It’s a Sunday mid-morning on Mother’s Day, and I’m in our front yard sitting in a patch of sun. The inside of our home is much colder than the outside temperature, and I just want to warm up a little bit. Our three chickens Hazel, Malena and Emily cluck soothingly beside me in their coop. My husband Craig is in the living room supervising our girls playing with Lucy the feisty puppy.
We just had an argument.
I blame Mother’s Day for it.
Over the past few days, I prepped Craig about Mother’s Day, saying I would like to “do my own thing”, within reason. I didn’t require gifts, flowers or fancy dinner. I thought that he’d consider himself lucky to have such a low-maintenance wife! Then I clarified my request and said I wanted to have a lot of writing time. I didn’t think I was being unreasonable, and he didn’t say that was unacceptable.
But just now, after I had been glued to my laptop for a few hours, my husband just told me that I had a “dysfunctional” relationship with our computer. That was a low blow. I’ve freely admitted I’m online too much as a rule, both to him and to pretty much everyone on the planet, but to throw a nasty label like that at me really hurt. Plus, it’s Mother’s Day. Shouldn’t I be treated like the Queen that I am?
Now I sit in a puddle of sunlight feeling like I’m in an icy bath.
How dare you say that to me on holy Mother’s Day!!! I wanted to scream at him. It would have felt soooo good to yell. But I won’t do it because I stopped my rage-fests a long time ago. Making a complete spectacle of myself is the last thing I want to do in front of my girls, our puppy, and our new neighbors who moved in yesterday next door.
So I’m taking a deep breath. I’m taking another one. I’m going to keep away from my innocent computer for a while. Our relationship is not dysfunctional. I have a life outside of being online, albeit more narrow than I’d like it to be.
My MacBookPro and I are just friends! We have a healthy relationship consisting of mutual admiration and respect. I’m reminded of a great 1984 sci-fi, romantic drama called “Electric Dreams” that depicts a love triangle between a man, a woman, and a home computer. It really was a charming film, and I loved it so much that I bought the Giorgio Moroder-composed soundtrack.
I digress. I need to shake off my anger and do it as swiftly as I can. I hate feeling this way. I know what I’ll do!!!
It’s puppy therapy time!
I shall take a few private minutes with my furball, tell her of my woes, and hold her gently in my arms. I will let her lick my face even though her breath is pretty iffy – I’ve seen what else she licks and it ain’t pretty, or hygienic for that matter. I don’t care. I’m upset and I need comfort. It’s refreshing to realize I can give myself a time-out with my canine. Wow. This is so cool!
As I embrace this coping strategy I can already feel a shift in my rage. I’m still quite upset by what happened, but I’ll discuss my hurt feelings with Craig after I’ve had my Lucy time. It might not be such a bad idea to suggest to Craig to have a few minutes alone with Lucy before we work things out.
Suggesting to hang out with one’s pet to overcome a nasty spat may sound simplistic. I don’t think it is. The feedback I’ve gotten from my pet-owning friends is that their “fur children” have helped them with emotions such as anger, sadness and loneliness immeasurably. I remember the comfort I felt as a little girl laying by my Irish Setter’s warm side, hearing her gentle
breathing and watching her chest rise and fall. It has been a long time since I’ve had my own dog comfort me, and the gift of Lucy’s unconditional love is a Mother’s Day gift of the highest degree.