I’m not sure how to explain to family and friends that I may need to get a divorce over socks … well the lack thereof. My husband and I have worked through some big challenges in our thirteen years of marriage but the socks have sent me over the edge. Actually, perhaps murder with sock suffocation is another option to consider. I would get more sympathy as a widow.
I am sure I sound ridiculous, but let me try to explain. Or, if nothing else, get it out. Even at the risk of seeming idiotic.
It was Halloween night. My husband and I are joining friends in their neighborhood to take the kids trick-or-treating. I’m picked up by my husband with kids in tow. (Presumably dressed in the costumes I carefully laid out before I left home that morning.) Arriving at our friends’ house, my son jumps out and runs to meet his friends. I go around the car to let me five-year old out. As soon as I open the door, I look down and ask, ”Why does she not have socks and why is she wearing Crocs?”
Ok, admittedly I may have said it a bit harshly. I am not known for hiding my facial expressions or watching my tones when I’m mad or in disagreement. But, at this critical juncture there were two ways this conversation could go. My husband could suck it up and say something along the lines of “Shit, sorry I totally missed that with all the running around, do you think we could borrow socks?” This approach would have kicked me into my just-take-care-of-it mode. He would have to be the brunt of a few jokes throughout the evening, but this approach would have pretty much squelched my temper. But, instead he took his other approach: The defensive one. “You have to be kidding me, are you seriously mad at me?” Then, as he kept trying to turn the tables, I actually heard him say in an annoyed voice, “It was hectic.”
Hectic????? Let’s revisit my past three days.
Between work and sleep, the past three evenings included:
- Gymnastics, sax lessons, and two days of hockey tryouts. (Yes this was in three evenings.)
- Searching for a costume for a ten-year-old who, last minute, decided to dress up. Not an easy task at picked-over stores with a picky son scouring for something funny to wear (funny, yet not embarrassing).
- Picking up assigned pumpkin sugar cookies for the school party (which required me going to three stores to secure).
I was actually quite proud of all I accomplished without a meltdown or taking my stress out on innocent family members. That morning, I left for work with all costumes laid on the table and notes for my sitter and husband with explicit instructions of what was to take place after school until party arrival. (Granted, I did not add “make sure she wears the socks and boots laid out with her costume” a point which I did sarcastically apologize for at some point in the argument.)
So, back to the scene at the car with my daughter and husband. In Minnesota it is pretty critical that you are not barefoot with sandals at the end of October. (In fact, it’s snowing as I type this.) Especially at night when you’re running from house-to-house for hours. So in answer to his question about if I was seriously mad, I shot him “the look” (proving I was angry at him), which then kicked his defensive tactics in stronger. “How would I know I’m supposed to check her feet?”
With my head spinning in anger, I stopped talking (which made all parties know I had hit crazily mad levels). And breaking the silence were more defensive statements, including his favorite three:
- “Really, what did I do?”
- “Are you crazy?”
- “I guess I can’t do anything right.”
These are his top infuriating plays. This was when I sent my daughter in the house with my husband and drove away.
Now, I know I sound crazy, but I must get some credit for driving away versus acting on all the violent actions running through my mind. I could have inspired a great horror movie with a sole male victim. Instead I had a lovely drive imagining how easy life would be now that I had no one to take care of and I could go sell my toe rings on the beach.
Thank God for a good friend who knew just the right amount of time to let me go, and who then texted me to come back (letting me know my husband was out trick-or-treating with the kids) and who waited without judgment and with wine. She brought me back to reality, so I didn’t miss all of the Halloween I had worked so hard to prepare for. Plus, I couldn’t desert my kids—otherwise, they’d be running around with no socks all winter!
I enjoyed the party, my husband and I politely ignored each other, and I underscored my point by sleeping on the couch without another word said. Which seemed to get him a good night’s sleep while only leaving me with a restless night and a sore back.
The next morning went back to normal, because we are forced to coexist and function in our chaos—running around getting breakfast prepared, kids ready for school and both of us off to work. I did get a text later, “Let’s just forget it ever happened, no need to apologize.” My blood started to boil again but I was able to restrain myself by sharing the sock story with my sympathetic female coworkers who all had similar stories to share.
There was never an apology, but I did come home from work to him preparing dinner and having already picked up the house. I know the next few days will be full of his silent make-up gestures that I will take full advantage of. As he handed me the drink he had waiting for me after work, I got the last word on the subject:
“I am blogging about you.” I calmly stated and walked away.