The following dialogue recently took place in my kitchen:
Spouse #1: Honey, can you come help me fold the clothes in the dryer?
Spouse #2: No. I don’t want to.
Spouse #1: Well, I don’t really WANT to either. Come help me!
Spouse #2: No. I’m tired. I’ve worked 12 hours today and driven another hour and a half on top of that.
Spouse #1: Well, I’ve worked too. And I’ve cleaned! And I’ve cooked!
Spouse #2: Well, I’VE been out working long hours in the hot sun to make money for our family!
Spouse #1: I know. And I appreciate that. But I feel like you don’t appreciate ANYTHING I do around this house!
Let me go ahead and tell you what’s wrong with that scenario. I was Speaker #2. It actually went down like this:
David: Honey, can you come help me fold the clothes in the dryer?
Court: No. I don’t want to.*
David: Well, I don’t really WANT to either. Come help me!
Court: No. I’m tired. I’ve worked 12 hours today and driven another hour and a half on top of that.
David: Well, I’ve worked too. And I’ve cleaned! And I’ve cooked!
Court: Well, I’VE been out working long hours in the hot sun to make money for our family!
David: I know. And I appreciate that. But I feel like you don’t appreciate ANYTHING I do around this house!
You’ll notice the asterisk (*). I added that to show the point in the conversation where I did (reluctantly) drag myself out of my chair and go help him fold the clothes. I wasn’t actually being difficult here. This wasn’t a fight. We weren’t really arguing. We did say these things, but we were laughing (and folding) as we did.
The unfortunate part is that it’s all true. We’ve switched roles here lately. As a claims adjuster, my life gets turned upside down when a disaster strikes (i.e. the April’s fury tornados that wrecked the Southeast on April 27th). With the exception of about a week and a half that I spent back in the office, I’ve spent almost every day since the tornadoes working 12 hour days in a tent in some of the most heavily hit areas…Hackleburg, Phil Campbell, Pleasant Grove.
[I do want to be very clear on one thing here: What I’m going through is nothing. I’ve seen things in those areas that I know I’ll never forget and heard stories that I know I’ll wish I could…but more about that in another, more serious post. Sure it’s hot out here, but I’m in a tent with an oscillating fan…not walking through my neighborhood trying to find what little I can salvage of my worldly belongings. This wind is blowing dust from the demo sites all in my eyes and ears, but it’s a far cry from 200 mph. I’m tired, but at the end of the day I get to come home to my house and my bed. And most of all my wonderful, loving “wife” as I’ve been calling him these days.]
And what a wonderful “wife” he is. Anyone who knows my husband understands that he’s possibly one of the least effeminate men on the face of the earth. He hunts, wears dirty boots, drives a dirtier truck, farts, inexplicably breaks into a nervous sweat any time he enters a restaurant that serves quiche, can’t seem to learn how to select appropriate socks, and finds any and all throw pillows completely useless and unnecessary. But he takes such good care of me and helps me out when I need it most. After I leave each morning, he makes the bed and straightens up the house. While I worked all last weekend, he washed every single load of dirty clothes and linens in our house…including my bath robe. He has it all together so much more so than I do (even when I’m working normal hours!).
I, on the other hand, have been working at a hot, dusty mobile catastrophe site and using a port-o-potty. I don’t mind my job, and I enjoy helping our customers and answering their questions. However, for every legitimate policyholder that I see, there are 3 more random bozos stopping by to ask some of the idiotic questions below. Luckily I’ve managed to keep my reponses (in italics) to myself and politely direct them elsewhere.
“Can you tell me where FEMA is set up?” Across the street. In that giant RV over there that says FEMA on the side in big blue letters.
“Is this where the volunteers sign in?” You’ve come to the right place! Now, run along and get me a biscuit.
And my all-time favorite…
“Is this Allstate?” Yep. Sure is. That’s why it says “State Farm” all over our RV, our signs, our tents, our shirts, our cars, and our coffee cups.
But it all ends today! Four weeks after the devastating tornadoes, my life seems to be returning to normal…HA! Fat chance! We’ve sold our house, bought another one, and are scheduled to close on both on June 15th! Looks like my days of balancing work, household chores, and slaving away in the heat are only just beginning…
Q: What’s wrong with this scenario?
A: Nothing...as soon as I find myself back in the proper role!