Sunday, July 23, 2006
Clean-up in Aisle Two
I don't care what the calendar-gurus say. Yesterday was clearly the longest day of the year.

I woke up tired anyway, because I'd stayed up late Friday working on a sweater for Anni, a lovely 2-year-old who had a birthday party yesterday. And it came out cute, if I do say so myself. Of course, she'll dwarf it with her own cuteness, but I can cope.

Anyway, spent the rest of the morning finishing the sweater, and dealing with the fact that both of my children have apparently enrolled in a brain-swap program with the nearest School for Degenerates. I had asked Willem to go to the party with us, even though getting him out of the house and to a social event is apparently akin to asking him to run naked through the neighborhood. Much "I don't wannnnnna" and "I have so much wooooork to do," interspersed with my very favorite, "Well, I'll go if you want me to, BUT..." So when I finished the sweater at about 12:30 (AIS - butt-in-seat - time being 1:00 to make it to the party on time), I told him, "I'm done - so if you really don't want to go, I can handle it." His response was a lovely refrain which has graced my ears once or twice before - "Well, I don't really want to, but I'll go if you want me to." I repeated myself, and he said, "Well, then, I'd rather stay home. Unless you want me to go."

Now, I've heard this one or two or a hundred times in the past. He grew up in a passive-aggressive household, receiving personal one-on-one training from Queen Guilt herself. He just can't help it sometimes. And usually I roll with it. Not yesterday. Yesterday I was apparently due for a tantrum, 'cause boy did I have one. I cried, I sniveled, I fussed... it was wildly attractive, I'm sure. Certainly mature, if nothing else.

The gist of my tantrum was, (1) stop looking to me to make your decisions - go or don't go but stop putting it on me, and (2) I'm tired of feeling like the Cruise Director in this house - I feel like very little would get done, and certainly not things that would primarily benefit me, if I didn't either use "Here's why you should..." or "I'm asking you to..." If I just say, "Here's what I would like to have happen, but it's up to you to make your own decisions," then what I want doesn't happen.

Sound complicated?? It was. Lots and lots of words, endless words, hundreds of words. Interrupted by a long pout by me in the car - he DID go - and a last-minute spat before the party just to make us both feel as awkward as humanly possible the whole time.

The party itself was pretty fun, or at least as fun as possible for a 2-year-old's birthday party with lots of outdoor activities scheduled in the midst of heavy rain and thunderstorms. N. just organizes good parties, it's a gift. With darn good food, hip-widening-and-gluttony sorts of things... though I was able to console myself with the knowledge that she doesn't have a $35 Kitchenaid mixer.

On the way home, we passed through Manchester about 10 minutes after a major car accident - 2 fatalities, many onlookers and cars with flashing lights and so on. Amazing how seeing things like that help to put some perspective on marital spats. Nothing like having a good snit interrupted by reality.

And the evening was better. We resolved stuff, said what needed to be said and listened to each other and generally behaved like a grow-up married couple, blah blah blah. In normal times, this would have been rewarded by some form of amorous activity, but these aren't normal times.

For one thing, I still have the Alien Communication Device, which still makes me feel yucky.

And for another, early in the evening I took a trip out to buy some new yarn for some new projects - God forbid I just sit and watch TV without fiddling with something - and pick up my $0.01 shoes. (We'd bought shoes for the kids for Mike and Jen's wedding, and then both got different shoes for the actual event - they came to a total of $19.98 when I returned them. I ordered a new pair of slip-on sneaker type things, which came to $19.99. Hence, one-cent shoes.) Midway through the drive to get the yarn, I felt a peculiar twisting, fist-clenching, full-body-sweat sort of sensation in my gastrointentional regions. "Oooh," I thought, "That's not pleasant." I ended up doing a wildly undignified but high-speed waddle to the bathroom, and had the presence of mind to be grateful that I hadn't left my mark upon Aisle 2 on the way there.

So... not exactly in the best mood for amorous, or even mildly affectionate, or even marginally polite activities by the time I got home. Ah, well. At least we're not fighting anymore.