Friday, July 07, 2006

Help with understanding women

My weekdays are invariably like this:

  • 6.50am - wake up - shower, shave, put on a suit and quickly
  • Stuff back a bowl of gruel (aka All-Bran) and bring Linzi breakfast in bed (tea and toast, and her folic acid tablet). Kiss her, tell her I love her, then
  • Drive to work. This takes 45 minutes, but can be done in less than half an hour - depends on traffic.
  • Work from 8.30 to 5pm. Go to the gym at lunchtime on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • Get home around 6pm, except Thursday, when I play football after work, and don't get home until 7.45pm.
  • Get changed out of work stuff. Play with Erin, help Linzi with dinner. Talk to Linzi about her day.
  • Clear up dinner stuff, give Erin a bath, put her to bed around 8pm.
  • Unless there are jobs to be done on the house, after 8pm I generally just sit with Linzi and massage her feet while we watch shit tv. Sometimes I run her a bath. Sometimes I give her a massage.
  • Linzi goes to bed before me and reads - I sometimes go online. I usually end up getting into bed before she's finished reading, and I read for a while too. Sometimes there's sex. There's always sleep.
It's predictable and ordinary, and I like it like that. I've done the whole living-on-other-people's-couches-and-getting-wasted-every-night thing, and let me tell you, I prefer this. It's sane. It's comforting. It's love, and it works for us.

Most of the time.

I wrote all this to illustrate that I'm not a bad guy. I try my best, as a father and a husband. These days, I rarely drink, and when I do, it's on nights out with Linzi. I'm not the type of guy who leaves the wife and kids at home at the weekend so I can go and play golf and get wasted with the lads. We do stuff at weekends. You know, swimming, walks, whatever. Nothing amazing, but we do it together.

Anyway, yesterday evening was football. (We won, we played really well last night, thanks for asking.) I arrive home around 7.45pm, phone my grandparents to see how my Grandad's cataract laser surgery went (perfectly - he can see again!), then make Linzi dinner because she hasn't had anything yet - she's always neglecting herself in favour of others (ie Erin and I), and at 8 months pregnant, she should not be doing this. But try telling her that...

I'm chatty and generally the same as I usually am. Linzi's had a difficult day - Erin's potty-training at the moment, and she's on and off the potty twenty times a day. Because Linzi's so pregnant, it's difficult for her to manage. Her mother only lives ten minutes away from us, but she's fairly selfish and only comes over to us if there's something in it for her. Linzi wants to go shopping? Fine, she'll be happy to come over and pick her up. Same rules don't apply if the only reason Linzi wants her to come over is because she, Linzi, is dead on her feet and her back is in agony. Her mother really pisses me off sometimes, but that's a whole other blog post.

We have dinner, then I go upstairs for a quick shower. I also have a bath, because my whole body aches after the game. (I don't usually do this. Honest. I'm re-reading 'Filth' by Irvine Welsh at the moment - I read it ages ago but it's worth a second read. You'd be hard pressed to find a bigger asshole in popular fiction than Bruce Robertson. So, it was partly the pain, and partly an urge to read, that prompted me to have a bath.)

The bath drains me - I'm exhausted. I sit downstairs with Linzi for about half an hour watching this shitty American programme called High School Reunion - don't even fucking ask - then tell her I think I will go to bed. Partly because I am wrecked, and partly because I am horny, and since she's just about ready to pop, and she's had a bad day, I know she's not in the frame of mind to do anything sexual, so self-service is the way to go.

Then the tears start.

I scan my recent past, and can't come up with anything too assholey. Shit. It must be really bad, so bad that I don't even know what it is I've done wrong.

Me: What's the matter?

L: Nothing, just go to bed.

M: But why're ya crying?

L: I'm not, just go to bed if you're going.

M: Just tell me what's wrong, will you? What have I said? What did I do?

L: Nothing, it's just that you come home, you're on the phone for half an hour, then you go for a bath, and you're only sitting here with me for twenty minutes before you decide you're going to bed. I've had a shit day, my back is killing me, and after ten hours of babytalk I was hoping to have a bit of normal adult conversation. You're sitting here for twenty minutes and I am sore and exhausted and all you want to do is crawl into bed!

(I feel I should point out at this point that some female subjectivity has crept in in terms of time distortion. I was on the phone for about 15 minutes. I was sitting with Linzi for about 30 minutes. On top of this, she completely ignored the fact that I made her dinner and had been nothing but sympathetic to her plight regarding her terrible day. But apparently none of that matters.)

M: I'm sorry babe, I'm just exhausted -

L: You went up to bed early last night, and then you stayed on the computer until half past eleven!

(This is only because she was bidding for a Cowboy outfit on eBay and the auction was ending at 11.30pm so I stayed up to bid on the item. We didn't win the auction.)

M: You know I only stayed up because I had forgotten I had to bid on that auction!

Suffice to say, she's crying and I'm trying to figure out what I've done wrong. As far as I can see, my only crime is being tired. I understand that she's hormonal and very tired, and she's said as much herself, but my question is:

What can I do?

Yeah, yeah, it's a typical male response to say "How can I fix this?", but I am a guy, so tough shit.



Michael blathered this crap:

I knew half way through reading this post - the answer is hugs. More hugs than you think she will need. It will help you too. In fact it'll be great. Then if you're feeling cheesy, when she's finished unloading on you (fairly or otherwise) you just say "Wow, you're right. I understand how you feel, is there anything else you'd like to talk about (you will not talk, just her) because I'm happy to listen.

Insert more hugs.

Beckie R blathered this crap:

Don't say that with even a hint of sarcasm in your voice, though. And even just saying it might imply sarcasm. Ok, so don't say it at all. sometimes, whether we're right or wrong, we just need you to believe that we're right and apologize and make up for it. We don't always make sense, but then, neither do you!

Kav blathered this crap:

Thanks guys. Haven't been in for a few days, so it's all sorted now.

She was particularly down and there was not much I could've said to put things right.

27 years old and I'm not much better than I was as a young lad at figuring out how ladies tick...

Summer blathered this crap:

Hugging is always a sure way to fix everything. 'I love you' works well in conjuction with hugging. Apologizing, even when you aren't sure what you're apologizing for, is good.

You can also tuck her favorite foodie in your work briefcase. If she has a bad day, you can pull it out and say, 'Honey, for some reason, I felt like you were having a rough day. When I saw this at (insert quick store name) I thought it would be a good surprise.' This tactic should be used rarely and only in case of emergency.

By the way, what in the world are you watching 'High School Reunion' for? I live in the U.S. and I don't even watch that crap. I do watch your Footballer's Wives, Hex and Cash in the Attic. I suppose I like crap TV, too.

Kav blathered this crap:

Thanks summer...I've not only done the food thing recently, I've also done the magazine thing....double bonus points!

We're mainly watching High School Reunion because it is so shit and it gives us an excuse to bitch about the characters. It's a horrific programme. :-)

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