Premiere Week

Here we are, premiere week, the week that all our favorite TV shows start again for the year.  On the DVR to start recording this week I have House (which I missed the first episode of because my DVR somehow lost our recording info for that one), How I Met Your Mother and Bones (David Boreanaz, be still my beating heart). Which I think is a respectable (read not too long) list of shows.  Of course, that list does not comprise the entirety of our TV addictions, just those that follow the regular season.

On the DVR for future use we also have Burn Notice, White Collar (Oh TBS, how I love your shows) So You Think You Can Dance, Last Comic Standing and… probably a few more that I can’t think of at the moment.

And that’s not all we’re watching these days,  Over the past two weeks or so we’ve been watching Veronica Mars.  I LOVE the Veronica Mars!  We love it so much, in fact, that we have yet to watch the episode of How I Met Your Mother that we recorded on Monday because we’ve been watching VM.  (I also really really love NetFlix and their watch instantly shows [including VM] so that we can watch as many as we want as fast as we want for free.)

I don’t, however, love Veronica so much that Bones will spend more than an hour or so on the DVR (we have to get the kids to bed before we even try to watch), I love me some Bones.

When all is said and done we watch a lot of TV around here.  Probably more than we should.  I would say that we’re working on it but the fact is… we’re not.  The thing is that Sean and I have never been a couple to go on the regular date night that is so frequently recommended.  We don’t have the cash for a babysitter and we don’t really have a lot of interest in trading babysitting. (In all honesty we have a lot of interest in having someone else watch our kids, it’s just the watching some other couple’s kids that screws the whole thing up for us.) But what we do do is have a little mini-date just about every night.

I have a sister who has trouble sitting down on the couch and watching TV without doing something else at the same time.  I have no such problem.  Once we get the kids to bed it doesn’t matter what else needs to be done around the house, it doesn’t matter that the sink is full of dishes and the kitchen floor is makes that thwock thwock sound when you walk across it, It doesn’t matter that the front room, in which I’m sitting, desperately needs to be vacuumed, nothing’s going to get done.  I’m done being the mom for the night, which means I’m done working for the night.  (The one notable exception is Tuesday night when all the laundry that Sean washed throughout the whole day [usually 6 or 7 loads] gets folded.)

Sean and I get the kids down for the night and then we climb onto the couch and watch TV (and eat ice cream).

The way I figure it, if we were going to go on a date once a week we’d probably go to dinner and a movie (we’re not very imaginative around here).  But the way we do it we have dinner together, with all the kids, and then we watch the equivalent of a few movies over the course of a week (or sometimes when we’re out of TV to watch [I know, but it does happen] we do watch movies) so it’s like going on several dates.

It’s my understanding that this sitting and watching TV together every night is somewhat unusual.  I don’t understand that.  What do you do at night if you don’t sit with your spouse and watch TV?

Also, what shows (preferably shows that are now over and available on NetFlix) do we need to watch?  There are only 3 seasons of Veronica Mars afterall.

The One Where I Talk About How Easy Marriage Is.

A while ago I mentioned something here on the blog that caught the attention of some of you.  What I said was that I didn’t think that marriage was hard.  I then promised that I’d explain that some other time. (And then I forgot and/or I didn’t feel like writing that post and/or a host of other things so I never got around to it.  But look at me now, getting around to it.)

Now as a disclaimer let me say, right up front, that this is my experience.  I am talking here about my marriage and about my life.  (Basically, this is all about me.) Results vary.

I don’t think that marriage is hard.  Sure, Sean sometimes does things that drive me crazy.  Sure there are times that I wonder what I’ve gotten myself into and why I’ve gotten myself into it but I can honestly say that I’ve never even considered divorce, seriously or otherwise.  I like being married.  I like being married to Sean.  It’s not that I’m oblivious to his flaws (nor he to mine) it’s just that they don’t amount to much all things considered and I’m enough of a realist to know that I’m not going to find a guy who doesn’t drive me crazy at least on some level.

