Thursday, March 20, 2008

"I'm sure your husband is a very busy man."

Those words have rubbed me the wrong way the whole day today. To give a little background on the conversation, I was speaking to someone on the phone about closing one of our local banking accounts. I called to ask if I could get the paperwork started and then my husband could just swing in there on his way home from work and sign to complete the process, since the account belongs to both of us. I inquired as to how late the bank is open, since I wasn't exactly certain what my husband's schedule at work was today and that I think he was supposed to be going up on a flight. She told me the time and then told me he should try to get there a few minutes before closing, since they shut down their computers a little early if it's slow, but that she'll understand because "I'm sure your husband is a very busy man".

Now, I'm pretty sure it was just a casual thought and wasn't meant to cause any harm. However, I am wound up so tight these days, somehow the phrase caused a well of tears to sting my eyes. I got to thinking to myself, I wonder if she would have responded any differently if it were going to be me racing in there a few minutes before the bank closed, not in a glorious Coast Guard uniform, but just in my mommy-uniform of yoga pants and a hooded sweatshirt that has food on it from at least two different kids from two different meals.

It's so funny that the post that preceeds this is about the difference between military and civilian friends, because today that was my same thought. Ordinarily, I don't have pity parties, but today, I was ready to inflate the balloons and break out the party hats. Because, you know what? Sometimes it's hard to sit back and be the wife. I wanted to cry at that well-meaning lady and let her know that I'm busy too, gosh darn it. Who does she think fixes the tears when the kids are crying because Daddy was supposed to be home for a certain activity? Who does she think spends hours on the phone getting things set up for the move? Who mows the yard and shovels the driveway when the guys aren't here? And in between then, finds the time to tidy the house, fold the laundry and kiss the boo-boos.

Perhaps she didn't mean to imply that I wasn't busy. I guess I'm just tired of hearing about how busy my husband is. I'm certainly not trying to belittle his job. I could never hang out the back of an airplane looking for a speck in the Pacific Ocean. I could never, ever wear the same thing every day. And don't get me started on the boots. :) Just in the same way that he might not be as skilled in listening to a five year old read One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, while making pink playdoh hair for a plastic Dora figurine, while talking to the realtor on the phone, while fresh bread bakes in the oven, while my 5th load of laundry is in the wash, while noticing that the little guy is making his pooping-face, all while the clock only says 9:15am. Yeah, my husband is a very busy man. I just wish sometimes the wife would be recognized as being pretty busy, too.

Okay, pity party over.


Just a Girl in a Port said...

Oh, how true.

It's the lament of the oft-forgotten 'military domestic engineer'. Though, you know we are just sitting at home eating bon bons and watching soaps while we pine for our husbands. ;) We aren't busy at all.

Amber said...

Well said, Mary. I honestly wish I could just sit on the couch and watch TV some days without feeling guilty. Heck - we drove around exploring today and I was thinking about the laundry that needs to be done and that I really need to get the kitchen floor mopped.

Big hugs!

Christina Cope Anderson said...

My hat's off to the author's whose title beholds "mother." At 0915, I am trying to talk a client back from the edge of a major, legal mistake, while wiping spilt coffee on the laptop, silently cursing the fax machine (ah, the joy of technology), and administering a calming email to a frenzied team member three time zones ahead of me, while jotting down a note to call the HHG lady (for the fourth time this week) in my "power"(less) notebook.

I cannot imagine doing all that, laundry and kids at the same time. And here I thought law school was a challenge. Ha! I feel so, um, humbled. Hugs to the mothers! Thank you for the clarity.

Who I Am said...

Amen, sister. It's not like we even get to be "ladies who lunch". We're ladies who wear (their kids) lunch. Sigh.

Lainy said...

Oh, I can not even begin to count the times in the last 3 weeks that I've uttered the words..."is it my responsibility to do EVERYTHING in this house?!" followed at some point later by the muttered words, "who's going to take care of me?"
I SO understand your frustration on this one.
Today I decided to take it I watched cartoons while I ironed. (But, shhh, don't tell anyone.)