>> Tuesday, 30 December 2008
'It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a family man in possession of a few empty days in-between Christmas and New Year, must be able to instigate a reorganisation of the home.
However little known the feelings or views of his wife may be on first encountering this plan, this truth is so well fixed in the mind of the Husband that all cupboards are considered his rightful property until negotiated otherwise by his Beloved...'
My sincere apologies to Miss Austen for paraphrasing the opening passage of her wonderful novel, 'Pride and Prejudice'. Which title, by the way, is a pretty good summary of Husband's and my respective attitudes to his recent project of getting the Boys into the same bedroom; Pride, from him, for making it happen, and for amongst other things; making trips to the skip and the storage facility, negotiating Homebase in the holiday season and last but not least, installing 4 shelves that have actually - counter to expectations - stayed up. Prejudice, from me, because I didn't get to plan it...
They say opposites attract. Whilst I think that this is not always the case, there are certainly aspects of my personality and Husband's that seem to confirm that it is.
For example. I like to live a tidy life. A place for everything, everything in it's place. Obviously two small boys have forced me to modify this somewhat, but overall it's the only way I'm able to live without itching. The keys always put back in the same spot. The milk in the same shelf on the fridge. Washing hung the most efficient way. Anal? Perhaps. But it's the only way for me to keep a lid on the chaos. Sure, if you live a bedsit and have few possessions, this level of control is not necessary or desirable, I agree with that. But once you acquire a Husband (especially MY husband) and children, you have to make a choice. Either you spend hours fruitlessly searching for the smallest train / lost glove / vital piece of lego each day, or, always put them back in roughly the same place and save yourself the trouble.
Husband, on the other hand, comes at this from the opposite end of the spectrum. When we met, his start point was that if something is dropped on the floor, then it can't fall any further - and should be easy to find. Now, he's moved on a little from there, just as I have moved on a little from an over-regimented life, and most of the time we meet somewhere in the middle. I tolerate the nest of shoes that breeds under his side of the bed. He ignores my putting stuff into useful piles (prior to ignoring it entirely and leaving it there - useless but tidy - for the next week / month / year).
So it always come as a nasty shock to me when he has one of his periodic 'I can't live like this anymore! We are going to sort things out - NOW!' fits, and then actually - horror! - does something about it. One of his favourite sayings is that you have to create chaos to remove chaos. Which is what has happened here in the few days before and after Christmas.
I would have been very happy to muse on the possibility that the boys go in one bedroom together and what needed to be done to make that happen for weeks. Oh, alright. MONTHS! Anything to put off actually having to do something about it. I would have planned it meticulously; worked out where to buy the right boxes to put stuff in on the new shelves once we eventually got round to booking a handyman to come and put them into the cupboards; pondered which quilt to buy for Boy #2's new bunk when I finally got to the point of organising the new mattress; and gradually got my children ready for such a tumultuous move etc etc.
Husband, on the other hand, parachuted in from Mars for a few days over the Christmas break, decided that now is as good a time as any to make it happen, and just did it.
God, that pisses me off.
(But thankyou, my darling. You are a wonder, a marvel, and I promise to get that year-old insurance quote sorted out by at least the beginning of February. Or March, at the latest...)