Here’s something interesting. By and large, I am fairly particular about the house, food , clearing up mess etc (except, of course the odd drawer that’s been stuffed with papers, pens, un-sharpened pencils, random pictures etc). I like a neat house and also like to have a decent, balanced meal for dinner. Except, and this is the weird part, when the hubby leaves town on work.
Now this is strange. When he goes out of town, all my discipline just melts into nothingness and I turn into a kid whose parents are away. I stay up late (really late) reading or watching some complete nonsense on TV (if there’d be better stuff, I’d watch it, but there isn’t), I eat Maggi for dinner (kids still eat the right stuff!) and I don’t bother with too much clearing up either.
I don’t quite understand this. I mean it’s not like I can’t do all that when he’s here or that he demands certain standards from me (he may expect them, but he never vocalizes his wishes when it comes to the house) Yet, when he’s home I want the house to be calm and neat and not resemble the hurricane-hit look that it had just an hour before he returned from work. I like to think about dinner and try and get it all done in time. But, when he’s traveling, I flip to the other side. It’s funny really and I am sure there’s some warped reason in my head for this.
One, could be that at heart, I am not as disciplined as him (and this is true). So left to my own devices, I’d stay up late, wake up late and proceed to ruin the next day, and the next. (He, on the other hand, is an early riser who plays a game of squash every morning before work). So when he leaves, I slip back into this sort-of languid zone.
The other reason could be that I just want to not think about the house for a few days and let things be. I want to look at the papers mixed up with magazines and the felt-pens without their caps and say “darn it”, I am just going to sink into my Maggi soup and my book and ignore the world around me. There’s immense comfort in doing that.
Having said that, now for a word or two in my defense. The fact also is that if he’s gone for more than, say, three days, I get tired of being the recalcitrant kid who’s not being watched and start to berate myself for my indolence. I turn off the idiot box, resist playing Fruit Ninja on my iPad and also don’t read till too late (in the previous three days, I do all three!) I also eat right after the second day (more because I start to worry about the return of the inches).
However, I then go into a cleaning over-drive and spend the next morning cleaning like a possessed-woman. I then tire myself out and get cranky. I also get no work done (am a freelance writer) and then press the panic button. All because I let myself slip for a couple of days!
And, when I speak to the hubby over the phone, he’s more disciplined than ever. Agh.
When he returns, however, the house is as it was when he left and reveals no vestige of the scene that was played just the night before! I never tell him, of course, because he will wonder why this is so – and we don’t like all this wondering and analyzing now, do we?
It has nothing to do with him, but it kind of makes it hard to defend when such behavior coincides with his departure. The best I can say is that because I am not half as disciplined as he is, I don’t want to exactly rub that fact in his face!!