So there I was unplugging the toilet in her bathroom (it is just one of the many nasty household jobs that fall to me) when she called from the living room.
“Peaches just barfed on the rug.”
Peaches is her cat. He is always barfing on the rug and I am always cleaning it up because she refuses to do it.
“He is your cat,” I reminded her.
“Yeah,” she said, “but it’s gross.”
She need not remind me of that.
“And besides,” she said, “you like gross things.”
“No,” I corrected her, “I tolerate gross things.”
She shook her head no.
“You like gas station hot dogs,” she said with a shudder, “ and your mutt rolls around in road kill, so he stinks all the time.”
While I could not debate the veracity of these things, I had no idea how they were related to cleaning up cat barf.
She clarified her point. “Because you like gross things, you get to do the dirty jobs.”
“Is that why you keep me around?” I asked.
Sometimes I wonder.
I admit I have my many quirks and more than a few bad habits. So many that at times I wonder whether the only reason she keep me around is to take care of the things that she cannot bear to do herself.
Like kill snakes.
They terrify her. She goes into a panic whenever she spots one in the yard and it becomes my job to seek and destroy. What would she do if I were not there?
And then there are her cats, she loves them but cannot bear to touch a litter box or clean up barf. Would she have to give them up without me?
She also loves to garden but she has bad knees, which means the heavy digging, lugging, mulching and laying of rock falls to yours truly.
I suppose in that sense, she is dependent upon me. Perhaps that is why she keeps me around but it makes me wonder how this came to be. How do we become so dependent on someone? Is it because we slough off the things we do not like to such an extent that we are no longer capable of doing them ourselves?
Which raises another question.
I am an independent person. I have no problem with gross things. I take care of my own business. I work, I cook, I clean, I pay my bills. I always have.
“So tell me,” I ask, “why do I keep you around?”
“Because I nag you.”
“And why do I deserve to be nagged?”
“Do I have to remind you?”
“Yes, you do.”
“That is just it. I even have to remind you that I remind you. I have to remind you about everything and you always forget because you depend upon me to remember..”
Oh, that’s right.
It’s why I keep her around.