I wanted to go to an open casting for a certain television show. If my teammate and I were to pass the interviews and become contestants it would require a potential 3 months leave of absence from… basically life as I know it. Jack would be entirely responsible for the girls while I lived in a lovely ranch in California and worked out 4 -6 hours a day and relearned how to eat. 3 whole months of putting myself and my health first. It would be a tremendous sacrifice for all of us, but the results? A healthy me? An extended life? I thought they were worth it so I approached Jack with the idea.
I started small – with the initial interview in a nearby city. “But you’ll miss Amelia’s tournament. And who will watch Olivia while I coach?” The obvious answer is any one of the 4 grandparents who attend Amelia’s game. “You’ll have to arrange it,” he said. Not a problem. We also had plans to spend half-days at the local Big Dog Hotel with his sister and her family. I’d have to miss that. There’d be no way to get back before checkout. The older 2 girls don’t need us with them, and in fact prefer to have us nearby only because we’re The Money. That means Jack would have to hang out with Olivia in the kiddie area. It is a sacrifice for him because he’s a big play baby who loves the tubes and the wave pool. I get that he would be disappointed. But that’s not what he brought up. Instead he adopted a tone.
Women, you know this tone. The obviously you haven’t thought this through tone of condescension. “Who’s paying for your trip up?” I am. “Do you even know this woman you’re wanting to do this with?” Nope. I am in the habit of traveling with strangers I’ve only IM’d while I hang out in porn chat rooms. Is this a problem? “Who’s going to watch the kids while you’re away?” Their father? It could be any one of a hundred guys. I’ll get the phone book and my diary. “What about when I have to travel? Who’s going to take care of them then?Did you think of that?” Whomever you recruit. When did you become helpless?
The response I wanted was the one I always give him. I wanted him to look me in the eyes and say, “If it’s important to you we’ll make it work.” What I got was, “What about the Y membership I bought you? I bought it and you don’t use it.” Uh, because we’ve all been sick and the last thing I want to do is drag my already compromised snotty kid to a place where other compromised kids are hacking away with some new and improved super flu. Before the illness set in, I was a regular if not daily attendee at the Y. “What’s the allure of going to California?” he demanded. “What can you do there that you can’t do here?” Besides it being a once in a lifetime experience? Besides going to a place where the only person I have to worry about and take care of is me? A chance to focus on myself and only myself for (potentially) 3 months? A chance to fall into good habits that I can bring back to my family? And let us not forget the potential to win $150,000? “I want you to lose weight,” he said. “But you can do all that here.”
Right. What I hear you saying is… “I want you to lose weight, but not if it inconveniences me.”
It was a silly argument to have. The probability of my partner (who I met in a porn chat-room remember) and I even making it past the first round was close to zero. And even if we did, moving past the 2nd round of eliminations? Even more remote. There are tons of people out there with more interesting stories that ours. Even if we had gone on to become contestants we’d most likely get voted off early on because we’d be that much of a threat!! So yeah, the argument on its surface was pointless.
Still it did bring up a lot of the issues Jack and I struggle with. Things aren’t all witty banter here at Chez Rosie. Sometimes we get mean. Sometimes the palpable tension-filled silences stretch for hours. Like it did when this particular argument occurred. He came to bed around midnight. “I love you,” he said as he tried touching my feet with his. “I know,” I said. I moved my feet away and tried to sound as bored as possible. “I love you too.” *yawn* “Do you want to talk about it?” he asked. His feet still accosted mine under the covers, but I am nothing if not agile and I skillfully avoided him. “No. I don’t want to talk about it. Because if we talk about it I’ll get angry again and you’ll just fall into an easy sleep because it’s what you always do and then I’ll be up all night hating you while you sleep.” Also? If I’d talked with him I would have ended up being the one to apologize and I don’t think I’m the one who needs to do that. “Okay,” he said with another tone(the one that says you should pop a Pamprin. You know it ladies), but I ignored it and fell into a good sleep before he did so SUCK ON THAT, JACK! I hope my fat induced snoring and apnea didn’t inconvenience you.