My husband comes in the room. While I’m working.
I say, “I’m doing a webinar about happiness.” [At first I was not going to put a link to the webinar here, because people do not talk in links, and I’m writing dialogue. But you know what? I’ve been blogging for so long, and I talk to so few people besides you, that I like to think I actually do talk in links.]
He says, “I hope that webinar sells well.”
“Research says money does not make people happy,” I tell him.
“Does the research ever interview a farmer married to an entrepreneur? Because if you would stop borrowing money from me I’d be happy.”
“Did you come here to talk with me?”
“No. I’m going to vote.”
I tell him if he votes against funding schools I’m going to vote to cancel out his vote.
He says, “Okay. I’ll wait for you in the truck. Put on a bra.”
We drive the long drive to the voting place. I tell myself I’m fortifying our relationship because we are doing something fun together.
Except he won’t discuss. He says that the city taxes come out of the farm account, not my startup account. He says I’d care more if I had to pay a school tax hike instead of a web developer bill. Then he says, “You’d probably just borrow money from me to pay both of them.”
We vote against each other.
You don’t know how strong a relationship is until there’s a crisis. We have had that tough time and we’ve sucked at it. So now we are trying to be better. More grown up.
We go together to Madison to take my son to his chemistry tutor. For 90 minutes it’s date night. At a steak joint.
I tell him that I feel closer to him when he lends me money. It’s impossible to get him to do anything he doesn’t want to do. Which means I do a lot more childcare than he does. It makes me feel cared about if he helps me when I’m having bad cash flow.
He eats lots of bread, with butter. I abstain from carbs so I can focus on winning the argument. But first I have to figure out what winning is.
He hates lending me money. He says, “I don’t mind lending you a reasonable amount, like $3000.”
And I say, “Whatever. I can get 10 people to lend me $3000 because I have a so many ways to make that much money. I like that you lent me more because it shows you are willing to take a risk with me.”
He hates when I say that because he thinks he took a huge risk to let me and the kids come live with him. But I am the one who moved to his life. We will not have this argument because we’ve had it so many times.
I wish I could think of new, fascinating topics to argue about, but there are none. We agree on most things and argue about the same things and there is no point.
I go to the bathroom. A guy intercepts me and says, “Oh, are you Penelope Trunk?”
I say yes. He says he reads my blog. We talk. I pee. I go back to the table.
My husband says, “Wow, that woman was so fun and cheerful. I wish I could have an affair with her.”
I eat bread. All of it. He always complains that I have a public personality and a marriage personality and why can I only be bubbly for everyone else.
We drive back in time for an emergency pumpkin rescue. We have to pick them early because it’s been so wet that bugs are burrowing into the pumpkins.
What does that even mean? I don’t know. Do bugs go to pumpkins to get dry? I don’t know. I’m just repeating farmer stuff I’ve heard.
PayScale released data about which professions have the biggest egos. It turns out that in a list of 300 jobs, CEOs and farmers come up numbers 2 and 3 respectively for the biggest egos.
You are probably wondering what number one is. Personal chef. What is fascinating to me is that PayScale sent the raw data to me before they published it. I put the email in my pile of things to write about immediately, but I am late on everything. And then, two weeks later, I go to find the link to their study, and look at this: they omitted farmers!
That’s because people think farmers are so nice and sweet and close to the earth and whatever. I don’t think that’s largely true. I think they are obstinate loners who think they are great at everything they do.
This is probably why my husband and I get along so well. Because who could handle our egos besides us?
It’s difficult to stay with someone during a hard time. It’s no fun. It seems easier to start over with someone new where nothing’s ruined yet. But here’s something I noticed: Work makes a great escape when a relationship is going through a rough spot. And escape is good. It reminds us that we are competent and content in other aspects of our lives. And the higher you come up in the list of egotistical professionals, the more you can count on your work pulling your through a tough time.