Saturday, September 10, 2005

Puppy in the Middle.

I love Holly. I never thought I'd feel this way for a pet, but it has happened. I love her cold nose and persistent love. She ALWAYS wants to be around me and is just happy that I come home to her. Sometimes, though, I just don't want to be bothered with her.

Now that school is back in session, I'm finding it very hard to extract myself from the stress of the day. Sometimes I come home and she is SO needy that I just want to scream. I know it's not her that I am upset with but I'm not sure how to release it. Then there seem to be all the continuing problems between J and myself.

I'm not sure what the real problem is between J and I, but it seems obvious that puppy is being used as an excuse. I feel as if I'm having to do everything for Holly and that J isn't living up to his part of the bargain. We had a deal that we would raise the puppy together. I don't feel this is happening. J, on the other hand works seriously long hours. He leaves just after me in the morning and comes home late into the night. I know he feels overworked and exhausted. I know it is very difficult for him to juggle his own business and his day job - both of which require long hours. I know he does a lot of this to make sure we have the money to pay for our house, food, and bills. Money is tight and Connecticut is an expensive state to live in. I appreciate all that he does but I tend to think there are more important things in life than money. I could live with out my video games, books, and nights out. I could live without the extras if I could just have him home more. J wants to provide for his family. He wants us to have everything we need.

J and I both grew up without. J was from a large family and his dad worked hard to make ends meet. While his dad made a fairly good living, it really didn't stretch that far with 2 parents, 5 kids, and 3 grandchildren. J lived in a house supplied to his family by his father's boss. This was in an extremely rich town in Connecticut. Many of the kids he grew up with had large homes, new cars, and large trust funds. J worked hard and got scholarships to private schools. Then he got scholarships to college. He grew up surrounded by excess while his family wanted for necessities. He never wants his kids to face that. He wants me, as his wife, to be able to get my hair done or buy myself a book if I want. He wants this all without having to worry about whether or not we can eat that night. I can't blame him for wanting more out of life.

I grew up on Long Island in an Italian middle-class neighborhood. My family had lived in the same house for 5 generations. We were comfortable. My dad split when I was 6, leaving my mom, baby brother, my grandmother, and I on our own. My mom worked at McDonald's and cleaned houses. We had little but we were really happy. Food was scarce but my mom always made it seem like we had plenty. I know now we were drowning but I never knew it then. My brother jokes that he grew up in the house the estrogen built and technology forgot. We played board games and read books. We went on picnics to the beach after 4pm, because it was free after that time. I worked hard and went to college. I met J. I never want my kids to go hungry but I also want them to know their father. I want him in their life.

Now, J and I don't have kids yet. Up until now, we had a cat and he was pretty self sufficient. If I was lonely, well I kept myself busy most of the time. Problems have arisen now that Holly has entered our lives. Holly needs more hands on care. Many of the things I did to keep myself busy have to be put on hold for her needs. J still works all the time, because nothing has really changed for him. He didn't take care of the cat and I could look after myself. Holly has fallen under my care because I am first home. This has brought up all sorts of feeling that all lead to the same idea - future children. Until we figure out how to deal with each other and the situation, there will be fights and upset feelings. Until we learn to communicate, there will be misunderstandings. Until we try to reach a compromise and a common ground, there will be resentment. Until we commit to a change, there will be no future children. Sadly, until then, Holly is stuck in the middle.


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Arethusa said...

This was such a well-written post. I can't offer any advice (I'm just a kid ;) ) but I do hope that you and your husband eventually find some middle-ground.

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