Okay People. Let me tell you how you DON’T want your day to go. You know, the day that is to be the “first day of the rest of your lives together”, as I so naively stated in my introductory blog. I couldn’t wait for our first counseling session. I woke up loving life and this whole blogging thing. I joined my first “mommy” networking / blogging group, I even made some friends and received some comments, I felt so special!
Before I go any further, let me just say that I didn’t intend for this post to be so long. However, in order for you to fully understand my frustrations, it simply had to be.
Honestly, at first, my day was progressing quite nicely. Then I sat down at my computer, visited my “mommy group”, and found out I’d been kicked off their site! That’s right. Flagged, barred, whatever you wanna call it. I was very confused.
I contacted customer service, and they confirmed I’d been kicked off, purposely. They said I was inappropriately advertising. What?!? My feelings were really hurt. Have to be honest, I was crushed. Now, I’m just curious, but how can I be inappropriately advertising, if I’m not selling anything? Yes, I posted about my experiment, and about my blog. Isn’t that the point of a “networking” group? Isn’t that the point of a blog? Don’t you want to be able to connect with people with shared interests and lives?
Oh well, onward and upward, right? So I found another networking group. I think some of you found me there. Thank you. You did lift my spirits. At this point, I’m getting myself excited again about the beginning of My Marriage Experiment.
I move out to the kitchen to do the dishes; not because I’m getting dinner ready, but because in order to have any possible way of finding the counter and getting some food on our little people’s plates; I need to do the dishes. Meanwhile, my husband arrives home from work, makes his way to the recliner, plopping down with laptop in hand, while the girls continue to play in the living room.
Before long, I hear screaming. Angry, ferocious screaming. I didn’t know my children could be this intentionally mean. Since I’ve decided to ignore it, the ridiculous screaming behavior continues for quite some time. Then they begin the chasing. As they chase each other in circles, they somehow wind up right smack behind me at the sink, each one holding a different leg. At least they’re quiet, so I don’t even say a word. That is, until the kicking starts. My girls are physically abusing one another, and now my tired, soft, and aching body is stuck in the crossfire. I’ve had enough.
As I pull them both, arms dangling, legs dragging, to opposite ends of the sofa, my husband has the nerve to inform me that I don’t need to punish them both. Yes, he says, it’s really only our oldest’s fault. Fuming, I inform him, that if he would’ve put down his computer, and gotten off his patootie, he could’ve helped prevent the entire situation! Sound familiar? ANYONE?
Well, since we’re on it, I may as well let you know his reasons for being totally oblivious to his parental responsibilities, and putting his laptop ahead of his children’s safety and their mother’s sanity. He was trying to figure out why our checking account balance is NEGATIVE. How did THAT happen? Listen, I know it wasn’t me, and I just can’t help but rub that simple truth in his face. You see, Ladies, when you live on a budget, CASH is your friend. Whatever kind of shopping I do, is done with cash. I know exactly how much I have, and I know exactly when it’s gone. Even if that means taking a calculator to the grocery store.
So now, our two biggest stressors, FINANCES and KIDS, are rearing their ugly heads. Great. The perfect precursor for, what did I say? Oh yeah, the first day of the rest of our lives together. But wait, I’m not done yet.
I did manage to get the girls dinner, and they did return to normal, likeable children. So why is my husband putting his shoes on? It’s 6:50pm, counseling starts at 8:30pm, and the girls are ready for a bath…. WHAT IS HE DOING?!?
He’s going to a meeting. A baseball booster club meeting. I may not be the smartest cookie in the batch, but I do know that baseball starts in the SPRING, and it is currently NOVEMBER. More importantly, WHY DIDN’T I KNOW ABOUT THIS?
Don’t worry, he tells me. It won’t take very long, he’ll be back in plenty of time for “relationship school”. He then claims, “I put it on the calendar”. Does he not know by now that on any given day I’m going by at least 3 or 4 different calendars, each with their own purpose? It wasn’t on any calendar I was looking at! Perhaps I’ll pencil in “gone to the beach”. I have no problem disappearing for a few days if I can justify it all with, “it’s on the calendar”.
As you’ve probably guessed, my husband was NOT home at 8:30. He did manage to call and say he was sorry and he shouldn’t be too much longer. Well, as you very well know, THAT makes it all better. He wasn’t home at 9:30 either.
