Every now and then I get hit with a pang of guilt that my life is fairly easy.
Generally this happens as I'm sitting at the computer playing Solitaire and reading other people's blogs while munching on whatever candy I managed to pilfer from my children's rooms and ignoring the rabid dust bunnies threatening to chew off my toes.
It's not like my life isn't filled with it's own hardships. I certainly never thought I'd be married to a man who is only home for what amounts to 30 days or so a year. And I certainly never thought I'd be raising his feral smalls all by myself.
Then there is the whole 'I've got me a disabled kid, let's try to keep him healthy and alive this time' complex I battle with every day since I'm haunted with my lack of success in that category previously.
And let's not forget that every spring my plumbing freezes up for weeks at a time so that I'm forced to channel my inner pioneer woman by melting snow on the stove, wash out of a bucket and pray for the day the toilet decides to work again.
Wow, when I type it out it all sounds so difficult and so primitive.
So I have to pee in a bucket for a couple of weeks every year. So what that I have no running water in which to sterilize my youngest son's medical equipment with or wash my hair with or you know, drink, for weeks on end. Eventually my husband comes home and makes everything right as rain once again.
And after my husband has fixed everything up and made everyone happy he leaves again to go back to his daily grind. Which I tend to think, is much, much worse than mine.
I mean he doesn't get to see me every day the way that I do. Surely this mean his life is imminently more difficult than mine even if he never has to be in three places at once thanks to his children and their requirements, or if he never needs to be responsible for ensuring there is enough toilet paper for all the smalls to waste just so.
He is singularly responsible for providing food and shelter and safety for his wife and children. On top of holding a real person's job. One that does not involve twitter or Facebook or IM'ing with his best friend all through the day.
People actually depend on him. People other than his children and me. Other men and women. He has an adult job with adult responsibilities on top of making sure his children have iTunes cards and his wife has unfettered access to the internet so she can lol about cats and get overwhelmed by Pinterest and write odes to the misunderstood but clearly beloved band Nickelback.
Pangs of guilt.
So when I was struck by said ping the other day as I was surfing the net and licking the Cheetos dust off my fingers I decided I would do something my husband wouldn't expect. I would be thoughtful and wifely and send him a picture of myself with some playful words so he would know that as he tackled the big scary world to provide for his family, his dutiful and caring wife had not forgotten her manly man.
Not that kind of picture or those kind of words, you perverts. It was mid-day and let's face it, I can barely be bothered to shower let alone shave my legs. I was trying to woo him, not frighten the poor man.
Thinking of you Boo. I miss you.
Sure I may have had an ulterior motive for sending him a picture of me. After discovering he had the worst picture of me ever (think double chins and serial killer eyes with bad hair) propped up on his desk for all the world to see I wanted to make sure he had an alternative to replace the dreadful shot with. But whatever.
Minutes later my phone buzzed.
"Where are your glasses?" he typed.
"I'm not wearing them." Just call me Tips.
"I can see that. Did you get new glasses you don't want me to know about?" Like I would do that. Ahem.
"No. I was trying to be nice."
"You're freaking me out."
"My being nice freaks you out?" What is wrong with this man?
"You're only nice when you buy weird crap off the internet. What was it this time? Finally found a stuffed beaver you like?"
"You're so suspicious! I bought nothing! I was just trying to show you that I was missing you."
"I'm going to find out T. The credit card statement comes to me, remember?"
"I didn't BUY ANYTHING."
"I really don't want to come home to find any two headed ducks in my living room, Tanis."
"Oh for pete's sake, Boo. I was just thinking of you."
"Thinking about how to distract me so I won't notice whatever it is you are trying to hide. I know how you work, T. It's all about the art of war with you,"
"It was one picture! I wasn't wearing my glasses because I took them off to clean them and never put them back on! I haven't found any beavers or stuffed ducks or new frames or voodoo dolls or fancy cooking wear that I'll never use but still covet or anything. I was just thinking of you!"
"Oh. Well in that case, you look very nice."
So the next time I get that pang of guilt for living the easy life while my husband works so tirelessly to support me in my lifestyle of unlimited internet access and all the Cheetos I could desire?
Just slap me.