We Make Small Arguments Big

Walking up to the front door I noticed a gray motionless mouse complete with a long motionless tail. I gagged and ran to the back door to enter the house. While I began the important work of layering plastic grocery bags within themselves to create an appropriate thickness for picking up a dead mouse, I wondered why Brandon would let this happen. Somehow me shoveling* a mouse to its grave had become Brandon’s problem.  A few weeks ago I heard a mouse chomping on a Werther’s wrapper in my closet at 3a.m. And that was Brandon’s problem too.  My rationale: because he’s the one who eats Werther’s candy and the wrappers have more longevity than cockroaches — they can make it through an entire laundry cycle without any change.

Somewhere along the line I decided that dealing with mice was something that would be on Brandon’s list. Like the awesome wife I am, I never communicated this decision but I have become overwhelmingly frustrated about having proximity to a mouse (mice).

I think frustrations come easier when you’re tired. 

I think frustrations come easier when you’re learning how to be a parent.

I think frustrations come easier when you just want to be selfish.

Like any good martyr, I gave Brandon the cold shoulder and reminded myself: I am a strong independent woman. But the truth is I’m not feeling that strong these days.  And the truth is I want his help and need his help. But instead of asking for help and communicating what’s going on, I make small arguments bigger by responding at an off-the-charts intensity. So when Brandon responds in a not 100% awesome way, I jump at the opportunity to be angry.

So then Brandon’s all like ‘what the heck’ and responds with an off-the-charts intensity back.  And so a tiny argument, the size of a small mouse, becomes a big argument. It’s kind of our thing. 

But tonight Brandon said he was sorry. And I said I was sorry. And looking back I hate how I responded. And looking back he hates how he responded. So maybe next time we can meet each other at a lower intensity.  And keep our mouse-sized arguments the size they are meant to be.

R.I.P my little gray friend, R.I.P.

*Um, no amount of bags would have been enough for me to pick up a dead mouse. I’m not that tough. I do get credit for trying though.  But when I started to feel the weight of the lifeless mouse in my hand (even through an entire month’s worth of plastic bags) I screamed and dropped it.


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