It happened sometime after 11pm. We were discussing the revelation I had about my vast, amorphous, persistent false guilt (the revelation being that it exists) and it’s ties to my deep-seated perfectionism. I had changed into a purple striped vintage-style pajama top and was looking for the matching pants.
Me: Where are my pants? I ask. He finds everything.
He: I don’t know. Where did you put them? He responds with my favorite question at times like these.
Me: I don’t know. I can’t find them. I try not to be annoyed.
He: Here. Here are your pants. He jokingly hands me a pair of his shrunken flannel pajama bottoms.
Me: You know what? Yes. Yes, these are my pants. This is so fitting right now. I put on the pants, think I have somehow delivered a fatal wound to my perfectionism. “Wound” is right. The clash is too much for me to handle.
Me: I can’t wear these pants. It hurts. It hurts to wear them, and I know it hurts you to look at them. I close my eyes.
He: I’m not looking at them. He’s not looking at them.
Me: I don’t think I can stand this. I just don’t want to be this woman. I am truly stressed.
He: You’re not that woman. You’re just wearing the outfit, but that’s not who you are. He tries to be the loving, supportive husband he always is without trying.
Me: Yes, it is who I am. I am the woman who would wear something like this to bed. From this day forward I will forever be that woman. Just the thought of that makes me want to take this off ASAP. My stomach hurts.
He: Babe, it doesn’t matter. He is patient.
Me: But it matters to me! I am right. It does matter to me.
He: It doesn’t matter to God. He is right. It doesn’t matter to God.
Me: Well, I have higher standards than God. It appears I have lost my mind. Or I just revealed my long-existing insanity.
I think I need to keep the pants. And I have some writing to do…