I stumbled across another fully armed explosive device in the minefield known to most as ‘marriage’. I’ll need some background to get you all up to speed, but I’m sure my misery will be your entertainment.
Friday, I left wifey a voice mail on our home phone around noon saying that I would be going to the gym after work and that if she needed anything to let me know. Keep in mind the time I called.
I get to the gym, keeping my phone with me, did some weights and started running. About halfway through the run she texts me asking if I can pick up at 12 pack of beer ‘because I have the party tonight’. I totally forgot she was going out so I reply back with ‘Oh, man I forgot. What time you need me home?’ The time is just after 4. Let’s keep that in mind, as well.
Note: I’m abnormally proud of myself I was able to text while running without breaking a leg or becoming the latest viral video circulating the internet. It’s one of my more impressive accomplishments.
Wifey replies with ‘The sooner, the better. I have to get ready’. No biggie. She told me before and I totally forgot, so it’s my bad. I finish my run (only had 10 more minutes), stop and pick up her beer and get home with more than enough time for her to be ready. In fact she spends the first hour I’m home in the shower and making herself up. She makes plans to pick someone up and fiddles on the back deck for a bit.
I take time to get the new pool filter up and running and the boys have a blast helping me dump in the salt. She small talks me a bit, says goodbye and heads out. No biggie, right?
I thought so, too.
Saturday we spend most of the day at my nephew’s graduation party and my nephews and the boys and my brother and me spend most of it running around playing football and tossing the Frisbee around. Just like every other family outing. There’s food and beer and all the good stuff. I thought we all had fun. Even wifey was up and playing Frisbee keep away.
Saturday night wifey comes over after the boys are in bed and asks me ‘What’s going on with you? Are you unhappy?’ I ask what she means and she comes up with ‘You have been cranky and short that last week or so’.
I offer that if I’ve been short it certainly hasn’t been intentional and I’ve actually been in a good mood. She says I’ve been specifically short with the boys. I say ‘Well, when I have to tell them something three times before they listen, yeah, I get upset and will tell them so. You react the same way.’
She then says ‘Well it’s more than that. Like you forgetting I had the party on Friday night.’
I say ‘My forgetting something isn’t new’ to which she responds with ‘That’s just a convenient excuse. It’s just common courtesy to check in with me.’
I then (and here is where I do get cranky and short) remind her that I left her a voice mail on the home phone a full four hours before I heard back from her. She replies ‘Yeah, but you knew we were probably in the back yard and wouldn’t check the voice mail’.
Historically in our relationship, I would have fed right into this and kept counter arguing her points because they so infuriate me. Wifey is the classic example of female arguing. They want to discuss something, but the subject twists and turns so quickly you can get whiplash. She brings up some supposed insult for the sole purpose of provoking me. I'm not even sure she's consciously doing so. It might just be ingrained in her being.
I think I’ve finally matured. Or, at the very least, have figured out the game she’s playing. I can see she’s simply trying to pick a fight with me, so I say, calmly and coolly, ‘Well, maybe you’re right. I thought we all had fun today but if I’ve been acting cranky, I’m sorry. I’ll try to watch how I’m speaking. Especially with the boys.’
I’m guessing that for any normal person (read: male) that would have been a satisfactory conclusion to the argument. Wifey, however, is no mere sane person. She is so at a loss for words she accuses me of avoiding discussing anything, dumps the rest of her wine in the sink and storms off to bed.
I could have pointed out that her leaving is avoiding discussing anything, but I let it go. Instead I enjoy the peace and quiet of my solitude. With a wife and two boys it is not something I get very often. She’s asleep by the time I get upstairs (or pretending anyway) and I’m expecting 3 days of petty silence from her.
When I wake up Sunday morning she’s already out of bed. I go downstairs and she’s made bacon, eggs, ice coffee and toast for breakfast. ‘I made breakfast. You want any?’
I take that as her apology, but I’ve been wrong before.
Sunday is spent like Saturday night never happened. We do housework, yard work, play with the boys, swim in the pool (finally!) and BBQ the shit out of hamburgers, hot dogs and swordfish (for dinner).
As we’re getting ready for bed, she says to me ‘My stomach is killing me. I feel like I’m getting my period soon’.
In another triumph for my new found maturity, I resist the urge to say ‘Yeah, I feel that way, too’ and instead say ‘Oh, that sucks’. Remember, fellas, less is more when it comes to talking to women.
It’s a kinder, gentler world we’re living in.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t hazards littering the road in front of us. Tread carefully, my friends. Very carefully.
Today’s distraction: Practice your demolition skills. Remember to aim for the supposedly solid foundation. Was that too much metaphor?