A couple weeks ago I had a chiro appointment. It’s like the only opportunity I have to actually look at magazines these days. Me. The girl who used to get People, Elle, and The New Yorker in the mail and read them each from cover to cover religiously. I have no time for magazines anymore. I hardly have time for books, which I love love love and don’t feel complete without, there is simply no time for magazines. I’m going to confess something even worse…I hardly have time to check-in with Perez anymore. THE. NEWS for Christ’s sake!!! Oh how I miss knowing everything about every single celebrity that exists. Sigh.
Sorry…I’ve gotten off point. So I had some rare time to peruse magazines and I was very disappointed to find that my only options were this and last month’s Redbook. Seriously? Redbook??? So I looked for the most interesting article summaries and flipped to those only. One blurb that caught my eye was “thinking about a divorce??? Don’t do ANYTHING until you read THIS!” Well…I am not at all thinking about a divorce but this seemed serious so I quickly turned to the article that was, apparently, going to talk me off the ledge.
Okay fine. It was actually great advice from a variety of therapists and docs across the country. One of the therapists said something like “imagine your spouse kissing someone else. If this bothers you there is still hope.” Now…before I go on…to be fair I was having a very odd day at work and was not feeling myself. But I sat there not even able to come up with an image to mull over. I could not for the life of me imagine it let alone guage what my reaction would be. And I sat there thinking ‘hmm…well obviously it would be a really big problem’ but I wasn’t feeling very emotional about it at all. Which troubled me.
Friday night we had a number of things to accomplish before a for one, St. Patrick’s Day which is huge in our family, b for two, my husband’s trade show on Sunday, and c for three, I had the opportunity to go postal due to the current state of our home. The little girls were in bed and my husband had a friend stop by to smoke a cigar. My dear husband…he loves to smoke cigars, collects good ones one at a time, and has been just waiting for the weather to get warm enough to allow him to have one outside by the bonfire pit. I’ve wanted him to have the chance, I’ve encouraged him to find friends with whom he could swing by a cigar bar some night, but he just hasn’t had the chance due to crazy schedules. He NEEDED this time with his buddy and the warm air and a cigar. That said…I was inside trying to figure out what all needed to be done and I was PISSED that I was doing that alone. PISSED.
I finally decided to buck the system, stop worrying about it, and I sat in my jammies and watched three episodes of pre-recorded 60 Minutes. I went to bed before he was back inside, still a little irritated, but Morley Safer has a calming effect on me so I was feeling much better. I woke up on Saturday, ready and excited for the parade, and knowing we had a long day ahead but that it would be so much fun.
While my husband was in the shower I decided to do something hilarious (according to me) and I went to his phone to have Siri remind him to buy me lots of gifts that evening. I mean come on…your out with your buddies and Siri says “buy your wife lots of gifts!” I crack myself up. So I grabbed his phone and it lit up to his text messages section…and there was a text conversation…with a woman…that I’d never heard of.
Ummm…you know that Redbook article? Yeah…I was livid, freaked out, and everything turned red around me. And yet…we had to hurry and get the little girls in their green outfits with their Irish Princess tiaras and their orange, green, and white beads, and we had festivities to get to. There was no time for the conversation I wanted to have RIGHT. THAT. SECOND.
I’ve said before that I can talk myself into just about anything. Give me a little time, a little boredom, and just a teensy bit of info to work with, and I will create a scenario in my head that is elaborate and crazy. AND crazy-making. So of course, I started thinking up stories and snapping about things that he said that didn’t matter, and I felt rushed, and we got out of the house by the skin of our chinny chin chin and started making our way towards our day of celebration.
Now. In my head I was trying to figure out how to explain why I was in/on his phone, which I’m not usually, and I was trying to decide if and how to even bring it up with him. And then I decided that as his wife…I get to. I am not one to be miserable about something that I know nothing about. So I decided I’d talk to him…when I had a proper opportunity…and unfortunately at the beginning of St. Patrick’s Day I wasn’t sure when that might be.
Oddly, or conveniently, or thankfully, after we’d been at my husband’s uncle’s for awhile he decided he wanted to run through McDonald’s quick so he and I went and the little girls stayed behind with the family. We were in the car maybe five minutes when my husband asked what was wrong, and I spit out a pile of words that somehow explained what had happened that morning. And of course…there was a completely reasonable explanation.
My husband is the kind of guy who has LOTS of friends. Many of whom are women with whom he works. He’s in a business in which networking is integral to his success and thus he has happy hours, and networking events, and parties to attend all the time. I trust him completely but there are days when it’s a teensy bit bothersome. I once spent a winter break from work painting trim in our old house’s basement and I convinced myself that he was having an affair with a good friend of his (ours) with whom he worked. Thing is…it wasn’t true (which logically I knew…but a week…in a basement…inhaling paint fumes…alone…it can make you think crazy).
The point is, however, that having the actual conversation is important. And it reminds us both how much we would lose IF anything like that ever happened and it reminds us how much we mean to each other and it reminds us of boundaries and it makes us realize that while we take advantage that the other one will and is always there…it doesn’t mean we wouldn’t go bat sh-t crazy if there was the chance that someone else were trying to move-in.
TODAY: What if tough conversations have to happen sometimes to remind us of what’s really important and just how much there would be to lose if anything happened. What if it’s easier to just ask the question than it is to endure the crazy havoc that my mind can create?