Holiday Hell Lift-off

19 Dec

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.


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11 responses to “Holiday Hell Lift-off

  1. Paula

    December 19, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Too funny! You called it–chocolates! I still think you should go see Life of Pi on Christmas day. It’s got to be playing somewhere close. If it’s in 3-D, even better. As soon as you leave, I’m sending you a big box of dark chocolate salted caramels!!

  2. Awana

    December 19, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    I have already given her lipstick for the transformation–it’s Martha’s go-to for everyday power decision-making for the empire…

  3. Melanie

    December 20, 2012 at 3:50 am

    I’m glad you bought him clothes instead of making them. You energy deserves a better project.
    Why did he give you your gift so early? What’s wrong with Christmas morning (other than you don’t want it)?
    Could you use jury duty as an escape excuse? Is there any way possible you could pretend you got the call to serve and then just leave and never return? Do you have a storage unit to put your belongings piece by piece this week so you don’t have to pack to leave? Or could you put bit by bit in the trunk of the car? Or just leave it and have friends go back (with the police for safety) to get it for you? You can probably stay in a DV shelter in the first few days or month and they could help you get a restraining order against him.
    You do deserve better. Now. This shit is killing you. The stress, the anger, the hurt are bad for your body (I’m the pot calling the kettle black here) and it’s time for you to be you, to have you, to appreciate you without having to fight his words against you.

    • Sofia Leo

      December 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm

      He gives his gifts whenever HE is ready – the actual Day means little, he has to be in total control of when the goodies are handed out.

      I do plan to use jury duty as an excuse if I can – I also work, so both schedules need to be lined up. I told him last night that my number was coming up again, but with Christmas so close, it may be difficult to find an RV dealer that is open when I have a chance to visit.

      I have rented a P.O. box, but not a storage unit yet – that’s on the slate for next week. It will be difficult to move things out without him noticing, but since he has been bitching about how much stuff fills the back room, I have been taking things to “donate” a bit at a time, which so far has made him happy. I’ll be stepping that up in the next week.

      There is no DV shelter in my town, and I can’t afford to live elsewhere and still work. The economy here is shit, so finding another job is a problem, even moving to another town. I expect that will change come Spring and I’ll have a chance at something else, but for now my little job is the only game in town.

      It is difficult. It does suck. Wrapping my mind around how to get out with the least amount of repercussions plagues me day and night. Thank all that’s holy we don’t have children!

      • Melanie

        December 21, 2012 at 7:30 am

        If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know. You’re almost there.

  4. Awana

    December 21, 2012 at 1:09 am

    Really–it’s time to have fun…

    • Awana

      December 21, 2012 at 4:02 am

      OK–It has a long intro…

  5. El Guapo

    January 2, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    I can’t imagine how much fun the little shots at him are for you!
    Are they having any negative effects on you? Is just tuning him out (like at dinner) an option?
    Or can they be shots at him that you would enjoy whatever the thing is (like a movie you would like that he wouldn’t so you can at least enjoy it?)?

    • Sofia Leo

      January 3, 2013 at 9:34 am

      Negative effects? It does make me feel petty sometimes, and I wonder where this bitchiness comes from. Then I think of my sister and remember that I inherited it 🙂 It is fun (in a sick way) to snark at him. I’ve always felt that if you love someone you should avoid their hot buttons, take care with what you say, not deliberately hurt their feelings, be respectful, so this poking at him feels wrong, but it’s all I have at the moment to defend myself with and it will have to do.

      Tuning him out doesn’t work every time. Now that I am aware of our patterns, I can predict which response to him will provoke the smallest blow-up and I choose that option. Walking out so far has gotten the biggest reaction out of him, but I can’t use that for much longer…


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