The Good, The Bad and Ugly Habits – Entry 198

Dear Diary

It’s amazing what you learn about people when you spend more time with them. It turns out that Karate Kid has a phobia to ceiling fans. I’ve used ceiling fans or most of my life and so feel safe when sleeping beneath one. The last place that I house-shared at did not have a ceiling fan and all I had was a small pedestal fan to circulate air (if you remember, opening my curtains was not an option as my window faced the house of my uncouth, unfriendly neighbours).

Karate Kid’s irrational fear of ceiling fans had not been apparent until the first night he slept over. I thought he was joking to begin with and then realised how serious the problem was. He was accustomed to sleeping with air-conditioning (something I refused to pay for, especially with my recent increase in expenses). He did look anxious and uncomfortable lying on the bed under the spinning fan. I felt sorry for him and also annoyed as his fear was irrational. I told him that I’d slept under fans most of my life and that nothing bad had ever happened. Besides, if it did fall down, what’s the worst that could happen? Maybe some facial bruising and a headache.

As a compromise, I took the side of the bed with the fan above it (he’s the one that likes it cool, I actually like to sleep in the warmth). We only have the ceiling fan set at the lowest speed for now. As his confidence builds we will be able to turn it up in the hotter months.


 

Moving on to more interesting news. Karate Kid and I have officially been living together for just over three weeks. Last week when I started typing this I was happy to report that it’s officially so far, so good status……now that I’ve come back to finish the entry I am of a different mindset. Let’s start with the positive:

There have been a couple of highlights to report back to you. On the Easter weekend, I was invited to join Karate Kid at his sister’s place for lunch. I didn’t realise how big of a deal it was until we were driving there….it wasn’t just his sister, her husband and three-year-old….it was also his mother, her partner, his other sister and her five-year-old daughter, and his brother-in-law’s mother. So, practically everyone, bar his other sister’s husband who works away a lot.

I must admit that I felt really nervous and awkward for the car trip and for a good part of the lunch. The children made it more comfortable as they wanted to play with me. I’ll admit that I’m not the most maternal creature and don’t really know how to play with children (I like it when they are older so that I can talk to them like an adult and have in-depth discussions over important matters of concern, such as, if unicorns really do exist).

The good thing about the lunch was that the family were very welcoming and accepting of me. Karate Kid’s mother gave me a bag filled with Easter eggs and his older sister gave us a set of wine glasses that she had spare. When we were eating they all made sure that I had food on my plate and passed me all of the dishes to sample. Karate Kid seemed relaxed and spent a lot of time playing chase with his niece and nephew.

Karate Kid’s younger sister referred to me as Aunt Anastasia when she told the niece to give me a hug hello and goodbye. His older sister said that she was looking forward to seeing us again soon. She also gave us some leftover food to take with us. I was surprised at how supportive they were of the relationship and left feeling very positive about things. So positive, that I have since lost the anxious thoughts of when and if marriage or conceiving will ever be on the cards with Karate Kid.


 

A week later, I was invited to join Karate Kid and his mother to buy flowers for a special annual ceremony for deceased family members. I would not attend the ceremony, but I could go to the markets to help with the flowers. I felt like it was a privilege to be invited by his mother. I hoped that she wanted to get to know me….but part of me felt that she was also looking for any ‘red flags‘ as to why I wouldn’t be good for her son.

Karate Kid translated a few things between us on the drive to the markets, most of the trip was awkward silence, though. When we got there, his mother knew exactly which stall she wanted to go to. They needed to buy eight distinct flower boxes, one for each member of the family buying them. My job was to stand and guard the flowers that had been selected while Karate Kid and his mother looked for more.

Karate Kid asked me which type of flower I liked. I told him that I liked the peach coloured roses. He went to find a nice bunch to buy for me. Whilst he was away, I smelt the flower box that I was holding. When Karate Kid returned, his mother said something to him in their native tongue…..it turns out that I had made a faux pas…ooopies. Apparently, you’re not meant to smell ceremony flowers. His mother took the box from me and went to swap it for another one. I felt really bad but then also giggled to myself that it was better that I sniffed them at the market than when we got them home….His mother seemed forgiving (or was it strike 1? haha).

His mother saw the bunch of peach-coloured roses that he was buying for me and told him to buy a different bunch that was bigger with lilies mixed in. I thought that this was very sweet of her. She seemed to want things to work out between us. She told Karate Kid to tell me that I was allowed to smell my bunch of flowers as much as I wanted to (I couldn’t tell if this was said with humour or not…..). 

