Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Joint Families and Feeling Disrespected

In America, for the most part, we don't throw our trash just anywhere. There are laws against throwing it on the streets. In our homes most of us have trash cans all over for convenience and trash (almost always - kids excluded lol) goes in the trash can rather than on the floor. Now, I must admit there have been times I will make a pile of trash when I'm in the middle of something then clean it up when I'm done but that is rare because I usually try to have a trash can available.

This is not the case in all parts of India. Just look around at the streets and trash is everywhere. It kills me but, my husband has thrown trash out of the car window and such. He says it's not allowed here but everyone does it anyway. I can somewhat understand throwing out the leftovers (wrapping, bags or containers excluded) for the wandering animals. That's not bad at all. However, I don't ever want to get used to the trash being thrown out in the streets.

Now, hubby has also told me it's considered disrespectful to throw your trash in front of someone elses house. This I easily understand and even in America, this would piss off the neighbors. It's a big No No!

With how I was raised and always cleaning up after myself as Americans are taught to do I can honestly say I have never deliberately thrown trash out on the streets of India, in anyone's floor but my own room (making a pile while busy lol) and I go out of my way to take my trash to the only dust bin in the house. I'm supposed to have a dustbin in my room but MIL decided she needed two and every time I put it back in here she comes and gets it. No big deal, I have leftover shopping bags which make my life easier because then I don't have to wash the dustbin all the time. Yes, I wash my trash cans. There is nothing that drives me crazier than a nasty trash can. Eww...the things that could be growing in there.

Now, just FYI so you understand why this bugs me even more, the maid hasn't been up to clean my room in about 6 weeks, possibly longer. I was in Delhi 6 weeks ago so I don't know if she came in while I was gone or not. If she didn't then it's been over 2 months. She's supposed to come in more often than that. I have not had the capacity to get down on my hands and knees and scrub this floor nor keep it swept the way it needs. I clean and dust when I can, but dust piles up quick here. Still, the room was not nasty because I don't let the trash stay on the floor and I'm always after hubby not to throw it there. He still does sometimes, I state my peace and we move on.

Also, here in our joint family, most of the eating is done on your bed in your room. Guests visit, they sit in your bed. Pretty much anything that goes on, goes on in your room. Your one room of life. It's like the equivalent of your home. Even though you live in a joint family, each unit has it's own quarters to care for and maintain just like it's your own home. The costs for the maid are shared as she cleans the whole house, and there are parts of the house that are shared such as the kitchens (we have 3) and bathrooms (of which we have 2).

Tonight MIL was sitting in the room with us and I have no idea what they were talking about. I was kinda wrapped up in watching Las Vegas, one of the few shows I actually get to watch between all this sleeping and working and trying to just keep up and survive this sickness and mess. Hubby starts cleaning his ears with a q-tip and I just had a feeling he was going to do it so I took more interest. He got done and I was right, he threw it at his mom!

I immediately said something to him because, I don't care if that's his mom and he's a spoiled mama's boy, that's just disrespectful. I mean..it's a dirty q-tip! He was laughing but I would have gotten my butt in serious trouble had that been me and my mom. His mom raised her hand like she was gonna smack him and gave him a dirty look. She seemed pleased that I was fussing at him though, she understands me mostly by my tone and emotions. He then told her something and was still half laughing.

She picked up the q-tip and did something with it for a minute and then threw it on the floor. Now, I know he told her what I was saying and I know she knew I fussed at him for throwing the q-tip and I really feel this was very disrespectful. This isn't the first time she has thrown trash on my floor (when she has the dustbin sitting outside near her wash station less than 10 feet away and she sleeps right next to it and a known trash bag less than 3 feet from her hand). However, this time I feel like she blatantly disrespected me personally.

I don't know what kind of look I got on my face but hubby said something else to her and she picked it back up. Then she put it in the trash bag (without being directed to the bag which tells me she knew where it was) and she picked my empty water bottles out of the trash to keep. (Which drives me crazy too...so glad I'm not drinking out of those because I only drink sealed bottled water.) I didn't turn around to look at her any more while she was in the room. I just focused on Las Vegas. I did say something to hubby and he actually didn't take offense this time. I think he knew I was right. "We don't live in a trash can" were his exact words to me when he saw me making a pile once and didn't yet know I would clean it up when I got finished.

I just don't know what to think. I never left trash on her floor and she knows it because she saw me put a trash bag in the room and use and empty it daily when I stayed down there. She knows I always clean up the kitchen every time I use that too. I don't leave it for her. This just bugs me. But that's not all. This is getting long so I'm posting 2 posts tonight with the other part.


  1. The q-tip thing is disgusting. I really hope your husband reads these posts and tries to understand what you're saying.

    You're unwell for Heaven's sake- they need to take more care than normal and none of this is even normal.

    Somebody needs to not throw junk out while on the streets. I know that I wait till I find a bin. Everyone can try. It is about wanting the change.

  2. Thank you! It's nice to have someone that agrees. I've had to mention the q-tip thing a few times but this one just went too far. It might not upset me so bad if the maid was cleaning our room like she does the rest of the house but she doesn't even come up here any more. I specifically requested she come today and they didn't send her up.

    Hubby does sneak over here and read the blog. It's why I post some of what I do because I don't think he really gets it when I'm telling him lol. He tries, I will give him credit but he's never seen anything different so it's hard for him to understand completely. I call him my NRI in training. ;)

  3. :D It's cute that you still love him so much that you'd go on to defend him! :)

    Why does the maid not come up? Her pay comes from each of the families that live there, right?

    {Look who's internet connection is acting up, here. Phew!}

  4. Lol, he's innocent in most things. He's had a VERY sheltered life. I have no idea why the maid hadn't been coming but I got her butt up here yesterday finally and she better be back today. She's supposed to. We were supposed to be helping pay once we got married. Before that she only came about once a week. (The boy still had his mom cleaning the room so I don't know why she didn't come more.) Well, actually this is a new maid from that one. The old one came. This new one doesn't bother. We told his mom we weren't paying when she stopped coming and that she needed to send her up here. Nothing happened. I finally got pissed and let mr. innocent know she needed to get up here pronto. It still took 2 days for his mom to send her. Nothing happens in a timely manner in India lol.

  5. Argh why are men like that :-| my guy does that too....:-) third post..am loving your blog....

  6. Thanks Chintan! I'm glad you have enjoyed my blog. I really liked your womendecoded blog as well!

  7. Cheers...and am back you see...you got me hooked....