I remember when I was engaged and when we got married, that I heard over and over from well meaning folk that marriage was hard.  I believed them.  I didn’t really understand what they meant, I didn’t see how it could be hard we were so very blissfully in love, we only wanted to sit and gaze meaningfully into one another’s eye (or something like that) but I believed that what they said was true.  And maybe it was for them.  But for me, at least so far (and I think that 12 years counts as some experience), the marriage part has been easy.

The life part on the other hand.  Life is hard. Kids are hard.  Losing jobs when we had just bought a house, having to borrow money from our parents because we’ve been idiots or because we have had to replace the transmissions in two cars in a month, dealing with a child who just lies on the floor crying while I blog, those things are hard.  But the marriage part hasn’t ever been (for me).  In fact, I think that having someone else to try to figure all that out with is pretty nice.

It does make me think though, I wonder if the things that I call “life” are the same things that some people call “marriage”.  It wasn’t me who lost my job just after we moved into this house, it was Sean.  So for some people does that translate into marriage being hard?  I just see it as life, as something that happened to us but maybe for some people it’s something that happened to you that I now have to deal with.

I have a friend, an American, who married a Polish guy.  For a while after they got married they lived in the US but eventually they moved to Poland.  I don’t know if that was the plan all along or if it’s just the way their lives worked out but either way it’s something that I know she occasionally has some trouble with.  (Wouldn’t you occasionally have some trouble moving to a foreign where you only sort of speak the language and where you’re half a world away form your family?)  And I wonder if she considers those troubles to be “life” or “marriage”?  Certainly if she wasn’t married to the Polish guy she wouldn’t be living in Poland but …  In my life I just figure it’s kind of a, if I didn’t have this specific problem I’d have some other problem, kind of thing.

I have another friend, a girl that I work with, who’s younger than me (I think) who’s on her second divorce.  I don’t know what happened the first time around but I know that a lot of her problem with the second guy was that he wasn’t ambitious enough for her.  Ummm, when you met him did you think he was going to an Ivy League school?  Was he in med school?  (The answer to both questions is no.)  Basically, he was the same guy he is now (more or less) and she’s looking for an excuse because she for whatever reason, doesn’t want to be married anymore.  I think she’s crazy.  How, why would you want to be single when you could be not single?  I don’t get it.

But it does make me wonder. Is marriage hard for some people because they make it hard?  (By some people I don’t mean everyone for whom marriage is hard, I mean just some of the people for who marriage is hard.  Understand?)  Do they really expect that they’re not ever going to be driven crazy by this other person that they’ve tied themselves to?  Do they think that that person is always going to agree with them?  Do they not realize that over time people and their priorities are going to change and that they’re going to have to be somewhat flexible?  Were they not told, when they were engaged and first married, that marriage was hard?

And then I wonder if that’s why it hasn’t been bad for me, was I expecting the worst so I’m pleasantly surprised?  Does that mean that Sean’s always going to get how very poor we are and therefore not go to the store and spend money on things that we don’t really need?  Nope.  He’ll probably still do that.  But he’ll also sit with me, night after night and feed me ice cream and watch Veronica Mars with me.  He’ll laugh (and cry) with me about the kids.  He’ll buy me Reese’s Pieces.

What more could I ask for?

Note: None of this was intended as an indictment against divorcees. There are plenty of reasons for divorce, and as I said to begin with, this post is about me and about my marriage to date.  It’s not about you, not in any way shape or form.

The Other 5%

The following is an actual text conversation between Shaun and me last weekend:

Me: I love you.

Him: Why? (Yes, he did really ask that and I did really answer. It’s a thing we do, don’t you judge (but you can go ahead and gag if you feel like you need to).)

Me: Because you still make me laugh and that’s good because the day that you don’t make me laugh anymore is the day that we’ve got problems and I have enough problems without that.

Him: Agreed.

And so this weekend we, naturally, got into a fight.

95% of the time I have the world’s best marriage. 95% of the time I want nothing more than to just hang out with my husband. 95% of the time we are excellent communicators and are both right on top of what’s going on in each other’s lives.

And then there’s the other 5%.

