I keep thinking as I get older I’ll figure things out. I think that’s why I am in shock at my actual age; shouldn’t I be smart by now? Have my shit together? And yet, I’m a gigantic mess with no clue. This, while fun at times, leads to complications. I should probably know more about investments and portfolios and making my money (what little of it there is) work for me. I couldn’t possibly be closer to 40 than 30. That’s ridiculous. And insulting. People in their 40’s have their careers figured out, they’re married with kids (ew), they have savings accounts that aren’t sneeze worthy. I have 4.5 years left to work out the kinks. I’m a little nervous that isn’t enough time. I still laugh at farts, so obviously I’m not maturing at warp speed here.
Almost everyone I know in my age range is, or has been, married. Most with multiple children running about the place. Since moving in with Mancandy the whole family unit thing has been kind of foisted into my lap. And things I never knew would anger me force me to lose my shit regularly. For example, when in the restroom for sitting activities, male humans apparently find the need to throw things on the floor (the female child is here irregularly and I find she throws EVERYTHING on the floor, not just bathroom stuff, but since she’s here less often I am able to control my rage a tidly bit better). I don’t throw things on the floor because I’ll just have to pick them up later. Unfortunately, I do most of the cleaning because I live with heathens, and it’s a safe bet that at any point in time I can walk into one of our bathrooms and find an empty toilet roll on the floor. Like, they take the empty roll off the thingy to put a fresh one on (good job!) and then suddenly get pissed and throw that cardboard down in a very dramatic way. Why? What possible purpose is there to this? What about cardboard pisses men off?
Another example, everyone else is blind, deaf, and has no sense of smell. Today I watched the mini candies step over a huge pile (impressively huge) of cat puke. I was honestly curious how long it would sit there before someone cleaned it up, but then I realized I was stupid because no one would clean it up. They’d just manage to step over it without ever noticing it. Then it hit me that they may step in it, squish it across the carpet, and throw the sock in a pile of dirty laundry for me to find later. I’d already planned on cleaning it up but that thought made me screech at them not to step in it, forbid the dog from cleaning it up for me, and finding carpet cleaner in record time. Might I point out, the puke was cold, so it sat there for a while and by some miracle, I noticed before the dog. This is proof I live with boys and a fluffy pig and age is slowing my gross little pig down. Not too long ago she’d have hoovered that and I would have never known it even happened.
The original, Mancandy himself, is not much better. He will notice that one of the animals has made a mess (or the kids, or hell, he’ll make a huge mess) but his solution is to text me about it, open a window with a fan on, and go quarantine himself in another room. I came home from a ridiculously long day a couple months ago to find the dog had left a trail of shame turdlettes across the front room floor. Now, my dog is a big girl and is 13 years old. She has arthritis in her knees, hips, and back. She is housetrained and will hold it until she just absolutely CAN’T hold it. I do not ever punish her for going inside, it’s an accident and if we don’t get her out in time that’s on us, not on her. So this is not a story about us being ignorant and shoving her face in it. This is a story about a man who stayed in the house for HOURS with a trail o’turdness and didn’t clean it up. Just left the room.
I don’t know how I never saw the amazing audacity people have when others tend to clean up after them, but I can’t help but take a lot of this as a personal insult. You know I’ll be the one dealing with it, so why would you think it’s okay to leave this stuff for me? Also amazing to me, I find they really don’t think about the fact I will end up having to clean it up or live in a slovenly hovel. Now, I’ve tried the passive aggressive technique of just refusing to clean up after them all. They don’t care. They were gross before I moved in and are happy to continue being gross. I can’t. I can handle messy, but flat out filth is not okay.
Another thing I knew but didn’t KNOW; children lie. They lie when it would be easier to tell the truth. They will lie about anything and everything and if you call them on it they will double down and SWEAR TO THE ALMIGHTY and be lying just big as can be. I know this because I realized the kid’s bathroom had no soap. At first glance I thought, oh they must have body wash or something. Nope. No soap. At all. Who knows how long they hadn’t had any either, they’re gross. So I go and get soap. I even got manly smelling soap. I put it in the bathroom. I told them “Hey guys, there’s soap in your bathroom.” I got blank stares. I was scared they didn’t know what soap was for so I just left. When I see one has been in the shower because their ridiculously beautiful hair is wet, I asked if he remembered the soap. He indicated he had. Great. I thought nothing of it. The next time I walk into their bathroom, what do I find still in the wrapping on the counter (in the exact same place I’d put it no less)? The soap. I guess they just stand in the water and flutter like damn birds to get clean. So the next visit I caught them unawares in their room with no escape route. I ask them if they’ve used the soap I put in the bathroom. They all nod. I ask how they manage to do that through the cardboard box. They all blink. One says “Ohhhhhhh”. Like he just then realized I am not a complete moron. I point out that if they are going to lie they can at least be bright enough to take the soap out of the wrapping and place it in the shower. I advised them to up their game because they were sucking. They blinked some more. The soap is now sans wrapper and in the shower. Who knows if they actually use it.
