After the honeymoon is over: Are there some things about living with someone else that just drives you insane?
A few years into my marriage, I began to realize my wife didn’t keep certain things around the house I’ve always regarded as common necessities. Every person probably has unique ideas of what should always be available just for living. For example, my dad taught me when I was in third grade that a man should always have these two essential staples in his kitchen pantry: elbow noodles and vegetable oil. Back then, I was thinking something like Count Chocula and ketchup packets — but I could see where he was coming from.
So, considering my father was a rare font of sagacity, it is very possible that I inherited his keen insight into domestic matters. Dad seemed to be correct about a lot of other random things I took for granted in my formative years; I only wish I would have been able to share his love of Woolworth’s department store, manual transmissions, and creamed herring.
To impart some wisdom to the masses (including my somewhat-oblivious wife, who does not understand some basic needs I believe most people have), I have assembled the following list of common household items everyone should have on hand, but are mysteriously missing in my life.
1. Clothespins. First off — regular wooden clothespins with built-in springs. The colorful plastic ones sold at Target or Walmart will also work. It really doesn’t matter what kind you get.
These things have literally hundreds of uses — and they’re cheap. Seal up food bags in the fridge, freezer, or snack cabinet without having to purchase “special” plastic closers costing three bucks each. Hang wet laundry on a line. (Have you ever tried to dry socks with regular hangers when the dryer is broke?) How about using one to post a note for the repair man? Even when you’re gluing something together, you can hold the pieces in place with the venerable clothespin.
Sadly, there are no clothespins of any kind in this house. Good luck if you need one.
2. Rubber bands. Another utilitarian superstar. Simple. Adaptive. Elegant.
But guess what? There are absolutely NO rubber bands anywhere. In fact, if you happen to possess a rubber band within 25 yards of my house, I believe it spontaneously dematerializes.
My family used to have hundreds of rubber bands of various sizes stashed everywhere from inside loose change jars to hanging on key holders. I remember this because when I was twelve, I bought a cool rubber band gun at the State Fair. We had so many goddamn rubber bands in every room of the house, I never ran out of ammo after thousands of shots.
My dad even wore rubber bands on his wrists all the time! If you were ever in need, he just peeled one off for you right there on the spot. Those were the days — and that reminds me…
3. WALL-MOUNTED KEY HOLDERS.
We had a central place — a wooden key-shaped plaque with brass hooks — where people hung their keys. It’s logical, right? Doesn’t it feel good to keep your keys in plain sight and ready for immediate duty? Back then, there were no accusations of people “accidentally” taking keys; and nobody jarred someone from a sound sleep at one o’clock in the morning to scramble in a mad rush to find lost keys.
Am I wrong to want to avoid this?
4. AA batteries.
I needed a flashlight while searching for these goddamn car keys in the middle of the night. But of course the one I grabbed was out of juice…and it took two AA batteries. Of course, we didn’t have any AAs, not even the few dead ones you find buried in every drawer in any house.
Please tell me how in the hell you fucking have 30 new AAA batteries, four rechargeable C batteries, an opened package of watch batteries from fifteen years ago, AND NO AA BATTERIES?
5. Plastic wrap. How in the actual fuck can you have FOUR ROLLS of wax paper, a half-sheet of aluminum foil, about 100 miniature sandwich bags — but NO plastic wrap?
Everything that goes in the fridge gets stale and smells like everything else in there within an hour. That means all precious left-over food, if you want to enjoy eating it, has to be stored in separate lidded plastic/glass containers. These things have to be washed, and now the simple act of eating something the next day creates a lot of unnecessary bullshit.
Wouldn’t just using some plastic wrap be easier? I think a package costs about two bucks at most stores. And what the fuck is wax paper even used for? Why do we always have so much of this crap?
6. Fucking ICE. There seems to be a “food theme” going on here, but ice is also used in medical emergencies. I got so sick of having no ice cubes last week, I bought a seven-pound bag at the gas station.
Funny thing is, even though ice hasn’t been made in the freezer for three years, the fucking ice cube trays are STILL THERE, almost as a placeholder indicating a social status or something. And to top it off, now my wife wants to buy a big $400 freezer for the basement because she says “my” bags of ice (even though she uses most of it for tea and shit) are taking up too much room!
7. A fucking winter HAT. Why are you so cold? Don’t you have a nice wool or comparable polyester-blend hat? Am I the only one in this goddamn house who takes responsibility for my own body temperature?
It’s inconceivable how she survived living for YEARS in Wisconsin without owning any proper winter clothing.
Back in my day, we collected so many hats, mittens, gloves, scarves, earmuffs and other miscellaneous winter adornments that they all got thrown in a big wicker basket by the front door. Almost every visitor thought we were collecting for Goodwill, so on the way out they would just throw their old shit in there, too.
8. THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY. I’m not even a big Lord of the Rings fan; I saw each film once in the theater, and that’s about it. I got so fucking pissed about this because I was sick with the stomach flu one horrible day, and I wanted to watch some movies with my white soda and crackers.
Well…in my wife’s DVD collection, I found the first movie in the trilogy within 10 seconds. I watched it and wanted to pop in part two right away. After several minutes of furious browsing, I accepted the second movie was missing. Still, I found it very strange she purchased the third movie!
What the fuck is that? Hasn’t it been about ten years since the last one was released? If you start a trilogy, then you finish the goddamn trilogy. That was the rule in my house, and the original Star Wars, Godfather, and Rambo movies are still complete to this day.