A relationship rant


If you’ve been in a relationship with someone for 14 years, you probably have learned to overlook a lot of shit that your beloved does that drives you batty. For instance, at the beginning of our relationship, The Boyfriend’s inability to wear a watch or tell time was almost a deal breaker. I pride myself on being punctual, to the point of being downright neurotic about it. So, when he said he would be over at my house by 7pm, and he then he didn’t show up until after 8, I would fume. I would yell. And I would threaten to break-up. Eventually, however, when I saw that his inability to tell time was almost a congenital defect, I decided that I would just have to get over it. His good traits outweighed the bad. Besides, he started demonstrating that he was at least making an effort, which greatly softened my annoyance.

But, he has another trait for which he is absolutely unapologetic despite years of my complaining, nagging, and making snide comments. The man uses a clean dish or cup for EVERYTHING.

The Boyfriend is only here one night a week, yet in that 24-hour period, the man generates more dirty dishes than I do all week.ย  Whenever I see him take a plate to eat a piece of coffee cake, or a slice of cold pizza, I give him The Look. The Look that says “really? Is that really necessary?”ย  He acts as if he doesn’t know what The Look means even when I go on to extol the virtues of paper towels.

“Paper towels are wondrous things. They can serve double duty as both a napkin and a plate” I tell him as if I haven’t told him that hundreds of times already.

“Oh yeah. Thanks. Could you hand me one?” he says with no intention of relinquishing the plate.

It’s hopeless. He does the same thing with glasses and cups. He gets out a clean cup even when he just wants a glass of water. It never occurs to him to reuse the glass from which he drank his last sips of refreshing H2O. And I don’t know how he does it, but there is always a plethora of cutlery left in the sink far exceeding the number of utensils needed for what has been consumed. Does he just take them out of the drawer and lick them and put them in the sink?

I suppose this wouldn’t annoy me as much if I had a dishwasher, or if he offered to do the dishes. But, I have neither a mechanical dishwasher nor a human one besides myself. While he does perform many much needed chores around my house, washing dishes is not one of them.

I suppose I could wrap up this little rant with a heart-warming lesson about love, patience, forgiveness, gratitude or some other bullshit. Perhaps if I had more time, I could come up with some meaningful life lesson from this. But, no, I have a sink of goddamn dishes I need to wash.

Your insights, suggestions, condolences or a free dishwasher are always welcome.

10 responses »

  1. at the risk of being ecco-illogically insensitive ~ I say lock up the crockery and give him paper & plastic to dine with = then announce that this is a “recycling” household and so he is expected to reuse his cup, plate and plastic utensils for the duration of his stay. Next visit he get a fresh set. Gotta love that fist moment of insight when he realizes the only way to get a cup is the fish the last one he just threw in – out of the trash.

  2. I love that you are the one other person I know in a relationship similar to mine. A 12+ year partnership where you aren’t married and don’t love together. Very few people understand that about me ๐Ÿ™‚

    So I say I agree with meandering – get paper & plastic for that one day a week.

    • Hmmmm. Interesting slip there, Christina. I take it you meant “live together” not “love together”.

      It’s funny about my long-term non-live-in relationship. A male friend of mine at work finds it the strangest thing in the world. He even thinks its a little sad. Yet, one day at a luncheon we were at together, I started discussing my relationship with some female colleagues. My male colleague was fully expecting for them to agree with him that it was weird. Instead, the women-folk all thought it was an awesome arrangement, much to his chagrin.

      • Hah – yeah – wrote a few bazillion words this weekend and was clearly well past done when I read your blog ๐Ÿ™‚ Now see, it is the women-folk who I often want to slap. Asking stupid questions like “Are you EVER gonna marry that man?!” and “So, when is Marcus moving in with you?” And on and on…I had to be downright rude to two of them to get them shut the hell up about it. I do admit that it has died down. Like we somehow passed some magical threshold wherein everyone just gave up ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Eat out. I find this really reduces dishwashing. Not only will it take the strain out of your relationship, it could add a little romance too.

  4. Let it go. You said that he’s been doing this for years, he’s obviously not going to change but your reaction is always the same which is to get totally stressed about it which means you are losing out in 2 ways – having dirty dishes and an anurism. You said he does odd jobs around the house, well think of that as his pay off for this one very annoying habit . It doesn’t mean he is taking you for granted , he just doesn’t prioritise this in the same way you do.
    Or reverse psycology, tell him you’ve come to terms with this and it doesn’t actually bother you anymore because you are appreciative of the other stuff he does therefore because the broken nagging record has stopped playing, he may take it upon himself to make more of an effort.

  5. I have to admit LB, I’m one of those that finds it a curiosity. My next door neighbor has been with her fella for 30 years and has told me that she’s certain had they gotten married when they were fresh out of college… well as that popular song goes “you’re just someone that I used to know.”

    Despite that… I still find it odd. : )

  6. This post made me LAUGH LAUGH LAUGH because my bf has the same affliction, only with paper towels. He can go through 1/2 a roll in an afternoon, easy. I feel like a lunatic hoarder when I pick them out of the trash and put them in a pile to mop up dog drool…but somebody’s gotta do it. I think there are universal gripes we women have against our partners and it’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one wrestling with love and hate sometimes. Lol.

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