January 20, 2009

Crabby Morning

I have so many really great emails from friends, sitting there in my inbox like little jewels, waiting for me to....I guess I wouldn't be answering a jewel. Well, so that's perfect then! I'm too distracted to focus on them, because Paul left for work angry this morning, and even though he wasn't angry at ME, it was still a poor way to start the day.

I was already a little crabby with him because he once again hogged the hot water, and I don't know how he can continue doing that even after I've explained that the way I see it, he's weighing out the hot water in his hands, saying, "I will divide this between my sweetheart and me, and I will do it in the way I think is most fair"---and then he takes 85% of it for himself, so what does that mean about how he feels about me?

And so I was doing some nice careful breathing (through my SHIVERS), and also reminding myself that Paul is not someone who Thinks Symbolically, and even when I point out the symbolism to him he doesn't see it that way, so I need to not always take it so personally, because it doesn't mean he doesn't love me, it just means he's an oblivious fathead.

But because he also hogged the available showering TIME (AS PER USUAL), I got out of the shower kind of late---so he was already a teeny bit late for work when he went out to his car, realized he'd forgotten something, and then realized he'd locked himself out and couldn't ring the doorbell because he'd wake the couple of children who were not yet awake, and didn't have his key because it was already in the ignition of the car, way down the driveway.

His knock was kind of irritable, and when I opened the door for him he made an irritable remark about the stupidness of our whole door-locking system, and I just let that go because I'm familiar with those kinds of feelings and know it doesn't do any good to have someone telling you reasonably that maybe you're just a little crabby about something else and perhaps we don't need to go rushing out to buy a new door this very morning.

(Although perhaps we WILL need to buy a new door if someone keeps SHUTTING it so IRRITABLY. I'm just saying.)

Well, and then he got back out to his car and realized he'd forgotten something else, and a swear word was launched into the fresh morning air, and I had to do some fast thinking. When people around me get angry, I catch it like I'm a lightning rod. And then it has to be redirected at something, and I'd prefer that not be the case when it's just me and the kids in the house, because then a cat is going to get shoved with a foot or a tray of cookies is going to get eaten. Or TWO trays.

You know how worry can morph rapidly into anger? Like when someone is late and you're picturing them in a car crash and imagining how you'd probably have to be sedated when the doctor came out of the operating room with the bad news, and then they waltz in all perky and "Oh, am I late?," and you think maybe you should be sedated NOW lest there be bad news SOON? I wondered if that might work in the opposite direction too, so I tried to change my budding anger into worry. "He's crabby, and he's late, and now he'll be a little bit later, and so he probably won't drive safely," I told myself. "He could easily Never Come Home." Not quite enough. "This could be The Last Time You See His Face." Better. "Later, you'll remember every moment of this morning. This LAST morning." There!

Meanwhile he was stomping through the house to get the thing he forgot, and then stomping past again and shutting the door too hard behind him, and I tried harder to picture him in a hospital bed all hooked up to tubes and machines. Then he REVVED out of the driveway and I added some pitiful bruises to his unconscious face. And put out a stick of butter to soften for cookies.

51 comments:

Hillary said...

The ending on this is perfect. I hope your day gets less cranky.

may said...

Hi there! I'm sorry your morning has sucked. I hate when that happens. And I particularly hate not having enough hot water - my husband did that to me about a week ago and, come to think of it, I unwittingly employed some of your wallowing techniques during and after my shower. (Our upstairs is very small, so he could hear every LOUD SHIVER and GASP - oh, and my VERY AUDIBLE COMPLAINTS.) I'm glad he normally leaves while I'm still in bed; I am NOT a morning person and would probably routinely pick fights with him.

Anyway, enough about me. I hope Paul comes home safely and on time and all apologetic, like, "Hey, honey, let me watch the little goobers while you go light some candles and read in the tub for an hour." Well, here's hoping. : )

jen said...

good god, I could have written this post word for word. I loved the part where you say it doesn't mean he doesn't love you, but that he's just an oblivious fathead. That sums up my husband.. a big, dopey, clueless but loyal dog, who happily does all manner of fetching and is oblivious to my irritation. ahhh.

el-e-e said...

I hate to be entertained at your difficult morning but the way you "added pitiful bruises" just made me laugh. So funny.

I always absorb whatever my DH's emotions are, too, much to my detriment.

