Thursday, July 12, 2012

Marriage Negotiations

There I was, sitting on the beach with my Dad, enjoying being peaceful and reading. Both of these things were made possible by the fact that Hubs was cavorting with Lady Baby at a comfortable and safe distance away from me.  As they frolicked through the waves, Dad commented, "he is such a good dad, spending time playing with her." To which I quickly, and possibly sarcastically, replied,"I surely hope so, considering y'all were gone all day playing golf yesterday." This brought a gasp and look of horror from my father. With that I rolled my eyes and let him in on the following little secret: We have a marriage of negotiations. I do something, he does something, we both make little notes in our secret score-keeping-books, then we compare what we did and judge each other. Repeat as needed. And as I told my Dad, I am perfectly fine with that. It is what we do. It is how we work. It is why we work. It's like Trump Tower over here at the Manor.

The better part of every one of my days is spent monitoring my child's eating, pooping, peeing, playing, and sleeping. If I am not personally overseeing these things, I have arranged a trustworthy and competent (except for that one time) person to do so in my absence. Because of this, I do not feel bad handing her to my husband upon his arrival home and saying, "this mess is all yours." I hate working on the weekends, but I don't feel bad leaving the two of them. I go out with someone somewhere usually about once a week, and I have no guilt. It's his turn. We be sharin', yo. I do all day and he does whenever else I ask. Mama needs a break and he gets time with Lady Baby.

We have always had a "favor for a favor" relationship. I am always asking him to turn a light out that is shining in my eyes (I'm a migraine induced vampire) and in exchange I will scratch his back. Symbiosis at its finest. When he gives Her Highness her every-other-night scrub, I do the dishes, even if I made dinner. He mows the grass, so I vacuum. See how this works? Give and take. Some people say tit for tat (*giggle*) but that has such negative connotations. Call it whatever you want. Just know that if you see him at the grocery store I am probably at home cleaning a toilet. Seems fairs.

Call me insensitive, a non-romantic (I am sure there is a word for that), but I have no interest in doing everything for a spouse who does nothing. And by nothing I mean over and above his job, because we both have one of those. Part of mine I get paid for, part I do not. I am already taking care of myself and one other. I need help with everything else. So we trade favors. We haggle. We take turns. And that is okay. I don't expect everything for nothing, and neither does he. Some of you are surely judging us right now, saying we do things because we love each other. Because his happiness is vital to my well being and vicey-versey. While that is true, and does happen occasionally, it is unrealistic. Just this morning he carried the ladder upstairs for me. Such a gentleman. Yesterday, I bought him pop tarts at the grocery store. Because I care. But for the day to day business of life, it is a constant board meeting. We both get what we want and everything gets done. You scratch my back, I will scratch yours. You pick up my dirty dishes, I will wash your clothes. I wipe child's poop hiney, you can clean up dog barf. Everyone is happy. Win-freakin-win.

NYC Vacation. I let him give me a kiss at the train station and he let
 me buy a black market bag in China town. Or something like that.

We have been married for eight years, so we must be doing something right. (Read here for the story about all that.) 


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