I sometimes think the key to a good marriage is being able to let things go. You may have a disagreement about something and in your mind you are absolutely in the RIGHT and he is indubitably WRONG and also a SELFISH PRICK, but sitting around holding your breath for an apology and the heartfelt declaration that all future prickishness will be avoided at all costs often gets a person nowhere, and I find it to be downright taxing to set my body language to FROSTY BITCH for more than a few hours at a time.

Both JB and I are stubborn and loathe to give ground and on the few occasions that we fight, neither of us are any good at sitting down like rational adults and listening to each other’s position. JB tends to toss forth brain-bending logic shitbombs like, “Well I’m sorry you choose to feel that way about it” and I have an unfortunate habit of accelerating straight to into “Why don’t you just shut the fuck up” territory. It’s pretty rare that we revisit an argument and concede our own mistakes; instead, we stew independently for a while until life inevitably pushes the bad moment under the bridge, like when our favorite TV show comes on or JB decides to randomly inform me we should have makeup sex, or at the very least, makeup BJ?

(Makeup BJ. Right. Well, you can’t say the man doesn’t dream big.)

I’m sure we could be handling our differences with more maturity and mutual respect, but it seems to me that we’re usually able to move on without holding too much of a grudge. It’s funny, parenthood is often both a grindstone against which our marriage is tested on a daily basis, and a binding force holding it together. I may find myself occasionally thinking grumpily that my husband is a total wet end and that I’d like to run off to Aruba to live out my remaining cougar years leering at bronzed poolboys, but it’s more typical that I view whatever argument is at hand as just what it is: a temporary bump on a long, amazing road we’re committed to staying on with each other. Having kids together — even though it tests our patience, saps our romance, and steals our spontaneity — makes me feel like we took those wedding vows and dipped them in titanium.

That said, WHY is it always totally okay for my husband to leave the house on his own during the weekend — without any sort of need to ask for permission, may I add — while if I do so it’s like I’ve committed war crimes against fucking HUMANITY? And why IS IT, as long as I’m ranting, that if I am by myself with the children I usually somehow manage to also pick up our shithole house, throw some laundry in the washing machine, and excavate various biological specimens from the kitchen sink, but if he’s the one at home it’s like some sort of grandiose expectation or perhaps even a physical impossibility on par with running a two-minute mile to do anything but keep the children fed and relatively feces-free? JESUS H. CHRIST ON A LOW-SODIUM CRACKER.

Okay, NOW I can let it go. Ah, that’s better.

I’m flying solo parenting-wise at the moment while JB goes camping with his dad and brother (which may or may not be influencing my Ranty McCrabism state of mind) (he told me: “You’ll be working so it’ll be NO BIG DEAL”) (OMFG) (then I devoured him, black-widow-like) (also, if you’re thinking of breaking in and stealing my Payless shoes be forewarned that I have GUNS and also HAIRSPRAY and a REALLY FAT LAZY MEAN CAT) and I’m feeling lonely, so tell me, what’s the happiest event of your recent life? Big or small, what has put a giant grin on your face?

For me, it was digging this crazy jumper chair out of storage for Dylan, because hoo boy, good times all around. How about you?

Comments

115 Responses to “Letting go; clinging tight”

  1. Leah on August 12th, 2008 1:52 pm

    Seeing my fetus bonk himself in the forehead with his fist during a freebie ultrasound that my parents also got to see. One of the highlights of my life.

  2. sooboo on August 12th, 2008 2:19 pm

    What’s the best thing that’s happened? Easy. Connecting with my nephew after a decade long family fued. Hearing his voice felt like a miracle. Sorry about the chore disparity. We had to have a few joint therapy sessions to work that one out. It helped a lot to have a mediator, otherwise the argument falls silent, but doesn’t really end, for us anyway.

  3. Danielle-lee on August 12th, 2008 2:37 pm

    I agree with you completely. I hate when it is expected that I will take care of everything when he runs off to the deer lease on a random sunday, or whatever, but if i need to do my boot camp, or run an errand kid-free, it’s like ‘when the fuck are you coming back?’ and i get mean glances teh rest of the evening, like how dare I leave the f-ing house. so annoying.
    what things are making me happy right now?:
    -I’m going to New Orleans on the 30th for a girls only weekend.
    -I’m planning a trip to New York in September to go to a Yankees game b4 they knock down the stadium.
    -I start grad school next week. weee!

  4. Jennifer on August 12th, 2008 2:39 pm

    My happy thing. It’s a small deal, but since I suck at anything to do with the kitchen and food prep, I was thrilled that I successfully made these:

    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/DARK-CHOCOLATE-DIPPED-CHERRY-ICE-CREAM-CONES-242992

    (It was really easy, actually. And they look impressive.)

