Things don’t always turn out the way you imagined, nor are they often the way you think they are.
I remember daydreaming about the future when I was younger. I never dreamt about being married, yet I always saw myself in a relationship. Mostly I ‘saw’ the same image: a long couch, my beau sitting on one end reading a book, me on the other side doing the same. Our legs extended towards the middle of the couch, crossing with the other’s. Once in a while we’d share what we just read.
Hubby doesn’t read books. He reads news papers, travel-,woodworking-, financial-magazines. And yes sometimes we are both reading at the same time, and yes often we share what we are reading. Due to the layout of our family room, the sectional couch has been replaced by a love seat and a full couch. We mostly don’t share couches, it’s not comfy.
So, my fantasy hasn’t quite come true but close enough. One thing that I never imagined was both of us writing. Hubby isn’t into writing, although when he has to, he’s very good at it. And he doesn’t read everything I write. When I ask him to, he will. But he rarely does so out of his own accord.
I used to have expectations around it. “If he loved me, he would be interested” , “if he were interested, he’d devour every line I write” or “Since writing is such a big part of my life, he needs to be interested in it, for if he isn’t then…….. “ .
We did have a conversation about this a few years back:
“But I am interested and I do like your writing”, he insisted.
“No you are not.” I responded.
“Ok, so what you are saying is that in order for me to be interested, I have to fulfill your expectation of what that looks like? How would you like me to react differently next time so that you recognise that I’m interested?”
I didn’t quite get his point and left it at him not getting mine either.
A few weeks later he was working in the garage on a table.
“Love, can you come see what I’ve done? The legs are finished!”
“I’m in the middle of something!”
“What are you doing?”
So it toddled to the garage.
“Very nice” I said.
“See, here’s what I had to do. See that piece of wood over there? That’s what I started out from. First I had to feed it through the plainer until I got it to the right thickness. Then through the jointer, it was tough for it’s hard wood. See how the legs are tapered. I did all that with the table saw”.
“Good work dear! Looks very good. Anything else?”
I was eager to get back to something else more interesting.
“What do you think, which router bit should I use for the edge of the table?”
“Whatever you think is best, it’s your table project”.
“Check out the suggestions made here on these photos, which one?”
I was already somewhere else in thought and didn’t answer.
“You are not in the least bit interested!”
“Yes I am”. I tried to save his feelings.
“No you are not, I can see it. Guess you don’t love me. Or maybe we aren’t made for each other.”
I was about to protest loudly, when I saw his eyes giving his approaching grin away.
I still sometimes wish he’d be completely passionate about everything I’m passionate about. But since that woodworking experience, I know I can’t live up to that tall order myself. I understand his interest in what I do, his interest which he shows, because it’s me, and because he loves me. I understand that this interest cannot be compared to the passion I feel about my writing. Plus having two writers in the house would drive me insane.
I remember my mother often complaining about my father not taking her artsy side or her opinions seriously. I also remember hearing my Dad sooner or later talking to his friends about my mother, the cool things she did, how talented she was. Or her ‘ridiculous’ opinion about something magically became ‘his’ opinion. He’d never admit it. But hearing my father talk about my mother in public, I knew he not only loved her but also what she did. Not her way, but his way.
While getting ready for work the other morning, Hubby says:
“Oh – Michelle (colleague at his work) thinks your writing is great.”
“Why would she say that, she hasn’t read anything of mine.”
“Oh, she did. I showed her your blog.”
Turns out, most of his office knows about my blog.