This I Believe

Emily - Knoxville, Tennessee
Entered on April 30, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

This I Believe

WC: 497

Dishes

A potential new roommate was looking at a room for rent in my house. He saw the room and liked the house but needed some time to think it over. His reference, Justin, another roommate of mine, had not done his dishes for a week. In the sink was a disgusting pile of laziness that started getting in the way of cleaning my own dishes. Out of irritation I nagged Justin daily to do this simple task that never seemed to get done. Vinny, our now new roommate found this situation humorous and started calling me “Dishes”. The name stuck and I still do most of the dishes.

My mother always said, “Behind every man, there’s a better woman.” I did not really understand this saying until I moved out of my parent’s house. Unfortunately not all women are that lucky. I have been the backbone of a house of four guys for six months and just added a fifth to the collection. The biggest problem I have with the guys is the neglected responsibility around the house. They don’t do the dishes until a couple of days after the last dish had been used. Also, the bathroom is always rancid with the scent of mildew, ash, sewage, and a faint nauseating smell of Old Spice. The floors are always soaked showing the lack of knowledge on how to properly use a shower curtain and a bath towel. These things are second nature to me. It is hard fathom that other people, men in particular, have such difficulties taking care of the simplest necessities.

I started getting very offended by the lack of responsibility. I am the only female in the house but that does not make me a mother or a wife, not that either of those roles should scream maid or anything. It goes beyond the nasty smells and the damp halls to buying groceries and necessities. The guys will buy food when they’re getting low, but not toilet paper. I let the house go four days without toilet paper and after that I was so disgusted, I bought more toilet paper out of necessity and sympathy. Other things are needed to run a house properly: trash bags, paper towels, cleaning products, toiletries, dish detergent, laundry detergent, light bulbs, etc. The purchases are never ending yet the guys still do not seem to have noticed. Do you understand why I handle all the bills?

I got hurt, feeling taken advantage of and unappreciated. I forgot my mother’s saying, “Behind every man, there’s a better woman.” Where would we be without all the great female leaders in the world? The guys I live with are very young and still have a lot to learn about in life and I am proud to be their guide along their journey. They do not mean to take advantage but are willing to learn from me to become better men. “Behind every man, there’s a woman.” This I Believe.