Saturday night we drove home after a day in Stratford, where we saw As You Like It. It's not a short trip, and by the time we were on the US leg of it, the hour was late and we were tired. But we talked anyway. We talked about infertility: where we were a year ago and where we are now, and how grateful we are for the peace we've received after these long hard months of praying and questioning. Then we talked about our marriage, about how we trust each other so much more now, about how our love for each other has grown in these long, sometimes very hard, three years. We held hands and smiled at each other in that deep, tremulous way that you smile when you know that the words tumbling out of you are not enough to say what you mean, but you're glad in the fact that both of you understand that. We were glad for the goodness of our marriage and felt unbelievably blessed, in that moment.
Ironic, considering what the next day was like.
My husband sometimes accuses me of portraying him too favorably on my blog. "You never write anything bad about me," he says. I'd like to say that it's because he actually is perfect, and we never fight. But no, we butt heads as much as the next couple. It's just that I have no ability to hold grudges and thus no memory for arguments; generally I'm over it five minutes after it happens.
(Although, remind me sometime to tell you about the thing he did, years ago, that made me madder than tarnation (assuming tarnation is a real thing), so mad that I couldn't sleep that night because of the sheer rage that was pulsing through me. I hardly ever get angry; I cannot remember another time in my whole life when I was this mad. It still makes me a little mad when I think about it.)
When we're apart, I'm always remembering the good things about Michael, so that's what I write. In order to portray him in a bad light, I'd have to do real-time blogging, sitting there at my computer transcribing madly while we yell at each other.
After Sunday, though, I can remember at least some of the bad stuff. I'm not mad anymore, of course, but the sheer volume of the fighting we did that day requires that I remember at least some of it.
Michael always wakes up before me on weekend mornings, so on Saturday night I asked him to wake me up so that I'd have time to get ready for 11:15 Mass. He woke me up at 9:15 and I mumbled at him to give me another half hour. So he woke me up at 10:10. At which point he was still in his pajamas, having been immersed in the highly important Sunday-morning activity of cleaning his office. I didn't have time to
2) choose/iron an outfit,
3) shower, and
4) blow-dry my hair (which I'd have had to do in order to avoid going to Mass dripping)
so I chose to skip the shower, but that made me cranky. I was trying really hard not to show my annoyance with my husband, and I did okay until we were driving to Mass, and his driving was driving (ha!) me crazy. So I made some comment about his having time to clean his office, but not to shave before Mass. He responded testily, I even more testily.
Oh, it was great fun. Fortunately we forgave each other before Mass. Unfortunately, we were forced to forgive each other countless more times during the day.
One exchange went something like this:
Me: Babe, do you want some of this [I can't remember what it was, maybe bacon]?
Him: -complete silence-
Me: Why don't you listen to me?
Me: You never listen to me!
Him: Why do you always say that? I listen most of the time. I was just distracted.
Me: Well, obviously in this case the other thing you were doing (cleaning the fridge) was more important than listening to me.
Him: That's not true. I just have a hard time concentrating on more than one thing at once.
We sat down and talked it through, like adults, although we were probably both wishing that we could leave the room. Eventually we agreed that:
1) he would try to pay more attention to me;
2) I would remember that he's easily distracted and not assume he's ignoring me;
3) he would be sensitive to the fact that for some reason I have this thing about being ignored, and not get mad at me for assuming if I do assume, even though I'm trying not to; and finally,
4) I will not get upset with him if he gets upset with me for getting upset with him for ignoring me (not that he is).
I think it was a pretty good deal. We may be a little neurotic, but at least we can craft compromises that atone for it.
(Although Michael's eyes were looking a little glazed over by the time we got to the third prong of the agreement. I have a sneaking suspicion he mentally files this stuff under "Be Better Husband" and figures it's easier to get forgiveness than to remember it all.) (I, on the other hand, remember it all, but in the heat of the moment forget to actually do it. Which, if you think about it, is probably worse.)
Fortunately, yesterday was much better, with just one tiny pre-bedtime spat. Today has been so far unmarred, thank heavens. Days like Sunday should come only once a year. Or never. I'd take never.