Embracing Your Inner Cruise Director–Or Not

How's this for disturbing?

We’ve had a busy few months with a lot of travel and visitors, and throughout it all, the same themes keep popping up.  One is just how different Ken and I are in some pretty fundamental ways.  For example, he’s an extrovert at heart, someone who should be out and about in the world, not stuck in the basement, working from home.  And while I’m not exactly a shrinking violet myself, if I don’t balance my social time with some serious downtime, I quickly start to short out.

But it’s funny what happens when you’ve been married to someone long enough.  You start trying to solve their problems.  (Or at least I do.)  So, for a while there, when we were really stuck in the weeds, I inadvertently took on the role of Cruise, I mean Social Director.  (Remember Julie McCoy from The Love Boat? When I was a kid, man, I loved that 70s double-decker power hour on Saturday nights: The Love Boat followed by Fantasy Island.  And yet, no matter how much popcorn I’d eaten, I can’t say that I ever aspired to become her.  But damn, here I am, a 41-year-old haggard-looking Cruise Director Julie with gray, I mean, dark hair.)

Now where was I? Oh, that’s right–talking about how I inadvertently became our Social Director because I realized that Ken needed to see his friends and wasn’t exactly doing anything about it.

Now if anyone else told me this story, I’d think to myself: blecchhh.  Let that fucker do his own work, missy!  It’s not your job to shore up your husband’s social life—that’s his job.

Exactly.

So how in the world did I end up taking it on?

Good question.

Sometimes in marriage, I’ve found, you end up doing stuff you, umm, don’t exactly want to.  Things you’d rather be tortured over before giving in.  Well, that’s how I feel about organizing my family’s social schedule–let’s just say it ain’t my cup ‘o tea, friend.  And even though I’m still trying to understand how and when I morphed into Julie McCoy, maybe it’s enough to just realize that when we love someone, sometimes we want to go the extra mile for them. Even if that meets inadvertently waterboarding ourselves in the process.

So what’s my point here?

Great question!  Obviously, it’s that I haven’t had enough coffee today.  But if there was going to be a second (and third) point here, they’d be this:

  • Sometimes, it’s worth giving in and doing something you know will make your spouse happy.
  • But only if you know (and respect) your own limits.

Which brings me to the final point in today’s ramblings.  Push yourself past those limits and you’ll be sorry.  For me, this means spending a lot of time getting my mind and body back up to speed after exhausting my reserves.  Each and every time.

But I’m learning.

Just like I’m learning that it’s Ken’s job to get his ass back out there.  And just like I’m learning that I need to chill out way more than most normal people.

But isn’t that difference part of what makes this relationship thing all so interesting?  So take my word from it: respect your strengths and differences and your marriage, too, shall flourish.  And, please, for the love of God, when you’re starting to lose it, don’t morph into Julie McCoy!  Tattoo, maybe, or Mr. Roarke….

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