The end of last week we were at 5%. We didn’t actually get into a fight at first, we’re both far too non-confrontational for that. During the 5% we wage a war of attrition in which we spend most of our time “together” ie, in the same house, often in the same room, without ever actually speaking. It’s not that we’re not speaking to one another, we’ll occasionally ask one another questions, ” what’s the PIN for the new bank card?” and we’ll answer one another’s questions, “Pizza.” (Obviously that answer and the question do not go together. Pizza is the answer to “what’s for dinner?” and the answer to the PIN question is none of your business.) But for the most part we’re both circling around waiting for something.

This waiting can, and usually does, go on for a couple very uncomfortable days. We circle one another, feeling the other out and (at least in my case) getting increasingly hurt and angry waiting. I have no idea what Shaun’s waiting for, I’ve never been able to figure that out. I’d think that I would be waiting for an apology but I’m not, I’m waiting for him to ask for an explanation.

It’s weird for me to think about, but it’s true, I don’t want an apology, anyone can apologize. What I want is a chance to explain why I was right to do whatever I did and/or why he was wrong to do what he did myself.

So why don’t I just head in there and start explaining? Well, that would be acknowledging that there’s a problem and I can’t be the first one to do that.

And so we dance around and around and around until one of us, usually me, breaks and the flood gates open and the fight begins. I sometimes like to pretend that there’s not going to be a fight but I’ve been married for far too long to believe that. There’s going to be a fight, or at least what passes for a fight around here.

I have a sister who used to get into shouting matches with her husband. Things would be thrown, walls dented, the whole nine. We don’t do that, never have and I feel fairly comfortable saying we never will, but there will definitely be an uncomfortable, aggressive, and angry discussion. I hate that.

But then it’ll be over and we’ll move on and we’ll be back in the other 95% and I guess it’s worth the 5% to have the other 95% be a good as it is. And it is good, Friday evening, after I finally got sick of the meaningful silence and the quiet hostility we had it out and suddenly, finally we were past it. And all is right with the world again.

The One Where I’m Stupid (because that totally narrows it down)

For those who haven’t read it yet, check out my last post.  There are still two copies of my book for sale.

As I mentioned last week, Friday was my anniversary. 12 years.  It’s been a great 12 years, but that’s no what this post is about.  I still love Sean like crazy, but that’s not what this post is about.  If I had to do it again, I would, without hesitation, but that’s not what this post is about.

What this post is about is this:

Currently I only work one normal day shift per week, usually on Wednesday, but I’m still full time.  I’m full time because on Fridays Saturdays and Sundays, from 7pm to 7am, I take call.  For each of these call shifts I’m paid for 8 hours whether I go in or not (sometimes this works out fantastically well and I’m paid for 8 hours to sit on my couch and watch “White Collar” and then to climb into bed, snuggle up to my husband and drift off to sleep.  Sometimes, most of the time, it doesn’t go quite like that.)  It’s a great schedule, it works out well for my family, I can attend the classes that I need, etc. the problem, in case you didn’t catch it, is that I’m on call all weekend (nights) every weekend.  That’s not too big of a deal, I’m married (have been for 12 years) I have kids, it’s not like I was going to be going clubbing, in general I don’t mind.  If I pay attention I can even request the evenings that I need off ahead of time.

Unfortunately, the last time request calendars went out I was not paying attention.

I failed to request my anniversary off.

Now this isn’t exactly catastrophic.  There are options, I can get someone to cover me.  Usually.  Unfortunately (that’s a word that’s going to feature prominently in my tale, I’m just warning you now) the gal that is usually my first choice to cover me couldn’t, she was headed out of town.  Kristen, the girl who is usually my second choice works until 11:00pm on Fridays so I didn’t even bother to ask her.  She did however, hear about my dilemma and offer to take the shift from 11:00 on.  That was fantastic (and incredibly nice of her) and I told her so, but I told her that I’d see if I could get someone else to just cover the whole thing.   (Also, despite the incredible niceness of her offer, Sean had to be to work at 6:00am Saturday morning so no matter what we did, we weren’t going to be up very late so after 11 wasn’t really the part I was worried about.)

I tried (to get it covered).

I was unsuccessful (I thought).

My follow-up was not what it could have been.

