So, thanks to a really generous family in my class, hubby and I were given a great Christmas present – primo seats to see George Lopez Live in L.A. at the Nokia Theater.
“Out of respect for the Entire Audience, Heckling will NOT be tolerated – Hecklers will be removed from the show without refund. No recording devices! No photography! No Cell Phone Use During Performance! ‘Sabes Que?…We’ll Throw Your Ass Out!”
That guy is so funny and he definitely didn’t disappoint! However, aside from all his comedy and great stories, there was one thing that he said that really stuck with me. He was talking about how Latina women (but I think this pertains to lots of women in general) will act one way while they are dating someone, and then when they get married, everything changes and they expect their husband to change too. He went on to say that both women and men should accept their spouse for who they are. Like, if while you were dating you knew that they liked watching football every Sunday, don’t assume that that behavior is going to change after you get married. Basically, if that was an aspect of their behavior that bugged you and that you didn’t think you could live with, then why did you get married in the first place?
This has had me thinking a lot ever since that show on December 27th, 2010.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my life, about the people in it, and about myself and the role I play in their lives. Am I benefiting them in any way? What do they get out of knowing me? What am I doing to try to improve their lives – and on the flip side, what am I doing that takes away from their happiness? I realize that I sound like I am babbling, but I have been asking myself these questions a lot.
The first people I thought about were my parents. I had rocky teen years, and I do attribute a lot of it to the drama they were dealing with that I in turn ended up dealing with (I won’t go any further than that, but it was pretty bad). For a long time, I blamed them for the things I did, and then sometime in my 20’s I had an epiphany – the decisions I made were my own choice. I know that’s a “duh” statement, but I truly realized that I was responsible for my own actions. I knew the difference between right and wrong. I knew that I shouldn’t have done certain things. And yet, I did them anyway. I know exactly when that moment happened too. It was a friday night, I was 20, and I wanted to party. My friends were waiting for me to meet up with them so I got ready and I was about to head out the door when my dad stopped me. He was in a bad mood and we had been arguing here and there over the last few weeks (wasn’t anything new, at that point in time). He asked where I was going and I said “Out.” He asked what time I would be back, I said “Dunno”. He told me to be back home by 10 (it was 8:30, was he for real?!) and I walked out. Thinking about it now makes me cringe, but I was so over being in that house, being in between the shitty drama between him and my mom that I just left and didn’t care. I drove off and blasted my music and pushed my guilt to the back of my mind.
I didn’t get home until Sunday morning at 7am.
I spent all weekend partying with my friends, crashing at my friend’s house, and basically not giving a shit about life. Mind you, though, I wasn’t partying as in drugs and drinking – I honestly was just out, hanging with friends, going to raves, and dancing. I didn’t want to go home and face the drama. But, the weekends don’t last forever, so I eventually went home. When I drove up, I didn’t expect that anyone would be awake and I figured I would just sneak in through my back window. Lo and behold, though, my dad was stringing up Christmas lights – at 7:00 AM. Actually, he probably started a lot earlier because half of the house was done by the time I arrived. Anyway, he saw me pull up so it’s not like I could hide anymore. I parked my car, got out, and braced myself for a yelling that was well deserved.
A yelling that never came.
My dad turned around, looked straight at me, and said “Hi Ange. You’re just getting home?” There was no anger in his voice…only a trace of sadness. I said “Yeah, I…” and then he cut me off and said “Why don’t you go inside and get some rest. I made breakfast if you want to eat first.”
Did you know that “Stupid Jackass” is my middle name? Well now you know how I got it.
That was when I stopped trying to punish my parents with all my bad decisions. Yes, they went through some messed up stuff that I was caught right in the middle of, but the things I was doing had nothing to do with them, I see that now. I stopped being so moronic after that. We still had drama here and there, of course, but what family doesn’t?
