Last Wednesday my family went on a hike in the White Mountains with friends. It was a vertical ascent, rocky at times, but not terribly difficult. I like the outdoors, but I don't like these types of hikes. I'm more of a distance person-I don't care how beautiful the moutain peaks look from up anywhere, and I don't like climbing up, because that means I have to climb down. Anyhoo- what I really wanted to do Wednesday was sit in the main house, read a book or two, take a nap, listen to music, be alone. No child to look after, no husband to cater to, just enjoy quality time with me, something I haven't done in a long time.
I didn't say all that to my husband Wednesday morning. I said something like "I want to stay here for the day." My husband didn't think that was a good idea, and bargained with me: I could have Saturday AND Sunday to myself if I went on the hike Wednesday. Saturday was bullshit-I already had that day to go see a theater performance, and Sunday I (try to) take Tallu and myself to church, so I didn't see how that was much of a deal. What, I get my Sunday off after I take my kid to church? Then it's not a day off, see? None of that matters, really. What I wanted was to enjoy a few moments of solitude in a relaxing place, which I had right there under my feet. What I got was a rocky climb up a mountain, aching knees and feet, and a sweaty back, and plenty of time to think, since neither of us spoke to each other in the car or on the mountain unless necessary.
I could have said no, I want to stay here, and I'm staying. My husband would have been disappointed and upset, but I would have had my relaxing day. He would have still had his hike up White Mountain with people who really wanted to be there. Everybody wins.
I chose to go on the hike to make my husband happy, to keep marital accord. My husband is the sole financial provider for the family. He drove us eight hours to get to Maine, and everywhere else we went while on vacation. If he wants me to go on the hike, I thought, the least I can do is go. I had this great line I wanted to spit at my husband in the imaginary conversation I had with him in my head, something like: "You know, I'm really sorry that you don't value my time as much as I value yours." I thought it was such a zinger, until I realized that, by choosing to go, I was the one who devalued my time.
Ugh, I feel so stupid. No, I feel like I'm in my parent's house again. The household axiom was "When you pay the bills, you can do what you want." No bill paying on this end, so there goes my power. It is an awful way to feel, and I can't believe I've allowed myself to feel like this. Stupid and powerless, of my own accord. When did I become this woman?
ps- no, i didn't get saturday off. i did get to go to the show, however, so i got an hour and a half or so "to myself."