You’re So Lucky

Whenever I talk to someone about my husband, I’m often told how lucky I am.

“He cooks? Wow, you’re lucky.”

“He helps out with the kids? You’re so lucky.”

“He changes diapers [in public restrooms]? My husband would never. You don’t know how good you’ve got it.”

Those are just a few drops in the bucket of my perceived luckiness (or otherwise good fortune), but they’re fairly representative of the type of comments I’ve gotten over the years. Many of these comments make me question the standards some women have for their husbands. I don’t think it should be considered luck that my husband changes the diapers of the child he helped create or cooks some meals, as he eats, too.

(I also wonder whether people ever think that my husband is lucky to be married to me. Probably not. If I’m letting my husband do so much to help out, then he probably got the short end of the stick in this marriage in their eyes, and they haven’t gotten past the tip of the iceberg as far as the things my husband does goes.)

But this post isn’t really about the roles husband and wife or mom and dad have in the home. Because at the end of the day (when I’m not griping about my husband’s slobbiness or attempts to give us frostbite by adjusting the thermostat), I really do feel lucky. Just not in the ways those other women think I am.

I feel lucky that I have a husband who copes with my mental illness as well as he does. Not only did he encourage me to get help when he noticed things were spiraling out of control, even though I was adamant that nothing was wrong with me, he didn’t bat an eye when the many, many labels started getting thrown at me. I was scared that he might leave me and want to find someone normal, but he told me that I was “perfectly imperfect” and that he loved me just the way I am.

I’m lucky that my husband can pick up on my mood shifts. I’m not talking so much about the big cycles (although he’s aware of those, too), but the ups and downs that I often experience throughout the day. I try not to let things show, but he can often tell by the slight edge to my voice or my sudden quietness that I need my space or need him to take over doing homework with Little Man or whatever it is that I need in order to try to get a handle on myself.

I’m lucky that I have a husband who picks up the slack when I’m depressed. While I’m not about praising my husband for doing chores around the house or running errands, I do appreciate it so much when he takes on some of my load (on top of his full-time job) when making myself get out of bed in the morning is like climbing a mountain. Does everything get done during those weeks and sometimes months? No, but he tries. (For the record I do try, too, but during those times getting one or two chores done feels more exhausting than deep cleaning the entire house.)

I’m also lucky that my husband tries to reel me in when he notices certain moods (I guess you’d call it) getting out of hand. For example, a few weeks ago, we had dinner with some friends. On the drive home, I told my husband I got a weird vibe and didn’t want to do anything with them again. He was shocked, as these are long-time friends of ours. Instead of arguing with me about it, he said it was something we could talk about later, that we didn’t have to make any decisions at the moment.

A week later, he asked if I still felt that way. I told him that I didn’t and couldn’t understand what came over me in the moment to feel so strongly, as no one did a thing the least bit offensive and were awesome as always. I guess it’s just part of the whole mood disorder thing, but the main thing was that he was looking out for me on that.

Staying with that same “reeling me in” theme, I’m lucky that he tries to divert my plots to go off my meds and quit seeing the psychiatrist and the therapist. Yes, I know I shouldn’t do this when I’m of a rational mind. Occasionally I’m not of a rational mind, though. I doubt everything, including the legitimacy of my disorders, and am convinced that all I need to do is quit everything and mentally toughen up. He makes sure that doesn’t happen, thankfully.

So, yes, I think I’m lucky to have a spouse that supports me through thick and thin. Is thinking this a bit hypocritical since I raise my eyebrows at other women when they tell me I’m lucky my husband does things? Especially since this is kinda what he promised when he said his “through sickness and in health” vows? Probably. But I still feel lucky to have someone who loves me in the way that he does.

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It’s Getting Hot In Here

Winter has now arrived in South Carolina. Or it’s visiting at least. I know this because I went outside today in a long sleeve shirt and felt like I needed a jacket. Laziness prevented me from going back inside for the jacket, but still, I needed it…and I got to turn on the heat in the car! After a winter break that shifted between balmy and monsoon-like, we had temperatures drop to almost freezing overnight and they didn’t get over 43°F today.*

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Do you know what all this means? Aside from even more colds and getting to wear super cute jackets? That trouble is brewing in the Anxious household. We don’t often fight about money or how we raise the kids (irresponsibility for the win!), but we do butt heads on the thermostat. My husband has already complained at least five times about how hot I’ve made it inside.

“You turned the thermostat up to 69?”

“You’ve got a space heater on?”

“The other space heater is on?”

“Oh my god, the space heater is set to 79!”

“Why do you want the [gas] logs on when you’ve got both space heaters on?!”

For the record, Baby Girl and I were taking a bath and it gets cold in that part of the house where our master bedroom/bath are thanks to shit duct work, so I tend to make things warmer than I normally would. This means three extra sources of heat instead of two. You can’t have a little baby (or a grown woman) getting out of bath water to freeze half to death before getting dried off and into her PJs. Yes, I totally played the Baby Girl Card, and I’m prepared to do so for weeks to come.

