So... something just happened that was not good. I'd like to talk about it.
About a month or so ago, a friend of mine started a writer's club, with me, him, and another friend of his acquaintance. We meet weekly at a Panera restaurant, have a little food, read each other's stuff and critique it. We give each other prompts and write them and critique them. All of us are interested in being published some day, and we find this interesting and instructive.
Then Mr. Chat and I went on vacation for 10 days to England (more on that in another post) and got back just last weekend. This week will be the first time we've held writer's club in two weeks. This morning I was furiously writing the second of two prompts before I go to bed (I'm noctural because I work the night shift). Mr. Chat thought I was going on Thursday, I regretfully informed him (as we had literally just settled this about two hours prior via e-mail) that the group needed to meet on Wednesday due to scheduling conflicts.
Now, my schedule has me working two nights on, two nights off, with alternating three day working weekends or three day weekends off, in a regular pattern. I always sleep during the day, but sometimes my best writing inspiration comes in the morning before I sleep or just after I wake - basically the times a normal human would be awake. I may have been nocturnal for several years, but it doesn't stop the fact that a human is normally awake during the day. My creativity takes an upswing sometime between 6-10am. It's a quirk. I'll short myself on sleep if I get bitten by a creataive bug.
Since Mr. Chat works during the day like a normal person, we usually only get to see each other for a few hours after I get up. We get a little more time on my days off, obviously, but even then Mr. Chat usually retires to sleep between 7:30 and 9pm, due to rising early for his work. It's strange, but we've been doing this for three years (the three I've been on night shift while I've been married, out of five years of marriage).
When I told Mr. Chat I had writer's club tonight, he said, "This writer's club is a pain in the ass." I asked why. "Because it's one less day I get to spend time with you!" This was said while stalking out the door to go to work, and puntuated by slamming the door behind him.
My first flood of emotion was sadness, a little panic, and that terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach I get when I've disappointed someone and I'm not feel like an adequate human being. Was I being too selfish with my time to deprive my husband of some of the time we spend together with friends instead, particularly when our time is so limited?
My second round of emotions was anger. In the five years of marriage, aside from gaming groups with mutual friends, together (in all but a couple of instances when I was on day shift), we spent virtually all of my off time together when we're both awake. I don't think I've gone out without Mr. Chat on a social engagement (baring, again, one Saturday gaming group for about a year, every other weekend, that Mr. Chat was invited to and declined to come) more than a shallow handful of times.
Why the hell should I feel resentful for trying to do something I find enjoyable with friends, just because it's not something Mr. Chat wants to do? I would love to publish something someday, and it pisses me off that my brief attempt at trying to improve my game in original fiction is apparently an unreasonable use of my personal time.
Mitigating factors in Mr. Chat's tantrum outburst could include the fact that:
1. He's been fighting a cold for two weeks
2. We're about to drop over $3000 on a new air conditioner tomorow and have to get the house ready for the workmen in my now-limited timeframe today
3. We just came back from vacation and he's homesick
4. Mr. Chat did not sleep well the night before because it's very hot and obviously we have no AC right now
5. Mr. Chat doesn't really have any hobbies that would take him out of the house, and so he couldn't do a similar activity on nights I'm at writer's club
6. Mr. Chat doesn't like to see me staying up as late as I was (I make up for it. I take naps on my nights off. 'Cause I can.)
It could be any of those, something else entirely, or maybe I just need to sit him down on the couch and slap him with a dead fish.
Anyways, this is my rant. And now we have to have a Conversation when I get up today. I really fucking hate Conversations.
ETA - Talked to Mr. Chat about that abreviated conversation. He pulled out the following arguments:
1. I didn't bother to talk to him before joining the writer's club.
2. It wouldn't bother him if it happened after he went to bed (which would be after 8pm... which is too late for everyone else in the writer's club because one guy has to be at work and the other gets up in the morning like a normal person, so... that's really impossible).
3. And then he pulled out his high card and brought up the fact that he had moved thousands of miles to come over here and live with me. That pissed me off quite a bit, though I didn't say anything at the time because I knew I'd only get pretty unreasonable myself.
I compromised by talking to the writer's club and we agreed to do more virtual meetings, meeting face-to-face perhaps only every two weeks. Or maybe once a month. We'll try every two weeks and see if Mr. Chat's panties stay in a bunch.
I will also have to have an additional conversation with Mr. Chat that storming out and slamming the door after delivering emotional blackmailing ultimatums do not help, makes him look immature, and only make me feel bad, and bringing out his ace of "I moved thousands of miles to be with you" is equally damaging.