What I Say: “John, I love you. I just wish that you could learn to stop focusing on the things you see as imperfections. You can’t love parts of people and throw the rest away. You would never respect me if I kept giving in to your constant attempts to alter me to your exact preferences because you would just keep finding things that you didn’t like. If you truly love me as a person, you will learn to tolerate or ignore the things you disapprove of and focus only on the positives.”
Ah, the month of June. Not a snowflake in the sky, yet, nor a drop of rain to mar the scorching heat. But arguments that no one wanted are begun before they have started with the firing of a single passive aggressive shot that will inevitably be heard around the world, if not within the neighborhood.
John sometimes forgets that I am not his roommate. He sometimes forgets that I am a reasonably functioning adult who has, on occasion, shared his bed. He forgets this and he wrings his hands and rolls his eyes when the forgetful act causes me to respond with a fairly appropriate amount of annoyance that only turns nasty when he refuses to acknowledge his part in the drama.
In the refrigerator he has marked a pint of yogurt with a “J”. Because even though he routinely inhales the big pints of yogurt in one sitting, now is the time he feels the need to be concerned. When I buy eggs and bacon, he doesn’t hesitate to eat them, because that’s what I buy them for. But there are times when he finishes them when I’m trying to make them last and that leads to more frustration. Do I put my initials on the eggs I don’t want him to touch? Maybe I should start marking the dish detergent I buy so that he doesn’t dilute it with water when it seems to be running out (but there’s still more than enough to last at least a week).
It wouldn’t be so annoying except that I have been living with him for almost a year now. He forgets that when he asks me to save pickles for him, or tells me that the cheese is for him, I am quite consistent about not eating those things. There they remain until well past their expiration date, because he forgets they are there.
What’s even funnier is when he buys something that he decides he doesn’t like, and then expects me to finish it, because that was the day that I apparently looked and sounded like the garbage disposal.
The summer promises to be a long and fruitful one. This phase of marking the food will pass, only to resurface like the mighty Phoenix. And knowing that John reads this blog and listens to me here more than when I am talking to him directly, will be the assurance I take that the initials that I mark the this relationship with will not F or U.
John finally learned the magic word to get me to shut up. “Sorry”.
I’m afraid that now that everyone knows the secret, I won’t be able to get a word in edgewise.
There was a baseball cap on my table in the living room.
We’ve had some wet weather recently. John has asked me on numerous occasions if I would like to wear a cap, or use an umbrella. I have refused. Politely. I shouldn’t really have to qualify how I refused something. The point is that I’ve said no.
But, John left the cap on my table in the living room, yesterday. Then he asked me if I wanted to wear it when I go out in the rain. Again, I said no.
You know what it’s like?
Have you ever had someone discreetly leave a Bible on your pillow? Or a tract? Have you ever repeatedly rejected someone’s attempts to convert you to their religion? (Yes, Wiccans, you’re just as guilty of this, so don’t get high and mighty now) It’s annoying and it’s completely disrespectful. But they do it anyway because deep down, they believe that the only reason you’re saying no is that you’re either too stupid to know better, or you just haven’t experienced it properly enough to make a sound judgment (the sound judgment would of course be a “Yes”).
It’s like someone insisting that the only reason you’re gay, is because you’ve clearly never had sex with the opposite gender, or just haven’t found “The right one”. Because the right one has to be the one that your “friend” approves of.
John, I love you, but this is what happens when I feel like no one is listening. I shout it out in public. Neither of us is ever happy with it, but maybe now you’ll understand that when I say no about something, it means no.
You have things you wish for me not to do. I carefully select movies that I know won’t upset you, because I am thinking of you. Because I have listened to you these past two years and I am applying what I have learned about you through listening so that we can be happy together.
But this is what happens when I feel you are not listening to me. I turn to my readers. Some of them will troll me and tell me how I’m the bad guy. I’m sure you’ll even take umbrage with the fact that I went a head and aired our problems to the world. But oh well, this is a step I am taking.
Consider this an exercise in our relationship.