USO behaving badly

In ALL, KNOCKED UP by Stephanie Klein48 Comments

This weekend, in very last minute fashion, The Suitor and I took a road trip to San Antonio.  Once we pulled into a lot and left the confines of our air-conditioning, I declared the obvious: "Damn, it’s hot."
"This is why I didn’t want to come," he said as he stopped walking.
"What?  It’s hot.  I can’t say that?"
"It’s torture for me to be around you when all you do is complain."
"But it is hot.  Why can’t I say it?"
"Because you make it torture to be around you.  We shouldn’t have come.  You are a complainer, and I want to have a nice day with you–"
"So do I."  My saying it’s hot out doesn’t mean I don’t want to have a nice day.  But he insists that when I complain, he wants to fix it, and he cannot enjoy himself when he’s always trying to fix things.  So can I please be sensitive to this and complain less?  Well?  No.  It’s fucking hot out!  But I don’t say this.  Instead, I play the pregnant card, and really I don’t do it for effect.  I do it to remind him my body temperature is higher than his, that maybe he should be sensitive to it, ignore a little more, just understand it’s not easy for me all the time. 
"But I’m pregnant, and it’s hot, and I’m not saying I’m miserable, I’m just–"
"Making it miserable for me, and you always complain, long before you were pregnant."  Well that was that.  For the rest of the day, I could not state the obvious for fear that he’d complain that I was complaining.  And please, I know those people who are always negative and ruin everything.  I’m not one of those, but in truth, complaining to me is really second-nature.  I do it like I breathe, I guess.  But it’s not because I’m miserable; it’s just, well, expressive.  "It’s hot," clearly is not my most expressive attempt.  "Hot as balls" would have been better, but we get the idea.  It’s times like these where he wants nothing to do with me.  He’s frustrated, and I’m sure I complain a lot, so this is just one illustrative straw, but still.  Let me complain.  Who cares?  So it’s hot, and you hear me complain and instead say, "Yeah, it is.  Let’s get some water and try to walk in the shade."  Or you stop trying to fix it and just ignore it with a smile.  And it’s times like these where I kind of think he’s an ass. 

I have to pee.  We’re walking past the U.S.O. (whose tag-line is: Until Every One Comes Home), the organization responsible for lifting military morale and providing recreational activities and entertainment to our troops.  Well who wouldn’t support that endeavor?  Ahem.  I was wearing my "There are 2 peas in my pod" tee shirt and doing the bathroom dance when The Suitor pleaded with the information desk.  "Please, we’re not in the military, but my fiance is pregnant with twins and really needs to use your bathroom."  How do you say, "no" to that?  I’m doing the dance with my hand on my lower belly (my uterus is hard and growing upward; I can feel it these days).
"Where is your card?  We don’t let anyone in without the proper military identification."
I don’t want to use their ping-pong tables or sit on their sofa to watch Jerry Springer.  I want to pee.  They refused to let a pregnant woman use their toilet.  For the rest of the day, I had to listen to The Suitor complain.  It’s not a very just world. 

*As for San Antonio, I really loved it (and have some photos to share soon).  I ducked into the local bookstore to escape the heat and crowds and saw Ryan Seacrest with a rent a cop.  He sure is short in person.  It was then strange to watch him last night on the Emmy pre-show talking about his trip to San Antonio.

Comments

  1. Ohhhhh the infamous, complaints about complaining.

    Thank the sweet Lord, I thought it was just mine who did that. Why can't I state that Im hungry walking down the street? Lets all gather around and recognize that I do not expect you to cook a steak on the pavement, I'm just thinking out loud. Maybe in hopes that he'll say "me too", or "what are you in the mood for?". But NO, its "annnnd what would you like me to do about that…Jesus! Cant you take care of yourself?!"

