Obviously I adore my husband, but…
After thirty years crammed together in the marital womb, I quite like it when he goes away for a few days, leaving me to play.
Even with the teens bouncing off the walls, the sudden appearance of their teenage mates who take up permanent residence on the couch and eat their way through all my food stocks, the deafening music and the demands of looking after the dog single-handedly, (who seems to need to release her bladder every hour on the hour when he’s away), I feel a wonderful sense of freedom that I haven’t felt since those few short years of independence between leaving home and shacking up with my future husband.
Truthfully, the old man is a pretty easy bloke to live with.
You wouldn’t call him demanding as a husband or a father; if anything I’d like him to interact with us a little more, rather than sit there concealed by his invisibility cloak. He doesn’t snore, he’s not fussy about food, doesn’t drink my wine, doesn’t nag, doesn’t really parent unless the shit hits the fan and he generally cleans up after himself. Yet he does have a pervading presence in the house that we are all conscious of and sensitive to, and so we want to please him.
Is that the definition of ‘love?’
So when he’s not there, a surge of uncontainable excitement travels through the house like a current. I feel as excited as a naughty mouse that can do naughty mouse stuff when the cat’s away, without fear of getting caught.
And in my world, ‘naughty mouse stuff’ usually means doing nothing at all.
I wallowed in bed until 11am this morning, reading and flicking through crap Sunday morning tv. I started with Facebook, moved onto Twitter and then the online Sunday newspapers. It felt like the height of decadence to stretch my legs across the width of the marital bed, munch on my granola, dribble milk on his pillows and flick on the remote carelessly – although I was careful not to drop any granola on the sheets because the old man does have a thing about crumbs in bed.
The irony is that the old man wouldn’t care if I did that every weekend.
But for some reason that the psychologists would probably put down to some psychobabble related to my needing to please as a result of my childhood, I would. When he’s there, some fucked up sense of duty (which has nothing to do with being a woman, I assure you) makes me feel as though I have to project this fake, proactive persona all the time. I don’t judge him when he vegetates in front of the sport on television for hours on end *lying*, because he works hard and we all need downtime – likewise, I know he doesn’t really judge me, but for some reason I feel as though I have to prove something to him.
My problem, I know.
It’s been liberating to stay in my pyjamas until midday, to cough irritatingly as much as I need to during the night, drink wine in bed and scoff more than those few cubes of chocolate I allow him to see me scoff when he’s around. I’ve loved making a mess in the kitchen and not clearing up immediately, leaving all the left-overs in the fridge that, (yes I know), we’ll never eat, until they walk out by themselves.
The rubbish has remained in the kitchen for far longer than is hygienically acceptable.
It turns out I’m a bit of a sloth without the old man’s passive order in the house, where one concerned look from him can give me an inferior wife complex of the worst kind. I’ve realised that if we didn’t have the old man’s slightly greater maturity and appreciation for order, the family might actually veer towards living in complete chaos.
Anyone know how to get chocolate stains off a white doona cover without putting it in the machine?
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