…on strike

I’m on strike so when I sleep in, the husband feigns surprise. He rolls over, hits the snooze button and groans, “Honey, it’s six.”

My eyes flick open, then slam shut as I snap back, “So what? I’m not getting up today.”

He frowns and rolls up onto one elbow and surveys my stubbornly stiff posture then asks, “Is this a continuation of last night’s conversation?”

For men, a good night’s sleep is the udder balm that somehow coats and soothes the sore spot lingering from the previous night’s licking. He may heal and forget by morning, but I am a prod, a scab picker and with enough persistence, I can create a wound I’ll never forget.[1]

The conflict last night was a result of his complaining about coming home after a twelve-hour work day to unfed children, a disordered house, and an absent wife.

Admittedly, I had been at a parenting class all morning and when I got home, I only managed five loaves of banana bread and a loaf of whole wheat-flax seed bread. I started the homemade potato cauliflower ham and cheese soup, but I had neglected to finish it. I left instructions for adding the milk and heating it up. What?

We wranglers, who have no full-time job outside of the corral, must guard against being thought of as little more than the manure spreader. It’s best for the whole herd if somehow the trail boss reminds each one of the little doggies that they too have a position of importance in the pasture.

When they forget and take me for granted, I respond by getting all wound up and spring loaded. When that happens, watch out! Take it from the professional cow chip slinger, the reverberation is going to be big.

In the midst of rounding up the homework, piano practice, drop offs to swimming, and tae-kwan-do, I didn’t get my whip up to direct the herd in everything else that needed to be unpacked from vacation. Nor had I made the bed.

So, I’m on strike and I’m wandering around the house having to stop myself from the automatic pilot that switches on and forces me to bend over, pick up and put away the haphazard turbulence that swirls around the maelstrom of living.

I live to hear the words, “Thank you.” In lieu of that I’ll take, “You’re right.” Two little tiny inconsequential words, but I’m willing to take them in past tense, after the fact, “You were right,” would suit fine. It may well be the last thing I hear as I’m passing from this life, “All right! Okay! You were right!” And will I be satisfied? Perhaps then, and only then.

To me:
I find myself standing at the door holding it shut and speaking through the window to the miscreant outside wailing in the rain.

“I told you that you didn’t want to go out in this torrent, but did you listen? No!” “I knew that you would be utterly miserable within moments of setting foot outside!” “I am not opening this door until you admit that I am right.”
I wait resolutely ten more seconds and then piteously open the door as the cat dashes in, and rubs wet matted fur on my legs as she dashes off to dry out on my bedspread.

Am I desperate? Perhaps. T.

[1] …anything that I remember, anyway.

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