Month Eighty-Four

Dear Husband,

I want to say that this was a really shit month. Like the worst one we have had in a long time. The one in which we reached a new low and the one where really bad things happened. Starting with the fact that I got incredibly mad at you. Not just annoyed or peeved or aggravated but spitting chips mad at you. Livid in fact. Apoplectic. So absolutely furious that I had to leave the house and just walk away. A long way. To the other side of town. As quick as my legs could take me. And it took me at least forty-five minutes to work off the worst of my mad and get to a point where I wasn’t ready to punch you in the head. I then had to turn around and get all the way home again and it took me the rest of the long walk home (and becoming sufficiently worn out) to stop thinking of you as a sanctimonious jackass.

And it was over something dumb too. It was over tax invoices.

Having just passed the end of the financial year, we needed to invoice a place of business through your personal ABN. Something I had been asking you to do for a while. Something I had been reminding you about for even longer. Something I can only assume you had been putting off till the last possible moment. It wasn’t like you didn’t know you had to do it but I felt like all of a sudden, I was being made out to be the bad guy for trying to force you into something. And then the push back started. I didn’t realise what it necessitated. I was naïve and didn’t understand the work involved. I was clueless as to the sheer amount of effort and diligence it would require to ensure that all legalities were addressed and accounted for in such a task…I kind of felt like you were saying I was too dumb to have any idea what I was talking about.

Didn’t I know we had to have an accounting program? That’s the only real way to keep everything together, to allow things to be accurately communicated and collated at tax time. Invoices must have comprehensive information on them after all. Did I honestly think I could just open a template invoice in Word, whack an ABN on there and address it to someone with a name and street location?? What about tax? What about Super? What about Centrelink benefits? How was I going to take those into consideration? What on Earth made me think that I could issue an invoice in the middle of a reporting period instead of at the end of a reporting period?

You were totally on your high horse as Mr Judgy Judgepants and all ensuing conversations did not go well. At all. When you then produced an accounting software based invoice complete with receiving business addresses, multiple email contacts and ABN etc that did not have what I felt was the most basic and relevant information (ie. actual hours worked and rate of pay), I finally lost it. I told you I just had to leave before I would say something I’d regret. You said well at least you would regret it. That wasn’t your finest moment.

I’m not saying I was right. Well, actually, in terms of being able to issue an invoice in Word midway through a Centrelink reporting period and reserving 30% in tax to pay back at the end of the financial year, I’m pretty sure I am right, but in terms of my behaviour, not so much. I was snide, combative, defensive and I probably did as much to prolong the situation as I did to try and diffuse it. So I am sorry. Because that wasn’t the only crap thing this month. The pain of that particular day was nothing compared to having to say goodbye to Reuben. That really sucked.

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I know that we made the decision to put him down. I know why we made the decision. I know that the decision was even the recommendation by the vet but that really doesn’t make me feel any better about the decision itself. Like you, I asked myself again and again, are we doing the right thing? Are we doing a convenient thing? Is there a better way? Is there another solution in which I will not find myself in this situation? Which is probably why it really didn’t help having everyone else do the same thing.

I know everyone meant well but when the first response is have you thought about this or couldn’t you do that, its not really helpful. If they didn’t have the other information, I can understand why that would be the first response but the conversation would usually be something like:
We have to make this decision.
Why?
After talking to qualified professionals, because of a, b, c and d.
Oh. But can’t you just do c or d?
No. No we can’t.

Or rather, yes. We could. But I have just explained the reasons to you why we won’t. So when you who has no qualifications in animal behaviour or veterinary science suggest that I should question my second opinion or respond with something equivalent to well, I’m not in your situation so I really don’t know all the ins and outs – you will do what you think is best of course – it is no consolation to the loss of a friend whatsoever.

So that sucked arse. And I was as devastated as you. The only saving grace for me was that Genevieve just took it in her stride. We always thought we would have a distraught child when it was time to say goodbye to Reuben but apparently not so much. She was just very matter of fact. Reuben is not here anymore because he died. Just like that. And thus we had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month. Except for the fact that we went on our first family holiday in, like, ever. Your mum was awesome in offering to take care of us so we could just be. Be out of our house. Be together. Be distanced from the broken routine that would remind us of what we’d lost. Be rested.

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I didn’t realise how tired and stressed we had become till we went away. Until we were on your mum’s schedule of kids should have a bath around 5:30 because dinner is at 6. Because after that, the kids would be in bed by 7 and all of a sudden, we were free. Free for adult time. Free for a movie or going for a walk or for anything. So what did we do? We went to sleep. We crawled into bed by 8pm on some nights and just went to sleep.

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It wasn’t an escape though, it was refreshing. I got out the camera every day to take stuff of the kids and we did stuff together. We didn’t watch hours of tv but spent time with each other. That shouldn’t be something that is harder to do at home than it is to do away but somehow for us, it is. We make way for distractions at home instead of making time for fun. I’d like to say that when we get home we will try to continue as we have been while we were away but we probably won’t. One day.

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In the meantime, as much as you started out the month infuriating me, the end of the month was awesome. I love having a family with you.

Familiarly yours
Your Loving Wife

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