“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”Gilda Radner

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

When You Can't Reach Your Husband and Think He Might Be Dead

I'm going to start this off by being very clear that I don't think I am an expert on marriage and relationships. Like most people, I make a lot of mistakes and only learn from them sometimes. I think that, for me, it stems from the fact that in a marriage, there's very little you can hide about your personality from someone else. It's super hard to pretend to you're not flawed when someone hears you fart in your sleep, has caught you shaving weird parts of your body, and has, at some time or another, on purpose or by accident, walked in on you going to the bathroom. Because of that, it tends to be what I call the natural imperfections, our humanness, that leads to the mistakes made in relationships. And since as humans we are all unique, it is our unique flaws that seem to show up as issues most often.

For me, there is my insanity, I know. Though I'm mostly perfect, it does happen--infrequently, barely noticeably--that I get a teeny tiny bit overly nervous or anxious about the well-being of the people I love.

Yesterday was a regular day in my life. My niece had slept over, my own kids were wild and fun, later in the day I watched my nephew while my sister-in-law ran to the store. We had scrambled eggs for dinner because Joey injured his gums with a lollipop. You know, the usual.

So it didn't occur to me at first, in the midst of all the usual business and, well, whimsy, that I hadn't talked to my husband in awhile. 

He had called just before lunch, I knew, and it had been a bit chaotic, but things had been fine. With the kids making a ruckus I could barely concentrate on what Joe was saying, but I knew if it had been an emergency he would have made that much clear. So, a nice, normal check-in at lunch time.

It is quite normal for Joe to work through dinner. My children have a bit of an early bedtime, too, so sometimes Joe comes home just after that. I don't usually panic about this because I am used to it in Joe's line of work (Hardcore Accounting: watch out for those bad boys). After Joey and Noah were asleep, I distracted myself by reading a new book. I was pretty engrossed, but when I realized it was 8:30 pm and I still hadn't heard from Joe, I started to get nervous.

I called. I emailed. I texted. I repeated. Several times. Nothing.

Long story short, he was fine, had been in important meetings with important people and had then gone out with colleagues to get some dinner and hadn't heard his phone going off. But I was mad. Crazy, off the charts, foaming at the mouth mad. This had never happened before--ultimately ten hours of not knowing if Joe was okay--and I was really scared. I had been close to calling the police and sending them to the bank where Joe works. Worst of all, this morning, when I mentioned I was mad, he didn't apologize

He left for work thinking I was just a silly wife who worried too much. This sent me over the edge I think, only exacerbated by the fact that I had to get Joey to golf lessons--something Joe for which had signed him up but for which I had to do the running around--and I was running late (when I'm mad, I like to look REALLY good because it makes me feel more powerful, but putting on makeup set me back ten extra minutes) and then, of all freaking things, the road by the golf course was CLOSED. I had to battle the construction men to get through, and then got into a fight with them about whether or not I could get through later to pick Joey up. Based on that discussion, I don't think they'll mess with me again. 

To make my point, I called Joe about ninety minutes after he'd left for work to "see if he was okay." I know--really it was just to remind him I was still upset. But this time, maybe it was the time or the safe distance away from my insane temper, he did apologize. Heartfelt and all that. Unfortunately, I had just been arguing with the construction guy, so it didn't get Joe very far. I dutifully accepted his apology, but told him I was still angry and would need hourly updates on his safety and okayness. I sent him a text that said, "I love you, asshole." I'm not ashamed. I do love him, plus he is the father of my children and I thought he had been dead, and so it seems like the least I could do.

Finally, I had to dance it out. I turned on some One Direction, a punchy boy band that completely satisfies some ingrained need I have for the presence of a good current boy band in the world, and involved poor innocent Noah in a major dance-a-thon, and then felt better. Clear headed at last, I composed what I think is a very reasonable and proactive email to my husband. I'll copy and paste it for you to read below:

Dear Joe,

I have decided to forgive you, HOWEVER:
1) I don't really.
2) I need the cell phone numbers of Sally*, Francisco, and Geraldo. Possibly Geraldo's wife. 
3) If I can ever NOT get a hold of you again (and have not been informed you will be in a very long meeting with a VIP), I will be texting these people, one by one, by order of previously discussed and agreed-upon importance.
4) If I cannot reach you and cannot determine your whereabouts through the above means, I am alerting the police and sending them to The Bank to search for you.
5) If the police discover you are completely fine and just a massive BOOB, I will embarrass you socially and professionally by sending a male stripper to perform a public lapdance for you. He will be informed ahead of time that he will NOT be paid unless I see a photo via text message of him performing said lapdance for you specifically.
Have a nice day. Can't wait for my hourly alert that you are alive.

 Is there a moral to the story? It's in there somewhere. In the meantime, I can happily inform you that Joe is, at this moment, alive and well. I just got a text. :)

*Names of Joe's friends/colleagues have been changed to protect their identities. Would YOU want to be associated with him right now?

1 comment:

  1. I cannot even count the number of times I have sent Ben the "I love you, asshole" text.