    You're a better woman that I am Stephanie. I usually come back with "Fuckin-A- I cant say Im God damned hungry?!". Your method probably works better. ;)

    …Seacrest OUT

  2. with those twinkies so close to birth and the heat so high in your gigantic red state, i say complaints are impossible to dodge. my mom was pregnant with my little brother in the heat of summer, and let me tell you, nothing obvious went un-stated. we had to pump her with water and ben & jerry's to keep the howling at bay. almost there, stephanie.

    (and i personally think you should have peed on the premise of the military cheerleader hq. much more creative than burning a flag.)

  3. You know what? It is hot in San Antonio. And you're hot cuz you're growing babies. And any woman who has ever grown babies states the obvious. It's hot. I'm tired. I ache. The babies are moving. I'm hungry. I'm thirsty. I'm ready for some shade and a lemonade.

    And any man who wants to be/stay happily married to said woman should state: You're right. Let's rest. Can I rub your feet? Can I touch your belly? Let's eat. Let's drink. Let's sit down.

    Is there such a man? I hope the Suitor can become him.

  4. I'm the exact same way with commenting(complaining). A smart man will only half listen when you're complaining but be wary enough to know when he needs to engage and respond. My brother is an expert at this.

    PS Its male nature to want to fix things.

  5. some unsolicited advice, although im sure you don't need it. when he says, "sit's torture to be around you when you complain" then you can say, in a neutral tone of voice, "i'm sorry to hear you say that." every time my ex (i'm single now) said something stupid or mean that's what i said. it made him think a little–or maybe it didn't. but it kept me calm.

    also–in every relationship, even the happiest ones, sometimes you just really can't stand your partner. at that moment, don't go on a roadtrip. instead, follow your instinct and escape–spend the day by yourself, take a trip if you can–and reclaim your calm. this is not advice for you, this is for the Suitor, who is not an ass, but who does need to chill a bit. he seems to me like a lovely guy who cares a lot about you but who doesn't always know how to manage his emotional landscape (who does?) so its your job to lead by example. sucks, i know

  6. Oh just complain….tell him it is prep – a Daddy bootcamp of sorts to toughen him up…..and if he thinks you're bad, wait till the little ones start complaining (hungry, wet, teething)….that ought to put it in perspective for him ;-)

    xoxo,
    Ladybug

    p.s. Read your book last weekend. Loved it – congrats Stephanie, well done.

  7. Funny you should write about complaining. Just recently I have been accused of being "mean." After a few probing questions, it wasn't "mean" he meant to say, it was that I complained all the time, "bitched" as he put it. "You're always bitchin' about something." Well, excuse the shit out of me. Not that I mind being accused of being mean. Who cares, so sometimes I'm mean. Deal with it. Take your heart off of your sleeve for christ sakes. Not that I don't like men, I do. I think they're great. I'm married to one. They make me glad I'm a woman. But let me say this for the record: I think women are sooooo much better people than men ever thought about being. So if I bitch, so be it, at least I say what I'm thinking when I'm thinking it. By the way, I live in Texas too. Its freaking hot as hell here and I'm not pregnant.

  8. I had the best Prickly Pear Cactus margarita at a little restaurant on the River Walk in San Antonio. Perhaps you can go back and imbibe after the babies arrive. Also ate some really great tex-mex at a restaurant outside town. Seemed likeit was in the middle of a suburban neighborhood. Weird location but great food. Saying it's hot in San Antonio is not complaining. It's just telling it like it is.

  9. I'm glad you finally made he trip to San Antonio (my home town)! I look forward to your pictures.

    It is freakin' hot here. Waiting for the much-needed rain. I remember when I was pregnant, my husband loved my new body temp, I wanted it to be cold in the house. Now that our daughter is here, my body temp went right back to where it was. He hates it. He said: "One more reason I loved you pregnant."

    Lived here all my life and have never seen any type of famous person and the one time you come and you see-of all people-Ryan Seacrest! Funny!

