Pet peeves and marriage go hand in hand. Craig and I drive each other crazy in silly little ways. For example, Craig has a tendency to tell stories from my past as though he was there. I hate it when he does this for the following reasons:
- I like to decide when to insert myself in a conversation. There are times when it’s not about me, so a story from my childhood seems irrelevant.
- Most often he gets the story wrong since he wasn’t there. I’m protective of my stories, so I get irritated when I have to correct him and re-tell the story.
- Telling a story about my past involves providing necessary background information, setting the scene, and answering any questions that may arise. Sometimes I’m just not in the mood.
Craig knows I hate when he does this. I’ve told him so many times. Unfortunately his spontaneous urges to share in conversation often cause him to forget. As a result, I get instantly annoyed when he starts to vomit one of my stories.
It happened last night. Craig and I took Gabe to dinner while the girls were at volleyball practice. Upon exiting the restaurant, there was a basketful of free Dum Dums suckers. Gabe and Craig both took two – Craig was in full child-mode along with his 11 year-old son.
They spent most of dinner in “Man Land” (as they like to call it) ganging up against me and sharing several celebratory high-5s. They were having a ball. I was tolerating their fun with sarcasm. I can appreciate and hang in Man Land with the best of ’em.
However the fun stopped temporarily for me when we got into the car and Craig announced all knowingly, “Hey Gabe! Did you know Mommy grew up in the town where Dum Dums are….”
I cut him off before he could finish his thought.
“That’s not your story to tell,” I reminded him through gritted teeth, because he was already telling the story wrong. I did not grow up in Bryan, which is where the Spangler Candy Company is located. I grew up in Edon – 15 minutes from Bryan. When you come from a one-stoplight town as small as mine, it’s
important imperative to differentiate.
“Ooops!” he giggled sheeplishly, knowing he’d violated our pet peeve agreement but not really caring. I glared at him. Both suckers were sticking out of either side of his mouth. Child.
“What’s he talking about, Mommy?” Gabe asked. He was eager for me to look at him too. He beamed as he mimicked his goofy father with both of his suckers also sticking out of either side of his mouth. I shook my head with dramatic frustration. He giggled as he awaited my answer.
Flustered, I spit out a generalized explanation that felt accurate enough to satisfy Gabe’s fleeting curiosity: “I grew up where Dumb Dumbs are made.”
The festive noise in the car came to a screeching halt. The dead silence gave me pause enough to realize what I’d just said. Oh crap.
“Bahahahahahahahahahaha!” Gabe and Craig erupted into deep belly laughter.
I was not going to beat them on this one. I conceded and laughed until my stomach hurt. They celebrated with yet another high-5 – their first legit victory of the evening. Silly boys.