~Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Where you going?

I was sort of under the impression that once you get into a serious relationship—a real, committed, long-term, "let's see where this goes because I kinda wanna marry you and have your babies" relationship—you don't have to play games anymore. No more I know what you're thinking and ha! I'm going to beat you at your own game, sucker. No more bullshit, no more hidden agendas. I thought this aspect was nice.

The past two weeks Scott and I have been fighting. Bickering. It's not terrible, and it's not constant, and it's not over anything earth-shattering. It's more of your run-of-the-mill OMG, WHY DID I MOVE IN WITH YOU. CAN'T YOU SEE YOU'RE AN ALIEN FREAK balking.

At 7:30 am, Saturday morning, Scott was dancing around our apartment, doing impressions of me. "Where you going? I'm going to the bathroom! Where you going? I'm going to the fucking closet! STOP ASKING ME WHERE I'M GOING! I AM A MAN AND I WILL GO WHERE I WANT, WHEN I WANT, AND I DON'T HAVE TO TELL YOU!" he growled.

I looked at the clock on the oven. 7:48 am. Unbelievable. We were fighting before the stores were open. We were fighting while everyone else was sleeping. Granted, his imitation of me was pretty hilarious, but I had to stifle back my laughter because we were supposed to be serious right now.

"And you always manipulate things to get your way. If you want something from me, you work it out so that I have no choice but to give it to you!" he continued.

"What are you talking about? Give me an example," I asked, genuinely having no idea what he means.

"I don't have an example!"

"Then how am I supposed to know what you're talking about? You're speaking in rhetorics!"

"STOP IT WITH YOUR ENGLISH, WRITER'S LANGUAGE!"

"Did you just insult my vocabulary?" I laughed.

He stormed in the closet (I didn't ask where he was going this time) and he pulled a shirt off the hanger. I followed him in, grabbing my own shirt off the hanger. All of a sudden, it was a race over who could get dressed first. "No, you don't have to leave. I am!" I spat.

Scott called me on my bluff, walking out of the closet and onto the balcony to smoke. I went in the bathroom and did my hair and makeup. That has to be some sort of Saturday morning record. I emerged and grabbed my bag, stuffing it will items I thought I would need for my day out: a book, my mother's house keys, and a bottle of dog shampoo.

Scott came back in the apartment and saw I was serious about leaving. I've never been the one to run after an argument; it's always been Scott and he's always returned within the hour with some food item for himself. But even if we worked things out and the bickering match was over, I knew I would still not be happy sharing space with him. I'd hide out in the bedroom—all 10 feet away, with no door to separate us—and he'd get the rest of the apartment until lunch. And lunch was hours away.

I sat on my brown leather chair and tied my shoes. "You don't have to leave," Scott offered quietly.

"I do." Once there was a rabbit that was very sad because his ears were so long and narrow that he stepped on them all the time. One day a fairy landed on the bunny's head. She lifted up the bunny's ears and crossed them over like an x.*

"Why?"

"Because I am not happy here right now, and I need to leave and go do something that will make me happy." Then she put one ear through the bottom of the x and pulled. Next, she made each long ear into a loop and made another x like before.

"Where you going?" Ha!

"If you don't have to tell me, then I don't have to tell you." She put an ear under that x and pulled again. From then on the bunny remembered how to tie his ears into a bow, and he lived happily every after.

The response pissed him off. Of course it would, I beat him at his own game.

***

I drove to my mother's house and arrived at 9 am, surprised to see her up and doing her taxes of all things. She raised an eyebrow at my unexpected and early visit.

"Everything okay?" she asked.

"Scott's a jerk-face."

"Want to go shopping?"

This is probably the coolest my mom has ever been. A couple of hours into shopping (for Scott's trousers, no less. It wasn't my decision; my mom made me do it) I eventually filled her in on the morning events.

"Gosh, he has quite a stubborn streak in him," she said. "Is that what you would call it?"

"I'd call it selfish." My mother guffawed at my candidness.

At 4 pm, 8 hours into my day without him, Scott called. "Where are you?"

"I'm out," I said coolly.

"When are you coming home?"

"When I'm done. You don't have to tell me so I don't have tell you, remember?" Silence. He was hurt and I knew it. "Look, I'll call you when I'm on my way, okay?"

"Okay."

After shopping, my step-father helped me fixed a broken latch on my truck and then we washed the stinky Femme Fatale. It took another good two hours.

***

I walked in the apartment door, but as soon as I saw Scott, I became cold, despite my wonderful day out. "Do you have anything you want to say?" he asked me. The wet dog ran hurriedly under the bed, as she always does when it's tense in the house.

"Nope."

"Well I do."

I sat down and grabbed a pillow from the couch and smothered it over my face. "Ugh, I don't want another negative conversation," I groaned.

"I don't either," he said. "When you left this morning, I just sat here on the couch. I didn't do anything all day. I didn't know if you were coming back. I called my father, scared you were leaving me.

"I stood in the mirror and I took inventory of myself. I talk too much: I run my mouth off without listening to what you have to say. I bought a twelve-pack of beer and after it's gone, I'm going to cool it, because I know that's what you want. I don't even feel like I'm conceding on that. My father told me I could do whatever I want, or I can be in a relationship. Apparently that's just how you women are, wanting to know where we're going. I understand that now and I will adhere to it, but for the record, I do feel like I'm conceding to that.

