In an effort to save money, my roommate and I not eating out for the entire month of November. Oh except actually we have four times to eat out, because the last three months we tried to do this (March, April, and May), we failed. So we set ourselves up for the failure ahead of time, so next week when we want burritos, we don't totally give up.
Anyway, I have made dinner the last three nights, so tonight was his turn, and I sat in the living room on my computer while he took over the kitchen. The kitchen is typically my space, and I don't think I ever appreciated that until tonight when he started to clean out the refrigerator. Because suddenly, he was trying to get rid of everything: "What is this!?" he would ask, a look of horror on his face. "That is a block of mozzarella cheese. Which I bought last week." and so on. Because the bulk of things in the refrigerator are mine, he has no concept of what is old and what is brand new.
So last week we got these mini pumpkins in our farm share, and one went bad pretty quickly but the other one was still good. They came with cooking instructions on little stickers, but they were covered in mud and I had to clean them off. So, I took the sticker off the good one and left it on the counter. I had planned on fixing this little pumpkin at some point for a quick lunch, but I hadn't had an opportunity yet. "Just throw it out," he said. "You aren't going to eat it."
Then of course I became indignant, because that is what I do when people try to tell me how it is. (This is not a charming personality trait, btw.) "YES I will," I said. "I put the sticker with the cooking directions on the counter. Where did you put it?" And then he got indignant. "In the trash. Because it kind of dirty" [okay, I will admit that is true] "and I didn't really think a sticker just sitting on the counter was important."
Oh no he didn't. He did not just try to tell me how things should be in the kitchen. And of course I told him that. And then I asked him when was the last time he cooked dinner, and he couldn't remember. And we bickered a little, about how the kitchen is my space, not his, so I always just do things the way I want without any worry. I was preparing the pumpkin for the microwave during this conversation, and at this point I opened the microwave door.
"I'm using the timer! You can't use the microwave."
"The timer will keep going even if I use the microwave."
"See? This is not your space. You should not be in the kitchen."
"Yeah. I don't even know where we keep things, like...what is this? A spatula? I had to look really hard for this."
Was this a setup? Did he mess up my kitchen system on purpose, so I'd keep doing all the cooking? Or was he sincerely trying to help in the kitchen? I can't tell, but these are the situations that set a precedence and I don't want to mess up. What am I supposed to do here? How can I win?