Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Keeping Mum

I was shopping the other day and noticed a pack of hand reared sausages. How do you hand rear a sausage? I have this image of sausages skipping round a field on a farm in Suffolk. Some farmer and his helper trying to round them up using a Dachshund dog in much the same vein as a sheep dog!

Like me, some people have over active imaginations. Other people only like realism as they have no imagination. Some have street smart sense, some have common sense and some people just make no sense at all.

I have a house mate like that. For the sake of anonymity and legal reasons we’ll call him Fred!

Fred is a clever individual. He went to university, a proper one, not the University of Fyfe like I tell people I attended… Wait a min, I mean the University of Life! An easy mistake to make. He has also recently completed an MA. So he’s clever, he’s not Einstein clever, but has the qualifications to prove he should know what he’s talking about.

However, I am thinking schools and universities should start teaching common sense, real life situations, a life qualification, and you’re not allowed out into the big wide world until you’ve passed this. I mean you aren’t allowed to drive, even if you know how to, legally until you have the piece of paper that states you can drive.

Fred is one such person that shouldn’t have been allowed out in the open. I mean I am glad he has been allowed out as he provides endless hours of accidental humour. So much so that I have created two booklets of his phrases – the first volume was even sold for a charity event and raised over £60!

You always know what he means when he opens his mouth, but you still have to laugh. He once told me he had been talking to his cousin’s brother. Surely this would also be his cousin too, which it was, and so there was no need to add in the extra word ‘brother’, he could have summed it up much better by using just cousin in the first place.

And this isn’t the daftest thing he has said either.

He confuses things quite easily. He once saw a Jewish Chinese tribute act to Robbie Williams. He told me he thought it was funny as the wannabe Robbie act sung ‘Rock DJ’ in his turban. The only thing he’s missed there is homosexuality and then he would have ticked most of the boxes!

And he’s also full of ‘facts’ too. Like the ‘fact’ you can lock your car door from further away if you put the remote locking key to your head. Or the ‘fact’ that you can’t lick your elbow. This is actually a fact, I have tried it in private, but he showed an entire group – why would you randomly bring this up? Especially when it had nothing to do with the conversation at the time?!

He also told me that a lad he knew left his girlfriend for her twin sister. I asked if they were identical twins to which he replied "They look similar, but there are a few years between them". That must have been some pregnancy!!!

He has views on travel too. He only holidays in British places… like Tenerife!! Again, I know what he means, most people understand what he’s getting at, but it doesn’t quite make sense. When he’s abroad he only likes to eat English foods too, like Chinese! And the only curries he likes are Chinese curries and he doesn’t really like them either.

There are so many more examples of confusion, lack of common sense and general misunderstanding. Far too much to put in one place, it would take several posts to fully appreciate the bloke.

I now live with him though and where the fun ends and the ‘me-turning-into-my-Mum’ begins is a very fine line.

I found myself in the position of needing a housemate earlier this year. Fred travels quite a distance to work and so it made sense for him to move in.

Now he ain’t a bad housemate to have. He’s a salt of the earth kind of bloke. Y’know the type, his heart’s in the right place. It’s just a shame that he isn’t that house proud. I am you see. I have moments where I let things slide, but overall I am house proud, sometimes OCD about it in fact. I like things to be a certain way.

When you live with someone you find out their little habits. Some are endearing, most are irritating. I do have a low tolerance level, especially when tired, so those annoying little habits suddenly seem massive when faced with them day in day out.

He does cook, not for me, I don’t expect that, but generally he eats quite healthily – he eats non stop to be honest. I don’t cook. In fact it’s quite scary that as soon as I ring the local take away, they know my order before I say it and know my address straight away. In fact I get a Christmas card off of them each year – a kind of ‘thank you for keeping us in business’ type thing.

The problem when Fred cooks though is that he isn’t happy until he’s used every single pot, pan, utensil in the house. I mean he’s cooking for one but not even the army have as big a pile of washing up as he does afterwards.

And as for cleaning up after, well put it this way it isn’t to my standards! He leaves the George Formby Lean, Green, Fighting machine lathered in grease or herbs where he’s peppered his chicken breast. It can stand there for weeks until he decides the grease trap has solidified enough!

I find myself re-stacking the dishwasher after him, to ensure everything goes in and is cleaned properly. I go round with my 99.9% germ killing anti-bacterial spray and clean all the surfaces. I then walk into the living room and say "I’ve not been put on this earth to follow you round and clean up".

That’s when it hits me that I have become the woman in this relationship – I am turning into my Mum!!!

He will make his tea, put his fodder on a tray and then go sit on the couch or the floor armed with the salt shaker, the ketchup and sometimes the pepper. I sit there whilst he eats. And eats. And it’s very loud! He crunches, gurgles and slurps. It is like sitting in the middle of a treatment plant sometimes! I turn the TV up, so he sits and eats even louder.

Apparently he likes to eat little and often. It is more lots and constantly in my experience.

In between meals he makes toast. He goes through bread like a small plague of locusts going through a corn field. He must also use the bluntest, crappiest, knife there is as the amount of crumbs he leaves afterwards is mammoth! I mean there’s that many crumbs he could join them all back up to make another loaf!!

And in I walk after and hoover them all up or brush them into the bin, following him around like any good Mum would. I find myself ‘tutting’ loudly in his general direction. Tapping my foot and proclaiming again that I am not here to clean up after him.

I should draw the line at making him give me three rings when he goes out so I know he’s safe mind you!!

Then when you’re watching TV he’ll take his shoes off – and leave them where he took them off – and start rubbing his feet together rhythmically. The noise of hard, callous skin rubbing against hard, callous skin. If he kept it up he could start a fire. The noise puts my teeth right on edge!

Speaking of fire, he also left the iron on the other day! I went near it just before leaving the house and suddenly felt warmth. Maybe he is some secret assassin out to kill me? Either way I really shouldn’t have to follow him round to ensure my safety!

So, as a result, I nag.

We have become like a married couple and quite frankly that scares me. It has all the hallmarks of a couple who have been married for 40+ years. Very little talking, no sex life at all and all I do is nag! Not that I am looking for a sex life here folks. Fred isn’t my type, as in he has a penis! Well, I think he does, although thankfully I have never witnessed it so am just presuming.

It is getting to the point where I do the housework at the weekend, when he’s out, so that I have a moment where the house is spotless and I am happy and relaxed. Then when he returns I let him know exactly what I’ve done, because I know he won’t have noticed. He never notices! I am even rolling my eyes as I type this!

At what point did we go from Gary and Tony in Men Behaving Badly to Basil and Sybil in Fawlty Towers?

AND is it unfair to ask him to piss a little quieter? I am sat downstairs and he’s upstairs in the bathroom and it sounds like Victoria Falls coming through my ceiling? The pressure he must have built up in anticipation of the release is immense!!

The problem isn’t that he isn’t a good house mate, even though the above suggests that is the case. The real problem why all this really gets to me is because, by living with Fred, I have realised what a bitch I am! I have realised I have become some kind of bored housewife (not even the decent porn kind either!), some kind of nagging wife, some kind of mother figure to Fred (and I am younger!). This doesn’t sit well with me at all. I have encapsulated years of marriage into 10 short months of living with each other!

I need to stop letting it get to me. I need to start relaxing a bit more… I need to get out more! In fact in the words of Fred "We’ll be here until we go at this rate!"

So, for my own sanity, I need to go…