Yesterday, my husband and I had one of those fights, that’s not a fight, more of a vent, but because your irritated, you want someone else to be irritated (him), and the person trying to be positive and helpful (me) finally gets annoyed and breathes a sigh of relief when that person goes to hide in the garage for the rest of the day. It of course was over what we all like to argue about, money.
Men deal with money issues in a very different way than women. A lack of it is like an assault on their manhood. Me, I have no problem telling my kids that like my youth and beauty, they have sucked all the money right out of me. If I have to clip coupons, look for sales and go without, so can they. I am not gonna hid that we work hard and struggle to give them the life that they wish was so much better. If I make it too cozy here, they might just stay. Every time they complain about what they don’t have “I bet you can’t wait to go to college and make a better life for yourself”. Once in a while I get the “You didn’t finish college before you had us.” My reply, “Don’t you wish I had.” Which is usually answered with an eye roll and a kid stomping to their room muttering how they will never say no to their kids. To which I make a mental note I really should be stocking up on candy and loud battery operated toys for my grandchildren so my revenge can be properly planned out.
Okay, so back to yesterday. He starts bitching about why the cell phone bill went up. He has everything emailed to him and as bad as it is for the environment, I like paper bills. I can open it see what bullshit charge they are trying to tack on and have them remove their “mistake”. So, I call, our son who is in elementary school has a data plan. He should have an internet block, not a $10 data plan. I get that removed, go through each line, make changes and save $20. As any spouse knows, on bill paying day, your otherwise loving, stable partner turns into a crazed squirrel trying to store nuts for the winter and is sure you are going to throw an all-night kegger giving away anything that can’t be bolted to the floor to our reckless, free-wheeling friends. “Why would you add $10 dollars to the bill, that’s not what I wanted.” “Because it makes our overall bill go down $20 a month after fixing the stuff that was wrong.” “I guess that is just all my fault.” From past experience, I know I will not get anywhere, so I start going through the bill pile, separating what has been paid and needs to be filed and what needs to be paid. “Why can’t you just help me?” I thought that was what I was doing but again past experience tells me it is better to ride out the storm. I open an envelope, “What is this?” I say to myself as I read. My lovely husband responds “Why are you opening my mail?!” Seriously. “Seriously, you just asked me to help you and now you want to know why I am opening the mail!?” I think even he see’s the irony in this, cleans off the kitchen table mumbling god only knows what to himself, then disappears into the garage. The fact that I don’t follow him into the garage, be peppy and annoying, trying to get him into a better mood and see what a blessed life we have, then cry and get my feelings hurt because he won’t let me fix him, shows that I have matured and learned a few things about marriage. The fact spend the rest of the morning bitching about cleaning the house and what a crappy day it’s been shows I haven’t grown up that much.
By afternoon, he stays in the garage. I go pick-up the kids from school. I warn each one dad is in a bad mood and if they do something to get in trouble, they are on their own. Our poor middle son had to stay after school for not finishing homework and came home to long lecture in the garage. Outside of that, there were no other casualties. My son went to football and I went back to the gym for a round of Zumba to sweat out the remainder of my stress, and the others smartly stayed out of the line of fire.
This morning, I woke up to an apology. Then he received a phone call with a job offer. That in a nutshell is marriage. Learning when to be there, when to give someone space and mostly to laugh at each others irrational behavior. Oh yeah, and to have someone help you make life unbearable for your children.