Speak Up

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Reverse Effect

Just leave me alone. Did I just say that?

As you all know very well, chefs work a tremendous amount of time each week. And as far as my life goes I see my chef for about an hour when he gets home from work sometime after midnight each night. That is, with the exception of Sundays and Mondays. We spend Sundays together doing any number of normal semi-newly-wed activities. We see movies, go grocery shipping, get haircuts (we have the same hairdresser), eat brunch in the city, eat burgers local, go to the mall, walk the waterfront, and so on and so forth. Then Monday comes.

Most of the time I have fabulous Mondays. I get through my work day knowing that Erik is at home waiting for me. Such a treat! When I get home we might make dinner together, go out to eat, or even go ice skating across the street.

Some Mondays are awful! Keep in mind I spend Tuesday through Saturday alone. I come home, check my emails, blog, read, grade papers, make dinner, make my lunch for the next day, shower, watch some TV, make tea, facebook my brother, and a number of other solo activities. So once in a while when I come home on a Monday I just need some "me" time. I want to check my emails and change out of my teacher clothes and just do my own thing. But the chef is over hollering from the couch that he wants to go out to dinner. Well, keep in mind I'm staring at the bag of empty Chinese food containers by the door. So he woke up at 4, ordered Chinese food and now he wants to go out to eat. Come on! Oh yeah, he ran the dishwasher. Amazing. He didn't clean the bathroom because he said it doesn't need it. Really? It's a bathroom! Home to poo, pee, earwax, and slime in the sink. I'm pretty sure it should be cleaned every week-at the very least. But what do I know.

Needless to say, today was one of those Mondays. I don't know what to do. We've been arguing ever since I got home and just can't seem to shake it. So I was honest and said I need to spend the rest of the night alone. Well, that was easy when I was taking a shower and now writing this blog. But now I'm bored and he's hogging the good TV playing a video game.

Am I terrible? I know my time is limited with my chef. I appreciate the moments we spend together, I do. But he's kind of being a jerk today. And I know I am too. But at least I admitted it. I know why I'm cranky. I came home aready pretty tired and on top of that, for an hour we just yammered on about what we wanted to do tonight. Every time he suggested something and I agreed he'd change his mind and say, "Never mind, I don't want to do that now."

So it's 6:30 now and I'm wrapping up this blog post thinking it's going to be a long night.



Anonymous said...

hey lady,

i'm sorry you're having a shitty night. it's happens to everyone. i also completely understand the weird guilt that you have ove it because you don't get to spend every night with your man..... but stop beating yourself up. i'm glad you stood up for yourself and i'm sorry that you're not having a great night, but you DO get to go to Italy. and it is a full moon tonight - so you could chalk up all the weird energy to that and take the blame off you and your hubby.

feel better.

Anonymous said...

I know that we would not be as happily married as we are now if my husband were home every night at 5:00.

A full moon makes me totally crazy, too.

Anonymous said...

I think that happens to a lot of us - we had a long day at work, and the chef was off all by himself and is ready to do something fun, and all we chefwives want to do is our normal stuff and get to bed at a normal hour. The chef wants to stay up all night and is full of energy because he slept all day. It's led to a few nasty fights for between us too..more of them than I'd like to admit, actually. In your case, I'd probably grab a book and sit with him on the couch while he plays his game. Good luck - and remember, there's nothing wrong with being used to your solo routine.

Heather said...

I have had chefwife guilt more than once during my 12 year marriage. Take time by yourself when you need it. There is nothing to feel guilty about there. I think we value our time together with our spouses more because we have so little of it, but it is hard to change our routine when they are home. It helps when they understand that. I still remind my chef that life at home goes on when he is at work and it is up to me to react to it.

Anonymous said...

Oh.my.godness. I just discovered your blog and I have to say it's fantastic and a total sanity saver. My partner of 9 years is a pastry chef, so I've been fortunate to have not been subjected to insane hours, for the most part. He somewhat recently took on a new job that has him doing the 6 days a week, 14 hour days thing. It's a city where I know one, so distraction is difficult. And I'm always wondering if I'm irrational and unreasonable, or if this is really as difficult as it feels at times. Thank you for confirming the latter.

Anonymous said...

Apologies for sullying your page with grammatical errors.

Anonymous said...

It's funny. The happiest chef wives are the most independent people - either naturally, or as a learned defense mechanism (and a healthy one at that). It is completely understandable that you cannot instantly come home from work on a Monday and go into Chef's-Home! mode. Normally, you're alone. You survive on your own by making the most of your YOU time.

Our first year of marriage was very unhappy, and we have grown out of (WORKED at and out) so many of those problems. One of them was me wanting every moment that he was able to spend with me to be quality time. Sundays and Mondays were so sacred that I became easily disappointed if either of us was not in the same mood. I had to learn that, sometimes, you just need alone time, even if it's a Hub's-Home! Day. Just let it go, draw yourself a bath (ok, sorry bad suggestion - mine grimes up the bathroom too!!), and make an effort the next night to get yourself in a good mood before he comes home. If you can't, scratch off another night and get extra sleep, big deal. You'll be missing him again soon enough!

PS, if I may generalize unfairly by gender: Men love alone time, even if they're bugging you about wanting to eat. He'll probably miss you more next time he can't see you. He probably thinks your independence is sexy in general. When I started getting a life of my own and refusing to miss my husb so much, he was a little disappointed and suddenly all over me. If you're strong enough to fight off the full-moon crazies (accept it, it's real!), it may be a productive night for you both as individuals, and in turn, for your relationship.
PS - I'm sorry to hear you're having a rough night, but I'm happy to hear your only human! Sometimes I wonder...!
Wow, that's a lot of babbling. Sorry.