That time I was the jerk…

Standard

Explaining why I’m upset with someone is not my strong suit. I’d much rather just peace out brussel sprout and be done with the situation. However, since I live with Mancandy, ghosting is difficult to achieve. So. I like to fall back on the standard “let it all build up until you freak out over non-freak-out-able things”. I know it’s not the mature way to handle disagreements. But, it’s what I do.

The trigger for this latest bout of snark was this long discussion we had as a family unit. Mancandy, Minicandy, and I all sat down and hammered out an agreement to relieve some of the unfair distribution of work around the house. It took a long time. There were details written down. We signed the stupid thing. And then, none of the items I was so excited to hand off to someone else ever happened.

Why bother me with a discussion and debate and so much stupid time talking if it was never going to be adhered to? That did not sit well with me. And every time I ended up doing the thing assigned to someone else, the anger was fanned and flames would erupt. I’d wait, give them time to see if they’d magically decide to not be crappy. Not surprisingly, that never happened. They would sit there while I cleaned the areas they were assigned to clean and not even move out of my way.

On top of that, if I asked for items to be taken out of the refrigerator or prepared before I got home so that it would cut down on my cooking time (they get home a few hours before I do), it was rarely done. And when it was done, it was done right before I walked in the door, which defeated the purpose. Then, once I walked in the door and started getting ready to cook, it was always to a dirty kitchen. And Mancandy would stroll in to “do the dishes” as I was trying to cook in the same area. This absolutely enraged me. He had hours to take care of it. Yet every single time I would try to throw dinner on the stove so I could go change and have a few minutes to myself, he was in my way. Talking incessantly while I desperately wanted quiet. Sometimes he’d call Minicandy in to clear out the dishwasher while he was at the sink and they’d both be in my way.

Even when Mancandy would say “I will vacuum the stairs today” it never happened. Every time I took it personally. It was a fight I was losing that he wasn’t even aware he was involved in. Every week that passed I got that much angrier.

We went for a drive when he needed a tux fitting and when he asked why I seemed so stressed, I unloaded. My job, at its essence, is taking care of someone else. I don’t want to be in the position I’m in long term, but I take pride in my work and try to do my best. I put effort into being useful. While I very much enjoy my boss and most of the time enjoy my job, it is more difficult than most people would assume. To constantly be on alert and trying to look ahead for any future issues and focus so completely on someone else can be tiring. To then come home and have to not only take care of most things here but to also be frustrated by lack of follow-through or thought out systems just wears me down after a while. I explained how the lack of follow-through on promises wasn’t fair and hurt. I’d been excited about a different workload. I’d planned on having time for projects or just get some time to decompress and not think about doing everything by myself. It stresses me out when the house is a disaster and there’s so little I can actually impact since it’s technically not my house. I finished up a long dissertation about how tired and stressed I was with the explanation about the lack of planning. If the kitchen is cleaned before the person trying to cook gets home, things go faster and are much less stressful. But how do you not look like a jerk when you appreciate the help you do get, but wish it was at a time that made more sense? I acknowledged I sounded like a brat but wasn’t intending to. I stand by that assertion.

Mancandy nodded a few times and quietly said, “Well, I hadn’t thought of it that way. I just looked at it as a way to spend time with you, I like being in the kitchen with you and talking about our day. Cleaning gave me something to do that I thought you’d like while I was there with you.”

That answer was the perfect way to make me feel like a lukewarm turd.

And here’s the thing. If I’d bothered to have a conversation about it before I got upset, I would have known why he did that and I wouldn’t have gotten upset. It would have been a nice gesture and I would have had much more patience. However, I’d decided everything they did was to spite me and I just got more and more upset each time it happened.

I stand by my thoughts that everyone should chip in. When I was looking for work and home all day, cleaning everything didn’t bother me. I was using that as a way to earn my keep. However, I work really long hours now. I’m home the least of anyone in this house. And they should help. But, instead of being a brave wounded heroine valiantly pointing out inequity, I blasted Mancandy for doing something when he was trying to be thoughtful and do something healthy for our relationship. Life lessons abound.

But let me say, realizing I was handling it wrong and having to absorb that information after being so righteously angry for so long burned the entire way down. It physically hurt. Which probably aims to teach new lessons. But instead, I’m determined to never be wrong again. I’ll let you know how it works out.

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