Let me start by saying I don’t have post-partum depression, at least not of the Brooke Shields variety. I’m just tired. And feeling frumpy. Oh, and I have this. Plus, for anyone who hasn’t been paying attention, I have a new baby that doesn’t know how to go to sleep. That’s my full disclosure before I go on.
Also, before I go on I want to emphasize that my husband is a pretty amazing guy. He just authored his own List of 100, and I have been dying to publish it here, but he insists on including “I’m a compulsive liar” as #100, to maintain what he describes as plausible deniability. Whatever. I just wish I could post the list in full, to illustrate how neat-o he is. Here are some random excerpts:
26. I have parachuted 43 times
32. I love to ski- I learned in the German Alps
38. I have a “secret” level security clearance from the US Government
52. I have done CPR on several people; they all died
56. I have been in two wars
79. Movies don’t make me cry, but they come close, even stupid ones
82. I like to clean things, especially dishes
95. I’d like to write a song.
96. I’ve personally extracted about 30 teeth
You get the idea. He’s got a fairly colorful past, and he’s a really interesting guy. His present existence is, I’m sure, dull by comparison to what came pre-Jenny. But he still makes it look like pie. On any given day, he can be found playing the guitar in the basement, concocting some gourmet feast based on what he read in his Cook’s Illustrated, chasing all the neighbor kids for fun, washing dishes in the blink of an eye, or cleaning our house in record time — the same house I couldn’t figure out how to clean all week. Suffice to say, he makes me feel a little unnecessary sometimes, and a lot like an under-achiever. It’s not anything he says. No, I think it’s his mere presence that casts a shadow.
Perhaps this is why I asked him to get the hell out of Dodge this morning after a very lame, shallow argument over a cup of coffee I left near the couch (while writing today’s other blog entry, mind you), which he later spilled all over our newly cleaned carpet as well as a fantastic red leather purse my parents just bought for me in Florence, Italy. (Believe it or not, the argument did not center around the purse.) I don’t know what came over me, but I just wanted him to go away for a while, so I requested as much.
I was standing there in my underwear and a t-shirt, nursing a whiny baby in a sling, my hair all scrambled, my teeth unbrushed, and yesterday’s mascara smeared under my eyes. I was operating on the scant sleep I got last night, all of it snatched in pieces between midnight and 6:00 a.m. Gray hairs are sticking out of my head. I need a hair-do. My skin looks old. I’m 11 pounds heavier than I was 10 months ago. My breath stinks because of these disgusting things. And there stood my husband, calling me out for being careless with my coffee cup, and he was freshly showered, sporting his new haircut, rested, and ready to go whirring about with yet another load of laundry. Happy, fun guy! Totally independent and self-sufficient! Gives horsy rides even though he’s got a herniated disk or two! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! I just suddenly got this feeling of shame and unworthiness. I was embarassed because I was about to stary crying and make myself even uglier. And it totally. Pissed. Me. Off. Because the last thing I need is to be feeling like a dispensible loser in my stretched-out granny panties in front of my husband.
I just re-read that paragraph, and I have decided I could start fixing this little pity party by, at the very least, taking these baby steps:
(1) Brush my damn teeth already.
(2) Get a haircut or some more stylish hats.
(3) Stop walking around in stretched-out granny panties.
That would be a fine start. But what about the rest? Would it help if my husband were unshaven, smelled like B.O., didn’t look better with crow’s feet, couldn’t remember which day of the week it is, and started crying at the mere sight of the laundry pile? I want to say yes, but I know it wouldn’t. After all, if he weren’t Superman, I’d still be no closer to being Superwoman.