Last year, around November, I got married. It’s just January 3rd, and already I’m wanting out. When we moved in together, she became a completely different…I hesitate to use the word, ‘person’. When we go out to eat together, go to the zoo, or wherever it is, she’s a complete angel. She’s smart and sexy, the conversation is deep and interesting, but that’s just a show for everyone else.
Yesterday, I was mowing the lawn. I’d had the day off, so I was spending some time getting chores done. I’d washed the dishes, vacuumed the floors, even tightened the screws on our pots, so getting outside on the riding mower while I enjoyed an ice cold, well deserved beer was about as sweet a treat as I was likely to get.
Leena wasn’t home yet. I was planning to have a conversation with her about some of my more pressing gripes. I rode in circles around the yard, wondering how the conversation would go, how well she would take it.
Our yard was small, so it didn’t take long to finish the job. Actually, I only had the riding mower, because my parents bought it for me when I moved into my first house about three years ago. As I was securing the tarp over it, I looked to my left through a window leading to the garage.
A swarm of emotions ranging from sadness to intense anger engaged within. How did I not see her get home? I could already see her trail, grocery bags strewn across the garage floor. She’d probably been dying to eat some snack and just threw the bag away, forever deleted from her conscious experience.
Strangely enough, Leena keeps the car cleaner than I keep my butt. It’s her thing. If she didn’t, and I wonder if she knows this, it would be impossible to get in or out without earning a fine for littering. I don’t mean that a stray straw wrapper might fly out, rather that it would be so full of miscellaneous garbage that it literally wouldn’t be safe to drive.
Wiping the sweat from my forehead, I take a deep breath and enter the house through the back door. She had already put away the groceries, but for her that involves taking everything out its package and into a plastic, sealed bowl, which I would be on board with if she didn’t just throw the garbage on the floor.
Trash sprinkled over the linoleum in the kitchen, I notice several other points of interest. She must have had some s’mores, because the open microwave appeared to have been the victim of a chocolate explosion. Leena likes to melt a lot at one time in a bowl and then dip her marshmallows and crackers into it, but it always boils and splatters in the appliance.
I find her cutting her toenails in the living room, the nail fragments landing where they may. When she sees me, she looks up with the cutest smile. In the moment, I don’t know what to say. She honestly seems to have no idea that this is not how normal people live. Finally, it comes out.
“Leena, you’re a slob.” I say.
“I know.” She says as she snips the final toenail.
“What do you mean, you know?” I ask, somewhat irritated.
“Yeah, that’s something you’re going to have to learn to deal with.” She calmly states. “Thanks for cleaning the house, by the way!”
I feel my eye twitch in angered confusion. I do it again on purpose just because it felt right. I try to speak, but I can’t make any words come out. I leave the room with the intention to come up with a new plan for dealing with the situation.