I really should’ve played baseball as a child, because I’m really getting good at dodging all these curveballs life keeps throwing at me Sunshine.
My new job a the library is a supply position. I sometimes get a shift or two scheduled ahead of time, but for the most part, I’m on-call. This means I’m up around 6am to get AAB off to work, cuddle the still quite sleepy Bowser Kitten, make sure baby Sketchpad and his floppy butt haven’t destroyed the living room, and then get ready for work. Have to be awake, ready, and caffeinated by 8:30am in case I get a call to be at work for 9am. Most days, I don’t get called. But I’m one of the only people who is willing to drop everything for a 9am last-minute shift, so I get called any time that comes up.
To do this, I had to cut back my hours at the store. As you know, I used to work 6-7 days a week there, mostly closing. Now, I’m Monday and Friday nights, and all day Saturday and Sunday. If I don’t get called into the library and the store is short staffed, I’ll go in and work a shift. But for the most part, that doesn’t happen.
My shifts aren’t usually full shifts, either. Sometimes, I’ll get called in for 2 hours to cover lunches or a program. Sometimes it’s a 4 or 5-hour shift. For some reason, the only time I seem to get a full shift is on Fridays, meaning I work 9-5 at the library and then RUN to the store to start my 5:15 shift.
With all this uncertainty, I am home and wide awake a lot more than I was before. In the beginning, I thought this would be great. I would be able to clean, to read, to catch up on my Netflix shows, maybe even do some cooking. Instead, I find myself holed up in the bedroom most days, hiding from the Creepy Roommate.
You see, he still hasn’t mastered that whole “cooking without getting food poisoning” thing, or the “sharing the kitchen with other human beings” stuff. AAB and I are, by no means, clean freaks. We do our dishes, clean up our messes, and keep the floors and counters clean. We each get one cupboard, plus there’s a “bulk” cupboard everyone in the house can share for bulk items, overflow, and things like crockpots.
That’s a little too complicated for Creepy Roommate to understand.
He has his cupboard, and the one next to it, and the one next to our cupboard, plus the cupboards above the stove. The bulk cupboard is full of his bags of rice, slow cookers, and rice cookers. His cupboards are full of…. well, not exactly food. There’s used paper plates and plastic utensils, empty beer and pop cans, empty frozen pizza boxes, and open packages of food.
He has everything in such disarray, he can’t just open up the cupboard doors. In order to open the doors, he has to first slowly start to pull one door open with one hand. Then he has to take the other hand, and put it in the crack of the door, ready to catch anything that may fall out on him.
That’s the position I saw him in last week when I peeked out the bedroom door. All I wanted to do was grab something to eat while I cleaned out all the crap from the foot of the bed. I had the bedroom floor covered in forgotten bags of reusable bags, cat clothes, and the contents of my locker from a store I haven’t worked at since April. I wasn’t in the mood to be social, or to be held hostage by one of his “my life is in shambles, let me ramble on to your for 3 hours without letting you get a word in edgewise” rants.
I turned my music down a bit and hunkered down at my desk, sorting through the oddities I had pulled from the bedside. The not-very-helpful Bowser Kitten switched between climbing into bags I was sorting and cleaning the floppy-bummed Sketchpad McCaffrey, who had gotten into the coconut oil again (and was apparently quite delicious). With the door half closed due to my mess, I could only catch glimpses of the Creepy Roommate at the counter, trying to get into his cupboard.
He would pull one door open slightly, trying to stop things from falling off the bottom shelf. While doing that, something would fall from the top shelf.
“Oh no, not again”
Frantically, he’d grab the fallen box and try to cram it onto the already overflowing bottom shelf, while a can falls off the middle shelf.
“Oh no, not again”
Every time something fell out of the cupboard, he’d say “oh no, not again” and try to cram it back in. While shoving that onto the already overflowing shelves, something else would fall and I’d hear “oh no, not again”. Over and over and over……..
After 10 minutes, I turned it into a game for myself: try to guess what fell by the sound it made. Was that an empty pop can, or an empty Guinness? Box of falafal mix, or couscous? After 20 minutes, my stomach was really starting to growl. Thirty minutes in, and I was more than slightly annoyed.
Still, as hungry as I was, I wasn’t stepping foot in the kitchen. That Creepy Roommate can talk your ear off about how miserable his life is. If you stubbed your toe, he dropped a cinder block on his once. If your hours get cut at work, he’s suddenly down to one hour a day. And he’ll talk for hours about how much more miserable his life is than anyone else’s.
So, I stayed hidden away in my room, listening to his chorus of “oh no, not again” over and over again. Still digging through bags of randomness pulled from the foot of the bed, I search for forgotten snacks or bits of food stashed away for later.
Unfortunately, I was in the middle of purging the bedroom of crap. All I had was what I could find in a bag of things that were in my locker at my old store close a year ago: 4 packs of bubble gum, and a stale old Skor bar. Out of options (besides actually going into the kitchen and helping Creepy Roommate and then being held hostage by his incessant whining, that is), I ate the Skor bar for breakfast.
Finally, after more than 35 minutes, it seemed like the Creepy Roommate managed to get a handle on things in the kitchen. I peeked out and saw him pulling his hand out of the cupboard, letting out a sigh of relief as nothing flew out at him. Closing the cupboard door, he turned to walk back to his room (or to spend his usual hour taking a crap in the bathroom)……..
……and the cupboard door opened, spilling boxes and old, used plastic cutlery all over the counter.
“Oh no, not again”
And this, boys and girls, is why you need to purge things from time to time.