The Odd Wife

Monday, December 27, 2004

EH's Christmas

Here we sit in a quiet and tired house and you can tell that Christmas is over:
Overtired, overstressed, or—in the case of the daughter—over stimulated. Even the pets are over being left behind so often. But in all it was a very good holiday. The kid cleaned up and, even despite some missteps of relatives, we had a pleasant go of things. It is always good to get together and do the family & friends routine, but we never have enough time to do it properly.

Under our roof we came to discover just how much on the cusp of adulthood our little one, Silly Girl, has grown. For starters we still act out the charade of Santa, but the prevailing theory is that she is playing along for our benefit. As proof she has been battling sickness for a few days and she is the sort to say nothing at all about her condition before sending forth a torrent of vomit. Most kids would whine and bitch until they get the Florence Nightingale treachment. Our young’in doesn’t want to bother us with her condition. To the same extent we feel she is humoring us by “believing” in Santa.

I did well enough on my end by giving the Odd Wife a proper mixture of gifts that were sentimental and humorous, and she seems to have appreciated both attempts. One present was “The Sims 2”, and it has been fun watching her wrestle with her first character who refuses to be anything but a whore of a lesbian. With me she hit a homer with some well targeted Tommy Bahama items, but the truth is I didn’t give a damn what she gave me. Simply having a Christmas was more than enough for me, and that is not some bullshit Currier & Ives seasonal treacle.

As she has stated before this year has been quite rotten for us, and the fact that some of that wretchedness was my fault still brings about the acid reflux. At the start of ‘04 we were battling through some standard and some atypical marital challenges, and we allowed a fair amount of resentment to seep into our relationship. My way of dealing with the problems was to act out and act selfish. I sought solace with anonymous comfort on the web and TOW really had every right to cut me loose. Instead she managed to find a way to see fit to try to understand what had happened.

There is no way of describing just how hard the following months were for us. Resentment and confusion prevailed, with a fair amount of rage. I could do little more than take it. On the first day when she came to confront me on it at work I expected her to be furious and knowing I was wrong I could not defend myself--in fact when she first let fly physically I even stepped into her blows. We spent numerous long nights hashing and rehashing what happened; she trying to figure out why I did what I had done, me trying figure out what I could do to repair the damage. The expression “Two steps forward, one step back” was more than apt at that time. We would have a stretch of good times, and then suddenly it would seem we were plunged right back to our problem. Even today I do not pretend things are fixed, but I try to enhance those things that are working.

Making things harder on us were the mounting problems that would have been a confrontation to any relationship. She lost a lucrative job, we twice were chased out of our home within a month by hurricanes, and worst of all we lost our baby at mid-term. These things only augmented the problems that existed between us, but we continued and we managed to find our way. Eventually we arrived at a point when we began to feel good about ourselves once again.

Of late we have become something altogether different to the extent we have said we may not be where we are today had we not had those problems. That by no means is to say it justifies my actions, but possibly it woke us up to the fact that we had arrived at a crossroads and had some serious decisions to make. Today I am quite thrilled to say we have made some right decisions. We can smile together again. We can enjoy doing things solely because we are doing them with each other. And maybe the biggest test of all comes when we have things that we need to do, and we enjoy those moments as well. The past few weeks with the compulsory time spent shopping, running errands, and traveling about were actually a joy.

None of this of course would have been an option had my bride not had the strength to resist the normal urge to send me off way back then. I’m certain most people she knows told her to ship me off with a one-way to “Who-The-Hell-Cares Junction”, but she weighed everything that was at stake and deemed to gives us a chance. Because of that I can now spend days looking at her with admiration, affection, and desire.

Some people consider her unique, never quite too sure how to properly regard the distinctions. I love that aspect of her, that quirky, expressive part. Her entire office walks by her cubical decorated for Christmas with pink walls, glitter snowflakes, chartreuse champagne glasses and other glam effects, and they have no idea what to think. I approached it the first day and was neither shocked nor bothered. Her workmates waited for my reaction and I said, “I thought you told me you were busy today?!” People sometimes ask me about that side of her and I scoff at them. It is not a side, she is multi-faceted.

Today I’m only too grateful to her for the ability to bring us back to where we are, the two of us reveling in each other’s personalities. While Christmas shopping last week we always found ourselves gravitating to the things we both enjoy. One day on the swanky shopping road brought us to spend too much time in her favorite consignment shop and our local Tommy Bahama emporium. We shopped for house wares at a huge surf shop that had a broad tiki décor section, and we browsed extensively at a goth/punk shop we found in the mall. All the while I insisted she do so while wearing her reflective Santa hat because every time she put it on she had this huge warm smile on her that I couldn’t help staring at.

Like most everything else, this holiday was mostly a challenge for us, but the major difference for me was that we did not have that oppressive feeling of despair on our shoulders. Instead we smiled at each other and managed to shrug, because we felt somehow something else was more important. We could not be at this point if she was not the woman that she is. While I did what I could to mess things up between us she was able to look me in the eye and say she would not let me. By all rights I should not be around.

On Saturday Morning my daughter got enough boxes of Bratz dolls to fill a mall foodcourt, The Odd One got to laugh at some well chosen gifts from myself, the dog got to tear apart a stuffed lobter chew toy, the cat got to gorge of half a can of cat treats, and even the hamster got to find celery in its stocking. Me? I had the best gift of all…I got to see it all.

Posted by The Even Husband :: 4:47 PM :: |
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