To say that things are busy is an understatement. Work has been buzzing, and my classes are... a lot. I love my classes which makes the additional 22-26 hours of homework per week a bit easier to accept. I have only one gripe: Group papers for an online class must be a special gift straight from Hades.
Last Saturday night, I plopped down on the couch around 11:00 p.m. and said to my husband,
"I'm sorry I'm such a boring wife!" He smiled and said,
"We're kind of hanging out. We're hanging out at home. You're just 30 feet away while I watch TV." Ha! More seriously, he said, "Yeah, but you're doing something really important."
It made me think about my contributions to my marriage, especially now that the "romantic holidays" (Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's Day) are over. I know this is somewhat cynical to say, but does anyone else ever notice the high expectations placed on men and gifts? It's a "cat and mouse" game of women pretending they don't want anything big, but they're hoping for the perfect proposal/getaway/candlelit dinner/gift, and the men frantically race around to find some extravagant gift that will prove they love their significant others. And even though these women "didn't" want any hoopla, they proudly announce how much they love their men because of their extravagant gifts.
I know that this is a generalization, and I know there are plenty of women who are thinking, Are you kidding? I worked my butt off to make that homemade dinner for Valentine's Day! However, based on the amount of Instagram photos I saw on Valentine's Day of flowers, jewelry, clothes, restaurant dinners, iPads/iPhones, and more flowers, I think it's safe to say that many women are also thinking, Yes, I feel loved when I get gifts from him, and he knows it. (Disclaimer: I like gifts too! I just don't like the commercialism of Valentine's Day in the same way that some people don't like the commercialism of Christmas.)
I don't have extra cash these days. (Remember THIS and THIS and THIS?) I don't shower my husband with gifts, but I try to contribute to my marriage is other ways. I'm furthering my education, and I'm successful in my job. I am counting on both broadening my career which I hope will make a more comfortable life for us. Even though most of my leisure time has disappeared, I do my best to keep my marriage balanced. I still do the house chores that I've usually done in the past. We still run all of our errands together. I still help out in the kitchen and wash dishes while he cooks, so we can talk. I try to maintain the status quo, so he doesn't feel like a full-time working househusband who is dreading the next two years of my grad program.
Thankfully, we see eye to eye on the issue of gift giving. I would love to fall into some extra cash and take him on a European vacation that isn't paid for with credit card reward miles like the Leavenworth trip was. (But hey. How cool is it that we got a free trip?!) Until then, I'll contribute the best I can with what I have. Fortunately, he doesn't mind that my life is just a big mess of books and highlighters these days.
P.S. Look at the poor neglected sewing machine that I still don't know how to use.