Friday, March 28, 2008

Dear Laura

My friend Anna and I had barely sat down to lunch before I moaned, “I think I hate my husband.”

(Anna is single right now. No kids. Nice shoe budget.)

I continued: “I’m tired of his dirty socks on the floor, wet towels on chairs, empty milk cartons in the fridge, dusting, vacuuming, washing bottles. He actually had the nerve to tell me—after barely watching the kid all week—that he needs a break!”

Anna proceeded to tell me about her sister, who is a mother to three, and how they had had an almost identical conversation days before. Here I was, thinking I was dropping some kind of bombshell about my husband when all along Anna and her sister had been standing at the signpost, “Men can suck,” waiting for me to arrive.

She wanted to know if I had asked my husband to contribute more. I said yes. About 500 times a week.

“It’s kind of inevitable, isn’t it—that women turn into nags?” she asked.

Which got me thinking (I feel like Carrie Bradshaw’s character in “Sex and the City,” clacking away at my laptop, waxing philosophical about women’s tribulations)…are women destined to become nags????

I defer the question to Dr. Laura Schlessinger, who recently wrote, “Stop Whining, Start Living.” She answers with another question: “Are you the kind of wife your husband would like to come home to?”

If I’m nagging the answer, obviously, is no. My husband would like to come home to a wife who is waiting at the door in see-through lingerie, a plate of chocolate chip cookies nestled against her hip, a bottle of whiskey between her breasts, her puckered lips purring, “Hello stallion sex machine let’s go set the sheets on fire.” (Or maybe he’d just like me to hand him his Nintendo Wii.)

But there are a few good reasons why I can’t be that woman—very good, legitimate, perfectly acceptable reasons:

1. I’m probably passed out from exhaustion on the floor, gray mop hair stuck to my unmade face, child on my back riding me like some kind of rusty carnival ride.

2. I’m probably simultaneously paying bills, washing my hair, and feeding my son dinner (which sometimes entails whistling the entire time).

3. I’ve probably been eaten by the looming piles of laundry in my husband’s closet—laundry he promised to put away but never did that lying, lazy bastard!

Oh dear, I can’t even make a list without nagging.

Dr. Laura, I would like to be the woman my husband would like to come home to, I really would. But how can I be that women if my needs aren’t being met? Why should I be the one to rise above the proverbial skyscrapers of duty when my husband can’t even remember to throw away the granola bar wrapper that has been sitting on the counter for four days?

Which reminds me, I need to ask him to throw it away. Again.

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