From time to time I'll post some of my favorite Indy Columns like this one;
Pam Pardy Ghent March 2008 The Independent
I’m gonna start a new club. I’ll call it the Oil Patch Wives Club.
The first order of business will be deciding how to go about debunking the age-old tradition of treating our men-and the fact that they work away-as the only thing of interest to talk about when you meet us on the street. Each time we head outside the door and run into anyone the first question we’re all asked-after we’re finished discussing the weather of course-is, “when’s your man coming home?”
These social chats proceed from that one point-all geared towards our work-away men. “How’s he doing?” and “He must find it cold this time of year,” are followed by “Much work up there?” and “You and (insert children’s names here) must really miss him, eh?”
While there’s nothing wrong about inquiring about those slugging away to earn a living up-a-long, what is always ignored is the fact that standing right in front of your eyes is a woman working hard to hold it all together.
Our club will educate the masses that talking only about the well-being of the away is like lauding the dead while ignoring the living. Tossing in a scatter, “how have things been for you these days?” or “what an amazing job you’ve been doing on your own with (insert children’s names here),” simply wouldn’t kill anyone now, would it?
Of course, in order to change others we have to first change ourselves. I’m guilty of running around like a headless chicken for a full week before my husband comes home on his own turnaround. I run up to Tilley’s hair salon in Marystown to colour the hair I want to keep and painfully wax off the stuff I want to get rid of. The gals up there know my six week cycle, and all conversation is geared towards that “joyful” reunion, and I gleefully play right along. Why? Because I’m falling into the trap with all the others out there in our province.
I too talk non-stop about my hubby-home-soon preparations. The hubby-grub I must pick up, the hubby-cleaning I must do, the up coming trip to town to pick up my other half, the rush involved getting everything work related done and all the mundane chores completed and out of the way so we can relax while hes home. I'm exhausted just writing all that down. I’m hoping group therapy in this new club can help ease some of that unhealthy fixation.
Us Oil Patch Wives need sympathy from others who get the let down we inevitably feel once our men are finally home. We need a safe place to vent our pissed-offishness at the raw reality we face each time our men return. Besides being treated like God’s by their mothers and other family members (at a recent visit my mother-in-law snatched a tea out of Blair’s hands, claiming that the cup it was in “wasn’t fit” to drink out of. She made him a fresh one, pouring it into a “fit” cup. I went to get a cup for myself and she thoughtfully told me that she would make me one, since she was already up and all. I got one alright- in the non-fit mug she had snatched from Blair’s paws only moments before) they are treated like celebrities by everyone else. Folks we haven’t laid eyes on since the last turn around suddenly show up for a chat and each time hubby wanders out into the daylight he is accosted by neighbours, ones who usually rush right by on a regular day, who want to hear how he’s been. Instead of screaming like some mad-banshee and wildly chasing such people up our rural roads, we can vent our frustrations (screaming and running optional) during an accepting and understanding Oil Patch Wives Club meeting.
The challenge of dealing with an often anticlimactically return of a work-away partner needs some thought. Us women get so excited about this homecoming that we’re often left dazed and confused when we find these men treating us exactly how they treated us when they lived at home full time.
Sadly, just because ones spouse has been away from home for a while doesn’t mean they have magically morphed into anything different than they were before they left. They didn’t return from the land of Oz my dears, they were merely in Alberta. So, if they were crooked before, odds are they’re still crooked now. If they were lazy around the house before they left, they will be lazy each time they return and if they got on your Jesus nerves six weeks or 20 days ago, well, you get the picture. Mark my words, there will be no surprising personality changes-none for the better anyway.
The Oil Patch Wives Club will offer creative solutions to deal with such disappointment. I have a few tried and true methods of my own that might help others in this situation. Well, my methods may be more along the seek-revenge and make him pay dearly lines than actually being able to help anyone deal with the reality of the situation-but I’m always willing to share what I know. Oops. That can’t be good now, can it? See? I desperately need a healthy place to vent, and I know I’m not alone. The Oil Patch Wives Club sounds like just the ticket now, doesn’t it?
If you want to join just shoot me an email. Who knows, this might be fun as well as therapeutic. Gotta be better than shock treatments.