In Which My Dad Almost Pushes Me Off the Ledge With His Cleaning

Part of being 25 and living at home with your parents while going back to school means that you’re gonna have a meltdown from time to time because the day you escape seems very, very far away. I just had a mini-meltdown because my situation is hard to cope with sometimes. Two reasons: my mom works from home aka NEVER LEAVES (my dad works with my mom so he’s home half the time and they’re always talking about business… my house phone is the business phone, in short, it is basically hell) and because my dad is extremely OCD about cleaning and I am NOT.

I can understand the reasons my dad gets anxious and starts going off on his cleaning binges (which is at least once a day) but if he flips all the lights on and puts a dish towel on his shoulder- just run and hide because it is going to last for HOURS. Did I also mention that we have no walls in our freaking house? My parents thought it would be a great idea to leave our first floor entirely open, so that you can never have any alone time and never be able to watch TV without hearing another TV in the background. Sometimes I wake up to the sound of the vacuum cleaner and just accept that it is going to be a bad, bad day.

The worst part about it is that honestly, sometimes I do really try to clean, but it is never good enough. What would be immaculate for any sane person is not clean enough for my dad. And this is the point at which I wish my dad would just go get some therapy and some drugs because the cleaning is very disruptive and makes everyone very tense. He cleans to the point that it is irrational. For example, this past summer some kittens were born in our window well underneath an external air conditioner. My dad and I went into the basement and were going to take out the air conditioner, and pull the kittens out. HOWEVER, my dad took out the vacuum cleaner, and decided to vacuum the air conditioner and the window well BEFORE pulling the kittens out. These were 8 week old kittens who had never seen the light of day, let alone people before, so of course he thought it was really important to vacuum the dust and scare the living hell out of them before taking them in. IRRATIONAL. Moving the air conditioner would have caused him to have to vacuum anyway, so why the hell wouldn’t he just vacuum after the fact? It made me livid. Needless to say, the kittens were scared shitless and not very nice by the time we took them in.

I’ve decided that I am a messy person as a result of my dad being ultra-extremely-annoyingly clean. (Disclaimer: I am very Type-A personality, but this does not extend to being neat. However, there is never any food lying around in my room, and there are no bugs, and it never smells, it’s really just sHtuff strewn about in a fit of passion. Also, I am actually really clean when it comes to cooking because I’m a germaphobe and hate cross contamination.) My room is the only thing in my life that is under my control (even though it’s not because they never stop coming into my room even when I’m screaming at them and are constantly bothering me about it.) But I’ve come to realize that because I’m now (almost) 25, if my dad tells me to clean my room, and I don’t do it, he can’t actually do anything about it short of clean it himself. It’s like a metaphorical ‘fuck you’ that gives me sanity. It doesn’t matter how many things I clean, there will always be more that is not perfect to him, and I will never hear the end of it anyway, so I just assume a defeatist attitude toward it and don’t bother. You have to understand that literally anything I touch he corrects me or bugs me about 95 times a day, so to just leave my room in a constant state of chaos (which is not at all destructive to my daily life because I still know exactly where everything is) gives me a certain satisfaction.  Because these are my clothes, that I bought with my own money, and if I want to throw them on the floor, I can. And if he wants to come in and clean them (which has happened when he really can’t take it anymore) that’s fine, but it’s not going to prevent me from throwing anything on the floor again.

But today I’m super annoyed. Another thing my dad does is that he’ll put things away in places where they ordinarily wouldn’t go, and then deny that he did it when we can’t find them. But FOR SURE my mom and I have not put them away, and wouldn’t put them in the place he would put them. Yesterday I bought two small cans of paint samples to test on my walls because I want to paint my room this week. Because I had to bake some cupcakes for a friend and was in a hurry, I left them on the kitchen counter in the plastic bag from the store. My mom saw them too. And they’re not on my floor aka I did not move them. But this morning my dad denies ever having touched them or moved them. When I asked him about it initially he said “check that closet there” meaning the one behind me, which houses sheets, towels, and toiletries. WHY WOULD YOU PUT PAINT IN A TOWEL CLOSET. It wasn’t in there. So my mom and I have spent all day guessing what he could have thought they were and where he’s put them since he is pleading the fifth. The best guess is that he thought they were icing and put them downstairs in the closet, but I haven’t checked.

Also annoying- my sister left two round four-sectioned containers of glitter in the kitchen while she was home doing crafts. My dad put these in the baking cabinet thinking they were sprinkles. When I pointed this out to him, he got pissed and blamed it on me that I left them in the kitchen, which I actually did not, my sister did. And then he said “Well how was I supposed to know it’s glitter not sprinkles?” Uh perhaps because it says GLITTER on it and it’s f*cking glittery?

My dad hasn’t even really caught onto the fact that I’m GOING to paint my room this week because if he did he’d INSIST that he hire illegal aliens to do it because I can’t do it right. This is highly insulting. He’d rather pay a bunch of men who can’t even converse with him in the same language 400 or some odd dollars to paint my room rather than let me do it myself for free. Because he truly believes I am incompetent, despite the fact that I have actually painted/spackled/whateverd rooms myself before. Not only that, it’s not like if I painted it myself he’d be happy that I’m saving money/not being lazy/spoiled or like throw me a couple bucks that he would have paid complete strangers for it (you know, to help pay for my books which just cost me $1000). No.

I just hope he and my mom go away later this week, because there’s going to be a down and out brawl if I don’t get some alone time. I may even install my own doorknob with a key to my bedroom. And while that happens I hope I get accidentally locked in my room and die of starvation or thirst or something because I really don’t know if I’m going to be able to make it another year in this house.

As for the paint samples, I don’t know whether or I should continue to give myself an aneurysm of rage trying to figure out where the f*ck he put them, or just go spend another $6.88 on two more samples. Hey now, $6.88 is a lot when you have a finite amount of money and no job (and almost no sanity and almost no hope of ever moving out to somewhere that you have privacy and can put your shoes where you want to, when you want to, and not have someone hide them on you and then can’t remember where they put them, and then get enraged because you ‘blamed’ them for moving your shoes when they actually did move your shoes because god knows you sure as hell didn’t move them.)

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