The last few days have been stressful again, yet at the same time a example of how conflict and disagreement in marriage is handled at the same time I'm reading Lori Alexander's ridiculously immature book on marriage.
Remember the freezer drama? Giant enormous high end fridge packed with meat in the freezer compartment randomly dies Thursday night? We scramble and pack everything into our ancient wheezing rusting 1960s freezer in the garage, the one so old the interior is turquoise blue.
Called the repairman I trust and he couldn't come out till Monday morning. Negative perspiration because all the frozen stuff was saved. Willing to wait for my awesome appliance repair guy. Hooray for horde! In the garage!
Saturday morn, we get up bright and early, finding that now the fridge is warm. Lots of scrambling with copious ice chests and ice. Bummer, but hey, repair guy coming Monday. This fridge was horrible expensive ten years ago and bigger than a Buick. Jim asked how expensive the repair will be and I tell him what price range I think it will run because the few times it's broken down like this it's been the same thing, a shorted out circuit in the computer motherboard that powers this sucker.
I spent Saturday disassembling the entire thing, running all the shelves and compartments through the dishwasher, taking the opportunity to GI the entire thing to a glimmering sparkle. From bad and inconvenient there's always some small benefit, right?
By late Saturday night I'm laying in bed, mentally running the list of all the many things I have to do this week on the three month countdown till our Costa Rican move, meet people from Craigslist who are already buying our furniture we're not taking with us, taking cats to the vet to discuss what vaccinations need to happen for the move, going to the Ortho to have my possibly torn right rotator cup injury evaluated, tasks involving church and the counting of the offering and a million other things. As I'm laying there trying to de-tense my notice my stomach feels weird just about the time Jim comes to bed. I try to sleep but eventually get up, thinking if I could just throw up I'd feel worlds better even if I'm not sick to my stomach. It's just a dull ache.
But by the time I get to the master bathroom my stomach has decided sudden to boot out everything I'd eaten earlier in the day. I manage to throw up copious amounts.
While this is happening my poor husband gets out of bed and wants to know if I'm alright, if he can do something to help. I laugh, thank him for his kind thoughts and tell him as disgusting as it is I have it all under control. Just go back to sleep, I tell him. He offers again and I tell him again I'm okay and I'm going to just go ahead and stay up till my stomach settles.
Just about the time he settles back down to sleep I feel the need to throw the other end on the toilet and while that's going on I end up projectile vomiting all over the shelving I store all the folded up towels on and my feet. I manage somehow to get puke on every towel, every hand towel, every wash cloth, no mean trick, but still not as impressive as the time my son managed to puke on the ceiling. I still haven't figured that one out.
Jim again offers help and I tell him to just go back to bed. I got this all under control. As I put the towels in the wash, mop the floor and take a shower I cannot help but contrast the simplicity of married partners offering help even in the most stomach-turning moments and I just know somewhere out there are those Christian men who's response to the wife having gastric distress in the middle of the night would be to tell her to be quieter because she was waking him up and absolutely no offer of help. I pity those women and I think a lot about the roles of helper towards each other that everyone with a heart, compassion and selfless love for their significant other gladly fills.
Again I am humbled, amazed and so happy that we escaped the cult church.
What has been difficult since then is a couple of things. We face some hard decisions on what to do with our Siamese cat Pedro. He has issues and our vet is not recommending that we take him with us. The shoulder injury is going to require physical therapy appointments that I do not have time for between now and the move.
But the biggest challenge is getting a new refrigerator. When the repairman came out late Monday he told me that the repair was going to cost more than a new fridge. We're going to be renting out our home, which means I'm not inclined to buy another top of the line bigger than a Cadillac fridge. Plus Jim hates, hates, HATES having to make decisions about home repairs or big appliance purchases and has been known to dither and drag his feet. In my old submitting Quiverfull days I'd pray, wheedle and semi-manipulate all the while walking around eggshells, on that stupid frustrating tightrope between feeling like my needs weren't being met and trying to herd him along like a drover with a reluctant sheep.
This time I did none of that. I took him with me to look at models after I'd already done some research on what was available. I knew I didn't want to spend much money because we're leaving it for the renters, but I didn't want something too small and unreliable. Today I told him we must make a decision and actually buy the thing. I wasn't waiting any longer because schlepping ice around was no fun.
We had a long discussion about the fridge and he realized from that thing that Evangelical Christian couples never do, rationally talk, that I was stressed pretty much to the max by the things happening, the amounts of endless work for the move we're dealing with, the flu I've been suffering from since late Saturday night and waking up this morning to discover that Donald Trump was the president elect. It's now or never, as they say.
We bought the fridge. We both agreed on a good mid-range model on sale that Consumer Reports rated as the official best buy on their list. They're delivering it tomorrow morning, I have drug around my last bag of 7-11 ice for awhile.
But here's the things we don't agree on for this week, what to do about our Siamese cat, the selling price for one room of furniture, if I'd be better off with physical therapy or surgery on my shoulder and we couldn't even agree on who to vote for even if neither of us voted for the president-elect.
And you know what? That's all perfectly fine. We don't have to agree on every thing. Things will or will not work out. The new fridge might be a lemon or an awesome deal and that's okay too. We do that thing so discouraged in fundamentalist evangelical Christianity - we discuss in a rational adult non- attacking and no personal insults way.
While Trump is not my first, second or third choice I'm thinking that in our nation we're going to have to do the same as citizens, parley, discuss, listen to each other's points and sometimes compromise in the coming days. Accept the things that cannot be changed, be adults and talk.