The Carries and Natashas

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My superhero guy went in for chemo yesterday and somehow when he came home, instead of being the loving, doting wife, I found myself angry and stressed out about the cooking, those constant pieces of clutter in the backroom, the dishes, the laundry.  I managed to cook salmon and pull together a spinach salad and a kale dish, but I did it in a stressed out hurricane fashion.  I demanded that he help me.

I recognized that I was having issues and I apologized, of course, but I'm back to the drawing board on how to prevent this from occurring.  It's not fair, or right, or healthy.  It isn't.  And it doesn't matter what those posts circulating my facebook feed right now say.

 If I believe any of those posts on Elite Daily or other websites, I could just tell myself that I'm a complicated, emotional, woman and that having feelings and demanding "respect" makes me better wife material than someone more taciturn because it means I am "pushing my man to be better."  I am the Carrie--according to Elite Daily's Sex and the City metaphor--who has passion and anger and therefore I am inherently more interesting, thoughtful, and driven than the Natashas of the world, who accordingly to Elite Daily are less demanding and "easy" to be with.

According to Elite Daily, the Natashas "go with the flow," they laugh and are always comfortable. They're good natured and let the man do whatever he wants.  In the other box are the Carries who are complicated, don't put up with not getting everything they deserve, they crave more from their man, have big dreams for the two of them, and argue at inopportune times because they are passionate and emotional because they care.  Not that the Natashas of the world don't care, but they're basic.

So, basically, you get a pass for being complicated and emotional and angry because you also have other positive traits.  And you're either in one camp or the other.  And the men who want to be around good natured women are boys and not actually men.  Okay.

Wait.  Really, Elite Daily?  Why are we demonizing having a calm personality and being easy to be with?  Is it just way too difficult to admit that sometimes, okay a lot of times, okay . . . most of the time, when we're being complicated and emotional we're really just in the wrong?  What is so hard about that and what is so immature, boyish, or wrong about preferring being with someone who is easier to be with?  And, stop a moment before you say that the point is that someone who is complicated and emotional is inherently going to push others around them to achieve more and be more intelligent and reflective because that would be an unintelligent and not a reflective statement to make.

Being nice and good nature is an evolved way to be.  Working hard not to be angry at inappropriate times is also mature.  Looking for a spouse with those traits, mature as well.  There is no get out free card to this type of behavior.  If I ever have to hear that "if you can't handle me at my worst, you don't deserve me at my best" quote again, I'm going to lose it.  We're all human and we all make mistakes, but we should be working towards being better rather than patting ourselves on the back for being complicated.  And no, this doesn't mean that we should require our spouses to love us and encourage dreams.  There's no reason that being good-natured means you can't also require those sorts of things, it just means you go about seeking them in a kind, straight-forward way.

I'm still a work in progress, but it's worth working on.

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