Monday, November 12, 2007

The One Where I Briefly Consider Being A Good Husband And Father

Your mom and I aren't really fighters. By my count (she probably has a different one, but she's wrong) we've only fought twice in nine years. Once she was drinking in a hot tub and kept challenging a gay guy to touch her breasts. Another time she ruined the end of a movie for me. In retrospect the second one seems kind of stupid. Maybe I was still pissed about the first. Anyway, it's not that we don't disagree, we're just more into debate than door slamming. I always thought that was a virtue, but maybe slamming a few doors isn't so bad. Everything your mom and I had to talk about this week, we've know about for years. Maybe if we'd just fought it out then we wouldn't be here now. But it's like someone told us we had a broken leg a long time ago and we've just been trying to walk it off. Thursday we finally fell down.

If I haven't made it plain on other occasions, the broken leg is me. Here's how I addressed it in my wedding toast (the fact that it had to be addressed while she was still in her dress kind of says it all):
What I’ve chosen to do with my life isn’t easy and it certainly doesn’t pay well, and if at any time she’d ever asked me to stop, to give it up, I’d have done so in a heartbeat. It’s a testament to just how incredibly lucky I am that the only times she’s used the words stop or give up, they were directly preceded by the word never.

What can I say, it sounded better in person. Anyway, while you could certainly say that I've been lucky to find such a patient partner, you could also say I've been incredibly selfish to take endless advantage of that patience. But if you put it that way it would sound awkward in a toast.

For a lot of years your mom was doing what she wanted to and what I did made no difference. I guess we just thought that by the time it mattered I'd have gotten something going. Well, with your imminent arrival that time has come. If this were a slasher movie now would be the part where the ax murderer is bearing down and the cute girl just can't get the car to start. You two are the ax murderer. I'm the cute girl.

The short version is that your mom doesn't love her job. What I mean by that is that she gets depressed and yells before she goes to it. You know what sounds like a good job to your mom? Turns out it's taking care of twins. But since the only house my writing could provide would have to be made out of my actual pages our options seem limited. That's why I finally said what we'd both been thinking. That's it time for me to give up.

The truth is I feel guilty sitting here stringing together sentences that can't finance the computer they're typed on while your mom wades around in other people's barf and blood (that's how I picture it anyway). Whether the roles of men and women are the result of innate differences or playing with Barbies instead of Tonka trucks, it doesn't really matter. The fact that your mom has to work while I sit around chasing rainbows just feels wrong to both of us on some deep, politically incorrect, get fired from Harvard for mentioning it level. She's given me years to do my thing. It's her turn now. And yours. Someone has to make sure that you have every opportunity to do what you want to do, right? If someone has to do something they hate, it should be me.

That's what we agreed on. Sadly, it's not even a matter of just getting a job. I have to get trained to do something useful first. It would be some time before I could shoulder much of the burden, but just knowing that it was coming seemed to perk your mom up.

So, I sat down and I wrote all this up for you guys. It looked like I said all the right things. Growing up, facing reality. The end was something like 'dreams are what you have when you're asleep, a job is what you have when you're awake'. Incidentally, it's just that kind of hacky writing that's gotten me where I am, but that's not the point. The point is that I didn't send it. I don't know, I guess when I read it over it said what I thought it should say, what I'd already said to your mother, what a bigger, less selfish, more responsible, more fatherly person would say.

But I kind of thought it sounded like a bunch of Dr. Laura bullshit.

If you didn't have the attention span of bees and I didn't have to feed a cat through a tube I could tell you why. But, like your mother before you, you'll have to wait a day to hear me take it all back.

Novel - Ch12
Dunking - wk 5
French - unit 2 lesson 2

No comments:


blogger templates | Make Money Online