Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Know Somethin' ('Bout You)

     My husband generally reads each of my posts soon after I publish them and sometimes we discuss them and sometimes we don't. Yesterday's post fell into the sometimes-we-discuss-them category. Once we were home for the evening, I asked him if he'd seen the latest and he replied that he had. I asked him what he thought about it and he said that he liked it. Since that's what he always says, I took it upon myself to push a little harder in an effort to get something a bit more descriptive out of him. So I poked a bit more and he said, "You didn't have to write that, you know." I was kind of puzzled by his response, so I asked him what he meant by that statement.

     As it turns out, he took that post as a public apology to him and an admission of being wrong. (Which, for the record, only happens once every seventh bicentennial when the moon is full and the crickets chirp.) I realized that he wasn't wrong in his assumption, even though that's not necessarily what I'd intended it as. What I was really trying to say was that, as close as I am to him, both physically and emotionally, there are still so many pieces of his disorder that I don't see. As our conversation progressed, I discovered that he's hiding the little pieces of his day-to-day with Marfan's far better than I thought.

     I thought, after our sojourn into shopping, that I got it. I thought I totally understood how so many mundane tasks are made more difficult for him because of the Marfan's Syndrome and its visibility. I still don't get it and am beginning to doubt that I ever will. My husband mentioned last night that though he appreciates what I'm trying to accomplish when I tell him he needs to let it go and not get bugged when someone stares at him or whispers about him, it's not that easy.

     He knows how easy it is to become bitter about the whole situation, because it's an emotion he's really familiar with. Granted, it's gotten better since I've arrived (not ringing my own bell, just saying that marrying the love of your life when you were afraid you were too broken to keep her does affect one's outlook on things), but it still creeps into his head some days.

     He told me that the difficulty in "letting it go" comes in because he gets so many comments and stares and boneheaded questions about his appearance and/or his ticking every day that it becomes harder as the day wears on to not let it get to him. He knows he shouldn't let it and he doesn't want to be a bitter old man about it, but knowing it in your head and being able to do it are two completely different things.

     Everyone wants to know what's different about him, because they know it's something, but they're either too scared to ask or too stupid to do it tactfully. By the time his mood descends to the point that I know something's eating at him, he's already on the eighth or ninth stupid comment of the day.

     I can't for the life of me figure out why it's any of their business to know anyway, but that's a question I'll never get an answer to, I'm sure. Maybe it happens because while you can look at my husband and know that something is off, it's not clear exactly what it is. Maybe that's what piques their curiosity, the desire to be in the know. Maybe they're genuinely concerned, but they just never learned the art of saying something tactfully. Or maybe they should learn some manners and mind their own damn business, because their thoughtlessness causes no end of trouble in his head.

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