If there’s anything I’ve learned in the year since I moved out of my parent’s it’s that being an adult is not the glamorous fun of make-believe days. You don’t get to study at school, eat out, party every weekend, and have amazing adventures all the time. In fact, being an adult is full of boring, tedious things that you have to do instead of want to do.
The past couple of weeks have been proof of this. Thanks to The Captain’s unending support I haven’t needed to be fully employed for us to survive on our own, and we compromise and both get something out of it. I get time to write and study, and he gets to come home from work and do nothing. The point here being: I do the housework. This works out fine between The Captain and me, because that’s our deal and our dynamic.
It does not work out so well with roommates when put into practice. There has been a slight imbalance in who does what chore, to what degree, and how often. The Captain, B, and I tend to do more of the housework than our other roommates and this can be frustrating. There’s something about knowing other people could do the work (regardless of whether the mess is theirs or not) but don’t. This is something that just happens with roommates, and it seems like in most cases it’s all or nothing. Either you share food or you don’t. Either you clean up after everyone or no one. Either you give up or you keep fighting.
I gave up.
I suck at passive-aggressive comments and trying to get people to do things with indirect communication. I write notes, but I’m pretty sure no one actually reads or cares about them. And one of my ‘passive-aggressive’ things I was trying out was seeing how long it took for someone else to clean the goddamn bathroom. You see, since The Captain and I moved into the house only two people have cleaned the upstairs bathroom: one of them was an old roommate, the other is me. So you can guess who’s the only one who cleans the bathroom now.
I thought that sharing a bathroom with a boy and two other girls was difficult, but somehow sharing it with three boys and occasionally a girl is more so. I don’t know if it’s gendered-education, lack of care, or what but it’s horrible. Like seriously, I’ll walk into the bathroom and there will just be puddles on the bathroom counter and I’m like, “Why wouldn’t you just wipe it up?” Common courtesy man.
I was out of the house all day yesterday, having a good time and doing me-things, and I got home around nine thirty at night. And there was a full sink and a dishwasher full of clean dishes waiting for me. So I sighed, rolled up my sleeves, put on some Christmas music, and did them. Like an adult. Afterword I wanted a nice, hot shower so I went upstairs to do so. Only to find that there were multiple puddles of water on the floor, that the showerhead was stupidly broken, and that—yes—the bathroom was still a mess because no one had cleaned it in two and a half months because I was waiting to see if anyone would.
“But Karley,” you say, “why wouldn’t you just ask someone to clean the bathroom instead of passive-aggressively waiting and stewing in your own annoyance?”
I’m a control freak, and I freely admit it. In order for the bathroom to be ‘clean’ to my standards: the shower has to be bleached, scrubbed, and cleaned, the toilet has to be cleaned inside and out, the counter and sink have to be scrubbed and cleaned, the floors have to be wiped, swept, and mopped, and the bathmats and shower curtain have to be washed and dried. You would think that these are obvious things, but I don’t trust someone not to be lazy.
Honestly, if someone did clean the bathroom while I was waiting or before I got a chance to it would give me a belief system to go off of and maybe I could be optimistic about it. But when you’ve lived with people for six months and you notice that they don’t notice things like puddles, balls of lint on the floor, wet bathmats, or dirty toilets then you tend to think negatively.
There’s a financial aspect to being an adult as well, and that’s pretty obvious. I mean there’s rent and bills to pay and groceries, etc. In order to help The Captain out and be responsible, I promised that I’d pay for at least half the groceries each month and help out with things that we needed. And that’s the crappy thing about being an unemployed adult, because when you do have money it tends to go toward the things you need rather than what you’d want.
Case in point: my birthday was a few weeks ago and I got gift cards and money as one does. Well, the money went toward buying groceries and one of the gift cards went toward printer ink. And since my long-suffering backpack (circa 2011) may have finally broken, another gift card might be going toward a new one. So far the only gift card that went toward something I want/needed was my ULTA one which I used to buy some expensive, fancy foundation that makes me look like a goddess.
Being an adult isn’t all I imagined it to be when I was younger, but I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to find some silver lining that makes the chores, the financial instability, and the downsides worth it. Don’t get me wrong I love living with The Captain and I like our roommates and our house, but I’m pretty sure things will be easier when it’s just the two of us and the bathroom gets cleaned when it needs to be instead of when it’s past due.
So, in closing, adulting is hard but necessary. And there’s some kind of payoff eventually.
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