Territorial Boundaries (or Men See What They Want to See)

If you live with anyone, you will soon find out that there are some unseen territorial boundaries. Usually nothing is said about them; they are just there.

Case in point: the Crankee Yankee handles all the outside work; home repair and renovation, snow removal, making sure that both vehicles have regular oil changes and maintenance, setting up the gardens, and so on. He often does all the food shopping, too.

I handle the inside work; cleaning, cooking, baking, keeping the bathroom and kitchen areas clean and organized, laundry, vacuuming (unless I can con the Crankee Yankee to do it), clothing repairs, meals, making the bed, etc.

I also blog and make jewelry and help wrangle our four cats. Both of us take turns feeding the strays, the birds, squirrels and skunks and also Fat Bottom Charlie, our occasional woodchuck.

For the most part, we work pretty well as a couple. However, for some reason, the Crankee Yankee recently invaded my territory by re-arranging things in the bathroom.

This year I had given our bathroom a mini makeover. Previously, the bathroom featured light beige walls, a tan and ivory shower curtain, beige floor, brown and red towels and an off-white shaggy bathmat. Booooooring.

Although the bathroom walls and flooring are still the same, I’ve foo-foo’d up the accents. I put up a gorgeous aqua, turquoise and lime Indian print shower curtain, added a bright aqua bathmat and two turquoise metal ‘thing-y’ baskets.

Those lovely turquoise metal baskets are for my own everyday stuff: hair goop, brushes, combs, scissors, Q-tips, cotton balls, make-up, and so on.

Additionally, we have three wooden shelves up over the toilet on which are three white baskets that hold hair and facial stuff, band-aids, cough drops, ointments, soaps, hair dryer, etc.

So when I walked into the bathroom the other evening, imagine my surprise when I saw that the Crankee Yankee had removed one of my beautiful turquoise baskets to make room for a four-pack of toilet paper. And he put my basket on the very top shelf!

This particular basket holds all the stuff I use each day. He evidently thought that a four-pack of toilet paper not only looked better, but was an incentive to get me to stand on my tip-toes several times per day to pull it down.

Being 5’3″ means doing a veritable ballet stance to reach that top shelf. Besides, as I explained to him, I already have a working toilet paper rotation set up:

  1. When the roll on the spindle dwindles, I remove it and put it on top of the tissue box that sits on the back of the toilet.
  2. A new roll goes on the spindle.
  3. An “auxiliary” roll goes into the front of the other turquoise metal basket.

After explaining all this, the Crankee Yankee swore he didn’t know this; what’s more, he didn’t even see it. Seriously—all this new stuff plus the toilet paper rotation has been in effect for nearly a year.

Well, ladies—it’s true. Men see what they want to see. What are you gonna do? As an aunt of mine once said, “Men—you can’t shoot ’em, and they’re too big to flush down the toilet.”

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