    Now I have huge self-confidence that I can make them AGAIN for dessert this Friday (perfect for a hot day) for 6 dinner guests!

    Small occasional successes make me happy. And make me less irritated when my hubs messes up the house!

  5. Sonia on August 12th, 2008 2:46 pm

    There is no happy here. I feel your pain, have been sharpening cutlery since Saturday morning. I’m so angry and frustrated with my husband right now, I can’t talk about it without bursting into tears of anger. Wanna meet for lunch?
    No. Happy.

  6. renmen on August 12th, 2008 4:06 pm

    It is hard to think happy thoughts when now annoyed with husband for his sense of entitlement. Everyone thinks *they* will be different and it’s distressing when it ends up just so typical…

    BUT happiest moment lately was taking one-year old to a swimming pool on a hot sunny day and spinning her round and round in the water while she laughed and smiled into my eyes.

  7. kirsten on August 12th, 2008 5:05 pm

    I won’t say that your blog post is the happiest event of my recent life, because that sounds pitiful and it really isn’t true, but I sure do relate! Oh yes I do. How’s this: I ran 4 miles a few days ago. I have never done that before. It felt real, real good. Made me happy.

  8. willikat on August 12th, 2008 5:17 pm

    my dog greeting me when i come home. every day.
    william hugging me in his sleep when i had a nightmare.
    the person who thinks they found jesus on a cheeto–i’ve been laughing about that for a good two weeks.
    saw a rainbow today on the way home from work; it was so vibrant and huge and just plain awesome.
    sorry you’re crabby. you know what almost always works for me? i blast guns n’ rosesor the romantics (what i like about you), or stevie wonder (superstition) and dance around like an idiot, no matter how much i don’t want to initially. works (almost) every time.

  9. Adrienne on August 12th, 2008 5:45 pm

    OH! I feel like I could have written this post myself. I usually check your blog during the day, but I am doing it this evening, because tonight my sweet, dear (flea-bag, a-hole) husband…oh, nevermind you asked for something that makes me laugh? At the moment, I am chuckling thinking about writing ‘I’m wearing a g-string’ with permanent marker on the back of all his dress shirts. But, I won’t… :)

    Anyway, after reading your post, I don’t feel so alone and almost want to forgive the little buggar for something he’s not even sure he said.

  10. JLS on August 12th, 2008 6:13 pm

    Best thing on my end? My ten month old started clapping and can now say, “Uh-Oh”, but it’s more, “Uh-Uh”! Too cute! My middle daughter is starting Kdg. tomorrow, and my oldest decided she “needed” enormous, dangling, Eiffel Tower earrings, so I indulged her and became “cool mom”! Won’t last… she doesn’t know that they won’t be worn to school… :)

  11. Tessa on August 12th, 2008 6:29 pm

    Was that Josh up there? That might be my happy. Or maybe it was finding new floors for our kitchen & hallway at a fantasticly cheap price this weekend. And arranging for my sister & her carpenter husband to visit to install them. I miss my sister…

  12. jonniker on August 12th, 2008 6:50 pm

    For me, it’s just being pregnant, as sucky as it’s been. (And lo, it has been SUCKY.) But it’s nice to know that it’s there. It is.

    Of course, this has also been the greatest source of anxiety for me as well. Good times.

  13. Justine on August 12th, 2008 7:51 pm

    I just had a little baby girl two weeks ago – a brilliantly happy event by itself, but unfortunately the after effects of severe pre ecclampsia and then a traumatic birth, plus a tiny baby having to stay in the special care nursery left me feeling….. a little ambivalent, and absolutely shit scared of this little being in my life.

    The happiness part however, is two fold…. I have realised just how deep the love I have for my husband is – he is a king amongst men, and also that I just checked on my tiny sleeping bundle, and for the first time my heart skipped a beat and I thought how amazing she is. Hooray – turns out I am not a cold hearted zombie woman after all!!!

  14. Nic on August 12th, 2008 7:57 pm

    Holy cow, either I’m married to JB or you are married to my husband, because it is the same exact shit in my house. (The inability to lift a finger when alone with the children, that is).

  15. Thursday on August 13th, 2008 6:02 am

    Flying first class, courtesy of my partner, across the Atlantic to surprise attend someone’s wedding in New England. Were it not for her, I would not have started blogging and I would not have met Joe Brown with whom I have now lived with for a year. It was nearly a month ago but I’m still smiling.

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