On the drive home, his mother said two things that Karate Kid translated for me. One thing was that she invited me to come to dinner after the ceremony. Karate Kid had mentioned it but had not invited me. I wasn’t exactly sure what to do as I felt obliged but didn’t know if Karate Kid wanted me there or not. I didn’t accept or decline the offer, rather, I sat quiet and decided that I would see what Karate Kid said after we dropped his mother home.

The second thing that his mother wanted translated was a question – Does my family like Karate Kid? Wow, I thought that this was a very intense question. The only answer is ‘yes‘, right? Fortunately for me, the answer was truly a yes as I haven’t heard any negative feedback from them yet. I told her that my parents were away house-hunting closer to the rest of my relatives at the moment. She asked when they were coming back. These questions were significant. She wanted to know how viable our relationship was in terms of family support, and, I also have a strong suspicion that she wants to meet them eventually……


 

I did end up going to the family dinner after the ceremony. I met another of Karate Kid’s Aunts and was made to play with his niece (who decided that she loved me – I don’t really understand why as I didn’t play with her the first time I met her….kids, who understands them?).

The food was delicious. I thought to myself that I should learn how to make it some time. Karate Kid liked the sound of it and the day after the dinner suggested that his mother come to look at our new home and teach me how to cook something. Following the same tangent, Karate Kid has tried to teach me some of his native tongue. Why couldn’t they just speak English or Spanish? Spanish was a major commitment for me to learn, but it was also a passion. I’d be learning this next language out of obligation…hmmmm whether to enroll in classes or not.

At the dinner, his Aunt gave us a bag filled with plums. She had purchased a large amount at a market and didn’t know what to do with them. I didn’t know what to do with them either, but accepted them as one should never look a gift-horse in the mouth. I have since used them all to make plum jam for scones and a plum sauce for pork.

Again, I left the dinner feeling positive about everything. Who would have thought things would be going so well?


 

Let’s fast forward to the weekend just past. Things have been going really well until now.

We all knew that Karate Kid wasn’t the domestic type and that there’s a bit of training to do. Despite it’s perceived insignificance, my pet peeve is that he doesn’t put his towel on the rack properly after a shower. He has been screwing it up into a ball and squeezing it between the rung and the wall – this leads to mold growth and stinky towels. I have been diligently straightening up his towel to optimise drying between showing…….there has been a recent development, however. This bad habit of his has since transformed into him leaving the towel on the floor….

Diary, I like to think that I’m a doting and tolerant partner. There is a ‘but’, though. Picking up his wet towel off the floor is where I draw the line. I am not a maid and this is not a hotel. His towel is sitting on the floor now as I’m writing this. He’s at wrestling class and will have to pick it up himself when he gets back and wants to have another shower. I feel really petty, but he can’t expect me to pick up after him.


 

I’ve been feeling a bit sensitive in the past week or so, Diary. I am unsure as to whether living together is a good idea or not. It’s so easy looking after myself. Moving to this new place was meant to improve my quality of life. It has improved a bit, but other areas have gotten worse. Namely, housework quadrupling. Quadrupling? you ask. Yes, quadrupling. Before, the housework was shared with my previous housemate. Now, I do all the housework and Karate Kid generates a lot of work for me to do.

I do all the cooking, washing and cleaning at the unit. Karate Kid sits and plays on his phone whilst I prepare breakfast for us both each morning. It’s only in the past two days that he’s starting straightening up the bed after getting out of it (for him, this is probably considered a big effort). He does say that he’ll wash up after I cook…but most times the dishes sit there for a day before I end up doing them to make way for the next lot of dirty dishes.

What gets me is that I am in more of a rush to get out the door in the morning than he is. He’s more than capable of helping out, even setting the table or buttering the toast, but he doesn’t. I think he likes being cared for.

I don’t mind caring for the ones I love, Diary, but I also don’t like feeling like a doormat. I prepare and freeze our lunches for the week and also cook dinner. Our washing machine is small so I do about three to four loads of washing a week. I do wonder if the thought crosses his mind to offer to offer to do a load every now and again.

I don’t have as much down time as previous and I don’t think he understands that I have less energy to go out and do fun things with him. He actually got upset with me on the weekend when I didn’t want to go to a dance party that he wanted to go to. I told him to go but he refused to go without me…….Let’s put this into more context – I’d been grocery shopping and preparing food for our guests that we were entertaining that night and hadn’t had a chance to tidy myself up to a sufficient standard to go out dancing. I was also really tired because I don’t sleep well with Karate Kid in the bed. I get woken up a lot during the night with him wanting to put his arms around me.

