I drove off to meet my knitting friends last night in a towering rage. I spent the three hours that should have been easy and fun venting to them about the asshole I live with. They were properly horrified and I am grateful they let me get it out and I apologize for making their evening so grim. I also had a wicked headache from the gaping hole in my tooth, so I’m sure I was a proper savage companion. I furiously typed out the last two blog posts so that they wouldn’t eat me from the inside out.
It’s funny that the best part of my day so far has been the moment the dentist jabbed a big-ass needle into my tender gums. I have a huge problem with needles in general and with dentists especially, which is unfortunate as I inherited bad teeth from both sides of my family*. The feeling of that needle going in was so easy this time – so much easier than waking up next to that man again. He was still breathing. I was disappointed.
Silent treatment last night. When I arrived home he was in bed, covers pulled up over his ears, unresponsive. I said, “I’m back.” “Good,” was his only reply. Fine with me. I had a cup of tea, took something for my pain and sat in a chair for a delightful hour of reading.
His only other words to me were, “Are you ever going to share the Kindle with me?”
He is referring to my volunteering to show him where he can find free books online and how to search Amazon for free classics. He’s an intelligent man, he should have figured it out by now, but he wants me to walk him through it. I said that I would be happy to send him some links and that was it.
Took a long time to fall asleep, but I think I got a couple of hours before the alarm went off. Not a peep from him. I dressed, the dog got loose, and I left. I had no time to deal with the dog, so I hope she came back in one piece – he hasn’t called to say one way or the other, and even though I know I’m supposed to call, I refuse.**
As promised, here’s some of the transcript of what was said after I yelled back at M yesterday –
HIM: You say, you say, when I come in and I say I’d like to move this stuff so I can get that wood out of there. Do I have permission to move your stuff. You say, Let’s work on that together. I will come and help you and we can work on that together.
ME: So it has to be my decision…
HIM: It does!
ME: I have to volunteer…
ME: I have to change the entire language of the entire conversation to me helping you.
HIM: No! You aren’t helping me. We’re doing it together.
ME: So I have to take your project and instantly make it my own and go and assist you so that we can work as a team.
HIM: It’s your project. For starters, it’s in your space. Entirely in your space.
ME: So anything that happens in my space, I need to involve myself and make it my project…
HIM: Yes. It happens that our entire existence here is your space, too. There’s other things that go on here that you think have nothing to do with you, too, but they actually do. Because, you know, they’re ours. You don’t think in terms of OURS.
ME: So instead of asking me if this would be a good time, to do some stuff in “my space,” you had to create all of this?
HIM: I don’t feel that I created this, I think that you did.
ME: By using the wrong language, by not jumping up to come and help you, instead I asked if I could help instead of making this my project so we could work on it as a team, even though maybe it’s not really convenient for me at the moment because I was in the middle of some number stuff…
HIM: Well, certainly, if you came and asked me…if you said to me, “you need to get that saddle down…” I’d jump right up and help with that because it’s something that would take two people and, you know, my stuff is all over it. So obviously you’re going to have some hassles dealing with my stuff so I wouldn’t even hesitate. I’m there.
ME: So why are you so offended when I say, “can I help you” …
ME: You could have just said, yeah, I need some help…
HIM: Do you want me to answer that question or not?
ME: Sure, go ahead.
HIM: What should have been so pitifully obvious is that you’re setting it up so I can say no.
ME: Why can’t you say yes?
HIM: I did say yes.
ME: No, you did not. You said you wanted to move the plywood. I asked if you needed any help. You said no. So how am I supposed to interpret that? Instead of asking if you need help I should have just jumped up, come out here and we would have done this thing together and then everything would have been fine. Is that what you’re telling me?
HIM: Why wouldn’t you do that? That’s what I’m wondering.
ME: I just told you because I was in the middle of trying to get some numbers right. If I could have had five more minutes I would have come out here, but now we have this thing.
HIM: I didn’t hear you say that.
ME: No, because when I asked you if you needed help you said no. So I assumed A – you were going to do something else first or B – you’re going to do it yourself because I am busy. When I ask somebody else if they need my help, there’s no judgement in it, its simply, can I assist you in any way?
HIM: What are you so busy with that you can’t help me?
Let’s skip ahead a bit –
ME: I don’t see why you’re so offended if I ask you if you need my assistance
HIM: Because…You’re not helping me at all!
ME: Right, I’m helping US. I get it. My thought process is off here. But it seems that my thought process is always off and we have this thing.
HIM: it’s this particular thing. This is it. Do you see the repetition in it?
ME: Yes, I do see the repetition and it really pisses me off.
HIM: Well, it pisses me off even more!
ME: Yeah? Well, I don’t understand that if I tell you, if I say to you, I’m offering you whatever assistance, how ever I can be of help why you’re so offended by that. I have to use the exact language that you…
HIM: Because you never take the lead.
ME: When I take the lead, you change how things are going.
HIM: Well, of course.
ME: Why should I take the lead then?
HIM: Why should I take the lead?
ME: Because you are the one who decides how the project goes in the end.
HIM: In the end YOU determine how things happen around here, in all things. Don’t give me that shit! It’s a very passive aggressive command form. That’s what I’m objecting to! Years and years of it!
When I ask him if I can help with a task that we’ve done together many times, that’s a passive aggressive question. WTF?
It just gets more confusing from there and I’m getting pissed off listening to it again, so I will just stop, save the file to disk and leave it alone.
* The tooth is fixed, I almost have all feeling back in my face and will shortly indulge in my once-weekly treat of a BLT from the lovely shop next door.
** Don’t get me wrong – I love my dog. I know that she will come back just fine, hopefully without pissing off any of the neighbors or eating any chickens or cats. I wonder how much of her badness is due to the constant tension between her people?