Friday, January 22, 2010

So You Want the Rest of the Story

Sorry. I ran out of time yesterday when writing the post and since it was, after all, Thursday and time to get the Thursday Therapy post posted, I went ahead and did the quick and dirty version focusing on what I need to work on in therapy rather than the precipitating event. Today’s post is the precipitating event. . . in excruciating and copious detail. (Could I write any other way?)

On Tuesday N had basketball practice from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. Also on Tuesday the Illini had a home basketball game at 8:00 p.m. This was cause for a bit of a dilemma because I don’t like to arrive late (aka less than a 45 minutes before game time) to the game because (1) I miss out on a free parking place and have to pay $5 to park and then have to walk farther besides (don’t ask, just trust me I know a great little free place to park close by that only a few others also know), (2) I hate to miss watching the warm ups, and (3) I really hate to miss the opening tip off.

Chapter 1 – Tuesday Morning & Afternoon
Having thought about the dilemma a great deal I proposed the following scenario to W and N. W would take N to basketball practice along with N’s ticket to the Illini game. After work I would come home, get my ticket and go to the game on time. After practice was over W would drop N off at the Assembly Hall to meet me at our seats. Both W and N agreed to this plan. I thought the problem had been solved. I called home late in the afternoon to make sure everyone remembered the plan and was following through. I was assured by W that all was well.

Chapter 2 – Tuesday After Work
I left work late (I will admit that my workaholic tendencies are creeping back to what they used to be in my pre-N days), grabbed Taco Bell for dinner, and went home to change and get my ticket for the Illini game. When I opened the drawer where the tickets are kept it wasn’t there. The tickets for the remainder of the season were there but not any for that night. I looked on the counter nearby but couldn’t see a ticket anywhere. I called W to ask him where he put it. He told me there had only been one ticket in the drawer so he assumed I already had mine. I asked him to flag N down at practice and ask if he had taken one out of the drawer thinking he was supposed to do so rather than W. W asked but N said that he hadn’t done anything with the tickets. W insisted they had only one ticket with them and offered to bring it home to me so I could go to the game. I declined and said that he should take N and drop him at the game, and I would pick him up afterwards. I then asked if he was absolutely sure that he only had one ticket, not two. Silence. . . and then “Oh, I have two.” I was annoyed but decided to just make the best of it. I offered to just let W go with N to the game while I watched on TV. W said he didn’t want to do it that way, but I told him that doing it that way would make me happy as I didn’t want the hassles of going late and he might as well go and enjoy the game. I asked if he would please just do this for me. W agreed to do it my way, and we hung up. I knew, deep down in the pit of my stomach, that W wouldn’t follow through even though he’d agreed. I tried to ignore that feeling.

Chapter 3 – Game Time
Shortly before game time, I settled into my comfy chair with the TV tuned to ESPN ready to watch the game on TV. I thought I heard the back door open, but then I didn’t hear anything else so I thought it was just my overactive imagination coupled with a strong distrust of W to follow through on things to which he had agreed. Then N (aka Mr. Stealthy) poked his head in the family room and asked, “When are we going to the game?”

Blood started rushing to my head as I calmly (or at least I tried for calmly) asked, “Where’s Dad?”

“Out there.” N gestured toward the garage.

I took a few deep slow breaths. W came into the room. As much as I would like to say that we had a civilized discussion about things that would be a lie. I yelled. I screamed. I bellowed. I let W have it. I raged. I fumed. I hurtled insult after hurtful remark. I was furious.

I told N to go get in the car so we could go to the game. He did. As I put my shoes and coat on I told W in that cold, steely voice I get once the red hot rage eases and becomes a slow burn, “I knew, absolutely knew, when you hung up the phone that you wouldn’t do things the way you agreed. I knew that you would bring N back here, and I would be forced to take him to the game. I knew you couldn’t bring yourself to do things the way that would make me feel better about the situation. I knew you’d have to do things in such way as to make me angry. I just knew it. I didn’t want to believe it, but I knew.”

How many times did W apologize to me? A multitude. How many times did he offer to make things right by using the tickets for himself and N? None.

Chapter 4 – After the Game
When N and I got home after the game (after parking way too far away, and paying $5 for the privilege of doing so, and hiking up to the Assembly Hall, and arriving after the game started, and then having to hike back to the car after the game, and fighting traffic to get home) W seemed to think that all should be peachy keen, a-ok, all’s well. Bullshit buddy. Things are not peachy keen nor are they a-ok. Nothing is well.

Chapter 5 – The Aftermath
And that’s how I come to today, three days later, and I’m still not speaking to him beyond the bare minimum to get things accomplished. I am still livid. I am still furious. It may be petty, but I wanted things my way for once. I wanted others to do things my way rather than manipulating me into doing things some other way. I am so fucking tired of allowing myself to be manipulated instead of standing my ground. I am so fucking tired of people not honoring me by either doing things the way that I ask or saying no to my face rather than agreeing and then just not doing.

W took advantage of me. He knew that I wouldn’t let those tickets go to waste. He knew that if he just didn’t take N to the game that I would give in and go. He knew that I would be furious with him for not doing as I asked, yet he did it anyway. He knew there would be hell to pay. I could tell by the way he approached me when they first arrived home that he knew. Yet somehow the anger from me, my disappointment, my yelling, my not speaking, none of those things matter as much to him as not having to go to one basketball game with his son.

Yet I can see it from W’s point of view too. He doesn’t enjoy going to the games that much. He would prefer to stay home. He would prefer not to have to spend too much time with N because of how badly they get along together. He knows I generally like going to the games. He probably thought that I would be happier going to the game than staying home in spite of me saying that I was tired and would just rather he go to the game with N. Plus he probably wasn’t happy about having to navigate through the traffic to get to and from the game. So maybe I did overreact. Maybe I just need to suck it up one more time. Maybe unicorns and fairies will fly out of my butt too.


Val said...

Awwww, c'mon! I'll be standing by w/a halter to catch that unicorn ;-)!

Serenity said...

Stop looking at things from W's perspective--"he doesn't like going to the games" etc-- and start looking at them from N's, if your own well being is not enough to make you act, i know N's is. I know he's your first priority but he is really getting the total runaround here. Kind of by both of you but tell me how having W live there is benefiting N. I do not see it. In fact i see the very opposite. It's bad enough W is playing you for a fool but when it starts to affect N adversely-- and you have to know it is-- you really need to rethink your decision.
Alrighty enough unsolicited advice for one day i think.

Tired said...

I am new to the blog. But understand conflict. I too have much going on these days. My husband has just left me.
I hope you can work it our.