Weekend Coffee Share: Ladies and gents, my husband!
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I was sorry for having to cancel so many coffee meetings. The last month or so has been … different. I wouldn’t even bother trying to explain. It’d take too much time, and I’d rather hear what’s going on with you, anyway.
(You could find hints of it here, if you were curious.)
For my part, I’d sip sparkling water and tell you I had two terrible nightmares this last week. It’s been a long time since I had nightmares I remembered for more than two seconds after awakening, but both of these were ones I doubt I’ll ever forget. One was horror-movie terrifying; the other, me-at-37 terrifying.
I’d tell you how another friend asked why I’d have a job-related nightmare when my new job is so perfect for me. I’d explain how I smiled and said, “I think maybe it’s my subconscious’s way of saying, ‘You can let it all go now.'”
“Let it all go?” she asked, prompting me to explain how tumultuous and chaotic the last two years have been. Now, though, I feel I am being given a chance to sink into something: to sink into this
job career, to learning, to exploring, and–most importantly–to being completely and totally safe in an environment built around acknowledgment of the fact people are people, not breathing perfection.
I might tell you how my husband and I had the biggest argument of our relationship a couple of months ago. It wasn’t a single-day thing, but lasted weeks.
Of course, if I did that, I’d also tell you that the argument was maybe the best not-child thing that’s happened to us. It took us out of just trudging through the day-to-day and into discussing–and standing up for–what we mean to each other.
Sometimes, I’d tell you, I feel grumpy about things he did six years ago. Things he did six weeks ago! But then I think back to things he did six hours ago and realize, “He’s not the same him. He’s grown, as I have. He’s changed, as I have.”
(Maybe one of the ways I’ve grown is in my ability to see him as he actually is, instead of filtered through my historical (mis)understandings of him.)
I’d grow quiet for a moment before adding, “Sometimes I wish people wouldn’t be so inclined to see me as the bad or boring guy, because I’m the one who’s historically had to make sure Actual Things in the Actual World Get Done. In my ideal universe, I wouldn’t have to spend most my time worrying about things like childcare on sick days and food and rent checks and doctor bills, and could instead spend more time sponge-painting animals with my little boys. But that’s mostly not who I get to be right now, and it’s okay, because someday, I’ll have enough left over to be that lady. And maybe, I think, my little boys see glimmers of that impractical artiste in me today, no matter how little frivolity I have left after taking care of business any given day.”
I’d chuckle, looking down at the ground and remembering our talks as I relayed a conversation where he said that he wants most is to be emotionally supported, to have me listen and hear. How I finally really understood him, even as I offered clarity on my own feelings: “I don’t care if I’m heard as long as you do the dishes. I can talk emotions after practicalities are sorted out. To me, feelings-talk is the luxury that follows if I’m still awake after I’ve taken care of the must-dos of daily life as the out-of-home worker tasked with the care of two small children when you’re working long days.”
I know that we’re two very different people, but that conversation in particular made me smile. I’m still not quite sure how two such different people ended up together … but I’m glad we did.
Hopefully we’ll have many years yet to work on finding our way to the sweet spot where feelings are heard and tasks completed!
After letting all that out, I’d shake my head to clear it and say, “Sorry, sorry! I can’t begin to tell you how optimistic I am about now and the future, not that you could necessarily tell from what I’ve said today!”
Like with my nightmares, I think it’ll take a little while to clear the old junk out of my system.
Right now, I’d report, things are good. Really good. I think they’ll keep getting better.
But you! How are you? I’d ask, before leaning in and, intently, listening.
Last night, my husband–who’s recently encouraged me to be more candid here about our relationship, but was uncomfortable with a couple of my statements–and I
argued had lively discussion about some of what I’d written. I went to bed determined not to post this. Then, this morning, he spent fifteen minutes arguing with me about why I should post it, so by golly, I am … smiling all the while at the goodness of being married to such a fine fella.