Friday, February 1, 2008

If I want to vent I could always become a bikini waxer

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.

17 comments:

JCK said...

This was a gem of a post. Well THAT needed to happen. Hysterical.
Best to have the big yanks occur without any emotion behind it.

And NO, you are not going out on a limb. It is so tempting. Oh, so tempting to rail on at times about the ol' husband, despite the fact that you love him. Marriage is challenging. I hope to at times write on my blog about marriage, yet don't want to take down the curtains either... Great post!

And I loved Mimi!

Mary Alice said...

What a fantastic post! You wrote that soooo beautifully...I was THERE man.

You are so right, we could complain, but really the annoyance - like you said - is generally fleeting and it plants a seed in the reader about your spouse.
If you write annoyances and never list the good times, the reader might never get a full picture of the person. That would not be fair to my spouse or to me....and worse yet, being portrayed like that might cause him to be RESENTFUL. Understandably. We don't want that. Sure our spouses annoy us on occasion, but really they have wonderful qualities too.

Vanessa said...

That's too funny! Perhaps I need an outlet like Mimi's?

And we all need someone to talk to about the relationship with our spouse/significant other. Sometimes things just go wrong and we need to vent, but that doesn't always mean the whole relationship is wrong. Good friends who know the difference are priceless.

Claire B. said...

Great post, and I daresay your blog sisters are with you on this. I could have another blog just for venting about my nearly-perfect and wonderful husband who drives me nuts on a daily basis. I have no one to vent to because they all love him and get very uncomfortable when I even start. . . so I stop.

I need a Mimi, too. Or someday we should just meet for a drink or a walk! Our lives don't intersect at all. We could be each other's illicit venting affair. No one would have to know. . .

Mrs. G. said...

See I can come over HERE and tell you that currently I am in a stand-off with Mr. G. about the pile of laundry in our bathroom and how it will be a cold day in hell before I wash it, but he reads my blog.

Friday afternoons are pretty wide open for me, so let's get together for coffe and I'll tell you some doozies. And I'm a great listener, though I do not want to wax your bikini area.

Grandy said...

Hey lady!! I get it!! Love the Hubby, and of coarse I appreciate him, but there are those times. I never had a Mimi, but I do have my twin sister who so gets that sometimes I just need to vent and be done. It doesn't mean we're ending our marriage or anything. I've told my Hubby he's so fortunate I have sisters to vent to, it's trully healthier.

coffespaz said...

:-) That was a riot! I am not brave enough to wax anything but my eyebrows...so I don't really have a Mimi. However, you are right in that it just doesn't seem right to fuss about the love of your life to just anyone. I am thankful to have one wonderful friend who I know understands that I am just frustrated with that moment in time and it doesn't require sad looks and speaking slowly when she's around. Thank heaven for friends... :-)

wheelsonthebus said...

That was a great, great post. I don't write about my husband much for the same reason, but that was funny as hell.

Nora Bee said...

Oh, I feel so validated. :) I like this idea of venting in each other's comments, less traceable that way...

bubandpie said...

My best friend and I married best friends, and the rule between us is that there is no bragging about our happy marriages aloud. Fights, annoyances ... these make for good conversation.

For me, at least, being unhappily married meant that I never complained - I was too busy trying to maintain a facade of being happy and content. There's a certain kind of complaining that I'm comfortable doing precisely because my marriage is not In Trouble.

Melanie said...

I like bubandpie's comment. She is wise.

I feel like I can comfortably poke fun at my husband and his various insanities BECAUSE we're not on the brink of Deep Trouble. But I have a solemn vow to myself: no Deep Trouble or mean-spirited picking on him via my blog. Because, as my partner and father of my children, he deserves better.

But, yeah, nobody makes me crazy like that sweet fool.

bipolarlawyercook said...

I know what you mean. Fortunately, the bartender around the corner on Wednesday nights likes to bitch about her husband, too.

Jennifer said...

What a fantastic story! I have a genearal blog rule (for myself) not to complain too much (or at least too seriously) about anyone in my life because you just never know who might be reading. But, I think everyone needs a Mimi in their life!

All Adither said...

No, you are not the only one. Not by a long shot.

Angie
www.AllAdither.com

Bananas said...

I LOVE this post.

Minnesota Matron said...

Well, that needed to happen. And I was meant to read--I've been thinking about this because I too am kind to dear husband on the matronly blog. Indeed, I am kind to all bloggers on the matronly blog. There's a lovely, supportive feel to the corner of the blogosphere that I've found, where women aren't ripping one another apart. Trained in the art of literary critique, I've found that kind of reception, welcoming.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I am so not regretting that I never jumped on the waxing bandwagon.

Hmmm. Annoying? Nope, my husband's perfect. As am I. And our kids. hahahahaha.