By: Shannon Ralph
Reason #23: I can’t hear you.
One of the greatest tools for success in any marriage is the ability to completely ignore your spouse when appropriate. Yes, you love her. Yes, she is the center of your universe and the rock of your family. Yes, there are times when you hang on her every word and want to spend every waking moment in her presence. That is…until she turns freakin’ ass nuts on you.
In any relationship, sometime you are the freakin’ ass nut. Other times, you are merely the innocent bystander psychologically assaulted by the freakin’ ass nut. Yesterday, I was the nut.
Before I tell you the whole sordid story, allow me to first mount a reasonable defense.
Defense Exhibit A: I was pre-menstrual. And not happy about it.
Defense Exhibit B: I have arthritis in my my right knee. I can go months and months without it ever hurting. Then it flares up out of the blue and I am completely crippled. Then I go months and months. Then I am a crippled. It is an exhaustibly vicious cycle. Yesterday, I was borderline crippled.
Defense Exhibit C: I suffer from debilitating allergic rhinitis this time of the year. Snot was oozing out of every orifice in my head.
Defense Exhibit D: I was nursing the beginnings of a yeast infection. (I realize that is probably waaaayyy more than you wanted to hear, but coming to know me on an uncomfortably and awkwardly intimate level is one of the many perks of reading my blog.)
Defense Exhibit E: I had been out of my birth control pills for a week because I was too lazy to go the Target Pharmacy to pick them up after getting off work. As a result, I was sporting a couple of nasty zits on my chin.
So….I was crampy, bloated, pseudo crippled, snotty, yeasty, and zitty. It was not one of my finest moments. And Ruanita, being the dear sweet partner she is, was completely attuned to my “issues” and was able to ignore my illogical and inexplicably angry rant.
So what happened?
I had bought Sophie this new dress with matching leggings from Naartjie. It was not a cheap dress. I got it on sale, but still. Normally, most of Sophie’s clothes come from Target. Rarely do I spend much more than a couple of bucks on any of her clothing—for good reason. She is incredibly hard on clothes. As a tomboy princess, she loves girly clothes, but quickly ruins them while chasing frogs and wrestling with her brothers in the back yard. So I try to make sure she is in possession of a fairly cheap wardrobe most of the time. But I couldn’t resist this particular dress. She looked absolutely adorable in it. Yesterday, we were going to my nephew’s birthday party, followed by the first game of the WNBA Finals to cheer on our illustrious Minnesota Lynx. Sophie wanted to wear her new dress. Of course, I had no problem with my child looking adorable for the game.
My nephew’s party didn’t last as long as we had anticipated, so we had some time to kill before the basketball game. Ruanita suggested taking the kids to the park and letting them run out some energy before subjecting them to two hours sitting at a crowded game. Normally, I would have been totally on board with the kids expelling some energy. However, yesterday I was not quite feeling like myself. I replied, “But I don’t want them to get dirty before the game.”
“Dirty? Our kids don’t get dirty at the park.”
Okay…if you have children—particularly of the klutzy variety that I have—you know that kids do get dirty at the park. Ruanita was just plain wrong. However, in the midst of my snotty, yeasty haze, I allowed her to convince me that the kids would not get dirty before the game. So we headed to the park.
Ruanita and I parked ourselves on the nearest bench (that’s why they’re called “park benches,” right?) to watch the kids play. Almost immediately—seriously, within seconds—Sophie fell in the tiny pebbles that covered the playground area. She came over to us in tears with a slightly bloody knee. And with brand new leggings covered in dirt and already worn thin in the knee.
I looked at Ruanita and declared, with more venom than I really intended, “Kids don’t get dirty at the park, huh?” She ignored me, kissed Sophie’s boo-boo and sent her on her merry way to play some more.
Within minutes, Sophie fell again. This time in the grass. To add a smear of mud and a lovely green grass stain to the knees of her new leggings. “Shit!” I yelled. “What the hell? Can she not walk?” Luckily, Sophie did not hear me, but Ruanita did. I continued to mumble about how I can’t buy anything nice for the kids. And why in the hell would we take them to the park when Sophie is in her new dress anyway? And “Kids don’t get dirty at the park, do they, Ruanita?” I was, in short, a complete and total bitch about Sophie ruining her new leggings. I knew I was being a bitch. I knew I was being totally irrational. I could always buy her another pair of matching leggings. Or Sophie could wear her adorable dress with any any of the multiple pairs of tights she has in her sock drawer at home. There was no reason whatsoever for me to get upset. There was certainly no reason for the venom that was oozing out of every pore of my body. I had inexplicably turned freakin’ ass nuts on Ruanita.
And she knew it. She knew it was the snot and the zits talking and not her beloved spouse. She knew that there was no talking me down from the ledge at that moment. She knew that no amount of reasoning would calm me. As a matter of fact, reasoning with me would certainly have had the opposite effect. She knew arguing with me would turn ugly. Try as I might to turn the tide, I was one hundred percent completely invested in my freakin’ ass nuts rant. I knew it was irrational, but I couldn’t help myself. So how is a good spouse to respond?
She totally ignored me. Completely.
She walked away. She moved to another section of the park. She took the kids with her, as to shield them from their mommy’s spewing anger. She left me on my park bench to stew. Alone. Eventually, I did calm down. The bitchy ooze leaking from every pore did eventually dry up. I was able to rejoin my family, forget about the stained leggings, and have a great time at the basketball game.
That, my friends—the ability to completely ignore your spouse when they turn freakin’ ass nuts on you—is yet another reason why my marriage is just like your marriage.