Now, I still haven’t eaten dinner. Of course I could eat, and you’re probably wondering why I haven’t. At this point, I am in my pajamas, on the sofa, puppy on lap, book in hand; and I refuse to get up. I am taking this “marriage experiment” very seriously, and regardless of the night’s events, I still want us to eat dinner together. Yes, I’m stupid.
It is now 10:00pm. One pitiful husband walks in the door, one pot of soup simmers on the stove, and one pissed off wife makes her way to the dining room table. Let the games begin….
Normally I would’ve given up and gone to bed. My husband’s not a quitter, but I certainly am. I am loyal to people, but projects, I am not. I have started and stopped so many things over the years, it’s impossible to keep track. Just once, I decide, I am going to FINISH. Besides, in my vindictive, racing mind; he will absolutely NOT get out of this that easily.
So I take a few steps back, do some very deep breathing (you might have thought I was in labor), and decide to start the night anew. Are you screaming at me yet?
The topic for our first “discussion”; DREAMS, GOALS, AMBITIONS….. What do we want out of life? How do we want our relationship to unfold? Assuming we are lucky enough to live long and healthy lives, where do we want to be in another thirty-some years? You see, when you’re “stuck-in-a-rut”, it’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind and forget how to dream. I happen to believe with all of my being that if you aren’t committed to having dreams, it is impossible for them to come true.
So we each take a sheet of paper. Our assignment? Create a dream poster. Use pictures, words, anything we want, to describe the life of our “dreams”. We’d then switch posters and take a peek at our spouse’s “dream life”, exchanging ideas, hopes, and goals; anything to re-open the doors to honest communication and hopefully, broaden our horizons. It is, after all, just the beginning.
Let me tell you something. As simple as that sounds, it is actually not so easy to sit down, face to face with your spouse, no kids or distractions around, and have a meaningful, philosophical, life-purpose conversation. I did figure something out though. We stink.
That’s right, we stink, and more importantly, we’ve forgotten how to DREAM. We did the posters, we followed the “rules”, but after we were done, I looked at mine and realized, I didn’t even like what I drew! We had some things in common – one such thing being “Disneyworld.” Okay, fine enough. We want to take our girls to a theme park. What happened here? We’re stuck, we’re surviving, and when did “Disneyworld” become my life’s most treasured purpose and dream?!? There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do something so fun and family oriented, but if that’s all the bigger we can dream, we are definitely in for a long and bumpy road.
And by the way, what happened to me? I’m a dreamer. I daydream everyday. Just last week I was strolling along sipping the most fantabulous wine in a breathtaking vineyard in France. At times I am walking alone. Other times a somewhat mysterious French man accompanies me. Be honest, you imagine these things too…. If you don’t, you should.
This first night, our first experiment, brought to light the depths of our detachment. Detachment, not really from each other (although that is true), but really a detachment from LIFE. In a sense, we’ve lost our identities. I fear this is common among you, my current and potential followers?
The good news is; it doesn’t have to be this way. We can reawaken ourselves. In fact, I’m very proud that in spite of the circumstances, my husband and I did sit down together and “start”. So all in all, Session #1 was a success. Plus, we decided to add a little something extra. I need motivation, and that is one point of this blog. Knowing there are others, hopefully, reading and following our saga, makes me want to stick to this. But we, as a couple, need motivation. So we’ve decided to reward ourselves for all our work. Assuming we stick to our schedule, at the completion of each month, we’re going to do something together that we’ve never done before. It doesn’t have to be fantastically exciting, it can simply be a walk around the block. Perhaps dinner at a DIFFERENT restaurant, or maybe Guitar Hero in the basement. It doesn’t matter “what”, just as long as it’s new to “us”.
So we did attend “counseling” and we did start talking. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself, isn’t that what mothers do? At least we were both in good enough moods when we finished. According to my husband, “good enough”, should translate to a “late night tryst.” Boy, this man has a lot to learn.
I don’t know if we accomplished anything, but one day at time…one day at a time…. I look forward to the upcoming week and our next session. To get ready for it, I will keep examining myself, reflecting on life. You can’t change someone else, but you absolutely can change yourself.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you. I’m sure your eyes are tired and you’re ready to go, so again, I apologize for this long and tiresome blog. I certainly hope they won’t all be like this. Until next time……..