R-E-S-P-E-C-T

11:30 AM

Respect.  Such a difficult thing to gain and such an easy thing to lose.

I am currently struggling with respect issues at my house.  Not with my husband or child, but with roommates.  Yes, roommates.  (And no, I am not worried about them ever reading the blog.  At this point, there's nothing left to worry about as our friendship is probably six feet under anyway.) 

Remember college?  When living with other people was so much fun?  There was always someone to talk too, always someone to hang out with, always someone to help cook dinner and clean with.  I've decided that roommates are overrated and I am much too old to share my house with other people.

Several weeks ago, Chris approached me and asked if one of his childhood friends could come live with us for a week or too.  He was moving from PA to SC and just needed a few days to get on his feet until he could find a house to move into.  His wife and kids would not be coming down until October.  I was a bit hesitant at first, I mean, how much of a "friend" could this guy be if I hadn't met him in the 11 years that we have been together?  It seemed a little odd to me, but I've moved before and I know how stressful it is, so I agreed.  Chris assured me that it would be temporary and that it would fine, I would like him.  The friend moved in with us on Aug 7.  A week later we get a call while we are at Great Wolf Lodge, the friend is on the way to Myrtle Beach to see his family while they are on vacation but his wife (who is supposed to be on that vacation!) and two dogs are in town and are going to be staying with us as well.  Umm, what?

That's when it started to go downhill.  I should have listened to my instincts and put my foot down and just said no, it's too much. 

Week 2:  (the week of my birthday) They find a house but it won't be ready until September 1, which they tell the landlord, is fine, because they have a place to stay.  They assured us that they would probably be out before September 1, but as of today, it's not looking good.

Week 3:  At this point, I am 100% about to lose it.  Every night Chris and I cook dinner and every night they eat with us.  Tuesday I walked into the guest bath to grab some of Cam's things and I was disgusted.  I like a clean house and it's pretty evident as soon as you walk in the door, so I just assumed that they could clean up after themselves.   I immediately put on my rubber gloves, grabbed the bleach, and started scrubbing.  Later, I walked into the laundry room and tripped over their laundry basket because naturally, they have dirty clothes.  I just didn't realize that I was to supply the detergent, downey, and dryer sheets.  Oh, and the milk, diet coke, dinner every night and leftovers for them to take in their lunch, plus a place to sleep, a garage to keep boxes in, and a carpet for their dogs to pee on.

Apparently, I need to grow a pair and tell them what I am feeling.  Chris knows how I feel and he also agrees with me that this is just too much, it's not what was expected, we both thought that it would be different.  Both Cam and I are not sleeping well (she has to be at work at 4am and he leaves around 6am.) so we're headed to my mom's this weekend to escape.  I need to get out my house, because I don't even want to be home (isn't that terrible?)  Thursday cannot come soon enough. 

I am a good friend, but I do not run a halfway house, nor am I a chef or maid.  I know that when you take things for granted that in the long run, the things you are granted are usually taken.  I also know that when you stay with someone, whether it be your parents, your grandparents, or a friend, you pull your own weight, you offer to help, you contribute financially if staying for more than a week.   More importantly, the lesson that you learned in kindergarten still holds true:  Treat others with the same level of respect that you would like in return.  Obviously, this lesson is lost on them.  Ironic, since he's a teacher.  And sad, too, because the high hopes that we had for their friendship have officially crashed and burned.


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