Posts Tagged 'marriage'

Men Bite…And Stab

Sooo…the other night, I’m finishing up with dinner preparation.  We were eating rather late because Big Daddy was spending the bulk of the evening on one of his marathon bicycle rides.  I heard him come in through the basement after his ride, so I got the slotted spoon to start taking the cabbage out of the pan of water and into a serving bowl.  I don’t know if he came home super hungry or what, but for some reason, he starts taking over without saying he was taking over.  I mean, you know, had he said, “Go sit down. I’ll finish up here,” I would have gladly left the room.  But instead, he gets in my way, knocks the slotted spoon off the counter and as I lunge to catch it before it hits the floor, he stabs me with some sharp utensil that plunges through my hand near the base of my right thumb.

“AAARGHHH“…I grab my wrist and ran toward the powder room, crying and screaming “I’m stabbed, OMG he stabbed me,” and started running cold water on it to stop the blood and hopefully numb the pain.  I ran right past Oldest Son, lying on the couch playing some hand held video game.  I don’t even think he looked up.  Big Daddy comes moseying in, looked at my hand and said surprised, “Oh, it’s bleeding.”  Like, no shit, Sherlock, that’s what happens when you pierce living flesh with a sharp object.  A minute or two later, Middle Son J comes downstairs and says, “I thought someone was being killed down here.”  Well, so proud and happy you came down to intervene on my behalf.  At least you didn’t wait until I started to decompose.

Big Daddy was kind enough to bandage my hand with some gauze.  “I’m done in here,” I muttered as I left the kitchen and sat in front of the computer to cry and feel sorry for myself.  Big Daddy finished getting the corned beef and cabbage to the table, and we all ate.  My hand throbbed, but I managed later to put the leftovers away before the food spoiled.  I was wondering to myself why hubby wasn’t so eager for kitchen duty now when I actually could use the help.

I left the bulk of the dishes on the counter.  My hand hurt and I was feeling depressed.  I plopped my butt on my recliner, leaned back, and went to sleep.  To his credit, Big Daddy had cleaned up the rest of the kitchen by the time I woke up.  I woke up the next morning with a huge headache and some major depression.  For some reason, this injury pushed me over the edge.  At the risk of sending hubby on some week-long pouting session, I will try to dissect what sent me into a downward spiral, one that caused me to spend the bulk of a beautiful Saturday afternoon in bed, and the rest of the day a snapping bitchy wench.  Stay tuned.

I DO Appreciate Him

ugly antWhile my biggest peeve in our marriage may have been my perception that Big Daddy didn’t always defend me as he should or validate my hurt and anger with some action on his part, he seems convinced that I don’t fully appreciate him.  I can honestly say that this is not reality.  I know he’s one of the good guys and I really do appreciate all the things he does for me and our family.  I do what I can to show him that I care, but alas, I’m not the demonstrative touchy-feely person that I think he needs.   (I’m thinking he may not be truly satisfied unless I greet him at the door in saran wrap every night, like some loser with no life.  Umm, not gonna happen).

Although I appreciate hubby all the time, my need and appreciation has been even greater lately.  He is not only my partner in life, father of my children, and bff — he is the killer of BUGS.  And for some reason, bugs have decided to start bugging us!

As much as I like to pretend I’m a hard-ass, itty-bitty bugs freak me out.  It’s pathetic.  I still scream like a little girl when I see a swarm of bugs.  Although a lot of people hate spiders, those critters don’t bother me.  They’re single solitary creatures and I can handle them.  But great big social clusters of ants or gnats send me up a wall.  I’ve been brought to tears upon spying a giant teeming mass of squirming piss ants on a sidewalk outside.  Even a tiny fraction of that amount of insects in my home will send me into a panic.

