Yesterday M went shopping while I was at work. When I arrived home there was a red gift bag on top of the wardrobe in the bedroom. I ignored it.
He tried very hard to engage me in conversation. I resisted. He tried to get me to commit to finishing dinner. I said I wasn’t hungry*.
I made a cup of tea and settled on the couch to read. We watched a really bad movie**. I ignored the bag and fell asleep.
This morning he asked me, “is there a red bag in the bedroom? I wonder what it could be…” in the hope I would show some enthusiasm. I knew what was in the bag, and I really don’t care. He had somewhere to be, so I finally gave in, got the bag, pulled out the box of chocolates (you knew that’s what it was, right?) and thanked him.
He made a big deal of telling me that he had the lady at the candy shop take out all the fruit-filled ones, looking like a child who is hoping he got it right.
“Oh, here’s a salted caramel!” I said.
“You like them, or hate them?” he asked.
“They are my current favorite,” was my reply.
Let me explain. I work in an ice cream/candy shop. I sell salted caramels all day long. They are fabulous and I have mentioned them, bragged about the quantity I sell, and flat out stated that I love dark salted caramels. He did not hear me. Not once.
The ladies met at the sweet shop for Fiber Night. The Boss works on Wednesday and I said, “before I tell you about my day, I want to prove a point.” I called The Boss over and asked, “of all of the things we sell in this shop, what is my favorite?”
“Dark salted caramels,” he replied without hesitation. “You don’t like the divinity or fudge because they’re too sweet and make your teeth hurt. Your favorite ice cream is Tillamook Mudslide.”
I see this man maybe half an hour a week, and not usually all at the same time. I started working for him in May.
M and I have been a couple for over 11 years and he has no idea what my favorite anything is, or if he does he doesn’t care.
When I related my story to the ladies, The Boss was listening. His reply, “you deserve so much more. You need to leave.”***
“Coal to Newcastle,” declared A. “You would think he could get you something else this year! And he says habits are for wimps!”
We’re all in agreement – M has to go. Or, I have to go. You know what I mean. My hope is that if I play this right he will take another trip at the end of the month and I can get out. Pretending that everything is fine is quite painful, but I refuse to let this whole Holiday gift thing get me down. I bought him clothes, keeping the cost at about where the chocolates cost him (he paid cash – I looked at the receipts 😉 because he has been whining about needing clothes for a few weeks. Buying is much less expensive emotionally than making him anything, and he can’t complain about anything.
As for how to spend Christmas day, I don’t know yet what I’ll do. Avoid him as much as possible, probably. I’m on jury duty, so I can’t go visit family because they don’t notify potential jurors until after 5:30 the day before they serve, and they have to report by 8:30 the next morning – a four-hour drive at o’ dark-thirty is not something I want to do, so I will stay in town next week.
I hope you all are having Happy Holidays! 2013 will be my year to create some new traditions!
* I’ve started buying food on the way to work or going to the sandwich shop next door for lunch. That way, if M is not hungry, I won’t cook. If there are no ingredients in the house, I won’t cook. If he starts a meal, I won’t finish it. I am having trouble eating if he’s in the house. Sitting across from him at the table I have to totally tune him out, not look at him, no conversation at all, or the food sticks in my throat. Sick, I know.
** The Expendables, if you care. I chose it because he would hate it. We heard about it at his sister’s house – the whole family loved it. I found it hard to sit through, but I suffered just because I knew he was suffering more. Sick and petty, I know.
*** Don’t get the wrong idea – he is very happily married to an absolutely adorable woman who he is crazy about. He has been put through the wringer and is now very happy, so he understands.