By BERN MORLEY
We women are quite wonderful really. We have the ability to maintain our rage and hide it away for just the right amount of time so it can be released with maximum effect at precisely the right time. This, my friends, is truly a gift.
I don’t find I get the opportunity to maintain the rage nearly as much as I once did. When I was younger and unmarried, I had a boyfriend who was often kind of rude to me in social situations. I would go along with the game, keep a straight, often giddy face and say nothing.
Nothing until we got home. And then I would unleash hell. Ahh, those were the days… I bet he misses me.
However, Phil and I are pretty much the masters of the silent fight. We rarely, if ever, have an all-out shout out loud, call the cops, argument. We keep quiet about it, yet are both so in tune with one another, we know exactly the minute something is up.
So there are nights of going to bed and retreating to our own sides of the bed. Or speaking to each other in limited statements, such as “Jack just shat his pants” or “the toilet is blocked”. And often I wonder if this is healthy. I’ve got girlfriends who pretty much just lay it all on the table.
If something bothers them, well then, in front of all and sundry, they will pretty much have it out. Now this of course makes us, the people they’ve invited over for a BBQ, a little uncomfortable. But hey, at least the rage is not being maintained. Is this the best way though?
Probably my biggest moment of suppressed anger started on the 2nd of December, 2006. Why do I remember the date so well? Oh well, possibly because it was the day before I gave birth to our 3rd child, Jack.
I was about 100 years pregnant and ready to pop. No seriously, it was my due date. It also happened to be the night of our annual street party.
So, feeling AOK, we walked up the hill to the party, socialised and I left Phil to continue cooking sausages and shooting the shit and took the other two kids home around midnight.
Around 2am, I heard the scraping of a badly manoeuvred BBQ onto the deck and felt my husband flop down beside me into the bed. That’s when the smell of a thousand beers hit me. Ha, I thought to myself, he’ll be visiting the bathroom regularly tomorrow. He never got that chance.
Around 3am I felt a twinge. Now, no matter how many babies you have given birth to, you still never quite remember the feeling of going into labour until it actually happens again. I guess this is nature’s version of temporary amnesia because clearly, without it, we’d never go back for more. So, I felt it and tried to ignore it. I mean, my husband was blotto, passed out beside me.
my best and held out until about 6am. That’s when I had to rouse him. To his credit, he sprung out of bed, I rang my best friend and she came to look after Maddie and Sam. We were on our way to the hospital by 6:30am. Clearly this was ridiculous. He would still have had alcohol in his system and in hindsight, a cab or ambulance would have been a better mode of transport.
Jack Morley, the giant baby, was born just after 8am. Phil, was at this point, fading fast. Here is a picture of him, having a little lie down with Jack about 20 minutes after he was born. Because, he was “a little bit tired”. Oh. Okay.
I had just done the majority of the labouring at home, in silence, (Because apparently I’m now a Scientologist) not wanting to bother the pissed irresponsible husband and he was a “little bit tired”?
Here’s the thing. I didn’t even realise I was annoyed about this, nor did I particularly want to be, but it just kind of snuck up on me. About a week later, when it all sunk in and I realised that I was that mother whose husband was basically flammable in the delivery suite, I realised I had been sitting on a teensy bit of suppressed anger.
It might have been when he was relaying the story about how tired he was and how the day seemed to “drag on forever”.
Needless to say, when, four weeks later he was resting a pack of frozen peas on his testicles from the vasectomy he’d breezily put his hand up for, my sympathy levels were small to non-existent.
So, do you maintain the rage? Or do you let fly in situ? Or a little bit of both?
Bern is a Gen X, child of the 80′s. Kept busy being a working mother of 3 children, one with Aspergers, renovating the original money pit and drinking too many coffees in the space of 24 hours. One day she’ll remember to leave the meat out for tea but until then she writes beautiful and amusing posts on her blog which you can find here: http://bernmorley.blogspot.com/