I came home from work the other day. The dishes in the dishwasher were dirty (it was full), and there were dishes in the sink and beside the sink and a used pan on the stove. Understand that I am not the neatest housekeeper in the world (or even on my block, I’m sure) and some untidiness is usually fine with me. But come on. I ask you, how much time does it take to start the bloody dishwasher? I was pissed!
Here’s my self talk (which began as soon as I walked in the door): “What the hell?! Couldn’t he have AT LEAST run the dishwasher? He was home all day, it would have taken seconds to get it going, but yet here it stands – NOT DONE. I’ve been up and going since 6:00 am – 11 hours ago – and I come home to this? The g.d. dishwasher wasn’t even started? What the*@#*! hell?”
I started the dishwasher… with gusto. I washed the remaining dishes and pans….loudly. I was stomping around and sighing….heavily. When my husband came up the stairs to welcome me home, I ignored his eyes and grunted to his hello.
More self-talk: “And I’m damn sick of all his shit he has lying around! Why can’t he keep these piles cleaned up? Is it asking too much for him to clean up after himself?”
I stormed up to my bedroom, throwing over my shoulder, “Do you want to go to the club or not?” He replied, “Yeah, sweetie, just give me one more minute and I’ll be ready.”
And more: “Can’t the man tell I’m upset? What does he mean, sweetie? Does he notice ANYTHING? Does he think sweetness makes up for the dishes? HA!” Grumble, grumble, swear, swear.
So we go to the club and other than the mono syllabic replies I give, I’m silent. And brooding. We work out. Silver lining: anger and working out do go well together. We are on the way home and he says, “I’m going to drop you off at home, grab my wallet, and go to the grocery store to get food for supper.”
Self-talk: “MMMmmmm….I have my purse, and the gym is close to the grocery store. Why not stop on the way home? Aha! He has noticed my mood, and I bet he knows why, and he’s trying to make it up to me.” I like this idea.
So I soften up a bit and even say thanks, that’d be great. I calm down. Steve usually does do the dishes. And he would have done it if I just would have asked. And I know he’s completely focused on this grant he’s putting together. I begin to wonder why I got so pissed…and I can’t. I guess that it’s good enough to realize that this is the “small stuff” not to sweat over and to let it pass.
When Steve got home, I asked him (not because I wasn’t letting it pass…really….just because I was curios), “Did you go shopping to make it up to me for not getting the dishes done?” He looked at me a bit strangely and said, “I didn’t even know I had something to make up for. I just figured after your long day, you’d want to get home and not go to the grocery store. And, honey, if you wanted me to do the dishes, you just needed to ask. I was going to get to them, the day just got away from me.”
“Will you pick up all of your piles once the grant is done?”
Wow. The disparity between what goes on in my head and in Steve’s head is truly unbelievable and remarkable (and frustrating!). But, you know, I wouldn’t change that for the world (no matter the frustration). I’m sure that it’s this very dissimilarity that provides for most of our relationship’s excitement and mystery.
Mars and Venus: it’s just how it is.
This concludes another view from my married life.