  10. I understand exactly where you're coming from. I am so sick of my husband complaining about my complaining that I now keep my trusted childhood girlfriend on retainer so that I can call her up at any given moment and let out all my complaints that have been festering-up within. We also use this system to describe our real and imagined physical ailments to one another since the hubbies are sure that this is just complaining in disguise.

  11. San Antonio? in August? AND pregnant??

    One summer in SA was more than hot enough to make me move back home. for good.

  12. Ooh, I so hear ya on the hot thing. When I was four months pregnant with Ajers, we went on a trip to Jamaica (it was a free trip, so how could I not go?) and hubby wanted to go canoeing!?!?

    I complained the whole time that I was hot, tired, it was not good for my blood pressure, the baby, my temper, his LIFE!

    BTW, I woulda pissed on her face.

  13. I think The Suitor is entitled to snap every now and then, and so are you. We all have little things about our partners that kind of drive us crazy, and most of the time we are oh, so patient. But sometimes we just lose it. Especially when it's SO hot. And afterwards, you try to do that annoying thing less, at least for an afternoon, and I bet he'll not lose it again for a while.

    Funny, I had a similar experience this weekend with my husband. He is a worrier. It can drive me nuts, but I am patient and keep my mouth shut usually. This time I lost it. "You are SUCH a worry-wart! Ugh!" He did not appreciate that. I apologized, but he also got the hint, and tried to worry a little less, at least out loud, at least for an afternoon or so.

    It's a relationship. This stuff happens. But, Stephanie, I like how you vent about it, even the little things. Those little things are what I always identify with. Thanks for writing about it all…

  14. The pregnant card didn’t work? Oh no! I was so looking forward to pulling that out in the future. When my husband gets frustrated with my complaining I immediately think: Really? I’m complaining all the time? How is that in any way possible when I mentally filter out 80% of the complaints I want to declare in a given day? Here I am working hard to protect him from a REALLY overwhelming flood, and he complains about a little drizzle! He has it soo good. If only he would quit complaining and realize it! I think he does and so does Yours :)

  15. This post made me laugh so loud people at work are still looking at me funny. I have one just like him, and when he accuses me of complaining I call it my daily allowance of stating the obvious (It's hot. Really? You don't say).

    Does the suitor realize that the twins are going to be newborns? At the same time? With the crying and the changing and the needing things around the clock? You should point out he doesn't know squat about real complaining yet.

  16. I know what you mean about it being strange-I saw William Shatner on the Emmys after seeing him Sat at the KY State Fair.

  17. You both should read the book "You Just Don't Understand." When I read it I felt as if the author had followed my husband and me around. If you both can figure out and accept how you each are wired differently (besides the obvious) it will be easier to dismiss male/female quirks that aren't directed personally. You can't make each other less male or less female. Figure out how to revel in la difference!

  18. I'm a complainer too. Mostly about pain though. If I stub my toe – "ouch", cut my finger – "ouch" run into the wall – "ouch". So when I broke my foot and didn't "complain" my best friend got all upset because I didn't tell her how bad it was. WTF. She always gave me grief over my "ouches". Anyway, as for the "it's hot" (or "it's cold") comments I always respond – "I'm glad I'm here to enjoy it with you!" – that kind of turns a negative into a positive don't you think?

  19. Maybe I'm adding something to the conversation that wasn't there, but to me what you said was much more than a little complaint about the heat. I'm thinking the key part of your comment was not the "it's hot" part but the "this is why I didn't want to come" part. It implies that he made you come on the trip. Or that you're sorry you came. Or that it's his fault you're unhappy, because after all, you didn't want to come in the first place. Or something else that otherwise implies that you wish you weren't there, having a nice day out with him.

    Just my usual 2 cents.

    One thing I really dislike about most bigger cities is the lack of public restroom facilities. New York is the worst. It feels so degrading having to ASK someone if you can pee. And then being refused, by the USO no less? I'm sorry that happened to you. I'm sure they've got some post-9/11, high security excuse for why they wouldn't let you in. Still. Pfft.

