Fair warning – this is a rant! The next person who says my husband isn’t very supportive because he doesn’t read my books is going to find out that the long line of axe murderers in my ancestry – is alive and well in me. Make sure your insurance is paid up – health, dental, long-term care, and life, because one way or another, this will not end well for you!
Mr. Scott likes to say he hasn’t read my books because he has to live with me. To a degree that’s true. We’ve been together over twenty-five years and we’ve operated on one basic rule – we don’t lie to each other. In order to live within the parameter of that rule, we have learned to NEVER ask a question that we don’t want an answer to. So I don’t ask Mr. Scott, “Does this make my butt look big?” He has reminded me more than once to not ask him those questions that will either get him in trouble or hurt my feelings. This has worked very well for both of us. Based on this agreement, I’m actually grateful that he hasn’t read my books. If I asked him if he liked the book and he didn’t – I would be hurt. His opinion does matter to me, so I choose not to go there.
The real reason Mr. Scott hasn’t read my books is amazingly simple – he doesn’t read novels. So it isn’t like he’s throwing me over for some other author that he likes better. He devours car books and magazines and has an amazing retention about the technical aspects of American muscle cars. He has also voluntarily read all of the family history pieces that I’ve written concerning his family. His critiques of those pieces have been articulate and fair.
He did read (at my request) the first two chapters of Protecting Parker and when I asked him what he thought – he complained bitterly that I had made Gray’s Camaro a convertible. Mr. Scott has always owned hardtops. I was looking for commentary on the writing or the story – he chose to discuss the car. I offered him the opportunity to read another chapter. His response, “Unless your hero is discussing the rebuild of the Camaro’s engine – no thanks.” I was good with that.
However, many people seem to feel that Mr. Scott should read my books, and whether he likes them or not, he should spray rainbows of Skittles around the room to make me happy. That’s not support – that’s pumping sunshine up my derrière and I get enough of that from my elected representatives – I certainly don’t need it from Mr. Scott.
Tell me how I’m not being supported when you see the following.
Mr. Scott has never once:
Complained that the house was a mess – I’d rather write than clean and it is obvious.
Complained that there was no dinner – I’d rather write than cook. He’s capable of feeding himself (and me) in a pinch. He makes outstanding fried egg sandwiches or Ramen and he is a master of the drive-thru!
Complained about laundry – I keep up with that one.
Complained that I’m not taking care of the pets – they won’t let me ignore them – the cat is quite vocal if she isn’t fed on schedule or the litter box isn’t cleaned.
Complained that the other chores aren’t done – I fit in the important stuff – there are no biological mold experiments in the bathrooms or refrigerator.
Complained that I’m not making enough money – Who gives a rat’s ass – the bills are current.
Complained that I’m ignoring him – I don’t mean to, but when I’m on a roll, it happens. Most of the time, Mr. Scott would probably actually prefer if I focused a little less of my attention on him. Fortunately, he is a fully actualized human being with very few real issues, and he enjoys his alone time just as much as I do.
What Mr. Scott has done:
Moved to three different places he didn’t want to go because of my career. All of our joint military assignments were driven by my career choices not his.
Accepted my career path, in which I was often the only female in the shop, in the class, or on the TDY/deployment. 98% of my co-workers were men. I was and am much more likely, based on numbers alone, to have a night out with the guys rather than with the girls.
Backed my career choice to become a First Sergeant. He didn’t complain that my job would be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and would take me out of the home at the drop of a hat. He knew upfront that when the phone rang, I would walk out the door and go to work, whether it was 0200, Christmas Day, or in the middle of dinner out with friends. And, I would be gone for as long as it took to do the job. In the days before cell phones it meant he might not hear from me until I showed back up.
He sat through countless rubber chicken dinners as “The First Sergeant’s Husband” at events that meant nothing to him, but were important to my unit or me. There is no doubt that on most of those evenings he would have rather been at home hanging out with the dog.
He didn’t hesitate to step up to the plate and accept the burden of family care. He stayed behind and cared for my mother after her stroke while I went to Korea for a year.
When I had to change careers after retirement, he supported my decision to be self-employed even though it meant our income would be lower and definitely more sporadic.
For the record:
This doesn’t make Mr. Scott a candidate for sainthood. He’s just a guy and he can be pointy, stubborn, prideful, and downright mean and cranky on any given day. I freely admit that on those days, I would like to run Mr. Scott through a bright and shiny wood chipper from Sears.
But the truth is that I AM and always will be the one who is – a giant pain in the ass!!! I have pretty much always done as I’ve pleased and he’s backed me every damn time. That doesn’t make him a pushover – he’s anything but. What it does mean is that Mr. Scott has loved me enough to let me be whatever the hell it is that I needed to be.
So – saying Mr. Scott is not supportive because he doesn’t read my books just doesn’t cut it for me. And it IS me with the issue. You see, Mr. Scott is one of those self-confident men – he doesn’t really give a damn what anyone thinks. Never has – never will.
It’s me you have to watch out for!