If this blog were a pig, it would have unearthed its first truffle
When I first read Moxie’s post about missing our boys while they were vacationing with me, I understood how she must have felt. But it didn’t totally resonate. Neither one of us wants to intrude on the other’s Kid Time, but we also know that the mobile lines of communication are almost always open. So why profess such deprivation and not call more often?
Then Moxie addressed exactly that by writing in the comments that she doesn’t call because “I know I can’t keep myself emotionally neutral on the phone, and I don’t want to make them responsible for my feelings of sadness while they’re gone. So sometimes I don’t call at the moments I most need to (for myself) so I don’t put it on them.”
This was a total revelation to me, perhaps because standard Y-chromosome genetics have made certain instincts in my life refreshingly basic:
Man hungry? Man eat.
Man itch? Man scratch.
Man miss kids? Man call kids. And even if the house feels empty, I always feel—perhaps hubristically—that I can fake it.
I mentioned this to a random sampling of cousindom last week, and the men felt pretty much the same way I did. But each woman said, “Yep. I get that. It’s a woman thing.” A woman thing that is most likely exacerbated by there being only manfolk at the other end of the phone.
That I’m only now learning this might shed some light on the communication bottleneck that helped doom our marriage. It might also make me admit that, had I learned about her feelings about calling while we were married, I probably would have reacted with incredulity and set about trying to “fix” her.
Now, not only am I aware of it, I know it’s my job merely to sympathize, even if I can’t empathize. And I also know this blog is already paying dividends by helping me get to know her all over again, perhaps better than I ever did.