Everyone is a “mixed bag.”
That’s one of my mom’s sayings when we are discussing someone in our lives that we love but is also problematic at times. She says that that person is a mixed bag. I suppose, though, that everyone is a mixed bag, just that what they are mixed with, and how much there is of each bag ingredient, changes with each person. The more I think about it, really, that mixture can change in the same person hour to hour, minute to minute. I’m probably overthinking a very simplistic comment, but that’s what I do. Still, it’s a useful comment, when someone you love, or someone you live with (and yes, sometimes those are the same) repeatedly does something that makes you so crazypants that you want to scream and throw plates of food at the wall; it can always be explained away with the statement that he or she “is a mixed bag.”
This phrase seems to be most commonly used when referring to spouses. I suppose I should put a disclaimer like, “most often but not limited to” here. Or the qualifier, “In my limited experience…” But isn’t that what this whole blog is? My experience? It’s a given, so before you read anything write, put in, “In my limited experience” before everything you read so you don’t get all worked up about my not giving you any kind of statistically accurate data. Anyhoo (another of my mom’s phrases), (Insert “In my limited experience” here – see, the first one is a freebee I help you with) the whole “mixed bag” attribute usually is someone’s spouse. Okay, actually, husbands. Yes, in my family, most often, the mixed bags are our husbands. There, I said it. Additionally, there’s no need to go on about how wives are “mixed bags,” too, because that is certainly the case, except our bags are more color coordinated and, well, it’s my blog anyway.
Husbands become more of what they are as people when they turn into fathers. You see the parts of them that may have been there all along, but fatherhood is like a big lighted magnifying glass over every part of their personality that you were willing to overlook before. It might be, in part, because we become the Momma Bear and start growling, “Look mister, I might have been willing to let that crap go when it was just me, but don’t you dare pull that crap with the kid around!” Or maybe it’s just the lack of sleep on everyone’s part, who knows? It just seems that the things that might have been endearing in the early marriage years become maddeningly frustrating in the later parenting years. For example, absent-mindedness. Absent-mindedness might have been kinda cute, like the absent-minded professor, or explained away in light of some brilliance in other areas or even learning disabilities. In fact, helping to write sticky-note reminders or put extra things on the calendar, or even send reminder texts to your spouse wasn’t as big a deal when it was just the two of you. But the minute you bring in the care-taking of a fresh new little (yes, “little” is now a noun), then it’s not cute anymore. And the more littles you add, the less cute it becomes.
On my part, I readily admit that if I ask my hubby to do Thing A, and he does Things B, C, D, E, and F, and then I get mad he didn’t do Thing A, and he says, “Why can’t you be grateful for all the effort I did doing Things B, C, D, E, and F for YOU????” I really can’t because all I can think about is HE DIDN’T DO THE THING I ASKED HIM TO DO. In fact, Thing B could be repainting the house, Thing C could be buying me a new car, Thing D, could be reorganizing the pantry, Thing E could be paying a masseuse to come to the house each weekend for a month, and Thing F could be annual passes to Disneyland, and I am still going to be mad he didn’t call in the refill on medication that he agreed to do earlier that day. That’s me being a “mixed bag.” (See, I included myself, even though it is my blog)
Maybe if could adopt my mom’s attitude fully, I could appreciate the B through F things more. Maybe if I could, instead of getting so upset about Thing A not getting done, I could just say, “Well, he’s a mixed bag!” I suppose that would be called acceptance. If I could accept the mixed bagness of my hubby, of all people, of myself, then I would be less frustrated, less angry, and less wishing things were different.
I would be more at peace.
Nah, I don’t think I can do that, to be honest.
I guess I’m just a mixed bag.