|We are not at this point yet.
I always remember something that Esther Walker (of Recipe Rifle, The Spike, and wife-of-Giles-Coren fame) once wrote about relationships. She said something like keeping a (mental) list of all the little things your partner does to make your life easier is the key to not murdering them in a fit of frustration. So, when your partner still hasn’t emptied the kitchen compost bin, despite being asked a million times, and there are potato peelings overflowing onto the floor (not that this is a real-life example or anything), rather than completely lose your shit, simply think of all the other things they do.
For instance, I am grateful that Rob does the following without ever complaining:
- Makes any phone call to Actual Bulgarians that I can’t face making myself (to the mechanic, vet, taxi driver, translator, etc.).
- Cleans the bathroom. I hate cleaning the bathroom.
- Clears my hair out of the bath drain, which considering how much hair I lose in the average hour, let alone when I’m actually washing it, is pretty heroic. That he does this without even mentioning it is adorable.
- Does any heavy digging in the garden, leaving me to do the easy bits.
- Starts the car in deepest winter when we have no intention of going anywhere, we just need to keep it ticking over, and I can’t face brushing off all the damn snow.
- Feeds and de-fleas the ungrateful bastard cats, and empties their litter tray.
- Programmes the sat nav.
- Cooks most days during the week.
- Makes conversation with bin men/builders/general passers-by while I pretend I have something very important to do elsewhere.
- Starts the fire every day and chops and lugs wood.
- Does as much of the renovation/building work as he possibly can, even though his previous DIY experience went no further than hanging the odd picture.
- Stops me falling over in the snow. Most of the time.
- Watches Nashville with me.
And I do the following without rubbing his face in it every day:
- Make sure we never run out of toilet roll, toothpaste, milk, washing up liquid and food.
- Drive him anywhere he needs to go.
- Clean the kitchen. He hates cleaning the kitchen.
- Remind him to do his Bulgarian homework.
- Book flights, hotels, hire cars, etc.
- Organise the shizzle out of anything that needs organising.
- Relay messages from his mum because he’s forgotten to reply to her/forgotten they are supposed to be Skyping, and she’s worried he has fallen down a hole.
- Earn the money.
- Remember to pay the bills on time.
I’ve just spent a week on my own in the house (Rob has just returned from a trip to the UK) – a week of feeding the ungrateful bastard cats, lugging wood, starting the fire, shovelling snow and making conversation with anyone and everyone who wanted to stop and comment on my shovelling technique. I was extremely grateful to hand those jobs back to their rightful owner! And I’ll remember that the next time the compost bin is overflowing, or when I trip over a stray pair of shoes, or when the kitchen roll holder is sporting an empty cardboard tube. Maybe.