Fighting over stupid stuff.
She’s mad at me about the landscaping in front the house. Before I left for Australia, I asked our gardener to make a change. Pull out some decorative rocks, and put in plants. I didn’t consult her about it. She was out of town on a work gig, and I was gearing up for a long trip. The issue is weeds in the rocks. The neighborhood association keeps sending me letters to get it cleaned up (with little pictures and everything). Really fucking annoying. RoundUp (and it’s ilk) are evil and should be banned from Planet Earth. I refuse to let the gardener use that shit in our yard. I offered to pay extra for garden crew to pull the weeds by hand. They are not interested. Roundup or nothing was their offer. Lazy fuckers. I usually pull the weeds myself. Only this time I’ll be gone for over a month.
I had the work done while I was gone. Now that I’m home, T points out that she doesn’t like the new plants or the layout. On top of that she is annoyed that I didn’t consult her (probably the real problem). Heated argument in the kitchen.
Really? Fighting over landscaping?
Her friends arrive to pick her up for the day. Interrupt our argument. It’s obvious they heard us from the driveway. Awkward.
She leaves. I’m pissed. Really? Fucking landscaping?!
This is marriage. Sometimes the smallest things turn into arguments. There’s always subtlety under the surface. The real issue? Unknown.
In general, our marriage has not been stormy. We’ve had our moments of anger and doubt, but many more good moments than bad.
I’m fuming around the house for two hours by myself after that. She’s right, we normally talk about this kind of stuff. However, she was half-way across the country working 15 hour days. I knew she wouldn’t have want to deal with it at the time; plus the weeds would just get worse while I was gone. I made a decision, and went with it.
Mad. Bad. Sad.
A concept from family social dynamics. Early in my career I was a counselor. Abused kids and runaways. Many skills I use today, I learned on that job. The basic premise is that one person in the relationship gets mad at the other, but doesn’t want to confront the issue head on. Instead they do something bad to annoy them. Inevitably there is a fight. Afterwards, there is remorse, sadness. Everyone apologizes and feels better.
Marriage is full of subtleties. I’m pissed. She has a point. But I have a point too.
My thoughts of escorting are gone for the day. Spiteful sex is definitely not my thing.
I have a good friend (Henry). We use each other as a sounding board. We have coffee almost every day when we’re both in town. I ping him “Cafecito?” We solve the world’s problems at Starbucks. Our wives tease us that we are secretly gay lovers. The Starbucks crew knows us on site.
It’s funny how clear a solution can be when you are looking at it from the outside. He listens. Laughs at me. Really? You’re pissed about her reaction to the yard?
His advice: “Let it go. Apologize. It is stupid shit. You should have asked. Go for a run. You’ll feel better.”
He’s right. I go for a run. 5 miles. I’m not mad anymore.
I get back from the run. Jump in the pool. I feel much, much better. T gets home an hour later. She’s not mad anymore either. We have a birthday party for one of the interns at the animal sanctuary where she volunteers. We hop a shower and head over.
The party is low key but fun. Two distinct groups: Interns, mostly 20 something girls; and Volunteers, mostly married couples over 40. We’re standing in our appointed group, making small talk. One of the husbands is eyeing the girls who are doing shots of rum over a board game. He’s a little too obvious. LOL.
Yeah dude, be careful with that. This is neither the time, nor place for eyeballing coeds.
T notices what he’s looking at. She and I exchange a chuckle at his expense. We go back to the small talk.
Home in bed by 10.