If the passive aggressive fight over cleaning standards doesn’t end in violence, the foot long brown hairs in the fridge and space for each of our food needs is going to end in violence.
Seriously, it’s only Day 6 of California’s shelter-in-place edict, and we’re mostly keeping our distance and finding out after-the-fact what the other person did to get on our last nerve.
700 square feet of living space is VERY tight quarters when 100 square feet belongs to each bedroom (thankfully at opposite ends of the house!), leaving 500 square feet of communal space for skirmishes or negative, passive-aggressive drivebys.
It’s especially brutal, though, when one is the homeowner, trying to make a homeless house guest feel welcome. And, when the houseguest is 64-going-on-16, and entitled.
Immunocompromised, I’m fighting for my life after already contracting bacterial pneumonia from this guest after she brought a nasty cold home from her visit to her grandchild over President’s Day Weekend. She doesn’t understand why I’m on disability as I look well enough. So, she takes risks, uncaring and indifferent to the reality that I may pay a price from her choices or actions. (the image at the top of this blog shows dishes fully covered with hot water, soaking in soap, before I begin washing the dishes).
This image shows her typical preparations for dish washing, in cold water, with minimal soap:
She can’t wash dishes worth a damn, refusing to soak them – totally covered – in hot, hot water for a bit before scrubbing them, and insisting on rinsing the still-crusty dishes in cold water. Never mind using a disposable pan again and again, because she’s claimed it as hers, when I don’t want crust-covered items put back among the clean dishes.
Oh my freaking gawd !
My Mom used to BOIL the dishes water before we had an actual dish washing machine, so I think I’m being reasonable in insisting they merely sit for 30 minutes or so in 140 degree hot / hot water before leaving the dish rinse water on to achieve the necessary warm-to-hot dish rinse water. (This is an old, old house, and it takes time for the hot water to make it to the sink from the heater). No burning of skin on hands, you understand, but pretty close. Just call me “Marilla”, LOL. (Marilla from the Netflix series, “Anne with an E” in the frustrated homemaker on the right).
I’ve been going on walks around the fields near my home, trying to stay busy and healthy and not exchange the harsh words hiding behind my teeth as we endure month 9 together.
But, the food wars and related cleanup may be my breaking point.
My food storage is getting shoved to the side, touched with unwashed hands (yet another point of difference in our habits), and as she crawls in and out of the fridge shoving more and more food into the fridge that doesn’t require refrigeration as this pandemic is stroking all of her fears of being helpless and starving, leaving foot long spider’s web hairs tangled among the condiments and tripping me up when I’m reaching for something, I’m reaching my breaking point.
(her frozen items are to the left, as her ice creams and other foods crowd my homemade, healthier, food, and I’ve had to remind her that I only get paid once a month, and she is NOT to take all my food storage space as I eat my way through my stored meals).
(I have the upper left, with water and thawing frozen, 1 cup meals. Then, my omelet making materials – more protein – is getting squeezed out on the right on the second shelf. And, the bottom shelf is getting more and more hers as she stores every kind of bread known to man in there, and it’s pressing all my buttons in this petty fight for reasonable access to space). Now I understand why the Real World MTV series fights were always about food and the kitchen !
We aren’t Jewish, and I don’t run a Kosher kitchen. But, it might be pretty close by some standards. And my OCD for order in the fridge, and cleanliness, are getting on my last nerve – never mind hers.
We *will* get through this passive aggressive war for space, but is it so wrong to know that I’m counting the days until she finds subsidized housing – anywhere but with me! – sooner rather than later?
Sadly, with the disabled and elderly on the list of most likely to pass, I’m also hoping for a bright side to someone else’s misfortune. Puhleeze, if there is a God, let this pandemic get my houseguest higher up on the waiting list to get a place of her own. We will both thank whatever powers-that-be…