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Sam’s preferred thermostat setting for the colder months is 64, and he continues his the madness into the summer by trying to burn us up by setting the air conditioner on 76 (although I’ve seen higher). I’m the opposite–I like things nice and cozy in the winter and frigid in the summer. I’m a power bill payer’s worst nightmare.

Here’s to another few weeks/months of arguing over the indoor temperature. And maybe even a few snow flurries!

*You people with all your snow and ice better not poo poo on my winter post.

On The Warpath

My post was (obviously) going to be about how I’m on the warpath today.

I opened up my blog, checked a couple things, then clicked the nifty +(pencil) button to start a new post. That post was going to be all about how I’ve been in a foul, bitchy mood today.

And then I saw this.

More updates.

More changes.

Everything moved around.

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That’s all I have to say for you, WP.

Now I’ll get back to the reason I logged on in the first place. People in my household have been pissing me off this week. We are not very far into the week, either.

Sam and Little Man. I love them to death (which is necessary to say before ever bitching about your loved ones), but fuck…those are the two slobbiest human beings on the face of this earth. If not the earth, then at least on my street. As you can guess, the little one gets it from the big one.

“If you eat something, put the dish in the sink.”
“If you pour a drink, put the container back.”
“If you take off your clothes, put them in the hamper.”
“Don’t throw clean clothes that you decided not to wear in the floor; put them away.”
“If you spill something, wipe it up.”

You get the picture. You know how it is. You feel my pain. Unless you’re the one causing your spouse/parent undue frustration…in which case, STOP.

Sam keeps telling me that if I want him to clean his messes, that I should just tell him and then if he doesn’t do it, bitch at him until it’s done. No, just don’t be a total slob and cut out the need for my blood pressure to go up and get all pissy, ‘kay? And did you miss the words “mood disorder”? So why would you want to go there, anyway?

Today, after Sam threw a pile of clean shirts in the floor and didn’t pick them up or act like he gave a crap when I got pissed, I decided to take things a step further–I bagged his shit up. Everything in our room that he had carelessly strewn about that should have been hung up, in a drawer, in the hamper, or in the shoes closet, was put in a kitchen bag. And it filled the whole damn thing. I didn’t really plan to throw it out, but it made me feel better.

While I was in the kitchen cooking supper tonight, Sam popped in.

“Um, what’s with the bag full of my clothes?”

“That’s the Goodwill bag,” I answered.

“But I wear those.”

“Those were strewn all over, so I assumed you didn’t want or need them anymore.”

He got it.

“They weren’t all mine. I saw a pair of Baby Girl’s pajama bottoms in there,” he said defensively.

I gave him The Look of Death.

“But I’m sorry, I should have put them away. I’ll do that now.”

“Next time the bag gets donated,” I told him. I won’t up and take his clothes (especially ones that might be dirty) to Goodwill, but I’ll sure as hell hide the bag from him until he doesn’t have anything in his drawers to wear. And it’ll be colder soon, too. Boom, see how you like wearing a sleeveless shirt and athletic shorts to the dentist. As long as we aren’t together, in which case maybe something with sleeves and a pair of jeans will make it into drawers.

(And again, I feel obligated to say that I love my husband, he does many wonderful things, blah blah blah, so no one tells me I hate my spouse or that the marriage is doomed.) 

What does your spouse/partner do to drive you crazy?

It’s A Dress!

My husband and I had a date afternoon yesterday, which we spent returning the asshole laptop to Best Buy (since it wouldn’t update and crashed) and going to Kohl’s to get a few things with some coupons I had. (I got $220 worth of stuff for $44!) The romance is alive! 😉

While we were looking at stuff in the women’s section, my husband decided to try to help me find something. He thinks he has good taste, and maybe he does, but his taste and my taste differ quite a bit.

“Hey, look at this–it’s a dress,” Sam said, pointing to what was indeed a dress.

“Oh, it’s a dress,” I said dryly.

“Yeah…it’s a dress…?” he asked questioningly while holding it out to me, wanting to know whether I wanted it.

I sighed. “It’s a dress!” He knows how I feel about dresses.

“But it’s a nice dress.”

“It’s still a dress.”

If there had been people nearby, I’m sure that little exchange would have gotten an odd look or two. Afterwards, I was amused with that conversation since we both said the same thing repeatedly, but our emphasis and inflection changed each time, making what we said mean something different.

I did not get that dress, in case you didn’t figure that out. I did get a Star Wars shirt with the Millennium Falcon on it, though. Sexy stuff, there.

Steal My Identity, Please

Things get misplaced in our house a lot. Certain people never put things back in their proper places, and chaos ensues whenever the person in charge of handling things needs the misplaced item.

Usually my husband is at fault for losing things. Check books, bills, important documents. He’s lost his social security card and Little Man’s birth certificate before. He replaced the former and we found the latter.

