Me and the Hot Man were having a discussion about our daughters. And what kind of relationships they will have with the people they will marry one day. (Because yeah, that’s what lame parents do. Sit around and discuss their children all day.) I said,
“The most important factor will be our example. Our children can see what kind of a marriage we have. They can see how we communicate with each other, that this is a partnership of equals. I don’t boss you around. And you don’t boss me around. We share leadership in this relationship.”
Sigh. Isn’t that beautiful? And I meant it. And I believed every word of it. And I wanted to pat both of us on the back and hi-five our awesomeness because we are just such the coolest couple on the planet. Bonus points in heaven!
The Hot Man said, “Excuse me? What did you say? What rubbish! Ha! You boss me around all the time. You’re always telling me what to do.”
I was sure he was joking. But he wasn’t smiling. He looked incredulous. Disbelieving. And he certainly wasn’t doing any hi-fiving of our marital awesomeness either.
I said, “Darling, what do you mean? I never tell you what to do. In fact, most of the time, you do the exact opposite of what I wish you would do. We negotiate and discuss everything. I’m not bossy.”
The Hot Man called our two teenagers into the room. “Son, your mother just said that she and I share leadership equally in this family. She said she never tells me what to do. Is that true?”
Big Son laughed. Incredulously. Disbelievingly. Hysterically. “That’s a joke right? She’s kidding, right?”
I didn’t think anything was funny.
Big Son said, “Mum, you’re always telling Dad what to do. Even my friends notice. When they come over they say Far out man, your mum is like the BOSS. She like, rulez your Dad.” Whoa!’
The Hot Man then asked Big Daughter. “What do you think? Does your mother tell me what to do?”
I glared. The kind of glare that says think very carefully about your answer because your happiness in my house depends on it. Big Daughter answered hesitantly. “Umm, yeah. She kind of does. Not all of the time. But pretty much most of the time. Sorry mum, but it’s true.”
The Hot Man was triumphant. “See!? Even your children know it. You wear the pants in this family. Just be honest about it and face the facts.” He shook his head. “And there you are, trying to tell us that we’re so equal and share leadership…ha.”
I said. “Whatever. Those kids don’t know anything about anything.” I told them to go away. Immediately. Go scrub a floor. Wash a dish. Climb a tree. (And we’re never having any of their stupid friends over at our house anymore either. So there. So there.)
And then I said to the Hot Man. “I never tell you what to do. Ever. You have to stop talking such rubbish, do you hear me? And you need to tell your children that I never tell you what to do, do you hear me?”
And he smiled and said. “Yes Lani. There you go again. Telling me what to do.”
I give up. According to these people who live in the same house as me, I’m a bossy, controlling, woman who always tells her husband what to do. Shoot me now. No bonus points for me in heaven.
But maybe, just maybe – that’s why this is such a HAPPY, SUCCESSFUL marriage. Because (supposedly) I tell everybody what to do.
You are happy, aren’t you honey? I can’t hear you? Speak up now!
Who’s the boss in your house? Do you think you share leadership? Maybe you’re living in fantasy land. Try asking your kids what they think. Go on, I dare you.