Anyway, the pinnacle of the mild argument was when he was being moody and refusing to talk whilst he made a point of washing up the dishes instead of having fun out dancing. I was banging two bowls on the bench trying to un-stick one from inside the other….whilst banging them on the bench they slipped from my fingers and knocked one of the wine glasses that his sister had gifted us off the bench…it shattered on the ground. Karate Kid stopped washing up and went to clean it up. He said in a firm voice to leave the rest of the washing up to him. I said that I was sorry and went to the bedroom and closed the door. He later came in to find me and said he was sorry and said that he was annoyed because we need to communicate better.

Let’s get back on track – What does Karate Kid contribute to the relationship? Well, because I pay for all the groceries, he pays for my meals if and when we go out. Usually, we do group things these days and not dates, so maybe twice or three times a week he contributes. He leaves the lights on a lot to consume electricity and increase the power bill that I will likely be paying…hmmmm, that and he spends time with me.

Karate Kid felt compelled to share with me this morning some more dirt on Mr Shy Guy. I was surprised as to what provoked this as I haven’t spoken with Mr Shy Guy in a few weeks. Karate Kid said that they were still not on speaking terms and that he had told Mr Shy Guy that he had no respect for him. I was shocked, these were really harsh words. Karate Kid then elaborated. He told me that about five years ago, Mr Shy Guy had an affair with a married woman. She was Karate Kid’s dance partner and must have been having problems with her marriage. Everyone knew that she was married, including Mr Shy Guy. I told Karate Kid that it does take two to tango. Karate Kid then said that despite that woman wanting to work things out with her husband and now having children with him, that Mr Shy Guy is still harassing her.

This story does make me feel sick in the stomach. That woman has to live with her dishonest choices for the rest of her life and Mr Shy Guy contacting her is a constant reminder of this. Imagine what would happen if the husband found out? Anyway, Karate Kid went on to tell me that Mr Shy Guy targets women who are emotionally weakened…I paused and then asked “Isn’t that what most men do?”. 

What ever Karate Kid’s agenda was for putting more dirt on Mr Shy Guy, it worked. I do feel an uncomfortable feeling inside now that I know more about him. It does make me wonder if Mr Shy Guy would be the best person to ask for stories about Karate Kid, I mean, who knows what skeletons he has lurking in his cupboard?

Despite his efforts to promote himself by making the perceived competition look bad, I’m still not impressed by Karate Kid’s performance of recent. There are two promises that Karate Kid has made in the past week that he has broken. One was that he’d be paying half the rent….I’m still yet to see a cent arrive in my bank account. The second promise was one that I heard a month or so ago, that we will have a regular date night where he will organise it and take me somewhere nice so that I can get dressed up….I’m not holding my breath, Dear Diary.

I’m trying to keep open hearted and open minded until things settle. He and his family are having a tough time in that a tumour has been discovered in his mother’s abdomen. Maybe it’s just slipped his mind each time he logs on to the internet so that he can check his Facey account?

To be honest, Dear Diary, my biggest fear is that Karate Kid is taking advantage of me. He’s got a pretty sweet deal if you think about it. He has everything done for him and doesn’t have to do much other than pay for my meal when we go out to where he wants to go on the weekends.

He had the nerve to ask me yesterday if I would be going to some dance congresses and group trips coming up soon. I don’t want to sound too bitter when I say that I can’t afford it because I’m paying all the rent and supporting him. I just said that I’d likely not have the time or money to go.


 

I was very cold when Karate Kid came home early today. I was hoping that I’d miss him so that I could have more time to myself whilst he was at wrestling class. Unfortunately, he caught me before I went for my bike ride. It was really awkward at the door on my way out. He wanted to talk and wondered where his dinner was. I told him I was going for a ride and that he could boil water to make noodles to go with the meatballs that I had just made.

I decided it was better to break the news to him after his wrestling class. Fun comes first or Karate Kid, after all. I do worry that he doesn’t have similar priorities to me: he doesn’t think about money; he doesn’t want a secure financial future; and, he puts fun before tending to essential household needs. Have I picked a dud, Dear Diary?

I don’t really know how to phrase my agenda items of concern. I feel really petty having to raise them and admit that I’m monitoring and calculating how much we are both contributing. I’m just really disappointed in his lack of consideration and lack of contribution. I feel that I’m better off without him as he’s a drain on my time, energy and resources.

I also miss my space and doing things when I want to do them. The thought has crossed my mind a few times that maybe live-in relationships just aren’t for me. I liked having my own space and freedom. Now, I feel that we are joined at the hip and if he’s not busy that my time needs to be shared with him. I would like to go and get a hobby but I’m tight on cash. It’s like this horrible catch 22 situation and the only two options I have are to ask him to move out (which is essentially breaking up with him) or to talk to him like an adult (which seems like the harder of the two options).

…He’s home now, got to go xo

Anastasia

 

IMAGE: [JANA GUOTHOVA] © 123RF.COM

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