The short answer to that question would be: leaves. It's autumn out here, and even here in the Evergreen State, deciduous trees are losing their leaves. It's pretty everywhere else, but not so much in your own front yard. Which is precisely when I was almost/sorta beaten over the head again with the roommate agreement. The agreement states that I will help with the care of the yard. The head roommate put this clause in because she is on disability and cannot be doing things like mowing the lawn, and shouldn't be raking leaves. Well, I have two more roommates, a married couple, and the husband usually does the yardwork. When it comes to the yardwork, he prefers to do it by himself for a couple reasons: one, he's got a particular way of doing it that he wants done that way every time; two, it's his "me time"... when he's away from his wife, the head roommate, and even me. He gets to be left to his own thoughts and just get lost in his thoughts.
Nonetheless, this past week, it apparently took him four hours to do the leaves in the front yard. He was out there with a leaf blower, and just blowing them away the whole time. The day he did this was a day off for me, so I was inside my room the whole time, in my own little world. A few hours later, the head roommate came to me, upset, asking me why I wasn't out there helping him. What could I say? I don't mind helping out, but I've lived in rental areas for the past eight years where only ONE of those eight years was I actually required to rake the leaves, and before that, living with my folks where if they wanted me to rake the leaves, they took away the Nintendo controller and told me to get out there. Suffice to say, raking leaves is just not something I think to do. Just doesn't even appear on my radar. It's almost a pointless task, really. At least, that's my opinion. Anyway, I said defensively and plainly that since I don't have a door from my room to the outside (like the others do), and my blinds and curtains are always drawn (because it's not very sunny this time of year), if there's yardwork to do, they'd have to tell me, because I won't notice and won't think to do it. She was still pretty huffy about it when we finished talking, and I even went to the roomie who'd been out there and apologized.
He and his wife both said to ignore the head roommate's admonishment, but nonetheless, it's a lesson in what it means to be living with a woman who has expectations of you: if she has to ask you to do it, you're already on her shit-list. In this case, I don't think it's particularly fair, but since I hope to be married by the end of next year, it'll soon be a love situation, and like war, all's fair. The transition from bachelor to husband is definitely more than a matter of standing next to a woman and having a clergy or justice, in the presence of at least one witness, declare you each other's poor sucker. It's about realigning your antenna (not a euphemism) to pick up signals that are sent just as tacitly and perhaps just as electromagnetically as real analog transmissions.
This lesson was compounded further by today's day off. I had seen that there were indeed leaves on the front lawn again, and had made plans to do them. Even coordinated with the leaf blowing roomie about letting me help him out just to keep Head Roomie off my ass. I planned to do it at 1 in the afternoon. It'd be about as warm as it was gonna get, and there's nothing on TV from 1-7. But at 12:45, on a premonition of sorts, I peered out my window, and sure enough, someone was already on it. This time, the head roomie! The last person who should be raking leaves was out there, raking her heart out. Well, that last thing I wanted to do was give her any more grounds to holler at me, so I went out there and told her she shouldn't be out there, and that I'd take over. Pretty pointless gesture actually, because she was about done. But I kicked a few leaves in an effort to "help." She didn't get on my case about not having been out there sooner, but nonetheless, I learned today that I would very soon be, if not already, living on WST, Woman Standard Time.... meaning it gets done when SHE wants it done, and my plans to do anything later in the afternoon don't mean diddly if she (whomever "she" refers to at any given time) wants it done at a different time, be it sooner or later. It gets done when she wants it done. And that's definitely something that'll be a factor in my eventual married life, though in all honesty, the woman I intend to marry is going to have to concede a little bit, not for my sake necessarily though. But yeah, better synchronize the watch and calendar.
What the hell am I getting myself into, I sometimes wonder.