Tuesday, July 01, 2003

My husband is a great big teeming ball of crazy neediness. He just showed up at my office, unannounced, which wasn't really a big deal. Actually, normally it would be really great. Except apparently I didn't show enough enthusiasm when he snuck up behind me and appeared out of no where. "Oh, hey, I wasn't expecting you."

"Aren't you glad that I'm here?"

"Yes, of course I am." At this moment a conversation I had with my co-worker at lunch is running through my head; I'm complaining about how I just don't have the emotional resources these to stroke his ego like I used to. He cut down a big tree behind our garage last night, making a huge mess and becoming dirty, sweaty, and unavailable for any other housework and/or childcare in the process. Whatever, if that's what he thinks needs to be done, fine. Just clean up when you're finished. Except he needed me to tell him several times how great I thought it was that he was cutting down the tree. How hard he was working. Sensing my annoyance stokes the hot furnace of his neediness even more, and there's a blow-up.

Back to the cubicle conversation...

"Are you sure?" he says.

"Joseph..." I sigh, and he throws a violent look at me, barring his teeth, mouthing the words, "WHATHEFUCK?" so my co-workers can't hear.

I try damage control and smile. "So what's up?"

"Well, I brought you some money, I thought you'd want to go shopping tonight." I mentioned this morning that I'd rather get some nice maternity clothes instead of paint the bedroom, which I've wanted to do for a long time.

WARNING: ANOTHER FLASHBACK. I think of our house at home, with clothes strewn all over the upstairs, how I couldn't get up in the middle of the night to check on my daughter last night because I was afraid I would trip on something, most likely the 300 ft extension cord running the A/C, or the iron board propped precariously against the foot of the bed, topped off with piles of dirty laundry. I think of our carpet, a dingy grey coated with a light layer of blonde dog hair. I think of my dishwasher full of clean dishes, and my sink full of dirty dishes. I think of how I promised myself I would never live like this.

"Um, thank you, that's great, but the house really needs some work..." And he's off. A forced-casual "fine, see you at home," as he rounds the corner and disappears. Crud. I should have just stopped at "thank you, that's great." But it's so exhausting to speak in edit mode all the time.

I've been begging him to refill his Prozac, but it's not a priority. Cutting down his tree is a priority. And when I mention it, he acts like my urging is a direct reference to his craziness. A sort of don't-you-love-me-regardless wild card. But the difference in his behavior is really remarkable when he's on the drug. And at a time when I have a growing child in my womb, consuming all excess resources, both physical and mental, I need all the calm and support I can grab.

Hopefully, things will calm down by the time I get home.


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