It’s Finally Over (3): BLAME GAME
A Minute to Myself (4)

Petty, So Petty

Living in the same house with my ex-husband is fraught with comedy (although only if you live according to the lemon-to-lemonade philosophy of life). This weekend, for example, we were back doing some of our standard comedy routines. Unfortunately, he takes it all very seriously, and I find the ridiculousness of it so absolute that it simply can’t bring me down. They are like life preservers, forcing me up rather than bringing me down. I mean how can I get depressed when a “grown” man talks to his imaginary friend on the cell phone at ten at night that he is going to call the police because I changed the temperature on the thermostat!


One: If His Door Is Open, Then Mine Must Be Closed

It seems that there is an unwritten law that the door to his bedroom (excuse me, master suite) may remain open but the door to my bedroom (smallest room in the house) must be closed. (These rooms are at 90 degree angles from each other upstairs where the bedrooms are located.) It seems that some doors are just better opened, and some are better closed. This routine goes like this: I like to leave my door open, because, well, I like when doors are open because I like the feeling of openness (can you tell?). But he thinks that my door must be closed. So if he sees my door open, he closes it and leaves his open. I can think of a few reasons for this: it is a way of denying my existence, of covertly telling me to leave, of showing that he is boss and can decide things, of wanting to prove (once again) that he is an immature ass.

Yesterday, when he came back from wherever it is that he goes and saw that his door was closed he went to the room where my daughters were and asked each of them if she closed the door. They said that no, they hadn’t. Then he opened his door and probably scribbled in his pad about what I had done. (Can you tell that he used to be a lawyer?) He went out again, and again I closed his door, but I kept mine closed since I was going to sleep and I don’t want my door open when I am not conscious and he is about. This happened again with the same interrogation of the girls. What does he think, that I divorced him because I still want him to determine how things will be? Doesn’t he realize that I divorced him because I was fed up with his deciding things for me and that by my protesting his actions I am standing up for myself?

Two: Countertops Cleared of My Things

The house is on the market for sale and since the kitchen is certainly not 2008 state-of-the-art, I at least try to keep it as neat as possible, with the countertop as cleared as possible to make it seem spacious. But apparently he hasn’t watched any episodes of Design to Sell, so he thinks that putting an ugly butcher block contraption with knives in it on the countertop is what is going to make people buy the house.

So began the Battle of the Countertop. At first I put his knife thing away, in a cabinet. Then, when I was elsewhere, he put my coffeepot in the cabinet and took out his knives. I want to say that this happened only one time and then we both laid off (with nothing on the countertop), but I can’t. I decided that if I was going for the clean look, I might as well leave the coffeepot away, but not those knives. But he was undeterred. And there we were, jockeying to be the last to leave the house yesterday before some potential buyers were coming to determine where the knives would be: on the countertop cluttering up things or underneath, in a cabinet, with a clear and confident formica countertop. In the end, I couldn’t take it, the ridiculousness of it all, and just left. Of course, when I came back it was on the countertop. Did I say that we didn’t get an offer yesterday?

Three: Thermostat, Let Them Freeze (in summer)

Apparently it is against the law for me to touch the thermostat. I have been threatened a number of times that the police will be called if I change the temperature. For God’s sakes, who made him lord of this manor and who said that only he can be comfortable? And, it is not that he is trying to save money (why should he bother, he doesn’t pay any bills any way, he let’s me—who makes half of what he makes—pay the bills. I am so waiting to hear what he has to say to explain this when—IF—we ever get to court). So, in summer it is freezing. He likes the thermostat at a comfortable 64 degrees. And in winter, he likes to still be comfy in shorts and a t-shirt so it is comfy in a Florida-like way, at about 72 degrees. Unfortunately, since he leaves the house last, the thermostat stays in its ridiculous location all day, keeping our dog very comfortable.

Next time he threatens to call the Thermostat Police, I think I’ll call. I really would like to hear an oversized six foot tall man with a temper explain to them how I, a 5’4” woman who generally looks downtrodden by the end of the day, is violating his right to be comfortable in his castle. Life preserver: that’s another life preserver just thinking about it.

Finale: Visualize a SOLD Sign

It seems that the best analogy I can come up with for his behavior is that he is a male dog, marking his territory wherever he smells that another dog has been. But guess what, I have had it with being peed on. So, I will keep opening my door, and moving his knives, and adjusting the thermostat until we move out of this house. (PLEASE, VISUALIZE A “SOLD” SIGN!) For all of those people who say that I have to keep my sanity and just move out, let me just say that this is not a question of anyone winning or losing, we have both lost. And this is not just about my sanity today, but about my self-respect in the future. And that of my daughters’.


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