Friday, September 5, 2008

What Makes A Wife Cranky?

What makes a wife cranky? And for that matter, what makes a husband cranky? I was thinking about this when I woke up this morning.

Last night we had a perfect wonderful evening. My husband, who seems to be the one who enjoys cooking the evening meals these days, made a lovely supper that involved bbqed steak and fried mushrooms. After dinner we attended a talk on a subject we are both interested in. At the talk we visited with people that we know and enjoy seeing. We were pleased we went. We learned new things that challenged our thinking and our beliefs.

But we were cranky.

What were we cranky about? The talk was a 20 minute drive from our house. When we got close to the area my husband admitted that he didn't know where it was and wanted me to tell him. I realized that although I knew I could get there, it wasn't a place I frequently went and it might take a bit of guesswork to get there. Now, if I was driving, there would be no problem, I'd just guess and turn and jig and jag until I found it. But I wasn't driving. So I said "Turn here". 'Turn here' turned out to be a dead end street. So, we retraced our steps and instead of turning back on to the road we had turned off of and continuing in the same direction, we turned the other way to take the previous 'turning'. Bad idea. That road was blocked off. Anyway, it took us a good 10 minutes extra to circle around the area and get to where we were going.

Personally, I like touring around in a car, checking out the roads - and we had left in time to do this and not be late. My husband not so much! I made some 'wrong' decisions that didn't take us in a straight line to the place and he wasn't impressed!

But that was him being cranky. And it made me cranky that he wasn't enjoying himself.

After the talk, and as we were leaving the building, I was leading the way and he was following....or not. When I got outside, I turned to say something and no husband behind me or in sight. I went back in. He'd stop to pile chairs. Good on him, but he could have told me. Really, no big deal - right? Hmmmph! (Can you read the crankiness in my words?)

As we are driving home a favorite song of my husband's comes on the radio but the song was not by the usual male singer, but by a woman. It sounded sweet. I commented on its sweetness. He tells me it was too wimpy, it lacked passion. It was too mechanical. I thought it was soothing, and romantic and too be inhaled and enjoyed. In the end, I became that which I hate....defensive and whiney. I told him to be quiet I didn't want to hear his silly ideas anymore.

And with that we were home, and I went to bed with a book. I don't know what time he came to bed, I was sleeping by the time he did!

So what makes us like that? It really was silly. All of it. Why do we argue over little things that really are of no consequence - or are they?

I think that sometimes we just have to accept that we aren't going to be on the same page emotionally as the other person. And we certainly aren't going to agree on every little thing. But why do we get grouchy and grumpy about it? Would we act that way with a friend? I know I wouldn't. I'd hold my tongue, or I would laugh and say something that would find a bridge between us. Like "Yes, the song does cater to different audiences depending on the person who is singing it." And we'd both laugh and find something else to chat about.

I guess I wonder why we leave our good social skills at the door when we are relating to our spouse. Perhaps I should think about that more. And if it rings any bells for you, well, perhaps you should too.

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