Generally gatherings of two or more of any of my current girlfriends (lifelong, newly acquired, work related or neighbors-it makes no difference) starts with drinks, laughs and funny stories. Then, seemingly out of nowhere comes the age old sport of the husband smack down. This bitch fest covers everything from a spouse forgetting an important holiday (birthdays, anniversaries, Valentines Day) to shirking familial responsibilities (my long time friend Jenn gave me that line- and included in her rant was the lack of laundry, kid rearing, cooking and cleaning that her husband did). I usually twirl my baton of hate and resentment along with the others for a little while, but then I find myself starting to drift away from the pity party as I realize that my husband is not suffering from many of these shortcomings. He cooks, he cleans, he does virtually ALL my grocery shopping and he has bought me tampons every month for the last ten years. The cherry on the ice cream Sunday of this good husbandry is his willingness to do his own laundry and to put my kids to bed religiously every evening so I can take a breath after a long day. Who among us hasn’t occasionally looked down at their snoring uncommunicative spouse collapsed next to them and wondered “Who is this guy?” “Why is he snoring so loud?” “Why should I have to leave the room to hear my television show because he’s such a buffoon?” but I’ve got to admit that for me the good FAR outweighs the bad. I’ve had my moments where I found myself so furious over a minor infraction that I thought I heard a chorus of “Sisters are Doin’ for Themselves” as I marched down the alley toward my car fuming. Then all of a sudden, the needle jumped a groove and screeched across the whole LP as reality set in and I admitted to myself that we really do have a 80/20 household. I’ll give you a hint who has the 20%. Shamed, I turned around, walked back up the alley and into my house where my husband was waiting with the iced tea he had just purchased for me at 7/11.
So it is with shock and horror that I share this bit from an email I unearthed while going through old items to archive. It was originally sent five years ago to my cousin Beth and showcases what an angry whining princess sounds like when she is hormonal ( I was pregnant with Sam) and not getting everything she wants the second she wants it. After I read it, I sat back and took the time to be truly aghast. What really struck me was the murderous tone it had and how skewed my sense of reality was.
Email to Beth
It all started with a simple purchase from the toy store while on vacation at my sister in laws house and grew to represent everything from ignoring the responsibilities of fatherhood to excessive drinking, smoking and oversleeping while I dragged my pregnant ass around taking care of two kids from dusk until dawn.
Every time I saw the eagle kite go soaring high in the air on the other side of the fence in their yard I felt a swelling of violent rage as I imagined him leisurely unfurling it and watching it lift quietly and serenely into the sky. In reality, I wanted to be the free one on the opposite side of the fenced in yard with the Olympic pool, spending hours not being responsible for anything. I suppose I wouldn’t have had such blinding hatred towards the kite and all it represented if it hadn’t been suspended in quiet tranquility for hours at a time over my head mocking me and my inferior parenting skills. I also had to endure the laid back laughter of Chuck and his extended family out there gazing along with the neighbors at the gently billowing eagle kite that gave so much joy to the whole block. Everyone was on the other side learning lessons I imagine only the kite could teach, while I remained festering poolside watching Elizabeth and Gavan try not to drown.
Nice, negative Nancy. Later on I attributed all this negativity to the hormones of pregnancy but it is hard to ignore the facts. I spent an entire week isolated from all the wonderful adults in the house, not getting any kind of break and without anyone really noticing. That remains a lesson for me to this day. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, or you too may pen an email like this where you are fantasizing about putting cigarettes out in your husbands eye sockets when he clearly has done NOTHING wrong. So lets hear it for the good guys, who work like dogs and try desperately to do everything their wives ask, even if those gals want fairy tale things like sprawling beach houses, spa bathrooms and ten trips to DisneyWorld a year. I actually LIKE my spouse. He’s funny, nice most of the time and is so handy that I would trust him to keep us alive with running water and electricity during the apocalypse (don’t come to my house if this really happens because we can only take care of ourselves in this survival mode- we will have to kill you and eat you).
So next time I’m out with my girlfriends at the risk of being pelted with furniture and hissing sounds, perhaps I’ll interject a positive little nugget about my hubby who deserves at least that little bit.