Me: I’m home!
Him: Hi sweetie! Dinner is ready
Me: Great! I had such an exhausting day… blah blah blah …blah blah…blah blah…
Him: Did you notice I cleaned the apartment?
Me: Oh, yeah, true. Thanks.
A moment later…
Me: Sweetie, what did you do?! Why are you always spilling stuff? Now there is coke all over the place!!
Him: Sorry, I’ll clean it up
Me: [grumpy silence]
Me: You should really read Murakami and Harry Potter, and David Mitchell and Terry Pratchett and blah blah blah blah… blah blah … blah blah …
Him: Just because you want to read non-stop does not mean that I want to do the same. Let me decide what to read and when I read.
Me: But you really have to read more. Reading is good for you. It makes you more intelligent and empathetic and teaches you about the world. You have to read. You have to! blah blah blah … blah blah … blah blah…
Me: [grumpy silence]
Him: I brought over some more of my stuff
Me: But where are we gonna put all of it?
Him: It’s only one small box. I thought I was moving in?
Me: But there is no space!
Him: I know that this is a crazy suggestion but you have about 1000 books, in shelves that take over most of the free wall space. Maybe if you got rid of some of the books…?
Me: [outraged silence]
After ranting on yesterday about my boyfriend and what annoys me about him, I thought I should be fair and try to tell the other side of the story.
My boyfriend has the dubious pleasure of living with a bibliomaniac bookworm whose love of books verges on an obsession. To people who meet me outside of home, this might seem a somewhat endearing quality. My colleagues smile knowing indulgent smiles as I go on about books for an hour straight, but then they go on to the rest of their lives. For my boyfriend there is no escape. Not only do I speak about books constantly, but those same books are also invading our shared apartment. I imagine him having dreams of the future where he negotiates labyrinths formed by piles of books trying to find his way to the kitchen.
My love of reading also turns me into a dictator inside the apartment. The moment I sit down with a book he has to stop doing anything that might disturb my reading. I throw nasty glances at him as he bursts into a fit of coughing or tries to make himself useful by vacuuming.
Unfortunately it is not only books that bring forth my dictatorial qualities. When it comes to my apartment I tend to overreact slightly when things are moved from their usual place. The quilt on the couch has to hang over the side at exactly the correct angle, the ladles, scissors and spatulas have their designated order on the kitchen rail. Although I am proud to say that I have been making an effort lately. I say nothing when I notice that he has re-arranged the candle-cups on the mantelpiece. I stay strong and only make my move when he leaves the room, hoping he will not notice the restoration of the proper candle-cup order upon his return.