I have noticed with great respect how most writers of blogs I read don't complain about their spouses. This is very kind and ethical. The internet is so permanent and public, and for me anyway, most annoyances are so private and fleeting. Take me, for instance. If you read all my writing here about my marriage you might think I float around all day on a cloud of infatuation, blessing, and thankfulness for my perfect husband. You might think you just heard the soft flip-flap of his little angel wings, or no wait, maybe it's him sweeping the floor without being asked. It really is true in the big picture that I am overcome with gratitude to be in a strong and fun relationship, and this is worth a few permanent words on my corner of the internet. But seriously. We bug each other pretty badly sometimes. Am I the only one? (Going out on a limb here and assuming I'm not.)
Who do I tell? My fingers itch to tell yall, yall. But it just doesn't feel right. I yammered on to a friend one time (an unmarried one) and now she thinks My Marriage Is In Trouble and she talks kind of slow and gently around me. Dude. I have a couple trusted friends to occasionally share a good giggle with and those moments are magic, but there is something to anonymity in blowing off a little steam that is comforting, eh?
You know you had anonymous people to vent to? Mimi, from my days at the turn of the century as a single working girl-about-town in DC (can you imagine? me?). One of the women in our office turned us on to Mimi, who had taken her ton of experience and opened up a salon in her home in the suburbs. Her waxes were the cheapest around. They were really cheap. So we all made lunch hour pilgrimages out to Mimi's, even my boss.
She was a tiny, tiny woman with short hair and a white coat. She barked me through the waxing experience with a no-nonsense, yet maternal, yet clinical confidence that left me sure she knew what she was doing. Hugs, goodbye and hello. You know how some people can seem really nice but they say mean things? Like, she's smarter than she looks, or that dress makes you look thin? Mimi was the opposite. She said whatever came to mind, but it didn't matter because she was a kind soul. One time after a certain waxtravaganza she raised a perfectly shaped eyebrow at me and said, well that needed to happen. It just made me giggle, in a speechless kind of way.
In no time Mimi was like a member of our office. She was up on our gossip and helped pass it along. I often found out things about my coworkers from her. Once after she had heard from one of my colleagues that I had ended a relationship, she raised that eyebrow and said, now don't you go gaining weight now because you're sad, hear?
When she was doing her thing, it was her turn to talk. She brandished that spatula full of wax like she was about to ice a cake. But then half the time she would get distracted and start complaining passionately, waving said spatula for emphasis, about her husband. The remodel going so slow, and then get this he said blah blah, I can't believe he is up to that, I want to travel here and he doesn't. Just quibbles about daily living, and she did have that gleam in her eye like she really loved him. Not that I was looking deep in to her eyes to really tell--I was busy tracking that waxy spatula so I would be ready when she returned to the task at hand to continue my vain, vain torture. Sometimes she even spread the wax on and then launched into a spatula-waving husband story of indeterminate length before the big yank, which often seemed just a bit more forceful if Mr. Mimi's antics were especially infuriating. Then I really didn't even listen, I just held my breath. Please, Mr. Mimi, don't leave stacks of floor tiles for the new kitchen in the hallway for two weeks, for the love of G*d.
I have moved away from that city and Mimi. I think of her whenever I want to gossip about my man and feel just the teeniest twinge of envy that she had, probably still does, a captive audience to vent her frustrations to and then send on their way, away from her life, with a hug. I also think of her because I still use her expression sometimes, well that needed to happen.