It's a sad thing to say but i'm always wondering where the bottom is and when exactly it will be hit. Hell in one sense i should be glad that it's not rock bottom of a pill or powder habit and the just the bottom of a dead and dying acquaintance. I can't really even pretend it's a relationship anymore because it is purely business. The Breadwinner is the boss and in this hierarchy i'm am squarely the low man on the totem pole. That doesn't come as a surprise. This weekend drove that point home like John Henry driving home a rail spike.
With my new gig of being the servant shopper to the affluent i've found that there is a plethora of affluence in my neck of the woods. I've been in "developments" (cuz out in the lily-white they don't refer to them as "hoods") that i never knew existed. New and large houses with governors driveways and two or three or four high end and usually foreign autos parked in front of perfectly manicured lawns and landscaped front yards. Luckily my instructions are usually to leave the order at the door, snap a pic, send it and be on my way before the residents ever see my face. It's cool, i like it that way, though sometimes i'll get odd and quizzical looks as i drive through these "developments" looking for the house. Every now and then i get an order for the commoner and for some reason that really pleases me. I delivered to a guy the other day who ordered mainly frozen pizzas, Fruity Pebbles, and snacks. I had the feeling he either sold weed or was on house arrest, i'm not sure which.
Back at home things have begun to stack up. So while i've been tasked to bring in X amount of dollars each week that comes with the caveat that i still must maintain all things domestic and i should be damned if i think i'm getting any help. While trying to get the boyos to practices, keep them fed, drive them to hang with friends or fields or whatever, trying to keep up on the housework, yard work, what have you, and last but not least make dinner. A point which was driven home Sunday night when i was told how poorly i had done said task over the last few days. The pure fact is the Breadwinner goes to work, usually from about 8-2, which granted is longer hours than her pre-pandemic stints which sometimes had her leaving at 9 and home by noon. Her day starts with her sitting at the table sucking on her e-cig, drinking coffee and staring out the back door, sometimes answering the stray text or call from work but mainly just zoning out. After work she'll come home and make herself something to eat, suck on the e-cig, then head up to her room where she plays a few games on her Ipad before taking her afternoon nap. On waking she asks what i'll be cooking before going out to the deck to suck on her e-cig while talking on the phone to friends/family, perusing the internet for shit to buy, reading articles or demanding i stop and listen to the trials and tribulations of her day. Much like a taller version of Tattoo, from Fantasy Island, the original mind you not the shit remake, i'm expected to smile and nod and show concern but definitely not to speak or engage in any sort of meaningful conversation. Basically shut up and know my role.
As previously stated the things the Breadwinner won't do are: dishes, her own or others, laundry other than her own, she does not do litter boxes or take out garbage, she does not clean except for her own personal bathroom which as noted the rest of the household is told not to use, any empty bottle is left on the counter for the help to put in the recycle bin which is a few steps away, she does not cook except for herself other than the odd occasion. Her favorite pastime is reminding all of us who live here about the myriad of sacrifices she has made for the good of us all! If i ever told her how much like the Posa she has become i'd probably be tossed out or at least not spoken to for a few days while being told about how much of an asshole i am and how i'm an ungrateful bastard. Don't let me bring up the fact that for more than a few years in this disaster i supplied an inordinate amount of money through my former career documented in the Wilderness Years. And by that i mean she paid for nothing. I'm often reminded that she pays for "my" insurance, which by the way covers her children and in a moment of being generally pissed one day i suggested she drop me off the plan to save money. She is also loathe to do anything which could be called community/neighborhood related. Which brings me to the next incident.
Living on a cul-de-sac presents one with a different type of situation. One tends to know more neighbors and i'll admit mine are all decent people. After years of being empty the house next to mine finally sold to a couple moving from Budapest, she's American, he's Hungarian, and their young child. One of the neighbors decided to have a socially distant get together in cul-de-sac so we could meet the new neighbors and talk and generally get out of the house. As usual i was tasked with bringing beer, (Red Stripe and Amstel, i wondered if anyone caught my subtle choice of breweries, Amsterdam and Kingston). The Breadwinner found the whole thing weird and decided i needed to make an excuse so she didn't have to attend. Every other couple in the cul-de-sac attended together, i attended alone, which truth be told was probably for the best. Honestly it was a good time, i got to talk to my neighbor, a native of Kenya about futbol, had a beer and shot the shit with a few other people and generally did my best to socialize. I'm sure some of my neighbors wonder what the deal is with the Breadwinner who plays nice when waving from the front yard but basically goes out of her way it seems not to associate with anyone. Before the get together the lady who organized it even made a comment about how they rarely see her and how they see me running the boyos all over the place and doing all kinds of stuff. It dawned on me that even the neighbors notice.
After the party broke up i came in i was told about my dereliction of dinner making over the past few days and how i needed to get it sorted. Then i was told about my lack of sense because after making some pizza for the boyos a few days back i didn't place a tray under that pizza which resulted in some cheese dripping and burning which created a bit more smoke than normal but hence with an open door was cleared away in a matter of minutes. Having been up early to get in a run, the rest of my day went like this, shuffle the I-mac to practice, bring him home and take him to get his phone fixed, drop him off and run out to another place to get shorts for his soccer practices, get ice for the party, do some dishes and laundry while catching the second half the Champions League final, attend party so someone from my house was there (Disaster and his buddy swooped in for some food), come in and be harangued for her having to make pizza, clean litter boxes, do more dishes, and when i finally brought up towels from the dryer that i dropped on the couch to fold in the morning i was berated for not just folding them now. Granted i get the point but the fact was i was exhausted and wanted to just sit down and relax before getting the boyos on the path to bed since we're getting back on school routine (note she was never all that involved in putting getting them to bed, even when they were babies). I folded the towels and put them away while being told how she would do things. Needless to say at that point i didn't give two fucks about how she does anything.
If this weekend taught me anything it's that this isn't a partnership, it'a dictatorship and i'm doing my best to keep my mouth shut and head down so i can stay here and raise my boyos. Being the enterprising sort i have a plan. Much like the Breadwinner not wanting to be compared to her father i understand i've picked up a few things from my dear old ma. The new gig has given me some ideas and also the possibility to squirrel away a few bucks at a time so when the time comes and i need an apartment i'll have some money saved. While i'm most definitely my father's son i learned a few things from my mom. I'll do my best to make shit cool around here so that i can raise the boyos. The question is always where is the bottom? Every time i think i find it i realize i'm not there yet, the bright side is i know the only place to go is up. While this relationship has run it's course i know the ones i have with my boyos are brilliant. In the end i don't look at is as a sacrifice, to quote a certain someone, to be the whipping boy, i look at is as love. An unconditional love because i watch how fast they grow and know that soon they'll be doing whatever and on their own. Watching them live their lives is spectacular and nothing will keep me from having a front row seat. Cue the music.