I just need to reorganise the stuff under the kitchen sink and the laundryThis triumph in processing was in response to me wondering why cleaning here, in this house, is such an effort for me and requires a minor degree in logistics.
Im embarrassed to say its only taken 3 years to get to this point, but i just prefer to believe that Im a chilled, relaxed and easy going person and Im not really that thick. So the idea that Im very thick went bouncing around my head for a while and I ended up settling on the notion that it wasnt thickness on my behalf so much as gentle accomodation to living in a widowers home, accomodation to someone elses systems, that had just got stuck there. Hadnt evolved. No. New. System. Also, im not that enamoured with cleaning so dealing with the occasional frustration that is organising the cleaning gear wasnt rating highly on my radar.
Shacking up with a widower is not an easy gig and shacking up with a frugal widower at their place is an exercise in patience, love and a lot of introspection. When the Bloke and I decided to live together we went through the process of deciding where to live. my place? your place? sell both and buy somewhere completely new? My two bedroom unrenovated 1920 bungalow with a trashed backyard readied for an unrealised extension on a quarter acre block or his five bedroom masterpiece on two acres of landscaped heaven? Not surprisingly, we ended up at his place. To his credit, he was prepared to give it all up and come live at mine if thats what i really wanted (that fabulous idea was me having a hard time letting go of my independence and control).
Where is this heading? To the point that when i moved in here, there was still a lot of stuff around of the Blokes late wife. And i tiptoed around it for a while until i almost imploded.
Being green and frugal means using stuff up, not throwing useful things away, keeping things that you dont use for a rainy day. Throw widower with new girlfriend into that sentence and you've got a problem. While we were dating I hung on for a while, thinking that over time he would get around to dealing with the 'small stuff'...time passed and passed and so I had to initiated that conversation. Sounds easy enough but its realy hard to do "excuse me i have an issue with all this stuff around thats nither mine nor yours and is contributing to me not feeling very at home here and would you please just go around the house and throw away all the last reamining bits and memories that you have of your late wife coz I dont like them" Thats how it felt to me, like i was asking him to finish his memories with a toss-out bag of her personal pieces. So i did wait a long time to ask him but theres only so many times you can open the bathroom cupboard and not get confronted by the very pesonal feminine things one finds in womens' bathroom cupboards. I felt pretty strange at the idea of just tossing them myself coz they werent mine but they were in my cupboard, or is it really her cupboard? It was a confusing time. Actually, in all honesty I didnt really initiate a converstion and ask him in an adult way. I just lost it!
But we did talk about it. The dear Bloke had left them there coz he's a green frugal bloke who thought that I might like to use them up, why throw away a perfectly good almost new hairbrush? perfume that was just purchased? boxes of henna, clips, belts, hats, earrings, pads, face creams? He was pretty embarrassed in reflection that he hadnt really thought it through from my perspective and was very remorseful about putting me in such a situation. To cut a very long story short, he dealt with all the obvious personal bits. What is still left to do is to reclaim the space under the kitchen sink and the laundry cupboard. Spaces and bits that dont 'belong' to anyone but were fundamentally hers in choice, use and placement of stuff (the Bloke didnt clean or cook before I arrived). I need to confront the bottle of fabric softener, the dried up Gumption with the old fabric scrap and the dilly bits of doily that soften their blows and organise stuff in a way that makes sense to me (i do do more cleaning than him - he'd debate that but i reckon wiping down sinks with your hand doesnt count as cleaning the sink!) When a relationship ends wth death and not divorce, no one comes with a trailer to take all their own stuff away.. Moving into another womans physical space, shacking up with a widower, doesnt come with a manual.