I’m Pacing Myself
May 17, 2006
One of the recurrent “discussions” that Rob and I have is my lack of attention to detail. Don’t you love when someone points out your flaws under the pretense of helping you? I know I LOVE it. Especially when you don’t consider said attribute to be a flaw at all.
One of the ways that this “discussion” takes shape is the way I serve dinner from the pots on the stove. I think why bother dirtying more dishes just to put the food out on the table. Why make more work for myself?
My husband says that if you tell yourself it is work, of course it will feel like work. Just tell yourself this is how it should be done. I will go on record here saying that I hate this sort of mind over matter crap advice. Let me just pull myself up by my bootstraps and turn my frown upside down. (Which reminds me I have been wanting to write a review of Kathryn Sansone’s book, Woman First, family always)
However, it has been brought to my attention, repeatedly, that the stove top is not a serving station and that when he makes dinner he always sets the table properly. The atmosphere is part of the enjoyment of the meal. This all begs the question of exactly how often he makes dinner? or eats dinner with us? And does he really think the words atmosphere, enjoy, and seven children go together with meal? Me thinks he has been inhaling too many fumes from the polish he uses on his office furniture every day.
I think, let’s not prolong this affair any longer than necessary and lets try not to make any additional work for me. If I could get the kids on board with eating directly out of the pots with their hands I’d totally consider it. Oh heck, I lie, I’d be all over it. I consider dinner a success when no one falls to floor writhing in mental anguish over the dinner I have just prepared.
But when he makes dinner he washes all the pots and cooking crap before anyone sits down to dinner. The table is set with napkins…NAPKINS folded into shapes, not torn paper towels, chargers and actual glasses, not water bottles. You think I’m kidding? No wonder I feel inferior.
I usually tell people that my husband would be a much better wife than I am. And I mean it. But the fact of the matter is that it is easy to be perfect when you are only doing it a few hours a week.
When I go out alone I come home to a list of “helpful” hints on how I could run the household more smoothly. I LOVE that. Most of the suggestions involve me cleaning way more, following the children around the house demanding they put their toys away whether or not they are still playing with them, following a detailed minute by minute schedule, and basically not sitting down or relaxing ever. It’s just so not going to happen.
In return, I like to make nonsensical suggestions to him about how he should do his job. I give him my advice about dealing with the IRS and taxes and stuff, though my expertise begins and ends with filling in the bubbles on the 1040EZ form. But, like him, it doesn’t stop me from freely handing out my advice outside my realm of expertise.
So I give advice like:
“Make sure you color in the entire bubble. Just to be sure.”
“What? There are no bubbles to color in.”
“Well, Rob, just keep it in mind for future reference. M’kay?”
Or like this:
“You should sharpen all your number 2 pencils in advance and put them into one of those cuppy things on your desk.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” he’ll ask.
“Just giving you my advice. You know those cuppy things I am talking about…what are they called…” I’ll continue.
“A pencil holder?”
“YES! That’s what you need. You should get a cute, yet manly one, for your desk. You know, to create the proper work atmosphere.”
At this point he will usually laugh. He knows his “helpful” advice drives me crazy, yet he is unable to stop doing it. I guess much like I can not stop driving over the front lawn and hysterically laughing while I deny it and try blaming it on the oil man.
I have come to realize that if I only had to play housewife a few hours on a weekend day, I’d be able to do a kickass job also. Unfortunately, I don’t have that luxury. I have to pace myself like a marathon runner.
And not one of those freakishly fast marathon runners, no more like one of those slightly overweight older housewives who probably have their own forty before forty list, and have trained for a year to do this once in a life time thing and feel like they are about to drop dead half way through but realize that there is no way to turn around so they have to keep plugging away… maybe even crying while they run?
Yeah, that’s the kind of marathon runner I’m talking about.
I’d totally love to ponder this some more, but I have laundry to do, a diaper to change, breakfast to serve, and meals to plan. Somehow I haven’t been able to convince myself that they aren’t work. My suggestion of naked fasting week was not met with the sort of enthusiasm I had hoped.
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