I was mad.
I’m not going to lie.
I was also annoyed. How could he stroll inside and not even notice? How was he able to pull off his stinky boots and plop right down in front of the computer without saying anything?
I pressed my lips together in a tight line. I was trying to keep my anger inside even though I could feel it bubbling, desperate to come out. Maybe he’d say something in a few minutes. Maybe he just had to unwind.
But then an hour passed.
This is when I realized that he didn’t even notice that I had mowed the lawn, which by the way, is not the easiest thing in the world to do. I had mowed the lawn even though it was HIS job—I had done it to be nice because that’s just the kind of wife I am. And okay, I also did it because I had consumed three slices of pizza and I needed to burn it off. It’s not my fault! Pizza is my weakness.
I had assumed Tom would come home from work and realize that the grass was cut. Then he was supposed to burst through the door and shout, “Sweet wife of mine, thank you ever so much for doing the lawn!”
So he wouldn’t exactly say it like that.
He’d probably say something like, “The lawn is done. Cool.”
But I got nothing.
This irritated me because Tom practically expects a song and dance when he takes out the trash. Let’s not even mention that taking out the trash is one of his chores to begin with. But when he actually does it he’ll say, “I took out the trash,” and look at me expectantly as though I’m meant to toss my arms around his neck and shriek, “Thank you, my Manly Man for getting rid of our rubbish!”
I usually praise him. I admit it. On Dr. Phil I saw some husbands moan that they’d do more around the house if they felt appreciated.
But the thing is, sometimes I don’t feel appreciated. Do I get praise when I change a disgusting diaper? I mean, some of those are horrible and I sometimes wonder if it’s entirely healthy to be breathing in fumes like that.
Do I get praise for vacuuming? Sometimes I do get a, “It looks different in here. Wait, I think it’s because it’s CLEAN!” and I’m not sure how to take that.
So fine, I’ve made peace with the fact that I may not always get a celebration when I do things.
But when I mow the yard, manual LABOR, I expect some sort of recognition. I mean, I SWEAT when I did it. I was nearly attacked by a bee who was pissed that I mowed away some of his flowers. It tried to sting me, I swear it did, and I went tearing across the lawn screaming, “BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” Then I went back to the mower that I could have just abandoned. But I’m a tough soldier, I have to finish what I start.
I went over to my husband who was starting up a game on the computer.
“Did you notice anything different?” I asked sweetly.
Tom blinked at me as he pulled out his headphones. “A new…shirt?” he guessed, looking a little nervous. No man likes to be asked about what he notices because it’s usually very different than what the woman is talking about. Like one time I pointed out this woman with neon yellow hair and I went, “Look at her,” and Tom went, “I know! She has huge breasts! I’m surprised she hasn’t fallen over!”
“Tom, I’ve had this shirt for years,” I said with a sigh.
“Could you just tell me then?” Tom practically begged.
I gestured to the front door.
“Did you paint?” Tom was flabbergasted.
I was close to jumping up and down in frustration. “Did you notice anything when you pulled up?” I wondered.
Tom frowned. He was contemplating this and coming up blank. “You cleaned the garage?” he replied hopefully.
Cleaned the garage? No, I’m mad at the garage. I went in there to organize and it attacked me. All sorts of boxes came toppling down on my head and that’s just not cool.
“The lawn, Tom!” I shrieked. My patience was gone and I needed to give the kids a bath.
“Did you put the feed down on it?” Tom inquired.
“I mowed it! I mowed the lawn! I was attacked by an angry bee and I got all sweaty and nearly mowed my foot off!” I yelled.
Okay, that last bit wasn’t true but I was going for a dramatic story.
“Oh. Thank you,” Tom said, turning towards his game.
“That’s it?” I blurted out.
“Thank you very much,” Tom tried again.
I stared at him.
“You’re the best wife ever,” Tom said.
I grinned. “Thank you for saying so! You’re too kind!” Then I walked away, satisfied in my praise.
“You’re weird!” Tom called out as I went up the stairs.
“You’d be bored if I were normal!” I answered.
“This is true,” Tom shouted back without missing a beat.