Alls Quiet on the Northern Front (But it ain’t Necessarily Good)
Day 1676 & 1678
I’m sure I’ve used that title before, but in the old place. That means I won’t feel too bad about recycling it here.
Met with marriage counselor V.2 again last night. I’m gonna like this gal. She’s picked up on some of the same things our previous counselor keyed in on before those sessions got all luster fuddled.
Some of the key points identified Monday night:
We have similar coping mechanisms. Unfortunately, this leads to poor communications as we both tend to stuff things till we explode like Mount Redoubt.
I tend to go on very long bike rides, go outdoors and find yard work or surf the net as escapes, Cindy uses the silent treatment, used alcohol and still has some little escape hatches. In both cases we are not telling the other “I need some time to think about that” and instead are just performing an avoidance maneuver. Again, not very effective communication.
I tend to not confront Cindy more frequently with minor issues because I never know how she’s going to take things. Call it “fear of her reaction”. I’ve told Cindy this directly not too long ago and I also shared that with Janine yesterday – Cindy benefitted (maybe) from hearing it again.
Cindy admitted to using the silent treatment as a weapon. This was after the part mentioned above about our coping mechanisms. It also is a reason for me to fear her reactions. Often, extended silence is what I get. Not very productive.
The single biggest, most important item to me came in the form of a little program lingo. Lately, Cindy has been throwing around the phrases “staying on my side of the street” and “keeping my side of the street clean” which are references to minding your own damn business. This comes in the form of not “taking peoples inventories for them”. In previous sessions with Annette and in our two sessions with Janine, Cindy has proven herself more than capable of identifying ALL of my faults for me. We’ve spent much of our session time talking about all of my faults. The big thing here? No – it’s not that I don’t have any faults. I’m pretty much like California – faults all over the place, many under the surface, others very exposed. The big deal is that like Annette, Janine called Cindy on her inability to stay off MY side of the street. Janine asked her why SHE was so worried about me fixing MY stuff, when she had plenty of her own things to work through.
On the surface, I didn’t nod, didn’t smile, didn’t utter a word. Inside I was jumping up & down like a 5 year old that’s been told the next 30 days are going to be like Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and your birthday all rolled up into one. (Talk about a sugar high!!)
Also? You have no idea how difficult it was to not jump up & down, point fingers and shout “I told you so, damnit!”. However, as we were leaving (not long after), I kinda did look at Janine and tried to convey the message that any time she needed her car washed, had jonesing for chocolate or was in serious need of getting her feet kissed, she should just give me a call and I’d take care of it for her. I’m not sure one can convey that big a thank you with just one look.
Knowing we were going to more couples therapy, Annette warned me about letting Cindy just take off and start pointing out all my faults (numerous), transgressions (1), bad habits (several) and mistakes (Oh, god). The first session with Janine didn’t seem too bad. I was aware of the “but you do this” or “you need to do that” going on, but it wasn’t more than I’d heard before. (that in itself was bad on my part). Yesterday was getting a little out of hand though. Every tie I opened my mouth, Cindy had to add something or point out something I left out, or point out something entirely new that we weren’t even talking about at the time. Me, being entirely too used to it, ignored it until Janine mentioned it. I really need to set up some road blocks and keep Cindy off my stuff.
Fast forward too Friday.
Busy week. Nothing much happened Wednesday, just did the nose to the grindstone thing and banged out gobs of boards. Thursday I got to see Annette and validate everything we’ve been working on and also let her know what I think of Janine (all good things, of course). Annette warned me that Janine might request that Cindy start seeing a therapist on her own. I had to laugh. A year ago, I remember Annette telling me that couples therapy for us would be much more productive if Cindy continued her work with a separate therapist. That was just after Cindy cancelled her last appointment with the therapist she’d been seeing after 3 visits. She hasn’t returned since and Annette reiterated her opinion that Cindy needed 1 on 1 counseling as we were preparing to do our mini-intervention. Heck – I’ve told Cindy Annette’s opinion and I shared that with Janine, in front of Cindy. Bottom line for me is that if Janine recommends 1 on 1 work for Cindy, I’m all for it. It’s got to help even the playing field.
Bowling last night. This was the last night we were bowling for points as a team, the last chance we had to alter our position in the standings. Two weeks ago we set a goal of sweeping all 8 points each week for the final 3 weeks of the season. This would get us to a 0.500 record for the season. Can you imagine? A 3 week run, pushing really hard, all to attain mediocrity. Ahh, such is life. Anyhow. The first week of the big push? Success. Last week? Dismal failure. Rather than go 8 and 0, we ended up struggling to make it to 2 and 6. Mediocrity was now out of our grasp.
