Wednesday, August 10, 2005


I spent a LONG time on the phone last night with a friend who tends to talk a lot, at least on the phone; she’s pretty starved for adult conversation, and her husband was working late that night. When our girls were both 5, The Boy was 2, she had a newborn, and we were both 100% SAHMs, if I called her at 4:00 p.m. to check about car pool arrangements for Brownies, it was guaranteed that I’d be late starting supper, because she would talk, and talk, and talk, while I went, “Uh huh, yes, ok, right.”

She’s been “home” for six years, and agonizes about when to return to work (and what to do when she does). She believes that if she goes back to work and her daughter gets pregnant, that it will be her fault for not being home 24/7. Sounds to me like she thinks all moms are to blame for their kids’ bad decisions/bad luck!

She also is very deferential to her husband, to the point of weirdness. For instance, if I say she can bring her kids over to play, she’ll say, “I need to talk to P. about that.” She spends time with a group of Fundamentalist moms who really buy into the submissive, deferring wife thing. Great if that works for you, but her husband doesn’t give a rat’s a** about the kid care. (And it’s not a mom thing either; if D. told me when I got home that he’d arranged for the kids to go somewhere, I’d say great!)

Hey, whatever makes you happy, right? But what if behaving the way you think you should, brings frustration rather than satisfaction?

Approximate “Cheers” dialogue:
Dr. Crane: Woody, you need to talk about what’s bothering you.
Woody: Oh, no, Dr. Crane. That’s not what we do in Indiana. If something’s bothering you, you just keep stuffing it down inside.
Dr. Crane: Tick. Tick. Tick.

The Girl: Other people talk on the phone a lot. How come you and Dad don’t say much when people call?
Me: Because they call us for information; it doesn’t take long to deliver “yes” and “no.” (D and I are not chatters on the phone!)


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