Most everybody knows that it is pure hell to have two or more women sharing one kitchen. Mother and I were mostly able to peacefully co-exist in the kitchen, I guess since I grew up in her kitchen. It's outsiders that create havoc and there are days when I mourn the time when my kitchen was my own.
Mother's healthworker drives me completely batty. Most of the time I can grit my teeth and bear it, but when I'm tired and mentally exhausted, as I've been of late, it's all I can do to keep the peace. I do, because she's a good and faithful caregiver and it would be cutting off my nose to spite my face to stir up trouble with complaints about my way vs. her way.
For instance, she knows nothing about how to load dishwashers. I have to brace myself every evening before I open the dishwasher to load in the supper dishes. I know I will have to take everything out and start over. Plastics are in the lower rack, dishes are just pushed in haphazardly, with no regard for an orderly arrangement that would allow maximum capacity per load, and all the flatware used up to that point will be stuffed into one flatware cup at the front edge of the machine. I have to be careful repositioning the latter, since I quite often find sharp steak knives in the cup upside down, their blades poised just right to stab a careless hand. The upper rack is slanted so that tall items can be placed in the deeper side and cups and short glasses can be put in the shallower side. Hah. Invariably the tall glasses have been put in the shallow side and have fallen over, while all the cups are in the deeper side.
Next we have the issue of closure. I am stunned that the woman never, never, never turns down the inner sleeve of a box of cereal. Quite often she does not even close the box flap. Apparently she never had leftovers at her house and never had to worry about things going stale. Jars are put back into the refrigerator with the tops barely on, so that when I pick up that jar, the top comes off just as I lift it and the jar spills its contents and I scare the dogs with an abrupt oath.
Now we move to the refrigerator and freezer. I do not mind that she brings her lunch and puts it in the refrigerator. What I do mind is having two weeks worth of frozen dinners suddenly showing up in my freezer, taking up all available room. What I do mind is having boxes of cereal, crackers, cookies and what have you stacked all over the counter. What I do mind is thinking I have my supper all taken care of (theoretically hidden safe from view) only to discover that it's been rooted out of its hiding place and offered to Mother for lunch and now I have to come up with a new idea for supper after a long day at work.
Then there's the furniture issue. I rearrange the living room and find the perfect place for the wastebasket behind a chair that blocks it from view. She didn't like it there, because she prefers to reach to the right rather than the left to put something in it. So it's been hauled back out in the middle of the floor and I trip over it constantly. I have a rather pricy pastry holder for Mother's breakfast rolls that EVERY DAY I place well away from the edge of the table so the bad-ass cats won't push it off and break it, and EVERY DAY when I come in, it's hanging half-way off the table because she folds clothes on the table and God forbid that she should put the thing back where I had it when she's done.
The best part about having a two-story house is that at least the second floor stays the way I left it. Except for the decorative efforts of the bad-ass cats.
As I say, it's basically little stuff that I have to swallow and tolerate in the interest of the better good. But is it any wonder I have this weird little twitch above my eye?