I’ve come close a few times, but I think I was sleeping. I think I dreamt I loved Michele Bachmann, and woke up screaming.
I know. Some of you would have smiled about that, especially Mr. Bachmann. But I can’t help having a wary opinion about Ms. Bachmann’s policies and Congressional record. And when I say, “I can’t help it.” I really CAN’T.
I have opinions, and they don’t include agreeing with everything.
Still, you’d think that after 37 years of a happy marriage, I would have put together some semblance of unconditional love. I haven’t. I fake it. I’ve got a mental work-around that excuses my wife’s behavior; those few things she does that in my opinion get in her own way, like disorganization.
She would debate me about this, affirming that she’s very organized. But her daily quests for keys, her glasses, cell phone or wallet, that inconsequential stuff, tells a different story. And it takes time to find it all. And I’m a clock watcher.
Tick, tick, tick! Time is precious. I hate burning it for scavenger hunts.
My wife doesn’t like house searches either. So once a year she embarks on a mission. It’s called: Tidying Up. This includes my office. This means I go postal. I have only one room in the house that’s mine, and when she’s finished ORGANIZING it, its hers. I can’t find a damn thing because my wife has tidied up, putting my stuff into containers, inside bigger contains, inside of even bigger containers and nothing’s labeled!
Guys, you know what I’m talking about. Women love jewelry boxes. Why is our TOOL BOX part of their world? I do not need my wife sorting my pliers like earrings and pendants!
Still…I love her.
But like I said, we have this ritual…the fights about my off-limits office and those other things she does that drive me crazy. I rant. She rants louder, and always about something I did fifteen years ago. And NO, it has nothing to do with the subject on hand, but now everything’s my fault. I’M the bad guy!
“YOU’RE NOT PERFECT!” she yells.
“No argument there!” I shout back. “But this is not about ME! It’s about–”
“You think everybody’s stupid but you!”
“I never said that!”
“You’re too critical!” she shouts. “That’s why you don’t have friends!”
“WHAT?! I have friends!”
Guys, you know where this is going. Do all wives flip the fight? The rules of engagement are quite clear! ARGUE ABOUT THE SAME THING! I hate it when she cheats!
Still…I love her.
So much so, I bought her a Mac of her own. And you know why? Because my entire life lives on my hard drive and it’s going to stay exactly where I put it. No tidying up.
For a long time I thought that misplacing things was due to lack-of-focus; that if my wife were more like ME, the world would be a better place. But that’s not how it is in our house, and to be honest, if she were like me, I’d get bored in five minutes. I’m highly demanding when it comes to staying engrossed. I crave informed people and I listen to them. I need input.
My wife gives me input. She’s really smart. She’s a surgical R.N., an interior designer and antique dealer.
So if she’s so smart, why does she use the kitchen sink as a trash can? I hate that.
Why does she forget to charge her cell phone so I can’t reach her when she’s late. I hate that too.
Why does she insist on buying me shirts only a Yale law student would wear? I hate that the most, especially a preppy look! Why won’t my tongue lashings stop her from dressing me like a Ken doll?
I’ll tell you why. She does what she wants to do, and dog-gone it, I respect that. I do what I want to do too and she puts up with me. That’s a big deal. And I’m no angel.
I get frustrated easily, my patience threshold needs more work, I’m critical (as she points out) and I’m a perfectionist (sometimes). According to my wife, I think nobody can do anything better than me. Not true. I’m lousy in German and math.
But when it comes to psychology, I’m knowledgeable, and I’m starting to comprehend why my wife doesn’t finish a sentence before starting a new one, and why she misplaces things.
In her mind she’s jumping ahead, thinking faster than she can move and talk. And yet, unlike me, most of the time, she’s living in the moment. She doesn’t project future cause and effects. She doesn’t consider potential breakdowns like I do. That’s why I’m a good manager. I solve problems before they happen. But I also worry.
My wife doesn’t worry. She takes life as it comes. And every morning she wakes up HAPPY. Me? I wake up JEWISH, waiting for the next slipper to drop.
Actually though, this arrangement works for us. I steer around the holes and she keeps it mellow, until we hit our creative differences. But that’s as bad as it gets, a fight over the right size of a shipping box, where to move furniture or how to arrange my desk drawers.
Still…I love her.
I wish I could love my wife unconditionally, erasing my thoughts about how she gets from A to B, starting with C. And when I offer advice, and sometimes it’s harsh, she barks back, “With all I do for you, THIS is what you’re complaining about?”
She’s got a point. She’s the closest thing to PERFECT anyone can be. So why can’t she be totally perfect? She’s almost there! Way closer than me. If she could just stop losing things and finish a sentence and drive in a straight line, I’d love her soooooo much more.
I’d find something else that could be improved, just like I’m never satisfied with myself. In my world, EVERYTHING is conditional.
I have no idea how I got this way, scoring things the way I do. I want to stop the judgments.
But like I said, I CAN’T.
I don’t know how many people really love unconditionally. Maybe my mom. Maybe Warren Buffett and Taylor Swift. Maybe my wife, even if I’m critical. And I AM.
Still…she loves me. I’m a lucky man.
Originally posted on Curiosityquills. com.