A Second Cookie

There are 106 partially completed blog posts sitting in my draft folder,with titles like Locked and Loaded, I Once Met A Model, She Lives In My Head,  Russian Nesting Dolls, Reina De La, Two Pieces Of Sand, etc.

Scrolling through them this morning,  the following caught my eye.  I know I’ve told the story about the second cookie before, but  it bears repeating…at least I think so. 😉  It has been a very good week since getting the biopsy results on Tuesday.  Really touched me how many of you took the time to comment and wish me well. DM

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I come home most nights physically and mentally exhausted from work.

We are re-roofing a 160 ft long cattle shed and as I mentioned to Tim  Monday morning when he came in 20 minutes late, he did not have a clue as to  all of the job pressures that I was under….

Concerns about the wind ripping off the #30 felt before we got it covered.  If that happened,I would have to absorb the cost of material and labor to redo it.

Safety concerns.

Dealing with  mud and not being able to get equipment in to where it needs to be.

Time pressures.

Employee’s coming in late or not at all.

Cash flow pressures.

Communication and expectation issues with the customer,  bla bla bla…

Some day he might understand, and when that day came, I wanted him to give me a call. 😉

I am living my life for the long haul, and yes, while this current project sucks a lot out of me, I am doing OK.

I have learned to pay attention to my inner world and pace myself.

I am so thankful my wife recognizes my need to transition when I get home and gives me space.

I  know three men, all married to women who regularly put major expectations on their husband’s time after they get home from work.  None of these men are what I would call  couch potatoes.  I was catching up with two of them recently and both  casually mentioned some of the tasks their wives had saddled them with in addition to their own personal responsibilities.

I kept quiet, but inside I was thinking, you have got to be kidding me.

(I’m not talking about fixing a leak in the sink, but hours and hours of busy work.)

Years ago, Mrs DM used to take care of an elderly lady I’ll call Ann.  Ann’s husband  (Carl) was still very much alive.  Wife’s job was mostly to do a little laundry, pick up around the house, that sort of thing.  Ann was pushing mid 90’s at this point.  One morning while wife was sitting in the chair talking with Ann,  Carl starts grilling Ann about the 2nd cookie he suspects she has eaten that morning…..

A second cookie!!!

Now I get it.  She didn’t have an active life style and cookies = empty calories =weight gain.  The other side of the equation was Ann was still 100% still in her right mind, she didn’t have long to live, and cookies were one of the few pleasures she could enjoy.

To this day, that exchange comes up in our home.  If either one of feels the other is over stepping their bounds with the other, we will bring up Carl and micro-managing the cookie count.

This same issue could just as easily surface between a parent and their older child, or a child and their aging parent.

Boundaries,  and imposing my will on the will of someone else who is of sound mind and body, “in the name of love.”

If you are reading this and happen to fall into the camp of being a controller,

I have two words for you…

Stop it!

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PS.  If you are on the receiving end of a controlling personality,  and need to talk, feel free to leave  a comment and or question.  I have a great readership base here,  with lots of insight.  DM

 

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8 thoughts on “A Second Cookie

  1. A caregiver once chided my 95 year old grandfather for having a piece of chocolate– and is for giving it to him. (!)
    I often feel bad for mr. H. C. who works on other people’s houses for a living and then comes home to ours. I try to be conscious of that but thanks for the reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amen to all that! And what a great “inside joke” or code to have… the 2nd cookie.
    If there is a secret to whatever success my very unconventional pairing with my husband has had, I think this is it: we mostly leave each other alone when it comes to these “micromanaging” kind of things.
    My husband took up smoking again and while, if I thought of it at length, it might make me nuts, I don’t think at length about it and I don’t bother going nuts. Because I am ever mindful of the example of my father and mother: my father smoked for years and my mother never let him forget that it stunk, his clothes stunk, it was expensive, etc. Unable to quit, he just had to endure years and years of shaming. When he finally stopped smoking, but then found himself similarly somewhat addicted to nicotine gum, my mother kept at it….it’s expensive, it’s gross, it’s a bad habit. She shames him to this day…
    I figure, he started smoking when he was 12. His childhood was a 100% nightmare, orphaned at 8, he did well with his life but he has struggled with anxiety and depression for years, and besides nicotine, his main vices are sweets and caffeine. No drinking, devoted family man, and incredibly loving and supportive guy for nearly 50 years. If he chews nicotine gum, so be it. I am just glad he stopped smoking 15 years ago, in time for his lungs to heal some, in time for him to live through 2 occurrences of lung cancer. Like my husband, he only ever smoked outside, so it didn’t really affect the rest of us.
    I am fat and my husband never ever says anything to me about what I eat. He smokes and I don’t mention it to him. We were adults when we met each other and while our vices are no good– and I hope both of us lick overeating (me) and smoking (him) so we can live longer, at least we’re wise enough to know that shaming each other won’t be the way we fix ourselves or each other.
    Good for you and MM. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your description of your mom shaming your dad for the smoking habit, is quite powerful. I have experienced it to a lesser degree when it comes to money management coming from my dad….I’m not even sure in his case, he is intentionally doing it, but I feel the shame just the same. I like how you and your hubby are willing to let each other live your lives w/o the nagging. There’s a Jewish proverb that talks about better to live alone on the top of a house roof (out in the elements) than share a house with a nagging spouse. Can’t be any more blunt that that. No thank you. Always good to hear from you Lisa! PS. I like how spending a few days @ the store gives you even better insight into your hubbies days…that is good stuff 😉 Later! DM

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  3. P.S. I just spent a week and half working at my husband’s store. He routinely puts in 14 hour days and spends/spent much of that outdoor with our produce stalls and working as his own GC for the (not always competent or thorough) folks he’d hired to build a temporary winter enclosure/shelter. Some of those 14 hour days stretched into 16 hour days when we added in runs to the hardware store at closing time, and some plumbing problems at home…this all during really brutal winds and cold here in NYC.
    I was reminded again (by being there) that I really have no CLUE how hard he works or how many stresses he juggles…I was SO aware while working at the store that it was a mountain of problems and a mountain of work. That was the first thing I thought of when you talked about the work you’re doing now…I can only assume it’s all done under pretty harsh conditions, in addition to everything else you’ve detailed. Bravo for the working heroes amongst us, who most often, in my experience, are NOT the complainers among us!
    For those of us who mostly don’t do manual labor, I think that’s something always worth keeping sight of: you probably DON’T get it, when it comes to what a person who works with his or her hands really goes through on the hard days. (I would say that the same can often be said about people with seriously mentally or emotionally taxing jobs, jobs with awful bosses or awful challenges…other people probably don’t get it unless they share the experiences).
    A good reminder not to assume you know what it is to walk in someone elses shoes. And maybe a good reminder for all spouses to give their partners the benefit of the doubt and just try to be the haven for each other that we need to be— because the world is hard enough already…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s quite simple, and a lesson ingrained from my Mom, “Don’t save your best manners for strangers.”

    I have a (work) friend who is a nag. Naggety-nag-nag-nag. She constantly tells me how she can’t believe (!!) I tolerate Hubbs’ smoking and how “I just need to lay down the law and tell him him blah blah blah.” She comments, snarps, and snarls.

    Now, I don’t love that he smokes, but he is a very considerate one, smoking outside, he is clean and fastidious and doesn’t smell of it. He also has smoked since he was a young teen and believe you me, my nagging at him is not going to get him to quit… he will quit when he’s ready to .. or not. She just can’t leave me alone about it. When

    I shudder when I think what her home/married life is like — the shaming … Oy!

    Great post, DM!

    MJ

    Liked by 1 person

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