My whole adult life, Saturday mornings were the time to get my work done. Then I would have the rest of the weekend to relax or have fun. When I was in college, I worked 20 hours a week. On Saturday mornings, I read whatever novel or Shakespeare play I needed to read that week for class. Once I got the reading done, I was free. I worked very diligently to get it done as quickly as possible.
When I was married the first go-round (also during my last three years of college), he operated the same way. We had a lot of differences - a lot - but tended to have the same temperament on Saturdays. Oh, wait, actually he worked every Saturday. I forgot.
After being married for 14 years, I was single for 5 with small children. They huddled in the family room playing games or watching a movie while I mopped and polished the kitchen and dining room every Saturday morning. As soon as I was done, we played. We went to a movie, we went to the park, we did whatever fun thing we had planned for the day. And I had no more cleaning to worry about for the whole weekend. The kids knew if they let me do it, they would be having fun very soon.
Now I am remarried to a man who makes every Saturday of my life completely dysfunctional. Every Saturday we have basically the same argument.
Imagine this: We are sitting at the dining room table. I am trying to drink my first cup of coffee and am battling a chronic morning headache that is inflamed by noise, irritation, and the sight of my filthy kitchen.
Me: I don't want to argue today. Let's have a good day today. [Believes optimism will last all day long.]
Him: Sounds good.
Me: Can you help me mop the floor [insert do dishes, sort laundry, whatever, but always just one of the 100 things I want to get done rather quickly on Saturday so I can play]?
Him: [Makes a face like an impertinent teenager.]
Me: Seriously? Fine, I'll do it myself.
Him: No, I'll do it [in tone of impertinent teenager].
Me: No, I'll do it. I'll do it all. [Impertinent teenage mode is contagious on Saturday mornings in particular.]
Him: [Stands up and starts rattling around dishes.]
Me: [Screaming rant about him doing dishes to make my head hurt worse before I get out of the room and before I finish coffee and get a bite to eat. Screaming makes headache worse. Stomps away upstairs.]
Him: [Bangs dishes around more loudly.]
Every Saturday morning this is how it goes - unless I convince him to get out and take the small man with him to go to the grocery store or go on another errand, in which case the groceries are immediately plopped into the center of the room I cleaned while he was gone.
I love my husband and know for a fact he loves me and that he would do anything else for me or my kids.
I wonder if cleaning on Friday night will be our only hope for a happy Saturday for as long as we both shall live? If not, there a lot of bad Saturday mornings ahead of us.