Craig and I were really having some trouble with how things went down between Adam and Cristina on Parenthood this week. While Craig was not necessarily on Adam’s side, he did make these comments about how Cristina was being snarky and rude and handling her feelings inappropriately. And I was taking his reaction very personally which was resulting in all sorts of polite and strained conversation around the issue. At one point, he even suggested (in earnest!!) that we look up my horoscope to see if there was some cosmic reason I was being so bitchy about it. His suggestion went over really well.
I finally realized what was up. And what was up was this. Cristina is one of the first realistic stay at home moms I have ever seen on television. (I haven’t forgotten you, Tammy Taylor.) Most of the shows that I’ve watched have either centered around a woman’s career outside her home, have featured housewives as completely nutso (all the Real Housewifes of wherever and Desperate Housewives, etc.) or they have been those sitcomy type moms which is just a 21st century version of Donna Reed.
And I think one of the things that annoys me most about what people expect from stay at home moms is that when we express our anger, we have failed. I think that in some ways, this is true for all women. But I think it’s extra especially true for housewifely type women. Our jobs, our careers, if you will, are often perceived as making other people’s lives more comfortable, to put other people’s needs before our own. There isn’t a lot of room for us to be angry in that type of job.
But, dude. Women get angry. It’s true. It happens. It’s a fact. I hope this isn’t too shocking for you.
And feeling really angry, but pretending not to be so as not to appear ugly, is a super bad idea. It is exceedingly catastrophic to the soul. In my opinion.
I don’t condone being childish or fighting dirty, but I do think that Cristina had every right to be fucking pissed when, after a young beautiful woman kissed her husband, and he told her about it to relieve his conscience, and she said that it made her feel really uncomfortable and to please fire the woman, and he said you got it, then didn’t fire the woman, then LIED to his wife about it, then when confronted, told his wife that he didn’t want to hurt the beautiful young woman’s feelings. In that situation, I think she had a right to be really really angry.
He didn’t get it. He thought it was about the kiss. But it wasn’t. It was about the fact that she spent the last 18 years putting the needs of her husband and children before her own, and the one time she asked him to put her needs before his, he wouldn’t. He didn’t want to hurt the feelings of this other woman that he’d known for like 2 weeks.
That would make anyone angry. And I was so glad that a popular TV show was showing a really great, nurturing, selfless, stay at home mom getting angry in a really human way. So, when my husband said he thought Cristina was taking it too far, I wanted her to go farther. Much farther. And I might have taken his opinions on the matter a wee bit personally.
The thing that is most odd about this whole tangent that I ranted on and on about is that I haven’t felt angry or resentful in a really long time. This is the happiest I’ve been, generally speaking, in years. You know how I got here? I learned to express my anger. BOOM.
Craig has had a lot of practice getting used to my anger and I have gotten exceedingly good at expressing it in constructive ways. He’s like this Jedi Master who has adapted his mind tricks and can see my anger before it is even there sometimes. And in his ultimate wisdom (thank you Baby Jesus that I chose this man) he has come to realize that my getting angry sometimes doesn’t make me less of a wife or a mother or a woman. It just makes me human.
Though, I still don’t understand why he didn’t use his Jedi mind to understand Cristina’s anger. Maybe cause he’s not in love with her? Or because she’s not real? Anyway. No matter.
I guess I’m done on my soapbox.
Wow. That was an abrupt ending.
Look, it just keeps going.
Is this me being uncomfortable talking about feelings of anger?
Look over there! Something shiny!
Anger won’t turn you into a dude. Promise. Get angry if you need to.
Just figure out a way to do it without, you know, destroying your relationships.
In other words. Get mad if you must. But don’t be a dick.
Also, watch Parenthood. It’s a really good show.