Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Script

It's been a morning already. First thing I did wrong was to mistakenly assume that Mr. Moon had already gotten up because an alarm from his side of the bed was going off at a frantic, heart-racing pace and so I flung myself across the expanse of where we sleep to find it and shut it off only to discover that no, he was still there and I had body-slammed him right in the chest.
He gave a great whoof! and I don't know who was more surprised, Mr. Moon or myself and I felt just terrible. I mean, I know the man has some hearing loss- who doesn't at our age?- but this was ridiculous, the alarm pounding, pounding, pounding and he sleeping soundly right through it as the sun poured into our room.
But still, like I said, I felt terrible. I hadn't hurt him but I surely did surprise him and wake him most rudely.

Then over breakfast I informed him that I was out of funds in my account. So we had to go through the "how can that be?" discussion over our eggs with onions, peppers, tomatoes and cheese, our biscuits, our sausage, our grits, with HoneyLuna right there between us. I told him that the deer meat I'd picked up at the processor's (ground and cube steak) had cost fifty dollars and he couldn't believe it. "You mean fifteen, not fifty," he claimed, as my biscuit stuck in my gut. I hate defending my expenses. And I thought it was fifty-something, and certainly not fifteen, but I have been known to make mistakes. So after breakfast I went out to find the receipt which was in the garage in the box they packed the meat in and sure enough, it was for $58.89, almost SIXTY, and I showed it to him and he transferred his anger to the processor.

But my stomach still hurts.

I think of myself as such a thrifty housewife, you know. I did go to Goodwill the other day because I had been thinking about some blue clear glass plates they'd had and I wondered if they were still there. They were but I didn't buy them or anything else either. The grocery store bill is always the biggest but I swear- I buy store brands, I compare prices, I buy on sale, I but mostly food ingredients and not packaged prepared things, but it's hard for a man who never enters the grocery store to understand that a loaf of bread can cost three dollars and a package of toilet paper can cost ten. I mean- it's the way it is. And that I get so much more than food at the grocery store. Light bulbs and paper towels and storage bags and shampoo and laundry detergent and cat food and well, you know.

Ah. Marriage. We have this script which we are not even aware we've written and we follow it closely although situations and people change over the years. And if we don't, if we deviate, the other partner is completely confused and so, perhaps, are we.

Last week Mr. Moon came in from work and I had taken care of Owen that day and I was sick and I was just exhausted and was trying to make dinner with my fever-boiled brain and before he even got in the door all the way he was trying to describe a plumbing problem at Moon Plaza to me and the ways he thought it might be fixed with air-finger-traced diagrams and there I was, standing at the sink, trying to get the pre-dinner dishes washed and finally I just wailed, "Why are you telling me this?"
And I saw his face fall and he shut his mouth and walked on and I think I was kinder to him this morning when I body-slammed him in his sleep.
Really, it was about the same thing. Same-same.
One I did with my body, one I did with my mouth.
And I'm not beating myself up for saying what I said but in our script, Mr. Moon's and mine, I listen to the things he is processing in his mind. Truthfully, I don't even have to listen because he knows that I'm not going to give him any helpful imput. I'm just there while he works it out in his own mind by saying it all out loud.

I suppose I do the same but truthfully, this blog does more of that than I ask him to. That's what works for ME.

But the money thing- ah, that one is so hard. It's in the script that he earns the money and I spend it and I suppose that's true, although of course he buys things too. And I will admit that I used to spend more than I do now, at least relatively. I used to buy clothes from catalogs and the occasional piece of furniture and of course there were the children's things to buy and school fees and lessons and all of that stuff but now it's mostly just the two of us and I can understand how he is bewildered that I can spend more at the grocery store now than I did twenty years ago when I was feeding six rather than just two. And we try, both of us try, not to upset each other or the apple cart or anything at all, but it's hard to change the script. It's hard.

