Saturday, November 29, 2008

I don't understand...

This has come to be my most common catch phrase in regard to one of my roommates. I understand that we come from different cultures, different backgrounds, and have very different life experiences living in the US solely as a result of our racial/ethnic identities and the way our society shapes our socio-economic status, resources, and opportunities accordingly. I feel blessed in that this living situation has forced me to become more aware of my own values and belief systems as well as gain a better understanding of others'. But in the face of all this, it is still excruciatingly frustrating. I have taken these foundational differences into account during my interactions with her and believe that to a degree they are an "excuse" (is in quotes because I do not believe that our differences require an am using this word for lack of a better one). I just do not feel that I need to tell a "grown adult" that if you turn it on (DVD player) turn it off; if you cook and make a mess, clean it up; and if you use the trash can it is all roommates EQUAL responsibility to take the trash out. Maybe my expectations are too high (it wouldn't be the first time) but I just feel like I shouldn't have to be a maid or mother to my roommates.

But what I have the most difficulty being patient with is when I have nicely asked something of her and she agrees and then blatantly does the opposite. For example: she not leave laundry in the washer and dryer when she is not home (I feel it is very disrespectful for others who want to do laundry but can't because they are filled with clothes. Also that is just gross, wet clothes get moldy and make the entire washer smell...and I do not want my clothes smelling gross because of someone else). One of my biggest pet peeves is when I feel that people are being disrespectful (whether to me, a friend or someone I don't know). It is completely unnecessary. There are people that I do not respect (for various reasons) but I can still act respectfully toward that person. I guess I just struggle to decide whether she is purposefully being disrespectful or is just completely "dingy." But I must note, I have an extremely strong, accurate intuition. And there are many situations that have occurred that I feel, in my gut, were done purposefully just to irritate me. I know it is not hard to "play dumb." (By the way, there has been much more than what is listed here...including "discussions" where I basically stand there and get yelled over).

Anyway, I decided, quite awhile ago, to be nice to her because quite honestly dwelling on things and allowing anger to build up only hurts me, not her. And I must admit it has required a lot of praying and asking God to grant me patience and humility when I'm dealing with her. But, being only human, it is still frustrating when I go to throw a load of clothes in the laundry, to find it full (and she is out for the night). Anyway, not sure if that was all coherent, but figured I'd share my frustrations with others and maybe see what others think.

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