The Little Things

There has been a lot I have missed about being away from home. The obvious things such as washing and cooking haven’t bothered me as much as I thought they would. I like choosing what to cook each night and to be honest, most things I can wash in the sink like a 1940’s housewife in a headscarf with gravy on my legs.

Google Images                                                                   ‘I must be out of gravy…’

It’s the strange little quirks of my family I have missed most and being back for three weeks has meant I have been able to enjoy them in all their crazy glory.

My sister I have particularly missed.

Our relationship is down to such finesse now that during arguments when we run out of things to say we merely point at each other in a silent, yet amicable truce. This way of ending fights, I have found, does not work with other people. When confronted with a drunken, angry girl in wavering stilettos in a nightclub, pointing at her in a warm, friendly way does not invite a mutual agreement to end the fight. It invites verbal abuse and if you’re particularly unlucky, a punch in the face. Which makes me sad for home.

The ecosystem of our house works on the communal agreement that you clean up after yourself. This of course translates to Mum actually tidying up everything. I try my hardest, I really do but we always end up having conversations that are along the lines of this:

Mum: (Coming out of the kitchen) Okay, who left the butter knife on the kitchen counter? Who?

Me: I didn’t.

Mum: So you’re telling me the knife just dipped itself in the butter and decided to lie on the top all… buttery? (Walks back into the kitchen only to come immediately out again) And who opened the water biscuits and didn’t put them back in the container? They will go stale! Why do you think I went to the trouble of finding a container to put them in in the first place?

Me: (Sidelong to my dad) What’s a water biscuit?

(Dad shrugs)

Mum: So you’re honestly telling me none of you opened the water biscuits?! (Points at me) I can see a plate by your feet young lady, have you been eating my water  biscuits?

Me: What on earth are water biscuits?

Mum: Aha! I knew it was you, just helping yourself to cheese and water biscuits!

Me: Seriously, are water biscuits even real? It’s like an oxymoron BUT A FOOD.

(Maria and Dad start laughing)

Mum: Why are you laughing? It was all of you wasn’t it, mucking up my kitchen and eating my WATER BISCUITS!

This happens about five times a week. When I was living at home full time this used to drive me slightly loopy. Now everything is just a lot funnier. Just don’t let Mum see you laughing.

My arrival back home sparked several similar disagreements about how I’m upsetting the delicate balance of our ecosystem. One of Mum’s biggest peeves is the amount of towels I use. I had been back for three days when Mum stood in the bathroom at ten in the morning and shouted, “Oh hello? Eve must be home – there are fucking towels everywhere!”

I like to think she has really missed all my little quirks. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a clean towel?

Dad and I continue to share a sense of humor that no one else really understands. On a Thursday evening we can be found watching some obscure comedy programme and laughing so loudly that the neighbours’ dog starts barking. At this point, Mum and Maria exchange exasperated ‘what-are-they-like’ glances and leave the room. This I have missed. There’s nothing like saying loudly in a formal social situation (and wanting to impress), “I have many leather bounds books and my apartment smells like rich mahogany” if no one is there to laugh and counter, “It’s so damn hot. Milk was a bad choice.” And if you don’t understand that, you need to educate yourselves by watching Will Ferrell in Anchorman. You poor, deprived being.

Thankfully, I have brought some of the crazy to Sheffield with me. My flatmates don’t always understand why I take great delight in not immediately washing butter knives, nor why I always have seven towels hanging in my room. That’s something I like to continue at uni. Just don’t even talk to me about water biscuits.

Images courtesy of Google                                                      Seriously? These things are real?


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