So Friday rolls around and, as far as I know, I still don’t have anyone to cover my call from 7-11 and I’m not sure whether Kristen is planning on taking after 11 (There’s paperwork that’s supposed to go along with covering shifts that did not get done and while that doesn’t necessarily mean that the shift’s not being covered, it’s unwise to assume that it is if the paperwork has not been done).  Probably (definitely) I should have called the hospital and talked to Kristen or anyone who could look at the schedule book or… well, I should have done SOMETHING, but I didn’t.

I did nothing at all.

So Friday night I made dinner early enough that I could go to work if I needed to (mahi mahi and rice, it was fantastic) and then we did the usual Friday evening stuff, the kids ran around outside, and then we called them inside, cleaned them up, put them to bed, watched an hour or so of White Collar, we went to bed… all this with the pager (more or less) on my hip.  Because I just didn’t know.

But I didn’t get called in.

This morning I found out that not only did Kristen cover my call from 11pm-7am, Mary, a girl in the OR whom I’m not sure I’ve even ever talked to, took my call from 7pm-11.  That’s right I had the whole thing covered.  I got the email about it this morning.

PS. In my defense it’s not like we had a sitter for the kids and these days we can’t really afford to do anything, even just dinner, anyway [probably I’ll tell that story later this week] so even if I had somehow not been on call it wouldn’t really have changed what I did that evening.

PPS. The email was sent last week, I just didn’t see it (possibly because I didn’t really look) until today.

I Have Got to Stop Doing This

The first problem is that I let myself go weeks without blogging.  That may not be a problem for any of you (in fact, I’m willing to bet that there are a few of you who are a little relieved when I don’t blog (you’re welcome for this summer BTW) ) but for me it’s a problem because my goal was to blog at least once a week and for those of you non math majors blogging every three (or four) weeks is not blogging once a week.

The second problem stems from the first.  Any time I’m not blogging pressure is building up.  When I’m blogging regularly I don’t notice so much, very little pressure builds up in the course of a day or two.  Even a week is not too big of a deal but by the end of three (or four) weeks there is considerable pressure.  What pressure you ask? (Yes, I’m aware that you don’t care) the pressure to write a really good post.  After three (or four) weeks I feel like I have to have something really good to blog about something that will, ideally, explain my absence but more importantly, explain why I’m back.

I feel like I have to have this post that’s great, that makes you laugh — or chuckle at least — or better yet, makes you cry.  A post that makes you realize that I’m a fantastic blogger and that you’ve missed my wit and wisdom terribly and that blah blah blah.  My returning post can not be about my workout today (which was really hard so hard in fact that I only did half of it which was a little sad because I have in the past done more than half of it (although I’ve never actually finished that particular work out) but today I did do it harder than I’ve ever done before (squatted lower, jumped higher, did all the push ups on my feet rather than dropping to my knees) so I’m actually not too disappointed.  Especially when I factor in the fact that I noticed today that the helper girl (you know the two people who stand behind the “instructor” and do the workout all with perky smiles on their faces) was totally phoning it in!  Her squats were not deep, she was hardly jumping at all (she did not drop to her knees but I’ll bet (I have to bet because I find it hard to watch the TV while I’m doing push ups) her form was not good) I don’t blame her.  It’s a stinking hard work out (as evidenced by the fact that I did not finish it) .  But I thought it was funny.)  See?  That’s not a good retuning post!

Neither is the one I was thinking about about the fact that the deadbolt on the back door broke –luckily when we were all inside so as to not be locking someone out (although now that I think about it I’m not sure how (or) why being locked in in so much better than being locked out) — and after pulling it apart and deciding that it could not be fixed, Shaun went to fairly great lengths to replace it (after having spent the day just using the front door) so that we can have a back door that looks like this: Let’s move past the dirtiness and the marks on the door left by the venetian blinds (yes, I know how to fix that I just don’t really care) and look at the fact that on this door, right next to the lock, I have not one but two broken window panes that have been expertly “repaired” with cardboard and duct tape.  Yeah, we’d better hurry and get a new deadbolt in there, we wouldn’t want to leave our house exposed.  (In our defense (pun intended) that is corrugated cardboard and there are two layers of it.  We’re totally safe.)  See?  Again, not a great blog post.

