Saturday, June 9, 2012

Double Standards

A couple of months ago, we had a party at work. Now, my work is known for throwing parties. We're a partying bunch, and we're a drinking bunch, so it should have been no surprise when - following a celebratory dinner in the office dining hall - some of my colleagues and I decided we just MUST finish off all the open bottles of table wine.

We're also a fairly responsible bunch, so the finishing-of-the-table-wine was followed by the sort of deep and profound solve-the-problems-of-the-world conversations that wine can fuel.  In our case it was more solve-the-problems-of-the-organization, but still...  The kitchen crew, in their inestimable wisdom, took away our wine glasses and brought out glasses of water and airpots of coffee.  The evening progressed.

Before you know it, it's midnight.  A small handful of us are still in the office, the effects of the wine behind us, the problems as solved as they are going to be for now, and we realize it's time to go home.  Two of the engineers leave. My boss and I and another fella go to our desks to collect our stuff and walk to the parking lot together.  We stand in the parking lot for another ten minutes or so, talking about how good it was that we got to spend time in an informal way, really hearing what some of our staff is concerned about.  We get into our cars and go our separate ways.

I roll in around 1am (the story of the cop I "visited" with on my ride home is for another day), enter the house as quietly as I can out of consideration, turn off lights and head upstairs.  Sperm Donor (SD) is in his room sleeping as I go down the hall towards my room.  While I'm sitting on the can (yeah, yeah - TMI, I get it) I hear a heavy sigh from the other side of my door, in my bedroom.  I crack the door open to see SD standing there, Very Put Out. 

"What's up? Why are you up?", I ask.  
"Where the hell have YOU been until after 1am?", he demands. 
"At that work dinner. We finished off the wine and decided we should stay to sober up before driving home," I respond.
"Yeah, right." ...and back to his room he goes.

Now, this pissed me off, and some of you - those of you who know me on Crackbook - will say, "But DT ... you do sometimes engage in extracurricular activities!" and I would reply that indeed I do, but I am not so silly as to stay out late at night to DO them.

I was still pissed the next day,  and it devolved into silly business like me sending him the security video clip - with date/time stamp - of my boss and I and the other fella - walking out of the building, and offering to send the prior clip showing other people leaving just ahead of us, and the one after from the parking lot camera, showing us talking before leaving.  His response - and the point of this post, because there IS one, trust me - was that he reacted like that because he was worried about where I was.  I told him that in MY world, worried = a text or phone call, not a snappish encounter once the offending party arrived home.  In my social excursions later that week, I made sure to text by 11pm if I was still out...not that he saw those, what with having his mobile in another part of the house late at night, but still - points for effort, no?

Last night, the double standard flag was raised high.  Since that little dinner party encounter, there have been more than a few instances where his "working late, can you get the Spawn?" requests have led to him rolling in at 10- or 11pm.  I never say anything; frankly, I don't care and it's not something he hasn't always done.  If he's not here, he's not annoying me, or being a pain in my ass - the one benefit to his poor time management.  But the past two nights, it was a big-sigh-I-have-to-work-for-this-thing-can-you-get-the-Spawn.  First night, he rolls in at 10pm, which is in keeping with this thing I know he's doing.  But last night - Friday night - I put the spawn to bed and climb into mine to read. Front porch light on, inside light on (you know, 'cause I'm a considerate bitch like that) and I give up and crash around 11pm (don't judge, it's been an ugly week at work).  I wake at 1:30am to find no sign of him - lights still on, no car in the drive and I think "why is it okay for you to do this and not for me?"

I had sent a text when I put the spawn down, answering a question he had asked earlier in the day and I had not seen.  So he had an opportunity to reply and say "Oh, hey - we're gonna go out when we're done here, might be kinda late" or some such.  But no. I woke at 1:30, no text, no call and I decide to turn it around and I called.  He's in the car. 

Me: "Just making sure you're okay. Didn't think you'd be out this late."
Him (sounding guilty): "Oh, yup, sorry.  On the road now, about 20 minutes out.  Sorry I didn't call or text but it was this guy's last day and we dec...."
Me (interrupting): "Doesn't matter.  Just wanted to make sure you were okay. Not trying to say you have to come home."
Him: "No, no ... I'm in the car, almost there.  We decided at the last minute aft..."
Me:  "Don't care. Going back to bed now.  'bye." 

My position - stated clearly and often to him - is that I don't care if he goes out.  As long as we don't have prior obligations or a conflict in planning, I NEVER EVER EVER say "No, I can't get the Spawn" or "No, you can't go out". I encourage him to go out more, to have more of a social life and yes, my goals are selfish. I want him to resent MY social life less.  I go out with friends from work, friends from school, friends from former work A or former work B.  So when he took a guy out to dinner and rolled in late, my comment was "You guys have fun?" and to ask if he at least bought the guy a lap dance at the strip club they ended up at (he had).

My issue with this is two-fold: 
1)  As someone who regularly loses track of time, why is it okay for him to call me out on a late night when he is guilty of the same behavior?  Is it just that - guilt?  Is he doing something he thinks he ought not be doing?  Is he projecting his guilt on me?

2)  How can he, in good conscience, hold me to a standard (call or text if you're going to be late or I'm gonna put on my bitch hat and be a douche) that he himself doesn't uphold?

Since he's still sleeping, the answers to these questions will have to wait.  But tell me, dear readers...double-standard or is DT just being her usual bitchy self?


  1. Double standard. Also, because we all know you have extracurricular activities, maybe he's gettign that vibe now and getting a little jealous...

  2. We chatted about it the next morning, clarified the reasoning for my call. He didn't seem to think I was nagging or checking up - maybe there's hope to get to that place where we each just do our own thing.