"Is there anything else I can do to be the best possible mate for you?" he asked.

I paused.

"Just say it."

"You could take more of an initiative when it comes to responsibility," I said meekly.

"I agree."

"I mean, I know it's hard right now, with the circumstances we're in-"

"But you shouldn't have to print our your Wachovia Bill Pay every month and hand me a statement. I should already know what the bills are by asking you."

By george, he knew what I meant.

"Bottom line is that I want to be with you. I want to be sitting with you on the couch when I'm 75 and you're 70. Well, not this couch, because it sucks, but you know what I mean. I want to make this work with you and I'm willing to do what it takes."

And all it took was a taste of his own medicine.



* The tying shoes bunny poem is courtesy of
teachers.net.

21 comments:

Barrenblog said...

I loved this story. I'm glad you guys worked it out in the end. But speaking as someone whose husband is, right this moment, lying in the bathtub whimpering about a sore back because last night he slept funny, and even using the word "agony" - this after I underwent a pretty traumatic clinical procedure myself last week - I completely understand your frustrations!

Paige Jennifer said...

Um, right. I officially am LOVING my singleness.

Peach said...

lol, ok, as she says at the end of Officer And A Gentleman: "Way To Go Paula!"

but i mean, Sarah, of course.

Kick 'em into touch - well done !

Cara said...

bravo

Single Girl said...

What is it with guys and their rebellion?! LOL! Glad you were able to give him a taste of his own medicine and finally set him straight. Also glad his father was able to talk some sense into him. It's just common courtesy when you live with your significant other or are married to them to let them know where you're going when you go someplace - not so they can tell you you can't go there, but so that they know where you are, "just in case." I guess it is a woman thing. Whatever. It just makes sense!

WiscoBlonde said...

Good for you for standing up for yourself.

Lulu said...

Glad you guys worked it out!!! The way you told the story was funny and poignant all at the same time!

I always ask my fiance where he is going or where he is (Our apartment is tiny....I actually usually know where he is) and when he asks me why, I say it is so he can practice English (I always ask him him Engish `Shun....Where are you?`) because we speak in Japanese 95% of the time!

Problem is he always responds in Japanese. Silly bugger!

Have a nice week! Filled with no arguments!

treespotter said...

i love this story, too, and glad you worked it out.

I can't help but noticing though, if you think that it was pretty funny and about to laugh about it, why did you go on being serious and insisted on fighting? you could've laughed together?

really nice piece, i'll be digging your archive soon enough. :)

LizSara said...

I'm so pleased he got it! I can't wait till you're both 70 and sitting on the metaphorical couch together

Lpeg said...

Good for you. I'm glad he came to realize it, and you still had a pretty decent day in the meanwhile.

Miss C said...

Hi Sarah,

I have recently started reading your blog and just wanted to say hello firstly and in regards to your story...it is definitely a male thing...rigid stubborness and rebellion. I am suffering from the same thing with my man at the moment too. We have only been living together for 2 months and I have wanted to rip his head off practically ever since. I started my blog to talk about anything and everything but all I ever seem to do is moan about him so I may as well call it the "my boyfriend is a twat" blog....men!

trinity2 said...

He's coming around! And, you actually didn't have to use physical force to beat him into submission! ;-)

AmyD said...

Damn, woman...you should teach a class. ;o)

This post was wonderfully well-written and visual. It felt like I was along for the ride, and while it wasn't a fun one, I'm glad it ended at a new, hopeful place.

Carrie said...

I've been reading your blog for a while but this is my first time commenting...Anyway, I just wanted to say that it seems like Scott has matured a lot since the beginning of your relationship. Not that he was immature to begin with, but I can tell that being with you has changed him. I see a lot of parallels between you and Scott and me and my boyfriend, and it sounds like, despite your problems, you've got something good. :)

Sask Mom said...

I say good for Scott for actually getting it the first time! I have been in a somewhat similar situation, and let me tell you: it took S like nine years to get it. I think he finally does. So if you got Scott to get it after once, woo hoo! Well done!

SuvvyGirl said...

men play dumb. They usually know what we mean but don't shape up hoping it will make things easier and all it does is get them in trouble. my hubby has passed this on to his 7 year old son. it's even worse when they're little. But at leas Scott finally admitted defeat to the female ways. :) Smart man ;)

Diane Mandy said...

I'm glad this came to a happy resolution!

sherry said...

i will agree with other commenters -- scott has matured. but it still concerns me that he bought a 12-pack and when it's gone, he's done with alcohol. i've been reading your blog a handful of months and there always seems to be that last 12 pack he has to get through.
wish i could say there was an ultimate happy ending, but i think i will just go with paige jennifer and say that i am loving my singleness too.

treacle said...

So pleased you sorted it out xxx

>*;* said...

I love the tying shoes bunny poem!!! I just started cracking UP!

Anonymous said...

I am glad I am not the only one who noticed that he keeps buying beer and "as soon as it's gone, that's it."

This guy is such a loser.

 

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