I'm warning you know. Look out. This is going to be a bad one.
If you are offended later, I don't want to hear it, because I'm warning you now that I could possibly anger someone, but then again, being that you are "My peeps," I somehow think you'll totally get this.
And truly, this can't be held in. I am LIVID, and I suspect that many of you are too.
I am livid because I have been hearing THIS for the past two years, and the last person who told me was either just the straw that broke the camel's back, or else when I considered the source, it just made me feel enraged for all the inappropriate things I DON'T say to him, which I am going to list here and now.
O.k. so let me back up...In fact, let me back WAY up...and I promise, when I finally DO write the thing I'm tired of hearing, I'll BOLD it for ya since I backed up on everyone. (If you think that is frustrating, you probably don't want to get behind me when I'm driving.)
Seven years ago, I began dating the world's sweetest man. He is a very intelligent, considerate and well-respected man, but he is also a rather shy and introverted man, a wallflower if you will, uncomfortable in social situations, bookish, careful with his words and just all around not the type of man you would expect to date...say... Dance Club Barbie.
And as luck would have it at that time, I was Dance Club Barbie.
Or at least I was the outgoing, fashion plate, social calendar overbooked, sports car driving blonde on whom he happened to develop a crush.
So when the two of us indeed began dating, many of our friends, co-workers and even family members sorta scratched their heads at the rather unlikely pair that we had become. Most people chalked it up to "Opposites Attract," or something like that.
And perhaps that was a bit of our case. Who Knows? All I do know is that attracted I was. I hadn't ever fallen so much in love, nor so deeply, nor had I ever experienced the kind of chemistry that was present between the man who would become my future husband and me. And yes, that kind of chemistry STILL exists all these years later; I can assure you. Seven year Itch? Not in this household. The only man I itch for is my tall and handsome husband.
But seven years ago, during our dating years, I imagine my husband probably developed a bit of a complex, when everyone appeared shocked that he had landed such a party girl. I can still, rather satisfyingly, see the look of shock on his family's faces when I walked in to meet them on his arm. His brothers jaws promptly hit the ground, and he swears they formed a new found respect for him on the spot.
So imagine our surprise several years later when all the, "Wow, man. You must be smooth to land her. How did you do it?" comments turned to, "Wow, lady. You are so lucky to have such a great husband with a good job whom is so devoted to you even though you are sick."
(Even though you are sick - those words BURN into me now, but we'll get to that.)
But let's stick with the past for a moment more, because I would like to point out that when the perception changed from my husband being lucky to land me to him being some sort of hero for putting up with my disease, we thought it was hilarious. The two of us spent a few years laughing about how people could switch their opinions so readily when really we had both felt all along that we were both just as lucky, just as in love with each other from day one until now.
Alas, every joke loses its luster. And after six years of hearing their not so veiled comments, I find that I'm not laughing so much anymore.
Perhaps it is because I have heard it for way too long, or perhaps (and this is what I suspect is the truth), the disease has progressed to the point where my husband actually does carry an increasingly bigger portion of the load.
But whatever the reason, I heard it again recently and I LOST it. I logged onto facebook, with hope upon hopes, that the person who spewed that awful comment my way would recognize their words and know my retaliation was meant for them. I wrote, "If you say to me that I am lucky to have such a devoted spouse because I am ill, I might say back to you that you are lucky to have such a devoted spouse even though you are hideously fat and ugly."
Now, I have said this before, and I will say it again. I have no beef with fatness. I have battled weight before myself. It is simply that the same person who made that insensitive comment to me happens to be marrying a person that is very large. My husband happens to think I am very lovely, beautiful, kind and intelligent (and we all know I'm sassy.) So perhaps my disability is not a "thing" for him. Perhaps, in fact, he feels lucky that disabled or not, a woman of my particular kind finds him so appealing.
And so while I know many of my friends were, in fact, offended by my FB statement, I think it was important for them to see the superbitch in me fly for once, to know that their little sly comments are NOT making it under the radar. I see the insult, intended or not, in their words, and I am not going to endure it anymore. Because you see, a person may have the most perfect, gold-plated, hard as steel joints there are out there, but I'm sorry to say that does NOT make them a catch. So yes, for every time you wonder aloud why my husband stays with his "sick wife," I may have to wonder aloud how you stay with your dumb one.
Or crazy one.
Or pastie white, crooked teeth having, pants hiked up on her waist one.
Or infertile one.
Yes, one person who made this statement to us has been struggling with her own fertility issues for YEARS. Do you KNOW how hard it was for me not to point out her own failings in the face of her obvious rudeness.
But I would never. Because let's face it, most of us never WOULD say these things to other humans. So then tell me again why THEY feel it is appropriate for them to wonder at my husband's motives aloud.
The bottom line is that some of us may indeed have RA, or MS or lupus or Cancer, and that does not mean our spouses are STUCK with us. It means they love us in spite of our challenges, or because of our integrity when faced with such challenges. It means that yes, they are honoring their vows, but they are doing it with joy and love and even passion and lust, not because they are candidates for Sainthood.
So I say, the next time someone has the gall to wonder aloud how anyone puts up with your having RA, ask them why anyone puts up with their ass period!