Friday, May 8, 2009


I was blogstalking an old friend and reading about his happy life and how blissfully in love he and his wife are and how everything is peaches and cream and rainbows and butterflies. It kind of made me sick, and it also made me scoff. Surely people aren't that happy all the time, right? That's just the stuff of movies. In real life hard things happen. In real life you have to haul your naked child out of the mall. In real life people get muddy, ruin their doors with steak knives, and get pregnant when it should be physically and statistically impossible to do so. Or is that just me?

I don't know about you, but I relate better to people who are imperfect. I find hope in their struggles, and feel triumphant when they do. I laugh and cry with them. And so I kind of focus on the "imperfect" in my blog. So in honor of keeping with the imperfect...

I thought I would dissect a recent argument that Blaine and I had. Because unlike the aforementioned friend and his spouse, Blaine and I do fight, a lot. Not like duke-it-out fight (well, not usually anyways), but we get annoyed at eachother and mad at eachother and frustrated with eachother, just like every other normal, healthy, realistic couple.

On Sunday we had some friends over for dinner. True to form I was getting all stressed about an hour before they got here. Blaine had been up taking a Sunday afternoon nap, which was totally understandable and justified as he had gotten up early to go to ward council and he had been fasting, etc. After he had been sleeping a while I called up to him a couple of times to see if he would occupy Gwen so I could finish making the cake and clean up a bit. She had been "helping" me make the dessert for a while by then, and as fun as it was to work with her- it was getting to be crunch time. He never answered my calls, so I grudgingly wrestled Gwen down for a nap. Then I went and shook Blaine awake and asked him to come help me get ready.

He moseyed down the stairs, took a big whiff and said, "Wow! It smells really good. I can't believe you were able to whip up that cake so fast!"

I heard : "Wow, that cake took you no time at all to make. You probably had a nice nap and came down and whipped that cake right up, it was no trouble for you at all. "

So I scoffed and said "Well, I didn't 'whip it up really fast' it was really hard to make!"

and he said, "what was so hard about it?"

but I heard: "what was so hard about it? You probably just used a cake mix and beat in an egg or something. You are such a whiner, making a cake isn't that hard."

So I said, "What was so hard? [shaking him by the collar] WHAT WAS SO HARD? How about the fact that I am tired too. And I want to take a nap and Gwen was down here 'helping' the whole time and now people are coming and the house is a mess and the cake is burnt and you think it was easy to make but it was really hard and no one is going to like it because after all of that hard work I burned it because I was upstairs putting Gwen to bed while you were SLEEPING. Not to mention I didn't use a cake mix, I painstakingly followed the recipe and it took two hours, plus our brown sugar was all lumpy and hard and someone is probably going to break a freaking tooth if they get a lump of it in their cake and and now no one is even going to know that I worked so hard because it is probably going to taste sick and I wasted the whole afternoon. THAT'S WHAT WAS SO HARD".

To which he responded, "well if it helps at all, Ivy was crying so I wasn't sleeping the whole time or anything"

And I heard: "I was working just as hard as you, whiner"

To which I responded: "Oh you mean kind of like how she cries every night and I always get up with her? Like that? And yes you were sleeping! Either that or ignoring me because I called for your help a hundred million times!"

And a tense silence filled the house. Until he apologized. Like he always does. He's really good at apologizing first, and I am really good at holding out my apology for a really long time. It's a pretty big flaw of mine.

The weird thing about this particular argument though was that for some reason I was able to step back and see that what I was hearing was not what he was saying. I realized that when he said "mmm that cake smells good, I can't believe you were able to whip it up so fast" he really meant "Wow sweetie, thanks for taking the time to make that cake. You're a great cook and you can make good desserts in a matter of hours, thanks for doing that". Yet I chose to take the one word out of his compliment ["fast"] and blow it out of proportion and take it as an insult.

Then when he was being empathetic and trying to understand why the cake was hard to make, I took that as an insult too. Like a "why are you complaining" rather than an " I can tell you are worked up about it, let's talk about why you are so frustrated".

Ah, Blaine is such a patient person. He's very quick to forgive and nice to not point out how irrational I get sometimes; actually I take that back, sometimes he does point it out but I think he has learned he's better off to just pretend like I am being logical : ) . I love him for that. I guess sometimes I just feel like fighting and egging him on. He's a trooper and I am glad to know that he still loves me despite our little disagreements and my fight picking.

And the burnt cake? It was delicious and totally worth the two hours of "hard work". It wasn't really that hard, but a lot harder than taking a nap, that's for sure. And I just really felt like I needed Blaine to know that right then.



TheMoncurs said...

One time Aaron and I had a fight over a remote in front of 4 friends. That wasn't awkward at all.

And I get totally crazy too. And I know I'm being crazy but that doesn't mean I can stop being totally and completely unreasonable and irrational. He just has to deal with it. Sorry honey.

shanon said...

You hear things the same way I do! Isn't it great that we can blame our irrational behavior on hormones?! I learned a trick to soften that hard brown sugar. You put a slice of bread in the container and in a few hours it is soft. Not so helpful when you need it for a cake at that moment but it does work wonders overnight.

Ralphie said...

Wow. I feel like I've just stept out of a movie entitled "How All Women Think, With PMS Or Otherwise."

Angela said...

This post had me laughing. Don't we all do this. I am really good at giving James the opposite of the benefit of the doubt, even though he usually has good intentions. You've got me curious who this old "friend" of yours is. :)

Stefanie Miller said...

I too am curious about who the "old friend" is... anyone I know? I wish I didn't feel so justified in proving what a martyr I am so much. Lame.

Katie Goulding Sierer said...

Ha!! Wow! You covered that one up really well! I didn't even sense any tension between you two! And...for the record the cake was AMAZING!

JoAnna said...

Okay! So I've been wanting to post on this exact topic for awhile now. Can I link to this post?? I just enjoy reading real people so much more. The ones that seem to be putting there "perfect" selves out there for the world to see make me sick. That's why I love you and your blog. You are so real and so loveable! And hilarious!

Joe(y) Speredon said...

It is great to hear the thoughts behind the other side of the argument. This has been a true insight. Many men should read this post and take detailed notes. It is a comfort to know it's not just us. Sarah and I have had very similar arguments.

Linds said...

oh wow. I just love you. :)