Last night was an excellent example of one of these silly upheavals. I was supposed to accompany my wife to a work function. It was not the kind of event that I enjoy, and worse, because it was a work function that carried potential crossover to my own company; I was going to have to attend as a boy and play the role of good husband. I cannot say I was excited about any of that. Regardless, I made the necessary arrangements, got my workout in an hour early so I had time to get ready, and even pressed a shirt for the occasion. I spent the whole day psyching myself up for this event.
This whole thing would probably have been insignificant if not for the fact that I was (and am) still upset with myself for chickening out of a similar event a couple weeks ago. My wife was working with the fire department at the local Independence Day celebration and had wanted me to join her. I did not, because I was completely freaked out by the idea of meeting people she worked with and by the assumptions they might make about me. I ended up sitting at home while she went to the event and watched the fireworks without me. I felt terribly, and I promised myself that I would not let those fears get the better of me again.
Everything went according to plan, and I finished getting ready a full hour ahead of schedule. I had just started to work on putting a light dinner together when I received a text message from my wife. The event started an hour earlier than she thought, and she was struggling to leave work in time to stick to our plan. She asked me what I wanted to do. She suggested that she could stay at work and go straight to the gathering on her way home, meaning I would not have to attend; or she offered to pick me up anyway and arrive fashionably late. I told her that it did not matter to me. I was crying.
My immediate assumption was that she did not want me to go, because she would be embarrassed to be seen with me in the presence of her work colleagues. I knew this was irrational, but my mind was busy piecing together all the evidence that supported my conclusion anyway. I felt rejected and unworthy: no longer a boy, but not yet a girl – just a thing that was unfit for human consumption. Worse, knowing fully that I was being completely irrational and that I had no reason to doubt what she said (she always struggles to leave work), I still could not dissuade the heart break I was feeling. In truth, I am still trying to get over it. How terrible is that?
When she arrived home, I had stopped crying, but I was still visibly upset. We discussed the whole thing while sharing a bath, I cried a little more, and she consoled and reassured me. I know my fears were unfounded, and I know that I had no reason to be upset. It was not a party I wanted to go to in the first place; I should have been happy that things worked out the way they did. And I certainly should not still feel hurt by what is nothing more than my own overactive imagination.
So I must quote Avril Lavigne… “What the hell?” Why did I react so badly?
Take care and much love,