Thursday, December 09, 2004
My poor, stupid husband
Okay, so, first off, I am not a cryer. Even dealing with PPD (which, by the way, seems to be easing, since today was the first bad day I've had in over a week), I don't cry much. So it's a big deal that I spent most of the morning sniveling and feeling sorry for myself.

The background is that, in 2001, Willem and I took Emily to Holland to meet her grandmother. Parts of the trip were wonderful and parts of it were awful, but overall we had a nice visit and had some good time with Grandma. She had serious back problems which left her basically confined to bed all the time, so she spent her days making these absolutely gorgeous cross-stitch samplers and such. She sent us home with 6 or 8 of them, and I had these big plans to stitch them together into a quilt. Ha, ha. I started my doctorate 3 months later and the samplers sat in the closet.

Fast-forward to April 2004. I had to leave my job because of complications with the pregnancy, but my daughter still went to preschool 4 days a week and my husband was at work. I was pretty limited on what I could do, physically, so I decided to get started on this quilt. Mapped it all out, measured and cut the material, called Grandma to let her know I was doing it and to get advice, blah blah blah. Had to stop around June, and it just so happened that my husband was never around when I was working on it, so after a while I started to deliberately keep it a surprise.

August, 8 days after Jacob was born, Grandma died. Willem went over for the funeral, which was stressful for everyone, and we all mourned her loss. And I realized that the timing was really perfect, finish this quilt that she made - I'm only piecing it together, she did the hard part - and present it to Willem for Christmas. Visions of warm celebrations, adulation, a family heirloom-to-be, etc.

So last night, we're sitting at dinner, and I mentioned that I'm pretty close to finished with this big project. Willem still doesn't know what it is - he knows I've been working on something, but not what. It's not like we've been playing guessing games about it, it just didn't come up. And out of the clear blue sky he says, "I don't know what you're working on, but I'm impressed with how much time and effort you're putting into it. I just hope it's not something sappy and grandmothery, like a quilt or something."


I managed not to beat him with the lazy susan, and instead focused on the baby until I could stop clenching my jaw. But all morning, I wandered around feeling so out of sorts and confused - should I still complete this quilt? Should I give it to him? Should I buy him some cheap manly gift and give the quilt to my kids? Ugh.
And my husband really is a good guy, I know that when he sees it he will (1) appreciate it, and (2) feel like a complete ass for his statement.

So, big sigh. Feeling like I have just wasted a huge part of my life on this quilt that he doesn't even want, even though I know it wasn't a waste and that he will like it (whether he likes it or not!!) and that it will be fine.

But - big sigh.