It’s recently come to my attention how annoying it must be for my husband to deal with me. The more I observe him when he interacts with me, the more aware I have become of (and amused with) his responses towards me.
Over the last few years, I have found myself less obsessive with your typical things: I don’t clean my house every two hours, scrub floors daily, micro-manage every single detail of our home life… and with that, I have noticed that he has had to (unwillingly) pick up the slack. And he has to deal with the places my brain takes me from one minute to the next.
As we sat through dinner this evening at a hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant we found on the way to our youngest’s choir concert, I watched him, watching me…. silently begging with his eyes for me to just (please) keep my voice down while I observed a giggly, chatty table of ‘those’ moms chugging down glasses of wine and (fake) laughing over their totally (not) interesting conversation, because he just knew what was coming….
Me: Those women over there are so sh!t-faced right now.
Him (with those pleading eyes): Really?
Me: They don’t even have food on the table, like how are they doing that? Just drink from the bottle, geez! Seriously, is this what moms do at 5:30 on a Thursday?
Him: *blink blink*
Me: Am I being loud? Cause this background noise is so loud, I feel like I have to talk loud too. Can you hear me?
Him: I. Hear. You. (eyes saying, please, shhh)
Me: I’m just saying, like, my friends don’t all sit around drinking wine for hours on a Thursday. Oh my gawd, maybe they do! Maybe they just don’t invite me because we’d be asked to leave after one glass.
Lucky for him, the food came and of course I shut up, because, well…. food.
And it occurred to me… I think sometimes he is afraid of what I will say or do next.
Him: Honey listen, keep your voice down, ok? Just say hi and be normal.
Greeter: Hi, welcome to Walmart!
Me: Hi, and be normal!
Him: ohmygawd! I can’t believe you!
Mind you, it makes my black little heart skip a beat to do this to him. He’s become such an introvert, such a ‘nice guy’, that sometimes I like to see him squirm a little. And he really does think it’s funny, even if it is just a little embarrassing.
So as I sat there, gazing at him across the table, and thinking of all the moments I’ve probably done things just like this, I realized, this man must be a saint. He still comes home everyday, knowing what kind of hot mess woman is waiting there.
He comes home knowing that I will probably be covered in some sort of dirt, or in my stained up t-shirt that says ‘Pirates do it for the booty’ and holey blue jeans with bleach and grease spots after working on someone’s plumbing, or installing a floor, or some other messy job I had to tackle.
And he’s comfortable with walking around in public with me looking like that, while people he doesn’t know yell out random phrases from funny facebook statuses I post across busy stores or parking lots. I wonder sometimes if he just keeps coming home because he really doesn’t have anywhere else to go, but he assures me it’s because he loves it and I’ve decided I feel better believing him.
So in a show of appreciation for this man: if you happen to know him, or are lucky enough to get to see him in public, make sure you tell him that you admire his courage and strength.
But don’t tell him why. That will make it more fun and entertaining for me.
It will inevitably end with:
Him, coming into the house: What did you do? Why are people talking to me?