Aaron, Hannah and I live with Aaron’s Grandma. It’s mutually beneficial; she can’t afford to pay the bills by herself, so we pay all the bills, and we don’t have to pay any rent. Hannah gets her own playroom and bedroom, big backyard and plenty of Grandma cuddles. Grandma gets her bills paid, doesn’t have to worry about falling in the shower and no one finding her for many days (an actual concern she had before we moved in), doesn’t have to do the vacuuming and cleaning, lawn mowing and if she’s not being ridiculously stubborn, has someone to do all of the other chores as well.
It took all of us a while to adjust to living together, but in the end, we got there (mostly). Sure, we fight and annoy each other immensely sometimes, but that’s to be expected.
But now YaYa (Grandma’s daughter, Aaron’s mum, Hannah’s YaYa) is here too. We’re all butting heads and driving one another crazy. I don’t think any three women with families of their own can actually live together. It doesn’t work. Everyone thinks they are the Mum, everyone has their own way of doing things which of course doesn’t correspond to anyone else’s way and drives each other nuts, and everyone thinks that their way is best. Or maybe that’s just me….
I started thinking (yes, I do do that sometimes). Maybe I’m the annoying one?
The other day, I went grocery shopping with Grandma (we always go together, but buy groceries separately, as she doesn’t eat any of the same things as us). I bought an avocado. Grandma got one for YaYa. My avocado was picked out specifically to go in a salad the very next night. I picked it out knowing that it would be plenty ripe (but not too ripe) and super delicious in that awesome salad. YaYa’s avocado wasn’t as ripe. I didn’t know if it would be ripe enough to eat by the next day. Looking at them, I knew that if someone were to come along and eat an avocado, they’d choose mine. The ripe and ready one. Of course. But YaYa’s avocado wasn’t bought lovingly with a specific fate in mind. It could have been eaten at any time during the week. I didn’t know when it would be eaten. So I wrote my name on my avocado. I, of course, thought this was a genius, logical and easy plan to make sure that my avocado didn’t get eaten and got to grace us with it’s presence in my delicious salad.
No one noticed my name on the avocado. Humph. I suppose it’s hard to see when a) you’re not looking for it, and b) avocados are rather dark. At least when they are ripe. Naturally, I whinged about my avocado being eaten. I had to open the other avocado and hope for the best. If it wasn’t ripe, it would be wasted and my salad would suck.
It was fine. Just ripe.
Then I found out later that not only did people not think my name writing on the avocado was a great stroke of genius, but they actually found it obnoxious, annoying, and childish.
One day, YaYa asked what she could do to help. I told her she could do all the big dishes because our dishwasher is a bit special and doesn’t actually fit normal sized plates (the arm is on the bottom of the top rack, and it won’t spin if they are on the bottom, but they don’t physically fit on the top) and other big things like pots and frying pans. “But don’t wash Hannah’s cups. They have to go in the dishwasher.”
I used to be ok with washing her sippy cups in the sink with the rest of the dishes, but then one day I was washing up when Grandma came in and grabbed the little bottle washer thing that I use to get in all the nooks and crannies of the sippy cup lid. That is the only thing I have ever used it for, and that is the only thing I ever wanted it to be used for.
“What are you doing with that?” I asked Grandma possessively. “That is only for Hannah’s cups.”
“Oh, I was just going to clean around the taps in the bathroom with it.”
Excuse me? Just clean around the taps in the BATHROOM??!?!?!?!?!?!!! You’re going to use it to scrub away all that disgusting black stuff that builds up around the taps????????
I was mortified. How many other times has Grandma used Hannah’s bottle brush to clean the bathroom? What else has she used it for? After that, Hannah’s things were strictly dishwasher only, and if I find them in the dish drainer when Grandma decides that she needs to do the dishes, I take them out and put them in the dishwasher anyway.
The cans in the pantry are in nice organised rows. There is a row for pasta sauce, one for canned fruit, one for canned vegetables, another for beans and spaghetti, one for soup, and one for recipe base packets. There is a shelf for snacks, one for pasta/rice, another for cooking things (flours, sugars, etc.). I think my system is wonderful, logical, and beneficial. I know where everything is (and anyone else would too if they listened when I talk). I always know what I have, nothing ever gets lost amidst the chaos of an unorganised pantry, and I don’t spend ages looking for things.
I get cranky when someone messes up my rows of cans, puts a snack item on the cooking shelf, or pasta on the snack shelf. Others don’t seem to take much notice of my system. They throw things where ever, mis-align my can rows, think I’m pedantically organised. Humph.
But I know what happens when you have an unorganised pantry. Things get lost, you can’t find anything, you never know what you actually have, and then before you know it, you eat a can of something, and spend all night vomiting because it had been in there festering for years and years. Or you go to use something else only to find it’s 20 years out of date.
When I first moved here, I cleaned out the pantry to super organise it to my standards. Everything was everywhere, you could spend an hour looking for a particular item. I actually did find food that was 20 years out of date. Yeah, I really did. See, my pantry organising doesn’t sound so crazy now, does it?
I suppose I can understand why I’d be hard to live with, but you know what? I do everything for a reason, and in my mind, they are all very good reasons.
Am I hard to live with?
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