My lovely friend (and the best housemate I’ve ever had) brought home a huge tub of chicken pasta from a dinner party he’d been to at his pal’s place. Chicken and mushroom soup with pasta, to be precise, but by the time it arrived at our home, the pasta had soaked up most of the soup and what was there was a sloppy chicken mushroom pasta. It tasted much better than it looked, but I decided to add a bit of dash to it. I topped it off with freshly baked red capsicum, parmesan and my garnish du jour, chopped spring onions. Leftovers are good sometimes, even though I generally don’t like eating sloppy slushy stewy food, the texture can be somewhat ‘overcome’ by adding fresh garnishing!
This friend of mine isn’t my best housemate merely because he brings home yummy food, but really it is so simple, people just don’t get it. He is clean. And considerate. Just that. How difficult can it be? From experience, most people just cannot fathom what being “clean” means. To this fastidious Aspie chick who is actually very flexible as Aspies go (and even as non-Aspies go, really!), all I ask is for you NOT to leave your dirty muddy shoe prints all over my nice white bathroom mat, not to spill your cooking or coffee all over the stove top and then conveniently forget to clean up after yourself, and not to leave grubby fingerprints on the latches. Not too difficult is it? It doesn’t seem so to me, but judging from the people with whom I’ve had the pleasure of sharing an abode for some period of time or other, such unembellished actions seem far too complex to achieve. Then there is the word, “considerate.” Everyone claims to be considerate. Just as everyone claims to be clean. Yet, when push comes to shove, us humans just don’t understand that word at all. We overstep boundaries all the time, even I find myself doing so, but I try to remind myself to take great pains not to, therein lies the difference. What does consideration mean to me? Well, for starters, how about not helping yourself to my things – coffee, sugar, mixing bowl, storage boxes, bright green neon broom etc? Again, I view this as extremely straightforward, yet even some really nice people don’t have any idea how overstepping certain boundaries can drive me insane. Coffee is not cheap, but sugar is. OK, so it isn’t the cost of things that I am upset about really, it is the fact that someone is helping himself / herself to something or things belonging to me without first asking to do so.
Long ago, for too many years, I endured a “best friend” who did just that. Help herself to anything of mine that she fancied. If I protested, she’d verbally abuse me. How I could’ve lasted for almost 3 decades in that horrible imbalanced relationship is a very complicated and painful story, one which could be a plump subject for someone’s Ph.D dissertation. I shall not elaborate on that here. Anyhow, I do admit that the trauma suffered from that relationship may have seeped into the fabric of my psyche when I encounter anyone helping himself / herself to my things now. I don’t know for sure. But this friend of mine has never overstepped these simple boundaries. Not once has he helped himself unannounced to my things, and he does not take for granted that if I offer something to him once, he somehow has free reign to help himself thereafter. Nope. He stays put inside his own mental and physical space, and the ironic result is that I am far more inclined to share my things with him than with any other.
How did chicken mushroom soup pasta evolve into a longwinded rant here then? Anyway, there was a huge tub of the stuff and the above photo wasn’t the only variation on the same theme. I just about ate it all up – my friend didn’t want it anymore, and neither did the other housemate. Not liking food to go to waste, I dutifully polished it off in several attempts! 🙂
Oh, here’s another variation. With olives, parmesan and sliced mini peach!