Last week, it was the attack of Mothra and her clan.  I’ve learned it is not wise to buy and store grain products in bulk.  No matter how clean you keep your cupboards, too much rice or noodles is an invitation for an insect party.  So I keep things lean and mean in the pasta department.  However, there’s not much you can do when a freaking bag of rice that you just purchased harbors a little flying moth, which somehow multiplies into seven or eight despicable little rice-dwelling moths that fly around in your cupboard.  When we figured out where these things were coming from, I summoned all the courage I could and threw away the bag of rice with the visible moth inside.  Big Daddy said I’d have to clean the entire cabinet to get rid of all of the bugs.  I knew he’d done more than his share of the housework that day but I begged him to PLEEEEASE don’t make me deal with those bugs.  I had tears in my eyes.  I am eternally grateful that he finished cleaning out the cupboard that night.mothra

Last night, Oldest Son spied an ant in the kitchen.  About the same time, Big Daddy saw one crawling across the family room carpet.  These rooms are not connected.  Big Daddy told me to keep an eye out for more of these creatures.  Now, these ants are not the tiny piss ants that found their way in last year due to my leaving sticky fruit juice on the counter.  And they don’t look like the giant destructive carpenter ant variety.  They’re kind of medium-sized reddish things, and so far we’ve just been spotting one at a time.  There are no crumbs or sticky substances attracting them.  We don’t know what the hell they want!

I’m keeping an ant chart so we can figure out where they’re coming in at.  So far, I’ve spotted two more by the family room fireplace, one more on the kitchen floor, and one wayward little freak all the way upstairs in my master bathroom.  It makes no sense.  I’m getting scared!

It’s time for Big Daddy to put on his bug-huntin’ gear.  He’ll have my undying gratitude.  But I’m still not buying any saran wrap.

bug

Wiring

As I unloaded the dishwasher for what seemed to be the hundredth time this week, I was cursing J’s college landlords under my breath.  He was supposed to be moved into his cozy little college apartment last week, the one they assured us would be completely constructed and ready to move in before the first week of school.  Instead, the poor kid has had to commute the 30 some miles every day, while I have had the pleasure of cleaning up the aftermath of his non-stop cooking and eating, and running the dishwasher every single day so we have glasses for him to mix up his various protein drinks and muscle-building concoctions.

According to some old-school gents on Dr. Phil yesterday, they just aren’t wired to do housework (implying that we women are!).  Their fragile little egos were damaged because instead of being out in the big wide world earning a paycheck, the recession has relegated them to the world of dirty dishes and laundry, while their wife brings home the bacon.  I’m not saying that losing one’s job wouldn’t be a blow to the ego, but these guys were mostly upset that now their wives were earning more money than they were (gasp!), and worse yet, they had to take care of the housework while she was out working!  One of them insisted that no way would he do that, and I wasn’t sure if he meant his wife would not work outside the home, meaning they would all go down in a sinking ship with no income at all, or if he expected her to not only go to work but then to take care of all the “menial” household duties that were so beneath his macho existence.

I did feel sorry for one newly retired man, however.  His wife seemed a bit anal and hostile over the idea that he was home while she was still working and going to school.  While I agree that if one spouse is working full-time and the other one is not, the bulk of the household duties should fall upon the one who is home most often to do them.  She nagged him about not doing more than he was doing, and criticized the way he cleaned house.  She bitched about the dust bunnies on the floor and bugged him about vacuuming the couch.  If I was married to her, I’d be in a heap of trouble!  In my world, as long as there is a decent meal ready sometime in the evening, clean clothes to wear and a pressed shirt for work, we’re doing okay.  When both of us are working full-time, we split up the household chores.  I launder and iron, hubby cooks and shops.  The household chores need to be done, and it’s all equally beneath both of us.  However, we suck it up and do it.

I find it hard to believe that in this day and age, there are still men out there that have never changed their child’s diaper or that expect their wife to do all the housework with no help from them because it’s “women’s work”.  I’m no more wired to clean a toilet than anybody else, and  it’s pretty obvious that these guys that think they’re too “manly” to scrub a floor are just too lazy and looking for an excuse.

Twenty-Nine Years Ago Today

weddinggarterWe met at a party on the night I was determined to ignore the male of the species.  I had found out a guy I had a major crush on had decided to go another less complicated route.  He asked me to dance.  I hate to dance.  But I had enough beer in me and was tired of acting like a hard ass, so I figured what the hell.

