Someone, who shall remain anonymous, sent this to me asking if this would be something we would like to use as a post on Four Strong Women. Upon reading it, it was unquestionably, 100% Four Strong Women. This person could be my twin, and her husband sounds like mine. Oh, anonymous guest blogger, you are welcome back any time. :)
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My husband--we'll call him Suffers the Wife With Grace, Suffers for short--has a bit of a dilemma with me, depending on the time of the month. For two weeks, maybe not even that, I'm easy going and approachable. If I ask him for help on my computer (my job is computer-based, so is his...uh-oh), he should know to judge what time of the month it is as to what kind of help he'll give me. Unfortunately, even after all these years of me being The Wretch for the same week every month, he still hasn't got it.
If I say I can't work a program out, 99% of the time he can fix the issue for me. Isn't that nice? During my two Perfect Wife weeks, I'm happy for him to fix it, glad I don't have to do it myself, and overjoyed when the master of solving computer glitches helps me out.
They are a blissful two weeks, where asking for help isn't a problem. We swim along in our sea of life, happily splashing, catching the sun's rays, and cooing at one another over our melting ice cream cones. I smile a lot, laugh a lot, and everything in life is just so darn peachy it's sickening. You get the picture. Idyllic, isn't it? Can you see it in your mind? Love is a beautiful thing, folks!
Then there are the other two weeks. The one right before THAT TIME of the month is the worst and comes along with a force so strong it's like I change with a click of the fingers. Usually Suffers' fingers, where I've clutched them so tight. Erase that beautiful image I gave you of the previous fortnight, because, ladies, it's all changed now! I have become a demon. Everything bugs the shit out of me. EVERYTHING. Even breathing bugs me--other people's breathing. I wish everyone would stop wheezing around me, because that's what it sounds like. People seem to eat loudly during The Week Before That Time too. Chomping, slurping, crunching... I want to kill.
Of course, I don't.
Honestly, I don't.
So then comes the inevitable time, like irritating clockwork (because by this time even that gets on my last nerve), when I can't work something technical out. During The Week Before That Time, I detest asking for help. I will press on with trying to work it out myself as though possessed, my sole intent to be the victor, accomplishing the task and knowing I did it alone. It becomes highly clear to Suffers that I need his aid. After all, I'm cursing, poking a finger at my monitor, and calling it names that would make my grandmother turn in her grave. My daughter just pats me on the back during these instances. This is okay. At first. Then I begin to feel like a dog, and I don't want anyone to touch me, to be near me, because I feel like I'm going to explode in a fit of rage.
Like a good citizen, I don't do that. No, I don't explode. Never have, really. I'm the kind who suffers behind a mask. I just grit my teeth, allow the patting to continue, and cringe when Suffers asks, "Do you want some help, love?"
Well, yes, I do, but I don't want you to do it. I want to do it by myself. At the same time, I do want your help, but just your advice. Scrub that. I actually don't even want that. I don't know what I want, and not knowing is also pissing me off. Maybe it's best you just listen to me ranting, nod sympathetically, make me a damn cup of tea, and leave me alone. Oh, and stop breathing so loud, you turd! You Know-It-All-Better-Than-Me. You...you... Oh, please leave me alone before I lose control, there's a good boy.
But he doesn't. He comes over, commandeers my mouse--please don't do that, fuckface--and proceeds to click many things on my screen that I really, really don't want him clicking. He might mess up what I've done, causing me to have to do all that work again. He might, God forbid, know how to fix it. I don't want him to, even though the problem is driving me insane. I want him to move away quickly and let me seethe in peace.
But he doesn't.
"Look, love, there's always an easy solution to these things. Always an answer, you know that."
Suffers smiles. I smile back. The kind of smile where I don't show my teeth. Where my lips are tight and my face feels like it's going to crack.
"Here," he says. "Just let me--"
"It's ok. I can do it."
This is warning #1. The warning he hasn't yet learned to heed. The words are said calmly enough--maybe too calmly--and I bet a glint shimmers in my eyes, the type that, to anyone else, says: Back. The. Hell. Away.
Oblivious, he clicks some more, maybe settles himself across my field of vision some more too, so I can't see wtf he's clicking without craning my neck and peering around him. It's useless. I can't see the screen, so I avert my gaze to his hand on my mouse. That finger pressing the button. Me not seeing the results of what that finger is doing.
