This is a humor piece, but kind-of-not-really, because a great injustice has been done.
My husband finished off my only bag of pistachios yesterday, and it feels like a crime has been committed against me.
This is what life is like as a married woman in quarantine with her husband, working remotely underneath the same roof and adjusting as we go.
I’ve been rationing this small, teeny bag of nuts (my official 'work snack’, if you will) to get me through to the end of the week. We’re trying to avoid going to grocery stores as much as possible right now, like many others.
And so, imagine my surprise when I went to grab my bowl of ‘work snacks’ for the day, and there were barely any nuts left.
I have a 250-gram bag of pistachios. My husband has a literal Designated Nut Drawer in our kitchen — macadamia, walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds… you get the picture. All dedicated to his personal stash of nutty snacks.
I looked between the empty bag, and the drawer of assorted, unlimited Costco-sized nut bags, and began to quietly seethe in fury.
Ridiculous? Yes. Because we all know this is about far more than a measly bag of pistachios.
Entire routines are being thrown off.
Before COVID-19, I’d been working from home alone for close to four years.
For the last three weeks, my husband has been working remotely with me as our country is in a state of emergency to contain the virus and not spread it further.
I’m seeing a hell of a lot of my husband these days.
As two introverts, we’re not getting much time on our own. These are bizarre circumstances, and I really miss having the house to myself for 8 hours each day.
Instead, I’m bumping into my husband multiple times a day, and am able to hear his work calls through the shared wall between our offices.
Some days, I’m incredibly grateful for having my husband home, being able to each lunch with him, hug him when I want, etc.
Other days, like today? I wish he was working from the company office.
Because then he wouldn’t be eating my ‘work snacks’.
We’re all learning how to navigate these new realities, and are getting used to our ‘new normal’. There are bound to be bumps along the road as we figure things out.
Conflict will arise, whether you like it or not. And that’s okay.
This is inevitable — things won’t always be happy, hunky-dory every single day of the week.
My husband and I pride ourselves on being quality communicators, and having a similarly patient disposition. But that doesn’t mean we don’t still get annoyed with each other once in a while.
And the more time you spend around someone, the greater the chance you have of being annoyed by them.
Let’s return to my forsaken bag of work snacks (RIP pistachios) as an example:
In our household, one of my main chores is cooking dinner.
No, not because I’m a woman and I belong in the kitchen. Settle down, misogynistic internet trolls.
Rather because I’m the better cook, and I like being able to call the shots on what I eat for my main meal, especially as my husband is putting himself through the keto diet (no thanks).
So here I am thinking,
“You know what? I’ve cooked well-balanced, healthy dinners plus lunch leftovers for us both every night for the past three weeks straight… I need a break.”
So, I popped by my parents' place for dinner — my husband stayed home to play video games with his friends. He was on his own for supper.
It just adds salt to the wound that the one night I don’t cook him dinner was the same night he deeply betrayed me by eating my pistachios.
The utter horror.
Habitual creatures will naturally have trouble adapting.
Oh hi, that’s me.
I am a creature of habit.
I have a general agenda for how my workday goes, and my break is often broken up into which ‘work snack’ I will bring back up to my office to enjoy.
This entire week, I’ve watched my feta cheese and artisan salami supply dwindle faster than ever before. I get it, my husband and I are charcuterie board fanatics, and we both pay for groceries. We both have a right to shared good.
But, the ultimate question of this story is:
Did I take that bag of pistachios, storm up to my husband's office, and wave it in his face demanding why he snacked on my snacks?
No. Of course not.
Instead, I took a few breaths, vented comically to a group chat, and then laughed it off.
My advice, as a married woman?
You’ve got to take this all in strides.
And no matter what you do, try to maintain a good sense of humor.
Of all things going on in the world, my husband eating a bag of pistachios is so wildly insignificant that it’s laughable. Sure, it had me annoyed — I’m kind of defensive over food, and I’m aware of that. That’s one of my flaws.
But in a current world where I barely leave my house, have lost a majority of my income, and am an active emotional eater, food is one of the few luxuries I have to look forward to in the day, you know? So maybe I’m a little more sensitive about it these days.
My advice? Acknowledge your feelings — because they are valid. But also recognize what behaviour is reasonable versus what is not. Projecting your own stress upon other people through unnecessary conflict isn’t going to make you feel any better.
This article is undoubtedly, completely written out of pure, laughable privilege. I recognize that. And that’s kind of the point.
I know that many others in committed relationships like me are also having moments similar to this multiple times a week (or in a single day), since working remotely in the same space with their spouse, children, etc. That’s why I’m writing about this, to begin with.
Keep the big picture in focus — keep your eye on what really matters.
My husband and I have food in the fridge, our power is still on, we won’t be losing our house. He’s still fully employed, and I haven’t lost all of my clients because of this crisis (only 75%).
On the list of things that really matter, and conflict to actually address in a mature manner as a married couple, my precious pistachios are nowhere near relevant enough to be even included on that list.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not still annoyed about it. And that’s okay.
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