Thursday, November 29, 2012

I Just Wanted To Blow Dry My Hair (A Post on Expectations)

The other morning I got up early for the 6 am Zumba class I've been attending. When I got home an hour later, I hopped in the shower and then went back to my room to start getting dressed. Marc was there, fully dressed and ready for the day, searching online for a Hanukkah present we needed to buy. He wanted my input on the present, as we'd only vaguely discussed it. I wanted to blow dry my hair.

Now if you know my husband, or just have an impression of him from reading this blog, you have probably guessed that he's a really great guy. And I wanted to be happy that he was taking the initiative to order the gift, something that otherwise would have been left to me (and I already had it on a list of things to do). So this post is in no way meant to hurt him.

Instead, I'm diving into what I expected of him during this brief time period that I was going to be getting dressed. I expected that he'd be downstairs with the kids he'd already made sure were dressed, feeding them breakfast. I expected he'd be packing Max's lunch and Hannah's snack. I expected that he would appreciate my extra cute outfit for that day since I was working from home, but hadn't yet done the laundry from our vacation and my jeans were dirty. I expected that my usual blow-dried hair would be part of that outfit.

But since he was looking around for that present, again, something I recognize also needed to be done, none of the other things that had to be done before the school bus arrived were being done. So I quickly got dressed and threw my wet hair up in a claw clip, and then quickly progressed through the rest of the morning routine. Everything was done pretty close to on time, including printing out some pictures from our trip that the kids had requested at the last minute, but I couldn't get over the fact that my hair was wet.

I know I'm a complete stressball in the mornings. In my mind, you don't do extras, like looking for Hanukkah gifts, until the mandatory tasks are complete. If I'm being really honest, I don't want to do any extras at all - if there's spare time, I want to sit quietly and think about the day ahead. But there really never is much extra time, especially once you ask Max to put his shoes on at least 74 times.

I was annoyed that my hair was wet all day. But I just expected Marc to read my mind and that's not remotely fair. The gift did get ordered, I got everything else done. I haven't died due to the cold I should have gotten walking around with a wet head. But I'm upset with myself for not speaking up about what I wanted.

Ten years ago, when Marc and I met with the rabbi who was to marry us, he told us that the secret to a successful marriage was managing expectations. I guess I'm still working on managing mine.


  1. My side of the story...

    Yes, you are a complete stressball in the mornings. Remember how we used to fight because you'd have the kids ready *too* early for me to drop them at daycare?

    (This is secretly why I want to drop off the kids and let you pick them up. Not getting straight to work stresses you out; having to leave in the middle of a task to pick them up stresses me out.)

    Taking an extra 15 minutes in the morning to get something done does not stress me out. Having it hanging over my head all day is distracting when I'm trying to write computer programs. I'd rather get the online purchase made and get it over with, then spend all day wondering if something will arrive by Chanukah if I don't order it until tonight. I don't want be alt-tabbing between Magic Beans and StackOveflow all day at work - *that's* way more distracting. And evenings can be just as stressful as mornings in my book; by the time we have any downtime I'm too tired to focus on anything.

    You are right on about expectations. "No extras in the morning" is not a golden rule, it's your expectation.

  2. Fabulous Post.

    I LOooooooooVED reading both sides.

  3. Thanks, My Inner Chick! We do make a pretty good team the rest of the time. :)

  4. Love both sides, and I'm sending this to my husband, as you two sound exactly like us (right down to "StackOverflow"!). :)

    Good luck with the expectations, and nice job keeping calm. I tend to yell. :)

    1. Julia, yelling did cross my mind, but I knew that if I didn't have enough time for my hair, I definitely didn't have enough time for an argument! And I'm lucky to have my blog as a place to process it out so that we didn't have to spend any time arguing about it too.