OK, so it really wasn’t anywhere near that bad. But at least I got you here with an almost-bogus headline. And it really could have been that bad.
Our basement came with a futon and an old mattress. Actually it came with a lot more than that, but over the past three years The Ass has gradually cleaned out the basement. Except for the old futon and mattress. It totally grossed me out that it was down there. I can’t imagine what went on on that thing. Actually I can, and I didn’t like the idea of it being in my house.
But my husband sees the basement as his domain, as the one area in our house that I don’t care about and won’t try to “decorate,” “organize” or “ruin.” He hangs out down there, with his little iPod speakers. He wanted to keep the futon, which is metal and probably not filled with bedbugs. But I begged him to throw the mattress out. He said he’d think about it. Three years ago.
I napped most of the afternoon away today – the result of several nights of going to bed super late. When I woke up, the kids were watching a movie.
Him: “The mattress is gone from the basement. So’s most of the metal from the front yard.”
We had recently had a giant, heavy, metal door replaced, and it had been sitting in front of the house, waiting for us to figure out what to do with it.
Me: “Fantastic! What did you do with it?”
Him: “While you were asleep a homeless guy came to the door, so I let him in and paid him $40 to take away the mattress and the door.”
He said this as if it were the most normal thing in the world, like “The pizza guy came to the door so I paid him.” It’s hard for me to describe what my face looked like when he told me that.
Him, trying to justify what he did: “I think it’s the same homeless guy [our next door neighbor] uses for stuff like that.”
Sorry, but two men being stupid does not make a right. Also, our neighbor is a good 15 or 16 inches taller than my husband and quite intimidating.
I actually know the guy he’s talking about. Every Thursday night we give him our empty cans. I drink a shitload of Diet Dr. Pepper so that’s a bigger deal than it sounds. At one point I even knew his name, and the fact that I’ve forgotten it has nothing to do with the fact that he’s homeless – I forget everybody’s name. My kids know him. When they see him on the street they say hi. That does not mean that I want him in the basement with my husband while I sleep upstairs and the kids watch a movie.
We’ve been together for more than twenty years. Certain rules have worked themselves out over the years, like “You’d better put the spatula back in the same place every time or I will throw a fit.” Or, “If I’m recording two shows at the same time on the DVR and you want to stop one so that you can watch a prison documentary (he’s obsessed with them), you have to ask me which one I’d rather have you stop, because you will never guess which one I want recorded more, so don’t even try.”
I guess now we’ll have to add one more to that list: “If you’re going to let a stranger into the house, wake me up so that I can dial 911 and hover my thumb over the send key, just in case.”