C, having been, before we met, a bachelor with a good income, has a guy come in once a week and clean the apartment, change the sheets, do a little laundry. Nothing serious -- for instance, I think he mops the bathroom floor, but he doesn't really get into the corners. Whatever. He cleans way more often than, if not as thoroughly as, I would, and I am deeply appreciative.
If we remember to run the dishwasher before he comes (and I won't even get into how little I understand the usefulness of the dishwasher, which, as far as I can tell is just a place to put dirty dishes to get them out of the way until you need something in there and have to pull it out and wash it and god forbid you put anything in there that hasn't been pretty much washed already -- it won't get clean) ANYway, if we remember to run the dishwasher, he'll empty it out and put stuff away. I wish he wouldn't. Over the course of the last couple months since I moved in, I've rearranged the kitchen to make it serviceable. C didn't cook much, so I have had free reign to make it over, to make it work for me. And I have accomplished that: I love cooking in my new kitchen. But our cleaning guy hasn't adjusted well to the changes. He puts stuff away where it used to go. Why would you put plastic bags in the towel drawer when it's obviously full of towels now and not plastic bags? And I want my good tongs hanging with the pots, not buried somewhere in the utensil drawer. Obviously I have some control issues.
C and I sometimes watch The Fabulous Beekman Boys, a documentary series on Planet Green about a gay couple who move from New York City to a farm somewhere upstate to raise goats and chickens and sell soap, etc. One of them is, at least as portrayed on the show, a total control freak micro-manager who drives his boyfriend and everyone else crazy, and as we were watching it the other night, C asked me (because our relationship was somewhat analogous in that we were domestic partners who also created and ran a business together) if J and I had a similar dynamic when we were together. I guess were were similar in some ways, but I think J and I were both control freaks, just in very different ways. He wore his freak on the outside, and I was the passive-aggressive one.
If you've seen Life in a Box, remember the argument in the trailer during a rehearsal? I was so glad to find that footage because it showed something essential about J and me and Y'all and that time in our lives, and because it showed how obstinate and controlling I could be, which is an aspect of my personality I don't think most people saw because I was the shy one, the yielding one, in the face of J's outsize personality, in the act and in our life together. If making that documentary was, among other things, an exercise in self-mortification, that scene is the one I find most difficult to watch -- because it shows an ugly side of me. The storyteller (and the narcissist) in me knows that that is what makes it good for the film.