  20. Yeah it's hotter than balls here. I (like Melissa) have lived here in SA my whole life and have only seen one famous person here besides
    Eva and Tony who are everywhere (it was Matt Damon when he was here filming All the Pretty Horses) So it's funny you saw Ryan Seacrest when you were here for the day. Anyway, the USO is downtown so hopefully you ducked into a hotel or restaurant and they were more accomodating. shame on them for not letting you use the restroom! Anyway, glad you liked SA…i'm pretty proud of my home, even if it's unbearably hot!

  21. I complain a lot. Its just who I am and I can`t help it. OK, probably can but its just easier to get it out in the open. My friend complains about it too but hey, its not like I can help it. Before I know it something similar to your damn, its hot rolls off my lips and there we go again…
    I`m not negative, its just the way I am. Simple as that.
    Btw, I emailed you

  22. Well, my husband would just have said, "it sure is." Then he would have steered me into either La Margarita or El Mercado, both of which have a/c. (I would prefer La Margarita, for the margaritas! LOL) Phil needed a margarita or two at that moment! (grin)

  23. Perhaps the words "fiance" and "pregnant" in the same sentence led the USO lady to ban your sinnin' bladder. You know, red state and all. *Ducking*

  24. Complaining is a necessary fact of life.

    I mean, what if it really wasn't hot? What if you were running an insanely high fever?

    He'd feel really bad if you suddenly passed out on the street. You should have just pretended.

  25. Damn…no one had sympathy for the pregnant chick yesterday. It would have been hard for me to resist cursing.

  26. why are you not marrying a fellow complainer??? complaining is a cherished hobby of mine and i could never be with someone who didn't share that interest.

  27. Glad you enjoyed my hometown. If you can like it in August, you'll love it any other time of the year. Come back when the Christmas lights are lit on the riverwalk.

  28. The entire content of this post made me sad. You registered a simple declarative statement and he overreacted, turning a nothing into a big, redhot something that ached to ruin a perfectly good afternoon. It was hot. It wasn't hot. It was cold. It was lukewarm. It was a measurement of the weather, and the Suitor turned it into a barometer of your relationship.

    The bothersome thing here–and what needs to be addressed–is how he interprets simple observations as complaints. He perceives you as an issuer of constant complaint and cannot discern between a declaration and a grievance. Then, unable to see the forest for the trees, he launches into a grander discourse about how HE is wronged ("Making it miserable for me") and the whole thing spirals out of control. Also, using the word "torture" is a particularly dramatic selection, suitable to a flamboyantly wronged personality. He might have said he felt "uncomfortable" instead of making it appear that he is poised on the hot lip of Hell because Stephanie mentions the excessive heat. And last I looked, "all" is an absolute; complain is all you do. Ever.

    Stephanie, it was 119F in my bedroom back in July. Fortunately, I live alone, so I could bitch as long and as loud as I liked and then take myself and my dog to a hotel. Your day sounded uncomfortable at best and at worst a comment on how the Suitor truly apprehends you, as a petulant child.

    And a salute to Uncle Sam for refusing a pregnant woman the use of his military toilet. FUBAR.

  29. yeah, probably not a brilliant idea to go hang out for the day in lovely san antonio, in the dead of summer, when the average temperature is around 100 (and 99% humidity as a bonus). my guess is that it was your idea to go to san antonio, the suitor didnt want to go as he knew it was a moronic idea, and then he pictured himself having to listen to you bitch for the entire day when it was your idea to go in the first place.

    i have to side with the suitor on this one, although it seems like he knew what he was signing up for by marrying you, so i guess in the end he really doesnt have the right to bitch about it.

    and i wouldnt jump to the conclusion he was pissed because he cant fix the problem. as i guy i can tell you we just dont like listening to women bitch. its annoying, and if you want to try go give yourself an out by saying its expressive, i would aruge that walking around yelling profanities is expressive too, but it doesnt mean that anyone wants to listen to it.

    nex time, if you are prego, and in texas in the middle of the summer, do yourself and him a favor and stay inside in the air conditioning.