Hope everyone feels better.

Pickles and Dimes said...

I loved this post. Especially the ending.

Hope your day gets better. I mean, how could it NOT with potential cookies on the agenda?

Thia said...

Maybe I should take some butter out too...

AndreAnna said...

I am very sensitive to the moods of others. If people around me are pissy and Very Upset About Something Stupid, I tend to follow suit, no matter how hard I try.

And then I stew way longer than I should and I slam and grit and also get Very Upset About Something Stupid to the point where I can't even remember why I was pissed off in the first place.

Oh right, because my husband was in a bad mood.

Yeah, I'm working on this.

Hotch Potchery said...

I am also a mood sponge, and I will try to remember to "add pitiful bruises" next time!

Crystal said...

HaHaHaHeeHeeHeeHoHoHo!! I can't believe how perfectly you summed up a morning like this. I couldn't add even one thing to make it more real! Do we all do this? I have done this, the reverse of worry to anger, anger to worry, but I didn't realize I was doing it for this purpose. Now I am going to laugh my hiney off everytime I realize that this is going on in my head. That should help, actually.

Courtney said...

OH Swistle, you are just hilarious! Your post made me smile a huge smile and my husband just made the dog lick my face and now I have stinky dog-sh!t smelling face and I'm so crabby I could just go bake some cookies myself. But that would ruin my new year's diet that is going strong. So, thanks for the smile. Hope your day gets better and you get a nice hot shower tomorrow!

Stacy said...

I am glad to hear that I am not the only emotions "lighting rod". Sounds like you have figured out a good way to deal with...I think I will have to steal it. Hope your day gets better and the cookies are yummy.

RachelAnn said...

Aww sorry you had a crappy morning already. I swear, this winter has everyone down in the dumps and crabby. I myself have been quite crabby as of late. I tried baking cookies, it didn't help. Hopefully they work for you!

Today Wendy said...

You are a genius :)

Why do guys spend so much time in the shower? That winds up being a problem here too. And I remember when we were kids, my mom eventually had to put a clock in the shower or my brother would actually just stay in there until the hot water ran out.

d e v a n said...

You make me laugh. I'm sorry he was such a fathead dummy today.
I know just what you're talking about with the "Worry that he may never come home" and then he didn't even realize he was LATE. That makes me see RED.

Nervous said...

Like most of your posts, I'm reading this thinking "Oh, I know!"

In the mornings, I need to get in the shower right about the time that he leaves. But I usually end up hanging around near the door until he's actually OUT of the driveway so I can lock up because: I'll think he's going to forget something and end up locked out and pissed while I'm taking my time in the shower, BUT then if I just say screw it, I'm getting in the shower... then most likely he won't lock the door behind him and then I'm in the shower all vulnerable worrying about a SHOWER ATTACK (because really, what's worse than being half awake, naked, wet and trapped in the bathroom while hearing someone in your house? AHHHH!) even though I've expressed this concern and it's not like he's THAT forgetful, but... wow, I do worry a lot, don't I?

Anyway, the lightning rod reference is perfect. Must diffuse the situation! Anger seems to get amplified in the morning and it's a sucky way to start the day for everyone involved. Bleh!

Jenny said...

The Crabby is always contagious in our house. Unfortunately neither one of us knows quite how to calm the other down before we've got it ourselves and then we waste an insane amount of time saying things like "Well if you didn't TALK LIKE THIS to me then I wouldn't have gotten ANGRY when you TALK LIKE THIS" and . . . bah, it's such a headache.

kat said...

I'm having a bad day and it makes me feel a little better to know other people are having bad days too. So maybe that will make your day better knowing that sharing your bad day helped improve another person's bad day a little.

Kristin H said...

Hilarious. You are an excellent writer.

Brandy Rose said...

I am the same way. Peoples moods effect my own. And it drives me crazy that I can't get my husband to understand that.

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

Hope your day gets better. Great post.

Amanda said...

WHAT is it with husbands and the shower? I KNOW what it is *eyebrow wiggle* but GAH they're all such a bunch of insensitive fatheads. Do you ever hear of a WIFE leaving her husband with no hot water? NO! Because we wouldn't DO that. And we just don't have the time to spend in there that they do. We have kids to take care of and lives to lead and can you tell this is a sore spot for me?

