Saturday, August 23, 2008

Taming my inner shrew

Why can't I just let it go?

I tend to overreact over simple, trivial things. I'm one of those quiet, seemingly well-tempered easy-going chicks who, behind closed doors, can go postal at the drop of a hat.

I think I come by this quite honestly. Although my parents were great while we were growing up, there was our fair share of yelling in the household. I also know from conversation overheard when my parents thought we weren't listening, that my maternal grandmother had a real temper. And through real life experience with my Dad's mother, I knew that she was a force to be reckoned with. And my Dad, also the strong silent type with the dry humour, but can flip if someone buds in front of him in a line-up.

I don't know if it's just that I keep it bottled up; if I just try to suppress my displeasure with things, until the pressure cooker within can no longer contain itself and I just combust. It's genetic, I tell ya.

Unfortunately, my spouse is the one who bears the brunt of Mt. Vesuvius erupting.

Here are a couple of examples:

Case A.

(Here's the back story: my 3.5 year old daughter is sleeping on the mattress on her bedroom floor. Yes, the mattress, as we didn't want her to fall off the bed when she switched from her crib. Yes, that's right, she's been on this mattress on the floor now for over TWO YEARS, exactly the length of time I've been asking for help moving the bedframe and box spring up from the basement. Something that hubby has been promising would be accomplished within this 4 week vacation, finally).

After the whirlwind anniversary trip, things came crashing back to reality on the Monday. We were hosting my "high school reunion" of sorts with four friends, and we hadn't all been together in one room since Ian and my wedding day. Two of them now live out of the country. This also happens to be the - 'ahem' - 25th anniversary of our graduation. Yuck. So I was running around all day preparing the place for the occasion. Nothing special, just needing to tidy it up after being in and out over the last couple of weeks, laundry here and there, unpacking to do etc...Hubby was catching up on e:mails and some work that he was trying to keep up on. Penance for taking so many weeks off.

I finally managed to step out to buy the groceries to prepare the dinner, by about 2:30 PM. We had told people to come by around 5/ 5:30 as it was a weeknight, and it would also be early enough that the kids could play (yes, we invited everyone with their families). I also offered to go the liquor/beer store to pick up the booze, which is usually the "man's" job when we entertain. But he said he'd take care of it.

So when I got back with all the groceries just after 3:30PM, and heard rumbling down in the basement, and the voices of my kids with hubby, I yelled downstairs and asked incredulously :

"Uh, you aren't by chance MOVING THE GIRLIE'S BED UPSTAIRS NOW are you?!!"

Husband responds: "Well, you've been asking me to move it".

Me: "We've got people coming for dinner in an hour and a half and you're bringing up the bed NOW???!!! Unbelievable!! DO NOT move it up. G will want people to come to her room to play, and I guarantee you won't have the frame up in time, it will be sitting there for kids to run into and crack their knees open with the metal corners. NOT A GOOD IDEA!!!"

Muttering to myself ... I cannot frickin' believe it...

(BTW, the above is a modified polite version)

Husband: "All right, take it easy. Poor judgement perhaps, but don't get so mad at me, it's totally uncalled for!"

Me: "Would you go to the liquor store now? I don't want to be all by myself when guests come which happens about 85% of the time! " (yup, this is me picking a fight)

Husband: "What do you mean, that never happens".

Me: "Oh yes it does, you're getting better, but I swear since we've been married, every time we entertain you run out at the last minute to get booze and I'm by myself to get the door, drinks, and continue to prepare the app's and food..."

And then he went off to have a shower and pop out for the booze.

Case B:

We're rushing around madly to try to get packed and get to the amusement park for the early bird entrance (season's pass holders can get in an hour earlier on certain days). I'm getting the kids dressed, slathered with sunscreen, and had the water bottles on the counter in the kitchen ready to be filled.

As I rush upstairs to finish getting ready myself, I hear the hubby yell that he'll take care of the water bottles.

