Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Not My Problem
Ed and I are, honestly, sort of both control freaks - me more than him, probably. (Is Ed a control freak? Having said that, I'm not sure. Ed?)
The worst control freak I ever dated was David. Sometimes I would tell him I was going to do something - something unrelated to him, mind, like "write a letter to my grandfather" or "get a haircut" - and then I wouldn't do it, and I would get a lecture later. "It really bothers me when you don't do what you say you're going to do," he would say.
For me, what I find is that I kind of monitor Ed and when he deviates from what I think he should do, it bugs me, even if it's trivial or I had no reason to expect it in the first place. (For instance, it bothers me when he doesn't use a sponge in what I think is the optimal way while cleaning the counters.) And I worry a bit over all kinds of things that are actually not my problem.
So we've gotten into the habit lately of telling each other, "That is not my problem." And since we generally joke with each other a bit roughly, this turns into a funny, sort of mean thing to say as well.
"Damn it! I'm out of milk!"
"That is not my problem!"
It probably sounds kind of cold, but it's done playfully and I think, oddly, that it actually helps. I find I'm more able to remind myself (even silently) that things like what time Ed goes to bed, whether he runs out of groceries, his handling of his bills, and so on, are not my problem.
(I don't mean to imply that Ed's life is a wreck from which I have to disassociate myself. Not at all. It's just crazy-making to try to ensure that someone else has remembered to balance their checkbook like they said they needed to do, or other minutia of everyday life.)
Anyway, if you are a control freak, or if you are dating one, try it out. But don't worry - whether it works for you or not is not my problem.