Friday, January 21, 2011

squalid group living

I guess this dream was prompted by our recent housekeeping woes (as in, lack of) and our attempts to find a leather couch that the dogs won't dirty up so much. We (my husband and I) were sharing a house with some other people, a couple of different parties consisting of two or three people. All of them were Asian (I think one party was Indian and the other, with more members, was Korean). All were either students or had "knowledge economy" type jobs*.

Anyway, my husband and I had the living room as our area, and we had never properly moved in so everything was a huge mess (you know what happens when you've run out of steam in the end stages of a move and haven't found a proper place for everything). To make things worse, we had our two dogs with us--I think they were in an indoor-outdoor living situation, and the doberman had been inside.

[At some point in the middle of this dream, the dwelling curiously transitioned into a huge construction-parts warehouse; even while dreaming I was aware that this was my subconscious's way of voicing its displeasure/overwhelm at our real-life messy house.]

Back in the actual house (not warehouse), I was trying to tidy up while my husband, who had a cold, was lying on the couch watching TV. I wasn't really upset by his lack of help because he was sick**, but I was completely overwhelmed and questioning the utility of my endeavor. I had just discovered that the dog had thrown up in several places after chewing on a rawhide (so it was that whitish, milky post-rawhide throw-up that will be familiar to dog owners).

I was trying to find something to clean up the mess (and not finding a rag, of course). In the adjacent kitchen, a couple of the Koreans were eating their breakfast, like perfect little robots: get out the food, dish it into one dish, eat it all quickly in a focused manner, quickly rinse single dish and single glass. This only increased my feelings of inferiority, since I have never been able to eat so neatly and with such little production of dirty dishes.

Breakfast tidily put away, one of the Koreans grabbed his backpack (without fumbling, of course) and started to very quickly navigate the piles of junk on his way out the front door. I panicked and tried to warn him about the dog-vomit piles, but couldn't get it out fast enough. He landed in the biggest one with his clean be-socked foot***. He was too polite to register more than the briefest expression of surprise and discomfit before he whooshed out the door, sweeping up his shoes in one smooth motion.

I never did find a rag to clean up the vomit, I just sunk into self-recrimination and amazement that the tidy Asians hadn't already kicked us out, then woke up.

*Yeah, my subconscious hews closely to racial stereotypes.
**This does at least show a departure from the trope where I start yelling at assorted family members because I'm doing all the housework.
***Because, being clean, he didn't wear shoes in the house.

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