It is, right? Because then you don’t have to worry about collecting the child, or paying the bills, or cooking, or going to work, or doing the laundry, or making sure you leave home on time to drop the child off at school.
Yes, it’s great when you don’t have to be responsible for these things. That makes it ok to do all these things as a favour, rather than as the thing you have to do – the thing you are obliged to do as your contribution to the wellbeing of your family.
Now, you’ve probably realised I’m not really talking about you, dear reader, no… not unless you happen to be my (ex)husband.
I’m not complaining. No, I’m not, because he does do a lot of these things (aside from the working, paying the bills, and anything that involves waking up early in the morning). And because he doesn’t work or pay the bills, he maintains that this home that I share with Rosie – and which he bought with his money and built with his blood and sanity (although I contributed a lot of money and sanity to it, too, not to mention blood) – this home is now ours and ours alone.
“I have no interest in this property,” he never hesitates to remind me, and when he says interest I am quite certain he means both financial and emotional. He has no interest. Or he has interest, in so far as it affects Rosie.
“This is it,” he says. “This is all there is, and I’m giving it to you. There won’t be anything else.”
I say: “I never asked for it.”
And he says, “Well, that’s all there is and I’m giving it to you.”
Does he expect me to thank him for it? Because all I can imagine is that he will throw it back in my face, play the martyr and claim I took everything he had. Give it a few years and this tale will become one of personal grief and victimisation. He’s turned into that type of person. Or maybe he really means it and this is it. Only, I can’t help hearing a bitter note when he speaks of it. I can’t help hearing more than a little resentment.
It was the chicken that pushed us to this point. The chicken in the box. You see, I work ridiculous hours. Last night, I got home after 10pm. It’s not unusual for me to work 9.30 – 8. So, I don’t have much time to open the fridge, let alone clear it out.
Today, he pulled a box out and it was some chicken from who knows when. Roast chicken gone toxic.
“The thing is,” I said, “There’s all this food and you never eat it. You can’t expect me to eat it all.”
“It’s not for me,” he says. (He lives on vegemite on toast when he’s visiting. And nuts and raisins.)
I suppose he has a point, but really, I just can’t manage it all. I’m never around to eat during the week, so it’s no wonder there’s food going off in the fridge. I always expect him to eat, but for some reason he doesn’t. You might call it his attempt at independence, I call it stubborn. He’d rather go to his flat and eat shit out of a tray than eat something that’s actually good for him here.
It was ever thus, I suppose.
I find it insulting. Maybe it’s a cultural thing. I expect him to eat because he’s here and he’s looking after Rosie, and why on earth wouldn’t he just eat the food that’s in the fridge if I’ve said there’s more than enough for all of us?
But he doesn’t. I don’t even know why this pisses me off so much.
Answers below, please.