I picked up my husband from work the other night, and he was a little blue that everybody seemed to be making more off his talents than him. So, he cycled through some petty complaints about this and that, and finally, he said, "It doesn't matter. At the end of the day, they go home with all their money, but I get to go home knowing that I've cooked the scallops... I do whatever I want all day, and I love it ."
So, clearly, this brings me back to me.... what are my freaking scallops?
About a week before this conversation, we were having another argument. (God bless, my friend Nicole, by the way, who convinced me to get married in the first place and who has listened to recaps of about a million and ten arguments since then.) During the argument, I thought my husband was being a real ass by turning everything on me when the argument wasn't even about me. After the post-game with Nicole and a bit of reflection on my own, however, I realized that he was just utterly frustrated by my unhappiness which I, of course, blame on everybody else (I'm miserable because you're disgusting slobs who don't help or I'm miserable because you all eat all the time and I hate cooking or I'm miserable because of whatever you're doing wrong.)
So, it was those two conversations together that brought me back to... what are my freaking scallops?
First of all.... let's be honest about the fact that scallops for women are different than scallops for men (not in every case but statistically in most cases and on a biological level, it's a different bowl of seafood). My husband can spend all day doing whatever he wants in spite of having children because he has someone on tap to watch them. Whether he needs to go to work at a nine in the morning and work til well past midnight because of a wine dinner or whether he needs to grab a drink to unwind after work, he doesn't need to worry about where his kids are or how much extra he needs to pay the babysitter or even arranging a babysitter or anything else because I'm here taking care of that shit.
I had a little "first of all" pity party for myself for a couple days, and then, I thought about writing. I think writing is my scallops... If I were making a bowl of scallops, they would come in the form of a book deal and a sun flooded room above a garage and some part-time child care and a garden outside that I wasn't responsible for weeding and maybe some fruit trees while we're at it. But that's not the case.
So, I "first of all" and "but-ted" for a few more days, and then, I remembered. I remembered that I had a what-are-my-scallops party two years ago (see all drunkenly written posts from April of 2011 and read between the lines), and at the end of that party, I decided to write a book which I did (more on that later probably). And by the time I got to the end of the book, I decided yes, I would like to write another book, but more importantly, I decided that I wanted this life, the one that I have, the one where I cook for people who are hungry and clean for people who are dirty and read to people who are bored and work (writing actually but about boring things like car insurance) to help support all of that.
And when my husband says he gets to do whatever he wants in a day, he is slightly overstating the fact. He has to peel potatoes when his wrists are aching, and he has to sweat his balls off in a cramped space in the summer, and he has to deal with countless other petty things that I'm sure are not awesome, but they're part of the package.
And so finally... It took a week of asking myself what are my freaking scallops before I realized that I have the freaking scallops, I just need to cook them and enjoy cooking them and try not to blame everybody else when and if I fuck them up.
*** I just want to note that thinking about scallops is a luxury. As life happens, choices often get whittled away, and for some people, the choices available to them are painfully scarce. They're lucky if they can open a can of spam much less think about cooking scallops, and I'm grateful for the amount of time that I can devote to thinking about these issues because I know that not everybody gets to.