Get. Off. My. Mouse!
Inside, I'm boiling. It's not right to feel this way, is it? How can you be ok for two weeks, then an absolute bitch for a week, then a grumpy trollop for the fourth? I know this, I ask myself this when I have the urge to do something mean. Like jumping up because I can't bear to see him touching my mouse and clicking it any longer. Going into the garden and running around like a crazed loon just to get some of that negative energy out. Screaming to the heavens that, Sweet Baby J, he's messing with my STUFF and I DON'T LIKE IT!
But I still sit, with that tight smile, virtual steam coming out of my nostrils.
"Always an easy solution, love," he says again.
The easy solution is quite simple, LOVE: Get the frick away from my computer, from me, and let me wallow in my ineptitude. Let me swear, give you the impression I need your advice, and you just sit quietly because if you don't, I'll self-combust.
"Yes, love," I reply. That smile again. No teeth. AGAIN. Getoffmymouse. Getoffmymouse. Getoffmyfuckingmouse!
I'm actually itching to slap his hand. To grip him from behind and move him away from my computer. That mist, the one that was light pink, wavering in front of my face, is now bordering on becoming bright red. A crimson tide of ARGH that will engulf me if I'm not careful.
"So what's the problem again?" he asks.
I sigh. Warning #2. I explain again what's wrong.
So then he goes on to test everything I've already tested, even though he knows I've done it because I told him. Does he not believe I did it? Does he think by him doing it, it will work? Or maybe I didn't do it properly. Maybe I missed something.
Ya think? I know I missed something, because if I hadn't, I wouldn't have the bloody problem, but if he finds what I missed before I do...
I simply cannot allow that to happen. Not in The Week Before That Time. Oh, no. Move the hell away, buddy, before I bite your back through your clothes. Or something.
Yes, he's still there, leaning across my field of vision. Still clicking, still telling me there's a damn solution. An easy one. Love.
I don't even get to warning three. I can't bear it any longer.
"Look," I say. "Thanks for trying, but I have work to do, and you can't find the problem either, so I'll just go through it all again and sort it myself."
"Just a minute..."
Umm, he shouldn't say that. I'm behind him here, gnashers ready to gnaw a chunk out of his ass. He really ought to be careful.
I try again. "No, really. It's fine. Let me do it."
"I just want to help, to save you getting stressed."
I'm getting more stressed because you won't fuck off. Please. Remove yourself from my personal space bubble and go pick your nose or something. Release some gas and make yourself a sandwich. Anything but being near me, anywhere but here. It's safer that way. You'll thank me for it later. If you continue to CLICK THAT BLOODY MOUSE--OH, I'M GOING TO BLOW...I'M GOING TO BLOODY BLOWWWWWWWWWWWWW--I won't be held responsible for my actions.
"Let me just try this thing a minute," Suffers says. "Worked last time. Did you remember to try that from before?"
Yes, I did. I tried EVERYTHING. It's just not working. Your back is looking enticing. My mouth is watering at the thought of sinking my teeth into it. My fingers are itching to slap your hand so hard you shit your pants.
"Yes, love," I say. The smile isn't present this time. My face is hot. I'm doing this thing, screwing my face up, nostrils flapping. Absurdly, I want to cry. Whether it's from anger or knowing that when I'm in Perfect Wife mode again I'll feel guilty about these emotions roaring through me, I don't know. But in The Wretch mode, I don't give a shit. "Come on, I'll do it."
I pat him, making it clear he really should move now. He eases back slowly--too slowly--still touching my mouse as though it pains him to let it go. I know his main aim is to help me, to make everything ok again because that's the kind of man he is, but it doesn't figure for me now.
He moves in front of me again. "Maybe if you just--"
"No, no! It's fine. I'll do it." Voice very tight. Barely suppressed anger inside. I want to stamp my feet and yell, extremely loudly, for him to-- "Love. Please. I'll do it."
Finally, he moves. Hands up in surrender. "All right, all right, I understand. I'll leave you be."
He removes himself from my bubble. I let out a long breath. Relief, it swamps me. Until I look at my screen and see things have been moved. He touched stuff. He fiddled with it. He... Oh, no. That's it. I'm going to have to go into the garden. Run around like I said before. I can't...he's damn well... Oh, my GOD...
How dare he!
He fucking fixed it...
The rest of this post has not been written. The author self-combusted shortly after writing the above.