I also though about posting about the very nice guy on the Jordan River Parkway Trail that I was riding yesterday who helped me with my tire (I had a flat) and perhaps to mention that while what we tried (pumping it up) didn’t work,  (because the problem with my tire wasn’t something that could be repaired on the trail, or indeed at home, it can only be repaired by throwing that particular inner tube in the garbage) I appreciate the effort just the same.  And I got  a lot farther than a I would have if he hadn’t helped me out which was good because I still had to walk a fair bit.  Also that I really need to start carrying a cell phone with me when I ride.  And possibly that I got really lost on the trail but I love that I live in Utah so I always knew that I was going in (more or less) the right direction and that I would eventually end up some where that I could identify.   And I did.  I just have no idea how I got there.  (I’m very visual and I can’t find anything without a mental map.  Unfortunately I can’t get my ride yesterday to coincide with my current mental map.  Good thing I can map my ride it and see an actual map and then I’ll be fine.)

I really should blog about the Pea’s 8th birthday, which is today, but honestly I’m not really a fan of birthday posts (except for yours, I love yours) so I’ll probably just say Happy Birthday to the Pea and leave it at that.  (For that matter, I could blog about my 12th wedding anniversary which is tomorrow but I probably won’t, I hit the anniversary once –read it here, it’s good– and that will probably do it for the next few years.)

The third problem (I’ll bet you forgot that I was listing the problems I’m having with this blog) is the layout.  I’ve had numerous comments on the layout here in the Wonderland and they’ve all been positive (which I love) and honestly I really really like the layout, I like the colors, I like that it’s feminine without being overly feminine and I used to love that the text portion is wide.  Now… not so much.  See the wide text thing is great if you’re going to write really long posts, or if you’re going to, say, post chapters of your book as blog posts (which is the reason that I wanted the wide text thing in the first place.  And I’m sure you’ve noticed how often I’ve posted chapters of my books as blog posts…) but if you don’t have much to say it can be daunting.  I write what feels like a decent length post and then post it only to click over and see that it doesn’t even fill the screen.  (Right there, I can see the next (last) post peeking up at the bottom of the screen.  I can see its title, I can even see the first line or two.  Heck I’ve hardly written anything at all. *Hangs head in shame.*)  So I’m thinking about changing it but, that’s a lot (and by a lot I mean some) of work, I’m not sure I’m up to it.

So there you have it.  The reason that I’m not blogging, or that I haven’t been blogging or that… oh forget it.

A Poll

But not a real poll because I’m too lazy to figure out how to put a poll in (and no, I don’t want you to tell me how easy it is, I’m perfectly happy in my ignorance).

And we meander back to the point, which is:

What are your thoughts on your spouse remarrying in the event of your untimely demise?  (See, that doesn’t work as a poll anyway.)

I was chatting with one of my Dr. friends the other day and he says that on the rare(ish) occasion that he has this discussion with his wife, she’s not a fan of the idea of his remarrying.  I’m given to understand that this is a normal reaction.

Apparently I’m not normal.

The idea of Sean remarrying is not even a little worrying to me.  The thought of his not doing so on the other hand… Well, that’s no good.  I want my kids to have a mother.  (As long as I’m around they’ll have to make due with me but if Sean gets another chance I ‘d love him to pick someone who’ll do a better job with them.)

I want my husband to have a wife. I adore the man but he is prone to be a little moody and occasionally he need some one to tell him to get over himself, that’s the wife’s job.  It happens to be a job at which I excel and I don’t really expect him to find someone better than me at that but he ought to find someone who’ll at least try.

I asked Sean the other day if he thought he’d remarry.  He said maybe but that he wouldn’t be sealed to her.  But that’s a whole other post and I have homework to do.

Happy Tuesday.

Deal Breakers Revisited

For those of you just joining us, I posted earlier this week about deal breakers, things that would cause you to end your marriage.  I got some interesting comments and not a lot of disagreement. Not that I expected much, I feel like a know most of my readers (or at least my commenters) pretty well, and they’re (you’re) a bunch who take their (your) marriages pretty seriously.  There’s not a whole lot more to say but I did promise to weigh in and  I had at least one reader who mentioned that she wanted to hear what I had to say.  So here goes.

