Crossroads

If you came to this post thinking it is a review for the Britney Spears movie which goes by the same name as this post, you probably shouldn’t read this. And you should get Netflix or something.

Anyhoo.

When you are married or with a person for a long time, it’s possible to ignore certain faults. Certain weaknesses. We tiptoe around them initially, maybe laugh at them together when the time is right, roll our eyes later.

Ok – maybe we don’t ignore them.

We tolerate them.

For example, John tries not to notice when I wear my pajamas all day. This doesn’t happen every day. Just the majority of days. I work from home a lot and it’s just convenient. Sometimes, before he comes home from work, I will run up and take my shower and change into jeans and a new shirt. But I think he knows.

He would call it “laziness.” I prefer to call it “being laid back.”

He doesn’t complain about it though. Too much.

He overlooks my moodiness. To most people, on the exterior I look like a sweet, nice person. Soft-spoken, perhaps. But inside? Inside I feel like a raging pitbull, you know, with drool running down its face, some days. He won’t know what days those are though because of my deceptive sweetness and them BAM! he sets me off.

He calls it an “aggressive temper.” I have termed it as being “overly passionate.”

Sometimes with good reason. Sometimes not. Just kinda depends.

Things that were endearing when we first met don’t seem as cute or as gosh, I dunno – quirky - anymore. They just seem weird. Actually, they might even piss us off a lot.

Like, John has this habit of calling me right around 5:30 every night and saying, “What are you thinking about dinner?”

The conversation goes like this.

John: So what are we doing for dinner?

Me: I don’t know. What are we doing for dinner?

John: I asked first.

Me: No hablo Ingles.

I mean, why does the simple fact that I don’t have a penis put me in charge of dinner? We both work. We both have late calls.

But I do it. I make dinner. Whether its because I am better at it or because I have a vagina, I can’t be sure.

He leaves his sports bar wrappers around the house. I leave open cans of Diet Pepsi everywhere, with just a teeny bit left inside. He refuses to complete a task. I refuse to stop nagging him about completing a task.

But the thing is, just like I now recognize those “cute” things as “annoyances”, there are some things I never thought to notice at all.

Like how always takes out the trash. How he always brings in the mail. How he always gets my phone and charges it at night. How he is so much better at being a jackass with the kids than I am. How he handles the bills. Stuff like that.

When I think about it this way, perhaps I am not bringing much to the table actually.

My friend Anne Marie said it best.

“You know, every morning I come down the stairs and there is a dirty pan on the stove. It’s never cleaned. Without fail, it’s there every single day. And I hate it.”

I nodded my head. Right on girlfriend. But then she added something.

“But I think to myself, what if that pan wasn’t there? What if I came down and it was missing? That he wasn’t there? That would be something so much worse for me. So I deal with the pan. Because the absence of that pan is something I couldn’t face.”

I thought about what Anne Marie said a lot the past few days. Not necessarily about cleaning pans. John hates to clean those too. But what it would mean to not have those “quirks” of his that I complain about around.

When you end a relationship with someone – whether it’s your spouse, a family member, a friend - you might feel a certain sense of freedom. Freedom from the weight of those weaknesses that you feel have hurt you, have confined you, have annoyed the shit out of you. But with that freedom comes loss too. A loss you may not realize or appreciate until it’s too late.

That is not to say that goodbyes are not necessary at times. That it’s ok to throw away some pans. Not at anyone, of course. Because that’s being a little TOO “overly passionate.”

Maybe it just means we should be just a little easier on each other. And that’s something I think that needs to be there if we are going to make this work.

XOXO,

Kiran

P.S. John, if you read this, I will stop wearing my pajamas if I can buy more yoga pants and sweatshirts. They call it activewear. Go figure. I will try to do more than sit at my computer in them.

17 Responses to Crossroads

  • Kristin Zaslavsky says:

    I tried to leave a comment and it got eaten. But: that dinner thing drives me nuts.

    I’m not easy to live with either – and we both prefer living together to the alternative – but that dinner thing drives me nuts.

  • I love this post and your honesty in it. I have been thinking about this at times as well, there’s so much we do accept or laugh off in the early parts of relationships that can come back and drive us absolutely nuts. I could make a list…but I still get butterflies sometimes when I look at my husband and love him like crazy. Finding the pan was missing would be much worse that having to clean it (wise words from your friend). And I have my many flaws as well, I’m sure he could make a list about me too :) I’m new to your blog, glad I found it – great post!