Miss Grace said...

I'm sincerely hoping he comes home in a good mood, and you have a nice day so that by the time he comes home you're in a good mood too, and that you guys have a nice evening.

Tess said...

This is one of my favorite posts, and I go WAY BACK as a reader.

Love it.

3carnations said...

I take the first shower. While hubby doesn't use all the hot water, he is slow, so I like to make sure I'm done, then he can be as slow as he wants.

mpotter said...

great post. you really know your emotions--- and how to convey/handle them.
kudos!

i hate when i can't be in a good mood when The Mr. is fussy.

i do hope your day has ended much better!

Anonymous said...

I guess I don't understand your shower anger.

You're a SAHM, yes? You don't have anywhere to be at a specific time, necessarily, right? So what does it matter if you have to shower at a different time? Later, when the hot water is back?

I don't understand how something as small as this can be a big deal to you, that's all.

Anonymous said...

All the shower hogs in our house were female. The youngest in particular -- the rest of us could get hot showers, or she could get a hot shower, but not both.

I eventually took to turning off the hot water at the water heater after a timed 15 minutes, and that helped a tiny little bit.

To be honest, though, if this is an ongoing problem (and not just a symptom of something more serious either), the best answer is simply a larger water heater. That's what we ended up with, and the hassle reduction was worth the money.

may said...

Wow, that was ignorant, Anonymous, and I'm usually a nice person who won't say something like that flat-out. Was this actually a joke? Just because SAHMs "don't have anywhere to be at a specific time..." doesn't mean they can just sit around and shower at whim throughout the day. Hello, there are KIDS in the house that need SUPERVISION!

Sorry, I'm crabby today, too.

Mommy Writes said...

Interestingly, this whole you-don't-have-to-shower-first-thing-because-you're-a-SAHM thing? Is exactly what has led to my current state of frequently-skipping-showers-altogether. Because if I don't get it first thing? I don't generally have time to do later "when the hot water is back." By then, my day is off and running and little things like personal hygiene aren't on the to-do list.

Aren't you all glad you don't actually know me in person? :)

Angella said...

The "worry that turns into anger"? I SO GET THAT. And, um, DO that.

Erin said...

Whoa. I am ASTONISHED at that anonymous comment up there, and my mind has gone BLANK.

This is a terrible way to start a day, but I'm pretty sure it happens to all of us (or, it happens to US regularly). Still sucks. Hope it went uphill from there (is that the right expression? Seems not right. I hope it got BETTER is what I'm sayin).

drowninginlaundry said...

Anonymous Dude.

The point is to have a shower in the morning because even though us SAHM's do nothing all day and 'have no where to be at a set time' (I freaking WISH) we don't like to smell like ass-crack all day long and it is easier to get yourself clean when your youngest children are still asleep and not climbing the freaking walls unsupervised.

Miss Swistle, I also got in a angry match with my partner this morning over the same thing - SHOWERING. He doesn't seem to get that if he hits snooze for an hour instead of getting up and getting to work then WE don't get to preschool/doctors appointments on time.

Also if he leaves for work late (after 9am because my god he just used ALL our hot water and sat on the shitter for 40 minutes) then he is home late which means meal times for the kids are screwed up since we eat as a family each night (and the tooddler doesn't like waiting until 7pm for his 5:30 dinner). Let me tell you his time in the shower can screw a whole days schedule right up. And make me pissy all day as well. And really should I really have to get up at 6am to shower after I spent 4 hours in the middle of the night up with a sick infant? I think not.

Astarte said...

Boy, I've read several comments from fatheads posing as Anonymous People today. Too bad they don't forget how to type along with forgetting their manners.

The reason it's a BIG DEAL is because when you have FIVE KIDS, showering time is at a premium, and needs to be done when the younger kids are ASLEEP so the older ones don't feed them MARBLES.

*Tina* said...

I loved this post. Very well said, and I think we all can relate. You're really a great writer!

Swistle said...

Anonymous- Are you ASKING-asking, or was that rhetorical? I don't want to get into a tussle if you were just flinging a piece of fruit, but if you actually want an answer, I don't want to seem like I'm ignoring you. Well, here's the answer, in case you're asking-asking:

I find that the whole morning goes more smoothly if I shower while there's another adult in the house to supervise the children, and if I don't have to go to the bus stop in my pjs. So Paul and I have agreed to this showering arrangement, where we both shower before he leaves for work. And that's why I'm pissed when he repeatedly hogs what the two of us have agreed to share.

