Monday, September 01, 2008

A Bad Day

Saturday was a craptastic day.

It's amazing how quickly things change.

Over the years, especially since I started blogging, people have made a point of telling me how much they admire my marriage. Which kind of always makes me simultaneously say, "Awwww," and wonder exactly what people are smoking.

Yeah, I love him. Yeah, we've got the fidelity thing down. But there are times when he drives me bat shit crazy.

Saturday was one of those days.

The thing I like least about my husband, as he well knows, is his demeanor. His default setting is...well...mean. He pretty much always looks and sounds really pissed off, even when he's not.

In fact, I'd say that 85% of the time, he's perfectly happy, but about 85% of the time, he looks like he could tear you limb from limb. The furrow in his brow has become permanent.

So when he actually is in a bad mood, it's pretty fucking miserable for me. And sometimes the kids too.

He was in a bad mood on Saturday. Possibly because Sunday was his 36th birthday. Possibly because my crying daughter embarrassed him. Possibly because his hormones got the best of him. Who knows.

But by Saturday night I was ready to trade him in for a new model.

Smartly, I think, he decided to go out to the garage and work on his Chevelle for a while. While he was out there, my mom called.

My mother is one of the only people in the world I can really share shit with. So I mentioned my husband's horrid mood. And she said that my father has been miserable too.

But it's different. First of all, when my husband is driving me nuts, he knows it. When I think he has been too harsh with the kids or relative strangers, he hears it from me. In those rare times that my husband gives me shit, I give it right back.

My mother is afraid to do that.

In fact, she is just afraid period. Not so much of being physically hurt, I don't think. Or at lest I certainly hope not. She's afraid of the big blow up.

I lived in that house long enough to completely understand. There is no talking with my father. No reasoning with him. No matter what you do, it's wrong. No matter what you say, everything is your fault.

He hasn't spoken to my mother in three days.

She doesn't tell him when the kids call anymore. She's afraid. She works in her shop and makes meals and basically just waits for him to wake up. He sleeps all day and is up all night.

And he's going back to the doctor. He's going to lose his eye. The other one isn't much better.

Obviously the man is severely depressed and needs help, but my mother is too afraid to suggest it. His depression comes with rage issues too.

I'm helpless in how to help my mom. You see, I'm afraid of him too. Everyone says that I'm the only person he'll listen to, the only person he'll pull himself together for, but that's bullshit. I've been in the line of that fire before and I am too weak to do it again.

I know my brother is scared too. His way of helping is by doing the things my father can no longer manage.

While I was still on the phone with my mom, my husband came back in and started tickling our son. His mood was much improved. I don't know if he thinks while he's working on the car, or if he just relaxes and cools down, but he was back to normal by the time he came in again.

Sunday was a good day. We celebrated my husband's birthday with dinner out and cake at home. The kids made him cards. And he did a bunch of work around the house. The kids played Happy Birthday to him on their violins and he grinned like a maniac through the whole thing.

From my mom, I learned how not to make a marriage. I learned from her mistakes. She even always told me, "Don't do what I did."

I know my parent's relationship and my relationship with my father affect my personality profoundly. There are so many times I project my father onto my husband. I hate when I do that.

I know I have a great marriage. You can see the worst of it right on this very blog, especially if you read between the lines. But I love him and we make it work.

And I won't ever be afraid of him.

The thing I'm most afraid of is turning into my father.

I don't know what I'm going to do about my father right now. Maybe my husband can make a difference.

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