As of about two days ago, my husband is coming with me to New York City on August 5th.
For a blogging convention.
My husband doesn’t blog, and he’s certainly not a BlogHer, but he’s coming with me anyway. The airline tickets have been purchased, the cocktail party pass has been acquired, and the hotel room is – well, right now it’s a little full, actually, what with me, Jared, Faiqa, Faiqa’s husband and Faiqa’s two children technically staying in the same double bed room. (Because as long as my husband is going, then why shouldn’t her husband go, too?) But we’ll be fine.
If you know me – or know “me and Jared” – you probably know this is a very big deal. If you don’t? This is a very big deal.
I made plans to attend BlogHer several months ago. When I booked my own flight, Jared asked if he could go.
I said no.
And then I kind of backtracked a little and said “it’s not that you can’t go, it’s just that I would – if I’m being totally honest – prefer if you didn’t go.” Because, you know, that sounded a lot better. The problem, I explained to him, was that Jared has absolutely no interest in listening to people talk about blogging, which is what I’d be doing for most of the trip. And what, I asked, would Jared possibly do in New York City while I was spending all of that time listening to people talk about blogging?
His response was something about “it’s New York Fucking City, Britt – are you kidding me?”
But I was worried. He’d be bored. He’d feel self conscious. He wouldn’t want to walk around the City alone and he’d resent me for not being able to hang out with him more and I would be so worried about him being bored and not spending enough time with me that I wouldn’t be able to just freaking relax and do what I was spending all that damn money to do in the first place.
“You wouldn’t have to worry about me,” he said.
What I heard was “gobldee gook blah blah shnuffinheimer”, because not worrying about how someone else was feeling was simply not in my vocabulary. Not being responsible for how my husband was feeling was a completely foreign concept to me. Right, wrong, alienating or otherwise, I would feel responsible for him if he was there. The end.
As the months went by, the subject of BlogHer came up when we talked to other blogger/non-blogger couples. And damn near all of the blogging wives were being accompanied to NYC by their non-blogging husbands.
“What the hell will you do while she’s at this blogging conference?” I asked all non-blogging spouses.
“It’s New York Fucking City, Britt – are you kidding me?” they all responded.
“Won’t you worry?” I asked the wives. And they mostly looked at me like I was a crazy person who was mistaking their husbands for their children or something. So there was that.
As the months continued to go by, Jared and I kept working on this bizarre habit we shared of needing to be responsible for each other. Not responsible to, but responsible for. I wasn’t just his wife and he wasn’t just my husband, but I was the person who made him feel, think, be, do – all of it. And he was mine. And while we agreed long ago, very early on in our marriage counseling journey, that this type of thinking was insanity, letting go of the weight of responsibility has been easier to understand than to execute.
Practice. Practice. And more practice.
And then, earlier this week, I asked him if he would go to BlogHer with me.
I didn’t ask because I thought it would make him feel better. Or because I thought I should. I asked because I was nervous about a few things, and I thought it would be really awesome to have my husband there to support me if I ever find myself in New York City feeling insecure. And, it’s New York Fucking City – are you kidding me? How much fun would it be to share it with my husband again?
In a matter of months, I’ve gone from looking at my husband as someone who needs to taken care of to seeking out my husband as a source of strength, support, and genuinely fun companionship. If you know me – or know “me and Jared” – you probably know this is a very big deal. If you don’t know me? This is a very big deal.
And I think we’re going to have a blast.