Lying in bed with my husband beside me, I suddenly realize the sheets beneath my feat are wrinkled and bunched up. Without warning I quickly jump out of bed and begin tugging on the corner of the fitted sheet, compulsively attempting to smooth out the jumbled mess. It is then that my husband looks at me and asks “Can I help you?” Within the milliseconds between his question and my words, I am somehow able to contort, twist, and conceive of what it is he is “actually” saying.
“Can I help you?” Of course he does not really mean those four simple words. This must be his attempt at trying to look helpful without really wanting to help. Of course if he actually wanted to help he would get out of bed and help. He knows there is nothing he can really do to help, and is trying to earn brownie points by asking what is obviously only a rhetorical question. What nerve, I finally think to myself, and let the words fly as I begin to hear him ask the same question again.
“Can I help you?” he mutters once more.
“How could you help?” I ask, still tugging at the sheets. “If you want to help, then help. If not, then don’t. You’re only asking me this question because you know there is nothing you can do. I don’t know, get out and help if you want, maybe it will make a difference.” And at my final manic words, I plop back into bed.
“Why would you even ask me that?” I snap at him. “Because I wanted to help you if you needed it,” he replies. I take a deep breath, knowing that I possibly overreacted, but also knowing that I must be right.
As we lay in silence I am still fuming at my husband’s gull, but manage to flip the situation. What if he had gotten out of bed in the same manner and I had actually been nice enough (fat chance) to ask him if he needed help? I begin to notice a few key points.
1. I wouldn’t have even asked.
2. Had I actually the kindness to ask, it probably wouldn’t have been heart-felt, hence my cutting attitude.
3. He meant it.
4. I am an ass.
My husband is sweet. He is kind. He puts up with my crazed antics with only morsels of sarcasm in reply. He is the best thing that has happened in my life, and I am lucky to have him.
“Can I help you?” Well yeah, I guess so…maybe. But could you make it forever? Like, I need help for-ev-er. And the crazy..it probably will never end. Thanks. Oh yeah, and PS-I am not actually crazy, just particular.