Saturday, April 18, 2009

Decisions, Decisions.

It's difficult to be as impatient as I am. That might be hard to understand to someone who isn't as impatient or determined as I am, but it really is difficult. I have always been the type of person who thinks of something, and practically puts the idea into motion before I have even finished having the idea. When I make up my mind about something, it's not easy to be the person standing in my way.

My mom always had a saying that she credited to her mom. It's probably the one saying that will stick with me forever, and I know that I will say it to my own kids, and I still say it to myself all the time. "Where there's a will, there's a way." I have to say, I am a pretty strong willed person. And if you tell me no, or tell me it can't be done, I will find a way.

But really, it can be a difficult way to live everyday life. It's a good thing to be determined, because you almost always get what you want. Not because others hand it to you, but because you go and GET what you want. You are independent, you are successful. It is very difficult to be in a relationship with someone who doesn't share this determination. I appreciate the balance in our relationship, but when I say "that lightbulb needs changed" I mean it needs changed today. or MAYBE tomorrow. Actually, what I really mean, is "that lightbulb needs changed and it's driving me crazy. I would totally do it myself but if I keep doing everything myself me head will fucking explode and I will have a nervous breakdown. So because you are the man of the house, I bestow upon you the responsibility for things like mowing the yard, taking out the garbage, and changing lightbulbs. You will also be required to assemble things, hang things, carry things, and do many other husband-related tasks. And because I see you are sitting on the couch with the remote in your hand, or laying in bed while I am taking care of two kids, I mean that the lightbulb needs to be changed now, so get off your ass and contribute." But generally I just say "Please change the lightbulb in the kitchen." and then, I wait. For weeks. And Weeks. And every damn time I walk into the kitchen I see that the lightbulb is burnt out (did I mention my attention to detail that is really seriously bordering on OCD?) and it's like nails on a chalkboard and it's all I can do to not go postal over that damn lightbulb.

Same thing with the whole "the bathroom garbage is overflowing and your daughter thinks it's cool to get into it and pick out things like used Qtips and stick them in her ears and nose." or how about "The dog (who yes, I did bring home from the shelter because I felt sorry for him, and he has been my responsibility up until the time we had two children and I could no longer care for EVERY FUCKING PERSON in this house and so now I am just asking you to be a little more proactive about taking them outside because I have a kid attached to my boob and another one who needs a diaper changed and a drink and her hair brushed) has peed on the porch again and please clean it up for me so that no one (including your toddler) steps in it and so that when a guest arrives they don't have to step in dog piss as soon as they walk in the door" Turns into "it's been twelve hours and you have left this house three times today and never cleaned up the dog pee and now I have to spend time out of the two hours I get of peace and quiet to clean up dog pee along with rinsing poopy diapers, washing laundry, folding laundry, feeding the baby, and getting myself ready for bed. But hey, I didn't need a shower today anyway, so it's cool."

That's what it's like to be an impatient person living with someone who has not a care in the world. Your head borders on exploding on practically a daily basis. You constantly wrangle with tiny decisions that should, in fact, be miniscule... and not really affect your day at all. But instead, deciding if you should just empty that garbage yourself, change that damn lightbulb, clean up that dog pee, or take that wrapper to the garbage because he left it on the coffee table.... can be the decision that leaves you teetering on the edge or pretty much just pushes you right over it. You are constantly prioritizing things like "What's more important, changing that lightbulb or going pee." or how about "Eat a meal yourself or fold the load of clothes your husband left in the dryer so that you can put your kid's diapers in next." These are the kind of things that make an impatient person a neurotic person. And before you have kids, it's entirely possible to do all of these things yourself. It's entirely possible to work a full-time job with overtime, use a drill to put anchors in the walls and hang pictures, carry loads of things to the attic, change every lightbulb that burns out, take out the garbage and the recycling, and even mow the yard now and then. But then there comes a time where you see your husband doing whatever he wants while you run the whole freaking show, and it starts to really get on your nerves. And it's a treacherous thing, trying to restore that balance of responsibilities once you have taken them all on yourself. But that's what being impatient gets you. You can't stand the sight of things that need to be done and therefore you just keep on doing all of them. And then pretty soon you are the one doing everything and you are getting royally screwed over.

This is when I learned that feminism is all well and good, but there is something to be said for playing the part of the helpless woman who needs her husband to get the ladder and reach that fixture. I am FAR from a helpless woman but at this stage in my life I have fully learned my lesson. I have nothing to prove. To anyone, let alone my partner. I am not ashamed to act like I can't change a lightbulb. I am not ashamed to pretend I don't even know where the recycling station is. I have had to come to terms with the clean plates stacked improperly, or the towels folded and stacked WITHOUT the folds neatly facing out of the linen closet. These are the sacrifices that I make as an impatient perfectionist, in order to save my own sanity and have time to pee or brush my teeth. So when you come to my house and three out of four lightbulbs are burnt out in one fixture, and the garbage is overflowing.... please don't think that I don't notice these things. Please just cut me some slack and realize that I am pretending that they have already been taken care of. Remember that I am just trying to prioritize what I need to accomplish and that I am waiting for my husband to do what I have asked him to do.

I make these decisions all the time. Which is why tonight after putting the kids asleep, I went outside to bring in the wicker chair that I asked him to take care of before he left, and then I took the new white Adirondack chairs to the front yard like I also wanted. And then I considered assembling the pedal tractor and wagon that I also asked him to assemble, because I was excited and wanted to see it.... but I decided that I needed to do laundry instead. And it's why I waited for three days to get the sandbox assembled and filled with sand, after waiting a couple of months to actually buy it after we picked it out. It's why I haven't folded his jeans and why I won't unload the dishwasher. It's why instead of putting away Evan's socks and underwear I stack them on his side of the bed 1 foot from the dresser drawers and also why I ignore the things that he piles on the backs of the couch and loveseat instead of picking them all up and putting them away like I am DYING to do.

Decisions Decisions. And so, in order to keep my sanity intact, I let the house be messy and spend more time with my kids and more time doing things like blogging and uploading pictures or flipping through a magazine or even scrapbooking. Because if I go crazy, everyone's life is gonna suck around here. They just don't know that yet.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

This has got to be one of my favorite posts you've ever done. I can relate. Totally. It's almost scary how alike we are and I swear we even married the same man. I just might get on here tomorrow and have my hubby read this so he can see I'm not the only one :)

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