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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Sittin' on the Corner, Waitin' on the DOJ

Things have been a little tense around here lately. Any day now the DOJ (Department of Justice) will announce whether it will approve a merger between Whirlpool and Maytag or fight it in court as a violation of anti-trust laws. JT works for Maytag. He's hoping the merger doesn't go through. He's afraid that he would lose his job, or, at best, be transferred to Benton Harbor. He likes his job, and we're really not interested in moving to Benton Harbor. Or anywhere else, for that matter. Particularly when it's taken me seven years to feel at home here.

As zero hour approaches, my calm, generous, steady JT has become a little testy. Most people wouldn't even notice, but he's got this little noise he makes when he's frustrated. It's kind of a cross between a snort and a huff, a quick Snrrf that is usually reserved for things that interrupt his sleep. (Sleep is very important to JT.) Because he is so even-tempered, I don't hear that little snort-huff much, but when I do, I typically wonder what inconsiderate thing I've done to provoke it. (No, really. I know how that sounds, but, truly, I can be very self-involved.) And what I can do to fix it.

Almost from the beginning (and we can no longer just when all this began, but it's been months and months and months), I've had the strongest feeling that things are going to be fine. I'm sure that the fact that it's not my job that's on the line contributes a great deal to my peace about the situation. Caught up in a whirlwind of graduate school applications, last-minute scholarship applications, the play and writing workshops, it never occurred to me that not only did JT not share my optimism but that his anxiety has increased as March 30 approaches. (See what I mean about self-involvement?) Lately we have a lot of conversations that go like this:

JT: Snrrf.
Me: You okay?
JT: (not very convincing) Yeah.
Me: Really?
JT: (still not very convincing) I'm fine.
Me: Really, really?
JT: (giving in) Well, as okay as I can be under the circumstances.
Me: Oh.

And then, having succeeded in forcing him to admit that he's not fine (he doesn't want me to worry), I feel an overwhelming urge to try to make it better. To reassure him. To talk him out of worrying. All because I don't like it when he snorts. I finally realized that I need to let him feel what he's feeling. Whatever he's feeling. No matter how uncomfortable it makes me. It is, after all, what I ask him to do when I'm unhappy. So for now, we wait. God, I hate waiting. Snrrf.


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