House Rules

It occurred to me this AM, as I sat glaring at a toilet paper role that had been put on backwards and making a mental note to chastise my husband for it when he came home, that I may not be the easiest of people to live with. I have a precise set of rules and way of conducting tasks and am not easily convinced my way is not the best way. For example:
  • Toilet paper must be put on hanger so the loose flap hangs on the inside. Except in the downstairs guest bath where the flap must hang on the outside because the holder in there is odd-shaped and it's difficult to get a smooth roll if the flap hangs on the inside.
  • All sink and tub drains must remain plugged when not in use. This is because I read a book on Feng-Shui that said wealth drains out of open drains. Probably a bunch of bunk, but why take chances?
  • All window blinds must be opened the minute you walk into any room each morning, and most certainly before the sun comes up.
  • Blinds must be precisely open. No slight tilt up or down. They should be uniform straight across.
  • Blinds must be closed before it is fully dark outside.
  • Chairs must be pushed in around tables.
  • No dishes left in the sink. That's why God made the dishwasher.
  • If a cup is left standing on its own for over 30 minutes it is considered "dirty" and is now fair game to be put in the dishwasher. This rule drives my husband to distraction and the most common phrase heard in our home is usually, "Where's my cup?"
  • All shoes must go into the bedroom at night. No leftover shoes in the hall or family room.
  • Once filled with water, the coffee maker must be shoved tight against the wall to allow for as much counter space as possible. Never mind that we don't need more than 2 inches of space to place our mug down. What's important is that the space is now there, should we need it.

I could go on for hours. I have a certain way I like the pillows faced (stripes horizontal), rules for desk cleanliness (these apply only to my husband and not me. My half of the desk is a sty, but I throw a fit if 1/8th of a post-it-note from his side of the desk touches my space), and don't even get me started on bathroom hygiene. (Although I must say this...what is it with people not closing the lid? I can't believe how many people come to my house and leave the lid up when it was obviously down before they used it. Plus, there's a huge ick factor there. Studies show that massive particle-sprays come up from any toilet bowl when flushed. Therefore, always close the lid and then flush).

Anyway, I feel bad because for all my rules, I'm probably married to the least-demanding and most accommodating man on earth. Although he did get a little testy the other night when I asked to use his toothpaste. In our double-sink master bath, with it's 4 below sink cupboards and 3 large drawers, my husband keeps only a small plastic tub in one drawer corner that he fills with his shaving and dental needs. When I asked to use the toothpaste, I think something in him broke.

"See this?" he asked, motioning to his 4x4 inch cubic storage space. "This is all I have in life to call mine. Just this little area. See this?" and here he gestured expansively to the rest of the bathroom. "All yours. But this tiny little space is mine. Get it? Mine."

He was showing teeth. I'd surely pushed him over the edge. Perhaps I'll ease up on the rules a bit. You know, show some flexibility. I'll start now. I'm going to shove that post-it-note back on his side of the desk and not say a word about it.

Let the healing begin.