Jen - Mom of 4 said...

Swistle - I totally would get up 5 minutes before Paul, hop in the shower, take a long HOT shower and then let him get in.

If that seems childish, I'm sorry, but it was the only way I could get my husband to understand that he needed to stop using all of the hot water. I totally understand your frustration because you have had this discussion for years. Good luck and have a wonderfully hot shower tomorrow!

Michelle said...

Hee hee... this is why my husband leaves for work before I wake up ;)

And ummm may I suggest that you get one of the keypad garage door openers? They're wonderful :)

Marie Green said...

Oh, the inconviences of living with someone that is not a) perfect like WE are and b) large, hairy and unable to COMPREHEND OBVIOUS THINGS.

We have a fair amount of little scuffles like this too, and while they ARE little deals, they are ALSO big deals too. Especially DAY IN and DAY OUT.

I really hope your day got better Swistle. Please update soon so we know that Paul returned home safely from work. ;)

Also, I'm totally trying this technique.

Swistle said...

Marie- He did arrive safely, and in a perky happy mood. Like, he wanted to know what MY problem was---how come I seemed crabby?

Hairline Fracture said...

Swistle, I love you. This post and the comment above me, in which you update about how he'd totally forgotten about it, just says so much about male-female relationships.

Men. Can't live with 'em, can't shoot 'em.

Swati said...

Well, so that is how the day endeth, eh? The good thing is that if he too had been crabby, there would have been no chance of his asking you about your crabbiness, and that would have led to further escalations. That has been my experience at least :) Hopefully he sorted things out and gave you some 1. time out 2. flowers 3. back massage with lavender oil 4. chocolate coupons 5. all the above.

Amy said...

Anonymous (the one who thinks this is no big deal for a SAHM): Who is it you think is going to watch the children while she's showering? Besides, even in a household of two SAHMs, it would be inconsiderate for one of them to use up all the hot water if both of them liked to shower in the morning, even if they both could technically take a shower any old time.

BDS said...

my husband was the reason i had dirty hair on 1.20.09
a day in history/a day i had dirty hair.

Pocklock said...

Great post. I taste tested everything in the vending machine yesterday because of a similar morning. Mine consisted of being accused of attitude when there was no attitude and instead of saying, "There wasn't attitude." I chose to show him what attitude WAS! LOUDLY!

Sigh. Men.

Kristi said...

I do believe yours is my favorite blog of all time.

Chibi said...

I've had one of those days with The Man-Thing today, too. However, it was me who needed to apologize for being the crank-monster.

Thank god for text messages. ;)

Lishak said...

You truly are a great writer! Hubby and I's solution to the hot water problem is just to share the shower. ;)

Smiling Mama said...

So here's my idea...maybe it will work? Why not turn the temp up on the hot water heater just a bit. I know you probably have it fairly low b/c of the kiddos and scald-potential, etc. But, a few degrees might give you all the extra hot water you need to get in a good shower!

pseudostoops said...

Dear heavens I love this post. I will have to try to "turn anger into worry" next time I'm in a similar spot. I expect great things, since I EXCEL at "turn worry into anger"

DCMomma said...

Ok, your post completely cracked me up. I am a SAHM. Getting a shower can make all the difference, but generally I do it at night, the night before. We have a new water heater, and its amazing after dishes, laundry, 2 kids getting bath how little hot water is left. I've just rearranged things so I can shower when my hubby can watch the kids. Or I put the baby in her crib for a nap, and my 4 year old will watch a movie for 5 minutes in my bedroom on my bedwhile I get this done. It is hard, most people don't realize the actual scheduling that goes around these kind of things. I had a friend who didn't understand why I wasn't lounging at the pool this past summer. 1) We don't have a neighborhood pool, 2) my kids don't know how to swim yet. (They are 1 and 3.) Like i'm on real housewives of orange county or something? Hello, this is the REAL WORLD.

fern said...

Oh how I loved this post. And how I LOL'ed when I read the comment puzzling about why you can't shower later.

I hope your anti-anger cookies were tasty. I'm going for another plate of anti-depression cookies as soon as I hit post on this comment. Cheers!