    • Masala Chica says:

      Thank you! For a while this year, my husband and I were thinking about separating. I wrote about it a few posts ago. And while so much came down during that time and we started to realize what it was that we wanted to be away from, I was paralyzed when I realized what it would mean to not have him and his stupid pans or whatever – in my life.

      Trust me, the list he could write about me would be EPIC.

      Glad you came by and hope to see you again!
      Kiran

  • Alison
    Twitter:
    says:

    A lot of what my husband does (and doesn’t do) makes me insane.
    But I think about what if he wasn’t here to annoy me ever again. And I don’t like it. So I put up with the inside out shirts when I’m doing laundry, the coffee cups that are inches away from the sink but not IN the sink, the socks that are discarded willy nilly. (I won’t go on)

    Just as he puts up with me.

    • Masala Chica says:

      Wait – that’s so funny. He leaves it inches from the sink, right? i wonder what part of taking the rest of the journey to the sink scares them the most.

      Yes – love that way you said it, Alison – just as he puts up with me.

  • I think you hit the nail on the head. I had a friend tell me that I was so lucky and that in ways it’s easier for me than her…I think people often underestimate the absence of the other person’s presence. I miss the pan… not so much the person who left it there, but that there WAS a person to leave it there, if that makes sense.

    Sadly, that friend removed the presence and immediately got what I was saying. Now she’s replaced it to quickly and the everyone fears she’s going to burn herself and her children with the new pan!

    • Masala Chica says:

      Oh no, you should always wait to invest in new pots and pans. They stay around for a while if you get the right kind. Wish your friend luck and remember, you don’t have to wash any pans for anyone, darling. And on days when that’s hard, remember that you don’t miss the person who left the pan there. He probably left dirty underwear around too. Yes – that’s how you should think about it!

  • Such a great post!! You totally just described my marriage. My husband has lots of the same “quirks” as yours, and I am so strikingly similar to you in personality traits. I agree – however annoying, or, challenging, shall I say, his traits are, I could never imagine not having him by my side. He balances me out, he supports me with strong arms, and I know that I am extremely lucky to have him. Looking forward to celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary in August 2013 (15 total years together as a couple.)

    • Masala Chica says:

      Wow – 15 years, huh? That’s amazing. And I think you say it best when you say its about balancing each other out. I think that’s what we do. Sometimes we get lopsided, but then we are ok again. It’s kind of like a see-saw.

  • Peg says:

    Love this post. A wise person once told me that marriage is a choice you make every day to love that person even when they are driving you insane. Kier and I have been through so much these past few years and he’s not always the husband I think he should be, but at the end of the day he’s the guy I want sitting across from me watching Top Chef and cracking jokes with.

    So glad you guys are making a choice to go down the same path. Love you guys!
    Peg

    • Masala Chica says:

      We love you too, Peg. And it is a choice. A continuing one that we have to evolve with and that never is really the same. Because we change, our circumstances change – all that stuff makes the choice from year to year – even day to day as you said.

      XOXO,
      Kiran

  • I don’t know why dinner always falls to me, either. I get annoyed. But then again, it’s a small thing to deal with, really.

    And I swear by my activewear. ;)

    • Masala Chica says:

      It’s a small thing to deal with at the end of it all. And if he takes out the garbage, I will be quiet about it.

      I must load up on activewear!

      Hope you are well, darling. It’s been a while, I know.

  • Laughing out loud. This is so, so familiar. I totally rush into real clothes at 6pm sometimes in hopes that Matt will not notice that I spent all day in my pajamas. And last year my daughter flinched when I wore my pajamas to drop off (these were bright pink pants, so, I think, a little more obvious than the usual black ones) and admitted it embarrassed her “just a little bit” when I wore my pjs to drop off. Ooops.

    • Masala Chica says:

      It’s not my fault that I find pajamas so very, very comfortable. And you know what the best kind are? The Vera Wang collection at Kohl’s – they have these really soft cotton ones that are KILLER. I would even wear them on a date with the right accessories!

  • Ilene
    Twitter:
    says:

    Great post and I love your honesty and insight. You are right – we complain about the quirks of others – but would it be worse if they were just not there to begin with? I LOVE my active wear by the way!

    • Masala Chica says:

      It would be worse. In my case and with the decision I almost made, it would have been much, much worse.

      You look hot in activewear. I need to go get me some. I have a feeling you are more “active” in it than I am ;-)

      Kiran

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MEET KIRAN
I'm Kiran, I'm a dreamer. A writer. A singer. A mother. An ugly crier. An Indian-American. Who loves Gandhi. My stories are full of truth that is sometimes hard for me to say out loud. This blog is where I overcome my fears and live (and love) out loud. Read More....
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