I have moaned every day since we moved into our flat about the INFURIATING pile of his clothes at the end of our bed. The mound grows with each day that passes, and my temper gets closer and closer to boiling point.
In one of our most recent discussions on the subject, the gentleman in question – in a bid to have just one evening without a conversation about the most appropriate home for his pants – suggested a solution:
“I need to use a bit more of the storage space. Could I perhaps have a second drawer?”
Now, what I haven’t mentioned before now is that, in our bedroom, I dominate five drawers, four shelves, every inch of wardrobe space except that which I permit him to use to hang his work suits, and every inch of room beneath our bed. He, on the other hand, has just the one drawer and the aforementioned six inch wardrobe gap.
Love requires many things: patience, affection, the ability to refrain from sighing every time there’s rugby on… but above all – when the evidence is stacked against you – it requires you to admit when you are being an unreasonable cow.
And so the big clear out commenced – if he wants a drawer, I will give him a drawer! Because I am the kind of girlfriend who understands the importance of compromise – plus he might be more open to discussing that new blind I want for the kitchen if I do this for him…
Since moving in with a man, I have been observing the species like David Attenborough researching a new documentary series. Peering from behind the sofa, peeking out from within a mountain of socks, hiding in the washing basket to see if anything EVER makes its way there – I have enough material for a full box set and a Christmas special.
And what I’ve learnt – aside from the very different ways the sexes can fill an hour (why would you use it to put on a load of washing, bake a quiche and organise your shredding when you could just have four relaxing games of Pro-Evo?) is that when it comes to stuff, we girls sure know how to hoard it.
He has his clothes, his electrical items, his books, DVDs, an unspeakable number of unopened bank statements and that’s about it.
Whereas I, in addition to my own version of the above (although of course my bank statements are always opened and duly shredded) have a world of other items for which even Ikea cannot cater. My memories are stored in a collection of bits I keep for keeping’s sake – such as:
– Tiny notebooks – stocking fillers from my youth, Christmas cracker prizes most definitely unsuitable for resale… should I ever decide to write that one-word-per-page novel then I am set.
– Handbags – every size, every colour, and every pattern to document my changing (often misguided) tastes as I went from young girl, to teen, to alleged adult woman.
– Buttons – sure, the dresses they’re from haven’t fitted me since 1999 but generations to come will pay serious pounds for these when Tammy Girl attire is suddenly deemed vintage. Mark my words.
– So many single earrings – their partners have been gone for years but I keep them in memory of the great times we had together.
– 3 million pens – mostly without lids, frequently without ink, but OH the stories they could tell!
– Wedding mementos – invitations, name tags, thank you cards, tissues I wept into during the vows – if I ever need to know which font was used to write my name on the table plan at a friend’s wedding, I’ll be ready.
– Cards – birthday cards, anniversary cards, ‘Sorry to hear you can’t eat wheat’ cards – I keep each one as proof that, at least once a year, I am worthy of a postage stamp.
My possessions are enough to make even the most desperate charity shop weep. Sentimental items that have no use but that I just can’t bin in case the memories they hold disappear too.
But, in the interests of fairness, I have cleared the way so that now he has a second drawer. Hopefully now I will have no reason to threaten to ‘kick his t-shirts into Zone 2’, and he’ll have less grounds for taking his mound of clothes and leaving me with nothing but an empty square of carpet to talk to.
I just hope he appreciates the sacrifice I have made. There is now a family of cuddly toys, a collection of broken necklace beads, and a pile of miscellaneous receipts without a home. Where am I supposed to put them now?
I imagine he may have a few suggestions.