Rough day today. I’m not exactly sure where things went sideways, but it was probably halfway between Expectation and Reality, when I made that sharp left at Disappointment.
Hubby and I had a whole kid-free day together. I wanted to do…something. The weather’s been unseasonably warm – perfect for a bike ride or a long walk.
I cooked a crustless quiche for breakfast (OK, I’m not sure if that’s really what it is. You beat 5 eggs, add a cup of milk, and whatever spices and veggies you want. Maybe some cheese, Bake in a pie plate at 350 for 45 minutes. It’s not REALLY quiche, but doesn’t “crustless quiche” sound fancy enough to be special?) It turned out great. OM NOM NOM
Afterwards, the hubs decided that he’d really like to go see the automobile show. I thought that’d be fun, actually – while I drive a sturdy Toyota, it’s fun to look at Alfa Romeos. So I went online and got us a couple of tickets, personalized – check out our special names:
<snort> I kill me.
The show was…nice, I guess. We saw two cars priced at over $250k (yowsa!) as well as one with a giant, hot-pink stuffed unicorn on top of it. (Sadly, there was no price tag on the unicorn.)
As we walked around, though, I just couldn’t help feeling like I was a million miles away from my husband. He was right next to me, but I just didn’t feel like we were connecting. He seemed to feel something – he even commented on how much he was enjoying just being out with me. I enjoyed it, too, but I just didn’t feel very close to him.
Part of the reason? Yes, he wore one of THOSE shirts. So, although I tried to look past it, I had to walk the show next to GODLESS HEATHEN. And to further rub lemon juice into my paper cuts, he proudly shared with me that the dude at the mini donuts counter absolutely CROWED about his shirt, and that he gets a lot of positive comments on it. Sigh. I’m sure you do. From everyone but your wife. But I guess that doesn’t matter. And I guess shouldn’t matter that people will assume I love your shirt too, if I’m with you. But I don’t. I hate it. I want to burn it, and the others, in a fiery pit, after shredding them with the lawn mower.
(For the record, I did not have any mini donuts. They smelled wonderful, and they taunted me the entire time we were there. But I’m not supposed to eat wheat, and I know that they probably have about 100 calories each, if not more, so I only would have enjoyed them for the fifteen seconds it took me to inhale the bag. So I refrained.)
Later, we stopped at Target to get lights and a lock for my bike. (My knee’s been bugging me, so I was hoping I could ride on the mornings I couldn’t run.) I suggested we go back home, grab an early dinner, and get back outside. Bike ride, walk, something. He wasn’t feeling it, but thought if we went home and ate, he’d perk up.
So we did that, and about an hour later, he decided he still didn’t really feel like going on a bike ride, and really wanted to work on the bathroom (he’s re-tiling our bathroom. Which is great, and I sincerely appreciate all the work he’s doing on it….but I wanted to go outside, darn it.) So I decided to attempt to install my bike lock.
It shouldn’t be hard, right? it’s a bike lock, not a rocket ship. But the course was charted now; I was in a bad mood because I WANTED TO PLAY, not work. My bike was in the shed – this alone got my blood pressure rising. (A little history: last fall, hubby decided that the garage was “his” workspace, and that the bikes would be perfectly happy outside. For the winter. In the midwest. I threw a fit, because it’s MY bike, and I own the garage, too, and even if he thought my bike would be fine out in the elements, I DIDN’T WANT IT THERE. I could not understand why there wasn’t room for my bike in our garage. He told me I was overreacting and just didn’t understand why the hell it mattered. Well, it mattered because it was important to me, but since I couldn’t seem to explain that, the bikes were evicted from the garage. As a compromise, they were put in the storage shed. So going out there to LOOK at my bike reminds me that it SHOULD be in the garage…and starts the downward spiral of mad.)
I found the key to the shed – it was on hubby’s key chain. And my temper flared yet again. Great. He has the only key, and it’s on his car keys – so if he’s not home, I can’t ride my bike. And right now, THIS WAS NOT OKAY. I wanted access to my bike 24/7, it’s MY BIKE, after all. (Not that this has ever HAPPENED, mind you. I’ve never felt the urge to take a random bike ride when the hubby wasn’t home. But it could, and this. was. making. me. FURIOUS.)
Breathe, Kate, breathe.
I attempt to install the bracket for my new lock. Of course, there were no instructions, and I actually ended up futzing with that stupid thing for a half hour before I determined that one of the nut/screw combos was defective. There was swearing. I believe the walls of the shed started to melt, but I can’t be sure. There was lots of throwing things and stomping. I gathered all the little parts so I could return the blasted thing later.
Well, since we’re not doing anything FUN, I may as well clean up the yard. At least I’ll get some exercise, and it has to get done sometime. I got my tools, and for the next hour, I raked and I trimmed and I pulled. And I got madder and madder and more and more frustrated.
Finally, two large bags of yard trash later, I put the tools away. I went inside.
And I completely fell apart.
I hate when this happens. In the moment, I can’t explain why I am so overwhelmingly sad – I just AM. It’s only later, when I’m writing, that I realize it’s the disappointment and frustration I’ve been bottling in has burst out like an overshaken soda.
The hubs is usually really good about this. But when I tried to apologize – tried to say I was sorry I sometimes get this way, I was sorry I couldn’t articulate things better – he scolded me.
<sarcasm>This totally fixed the problem, and I was in a GREAT mood forever and ever.</sarcasm>
He said I shouldn’t apologize because while I was sad, I wasn’t doing anything to HIM. But…I know my moods are tough to live with. I know how difficult it can be when your spouse just gets in a bad place. And I just wanted to acknowledge that.
But he scolded me. And it hurt. So I shut up. And moved even further away from him than I was before.
I sat outside for a while, and decided to look at the lilacs we had planted last year. I thought they might be budding soon. And I discovered that the lilac in front of the house – the one that promised to sprout beautiful, deep purple blossoms in the spring – was chewed up. It was a barren bunch of sticks. The ends of each branch, which should have been filled with hopeful hints of spring, was bitten off. Every single bud, gone.
They say that lilacs are very hardy plants. I’m told you can cut them back nearly to the ground and they’ll spring back. So maybe, just maybe, this bush I planted last year will manage to survive. Maybe if it still has one bud, It can grow back and be something magnificent.
I don’t feel like I have any buds left today. I know I must…I just can’t feel them right now. I’m just overwhelmed with sad. And I don’t know how many more buds can snap off my marriage before someone no longer recognizes it and unceremoniously mows it down when cutting the grass.
I can put a wire cage over my lilacs. That will give them a better chance to grow. I’m just not sure how to protect my marriage or myself. I don’t know how to shield my soul from all the thorns, slivers, and skinned knees that make it hard to thrive.
I’ll keep trying. I’ll keep breathing. And right now, that’s enough. That will get me through until tomorrow when I can start fresh and try again.