But you know, it's also in our script that we are loving to each other and I think that's the first line of whatever it is that we follow. We are constantly doing things for each other, both small and large, that we know will please the other. Because honestly, if there is a title to our script, it is: We Love Each Other.
And whatever follows from there is most directed to keeping that true.
Sure. There are the the little things- the things all couples bicker about and get their feelings hurt about but in the end, isn't the most important thing the fact that we remember that we both have feelings and that feelings are important and it does no good to tell someone you love them if your actions don't show that daily?
Listening to something that has nothing to do with you, being patient and rational about money, understanding that the other partner has interests which you may not get at all but because you love them you cheerfully and full-heartedly give them permission to pursue them whether they be hunting or acting or spending hours daily on a computer?

I think so.
After twenty-five years of marriage I think so.
But it's still shocking to me how upsetting it is to hurt, even unintentionally, my husband. How my gut can roil and my spirits fall and perhaps it is even more shocking to me to see how my husband experiences the same thing when he realizes he has hurt me.

Because we love each other. I look at couples who seem intent on always being the winner of an argument and I think that neither one of them is going to win in the end. Because no matter how much we think it's important to be right, it's actually a lot more important to be loving.
In the end it will have been. I'm pretty sure.

And that's really all I have to say today. My tummy is more settled and I've just been out to help Mr. Moon hold a piece of PVC while he glues it to set it into the ditch he's dug beside the newly finished garden fence. The PVC will be part of the irrigation system for our garden. The chickens have been allowed out of their coop today since they can't get to the collards anymore unless they remember they can fly and being outside is even more of a pleasure because we can watch the hens and Elvis as they travel about the yard, scratching and eating and sharing bugs and tender shoots. We have worked together, Mr. Moon and I, to make this shared vision of a yard come together and we will continue to do so and we have made compromises and we have both worked in our own roles to do what we can to make it all real.

And we have loved doing it and we love each other all the more for what we have shared as a vision, what we have worked towards to create it.

And that's a good thing, a good life, a good day, a good morning. In the end, it is. Even if we unintentionally hurt each other, feelings and so forth and everything else. We're human. But we love each other. We apologize, we learn, we go on, we read our scripts. Occasionally we even change them.

Because whatever it takes for We Love Each Other to work is what we need to do. Not because we have to but because we want to.

That's what I think, anyway. And what I try to live by.


  1. Love is all that matters in the world. If you have it, you have the greatest gift of all x

  2. I love when you post about relationships and love. you say it so well.

    love IS all that matters.

  3. I love it too when you post about your relationship. We definitely have scripts in our marriages. I guess you'll keep telling him what things cost.
    When I get home from shopping with my coupons I usually announce the amount that I made. It makes up for the times my man will go to the store and come home with an $18 piece of meat that will only feed us for a night.
    BTW, now I have an hour less today due to Spring-forward Sunday to shop at my three stores for the weekly deals....

  4. Sigh. More inspiration from the Church of the Batshit Crazy. This is perhaps better than marital therapy (something that I need but am loathe to do). I'll try to remember your wise words all day. It's good to know of unions this strong, this wise, this filled with humor and love. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  5. i like this, love the honesty and working out as you go.
    especially since i spent the morning crying and fighting with an ex partner, both of us forgetting the love and only holding on the the anger and hurt and well, mostly the scared.
    thanks for spending time here today.

  6. When you described the part of Mr. Moon coming in while you were doing dinner and he started talking about the plumbing problem...I did chuckle..because I have played out that scene as well with my Love...oh yes.

    I like to think of the birds while they are nesting and taking care of those little eggs then soon the babies...they are talking up a storm you know! So just like birds we do this too...from time to is the nature of care...we can't always be simpatico!

    You said you have been married 25 years...well..that is growth too. All that we put into our marriage has to shift from time to time, adjust, wiggle around and then spoon and cuddle up..yep...that is the yin and yang...

