Sir has known me for more than ten years. Later this month we will celebrate seven years of marriage. So he has seen me grow and change. He has also met and become quite close to my parents over the last decade. Ask him and he could tell you which of my personality traits came from which of them. I think he would shake both sometimes as I drive him crazy with all my dichotomies.
One of the largest aspects of my father that I carry is that I am a ‘burnt toast parent’ or, more commonly referred to in our house, as a ‘burnt toast mom’. The idea behind the label is that if someone burns toast, rather than make them have to eat it, I’ll take it and they can toast up a new piece. I don’t like burnt toast, but I would rather eat it than make my family or guests eat something they don’t like. And I’m certainly not going to waste it. But, as I have learned upon reflection, this idea comes out in more than just toast. I am fine to go to restaurants that other’s choose. I don’t mind what we watch on tv at night. And I’ve become accustomed to listening to Sir’s music in the car, even if I am driving. I’ve always considered this a positive thing. I pick my battles. But apparently, and quite shockingly, Sir doesn’t really like me being so agreeable all the time (wish I could pull that card out at some future argument).
I don’t really have materialistic needs, so I don’t ask for much. As long as I have coffee in the morning and a smiling family I’m fine. It’s just not my personality to make demands; I want to give. My self is defined by what I project. I seem to need the feedback, desire, love, affection to give me my worth. And one of the ways that this seems to work for me is to try my best to take on what others don’t want to. I’ll take the grunt work job so someone else can do something they really want. I’ll stay up late to work so the cleaning can be done during the day. Seeing a smile or getting a rare thank you makes those efforts completely worth it. I’m all about buying the perfect gift. Watching someone’s face when they open a gift that they really want is amazing for me. That thoughtful present that they may have even forgotten how much they wanted. Christmas for me is like crack. And a terrible hit to our bank account, if I’m honest (Sir may need to set a strict budget this year).
At this point I should probably get an “I’m not a masochist” tattoo on me as much as I say it on here. So I laughed a little bit (on the inside, because I’m not completely stupid) when Sir called me a masochist the other night. However, he did clarify:
‘There are two kinds of masochists. Those that take physical pain and turn it into pleasure, a masochist in the traditional BDSM sense. They process it with synapses and fires in their brain to help them through it; they make pain work for them. And then there are people like you. You take pain in your life to help others. You get an emotional high off of making another’s life easier. The only problem with that is that you run the risk of ignoring your limits.’
Sometimes I hate it when he’s insightful. I try to take as much as I can. An ’emotional masochist’ let’s say. But that’s my life. And I have tried to be honest with myself regarding my limits. But at the same time, I will always want to take more for him because that is what makes him happy. One more hit won’t kill me; but I need to be honest about whether or not it will break me.
Now I’m really craving some toast.