Friday, September 24, 2010

The Art of Disagreement

It was one of those, "this could be a real hum-dinnger" moments.

Upon arriving home from Tae-Kwon-Do around 8:30 p.m. on a Tuesday evening, my dear husband nonchalantly said, "I was talking to the instructor, and he said if I wanted to test for my next belt I need to start attending the advanced classes on Friday nights."

My mind was ablaze with fiery responses, not the least of which was, ARE YOU COMPLETELY OUT OF YOUR MIND?!?!?!

Ummm, so you will be attending Tae-Kwo-Do from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights and Saturday mornings?

Do you have absolutely no concern for my sanity?

Don't you care about me at all?

When do we get any family time????

While these thoughts circled my tired brain, I took a deep breath and in as calculated and unemotional voice as I could muster, said "I'm sure you can understand why I wouldn't be super excited about you going on Friday nights, too?"

"Of course I understand, but what you do want me to do? That's what I have to do if I want to test," my husband said. "Maybe I shouldn't have gone back."

But when you went back, we talked about how you were going for the interaction/exercise and may not be able to test as  frequently since you have a 4 and 2 year old sons and a 4 month old baby at home!! I wanted to shout.

But I didn't. I took a beat and recalled how over the past few months he has come home from class disheartened, having discovered that the students he went up the belt ranks with have passed him by and are now black belts and instructors.

I remember why TKD is his preferred manner of exercise. There is a goal (the test) and you have to attend class and work hard to be ready. And I'm proud of him for it. I was the one who encouraged him to go back.

"Would you have to go every week?" I asked.

"Well, maybe not ... I think I could get enough classes in if I went every other week," he conceded.

"I still don't think I could handle having you gone Thursday night, Friday night, and then again Saturday morning some weeks. It's just too much," I said.

I wanted to break down crying, wishing the classes were later in the evening, that they were closer to home, that he could go in the mornings before work.

"Would it be possible to alternate going Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday one week and Tuesday and Friday the next?" one of us offered.

"I could do that," he said.

"Well that I could live with," I said.

And thus, we avoided the hurt feelings and the potential tears.

And we were happy.