October 28th, 2003

A Pocket Full of Murder

(no subject)

You know, I have gradually come to the realization that the true measure of whether a man really cares about you is not, as we women often think, whether he is able to figure out what you want and get it for you without being told. We dream of a considerate partner who will anticipate and leap to carry out our every desire and need, but it's simply not the way most men operate, no matter how otherwise kind and thoughtful they may be.

For instance, if I had waited this morning for my DH to translate my vague moanings and groanings about feeling unwell into the message "Will you please take the kids away so I can get some rest?" I'd be sitting here in tears right now with the kids running around yelling behind me. And it wouldn't be my husband's fault, either. Because H. genuinely feels sorry that I'm unwell and hopes I'm better soon -- it's not that he doesn't care. It's just that he would never guess that I want more than just verbal sympathy and acknowledgement unless I tell him so.

The reason for this is actually quite simple, I think: it's rude, in male circles, to just assume that another person is incapable of doing something, especially if it's something you've seen them do perfectly well in the past. Even if a guy is injured or ill, it's often a point of personal pride for them to soldier on regardless. So the only non-verbal cue that's going to get the "I need help" message across to the average guy is full-scale physical collapse right there on the floor at his feet. It's pretty hard to miss that. (Mind you, it also has a tendency to scare the kids, so I don't recommend it.)

Anyway, I've made the mistake in the past of hoping that my husband would think of giving me the day off without me having to ask him directly, and it didn't happen. Which led to all kinds of unreasonable disappointment and unhappiness. So today I ruthlessly squashed my feminine impulses and just said, "Dear, I'm really not feeling well enough to deal with the kids -- would you mind taking them to your parents' farm for the day?"

To which he replied, promptly, "Sure, I can do that." And he did, even though it meant driving half an hour there and another half hour back. He even came home at lunchtime (his workplace being just down the road) to see how I was doing, and told me he planned to pick up the kids again (meaning another hour's worth of round trip) later in the afternoon.

Now that's love.