Monday, June 11, 2012
First Day of Vacation -- Unrealistic Expectations
We are on vacation, and after driving 26 hours straight and having a good night's sleep, I woke up unusually early (everyone was still asleep). I showered, opened up my laptop, and I thought to myself, "Everyone is asleep. Maybe if I did some work now, I could have more time to spend with the family on vacation later."
Around 20 minutes, later, one child woke up and woke up the other three. I managed to boot the computer, check e-mail, and send out a few letters for clients (note, I had around twenty to deal with, took care of three). Wife woke up, and my thought was to work until everyone would be closer to leaving. I would in that time (while waiting for other things to happen or for people to respond to my e-mails) daven, and it would be a good morning.
Instead, I got resistance from my wife. "Why are you working here?" "Can't you go to a business office or something downstairs so that I do not have to see you work?" This upset me because I wanted the comfort of working and being around family at the same time. This doesn't work for my wife, and so she ousted me from our room. Now I'm downstairs in the business center in the lobby feeling sad -- why couldn't I work in my room? The goal here was to speak to my wife in the interim, be helpful (sort of) with the kids, and get out the e-mails that needed to go out. Now I'm sitting here in the business center waiting for a 10MB file to download (9 minutes left) when I could have spent it talking to my wife.
I understand that I need to work, even when on vacation. I run my own law firm, I have clients that have daily needs, and I have responsibilities. These don't go away because I am on vacation with the family, and I explained that to my wife and she agreed.
...[Later in the evening] The morning was nothing short of a disaster. I worked not until 10am as we agreed, but until 10:15am (I had a client matter that needed to be finished before I shut down the firm for the day). Around 8:30am, I received a text message from her stating that the pool looks open and that she's going down with the kids. She wasn't clear which of the many pools she went to, and when I asked her, she gave me an inaccurate answer. Not getting finished until 15 minutes later than expected, I rushed through the davening, jumped into my swim suit and clothes, and cleaned up a bit. I looked at the clock, and it was 10:40am. Shoot. I blew it. I ran downstairs, and she wasn't at the pool. I looked in another pool, and then another pool (we're at a big hotel). Nothing. She texted me then telling me that she and the kids are going back to the room. I told her I was already downstairs looking for her, and she told me that she was at a particular pool across the lake (one of the first pools in which I looked for them). As I was sending the text telling her I was there 20 minutes ago, the phone died. I ran over, and they weren't there. I paced around the pool looking around, and they weren't there.
Finally they arrived, and my wife was clearly pissed. It was close to 11:15am now, and I was quite upset that I was running around for nothing. She was pissed that I wasn't there at 10am (even though stopping at 10am from the business lounge, it would have been impossible to get back upstairs, dressed, daven, and walk over to the pool (assuming I knew which it was) all by 10am was impossible and unfair thinking). Anyway, she dumped the kids on me, and wanted to go back to the hotel. I was upset at this, as I wanted to spend this time with her, and I didn't come downstairs to have the kids dumped on me -- I wanted to spend time with my family.
Anyway, our morning (and most of our day) was really tense. I wasn't happy at the pool because I felt more like a divorced father with custody of the kids rather than an engaged husband who enjoyed spending time with his family, and the tension between my wife and I really hurt me. I felt it was unfair for her to change the plans, and then not tell me she had any expectation of me to change my plans, and then punish me all day with a cold shoulder because I did exactly what we planned on doing.
Anyway, it is nighttime and we are no longer fighting, but I am obviously still upset about this morning's events. When we are not close, it hurts me, and it is not like I was playing solitaire or something. I was doing the bare minimum that I needed to do to keep the firm afloat (which by the way is paying for our trip)... and what bugs me the most is that I was working hard and doing what I needed to do, but this was not good enough for her. She just wants me magically to do all this AND be the perfect husband and father at the same time. I just feel like she set me up by leaving early to the pool (the plan was for everyone to go down together at 10am), and then had nothing but criticism and nasty words for me when I eventually arrived at the pool. Shrug.