Recently, I allowed my husband to allow one of his friends to stay with us for an extended period of time, and he was supposed to tell his friend that the only way I would allow meat in the house was if it went directly from car to outdoor BBQ and I never had to clean up after any of it. I was willing to compromise on the dairy issue and allow that in the house. The friend moved in while I was visiting my mom in California. When I returned, it was really obvious that my husband had said nothing about my kitchen rules to his friend. There were pork chops and an opened package of bratwurst in the freezer (the pork chops were at least vacuum-packed), and there was leftover meatloaf in a Styrofoam container in the refrigerator. The kitchen felt greasy (probably from fried bratwurst), and I just felt totally grossed out. I ended up buying store-brand chlorine bleach (something I never buy), and scrubbing the entire kitchen with it.
Night before last, this guy came home with Stouffer's meat lasagna, which he promptly popped in the microwave despite my offer to cook something else. I had to open all the windows for like two hours to get the reek out of the house. And today, when I opened the refrigerator, there was an open package of bologna on the bottom shelf. I will admit that the meatloaf and the bratwurst disappeared the day after I returned home, and the pork chops went to his sons house for Sunday dinner.
Add to this that my husband is a truck driver who is only home two days a week, and I'm pretty miserable. This is somewhat my fault, because I should have insisted on going over the rules with this guy personally before he moved in. Actually, I should have just said "no" when my husband brought up letting this guy move in to begin with. However, this is an older gentleman who lost his job last year and has gone through all his savings. He finally settled on a low-paying job shortly after moving in with us. I wont be able to expect him to contribute anything to the household expenses, especially if I want him to be able to save enough money to move out within six months. I sure cant expect him to suddenly discover the joys of Vegan cooking or to purchase Vegan convenience meals (way more expensive than the damn Stouffers lasagna).
To complicate matters even more, I work 12 hour shifts at night, and I work from 3 to five nights a week. On those days, Im obviously not going to be able to prepare meals for the both of us. On my days off, I do prepare meals most days, and he will occasionally eat some of what I prepare. He enjoys those meals even. However, some nights, like with the lasagna, he chose to eat the lasagna instead of what I had prepared. Also, I am very active, so Im sometimes not home at normal eating times. Other times, all I want is a hummus sandwich on a pita (I have not yet been successful in my efforts to get him to try hummus), rather than a full dinner.
I dont want to freak out on this guy and look like the crazy Vegan. After all, its better to model positive food choices instead of being the Vegan police. Since my husband neglected to explain the house rules before the guy moved in, I feel that it would be unfair to spring it on him now. Still, Ive gotten very used to having my home as a sanctuary away from the outside meat-eating world, and it disturbs me to be bumping into dead animals when I open my own cupboards. I really feel like this guy is making an effort to get along, and he genuinely has enjoyed the Vegan meals that he has eaten in my home. I dont really think that there is a good solution to this issue, other than to never say Yes to another needy person moving in ever again (this is like the fourth time) and to just suck it up for the six months that it will take him to save enough money for an apartment.