As far as abuse: sexual is an automatic later gator; physical is almost impossible to say because that’s so not Shaun, but I agree that those who are physically abusive were almost always raised that way and have serious, self control, anger management issues, and basically, they never just do it once so I’d probably have to go.  Mental abuse is a lot harder to pin down.  As a teenager I dated a guy who was somewhat mentally abusive, so I do actually know something about this and it’s really hard to say, of course I’d love to say that I’d leave but the reality of it is that it starts so slowly and gets into your head so insidiously that I probably wouldn’t, even though I should.

Infidelity (and I include porn as well as all forms of sexual, as well as emotional infidelity in this) is not an automatic deal breaker for me.  Nor is it for most of you which I was delighted to see.  That being said, I can also see that an extreme case maybe wouldn’t be something that I could get over.  (I think I could work through some kissing, I could probably even work through some sex but a prolonged affair, or a severe porn addiction, would a whole other matter.) So it could very well end up breaking me after all.  And of course it all depends on the attitude and commitment level of both parties.

I wouldn’t leave over Sean’s leaving the church, nor joining another one. (In fact, I think I’d prefer him an active member of some religion or other to the alternative.)  That being said I wouldn’t allow his actions in that area to dictate mine.  I know a woman who left the church shortly after her husband did “for family unity” and I think that’s crazy.  Attend church with him if you feel like you must, but to turn your back on promises and covenants that you’ve made simply because your husband wants to drink and you don’t want to make him feel bad (because that’s all that really is) that’s just silly.

Due to a past that’s really none of your business (because it’s not my story to tell) I couldn’t and wouldn’t allow any kind of drinking.  It’s just too close to a very dangerous and very steep slope for me, so I would actually leave over a second drink (I think I would a allow a little leeway after the first, but one more and I’m gone daddy, gone.) but that’s just with Shaun.  If I were married to say, your husband, I’d probably allow it.  And I want to say here that I wouldn’t allow it in my home, but if it came right down to let him have a beer in my living room or divorce him, I’d probably put up with some Budweiser in the fridge.  (I know that this all sounds needlessly strict and probably a little crazy to the few of my readers who aren’t LDS but what can I say?  We’re a crazy bunch.)

There’s not a lot that would make me leave and at the same time, there is.  Really what it all boils down to  (as multiple people mentioned) is a desire and a commitment, on the part of both members of the couple, to make it work.   So while at the outset I’d love to say that I wouldn’t leave over something like, his being unwilling to help around the house, eventually, after we had talked about it enough times and he was really patently unwilling to do anything but go to work and then sit on the couch and play Gears of War, I’d probably leave.

One thing I did think was interesting in the comments was people saying that they would leave but not divorce (I remember that particularly in merrychris’s comment) and I disagree with that.  If I’m gone I’m all the way gone.  That’s not to say that if upon my leaving Sean were to be stunned and shaken enough to see the error of his ways and really truly resolve to improve I wouldn’t even consider coming back, I absolutely would.  But I agree with Annette, leaving is not something that should be undertaken until you’re willing to follow through and stay gone.

But I don’t believe that we were meant to be alone.  There are times when it’s inescapable and someone has to be alone, even has to raise kids alone, but I believe that that is just not the way it’s supposed to be.  So if things had gone bad enough that I had to leave I wouldn’t be keeping one foot in that door, I’m gone and I’m divorcing so that maybe, just maybe, I can find someone else and try it all over again.

All of the preceding being said, I love and whole-heartedly agree with what a bunch of you said about how you don’t really know what you can tolerate and what you can’t until you’re there.  But I do think most of us at least have a starting off point and this is mine.

______

This has ended up being a lot longer of a post than I anticipated.  And unfortunately, it’s kind of a downer.  Sorry about that.  I do want to make it clear that I’m not bringing it up for any reason in particular.  Sean and I have been together for a blissful (*snort*) ok, well a pretty darn good 11 years now, and I’m being completely honest when I say that I’m still loving it.  In fact, I disagree with that line that I remember getting roughtly 800 times just before I got married, you know the one about how marriage is hard.

Honestly, I don’t think it is.

But that, my friends, is a post for another day.

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