I can be an old grouch sometimes, or so my husband frequently tells me, but in a house inhabited by boys and men there’s just so much to moan about it’s hard to keep a lid on it.
I do sometimes wonder if it’s just me, if I should just relax and let the things that rattle me wash right over my head instead. But then I go and trip over yet another pair of discarded jeans on the stairs, find another green-fur-topped coffee cup lurking under the bed or reach in the cupboard for the muesli only to find the box empty, and I find myself exploding into a seething rage all over again.
Of course I am not alone. Nor, I am certain, are the culprits limited to men and boys. No, I share these frustrations in common with just about anyone else who cohabits with a partner, friend, family member, children or flatmate. So to make myself feel better I polled my nearest and dearest (ahem, who just happen to married females with kids…) to find out what they consider to be the most annoying habits around the home. Here is our top ten:
1. A complete inability to understand which bit of recycling goes where. It’s really not that complicated so why do they adopt that smug sense of self satisfaction that they’ve done their bit, while leaving you to fish out rotting potato peelings from the recyclable plastic box?
2. ‘Helpfully’ putting the bin bag out – but not bothering to put shoes on and take it the extra 10 yards to the wheelie bin. Confront them at your peril – they were going to do it, so stop nagging. Don’t nag, however, and it stays there for a week, misses the rubbish collection and gets strewn around the garden by the foxes.
3. Put a clean bin bag in place of the one they’ve just taken out? Don’t be ridiculous.
4. Proudly doing the washing up, then spreading out the tricky bits to soak. Which would be fine of course, if only they came back to finish it off instead of leaving the kitchen looking like the scene of a science experiment.
5. Putting empty packages back in the cupboard – lulling you into a false sense of security that you have the right ingredients for your next concoction, only to discover at the crucial moment that you don’t.
6. Not putting lids on things. Cue crusty ketchup, furry jam and stale biscuits, not to mention grabbing the jar of honey from the cupboard only to find yourself clutching the lid while said jar smashes on the floor because it was only held on by a thread.
7. Not offering to mop up the honey carnage because it was ‘your fault’ for not holding the jar properly in the first place.
8. Leaving a wet towel on the bathroom/bedroom floor and a pile of dirty clothes ‘helpfully’ in the general vicinity of the laundry bin. To place the clothes inside and the towel on the rail would of course be too much to ask.
9. Home hair cuts. There must be more to life than shavings all over the sink/floor/your toothbrush.
10. Leaving a pile of ‘semi-clean’ clothes strewn all over the house. Put them in the wash at your peril – that pair of jeans might have spent the last fortnight hanging over the back of the dining room chair, but you can bet your life the minute you stick them in the wash your other half was just about to put them on.
As this is just the tip of the iceberg, I hereby consign all partners, children, flatmates and anyone else with annoying household habits to the bacteria infested store cupboard that is Room 101. To all who read this, please share your misery by adding your own household hates to the comments section below.