Sunday, February 08, 2009


I will admit, earlier this week, I was acting like Christian Bale:

It's been a little rough around here -- all three of us are sick with bad coughs (BD also had a fever for a couple of days), we're tired and the economy woes are starting to hit a little close to home (which has me and Jeff stressed out as I bury cans of money in the back yard and in bird feed a la Tony Soprano). So to say that I needed a getaway with the fabulous K. this weekend would be an understatement.

We holed up at The Iron Horse Hotel and caught up on bad television, television and random topics of discussion. I also had a chance to meet Christina, who I've talked to online, but not in person. I hope she didn't mind the happy lunatic drunk at dinner.

By the way, the Iron Horse is an awesome place -- funky, fun rooms, great service from the staff, good food and drinks and a rain shower! Which features opaque glass from floor to ceiling so you can get a "shower show" from your loved one. Great for sexy fun, but for two friends just looking to hang out? Yeah.

Anyways, back to rage. When first saw Keidra, to say that I resembled Christian Bale would have been an understatement. Which got us to talking about this article in

Life for women may be better in many ways than it's ever been, but we're far from whistling show tunes. According to Parenting's nationally representative survey of more than 1,000 mothers on MomConnection, an online panel of moms, the majority of us confess to feeling anger at surprising levels.
And that's what I feel sometimes. And I hate typing that. I've made it a personal rule never to talk about Jeff and my relationship in detail, because really, I don't want our laundry out there for everyone to see. But honestly, that article hit a nerve with me.

I can't say that I'm surprised that a lot of women who are married and have kids are now PISSED OFF. I can't say I'm surprised by the depth and intensity of the anger, because I've been there. But I don't know if the entire blame should be laid at the spouse's feet.

Rather, I wonder how much of this is a mix of we women allowing men to get away with certain things in silence for the sake of keep peace. I wonder how many women have sat down and told their husbands/spouses/whatevers how angry they get about missing the hamper, not putting dirty dishes in the sink, etc. Are we hoping that people will recognize what we're doing and go "AMAZING! WONDERFUL! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! LET ME RUB YOUR FEET!"?

Admittedly, I suffer from this at times. I martyr myself for the foot that will never be spontaneously rubbed. I have hated having to ask Jeff to do things around the house when I know I could get them done faster.

But on his end, I know that he's felt like he's been slowly pushed away. And if he doesn't see what needs to be done and when he asks, I'm all like "I GOT IT." through gritted teeth, it's obvious that there's something wrong. But if I'm not saying what it is, that's not really helpful is it?

And this is where I wonder -- as women, is some of this snafu because many of us are taught not to ask for anything? Or not be direct in what we want? For a woman, a raised eyebrow can be a plethora of things. For most men, a raised eyebrow is a raised eyebrow.

It seems like we women are taught to suffer in silence and just take these blows and slings until you snap and are featured on the nightly news with people going, "She was always so quiet and nice! I mean, she did the cupcakes for the preschool Valentine Day party! And the sprinkles were so nice! I never thought she'd kill her husband and shove his body in the chipper shredder!"

AND ANUDDER THING: How much of this is us being angry at the person vs being mad at a situation? When I did my Christian Bale tantrum before leaving to see Keidra, I realized suddenly that it wasn't anyone I was angry at, but a situation. How many women have that same thing right now? Their spouses are stressed about layoffs, money's tight, the kids are sick/tantruming/setting fire to each other and the dog shit on the carpet. There's a lot of compounding rage that ends up becoming this weird feedback loop between people.

I don't know. I feel like these are bigger issues and questions that are hard to address -- we're dealing with basically thousands of years of conditioning mixed in with what goes on between two people in a relationship. Relationship waters are deep, murky and dangers areas to travail sometimes. Throw a kid into the mix (which adds stress like you wouldn't believe), and I think it's understandable why a lot of women are carrying around rage.

The only thought I have for guys is to simply ask, "Is there anything I can do for you?" every now and then -- and then just do the job without protest and complain. It's amazing how nice it is to see someone do that for you.

For me, I promise to try and not take my frustration about a situation out on people and be better about saying exactly what I need. Even if it's a foot rub and just silence.


Sarah said...

Hope everything's OK-ish, economically speaking. Things have been sorta bleak around here too. But, hey, my friend Sanja has devised a mousse recipe made with rehydrated dog food. It's probably what we'll all be eating a year from now.

Christina said...

I hear you on the not always saying what you need/want. I just think that guys lack that gene that tells you to wash your dirty dishes, put your clothes in the hamper, clean those crumbs/that stain you left on the counter. I actually think that the book that kept me from losing my mind when I first got married was "His and Her Guide to surviving the first year of marriage". It was written by a married couple from both the male and female perspective. Basically the guy said that men don't notice/care about the dishes in the sink until they run out of plates/forks/whatever and are unable to eat. Then they will wash the one fork that they need to eat and move one. Same goes for laundry. He basically said that if you want your huband to help with chores around the house then you have to assign him what you want him to do. My husband is in charge of vacuuming, yard work, etc. I still probably could share the burden a bit more. But there are just some things around the house that I feel I do better than my husband which has led to some Christian Bale moments of my own when I feel overwhelmed. Guess it is a learning process for us all.