Friday, March 12, 2010

Fantasies, and my lifelong nitpicking of words and language

I'm having one of those days when the thought of being single and childless is so overwhelmingly attractive I can barely stand it.  I love my children, but the day-to-day of full-time work then chasing after the children then not sleeping because of insomnia then waking to feed and dress the children and get them to school so that I go to full-time work etc. is wearing me out.  I'm grumpy.  I'm irritable.  Stupid shit like Zeke taking a bottle of nasal spray and dumping it on the couch is making me lose my patience and yell at him, when it really isn't that big a deal and he's only acting his age and it's not like the stuff stains.

And I'm feeling totally disconnected from my husband.  We barely ever see each other, and when we do, it's to divvy up cleaning and childcare duties.  To say the spark and heat of our marriage is low to the point of barely being perceptible would be a massive understatement.  My mother suggested that Jason and I need to go away together, but the truth is, I don't even want to.  I just want to be left alone.

I know, I know, so much of the problem is that we haven't had any time together and we're both under enormous stress and we're tired and it makes everything else shitty.  We could probably use some help figuring out how to communicate about the big stuff again.  There was a guy we were seeing to work on some issues last summer, before Jason got the job and had to work out of town during the week, meaning we couldn't synch our schedule with that of our counselor.

And I liked him alot, except for his opinions about the word "but."  He wouldn't allow us to use the word "but," because to him, using the word "but" in a sentence negates everything that came before.  So if you said, "I enjoy spending time with you, but sometimes I wish I had more time to myself," the good doctor's therapy-speak translation would take the sentence to mean that I don't actually enjoy spending time with you.

Which I think is a bullshit linguistic rule.  I really liked the guy and thought he was helpful, but (aaagh!  there's that word!) the "no buts" rule annoyed the shit out of me and caused me to use what felt like very awkward sentence structure at time.  And 7 or 8 months after seeing him, I'm still bothered by it.

"I'm a loser, baby, so why dontcha kill me..."


My Atlanta girly peeps have been floating the idea of a girls' weekend in Miami, maybe in May.  Time to get away, recharge the batteries, get some sun, and spend time with good friends, sans husbands or children.  It sounds like heaven.

And reminds me of a funny story my mom tells me about when I was a little peanut, around 2 years old, and we were going to Miami to visit the grandparents.  I asked about our destination.
Mom:  We're going to Miami.
Little Wendy:  Where's your ami?
Mom:  No, it's not my "ami."  The name of the place is "Miami."
LW:  Right, that's what I said, Your Ami.
Mom (getting frustrated):  Wendy.  There is no "ami."  I don't have an "ami."  The name of the place is "Miami."
LW:  I know.  It's YourAmi.
 Money is tight right now, but nonetheless I need some fun to look forward to.  I will make it to YourAmi if it kills me.


  1. I hate the "but" rule. It assumes you can only feel one way about a person, when our feelings, especially about our closest and dearest, are anything but absolute. They are mixed and nuanced and often contradicting.

    A girls weekend sounds fantastic.

  2. I didn't realize it was an industry-wide rule -- that makes sense. In any event, I find it very distracting, because I get all caught up in how I'm saying something rather than focusing on what I'm saying. Which may be kind of the point, from a "learning to communicate" standpoint, but it still kind of bugs.

  3. I don't really like the "but" rule either. Because when you talk about what you feel it's difficult to plan how it's going to be understood... I was told that you should switch. What you usually say after you say "but", you should say that before you say "but". Like your sentence "I enjoy spending time with you, but sometimes I wish I had more time to myself," would then be: "I wish I had more time to myself, but I enjoy spending time with you". I was told that it was ok to say "but", but(....) it's important to understand that what people remember most is what you say after the "but".
    Anyway, I totally get where you are. I've got a full-time job, my children are teenagers (and I've sort of figured out that the years between 5 and 13 are easy, the years before they turn 5 they need you for everything, after they turn13 a new period begins with new worries...... eehhh, new challenges....) and I'm also disconnected from my husband...
    Anyway, I enjoy your blog so much. Because you're so honest, so straight-from-the-heart, and even though I don't know you I feel that I do.
    I hope you go to Miami - I'd like to go too ;-)

    I wish you all the best Wendy!!!

    from Elisabeth in Norway

  4. Elisabeth, thank you so much. And I've tried to read your blog, but I don't speak Norwegian. From what I can tell, though, you're really into knitting, which I love (though of course have no time for these days).

  5. That would make me crazy. I suppose every time I wanted to use "but" I'd just use "and." I love spending time with you AND you drive me crazy sometimes.

    Definitely make it to YourAmi. You need a break. Hugs to you, my friend.