Last weekend the APW community read The Bitch In The House and discussed it at their bookclub. Reading through the discussion I had a realization: I am totally the bitch in the house right now. Totally.

I’ve been wanting to talk about how happy I have been. Seriously, I’ve been thinking about how I haven’t been THIS content since high school. And yes, I understand that most everyone does not think back to high school and have happy thoughts, but I do. I also had moments, even months, of contentedness in college, but those were fewer and far between. High school was just… nice. It was a challenge, but my best friends were there and I had amazing teachers, and it was just … nice.

And now, in my little apartment, with my husband-elect, and my life going somewhere (although at the moment it’s a little up in the air where it could possibly be going, but trust me, it’s on the move!) I am so happy. And consistently so. Even when I want to strangle Kamel, I’m happier in that moment and more at ease than I would be if I didn’t know him. Now, I’m not manic happy, I’m not jumping off the walls excited all of the time, but that’s not really the goal in life, right? For me, it’s peace and calm and an emotional evenness.

And yes, let’s go back to that Bitch idea. Because, although I am content and pleased with how everything is going, I am also frazzled and over worked and exhausted. Right now, I have too much going on and I’m trying to find a solution to it, but it all takes time. So, right now I’m riding it out. And that means I’m always in do-mode, I’m always multi-tasking, trying to fit in x to make time for y so I can get z done at some point in the finite number of hours that I’m awake for the day. And that puts a lot of pressure on Kamel and our home environment. So how can I be content and frazzled and at peace all at once? I’m not really sure, but there it is. It’s a jumble of the good, the bad, the ugly and it’s all truth. Kamel is frustrated that I can’t just sit down and relax. If we’re watching a movie, I’m working on something. If we have plans to go jump around in a giant room filled with trampolines, I first have to run a bunch of errands and work for a few hours because if I don’t, then I’ll be way behind for the rest of the week, and it’s hard for him. (But it’s probably harder for me.)

On monday I was doing laundry at the landromat after work and I had a basket of dry clothes to my left, and a stacks of folded clothes on the counter. Kamel was there keeping me company – but not helping, because that’s how we separated our chores, and …. I don’t like how he folds socks. ha. So, he’s standing there visiting with me and he had put my purse and a pile of wet clothes, that we later hang up at home, over on another side of the counter, next to some girls who were doing, probably, their entire mound of dirty clothes for the last month, and who were also, probably, about 20 years old.

So, Kamel and I are chatting and I’m folding (and I’m starving and exhausted and just trying to get through it) when one of the girls asked me if I could move my stuff. And instead of saying “Yeah, sure, let me get that for you.” I turned to Kamel and said “Well? Can you move that for her?! Kamel…!” Like a total bitch. Seriously. And I heard it come out of my mouth and I saw the faces of the other girls kind of roll their eyes and turn to each other like “Wow, SOMEone has an attitude!” And I was a little embarrassed, but mostly I felt this intense urge to try and explain to them that I was just hungry, and busy, and that he wasn’t doing anything but standing around, and that he had actually put my stuff their in the first place, and that I was surrounded by clothing and a basket, and that I’m actually a nice person, and they’ll understand when their priorities involve more things going to class, and etc. etc. etc. I didn’t, but I wanted to. And when I walked out I turned to them and in the nicest way possible said “Hey! And now you have more room!” but it ended up just coming out forced and sad and they didn’t even meet my eye when I said it.

When we got outside I told Kamel, “Those girls totally think I’m a bitch,” in a very dejected tone. And he said, “Yeah…. but who cares.”

And I honestly don’t have an ending for this story. My patience is thinner than usual lately, I have less time for relaxing, and sometimes I’m not fun to be around. But I’m happy. And I’m doing my best. And as Kamel reminds me almost every day lately, we’re in this together.

6 thoughts on “Combo”

  1. Amen to that!
    Big projects seem to make me both at once lethargic and “Ah my god! I need to get out of here!” So as you can imagine I’m a pleasure to be around when I’ve got stuff that needs to be done. That’s why it’s so great to have that person who grounds you when you’re up in the air. I’d probably just float away if it weren’t for husband-face.

  2. I’m going to preface this with the fact that I didn’t even start reading the book…whoops.

    Here’s my issue right now, the husband and I are BOTH the bitches right now and it’s getting kind of bad around the house. He’s working WAY too much and doing school at the same time, I’m working my 9-5 (really 10-7) and then coming home to work on my business so we’re just both spread WAY too thin.
    This means that things like dishes, laundry, and cleaning the bathroom fall on my shoulders because I’m home a little more than he is so it sort of implies that I am less busy. (HA!)
    I kind of let loose on him last week about being overwhelmed and not doing shit around the house because I’m so tired and I need help, but it was thrown back at me because he feels THE SAME WAY. (Which is true and not just his way of telling me I’m wrong)

    Anyway, my question for you and my fellow readers is this:
    How do you handle running your home when you’re both too busy to do much of anything? I know the idea of a joint cleaning day is great but we only have one day a week off together and I don’t want it to revolve around the toilet…

    1. I really struggle with this, because I don’t always want to be the one mentally in charge or worrying about cleaning the house, doing laundry, etc. And I think a tangent on this = I have a really hard time feeling that taking time for me, relaxing, etc is NOT important and is NOT something I can justify. And that’s what’s killing me. Even when I have time away from work, I feel guilt ridden. Like what you said about only having one day off – you don’t want to spend that time doing chores. But then, I end up fretting about all of the things I should be doing and it’s all wash anyways.

      We’re a mess.

  3. Allison, we are both crazy busy too and we often let our house reach what I like to call Frat House Level messy. And it used to drive me crazy, now we just agree to spend a concentrated amount of time weekly whipping the place into shape.


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