Sunday, April 08, 2007

Reminders are handy. Some people tie strings around their fingers, other folks use post-it notes. I'm going to use this blog.

Dear Mike,

Don't be a dick.


Hank has been working like crazy for the last month or two on the annual fundraising auction for Daisy's school. My reaction to this has been annoyance.

I mean, I know that doing volunteer work for our public school system is a good deed. Without people like Hank assisting both in the classroom and behind the scenes for the auction, Daisy's school would be much poorer curriculum-wise and financially. That much I understand. However, let's look at the flip side of this coin: me.

With Hank spending so much of her time being an asset to society, it left her a lot less time to do things like watch TV with me, or make me dinner. I responded to this situation by doing extra household chores (because I'm not a 100% ass), but my resentment was pretty obvious. I bitched and moaned a bit the first few weeks, but after a while I just suffered in silence. There was a lot of silence.

On Saturday night Daisy had a sleepover, so Hank and I were at home alone. We had briefly discussed the idea of having a date night, but we left that unplanned since we both knew that the auction work tended to fill any time vacuum that Hank had. Amazingly, after an hour or two, Hank announced that she was done working for the evening and was available for a date.

Even though I was now presented with the very thing whose absence had made me cranky over the last few weeks, I was still annoyed, filled with lingering resentment. So, we went on our date (to see The Queen) but I was cranky, civil but cranky. Over the previous few weeks I had perfected an attitude of plausible anger deniability. I didn't want anything to be MY fault, so I had been civil and occasionally helpful, but mostly stoic. I offered my logistical assistance for household issues, but not my emotional support. It was my own little protest.

So, I sat there in the movie, and contemplated my behavior that evening and the preceding weeks. I had been fighting a battle against Hank's volunteerism that I was unwilling to lose. Losing sucks. I was NOT interested in supporting her efforts.

I fast-forwarded in my brain to the end of the evening, when I'd be laying in bed and reflecting upon the day. Would I be happy that I continued my emotional protest? Would I be proud of myself?

I shook off the temporary weakness and repeated my mantra, "Losing sucks." It held for another 30 seconds or so.

I considered whether there was any possible reason why I shouldn't tell Hank that although I still resented all the time she spent on the auction, I was sorry for ruining our date, being distant for the last couple weeks, and generally being dickish. I determined there was no possible reason. I could just TELL her how I felt. It was the obvious course of action. I had been a dick. Again.

When the movie ended, I pulled her aside and made my little speech. It went pretty well.

And that's the story of how Mike didn't ruin his marriage yet. We'll see how I do during next year's auction.

And I heard the movie was pretty good. I missed a lot of it.


patsy said...

i would like to here hanks side of this. to bas youre were such an a-- but worse you admit you probably do the same next year!

Mike said...

I did not admit that I'd probably do the same thing next year, I just noted that it was worth watching how I'd do.

As for Hank's side, I think you've come to the wrong blog. This is MY blog. But, because I am a prince, I'll tell you this. Hank was grateful for my recognition of my dickishness and was apologetic for having taken on such a gigantic task.

Anonymous said...

I heard Mike and Hank totally went to first base at the movies.

carey said...

Dudes have it easy: most of the time that's all you really have to do is apologize and admit to being a dick. Daily would be nice.

Still, aren't you the secretary of the PTA? Doesn't that give you some kind of experience leading to the betterment of mankind??

Mike said...

Anon, maybe, but I got to third base on the train ride home.

Carey, sure, I put in about 3 or 4 hours a month on PTA crap. Hank does that every day though.

patsy said...

bas should have been bad. sorry. maybe hank could comment and let us know how she feels.

Mike said...

Don't hold your breath, Patsy.

Tasty said...

Wow, emotionally awake AND funny. Excellent.

Mike said...

Tasty, I'd go with emotionally groggy and boring, but your mileage may vary.