Last night was also position round. There, the first place team bowls 2nd place, 3rd bowls 4th, yada, yada, aaaalllll the way down to us, where 19th bowled 20th (us) and the 21st place team bowled the vacant team. (When bowling the vacancy, a team must come within 30 pins of it’s average to “take the point” – some nights, that’s hard to do.) We needed to take 3 points (or have 21st place lose 3 points) to avoid the ignominy of finishing last. Well, that was settled after the first game. We won, they lost. Last lace was avoided. Now we needed to catch the team ahead of us. Luckily, we knew just how they were doing, seeing as we were bowling against them.
Ended up going 6 and 2 for the evening, vaulting ourselves from 20th all the way up to 18th. That’ll probably mean an increase of $2 a man in prize money. Woo-hoo!! Personally, I bowled 20-ish pins over my average for the night, but took the hard way to get there. First game? 3 splits, damn few strikes, ended up at 169. Second game, more of the same. 4 splits (spared 2 of them, scared the other two) missed a single pin, damn few strikes, ended at 167. That put me 32 pins in the hole. Third game. 1st shot was nice, a little high, left a 4 pin & spared it. 2nd frame, shot was really nice but a tad high, left another 4 pin & spared it. 3rd frame, shot was nice again but left another 4 pin & spared it. 4th frame (need I go on?), shot was definitely a hair high but well thrown, came within millimeters of leaving a split but something took out the 9 pin leaving me – the 4 pin. Spared it. 5th frame – shot was beyond high, actually crossed over to the ‘wrong’ side of the head pin. Vaporized the pins. Finally – no 4 pin. 6th frame – buried the shot. Absotively, posilutely perfect. Got the double working. 7th? Oops, another crossover, but it struck so I was still a happy guy. 3 in a row, got the turkey working. 8th – buried, 4 in a row for the Hambone (I didn’t come up with that term – some pro bowler did. Sounds kinda stupid to me.). 9th – actually buried another, smoked the rack for the 5th in a row – the Yahtzee!! (this term I like). 10th frame – I made the all too common mistake of thinking. Threw the ball a little soft, it came in high, mashed the head pin and was lucky to leave only a 6 pin. Spared it, filled the tenth with another strike, wound up at 236. 11 shots, nothing but 9’s and strikes. I can’t quite pinpoint what changed. The first two games I was throwing the ball well, just getting bad results. The third game, I broke down and asked the bar girl to please, please bring me a Yeungling. After that? No more splits, no more opens, lots of strikes. Hey – if it works, who am I to argue? Moral of the story? Even after a tough start, if you hang in there long enough good things will happen. Maybe.
For you bowling virgins, here’s the pin positions:
7 8 9 10
4 5 6
So when I say I left a 4 pin, I’m talking about the pin in the #4 position, not 4 pins. That would be bad.
What’s really sticking in my craw at the moment is a continuing behavior of Cindy’s where she seems to try to minimize or ignore or just not even acknowledge anything I say or do. Frinstance (it’s a word now), I emailed her at 1:18pm about my thoughts for dinner. I plan on doing an Elie Krieger fish, & spinach dish (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/fish-with-tomatoes-olives-and-capers-recipe/index.html) with rice pilaf, steamed broccoli and a salad. Fridays are tough because Cindy often goes out with her AA buds for coffee and/or dinner before the Friday night meeting. I never know how many I‘m cooking for until the last minute. At least this dish cooks quick so it’s easy to adjust at the last minute if you have the ingredients.
Aahh. A second email finally got a response. She’s apparently so busy she doesn’t have the time to do me the courtesy of a response. Unless I send a follow up note that either begs to know what’s going on or one that sounds pissed because she hasn’t responded yet.
(A little break here cuz my compiler has finished. ‘Skuze me . . .)
Well. Back here at the ranch things seem a little different. At least the aloofness was gone. Now? She’s off to her meeting and I’m watching the Syracuse in the NC2A’s and Buffalo vs Toronto in hockey. What more could a guy ask for?
Tomorrow – big wedding doings. A tasting at the reception place so the reception dinner will get locked down. Will be making reservations for the rehearsal dinner, getting measured for a tux and getting room reservations for the wedding weekend. All that on Saturday. Sunday? I dug up details on a place that lets you pick and paint ceramics. They fire it for you and you go pick it up a week later. Sounds like a neat date, yes?