A Week

19 Feb

My schedule with Starbucks was never the same two weeks in a row. My boyfriend said that I should take night shifts. So I did take night shifts which meant him picking me up. He of course, later complained about me taking night shifts because he had to pick me up. I would work the day staring at the clock waiting for the shift to be over. I hated Starbucks as a job because when I worked there I wasn’t sure which customer was going to complain and because I was Asian, or perhaps in my mind because I was Asian, I wouldn’t be able to say anything back. I felt every comment too deeply.

I would get home, exhausted, smelling of coffee, coffee grounds and collapse. My day was basically filled with going to and from that job and collapsing in a heap.

The air conditioner only worked 5 feet in front of it, so I spent my day with my legs up on the couch leg waiting for either to go to the job or my boyfriend to come home. I couldn’t open the windows because there were bugs outside and if I opened the windows that meant that my boyfriend would throw a tantrum and start yelling at me or whatever, leaving me to calm him down. I would watch mainly day time television because I wasn’t allowed to turn on my computer. In the beginning I used his computer, but even though I used floppy disks on his computer if anything went wrong with his computer, he would yell at me that it was my fault. I didn’t take this lying down and would tell him he was being paranoid. There was no possible way a Word file could corrupt his computer. I also told him to back up his files.

If I was home before dinner, I would call him to ask him what he’d like for dinner. This was one of those rock and a hard place kinds of questions. If I didn’t call he’d blame me for his weight, his upset stomach (which I think was from self-induced stress), and complain that he didn’t want whatever I was cooking for dinner. I’m a good cook. I cooked tings like Japanese curry from scratch. Tomato sauce from scratch. I cooked lots of things. He insisted on having high amounts of sugar in them. And despite the variety of things I cooked he’d thank me, but then he would occasionally say he was “tired of my cooking.” If I didn’t call he would also get upset. If I called he gave me a hard time and said he was busy. He said I shouldn’t call him at work. I would ask him when I should call him then. He would always say, “I don’t know.” which meant I shouldn’t call him at all. So either way I was out of luck.

This filled my week. He gave me a hard time for having to pick me up when I said I could take the bus. He gave me a hard time for not calling him. He gave me a hard time for calling him. He gave me a hard time when I asked him to call me back. Starbucks gave me a hard time mentally and physically.

I am 5’6″ and 130-140 pounds. He told me if I got fat he’d leave me. He said it as a joke, but he repeated it so many times. I ignored him and did as I liked.

So I was half baking and always hungry. We couldn’t eat our own individual meals most of the time because he wouldn’t allow it.

When Thursday hit, he did book readings for the kids. But I’ve related on how he was more focused on feeling popular than feeding his girlfriend whom he forbid to eat before because we must eat together. Yet, I’d eat at 9:00 or 10:00 and be trying to save money by not eating a big lunch.

When Saturday hit, he was determined to spend over 100 bucks each week on toys and other things from Japanese stores. He didn’t want to stay home. He always complained to me that we never got enough done. If I didn’t go with him, he’d get upset at me because we were supposed to do everything together–except when I wanted to do something, then I was on my own. In fact, he’d put off anything I wanted to do for months, even if it was critical. He once spent 150 dollars and borrowed money from his mother for a toy. (He was not younger than me he was quite a bit older than me…)

On Sundays he would call his mother. I think he spent most of the time complaining to her and talking about me. He’d never let me talk to her over the phone even if I asked if I could He’d always say, “Oh it’s OK.” I would give up after a while. This factor led to her having a poor opinion of me. She said that she thought I had no respect for my elders. But then she never talked to me at all.

As time went on these things would escalate more and more. I became more miserable at Starbucks. I wasn’t allowed to complain about it. Only he could complain about it. He gave me a hard time no matter what I did. I was not allowed to wander. I was not allowed to call him at work. I was supposed to call him at work. I could not go anywhere without calling him to tell him where I was. I was not allowed to go off on my own anywhere in town unless it was the library or close by. I was to turn on the air conditioner at certain times and turn it off at certain times. If I failed this, I got yelled at or chided or made fun of. I could not talk to his mother even though we were living together. He was allowed to spend 150 dollars of *his* money on toys, yet when I bought a 500 dollar box set out of my tips which I’d been saving for well over 6 months as a Birthday present to myself he got upset at me.

And so the rules mounted. You cannot, you shall not. But the more rules there were, the more they contradicted themselves. You cannot go anywhere without calling me. You called me at work, you aren’t supposed to call me. You cannot walk on your own because you must be saying bad things about me. Why don’t you have friends and go out more?

When I went to please myself, he got upset. When I pointed out the contradictions, he got upset. No matter what I did I was wrong. When I tried to please him, I lost myself, got depressed and he’d still get upset at me.

But this was my average week. Waiting for a time bomb to explode only to find it had reset again.

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