Thursday, November 10, 2011

Can't You Just...

Can't you just. Three little words, so innocent and non-threatening when they're all by themselves, but stack them one on top of another, up and up and up and soon, they're towering over me like an impending avalanche. Looming. Suffocating with their massive weight.

My last, "Can't you just..." piece was placed on top of my already created mountain, and came tumbling down. It had it's casualties. My cheerful morning was ruined and my husband reeled from the severe bite wound of, "I JUST SAID, I WOULD DO IT!" It seemed like a petty thing, asking me to run to the bank, but on top of all the rest, it brought the mountain down.

Can't you just. 

My schedule is packed. I mean, every minute, every second of every day. Those three little words cause more chaos than anyone in my family understands. "Can't you just get me one more glass of water?" Every step to retrieve this water, standing waiting for the cup, pushing through the stalling tactics of going to bed, is directly proportional to the amount of time I will have to stay up to finish studying. Forget the fact that I had just asked you if you needed anything before bed ten minutes ago.

"Can't you just help me get dressed?" Means I have less time to make sure we have everything we need to before we leave in the morning, and has on more than one occasion, resulted in my going hungry throughout the day, because I didn't have time to make me a lunch, or a forgotten piece of crucial homework.

"Can't you just tell me what there is to eat?" No. I haven't had the menus printed. Get off your butt and go look.

"Can't YOU just call the insurance company?" I'm on the phone in my car, or during the 10 minutes between classes taking care of something that seems so incredibly simple.

"Can't you just go to school conferences?" Now I must check my work schedule, call the school to find a different night and time, and take an hour and a half out of my nightly list of things to do.

Can't you just...get that paperwork together, pay that bill, send that email, take the kids to the walk-in clinic, pick up that prescription, feed the dogs, look up someone's phone number, get the kids out of the bath, help me with my homework, pick up snacks for school, drive the kids to or from school, make that appointment, approve that ad, or record that show?

When asked what I'm doing today, when I say "not much" doesn't mean I'm sitting in the recliner eating bon-bons. It just means that I don't have to work after classes. I still have housework, homework, laundry, dishes and other menial tasks that fill my day.

I used to think that it was just easier to resign myself to this position since it probably would take me half the time to do it. But now, when I have to claw my way out from beneath the rubble without any recognition or appreciation, I realize I have put myself in a very dangerous position. A position of being constantly frustrated, to a point of gnashing teeth and high blood pressure. Of being too weary to be able to do the "fun" things, like going for a walk or playing outside.

So now it's my turn. I'm throwing some stones your way, and if we all carried just a little bit, it would be a lesser burden.

Can't you just pick up after yourself? And I mean actually put the dishes IN the dishwasher instead of gambling that the last spoon isn't going to topple the leaning tower of Pisa in the sink? Can't you just go to bed without argument, without poking each other and fighting over who has more blankets? Can't you just do what I ask the first (or I'll even take second) time I ask instead of wondering why I'm hurting your feelings because I've raised my voice on the 8th try? Can't you just respect me as your mother/wife instead of your personal wait staff? Can't you just give me some input about what groceries to buy instead of complaining that, "There's nothing good." when I plan a week of nutritious meals? Can't you just take out the garbage when it's overflowing instead of attempting to put ONE MORE wrapper in and walking away when it falls to the floor? Can't you just do a couple of loads of laundry when, "I don't have any underwear." or at least put away the stacks of folded clothes that I have even sorted into shirts, pants, PJs and socks? Can't you just realize that when you leave them sitting out until I'm not even sure what's clean and what isn't anymore, that you have now created another hour of laundry? Can't you just take it upon yourself to do some of these things without me asking you first?

I drink LOTS of caffeine. Not because I particularly enjoy the taste of coffee, but more because I am up at 5:00 and in bed by 11:00 at the earliest. I NEED caffeine. I don't relish being "mean" or "hurting feelings," I am trying to do my best not to totally lose it and go ballistic on all of you. I really DO want to read just one more book at bedtime, but my precious minutes and seconds have been nearly eaten away throughout the day.

I know this is true for a lot of women out there, and I'm sure they would all want just a little empathy, a little compassion, and some more recognition. We know you've had a "hard" day, but I'm pretty sure you'd crumple under the pressure if you had to walk a few steps in my shoes.

I realize that at this rate, I'm going to end up with a couple of pansies, mama's boys, whose future wives will hate me if something doesn't change. And honey, when you scoff and rib me when some TV doctor tells the audience the benefits to your health if you're intimate 3 times a week? Help me make time in my schedule! Think about it. "I don't have time" does not mean, "I'm not interested." So let's make it happen, alright?! That should be some motivation for you.

So, because I know that everyone would benefit all around, then next time that, "Can't you just..." is casually flung out there. Expect a resounding, "No! No I can't." It's for your own good.

1 comment:

  1. Can't you just...tell it like it is!! I feel you on this one.