We all have those tiny little things that can drive us slowly insane. The way someone leaves the toilet paper on the shower ledge instead of on the back of the toilet, the way someone leaves their giant shoes in the middle of the floor, the way someone can’t seem to hang up his coat on the designated hook. Well, that someone is my husband and the list of tiny annoying things he does is growing. Our shared space, i.e. our home, is not. Just in case you are wondering, those things about your partner that drive you up a wall do not disappear when you live in a small space. They are, in fact, amplified to a pitch, resounding and clear, that will make you want to sleep in a tent in the yard. In Montana. In winter. The other day I was taking a shower and noticed that our homemade shower curtain had a hole in it. It had more than one hole it, it had five holes down the seam where there use to be magnets that held it together in the middle. I gasped out loud when I realized what he’d done.
“What?” Eliza said as she walked into the bathroom.
“Oh, your dad…” I said trailing off to stop the tidal wave of swear words that came to mind.
Seth and I had gone round about the design of said shower curtain when we were making it. I leaned toward one piece of fabric, Seth leaned toward two with magnets that would hold the two pieces together. I gave in, the magnets fell off. More than a few times. Then Seth said he had and idea to basically imbed the magnets by making a small hole in the fabric. I distinctly told him not to do this. I’m pretty sure he nodded his head in agreement.
Sometimes I think he does that. Nods. I think he’s with me, he gets it, he’s listening. It turns out that’s not exactly true. He nods, yes, he nods with a look of understanding on his face then he turns from me and does exactly what he wants he do no matter what I say.
When I mentioned this he reminded me of a few things that make him a little crazy too. Clothes in the bathroom floor, books in front of the drawer he needs to access every morning to get clean underwear. A week’s worth of coffee cups in my car. My perpetually missing water bottle.
After a few cups of coffee Saturday morning, Seth told me I was cranky. Luckily we can be honest even though that honestly usually involves four letter words.
“Dude, you’re bugging the piss out of me,” I said. “Pick up your shoes and stop laying your coat on the back of the couch.”
“Well if we’re talking about pet peeves, that stack of books right by my drawer needs to go,” he said.
“Where am I supposed to put it!” I said.
“How about the bookshelf above the bed?” he said.
“It’s packed with your anarchist books!” I said.
“Well make some space,” he said. “And the clothes in the bathroom floor…”
“Speaking of the bathroom,” I said. “What did you do to the shower curtain? I thought I said not to put holes in it.”
“Oh, it’s gonna work,” he said. “It’s gonna be perfect!”
“WTF?” I said. “Seriously?”
I walked away for a minute, which is to say I took three steps across the same room. I shook my head and wondered how he honestly thought that could be true. There were holes in the shower curtain.
After a few minutes of flipping through one of the egregious books that seemed to be blocking his passage to his underwear, I decided to drop it. I was cranky but I wasn’t going to admit it.
“What are we doing today?” I said.
Without missing a beat, Seth said exactly what I was thinking.
“Getting out of this two hundred eighty two freakin’ square feet,” he said.
Turns out, on that, we could agree.