    PS...I too hate to ask for more money...but hey it's that or we will be eating beans...3x a day...and I do say that to my Love with a laugh...and he laughs sometimes too and the son he hates beans so he is like give the money Dad!...hahahaha! And I am frugal too...that is why I try to do most of the grocery shopping because otherwise my Love comes home with all sorts of odd items.

  7. Money is a touchy subject with mine because it stands for more in my mind: that I'm not working and he is, that my work is not paid for, and thus less valued by the bigger world.

    Also, I feel guilty for spending money on myself, as if I don't really deserve it.

    Paul just worries about money.

    So we have our scripts as well, and we're working just as hard, and I think, doing very well most of the time.

  8. Ms. Moon...if this were the last blog post I ever read, I would be happy. You are a treasure and clearly ARE treasured.
    Love to you both.

  9. Your honesty shines through your writing and your marriage. And I hear you about the grocery bills. I had to go shopping last week for my mother, who has early stage dementia. She gave me a long list of groceries to buy, and $14. Somewhere in her mind, she was living back in the day when you really could buy three bags of food for under $20 ...

    Anyhoo, thanks for the lessons you impart here, and your honesty.

  10. I looked back at one of my check registers from the late 70's and a lot of the checks I wrote at the grocery store were for $10 even, that was so I would get some cash back with the groceries! We were living very low on the old hog at that point, but it is incredible how much the cost of staples, the food basics we need to just get by, has risen in the last 30 years, especially in relation to "middle class" income.

    So glad the love continues to shine through for you and Mr Moon. That feeling of working side by side with someone who respects your contribution is so good and love is the whipped cream on the top of that Sunday.

    x0 N2

  11. I find that men are sometimes clueless to the actual cost of food.

    You can write a whole relationship book with the advice you give. I certainly always learn something from you.

  12. Lilacsandy- Amen.

    notjustafemme- Is this your first comment? If so, welcome and please join us in this conversation. Love is so important, but damn- you have to do it, not just say it. Don't you think?

    Michele R- You are probably thriftier than I. It's like a job, isn't it? Trying to get the best for the cheapest.

    Elizabeth- You are so welcome.

    Bethany- That has to be SO hard. I'm sorry. I hope that a loving resolution can be found.

    Ellen- We ARE sisters, aren't we?

    Nancy C- That is all of it! Exactly!

    Justme, still- Oh honey. How ARE you?

    Cindy- Yep. Mr. Moon doesn't have dementia, he just hasn't had to go grocery shopping in 25 years. Sort of the same.

    N2- Or as Tom Robbins would say- the cherry on top of the cowgirl!

    Angie M- Mmmmm. Maybe some day. Thanks for saying so.

  13. So sweet.

    I cannot even discuss money right now. sigh.

    PLEASE call us if you want help with Sir Smiles a lot. Harley and I would both be tickled pink to help out. I hate to think of you all sick and icky and having to cook and tend to the wee one. That is not a good feeling.
    Please call next time.
    xo m

  14. Hm. Only being in my early twenties and never having to worry a thing about marriage (or any relationships beyond 8 month's time), I find solace and hope in your blog.

    Ah, a happy marriage- it can be done. :)

    Beautiful writing. It moves with emotion.

  15. Ms. Fleur- Thank-you. I am all better now and really, Owen is such an easy boy to take care of.

    Just.Kate- My marriage is a miracle to me, quite frankly.

  16. I have to admit, I got a chuckle out of your tackling dad to turn off the alarm.

  17. DTG- He did not chuckle. Nor did I.

    Ms. Bastard- Now you stop that. Right now.

  18. Sounds all too familiar, Ms. Moon. My husband does go to the store, but for five jars of his favorite peanut butter, 10 cereals. Guerrilla shopping trips for his things, on sale.

    Mother has suggested I use her friend's technique when the husband complains. Buy cans of the cheapest, nastiest food possible. Open them, put them on the table --"Dinner's served." Walk away, saying, "You complained about the bills and I am responding to that. Enjoy!"


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