30 minutes later at the entrance of the park:

We're at the gate where they standardly ask to look at the backpacks. I pull the pack out from the stroller basket and out pours water from the bottom of the pack, and the stroller basket has a small pond in it. I hear the hubby: "What happened there?"

I peer at him with "the look'.

We get through security, and I pull out the backpack, dump out the water, check all the bottles and notice that one of them is COMPLETELY UNSCREWED (you know, the Sigg kind), so of course it would have poured into the pack. Over the spare clothes; but thank goodness I pulled his wallet out.

As he came through the gate I just glared at him as he said, "What, I screwed all of the tops on tight!!".

Me: "Yeah, I guess so tight that it was completely off."

Hubby:" Come on, it's just water. Lighten up a little. Look at your miserable face, it's so sour!" and then he laughs at me.

I shook it off, but it just really irked me to no end. I knew it was a little thing, but I found it oh just sooooo annoying.


So yes, you heard it here first. I'm probably the only woman in the world who freaks out at her husband for trying to help out.

Am I insane? I told you I have a problem. Help. Me.


The bedframe, well, it's still gathering dust in the basement as I write this. It is the last day of husband's vacation.

So for now, will you at least pass me another glass of wine?


Sandy C. said...

Dude, we MUST be related. I bark at the hubbs all the time.

Before my morning coffee, even his breathing will piss me off.

Don't beat yourself up. Spending so much time together can easily tighten up anyone's nerves.

Dina said...

i do this too...i always get frustrated that hubby puts the dishes away wrong and i beg him to stop folding the towels and put them away because i ended up redoing it anyway!!

Kat said...

Dude. You are so not insane. LOL, I just noticed that Sandy started her comment with "Dude" too. I do the SAME THING. Seriously, its not you. Its him. I swear, we could be married to the same guy. Men are. . . kinda stupid, for lack of a better word. Ok, let's be gracious and just say uninformed... incapable of understanding the fine nuances of any given situation? Easily distracted?

Ginaagain said...

I am really bad about this too.. so bad, in fact, that no one in my house lifts a finger to do anything anymore because "they might not do it right." I have created a bunch of monsters. My advice is to delegate tasks and then drink a lot more.

Melissa said...

I'm the same way. Mostly because hubby does all the same things. My fave is the doing something he's been putting off at the most inopportune time. Must be a Y chromosome thing because even my kids do it.

Simon said...

I used to be completely cucumber-cool and unflappable. Then we had two children, and now I scream until I'm blue in the face.
Could these two facts be related?

J at said...

OK, I'm not a shrink, and I don't play one on TV, but when I get this way, it's because I'm resentful about other aspects of our relationship. So if I'm feeling like it's my job to be the responsible one, my job to cook and clean and pay the bills and so on, and he has less responsibility in these areas, little things will bug me a lot more. If I step back and let him do his share (I don't usually even have to ask...he's totally willing to do his share, he just has a slightly different idea of when it should get done...truly, not far behind mine), then that resentment starts to dissipate and I can handle the smaller things. So you know, maybe it's time to examine your feelings about other things, and see if you're feeling put upon. Dude.

Kami said...

Yup you need wine! My mom does this to my dad all the time too. I try not to do it to my hubby but I don't always succeed.

IF they would just think. Just once. :-)

gmcountrymama said...

Ha ha! I usually hold it in until I can't take it anymore either, then I yell with what hus calls my "Devils Voice".

dkuroiwa said...

Hi. My name is Debbie. May I pull up a table and join your group?!?!
Holy Hell!! After reading all the comments, I just sat there, shaking my head..."uh-huh...oh too....crap."
And here I thought it was just me dealing with two three different languages...(english, japanese, "man speak"). Strangly enough, I 'm feeling a little better! The other night after I went ballistic about something, I heard the boys talking in the bath...they were wondering why I got so angry...their father just said..."that's just what mom does sometimes...we need to be nicer". yeah, uh-huh...he really did.
Must have been a full moon!!!

Kimmylyn said...

This is sooooo me.

I do this all the time to the point that I want to ram my own head into the wall..hhahaha


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