Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Silent Treatment

"You and me of the 10,000 wars."

Just yesterday, my husband and I were talking about how compatible we are. He even gave me a list of the good things about me, how I give him space, especially when he comes home from work, his will to live sapped, when all he wants to do is sit in front of the TV with his mouth open and drink chocolate milk. Nesquik,  his drug of choice. He also said that I am good at amusing myself.

True dat, as Veronica Mars would say if she was here and real and not just a character in a long-ago cancelled television drama. I am easily amused, which is a good thing, because my spouse is a Type A workaholic who takes about one day off every fortnight. He also said I laugh at things that would not have pleased the previous regime.

I accept him as he is because I got him this way. But I do understand that things might have been different if we were raising baby twins together, so I don't blame the previous regime for not wanting to be a married single mom. And having one broken marriage under my own belt, I know that when you have crossed that point of no return, nothing the other person says is funny, no matter how funny it is.

I like to think I have grown to the point that I know what really is important and what is just background noise, so it is unusual that we mixed it up a bit tonight. And while I don't believe that love means never having to say I'm sorry, I do know that love forgives and that we both immediately regretted the moment although neither of us wanted to be the first to admit it.

To set the scene, I was crying mad because I had just found out that a glass order I placed on April 30, the last day of a sale, for $300 worth of glass that I really wanted, was not received by the vendor, apparently due to a hiccup on the vendor's website. And the vendor's attitude was, sorry but there is nothing we can do about it. Naturally the vendor is the only U.S. distributor of some of the glass, and has me over a barrel if I still want it. Which I am pondering.

I had barely hung up the phone when my husband got home to change clothes and have some chocolate milk before going out to play softball. He listed to my story, said some appropriate things, and then did something utterly audacious. He changed the subject. He started to talk about coins he is watching on ebay, which is something he talks about, oh, on average, all the time, and I said something like, "you have a one-track mind." And instead of laughing, he got up and left the room. Pointedly.

Funny how silence can shout so loudly. He went to change, which always takes him forever because I think he reads a chapter of a book every time he goes into the changing room. I amused myself (easily) until he came out and got a glass and a spoon and a gallon of milk and sat down at the kitchen table with his Quik. OK, two can play that game. I got up and went upstairs. He caved. He asked, "how is Digna?" which was code for "I want to break the silence and be friends again." "Fine," I called, in no uncertain terms. Digna is the housekeeper.

I knew he wouldn't leave without saying goodbye, and he didn't, and I did say that I was sorry he got mad at me. Which is tantamount to an apology that is sincere but unapologetic. And by the time he gets home, all will be well again, barring the possibility that I will take a bath and be in bed with the lights out.

This wasn't the blog post I meant to write tonight. I've recently become a follower of Kelle Hampton and her blog, Enjoying the Small Things. Kelle chronicles the game-changing diagnosis of her newborn second daughter Nella with Down Syndrome, in her blog and in her book Bloom, which has just hit the bookstores. With evocative words and photographs, Kelle bears witness to the fact that life is both hard and amazing, and that by looking harder for the beauty, the more places you are likely to find it.

One of Kelle's themes is that we all are more alike than different, and this week she challenged her readers with these questions: "Have you found beauty in the unexpected? Has life taken you on a different path than you envisioned? What have you learned from it?" She invited us to tell our stories. In 300 words or less.

I gave this a lot of thought and actually sat down to write my story, but by the time I had edited it to 300 words (exactly), I realized I could not tell it properly in 300 words. That was going to be my blog post tonight. But since I have already used something like 850 words, I will save it for a rainy day. Or for tomorrow, it could happen.

I have been reading some of the stories written by others (many of whom apparently can't count words) and it does make my story look more like I have always lived a charmed life. And in many ways I have. One of the things my mom used to say is that if people put their dirty laundry out on the line, people would take their own dirty laundry back in. Better the ring-around-the-collar you know, etc.

"After the battle and we're still around, everything once up in the air has settled down, sweep the ashes let the silence find us. A moment of peace is worth every war behind us." The Indigo Girls again.

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Thanks for your comment! I will post it as soon as I receive it. Liz