We were young and immature.  He used to nonchalantly ride his bicycle around the building where I had my Econ class, at about the time when class let out.  He would stop by my dorm in the evenings after working out at the gym.  My parents liked him.  My dad thought he looked like Mark Spitz, the Olympic swimmer.

Fast forward quite a few years.  He still works out and rides his bike.  Our kids tell me I’m immature.  Still.  They’re usually laughing when they say it.

Me and Big Daddy.  What a long strange trip it’s been…

Family Loyalty

One of the very few things Big Daddy and I fight about has to do with family loyalty.  We both are very loyal to each other and to our children; our little family is the center of the world — for both of us.  But how we show that loyalty, and how we react to someone perceived to be slighting or attacking our family — that’s a whole different story.

It may have to do with our very different upbringing.  His father was very authoritarian and Big Daddy learned it was best to just obey and not make waves.  Meanwhile, I sometimes felt like the exasperated parent to my somewhat child-like folks.  If they pissed me off, I let them know it.  If you’re being a douche, it’s really hard for me to zip my lips, no matter who you are.

When someone messes with my little brood, I get irate.  If they slight them, I get hurt.  I’ll lash out, speak out, or get even.  When Big Daddy has a particularly bad day at work and comes home to vent and tell me about some asshole trying to make his job tougher or screwing him over, I get angry.  I get indignant, my eyes tear up, and I bitch about how much I hate the pricks screwing him over.  How dare they mess with my husband!  And then…hubby gets mad at me for getting mad!  What does he expect?  He just wants to vent these things and expects me to be able to listen and not get upset.  Well, obviously, I’m just not that mature folks.

On the other hand, when I feel our kids or I have gotten short shrift from someone, I want him to be indignant along with me.  I want him to snort and rage and tell somebody off.  I want him to stick up for us!   He gets mad for sure.  He’s been hurt and disappointed, too.  But it’s always a quiet mad.  I can almost see him choking it down and swallowing it, while I just want to spew it right back at the jerks.  It’s especially bad when it’s his side of the family; he’ll act all calm and unruffled like they haven’t hurt his feelings.  He’ll pretend like nothing wrong has happened.   He’ll let me vent and rage alone, and he doesn’t always have my back.  This hurts me way more than the original slight.  This is betrayal from someone I care about.

Creeping Toward My Side of the Story

“When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose” – Bob Dylan

Unlike what my hubby might think at times, this is not directed at him or our marriage.  It is, however, directed toward several of my in-laws.

I’m sometimes hot-heated.  I’m often opinionated.  But I’m not, and never have been mean.  I try to give people the benefit of the doubt.  If someone really annoys me and I don’t have to spend time with them, I’ll avoid them like the plague.  It’s just self-preservation.  I hate that knotted-up feeling you get from stressful situations.  I don’t start fights.  I hate fights.  But I’ll stand up for myself and my kids to my last breath.

Last week, after a grueling last week of tax-season work, I’m puttering around on the computer.  And I see this typically emo, self-centered status blurb on one of the sister-in-law Facebook profiles.  Nobody knows the trouble she’s seen, nobody knows the sorrow…Yadda. Yadda.(not her exact words).   And God help me, out of nowhere (so I thought), I made a rude comment.  It was an uncharacteristically uncalled for action.  For some reason, I went beyond the usual private eye-roll and gag me reaction, and we ended up having a lovely pre-teen like cat-fight via e-mail.

It’s complicated with hubby and his family.  We were raised in completely different environments.  Hubby’s father was a domineering autocrat.  Wife and kids submitted to his every rule or else.  In my home, there was no boss.  My dad suffered from depression and slept a lot.  When we were engaged, rather than spend a summer apart before we were reunited at college, I took up hubby’s dad’s suggestion that I spend the summer with them, working in New Jersey.  It was a mistake.

