When I was growing up, the house rules included these:
- When you’re done using something, put it back where it came from.
- If you borrow somebody’s something, bring it back in pristine condition.
- If you use the kitchen scissors that live in the crock by the stove, put them back in the crock by the stove when you’re finished.
- When you use the one and only ruler in the house that belongs in the office, put it back where you found it.
- When you make yourself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, clean up the crumbs, put the lids back on the peanut butter and jelly glasses and put them back where you found them.
- If you use the last of the butter in the butter dish, clean up the butter dish and put in a new stick of butter.
- If you drink the last tonic water (or whatever), replace it with a new one. Do NOT leave the empty bottle in the refrigerator. Seriously.
- If you made a mess anywhere, clean it up. We are not your servants.
- If you have squeezed out the very last of the toothpaste, get off your lazy ass and replace it with a new one. Sheesh.
- If you leave the very last sheet of toilet paper on the roll, go get a new roll and put it on the spindle. Use that last bit of toilet paper to blot your lipstick. Think it through: how would you like to just barely make it to the bathroom, and then realize that you only have one little sheet on the roll with which to clean up?
Of course, I could go on and on about this, but you get the gist. We are what we grew up with, and when we find that person we fall in love with and marry, we often get “sticker shock.” We realize that the other person may not have been raised with the same rules we did. Or, if they did, they somehow forgot them.
I don’t like to be “that harpy” that bitches and moans about the other half who commits some or all of the above house rules. I wish I had a dime for each time I muttered “really? You couldn’t possibly put a new stick of butter in the butter dish instead of leaving me one lousy smear?!”
But life goes on, oblah-di, oblah-dah. The amazing Jews have the perfect word for this: “Oy vey!”