I can get my money’s worth, but make him think I never use the water filter. Which totally makes sense in my head.

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In the mornings, sometimes I hear him getting ready to leave just as I’m getting ready to leave, so I stay in my room until I see his car pull away.

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Every time I leave my room, even if just to go the bathroom across the hall, I check to see if his car is outside, because it’s always important to know the movements of your opponent. Sometimes if I knew he was just upstairs in the living room, I would make extra noise downstairs so he knew I was home and NOT coming upstairs.

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Occasionally I can’t avoid buying food or bringing it into the house. Like the other day, I was sick and craving apples for some reason. So I bought a bag of pre-sliced apples (thinking it would avoid the whole organic waste disposal issue), and after I’d had my fill, I put them in the fridge, and then forgot about them and they went bad.  I wanted to throw them away before he said anything  (or fined me), so in the morning, I waited until he left, then ran up into the kitchen, got them out and then took them to work with me and threw them away in the garbage at work with a certain sense of satisfaction that I was avoiding his outside garbage system.

Its possible I’m operating less from a position of principal and more from an irrational position of childlike stubbornness…

But on the other hand, he misled me about criteria 4 and 5, so as far as I’m concerned, its game on.

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To be continued…

 

 
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