As you can imagine, with my tendency to be a bit high strung (to put it lightly), I don’t tend to react well when items are misplaced. Well, now I’ve lost something. Somethings, actually. And it’s one of the biggest fuck-ups of my life thanks to the potential outcomes this loss could have.

We have four safes in our house. No, we don’t have that many valuable objects by a long shot. One has a few coins and stamps and other miscellaneous things I collected as a kid; one has random objects of sentimental value my husband has picked up along the way; another has letters; and the last has things that really belong in a safe–my guns, credit cards, bullets, and medications.

That’s what it has now. It used to also (occasionally) have our passports, birth certificates, Social Security cards, and marriage license.

Yes, “used.”

Prior to a month or so ago, when I finally got Baby Girl’s birth certificate, these personal items were scattered in various places throughout the house. If you wanted, say, my birth certificate and Little Man’s Social Security card, you’d have to go on a treasure hunt. You might find one item in the letters safe and the other item in my husband’s desk.

And when BG’s birth certificate came in, I had a great idea–“why don’t I collect these items, put them all in an envelope, and put them in the one important safe. That way they’ll be all together. And if we need one of the items, we’ll just take the envelope, keep everything together, and do whatever we need and put the envelope back when we’re done.”

I now see what an idiot I was. Keeping everything, all the items needed to prove our identities, get credit, etc., in one place? Sigh.

A couple weeks ago, Sam and I set out to the bank to open a savings account for BG. We’d been sticking all of her money in a fancy cup that’s on display in the kitchen (not in the safe, because what sense would that make?). Now that we had her birth certificate, it was time to give her the real thing.

I got the envelope full of important documents and off we went. I was so fucking nervous that something was going to happen to it. I realized then how stupid it was to carry everything at once–what if?! As it turned out, the bank was busy and we couldn’t get in to see anyone about opening the account, so we decided to try another day.

Yesterday I went to get something out of the important safe. And I realized the big envelope wasn’t in there.

Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit. 

We’ve searched everywhere. We’ve looked in the car, all over the house, and that fucking envelope is nowhere to be found. As you can imagine, I was freaking the hell out.

“Gah, I hate myself, I’ve pretty much told all the thieves in there world, ‘here, let me making it really fucking simple to steal our identities!'” I told Sam in tears. “I mean, I have possibly ruined our kids’ futures!”

Sam tried to console me. “Maybe I was the one who lost it,” he suggested.

“No, I didn’t trust you to hold the envelope,” I told him.

More freaking out ensued. Anxiety attack. We searched again. Nothing. More anxiety and tears. I have no idea how I could have lost it, considering how freaked out I was about carrying it to the bank. Even on the way home, I had it clutched in my hands, worrying over it. And I have absolutely no memory of doing anything with it afterwards. It’s so fucking weird.

“Look, you either left it in the car and it got stuck in some trash or you brought it inside and it got mistaken as trash and thrown away. I doubt any thief is going to go through our trash and find that envelope,” Sam said.

“Then why do you shred all of the bills with our names and account numbers?” I countered.

He was silent for a moment. “Well, I don’t want to make it easy for anyone to get, either.”

“Exactly. And I made it easy as hell. Someone’s gonna find it, get lines of credit in our names, the kids’ names, then everyone’s credit will be ruined, they won’t be able to get student loans, get a house…someone could see the kids’ ages and come kidnap them and sell them, since they have all the proper ID,” I continued ranting.

Sam disappeared for a little while and called me into our bedroom, where he was typing up something on the computer. “Look, here’s a list of all the documents missing and how we need to go about getting them. Doesn’t that help?” he asked.

“No. I knew within five minutes what we’d have to do to get them all replaced. Why would that help?” (Yes, you’re probably right to think “Poor Sam.”)

He sighed. “Think about what’s likely to happen. It’s not likely that someone’s gonna find that envelope and steal our identities or come kidnap our kids.”

“I don’t care about likely. I care about what’s possible.”

Sam continued to try to calm me down. “Look, we’ll get these things replaced. I’ll get the kids added to our credit tracker online, that way if anyone tries to open accounts in their names we can stop it automatically. It’ll be okay. Try not to worry.”

After that, Sam talked me into going out by myself for a while to calm down. I went out to grab a bite of dinner and drove around for an hour or so. It helped. Later last night, Sam and I talked again after the kids went to bed.

“Thanks for being so nice about it,” I said.

“Why would you thank me for being nice? It was a mistake. Mistakes happen.”

I don’t make those kind of mistakes. And if it had been you, you know I’d still be pissed at you. I got pissed when you couldn’t find Little Man’s birth certificate for an hour.” To state the painfully obvious, he is by far the better half in our relationship.

“Yeah, well, we’re different people. It was a mistake and everything’s probably going to be okay. We’ll just keep an eye on things and if something happens, we’ll handle it,” Sam said.

I was hoping that those damn papers would turn up somewhere today, since sometimes it’s easy to overlook things when upset, but no such luck. I know that everyone is prone to screwing up–lord knows I have more than my fair share of fuck ups–but I’m baffled by this one.