Zinger

The past few weeks of sickness in our house has taken a toll on me.  Gracie and I both somehow escaped the epidemic in our household, but taking care of Bean Man and Chris was exhausting.  To make things even more fun, Chris was also working tech rehearsals last week, which meant when he wasn’t home in bed, he was at work until about 11:00 every night.  I was tired of being coughed on, sneezed at, argued with, and irritated by my children.  I was just plain tired, really.  Only, I didn’t have the advantage of a terrible sickness to buy me some time in bed.  I just had to trudge on.

I made it a point to not make Chris feel guilty about this, either.  After all, it wasn’t his fault he had caught the plague.  So, after taking care of the kids for days by myself and then having him come home and flop into bed to rest his tired, sick body, I didn’t complain or whine or nag.  I simply loved on him, brought him another blanket, helped him fluff his pillow, and fed him more medicine.

He was more than appreciative.  He sent me sweet text messages all week long telling me what a good wife I was, what a good mother I was, how he was so thankful I was there to take care of our family.

Blah, blah, blah.

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Bean and Chris are finally feeling back to normal and are both back and school and work this week.  Which is good because I have been looking forward to us having a night at home with TWO parents there to help with the chores and responsibilities.  Only Chris called yesterday afternoon to say that he had one more night of tech to work, and he wasn’t sure if he should try to come home for 30 minutes during the rehearsal dinner break or if he should just stay and work straight through.

And that’s when the dam broke.

Wait for it…

“It’s okay,” I said sweetly.  “Stay and take care of everything you need to take care of there.  I’ve got it all under control here.”

Wait for it…

“Really?” he said, and I could hear a big smile and lots of pride in his voice.  “You’re so great, Kate,” he said.

Wait for it…

“Yeah,” I responded sweetly.  “Besides, we’ve gotten used to life around here without you.”

THERE IT IS!

I can zing a zinger like there’s no tomorrow.  In fact, I’m so good at it that most people don’t even realize I just zinged them.

Passive aggressiveness.  It’s my specialty, y’all.  ‘Tis a fatal flaw, though, because once you zing someone with a snide, underhanded comment, it can’t be taken back.  You can’t unzing a zinger.  And so with that one comment, I undid two weeks worth of good deeds.  Two weeks I took care of my family and tried my very hardest not to complain or wallow in my misery and with that one comment, I undermined all the good I had done.

Chris didn’t really say much about the comment, and I just laughed it off and made it into a little joke.  Told him it was okay, I knew he was busy and sick and that it wasn’t his fault.  We didn’t have an argument and he didn’t get mad at me.  My smallness really went unchecked.  And that’s really what it was, smallness.  I made myself small and petty in that comment.  It was not nice, and, though Chris never said a word about it, I have thought about it all day.

Sometimes we say things out of anger and frustration, and we usually can identify those comments easily because they stand out.  We’re emotional and revved up.  There is nothing passive in those comments.  They are all aggression.  But I think, in my marriage, the comments that hurt the most – that zing – are the ones we sometimes say in passing. Those passive comments that are carefully aimed to pierce us in the heart, where it hurts the most.

So tonight, I’m going to apologize for a fight we never even had simply because I made a mean comment.  And though it may not have hurt my husband’s feelings, it crossed a line that I have drawn for myself – to be kind, considerate, supportive, intentional, aware, and thoughtful in my marriage.  No zinging allowed.

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14 thoughts on “Zinger

  1. I do the same thing. I have great intentions, but then I pop off and say something exactly like that. If only I could control my mouth . . .

  2. Amy Nord

    Girl, you are wise beyond your years.

  3. I hope this doesn’t sound condescending because it’s not: I’m so proud of you!

  4. oh boy, I make those zinger comments too. thanks for being real with us. its nice to know im not the only one who does these things.

  5. Thank you for writing this post. I do the SAME thing! I can go days and days of taking care of everything while my husband works or is busy with family stuff. But right when I see the light at the end of the tunnel, I lose it and snap at him. I’m definitely hoping to work on this!

  6. oh man, I am right there with you. I’ve been doing a ton of this lately and I’VE GOT TO STOP!!!

  7. Did GNO have to be postponed? Those germs need to step. No fun for anyone.

  8. Trish D

    Lord, keep one hand on my shoulder and one hand over my mouth 😉

  9. Katie, self-awareness is one of the greatest things you can have on your personal arsenal. Hey, you did something you are not proud of, caught yourself and apologize, great thing to do! not everyone does that! congratulations on working so hard in your marriage, and thank you for the reminder…

  10. michelle

    Hmmm…I do this too. Although it usually results in a counter-zing. And then I always end up thinking it would have just been easier/better for everyone if I’d said nothing in the first place. I try reeeaaally hard, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. I think we’ve all been there.

  11. Alisha

    I am a full-time working mother of two under the age of 4, with a husband who is the head varsity football coach at the high school he teaches at. I am SO there with you…for 4 months of the year I am, by all intents and purposes, a single working mother, while my husband is 100% immersed in coaching. Which, by the way, barely pays enough of a stipend to even mention. I know he appreciates everything I do to keep our household functioning while also working full time…but man is it HARD to not make comments about what is, essentially, his “hobby”. I succeed only about 75% of the time, by the end of season I am OVER it!!!

  12. Jeannie

    Hi there! I like reading your posts. This was a great read and hits a few cords with me too! Any suggestions on different ways to avoid that pitfall? Ive been thinking about that too with my hubby. I would like to start trying a tradition of singing some 80s song once I start feeling like I can’t contain it. . My hubby is a jokester so he’ll sing when I get mad at him. And I always end up cracking up in the end. So im thinking of doingnthe samemif im mad and dont want to let something slip, just sing it out. You’re all mad, seething out pent up frustrations. … Start belting out the tunes of “don’t worry, be happy” or “whoa, grease lighting…” that way he knows I’m mad, it diffuses the anger. And then well address it later if it needs it.

  13. We all do it – it’s so easy…I have the passive aggressive thing down pat, but it’s good you’ve recognized it and still are going to apologize even though he might look at you and go “for what?”

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