There are people who have habits – ways that they do things day after day. These are people who put things back in the same place each time they clean them up. Those who follow routines in their daily lives. Then there is me. I don’t have habits – I have tendencies. I could take the same path to the store everyday for 5 years and then change it one day without it bothering me in the least. Left to my own devices I would get up at a different time everyday, eat at odd hours, shower at random times as it suited me. I was probably one of those babies who never settled into any discernible schedule and drove her parents nuts.
My husband on the other hand, is a creature of habit. He has rituals and routines. When these rituals and routines are disrupted, he gets crabby, upset and has a hard time functioning. He forms habits in days, not the weeks or months it takes most people. If he takes a 3 day business trip, it will be weeks before he can wake up to the sound of an alarm clock because on his trip he got used to being woken up by a phone call at the hotel.
Normally we limp along together the best we can. I try to keep things less chaotic for him and he tries to appreciate the “organized” aspects of my chaos. We may have hit the wall, however. It has come to my attention that my husband is contemplating sending me somewhere for rewiring after trying to find his way around our kitchen. He can’t find anything in it, it seems. I have tried patiently explaining that each item can be found in one of about 3 or 4 potential locations, but he’s not buying it. For some reason, he thinks that all of the measuring cups should be together in the same drawer all the time. I think they like being scattered around three separate drawers so they can visit the other wandering utensils. Likewise with the roving sugar bowl. Who am I to deny it its wanderlust as it drops in on cabinets with dishes or cans or the top of the refrigerator? (What is funny about all of this is that my husband is far more likely to lose things than I am.)
But I really am driving my husband crazy. I keep trying to explain to my husband that his form of order is as hard for me to manage as my organized chaos is for him. He recently told me, “it’s not like I’m asking you to change something fundamental about your personality.” Ha! If only. I suppose since I’m the flexible one, I’ll have to bend and standardize the kitchen. Otherwise my husband may decide to make good on his idea of renting an efficiency apartment for himself where everything will be in order and where he left it last. I could see him going there to get dressed in the morning and to prepare meals. But it would probably be cheaper and less traumatic for the children if I just kept the measuring cups together in one drawer.