Friday, June 20, 2014

The Addiction

I knew about a little about them before I ever even met my husband.

I had tried them in high school, but even though all my friends liked them, I didn't really get the appeal.They made me look bad, like a weirdo who had no idea what she was doing (which I didn't).

As an adult, I started to like them better. I’d try them on the weekends from time to time, usually when I had nothing better to do.

As my relationship with JT grew, I began to truly understand the depth of his infatuation with them. He never lied to me about it. He was always upfront.He had loved them long before he loved me, and he had no plans to stop. I got it. Sort of.

It wasn’t really even until this past year when I really started to dislike them. For weeks on end, they were all he could talk about. There was no escaping them. I’d try to read or listen to music to distract myself from them, but I just couldn't.

Granted, it was the playoffs, but still. 

My husband, as many of you know, is a sports junkie. He works in the field, but far exceeding his professional obligation is an intense passion for anything in life involving competition, preferably when the fate of a football/baseball/basketball/puck/spandex-clad man is involved.

His obsession was tolerable at first. Fortunately, many of the teams he holds most dear aren’t what many analysts would call “good.” Therefore, some seasons (coughfootballcough!) were kept pretty short. His favorite teams are from another state, so most times, the games he wants to see don’t even air here. Which all worked out just fine for me. (JT is probably filing for divorce over this paragraph at this exact moment.)

However, a few weeks ago, a culmination of events led to what can only be described as a seemingly unending torture-fest for me.

It all started when the projector in the Man Cave died. That was JT’s preferred sports watching arrangement, which had always been A-OK with me. A dead projector - and the ridiculously high repair cost - meant a couple weeks of saving up money and relying solely on the living room TV for entertainment.

Unbeknownst to me, several factors were aligning that would render my home life unbearable for the duration of those weeks. (An aside: Fans of the following teams, do not hate me. I wish no ill will toward your beloved team. I support the local teams, though I will never pretend I watch every game. I’m happy when they’re doing well and when I do get to go to any live sports event, I always love it. It’s just that, like I said, I prefer to watch sports in small doses. Not every waking minute of my existence for weeks on end. We good? OK.)

The Capitals had not even made the playoffs, so that hell was avoided for yet another year. But the Pens were still in it, so JT shifted his attention to them. At the same time, the Wizards were also suddenly playoff-worthy. Between the two teams, I swear there was a game a night for two weeks. Add his weekly ritual of watching Monday Night RAW and the Orioles randomly popping up on local channels and I can honestly say I did not watch one thing I wanted to watch on TV for a solid two weeks.

I did, however, listen to A LOT of screaming. JT screaming. Announcers screaming. Players screaming. Fans screaming.

I also read, watched stuff on my computer (though my computer is very old and very sucky so quality was lacking at best), read some more, ate dinner alone in the dining room, moped around, sighed loudly, and went to bed by like 8 p.m. every night, annoyed and wondering what I’d missed on any number of the shows I actually looked forward to watching. You know, non-screamy ones.

This went on and on until one evening, as JT climbed into bed after his nightly shouting fest with the TV and I decided to say something. He’d always been honest with me, right? Time to return the favor.

“Baby,” I asked, rolling over to face him.

“Yeah, babe?” he asked, snuggling toward me.

“I love you,” I said.

“I love you t-”

“I’m not done. I love you, but unless you want me to murder you in your sleep because I can’t get the sound of thousands of people screaming out of my head, you will FIX THE GODDAMN PROJECTOR. OK? OK. Kisses. Love you. ‘Night.”

I don’t really know if it was my pillow talk that night, or whether teams stopped playing sports, or what, but JT never asked me to watch a game in the living room again. The projector still isn’t fixed, so I assume the latter.

My intervention is working for now, but I know it's just a short summer before football season starts again. Of course, he'll relapse, but that's OK. At that point, I'll be the fixed projector's biggest fan.  

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Place for Everything

I originally wrote this in the summer of 2011, just a few months after JT moved in with me in the little farmhouse we called home for a few years. I recently sat down to write an essay about how insane I am about keeping my house in order, then realized, oh wait, I already did. Three years ago. And nothing’s changed. So, other than referring to my now-husband as my boyfriend, I’m pretty much in the same place. Yay for consistency! Oh well. The good news is JT now has his own man cave, so I never have to see his endless piles of clothes/papers/receipts/wires/cables/wrestlingchampionshipbelts (not even remotely kidding) unless I intentionally go down to the basement. Which I only do to do laundry. Which I do a lot. Because I freakin’ love to clean. Sigh. The cycle continues…...

I'm a neat freak. I have been since I was a child. I can remember coming home from school, walking into my bedroom and gasping in horror because the dolls I had lined up atop my wardrobe were not in their proper order. My mother had dusted, and now the world was nothing but chaos. I actually yelled at her her, if I remember correctly, and schooled her in the ways of organizing them to my liking. I still always knew when they had been disturbed.

That need for neatness has never left. The first thing I do every morning is take a lap around my house and make sure everything is exactly where it should be - or rather, where I want it to be. It always is, never fail, as before I go to bed each night, I take the same lap, straightening magazines so they're in a perfect stack, putting dishes away in their designated shelf spots, making sure photo frames are in line with the edge of the table so as to not appear askew.

I clean if not daily then damn close. My theory is this: if you do little things everyday - a vacuum run here, a polishing there - then you never have to have one of those days that people dread when they're stuck in the house all day, frantically scrubbing everything down in anticipation of some guest or holiday event. I, on the other hand, never dread those days, and do them sometimes just for fun.

Now that the bf lives here and this is his home too, I've really worked on getting over the whole "a place for everything and everything in its place" mentality - to a degree. All my stuff is still where it belongs. His stuff has taken up residency in odd places, like the dining room - a room I'd never really used much before but now serves as his storage space for work bags, paperwork, and the occasional pair of sunglasses. Do I think those things belong in a dining room? No. Do I think it's nuts that something like that would bother me? Yes. So I don't let it get to me. I just move his stuff out of my line of vision so I can't see it when relaxing in my living room. Problem solved!

He also tends to use the bowl in my entryway, whose sole purpose was to hold my keys so I never lose them, as a catchall for everything in his pockets. His keys ends up there, but so does his wallet, loose change, receipts, ticket stubs, Chapstick, more sunglasses and hats. Of course, that all does not fit in the tiny bowl, so it has taken over my entryway. Along with three or four pairs of his shoes. This is another thing I really have to push past to not let it bother me. So the first thing people see when they walk into our home is a pile of junk and three pairs of sneakers? Hell, there are worse things. This is what I tell myself every time I walk in the door and instantly begin to feel to onset of a panic attack.

The thing is I know I'm the batty one here. It is not normal to let these types of things bother you. I can never be mad at another person for not living up to my supreme need for organization. That would be like being a heroin addict and getting pissed that your straight-edge significant other doesn't shoot up with you every day.

I will continue to work on this, though from what I can tell, this particular trait of mine is getting worse with age. Perhaps one day years down the road, I'll be the one dusting my own daughter's room, putting everything back in perfect order just so she can tear it all apart the second I'm out the door. 

Oh well. I'll put it all back again during my nightly lap around the house.