If you are going to invite the missionaries over, you should at least be there to help. I know I said that I would take care of it, but you should know that I meant I would take care of most of it. Not all. I still need you there to help. But no, you are off studying somewhere. Thinking that everything is going to be perfect when you get back. But really, I just got out of the shower from work, my hairs is sopping, my make-up is not done, the house is a mess, we don’t have a bread, drink, or a dessert, and the table isn’t set. So yes, I took care of the main dish, but you should have been there for the rest.

This is my thought process as I am bumbling around trying to get everything together for the missionaries. I grumbled and gave David the cold shoulder as soon as he entered the door. He said sorry. He said, “Please forgive me. I didn’t know.” But I continued to turn from him. And then he had to leave to pick up the missionaries. So our night will be filled with fake smiles and superficial conversation about how everything is going fine. I pick up the computer and books off the kitchen table and lug them into the bedroom. I realize that I also have to write a talk about baptism for tomorrow, and I haven’t even begun. Talk. Speeches. I pause as I throw the lettuce into a bowl. David had to give a speech last night at the dinner he went to.

I was sitting at the computer when he finally walked through the door last night at 7:30. I looked up, annoyed.

“Hi, sweetheart,” he said, “How are you?”

“I thought you said it would be over at 5:30?” I questioned.

“Well, it went longer.”

I roll my eyes, “Typical of your life.”

Do I ask how the dinner went? Do I ask how his speech—that I helped write—was received? No. I don’t even ask him about his day. I proceed to tell him about the frustrations of mine and how I can’t get certified and how I have to find a temp job before I go crazy. How I can’t stand being alone for that long each day. How I want to go back home. How I, how I, how I.

But I didn’t even ask him about his day.

I slow down as I set the table and really wish I hadn’t been so unkind when he first came in. How I wish I wasn’t emotional. How I wish that I had given him a hug and let the house be messy when the missionaries came and forget the stupid side dishes, at least we would be happy. How I wish that I had asked him about his day. How I, how I, how I.

And that’s when I realize, not only do I get worst wife award—but I deserve it.


T & J said...

I love your writing style. I knew it was you before I saw David's name. Just like we discuss in seminar all the time, good writing is when you can get the audience to connect to you in some real, honest way. My eyes were burning because of the honesty and the comment about marriage that you captured in this post. I connect with the loneliness and the overreacting about things that in retrospect aren't as important as how his day went. I'm so glad I checked the W.C. blog while I was sitting here trying to decide what to write.
Just wondering--why can't you get certified? That is my biggest fear; you must be so lonely and stressed and usure about where to go next. Remember that you're loved and appreciated by a goup of writing geeks in Idaho.
We're looking forward to seeing you when you come to visit us!
~Jami Nichols~

Sky said...

J. I agree completely with Jami. You're a WRITER. How refreshing to read unjustified straight reality. Your honesty cleans my mind. It's effect is stunning--I don't care about your subject as much as your approach. Because you chose not to make excuses or paint David worse than he was--or paint you worse--it's just what happened--I felt empathy and then admiration as you repeat "How I,how I,how I." And the opening? Wow. Can't wait to see you. We'll throw together another party.

Chan said...

I had this wife one time that lit my hair on fire. On purpose. And she'd always throw sharp, pointy things at my face. And she bought a dog without discussing it with me first. So you're runner-up for worst wife, Julie. Sorry.

iBo said...

Chan, you would have a wife that would set your hair on fire. Somehow I'm not surprised. Julie, I love reading posts like this from you and the other married people around here. It's nice to read something different from the "oh everything is perfect in married land because when you get married everything becomes perfect". It's so honest it's scary because we live in a place that tends to look at the world through rose coloured glasses.

Leanna said...

Beautiful writing! It really pulled at me deep inside, possibly because it reminded me of similar times like that with my own husband, especially at the beginning of our marriage.

In the first few months of being married, I remember getting so tired of having to hide tissues under my pillow so I could pull them out and cry into them without Lance hearing me grab tissue from the box.

Anyway, this is my lame way of saying while you're situation is unique and different from anyone else's, I guess I just want you to know that you're not alone.