Anyway, I’ve been reflecting over the past year and there has been a lot going on in our family. I don’t want to get into it on such a public forum, but it has caused me to take a look at myself and question whether I am being the kind of person that my parents and family need me to be. I don’t think I am close, but I am trying…
That brings me to another significant person in my life – the hubbs. When I heard George Lopez say what he said about not trying to change your spouse, I felt my cheeks get hot because I immediately felt guilty. When I was dating my husband, I knew he loved video games and basketball. It was a way for him to relax from the stress of the day and he is pretty damn good at these games, too. I like video games too – as long as they’re cute with catchy tunes and easy to play. I’m not good at playing basketball, but I’d rather watch that than football. The games he plays – both video games and basketball – are so involved and so drawn out that the thought of it drives me INSANE. I was so deep in love with him though, that I did not care if he played either.
And then we got married. And I got scared when he bought an xbox. And a flat screen tv to watch the Celtics.
Oh.Em.Gee. I sure gave my hubbs HELL for how much and how often he played video games. Now, while I don’t mind it so much now, I do have to say that it was pretty bad before – as in, I’d go to sleep at 10 pm and when I’d wake up at 6 or 7, he’d still be playing. I would be so upset because even though he wasn’t thinking it, I started to wonder to myself what was wrong with me? How come he didn’t want to go to bed at the same time as me? I’d tell him this stuff, and he would get mad at me because he didn’t understand where I was coming from and I guess I didn’t understand where he was coming from. I just wanted to spend time with my new husband, talk about our day, and know that he was in bed getting a good night’s rest. Seeing him play video games for so long and at night when he should be asleep with me really made me blame myself and wonder why he was already so bored of being married. I mean, c’mon, right? He was BORED! When I’d wake up, ready to face the day and go out and do stuff, he’d be ready to go to sleep and then I was alone all day instead of enjoying our newlywed bliss. I got really depressed and guess what? He didn’t change his routine. When he would notice I was upset, he would stop playing for a little bit and then spend time with me, but by then I was so pissed off and used to being ignored that I would hop on my computer and hit up MySpace (back when it was awesome LOL) and he would be pissed that I was ignoring him and he’d go back to playing his games. It was a vicious cycle. One that we both, thank God, grew out of.
Now, I see lots of girls complain all the time about being invisible when it comes time for the boyfriends to watch sports or play video games. I laugh because I can relate to that feeling and to the irritation of not being paid attention to. But not anymore. I don’t mind it so much. Hubby’s love of video games isn’t just a hobby for him – it also holds a direct correlation to his career as a Web Developer. If he did not know as much as he does about video games, the way they’re developed, the right way to appeal to a certain market, the right way to get ratings up, etc., then I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the wonderful life that I enjoy. And by that, I mean thanks to his knowledge and his already God-given talent for being extremely intelligent, he has steadily climbed up the corporate ladder and involved himself with so many reputable people in this industry that I only see his career skyrocketing even further. And because he is such a go-getter, the jobs he has held over the course of our courtship and marriage have afforded us a comfortable life – we have a place to live, we have the money to be able to go out to eat and travel when we want to (not as often as we’d like, but that we could if we wanted to is a nice feeling…), and most of all – I have a happy husband. While a lot of wives may wonder where their husband is when he hangs out with the boys, I take comfort in knowing that he’d rather just kick it at home, watching Law and Order SVU episodes with me or playing his video games – or even watching the Boston Celtics game (I’m an avid fan now, thanks to him). And when he is out with friends? I don’t worry. I’ve known him and loved him long enough not to let my previous insecurities with guys phase me anymore. If he says they’re out playing paintball, I can expect him to bring home paint splattered pants to wash. If he says they’re out having dinner together at Hooter’s, I can expect him to call me halfway through their dinner to ask me if I want him to bring me home anything from the restaurant. When he has to travel for work, I know he’s not sneaking off to meet some secret mistress on the side – especially since he stays connected to me the entire time through instant messenger (ahh the wonders of technology – if he had a secret girl on the side, would she really be okay with him messaging back and forth with me the entire time? doubt it.).
Look, the fact is, I gotta give it up to George Lopez for making a big impact on my life. He gave me a lot to think about coming into this new year. I’m also a firm believer that you get what you give out – so, be kind and kindness will be returned to you. I’m trying to add that into my life right now and so far it is working.
2011 is looking mighty fine so far.