A friend had said that to me 10 years ago. I don’t remember what I did or said to make him say that, but I distinctly remember busting out laughing when he said that & it stuck with me forever. So now anytime I blow up on someone, I hear his voice in my head.
So I did just that the other day, I believe I was justified to respond, maybe it was a bit harsh in how I responded, but what he said to me (though he thought it was a joke) was quite insensitive. So here’s the back story… this has been a frustrating journey all year long. In January, I had to quickly tear down Christmas and move all the furniture from my living room and dining room because as an upgrade for signing a new lease, they were tearing up my carpet and putting in wood floors. Totally excited to get rid of carpet everywhere but the bedroom, but this was a huge ordeal. I struggled with getting help from people to move things (I did finally get some help but it was very quick and last minute and stressful). So the flooring gets done, all gets put back and for some reason, suddenly I have a bug problem I cannot get rid of. I do not have a dirty home. Messy maybe, but not dirty. So for months we have been on these routine pest control rotations and are close to getting them taken care of. So March- mid May has been crazy hectic because we jumped in full force for my son’s first year of spring baseball. All free time was taken up by baseball, which hasn’t left much time for keeping up with the apartment. So laundry is getting washes, but staying in baskets, toys aren’t being put away; groceries sit out on the island bar instead of in the pantry, etc. My apartment has been a mess for months…. but the kid and dog are fed, he goes to school and baseball and we make it to church… so we are doing well all things considered.
Fast forward: the next round of pest control is due and between car problems, my uncle’s wife in the hospital, regular routine, working all the time, it’s gotten extra messy and my energy level has not been there to get it all done. So I tell a guy this (mind you, this is someone who says he wants to date me), I tell him I’m tired and I’m ready to be done with cleaning, that I feel it would take 5 extra people to complete this in a timely manner. What’s his response? “You should clean more often” (this was not funny to me), I normally can brush comments like that off, but I was so overwhelmed and emotional that I lost it and I, as my friend would say, ripped into him like a monkey into a cupcake. I told him I work 2 jobs, have been running all free time to the baseball field, raising a preteen to be a godly young man, take care of a 60 lb boxer, making my body healthy a priority (15 lbs down, thank you very much!), dealing with widow’s grief, taking care of bills, and trying to have a social and dating life.. so if a clean house is all that suffers I think I’m beasting widowhood. I’ve never seen a man back up from a statement faster than he did that night.
Meanwhile, a conversation I was having with another guy I had only been talking to about a week, he was kind and sweet and said if we knew each other better, he would come help me clean and then massage me after (suck up? maybe, but he did actually seem genuine based off other conversations). My point for this post was that the attitude of the first guy made me think 2 things… 1. Wow, that kind of attitude sounded just like my late husband (I vividly remember ripping into him like a monkey into a cupcake about 5 months into hospice because he asked for something that the nurse could’ve done and I was at the end of my rope). I could run circles around the house for that man and it still never seemed enough… so THAT is not the kind of attitude I need in my life. 2. I wish people would pick up on cues about what is appropriate to joke about and not joke about, especially to a widow. I felt in that moment like he was devaluing all I do for my son just because I didn’t keep a spotless home. I’ve seen comments were someone has said jokingly they could kill them or hit them or whatever… those jokes aren’t funny.
Don’t get me wrong, us widows can have a morbid sense of humor… we have a lot of dark humor. Is that a double standard? Maybe… but you know what we don’t typically do? We don’t just say it to anyone, especially someone we are trying to date. We say our morbid stuff to each other, because it’s a rite of passage you get when you become a widow.
So where I am going with all of this is an encouragement to my wids out there… you deserve someone to treat you like the second guy did me, not like the first guy. Ladies & Gents, find someone who will be sensitive and supportive to your journey, who won’t make light of your struggle unless you yourself are making light of it. Find someone (be it a relationship or a friendship) who will listen to the details of your struggle. You deserve something great! Don’t settle my friends!
P.S. I think that monkey is eating that cake much cleaner than I ripped into that dude. Haha, oh well.