  30. No mention of the important stuff…where did you eat?? I've been wanting to take the short trip to Le Reve, curious if that's maybe what prompted the trip.

  31. Oooooh, sorry… I apparently misread the post. I thought *you* said "this is why I didn't want to come". Now that I see that it was the Suitor, I completely agree with the commenters above who said that Phil needed to chill.

  32. Relationships are not perfect…we humans fight over stupid things. I think that everyone needs to step off of the Suitor's back. Stephanie's comment could have easily been taken by him as "passive aggressive" in nature (I would know because I certainly have made my fair share of those kind of comments..pregnant and not pregnant :) Only Stephanie truly knows if there was sarcasm or annoyance in her words.

    Oh…and the USO…like it or not, it is a benefit only to those serving our country and their families. Being pregnant, although difficult and demanding on the bladder, is not the same thing as being deployed from your family over the holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, etc..or being shot at in a foreign country. Sorry…a military spouse telling it like it is.

  33. They didn't let you use the restroom???? Who was manning the desk? Hitler??

    (Friday night was fun, thanks!*)

    *That sounds dirty. Haha, oops. It's not!

  34. Lynn,

    I do hope you are being sarcastic. Being shot at or missing your family during holidays does not excuse a lack of chivalry or manners. If a pregnant woman or elderly person needs to use the restroom, you go out of your way to oblige. You give up your seat, you stand when a lady stands. How anyone can excuse the USO is astounding! Someone should get the USO manners training or at the very least give SK an apology.

  35. Women bitch and complain. This is why I went gay. And crazy. Gay and crazy is my thing now. Thanks, girls!

  36. I must be a man in a woman's body because I also always want to fix things. Go see Carol, she'll figure it out.

  37. Like I expected, it's almost a perfect split down the middle. Girls like to complain, guys don't like to hear it. It's probably simple wiring. Girls tend to be more commucative, and guys are taught growing up to never complain.

    Beyond that, it seems to me, with my simple male mind, to be simple logic. When my wife complains about it being hot, my in-mind response is 'it's August, and we're in Mexico. WTF would've ever expected it to be hot?'.

    To me, it's like complaining about the sand at the beach.

  38. i got so sick to death of people claiming i was "negative" all the time because, like you, i would point out the obvious. now i live with the most pessimistic person on the planet and i find myself wishing he'd stop fucking complaining about shit all the time. go figure.

  39. Complaining really is a way of life. It is how some of us communicate. God, it's wonderful to complain and all men want you to do to is shut up. I say keep on complaining. They will learn to block out most of it eventually!

    The USO probably did have some post 9/11 reason for not letting you in, but they could have at least said that — it's not like you wanted discounted Disney World tickets! You wanted to use their restroom! They should have pointed you in the nearest direction to another one!

  40. Paula,
    I don't think Lynn was being sarcastic…just honest. I was a military wife myself and while refusing to let a pregnant woman use the restroom may sound outrageous, it had nothing to do with chivalry…just rules that they will not, under any circumstances, break.

  41. I think the most important rule to follow is "be easy to live with." I'm married to a constant complainer, and hear me on this, it's no picnic. All you can think of is who you'd rather be sharing the day with.

    Be cognizant of your actions…..be easy to live with.

  42. Where did you find the "I have two pees in my pod" shirt? My best friend is pregnant with twin boys. Shes having lots of complications right now and that would make a great cheer up gift! I have read through all of the comments on here hoping to find mention of it, and i may have missed it. If anyone knows where I can find or order one of those shirts please post!

  43. San Antonio is hot in August is an understatement. They say here "if I owned Hell and Texas, I'd rent out Texas and live in Hell in summer." But it's almost over. The last two days have been tolerable. And fall is the BEST here.

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