totally neurotic?

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i don’t know if this is a “normal” pet peeve but i get decently agitated when people ask a question, usually an indirect question, which has an unspoken agenda.  recently, an acquaintance asked my dad “if i was going to be around tomorrow”.  that was the exact wording of her email.  the person lives next door.  clearly she probably had a repair man coming, i thought, which ended up to be the case.  but this illustrates my point.  i just knew there was something she had in mind for me to do.  i resisted every urge to just say no at her initial email–but i wanted to because of the way the question was posed.

 it’s so much more appreciated to just state things upfront.  just ask, “hey, can you ___ at ___ time?”  now i’m not talking about a freind calling and saying “hey, what are you doing tomorrow?  if you have some spare time can we meet for coffee?”  or even, “i need to take my mom to the doctor tomorrow, i haven’t made the appointment yet but would you be able to watch the kids while i go?”  i understand being flexible, adaptable and available to those people you are in relationship with.

but i hate to be cornered and boxed in.  because um, no i’m not doing anything at the moment but now i feel trapped to say that because it automatically commits me to whatever they are about to ask.  i love directness, no hidden motives or agendas, sign-the-dotted-line-you-get-what-you-paid-for.  just ask for what you want and give me the freedom to choose my response.  codependency or manipulativeness or whatever you call hidden agendas feel like this ooze that seeps under my boundaries, tethering me down to something unknown.  i don’t want to feel obligated.  yes, there is responsibility as a grown-up (especially as a spouse and parent) and you do things for people that you don’t feel like doing.  but see, i’d so much rather do things that i don’t want to do, when i at least know what the “things” are! 

i guess this makes me hope that the person i marry communicates directly and asks for what they want.

because marriage is complicated enough, i don’t want to fight about the garbage and have it really be symbolizing something deeper…  but i guess this might all be wishful thinking and all my married friends are probably laughing at my idealistic naivete.

i like space and boundaries, to know where i begin and end and where you begin and end.

recently, i heard an engaged person say she was excited to be married so they could both get ready for work in the same bathroom at the same time.  seriously?  while i think grocery shopping together seems fun, at least at first, because i enjoy grocery shopping and sleeping in the same bed seems charming enough once i get used to it, i’ll take my his-and-hers bathrooms please.  there are mysteries to the other gender that frankly i find more alluring kept a mystery.  i don’t want my spouse sitting on the counter watching me put on my makeup like my roommates do when i am getting ready for a date.

i’m the strange bird who wants his/hers bathrooms and closets if i can afford them.  i guess i need therapy, huh?!

i can see my dad sighing now and saying, “oh your idealism is what makes you still single”.

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One response »

  1. Oh man, I totally hear you on the “getting cornered into a commitment” feeling. If it’s not my number one pet peeve then it’s number two. I hate the whole “What are you doing tomorrow” question, because even if I have nothing to do, doesn’t mean that I want to spend it doing your bidding. But now that you’ve asked that question, I feel obligated to do your bidding because I can’t say seem to say no. URGH!

    Although I have learned to just say, “What do you need/want?” in response. I can’t stand beating around the bush either. Attempting to corner me into an obligation and insulting my intelligence all in the same question…woo…takes talent!

    And like you Jen, I would be SO much more receptive if they just out and said, “Is there any way you could watch Sally Sue in the morning?” or “Could you help me paint my room tomorrow night?” etc. And then let me graciously decline if I know that babysitting before 10am gives me hives, or if I’m hopeful that something will come up and my Saturday night won’t be spent painting your room.

    9 times out of 10 I’d be more than happy to help you, but sometimes I just won’t want to. And if it’s for no good reason…oh well! My choice!

    :)
    **And just between you and me, Dave and I have been married for 3 years and we have never needed to uh, “share the bathroom”. I agree with you, some mysteries are best left a mystery.

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