Communication can be a problem at times in any marriage. I sometimes feel that my husband makes it a point to make communication harder than it has to be. I’ve taken to referring to him as “Drama Queen” because of this tendency.
Mark likes to notify me that there is something of which I’ll soon be hearing. Then when I ask him what it is, he says, “I can’t tell you. You’ll have to wait to hear it from so-and-so yourself.”
Take, for instance, the other day when I came home from work. I asked where Jake was and Mark told me he was out fishing with a friend. Then he added, “And by the way, Jake has some big news to tell you!”
Of course, I gave him the expected response. I’m sure my eyes grew big as I asked him with anticipation, “What? What is it?”
“I can’t tell you. You’ll have to wait until Jake gets home so you can hear it from him.”
Irritated now, I asked, “Then why did you bother to say anything? Why didn’t you just say nothing and let Jake tell me when he gets home?”
Mark just shrugged and couldn’t explain himself, as usual and so I reminded him again of his tendency toward the dramatic. In the end, it turns out that Jake had caught a big muskie and Mark wanted Jake to tell me himself. Before that could happen, Jake sent a picture text to Mark’s cell phone and I saw the fish long before Jake even had a chance to tell me himself. I don’t even think Jake cared about being the one to tell me the story of the big fish.
See what I mean?
Yesterday evening, Mark was at work and he called me at home. He asked if Brad was at home and I said that he was.
“Did he have a conversation with you,” Mark asked me?
“Not really, no. He was sleeping when I got home and we haven’t really talked yet,” I told him. “Why?”
“I told him he needs to talk to you about something he told me.”
Here we go again.
“What,” I asked? “What’s going on?”
“I’m not going to be the one to tell you. I told him he has to be the one to break the news to you.”
“Fine,” I said. “I’m waking him up right now.”
With Mark still on the phone, I woke up Brad and asked, “Do you have something you want to talk to me about?”
Brad had started work very early yesterday morning, which is why he was napping in the early evening. Looking a little groggy, he confirmed he had something to discuss with me. At that point, Mark told me he was going to hang up and let us talk. I was thinking the worst. I was panicked. I wondered if Brad had been fired from his job, was dropping out of school or worse…if this was a girlfriend-related issue. The word “pregnancy” sprang to mind as I saw my son’s future drastically changing very quickly.
“Brad,” I began. “What is going on?”
“Ummm…” he looked me in the eye. “Heather (his girlfriend) is going to live with us.”
I was confused. I wondered why Heather would want to come live in our house when she attends school in North Dakota. How did her parents feel about this? And why hadn’t Brad asked me if this was OK? Why was he simply telling me this as if I had no say in the matter. I blinked. And then the light bulb went on.
“OH! Heather is going to be one of your room mates when you go back to school?”
Brad looked cautious, trying to gauge my reaction. “Yes.”
“Will she have her own bedroom?”
“Mom! What do you think? Of course,” he replied, seemingly breathing a sigh of relief at the fact that I wasn’t going postal on him.
“That’s all,” I asked?
“That’s all,” he said.
I was OK with this news. Brad and his room mates needed one more person to share the rent. I already knew this. I felt that Heather staying in the same house seemed safer than her other options, for reasons I won’t get into. They are good kids and I trust them. I reminded Brad that they are young, and if a break-up were to occur, that would make things uncomfortable, to say the least. So he needed to be prepared for the possibility that things might not to work out as well as he might hope.
“Mom, there isn’t anything you can bring up that I haven’t considered. I know.”
So that was that.
“Your dad made this sound very dire,” I laughed.
“I can imagine,” Brad agreed knowingly.
“I should call and tell him we’ve got it all out in the open,” I said with a gleam in my eye. Brad smiled while I dialed. When Mark picked up the phone, I laid into him.
“So you’re comfortable with this living together business,” I demanded?
“Well…. I said I was OK with it, depending on you being OK with it…”
“Our son is shacking up with his girlfriend and you’re just fine with this,” I accused!
“How are we going to explain this to our parents,” I went on, winking at Brad. Brad picked up another phone, turned it on, pressed the mute button and began to listen.
“Well, maybe we shouldn’t mention it if you think they’ll be bothered by it,” Mark was saying.
“And you think it’s alright that they are sharing the same room? SHARING THE SAME BED,” I ranted on?
“Now wait a minute. I…I…I didn’t know anything about that. Brad told me that Heather would have her own room,” he defended himself.
I was on a roll. My words were growing more heated. “I told Brad that if he is going to be living in sin with his girlfriend, he damn well better invest in a big old box of condoms. Didn’t we raise him to know better than this?”
Brad was nearly in hysterics. I was waiting for Mark to respond. Mark was at a loss as to how to respond. He obviously didn’t expect this reaction from me.
Finally, I couldn’t contain myself any longer. With a snort, I burst into hysterics while Brad un-muted his phone.
“Dad! You should have heard yourself,” he said. “I was trying so hard not to laugh out loud while mom was talking!”
“Yep,” I said. “We talked it out and everything’s fine here.” The laughter continued on my end while we waited for Mark’s reaction.
“Who’s the Drama Queen now,” I asked? Finally, Mark conceded and let out a laugh and a sigh of relief.
“You guys are toast,” was all he could say.
Maybe so. But for now, I’m enjoying my reign as The Queen!