I have just returned from attending the Erma Bombeck Writing Workshop in Dayton, OH.
While I was gone, the Pastor and I "celebrated" our seventh anniversary. Because I was out of town, the Pastor thought there was some sort of loophole in which an anniversary no longer happened.
He asked me the night before our anniversary if I needed him to do anything. I was having a wonderful time at my conference. We had spent money on that. I was happy. I was content. I told him the truth: I don't need anything. Plus I had the memory/pain of the previous week when we had to give Uncle Sam so. much. money.
But now I know what I should have asked for.
I got up the morning of our anniversary and sent the Pastor a text:
Why couldn't he just have responded with an "I love you." Or an "ILY2." Even "ok" would have preferable.
But K? That just set me off.
This is a man who sends me hundreds of emails, all with the subject line "here" that he expects me to have total recall about at a moment's notice. This is the man who fills up my voice mail with voluminous messages about stuff I don't care about. This is a man who has written a dissertation.
But after seven years? I get a single letter.
I flew home today. I had in the corner of my mind, maybe, just maybe the Pastor knew how much he had screwed up, not by not doing something, but by doing the wrong something. Maybe he would try to redeem himself. I envisioned him greeting me at the airport with flowers in hand. The good kind of flowers, you know, the ones he never buys because they are not on the brink of death. Or cookies. Or a mini bundt cake. Not because we had an anniversary, but because he was glad I was home.
Nope, it was just him, empty-handed. Well... not completely empty-handed. He did have his cell phone with him, you know,in case he wanted to send any more texts. Wouldn't want anyone to miss out on those!
I kept the thoughts in the back of my mind. Maybe there are cookies waiting for me in the fridge! Maybe there is a house full of flowers!
He stopped at 7-Eleven on the way home. He came back out to the car with a present for me. A cupcake from 7-Eleven.
It was like he had purchased fuel for the fire. The cupcake was awful. I ate the top of it. I only ate what I did because I was angry, and I took my anger out on the cupcake because that's what I do.
Clearly I did not stay gone long enough.
Now I know. Now I know that I don't only have to hold his hand, make a list, put things on his calendar that he won't look at. I don't just have to tell him what to do, I also have to specify what not to do: don't be an idiot.
I thought at least if he didn't want to celebrate our anniversary, that maybe he had missed me.
Exhibit A: No flowers. No cookies in the fridge. In fact, nothing in the fridge. You wouldn't want me to miss out on getting to go to the grocery store right away, would you?
Exhibit B: He removed ALL of the pillows off our bed except for his. He shoved them into my closet, reminding me that in his ideal world (bachelor pad), a pillow-free existence is preferable.
Exhibit C: He removed our bedspread and replaced it with what I refer to as a "horse blanket" because it has the look and feel of something you would put on a horse.
I get it. Men don't understand the need to have a lot of pillows. Some day they will figure out we need plenty around in case we decide to smother them, like when they do something stupid. Men shouldn't just appreciate the pillows, they should fear them.
The only thing I can figure is that maybe he really wanted to give me some new writing material.
My birthday is in 13 days and Mother's Day is soon after. Perhaps I should keep holding on and trick myself into believing this is all a big ruse to distract me from the magnificent diamond and/or automobile combo gift he's waiting to give me. I can pass the time between now and then by going to the bakery, rearranging the throw pillows on our bed and contacting our cell phone provider to remove text messaging from our plan.