All this to say, this isn’t fun and it’s a lot of work. It has fun moments, but it’s not fun. I imagine it may be more fun if they’re yours and you have them full time, but I can’t see how it’s any less work. I also get why so many people are happily married until they have kids. And then. Mancandy and I do really well without little ones around. Not that we’re perfect, no couple is, but we are uncannily well matched most of the time. Add little ones to the mix? All of that goes out the window. Suddenly he’s a big kid that I have to clean up behind. I didn’t birth any of them and I don’t particularly want to clean up constantly. Every now and then? No problem. Want me to do most of the cooking? That’s cool, you guys can’t cook and I like to eat stuff that actually tastes good/has a semblance of nutrition. But the completely childlike state is not attractive. It’s actually rage inducing. And these aren’t even my kids. If they were my kids and I was more than just a casual adult they hang around occasionally, we’d be in a constant battle. As it is, they have a mother and a father, if neither of them feels the need to parent the way I think they should, that’s really my problem. I get that. I don’t have a say in how they are brought up. However, I do have a say in how they behave in my little sphere and when their behavior impacts me. So I piss them off mightily. At 13 (x2) and 14, you are old enough to do your own laundry. Do not wait until you’re about to leave and then cram 40 loads into my poor old washer and leave it for me to finish up. Uncool dudes. Today I’ve stayed on them about switching loads and not overloading the washer and then actually folding and putting away their clothes so they don’t end up taking every single laundry basket and piling things up in towering piles that fall and end up being washed again. The looks they give me when they think I’m not paying attention are hilarious. They have not learned how to glare effectively. His daughter has, but she’s small and not intimidating so I don’t care. The boys are trying, but they suck at it. Plus they can’t maintain, they end up starting to glare and then getting sidetracked so they end up just looking constipated. It amuses me.
I don’t regret being here (most of the time, ask me when I’m really pissed and that answer may fluctuate) but I don’t know that I want to have kids either. I don’t know anything really, but I’m pretty sure I like to live life without constant battles. And kids are never-ending battles. They have good moments, don’t get me wrong. There are times they make me laugh so hard I have to really put effort into not peeing on myself (another byproduct of age that I don’t relish). And there are occasional glimmers of really sweet guys in their gross little shells. But I do find myself wanting to smash them a fair amount.
As for marriage, I find the older I get without being married the less of an appeal it holds. I sometimes think it would be nice, but I also wonder how it would change things. As it is right now, if things go sideways I can just cut my losses and roll on down the road. Once you’re married things get so very complicated. And that’s not to say I think we’re going to split, but who knows. Life is weird. Things happen. With marriage, I am a little scared the person I am would disappear entirely. Not that I’m some super fabulous thing, but I don’t want to become someone who relies on someone else to be who they are fif that makes any sense at all.
Relationships, in general, are tough. Add pre-made families and it gets really complicated really fast. It’s not all bad, I’m not saying I hate my life or hate the people in it, far from it. But if we’re being brutally honest (and I don’t see the point in being anything else) this is freaking tough. It forces you to be mature when you don’t want to be. It forces you to give up a lot. Everyone paints relationships as this fantastic, mushy, greeting card inspired thing. I wonder about myself because that’s not really how it goes. I mean, there are parts that are fun or sweet or whatever. But there are a lot of parts that suck. Hardcore suck. And I wonder if we set ourselves up for failure with our need to seem perfect. To take the perfect Instagram pictures and always put forward such a happy face. I’m not saying all the personal drama should be put out on Facebook, some things shouldn’t be shared (as much as I have a tendency to overshare), but still. I don’t think we are honest with ourselves. Or each other. I have a theory that it’s normal to question things, to wonder what the hell you’re doing, to have fights that don’t end in a few minutes with a hug and a peck on the cheek. I think it’s probably perfectly normal to have things you don’t ever see eye to eye on. Setting boundaries is freaking hard and if you do the work it is good after the difficult stuff has been seen through to the end but in the interim, it is a battle that hurts everyone. Knowing it’s necessary and healthy doesn’t make it easier. Bring in each other’s families? Oh my, now we’re really ready for a rumble. Add ex-wives, children, baggage, families of ex’s, etc., and there’s no way it’s going to be perfect. I’m pretty sure it would be easier if we talked about things honestly. If we all didn’t put on happy faces all the time and pretend everything is always glorious. It’s not. Sometimes it sucks. And I don’t know how I feel about marriage factored into the mix. Maybe that’s my immaturity showing, but some part of me still see’s marriage as a really big deal, the promise you don’t break. But realistically, that promise breaks all the time. And how do you really know the person you’re with will be the person you want to be with 5, 10, 15 years down the road? That is a huge commitment. I find my affection for Mancandy fluctuates wildly with his inability to throw dirty clothes in the hamper, but instead right beside it.
Maybe I’m not marriage material. Maybe I’m not mother material. I’m okay with that, it’s just one of those things I puzzle over. How do so many people know for sure that’s something they want? Or something they will be good at? How do you go into it knowing so very many people fail at it? I am a firm believer in seeing someone at their worst, but when you see the broken part of families after all of the worst has happened, when you watch two adults melt down into children every time they fight (which is a lot) does that not make anyone else a bit nervous? Am I a wackadoo? Also, next chapter, fighting with boys about the need for deodorant. If I can smell you, you’re failing.