The cliche in marriage, one of the many, is that men complain that women nag.
I never really thought much about this, it's something that's been around for, probably centuries, I know Dagwood complained that Blondie nagged him. Nia Vardalos made a joke about wifely nagging in "My Big, Fat Greek Wedding" but then Nia Vardalos isn't exactly the most original of writers. But it makes my point.
My husband thinks I nag him. My husband thinks that every single thing I do, 24/7 is directed at him anyway. I am not allowed to have any emotions negative OR positive when he's around, because he has, for the last 30 years, been convinced that if I'm frustrated because I got shortchanged at the market I am NOT really mad at the market, I am "yelling at him." Because there's not ONE action I indulge in, including breathing, that doesn't revolve around HIM.
I'm not gonna lie, as the years have gone 'round and 'round I have become more and more miserable, more and more unhappy and it's all gone to my hips because eating is about the only thing I can do that he DOESN'T think revolves around HIM. I am a person of emotion, happy, sad, sometimes frustrated, sometimes angry. Sometimes I grieve. Sometimes I panic. The hubster thinks that each and every one of these is because of HIM, any sound, any movement revolves around him and thus offends him and gives him the right to tell me to stop being happy, or sad, or angry, or frustrated or scared because I'm happy, sad, angry or frustrated at HIM and it's harshing his zen. The other day we were telling my son about something we had seen, we were together at the time and, as the hubster was going on, I interjected something. He stopped speaking and glared at me in stony silence. One doesn't DARE add to the sacred storey teller. He's done this for YEARS, btw, he's done it in public, he did it on Easter Sunday when we were talking with my parents at the breakfast table. When the hubster has the floor, which is 100% of the time, one must NEVER attempt to join in. It's HIS floor. IF the conversation HAPPENS to wander off to something he wasn't present for, like, oh, say, ME, he then stops speaking and stares out into space, thus prompting my father to attempt to bring him back into the conversation and, when the ultimate argument ensues after my parents have left, the hubster will claim that he has nothing to offer because we weren't talking about HIM. I have spent 30 years pointing out that this is rude and 30 years pointing out that I have spent 30 years listening to HIS family's same old boring travel stories and asking questions and laughing at the same out freaking story about them squirting whipped cream at each other around the pool because if I stared out into space in sheer, agonized boredom he would mop the floor up with me, not to mention the same, tired old "you hate, loathe and despise my family" comment he's used for the last 30 years too. We differ on the rude thing too. His mother, who had many wonderful qualities along with a few iffy ones, raised her four children with table manners. His father felt the same way. There's not one of them who doesn't eat with their left hands placed lovingly in their laps. They don't put their elbows on the table. That, however, is what their parents defined as good manners. They all interrupt when others are speaking. None of them think before they speak, they all manipulate, they lie and not one of them knows how to pronounce "I'm sorry." And they ALL are convinced they have good manners because they use the correct fork for their salad.
But I digress.
Back to the nagging:. I realized last night that the reason men think they're being nagged is because none of them LISTEN. On Monday, I gave the hubster TWO and only TWO things that he needed to do this week. To this end I actually set out the requirements to accomplish one of the tasks. He needed to put a padlock on a storage door. I left the padlock with the key on the end table. And he needed to go to the bank and get some information. That's it. TWO things.
The padlock still sits on the end table and he went to the bank, took some money out of the ATM and came home.
Last night I pointed this out and he says I never told him any of this and I'm just a horrible human being who spends every waking minute figuring out ways to make HIM miserable. Seriously? Does he really think I spend every waking minute thinking about HIM? I can't even comprehend an ego like that.
The other night I borrowed his ATM card, because, well, quite frankly, I there's wasn't any money in left in MY bank. This paycheck to paycheck thing sucks. Anyway, when I got back from the store I said "Here's the card back," waved it at him and set it down on the end table. Next to the padlock. Last night, I asked him for the card. He had no idea where it was. I said "I left it right here on the end table, where the cat is now sleeping. Did you pick it up?" His response was to get my older son out of bed and ask him for the card. My son said "it's on the end table." Well, THAT deteriorated rapidly and, right before I left I said "The cat probably knocked it off, I'll check the floor when I get back" and got a 90 second tirade on how I'm just a horrible, miserable person who, apparently, gave him his card back in a deliberate attempt to spew hatred and bile. When I got back, I checked the brown carpet around the table for the brown card and, well DAMN! There is was, right where the cat must have knocked it off. THAT news was met with "oh, did you say something?"
And WHY did we go thought this? BECAUSE HE DIDN'T LISTEN! Why am I nagging him to death? Because I have to keep asking him to do the two errands and every time I ask him if they're done he says crap like "what padlock?" and "you never said I was supposed to go to the bank, you said YOU were going to do it."
Now, I have had a somewhat emotionally disturbing month. In the big picture, there's nothing that couldn't be worse. But, well, sometimes it gets to me. While I know it's not as bad as it might be and I'm grateful my problems aren't any bigger, it still has made me very, very sad about something, some plans I had have gone all awry, I couldn't get the answers I needed to make a decision, I made the wrong one and it resulted in my losing something I wanted very much. Not to mention the neighbor and my fat ass. Well, last night I came home from work, looked at the hubster stretched out on the love seat and walked directly to the kitchen to make the King's supper. I then ate dinner, put the dishes to soak and went to the bedroom where I watched "Jane Eyre" and saw no need to turn the light on.
The hubster has NO clue why I did this and has decided it's because I enjoy being mean to him. Why? Because when I told him what was going on, which MIGHT explain why I'm somewhat depressed, .HE DIDN'T LISTEN. Not only that, he can not wrap his head around the fact that maybe, just MAYBE, I'm reacting to something that DOESN'T REVOLVE AROUND HIM.
And yes, that word means what I think it means.