When we were living in my old house he never complained about anything, about the condition of the house, his bed, anything, but once he came back from shopping (when he was working and actually had a disposable income) with a set of flatware. "I was tired of living with Salvation Army silverware," he said.
I was insulted. My tableware was mismatched because it had accumulated over the years, from different sets. I had not gotten it from a thrift shop (not that there's anything wrong with that!), and in fact I had another whole set of matched tableware just waiting in the wings. Waiting for now, actually, and indeed it is in use in my new house.
Also when he was working, Paul used to bring home fresh cut flowers every week. He thought of that as his job, actually, his obligation. I don't know many people who squeeze pennies who do that, although I would not think it a major waste of money. Flowers do matter.
While I was away last month, Paul was housesitting for one of his sisters. She lives in an expensive house with all the mod cons. He took care of the cats, who have "issues", which made him, I believe, grateful that mine do not have those particular issues. Mine all use the litter box. (Of course it is just possible that they did not use the litter box at that house because Paul did not clean it out often enough.) Paul got a bit used to the mod cons. The other day, when we were watching my perfectly good Toshiba television, with its perfectly good 20" screen (I think that's what it is), he said he had to admit he had gotten used to seeing these shows on a screen as large as my wall.
"You're just going to have to suck it up," I said.
Paul has not yet gotten a job. He has registered with the state job place but I don't hear him on a phone calling to see if there are any jobs. I think he needs to do that. He's very smart but ill-equipped for any work that will bring in any real money (there may actually be a relationship between the two). I am just beginning to think that I may have to do something to get him to move on this, and I do not know what. I am not a nagger. What we need here is an Elaine. He thinks highly of Elaine, in fact, even though he's seen very little of her in person. He has practically set her on a pedestal. I wonder how far she'd fall the first time she challenged him on the job thing. Maybe not far at all.
In the meantime I will wait for the right moment. They usually do come. I will want to be ready with some kind of deadline when it does.