Thursday, April 7, 2011

On Frigid Showers and Trying so VERY Hard to be Rational

I am going to have some words in this post. Be ready.

You all know me. You know that I got over my "I am so mad I am going to yell at you" stage years ago (the little sister and I had some pretty epic shouting matches, if I remember correctly).

I get annoyed and upset, sure. Who doesn't? But I can't remember the last time I got so upset that I raised my voice.

I remember this morning very clearly. But this story needs some background information. I will try to explain things in an honest and civil manner, even though all I want to do is write angry and mean things about R/L.

It all started on Saturday. Ruth, a fellow MCC member, came to the Ukrainian egg painting workshop we were holding at Merryspring. It was really good to see her and when the workshop was over we decided to do something together. We went to a cheese shop (Yummy samples. Garlic cheddar spread!!!) and then walked to the Breakwater Light House (a different post will have pictures of that). She then invited me to a BBQ at a huge and beautiful house her roommate and fellow MCC member Megan was house sitting. It was an hour away in a small town outside Waldoboro. I decided that I don't get to spend enough time with peers and jumped at the chance to go to the BBQ. We got there at 7:00 and ate wonderful food. Had fun times talking about work and such. It was grand. But I decided that I needed to leave at 10:30 so I could get home by 11:30 so I could get plenty of sleep before church the next day. I felt like that was responsible of me.

This did mean, however, that I would be getting home too late to shower that night (I didn't want to show up at the BBQ at 7 after driving an hour and then leave at 8:00 because I had to be home to shower that night at 9:00). I figured that showering in the morning ONCE on a Sunday (after months of taking night showers to appease R/L) would be okay. Not a big deal.

Boy, was I wrong.

I awoke at 7:30am and got into the shower. The second I got into the shower, I heard R/L get up, stomp through the hall, and down the stairs. She immediately began to use hot water in the sink-causing the pressure and temperature in the shower to fluctuate. I accepted the inconvenience. She has every right to use the sink in the morning if she wants, though I did think she was being a little inconsiderate. I got through most of my cleaning routine and was halfway through shaving one of my legs when the hot water just stopped.

Great. Now what? The water was frigid and it was not going to warm up again. So I had to get out of the shower and take a wet towel and un-soap myself. Ug. "Whatever," I thought. "Something went wrong with the hot water." But a small part of me suspected that maybe R/L did it.....

...."No, couldn't be," I thought. "She's an adult. There is no way that she would handle the situation like that-turning off the hot water."

I went about my day, giving her the benefit of the doubt.

I had a chat with her that night, just about housekeeping things as we came to our last few weeks together. I asked her if she knew what was wrong with the hot water. She said "I don't know what happened or what was wrong with it, but it's fixed now." (Remember this: she said she didn't know what was wrong with the hot water).

I also found out just how upset she was about me showering that morning (please note that though these may not be exact quotations of the conversation, they are fairly accurate and not exaggerated).

Me: I'm really am sorry about showering this morning.

R/L: Yeah, well I'm sorry too (read as "I'm sorry that I have to live with someone who wakes me up in the morning"). I'd had a s****y day and all I wanted was to sleep and you had to shower and wake me up.

I was surprised by her acidic tone. I didn't know that she could STILL be that upset about it. I was also surprised that she swore. I know she swears, but not usually in my presence.

Me: I AM sorry, I didn't have a choice. I had to shower for church.

R/L: No, you DID have a choice. YOU decide your actions and what you do.

Me: I was out with friends, I got home later than 9:30 so I couldn't shower last night.

R/L: You could have come home earlier.

Me: I didn't get there until 7 and I was all the way in Waldoboro

R/L: That's not my fault. You decide your actions. You didn't have to go out and stay out with your friends. I don't ask very much (psh...yeah right), just that you don't wake me up.

Me: (trying to keep my voice calm): So you are saying that I have to tell my friends in the future that I can't stay out past 9:00 on weekends because I have to shower before my Landlady goes to bed?

R/L: Yep. That's about it.

Me: *Silence* ..... ..... .....Okay then. Good to know. I guess that's it.

I got up abruptly and left. Annoyed at the conversation, but glad I was able to keep a civil tongue and not tell her HOW annoyed I was. Luckily Juli was there on Skype for me to vent a little to.

So in summary the rules are now as follows: I cannot shower past 9:30 on any night. I cannot shower before 9:00am on weekend mornings. I cannot shower before 7:00am on weekday mornings (or so I thought).

