Yesterday I picked my head up out of the toilet long enough to pick a fight with Chris. A big fight. A fight so big that we haven’t spoken since yesterday at 5:45. A fight so big that when I bought him McDonalds for dinner last night as a peace offering, he left it sitting on the counter and cooked his own dinner instead. These are uncharted waters for me. McDonald’s has never failed me.
I would blame this fight on hormones if I could because its always easy to play the crazy pregnant lady card. But the truth is, we have started and stopped this fight for months and last night it just came to a head. It seems like such a normal thing to fight about – splitting holidays between families. But it is actually much more than that. It is a blaring example to me of my stubbornness and inability to be flexible.
The thing is, I’m actually right in this fight. Last Christmas was my family’s major holiday and his sister joined us. Then for Thanksgiving this year, it was going to be my family’s holiday and now his mom and sister are coming. And then Christmas this year was going to be his mom’s family. Technically, that is three holidays in a row for his family, and none for my family to get some one-on-one time. Months ago I would have liked for him to volunteer to ask his mom and sister to give us this holiday with my family, but he didn’t do that. And my own fault was that I didn’t push it then. I waited until a month and a half before Thanksgiving and put my foot down. Naturally, he was furious. The last I heard, he was on the phone with either his mom or sister telling them that I didn’t want them here for Thanksgiving. And then we didn’t speak after that. He came to bed (which actually surprised me) and stayed on his side. No feet even touching. Not good. This morning I thought maybe there would be a note on the chalkboard in the kitchen, but it was blank.
I called my mom last night for support. She and my dad, of course, don’t care whose around for holidays as long as they can see their kids. But I tried to explain that it was me with the problem. I needed some private time with my family. I wanted to see them without having to worry if there was coffee made or enough pillows for everyone. I don’t want to be a hostess when my family is in town. My mom said she understood that, but then she surprised me and said that sometimes being right isn’t always the right solution. She said sometimes I get so focused on being the “right” one, that I forget what the “good” decision should be. She’s a smart lady, that Mom. And in this case, she’s the one whose right.
I tend to be a very black and white person when it comes to arguments and conflicts. Someone is right and someone is wrong. But if I stop to think about it more, being right doesn’t justify being mean. In this situation, being right means Chris’ family can’t see him for Thanksgiving and they were really excited because of the new house and the baby. And being right means I have given the impression to his sister and his mom that they aren’t welcome in my house or with my family. And right, wrong, or in between, that is just not true. I love his family, and having them around does mean that I may put more pressure on myself to be the hostess with the mostess, but it also means a fuller house – and who ever said more family was a bad thing? And more important than any of this, being right means hurting Chris’ feelings. Making him feel like his family is not as important to me as mine.
My mom was right when she said that sometimes I need to put aside being right or wrong and just do…well, just do the right thing. At this point, its too late and confusing to go back and try to undo the feelings I’ve hurt with this situation. But I know that I’ll be more flexible when things like this happen again.
I think I’ve done about all the damage I can do here. I’m going to go put my face back in the toilet now.