Toward the end of the summer, when they got tired of feeding me and saw I wasn’t subject to control, it turned ugly.  I was told about my every nasty offense to mankind, such as sitting and reading while I watched television with them.  How I dared not march up the aisle every Sunday for Communion like they did (I’m hard on myself and sometimes thought I might want to go to Confession rather than be a hypocrite).  Big Daddy’s REALLY big intimidating daddy actually threatened to hit me, and I threatened to call the police.  I (gasp) dared to talk back.

This may have been the beginning of my position as family villain.  It hurt me at the time that hubby left me standing there alone to defend myself, but I kind of understood his position.  He was still somewhat dependent on the man.  There were years of intimidation in his history.  He was every bit as offended as me, but he was between a rock and a hard place.

What I haven’t been able to get over, and I’m surprised at this myself, is the years of slights we’ve received from a few of his siblings.  And it’s not because I’ve been mortally wounded by any of them.  I don’t have the relationship with them that you need to have to be hurt by them.  I’ve been disgusted, and disappointed, but mostly by hubby’s inaction.  He’s been every bit as disgusted and even more disappointed because supposedly he had some kind of relationship with them at one time.  And he lets them slide.  Over and over.

I may sometimes overreact.  But he does not react at all.  Except to me.  He pounds home that villain label on me, the label I feel nowhere else but hanging on the outside fringe of that clan.  It’s the one and only wedge I see between the two of us.

Would He Lie?

This morning getting ready for work, I was standing in front of the full-length mirror in the bathroom, inspecting things to see if I could get away without wearing the fat-squeezing, breath-sucking body shaper. 

“Do I look lumpy or enormous in these pants?” I asked Big Daddy, who happened to be sitting on the toilet.

Without missing a beat, or come to think of it, even looking up, he said, “Nope.”

Then I thought about what I just asked him.  Would I want him to tell me that I looked fat and lumpy even if I did?  He doesn’t always do and say the right things–he’s a  guy for God’s sake–but he’s not stupid.

I went back to my dresser, pulled out the body shaper and put it on.  Better safe than sorry.

On Relationships: Monogamy and Soul Mates

Several things got me thinking about this subject.  One is having one son older than I was when I got married, and two more almost at that age.  I see the relationships they’ve gotten into, and then gotten out of.  Some were quite serious; these kids were convinced they were in love.  I’ve even let my mind wander thinking what if they got married, and for the most part, I was OK with most of their choices.  But then, as people are prone to do, they suddenly fall out of mad passionate love, become just friends or in some cases enemies, and fall madly in love with someone else.

Then I see couples like my aunt and uncle, married for almost 70 years.  If you ever watched Seinfeld, they remind me a lot of George Costanza’s parents.  There’s always a lot of eye-rolling and VERY LOUD TALKING, but underneath there’s a lot of affection there.  For as long as I can remember, it’s the way they’ve interacted with each other.  It seems like they can’t live with each other (but obviously they can after 60 some years), but I don’t think they can live without each other.

I don’t believe in the concept of a soul mate.  I think it would be a very shallow world to think that one single other person and yourself could make a complete universe.  I think each of us is one small part of the whole big puzzle.  I believe that one selects a mate that compliments one’s life and fulfills one’s needs at that time.  But since people grow and change, so does the relationship.  That is where commitment comes into play.

Not so long ago, when people married, they made a commitment for life.  Society frowned on divorce and so people made the best of the life they chose.  Women did not have the choices they have now to be able to support themselves economically, so they stayed in marriages that they might not stay in today.  By the same token, I’m sure many men stayed put with nasty partners due to the sense of duty they felt.

In some ways, this was tragic.  Like today, I’m sure many of these marriages were abusive.  No one should ever be stuck in a marriage where abuse occurs.  But there were probably a lot of normal ups and downs that people worked through, instead of baling out with a quickie divorce like they might today.  People didn’t expect everything in their lives to be perfect back then, and they didn’t run away from their problems.  Facing problems, then working together to find solutions builds character.  And relationships.

