Thursday, July 28, 2011

Recap: Baptism fight!

The long-awaited (and just plain long) story of my most recent fight with Andy.

I want to preface this with a statement about how we really almost never fight. We avoid conflict and are really good at communicating and shit. However, sometimes things just aren't clicking. This was one of those times.

So we had a baptism to attend on Sunday, which was after the noon mass at a church nearby. We've known about it for weeks. The plan, initially, was for us to get a present on the way, attend mass, do the baptism thing, and go to the family party afterwards.

On Friday, Andy's boss asked him if he wanted to go golfing on Sunday morning, at a course an hour away, tee time at 6:30. Andy (who was really on the spot - his boss hollered out to him from his office while on the phone making the reservation) said he'd go, and remembered a few minutes later about the baptism. He told me Friday night that he still was planning to go, but was pretty sure they'd be home by 10:30 or 11. I know precisely dick about how long it takes to golf, so I figured that would be plenty of time for us to grab a present and get to church. He agreed, but specified that I was "in charge of the present." In my world, this meant I got to pick it out, as he doesn't know what the hell to get a three-month-old-girl for her baptism. In his world, this meant, "Please go to the store and buy the present and have it ready before I get home," which, if that was what he meant is goddamn well what he should have said.

So. Sunday morning. I got up around ten, but put off showering, since one of the things I hate most in the world is having someone walk into the house while I'm naked and vulnerable behind a curtain. (Seriously. I startle easily.) I started to get annoyed around 10:45 that I was just sort of in a holding pattern until he got home and we could get shit started. Then, at 11:11 (thanks, technology!), he texted that they were just finishing the game, sorry, took longer than expected, be home just before noon. This pisses me off, as there's no way it was a surprise to him that they were playing slowly and why couldn't he have texted to let me know, like, say, an hour ago?

So I shower and rush out to get the present. The store I wanted to go to - a Christian bookstore, where I was hoping to buy the baby a stuffed Jesus, because that's awesome - was closed. I didn't have time to go anywhere else, so I went to Toys R Us in the same plaza. Holy shit, that place is awful, isn't it? Finding anything took forever, and finding anything that wouldn't require a second mortgage took even longer.

I left Toys R Us with ten minutes to drive six minutes home, wrap the present, and drive seven minutes to the church. I pulled in the driveway to discover that Andy had gotten home and apparently left without me, assuming I was already at the church. So I'm the one who's been running around at the last minute and is now going to be late, and he gets to breeze in on time and look like the good guy. I checked my phone and found that he had called and texted, but they FUCKING AWFUL MUSIC in Toys R Us drowned it out. I texted back that, obviously, I was running late, and he replied that hey, mass had already started, they were sitting off to the left. At that point, I was seriously so steamed that he was all, Hey you're late! when HE MADE ME SO LATE I WAS SO MAD THAT JERK WHO THE FUCK DOES HE THINK HE IS, DOESN'T HE THINK I'D LEAVE A NOTE IF I LEFT WITHOUT HIM.

Then I walked into the house to get wrapping paper, and discovered Pancakes had managed to climb onto the kitchen table, found a bowl of powdered-sugar glaze I'd made, ate most of it, and knocked the bowl onto the floor, where it shattered. I was so pissed and overwhelmed that I teared up, so I had to take a minute to calm down and not cry and ruin my makeup and then have to tell everyone for three hours why I was upset. So I got to clean up sticky shards of glass, then wrap the present, then drive to the church, where I had to park in the "Bad Christian" section way out behind a field. I got into church a solid half-hour late.

It was a really good thing that the friends we were hanging out with are a huge family and sit all jumbled up, because I got to sit next to two precious toddlers and not Andy during church.

In the car on the way to the party afterwards, I tried to explain why I was so upset, and Andy said a truly dangerous thing: "I'm sorry you're so upset about this." Not "I'm sorry I was so late and communicated poorly." Not "I'm sorry I really didn't plan this out." No. What I heard was "I'm sorry you're such an emotional female about this." "I'm sorry you have stupid feelings."

Later, when I had cooled down (lasagna and more babies helped), he told me that he had played his worst game of golf ever, and that in hindsight he had no idea how he thought the timing would work, and apologized sincerely. He also was very surprised to hear that he hadn't in fact apologized for upsetting me - and was receptive to the difference between "I'm sorry you're upset" and "I'm sorry I upset you." It helped, and by that evening we were back to normal. But seriously, for a few hours there I wanted to do one of those weird primal screams while smashing things.

What fights have you gotten in recently?


  1. First of all, being late drives me crazy!
    My husband and I don't fight often, but when we do fight, I marvel at how fast I can go from being totally in love with him to contemplating getting my own place.

  2. I'm usually the one who makes us late, but this one was totally his fault! I do this embarrassing thing where when I get really mad, my default reaction is to cry. I bet it's hard to take me seriously when I'm crying about being late.

  3. Perfectly rational response! That sounds like a really frustrating day, with no sense of control over your own results!! All of the fights between my husband and I stem from very different communication styles (like, I communicate and he doesn't). We plan on making flash cards for him so he doesn't say the dumb thing thinking he's making it better :)

  4. Oh my god, flash cards. I want these for so many parts of my life.

  5. Seriously. We're thinking "I want you to be happy" and "I am sorry for my role in this situation" and "I'm not ignoring you, I am thinking" among other useful phrases!