Fast forward to this morning. 7:00am. I get into the shower. The second I do I hear R/L stomp out of her room and head down the stairs. Moments later (luckily before I got the shampoo in my hair) the hot water was gone again. The shower water turns frigid. This was too much. What was going on? I got out of the shower, dried off and threw on my clothes. I went downstairs. R/L was in the living room.

Me: Is the hot water heater in the basement?

R/L: Yes, and I turned it off.

Me: ... ... ... ... ...Really?

It was a train wreck from there. I can't even really quote all the things that were said. She used a lot of language. I asked her if she would not. She said "I will swear if I want to." Most of her talking was done in a raised voice. I was having a hard time keeping my calm because of this.

I asked her why she turned it off. It was a weekday morning and I showered at 7:00. She said that her weekday morning time was, and always had been, 7:30. Oh. Well. I thought it was 7:00. We hadn't established an am shower cut off until several weeks ago and I thought it was 7:00. More angry and harsh words were spoken. Voices, including mine, were raised. Things like "Sometimes you do things like you don't care and are only thinking about yourself" were said by her. Things like "I really hope you are able to find someone who can live with you" were said by me. At one point, I think I even asked if I could get half of my April rent back and leave now. I knew the answer would be no, but it was out of my mouth before I could stop it.

She called me inconsiderate and selfish and said that she was not going to deal with being woken up anymore. I said "what are you going to do about it?" She said if I take a shower before her given time she will turn the hot water off. If I needed to take a shower earlier than that, I should have told her.

I did not take well to being called inconsiderate. She was assuming that because I was showering in the morning I was not being considerate of her. She brought up, again, that she was compromising by letting me shower in the morning on weekdays at 7:30. I told her that I had tried really hard to be considerate of her.

I said I thought I was a pretty good tenant.

She scoffed at that.

Me: Really? You don't think so?

R/L: I think that sometimes you are considerate and I am thankful for that, but I think that other times you don't care about anyone but yourself.

Me: Really. That's what you think.

More things were said about me not telling her when I am going to be out late or shower early. I told her I didn't know I needed to tell her these things and and that communication goes both ways. And that she never communicates with me.

Eventually we both said "I'm done". And stormed off.

I'm not proud of this. I am not proud that I was not able to keep my cool and be the bigger person.

Before I left for work, I wrote her a letter telling her my more rational feelings. I let her know that I didn't know that 7:00 was too early-that I thought it was the time she had set for am showering. I told her that I should be better at communicating with her and that I felt she needed to do the same. I also asked that she not assume she knows the motivations behind my actions.

Overall, I think that next to the night she told me I had to send Sadie home, this has been the worst day I have spent in Maine.

How do I deal with this? I have to live with her for three more weeks. I don't want to have to tip-toe around her the whole time. I can't believe that I raised my voice. I feel so ashamed.

I'm not that kind of person. I don't WANT to be that kind of person. I know it's natural to feel anger, but to lose it like that-it's unbecoming.

I'm sorry about this post. I just needed to get this out there. I needed to expel it so that I can get to work and stop letting it bother me.

I got over it last night, I can get over it this morning.

One thing is for sure, I will not be letting her watch anymore of my Netflix movies with me.

Immature? Maybe. Necessary for my sanity these next three weeks? Yes.

Happy stinking Monday.

P.S. It's cold and rainy. Go figure.


Julina said...

Wow. Just. Wow.

Maybe it will get REALLY HOT and cold showers will feel good? Too much to hope?

I'll keep praying for you!

Steve said...

In Russia, hot water for showers in warm months is a rare luxury. But it's not turned off out of spite.

There are a lot of things that want to spill from my fingers through the keyboard onto this little 2x3 comment box, but that wouldn't be fair to a) you, who have tried and mostly succeeded to "be the bigger person" or b), just you.

The long and short of it is that "fair," that elusive imp, would tell you to do all the things your friends (and some of us siblings) want you to do: lash out, turn your music up loud, turn the hot water off when R/L is in the shower, cavort about the house in muddy clothes throwing bits of rancid saurkraut in odd directions and what have you.

But I feel like I know you, and that plus your thoughts expressed in this post tell me you would hate yourself for it later. Thusly, I'm proud of you for showing as much restraint as you have thus far. Few others in the entire globe would have been able to. I wish I could be there to back you up, to tell R/L how wrong/childish/unfair she is/has been, but I probably wouldn't hold back like you have. You're the better person for it. The next three weeks may be long, it may fly by. Either way, just think how beautiful May is going to be.

And if you need me to leave angry voicemails in Russian for R/L, let me know.

Love you, sis!

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