Signs of Frustration. Mine not Hers.

First a little background. As long as 10 years ago, a neighbor down the street sent a message to everyone on our street asking us not to put our yard trash on the street until near the time of our weekly pick up on Thursday. Kate was initially offended by it but has tried to abide by the neighbor’s plea. In the past couple of years she has been especially rigid about it, not wanting to put the trash out until Thursday morning. I have never cared for this because it meant that we (either Kate or I) had to be the ones to get it out because the woman who cuts the grass and cleans up the flower beds wouldn’t be here early enough on Thursday and often comes on Tuesday or Wednesday, sometimes Friday. She came on Thursday morning this time after the trash men had already picked up. The leaves are beginning to fall, and the trash piled on the street was at least 12 feet long.

This is not a good week for this to occur because today is Halloween. We have a lot of trick-or-treaters. Kate wanted all the trash moved. I originally suggested that we leave it, but she was insistent. It is also something she didn’t forget. I never volunteered to move it, but she got the impression that I had said I would. After lunch today, she said she would meet me outside which I took to mean that we would work together to move the trash to the back of the house. When we got out there, she began raking up some trash that was in the yard. I started to load up the trash in an old garbage cart that I could roll to the back of the house. It turned out that she wanted me to put it in the flower bed on the side of the house. This is one of the areas that I have had our yard person cleaning up. To be more specific some of this trash has come out of the flower beds, and I didn’t like the idea of putting it back just after she had removed it two days ago. She said she would step aside, and I could put it wherever I wanted which I did.

She started picking leaves off the shrubs she does almost daily. As I was taking one load of trash to the back of the house I noticed that she had left some trash from the front flower bed on the sidewalk, a place she usually put trash. I suggested she could clean that up while I was moving the trash from the street. She seemed quite willing to do it. I saw her with a broom, and she was sweeping the front porch. It had looked pretty clean to me, but I thought she just wanted to start there and then move along the walkway to the driveway. Later I walked by and saw the trash was still on the walkway. It turns out that she had finished her work and gone in to take shower. I ended up cleaning up that trash too. At the time I felt like saying something to her but decided against it. I know that she didn’t realize what she had done (or not done). I simply didnt think there was anything to gain by saying something other than the personal satisfaction of telling her.

I relay this story to make sure that the reader knows that I do experience some frustration even when I accept what she has done or not done. It is also another example of how this disease can change normal interaction. There are many things like this that occur, but I try not to say anything at all.

Something else that bothered me. I changed clothes before going out to clean up the trash. She is not sensitive to this at all. She was dressed very nicely when we went to lunch. I commented on how nice she looked. She wore a beautiful garnet turtleneck sweater and a nice pair of black slacks. When she went to clean up, she wore those same clothes. At one point I saw her sitting on the edge of a flower bed where she was pulling weeds or something like that. She has so few clothes that are not soiled in any way that I hate to see her messing up the ones that are in good shape.