By Leila Wai
Of all the pretty, flowery words I would use to describe myself, "particular" would be way, way down on my list.
Maybe that's why my boyfriend likes to use it to really get under my skin.
Like a red flag before a bull, he waves it around when he wants to provoke me. Of course, after two years together I've learned a few choice words to evoke the same effect, but this is my column; I don't need to get into it.
So what if I tell him I plan on leaving at 10 a.m., and when he saunters into the room at 9:53, and asks when I'm leaving, I'll tell him seven minutes. I think of it as timeliness, not being particular.
Arranging the pillows in an exact manner every night?
He calls me catlike; I say, pure comfort.
Correcting him when he says something one minute and changes it the next? Accurate. It is my job to be accurate, after all, so I should practice even when I'm away from work, right?
Arranging my closets and drawers by shirt type and color? Time saving. Much better than shoving his clothes wherever they fit — I found a pair of my soccer shorts I had been looking for crumpled in the back of his drawer the other day.
Freaking out when he calls with a five-minute warning that his friends are coming over? OK, that's freaking out. But the other night it was just a doorbell, and I answered with a towel on my head. Just give me more warning.
Turning him on his side every night — facing the other way — so I muffle his heavy breathing/snoring and can sleep soundly? A good night's sleep. He says it makes for restless sleep for him, but judging by the aforementioned heavy breathing/snoring, he's doing fine.
Needing to do the laundry so I can fold my shirts? Years of doing it; and less wrinkles. (And what is he complaining about? As long as I'm doing the laundry, that means he isn't.)
Doing the grocery shopping? So the refrigerator is stocked with milk and fruits instead of beer and more beer.
Not using the air conditioner or dishwasher? Energy conservation.
I'm by no means a neat freak; my desk at work or my apartment would attest to that. We only removed our Christmas tree a couple weeks ago, and he had to do it.
I give him his time and space when he wants to read, watch sports or do anything Iowa, so why can't he just drop that word from his vocabulary? Thousands of (kinder) words exist to let your mate know how you feel about them.
I don't find anything particularly wrong with that.
Reach Leila Wai at firstname.lastname@example.org.