Tuesday, April 7, 2009

First rule of fight club

Anyone who's been in an intimate relationship knows that every once in awhile there's going to be an altercation. If you live in the south, you might know it as a "fuss," a "flap," a "scrap," or a "ruckus." Whatever you want to call it, we had one last night and oh mama, it was a doozy.

Keep in mind I wasn't having the best day by any means anyway. Heh, I'm already getting defensive and no one's even said anything yet. That's funny. But seriously - shit day. He'd called shortly before I left work to let me know he might be a little late getting home, as his uncle and cousin got stuck out in the woods while turkey hunting and he was going to help them get out.

Jesus, if that's not the most redneck sentence I've ever written in my life.

But that was fine; I went home and to calm down I took a brisk walk, then started gathering up sticks in the yard for the fire I was so looking forward to having later on. I'd just started seeing the glimmer of a good mood begin when Crazy (my mom) called. Oh hell, here we go. She'd sent me a book in the mail, so I knew it was only a matter of time before I had to talk to her, but I was figuring on waiting another few days. For the next twenty-six minutes I listened to her passive-aggressively bitch about everything that had gone on since the last time we'd talked. I should've known better than to ask about my niece's birthday party - you'd think I'd have learned by now not to venture any deeper than the most surface of topics. Thank God Johnann called which effectively got me off the hook. Gotta go, Mom; I'll call you in a couple of days. And by days I mean weeks. Johnann's timing couldn't have been any better, and venting to her everything Crazy had just said brought my blood pressure back down to a safe level.

While I was on the phone with her, I prepared a fabulous broccoli casserole I thought would go great with the steaks we were marinating for dinner. When all else is sucky, food does wonders to cheer me. And if I do say so myself, this was the best broc casserole I'd ever produced. Not that it mattered.

He didn't get home until after 11:00.
He wasn't exactly drunk per se, but if a cop had pulled him over, he'd probably be in some trouble right now.
To say I was not pleased is to not give me the credit my ballistic nature deserves.

He came in, smiled at me and gleefully walked to the kitchen, saying Dinner smells great! He either didn't see or ignored my glowering in his direction and proceeded to get himself some broccoli, not noticing (or should I say caring) there was no steak to go with it because cooking the steak was supposed to have been his job. It's not like I'd even asked; he had offered. When his super Spidey senses finally picked up on the fact I was PISSED OFF, his entire face changed and he realized as Britney used to say, Oops I did it again.

But let's get this out of the way. He's by no means a bad guy. This isn't something that happens very often. In fact it's been so long since it has happened, I think it caught me by surprise. In my head, yes we're both stressed the hell out and sort of on edge, but in a weird way it's brought us closer together. I don't expect never to fight; in fact if that happened again it would scare the hell out of me, because we didn't fight for a long time right before our marriage imploded - because we weren't giving the relationship enough time or energy to fight. Scary. So yes - every so often, at least with us, there is going to be a blow-out. Excuse me, a squabble. Whatever! I guess I was just disappointed it had to be on the night of a poop-ridden day when I'd tried to make it a nice night. Tried and FAILED LIKE A BITCH!

When we fight, I'm the yeller. I'm the thrower of things and the caller of names. I'm not proud of this, I'm just admitting it. He rarely raises his voice and the only time he's ever called me a name is admittedly when I had just thrown so many obscenity-laced words his way, it would've been weird if he hadn't. I hate getting to the point where you say shit that causes you to cringe the next day after you've had time to calm down. I wish there was a way to check myself (before I wreck myself) in the moment so that I could control that a little better. It's fine to try and work on it, but in the moment all rationale goes right out the window for me.

But I'm not one of those wives who will ever bring the pillow and blanket out and throw it on the couch for him. No. I will always be the one to abandon the bed. Not that it's happened very often either; I'm pretty sure this is only the second or third time ever, but there's no way I'm sleeping in the same bed when I'm that pissed off, because it never fails that we'll wake up cuddled up. And OH HELLS NO, that was not going to happen last night. Besides, as shitty as our mattress is, the real punishment is for the person sleeping in the bed. Me and the doggie were perfectly fine on the futon in my closet room, though it would've been nicer had I thought to turn on the heat since we froze all night.

Today he called twice before I picked up my phone to talk. He told me he felt bad about everything but the worst thing was that I'm pretty much the only thing he's happy about right now, that I'm his biggest source of comfort and support and the fact he did something to upset me that much made him feel like shit. I know he means it. And that was the exact right thing for him to say to me so that I was able to let go of the last little piece of anger I'd been stubbornly clinging to. It also allowed him to tell me this piece of news: it's snowing in Atlanta right now.

Just kidding. Today, despite getting some very upsetting news about a dog I'm almost related to (can't talk about that now), I'm doing good.
And really, that's all I ever want to be.


Anonymous said...


Okay, that's done.

Calvin's the yeller/name caller in our fights, and I respond when it would be weird not to, as well. That was an awesome way to put it.

I'm also the one that goes out to the couch to avoid sleeping with The Object Of My Wrath.

I'm glad everything's calm again. These periodic "Come To Jesus" sessions (as we call them) are actually really healthy.

As an aside, Calvin went out to the bar last night, too. I expected him to just run out for a six pack and be right back - an hour and a half and a cold dinner waiting for him later, he comes wandering back in. He SAYS he told me he was going to the bar, but I don't recall it that way. Either way, his bad, because he didn't take his cell phone with him.

So, I win! :D

Taoist Biker said...

I've heard that redneck sentence from my brother before, only during deer season instead of spring gobbler season.

I agree that fighting from time to time is a good sign...that you care enough about the relationship to give a shit, or (and I learned this from my relationship with my ex) that you're not afraid that the real thing that's come between you is too big to even fight over.

I have been the yeller, but only on very very rare occasions. I normally keep a tight lid on my anger. When that lid comes off, it's time to duck and cover.

I do all my drinking at home, alone, almost always after Boy has gone to bed. I am Teh Lamez.

Anonymous said...

Good or bad, fighting with someone you spend so much time with is absolutely natural, I think.

I'm not usually the yeller, but I have been. I'm also not the one that's going to sleep on the couch and, believe me, it was ALWAYS worse for him out there by himself than me in my comfy bed all by myself. ;)

Kim said...

Snerk - Maybe it was husbands' night out and no one told us last night? And yeah - LOVE those times when I call his phone and it starts to ring right there on the coffee table. MORON! (Maybe all my anger is not gone after all)

TB - That's a good way of looking at fights too. You're not lame for drinking at home; that just means it's a way shorter distance to the bed. Oh and remind me never to make you mad.

Heather - If you ever tried my bed, you'd ask to sleep on the roof.

LL Cool Joe said...

I've been with my partner well over 20 years. Yes I really am that old. We fight most of the time. It's great. The day we stop is the day it's over. I enjoy the fire and the passion that goes with arguments, and the making up afterwards. ;)

Anonymous said...

Find a way to get a new mattress...then you can banish him to the couch.

Julie said...

I have had this exact same fight so many times I cannot count them.

Anonymous said...

I think he got off lightly, but there are some cultural differences...drinking and driving here is extremely un-socially acceptable, so if it had been Ian, I would probably have strangled him! You showed great restraint!! :D

I'm the yeller in our house. Ian is the passive-agressive one. :P