Sometimes staying together just doesn’t make sense.  If someone just doesn’t want to be with you, it’s pathetic to hang on to something that just isn’t there.  There are deal-breakers that no one should have to live with, such as abuse.  I’m glad people have choices today, and are able to find happiness if they make a terrible choice in their youth.  But I hope my boys take a long time to find a mate that they can share a happy lifetime with, who will share similar values and sense of commitment.  There’s something comforting in planning for the future in the same house, with the same spouse.

Oh Those Gender Roles

Big Daddy and I regard our marriage as a partnership–an equal partnership.  Once in a while, but only because of my skeptical nature, I wonder if he really truly believes this as much as I do.  He was raised in a much different environment, where head of household status was conferred upon the male adult solely because he was the male adult. Sometimes I get worried that kind of thinking is still lodged somewhere in his subconscious mind.  In my household, there was no real boss.  It wasn’t exactly a head of household partnership either.  Sometimes I felt like I was the only adult in that house, even when I was a kid.  Neither one of us wanted our kids to be raised like we were.

We try to divvy up duties based on talents and interests.  We both cook; we both sew on buttons.  I usually cook dinner because I work part-time while he works full-time.  It’s only fair.  He does the yard work because he loves landscaping.  I take care of the finances because I’m good with money and I’m an accountant.  A few things end up looking quite gender based, although it could be just the way our personalities shaped things.  I generally took care of all the school stuff and scheduled meetings when the kids were little.  That seems more like a mom thing to do although it could just be that I am more detail oriented.  Big Daddy is the builder and fixer of the house.  As much as I hated hearing myself say it, when the kids brought me something broken, I’d tell them to see if daddy could fix it.  But he learned how to do this stuff when he was young.

Today, our stupid Comcast remote control would not change the channels.  It would not do anything.  I called Big Daddy at work about the “big emergency” because I had just finished all my work and I wanted to watch Dr. Phil. And the TV was stuck on Channel 200 something.  I ended up having to go to the cable box and change the channel manually.  Five hours later, I’m still waiting for Big Daddy to come home and fix the damn thing.  I mean, having to actually get up to change the channel.  How primitive is that?  Sometimes it seems the dashing hero must still rush in to save the damsel in distress!

Are Marriages Getting Weirder?

I usually read just about every inch of the newspaper, which is why it takes so long. My guys make fun of me, but I am a walking font of useless trivia because of this habit. Twice this week, in the Annies Mailbox column, a wife wrote in about her troubled marriage. Both columns dealt with money issues.

The column today talked about the wife’s inability to find a job making more than minimum wage, despite the fact that she had some decent job skills. Her husband chastised her for not “pulling her weight” because he made about 5 times more than her in income. First of all, when did marriage become solely an economic arrangement? I would bet the wife contributes more than her fair share in other ways. Despite some big advances in the past few decades, women still do well over 50% of the household chores, and they still make less pay for the same jobs. And what about moral support? The woman works in and out of the home, is looking for a better job, and still gets no support from her spouse. What a pathetic marriage.

The second column was almost more than I could believe. Like, why would this woman even be asking for advice? What she should do is get herself to the nearest lawyer. Her Neandethal of a husband was cleaning out their joint checking account, transferring huge credit card balances onto the wife’s individual credit card accounts, and making sure he was living high on the hog on his much higher income while she paid all the family bills with her much smaller paycheck. Then he would take the kids on lavish vacations without her, knowing full well she couldn’t afford to go. Is this beyond sick? He is either a miserable nasty lout of a person or he hates her guts. Why wouldn’t you just go to a lawyer and claim your fair share of marital assets in divorce court? Would you even want to share a home or life with someone that treats you so horribly? I’d rather live in a shed.

Perhaps marriages today don’t last as long because they are more of a business partnership than a loving commitment. When Big Daddy and I get money, we put it into our joint account and build for OUR future. We’re not hiding or separating assets because we’re planning on being here together way after the grandkids are born (despite the occasional times I get pissed off and rant about “Stick a Fork In Me, I’m Done”). I understand having separate accounts if your spouse has addiction or spending problems. Some economic advisers even recommend all couples to have separate bank accounts. But I’m happy to say we’ll keep our joint bank accounts open, and I have no need to write in to Annie’s advice column at the present time.


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