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The Self Employed Housewife – Dairy of a foreigner – Book two Ch 2
Being alone verses loneliness
Jan was reading the kids bedtime stories in his usual animated voice while she was doing the dishes. The giggles erupting from their bedroom made her smile. Dreamily she gazed through the window onto their back garden thinking; he was so good at some things, but why could he never show a loving gesture to her? Never just gave her a hug without the compulsion to fondle her; never even showing any interest in her thoughts or feelings? She always asked how his day had been if he had been away for a full working day, which was not all that often.
“One more page...Daddy please.....”
“You two go and read the rest yourselves. Sascia I know you can. Read the rest to jour brother, so he can follow the words that you are reading.”
They were still sharing a bedroom, because Jan’s parents were expected to visit them for the first time. Her parents-in-law had never traveled away from Holland. Not like her mom and dad. They were very religious people, so she was somewhat apprehensive about how they would take to her New Age attraction as Jan called it.
Automatically she prepared two mugs of coffee because her emotions of disappointment were still lingering; thinking back to his response when he had come home from work. Lately she was often on automatic pilot mode when she felt hurt or sad. After Jan had changed into his gardening gear in their bedroom and walked into the kitchen she had asked him if he liked his work and also about the people he worked with. He never replied, but wanted to get into his garden right away. That was when he must have seen her cut up her cigarettes in the barbeque.
“Are you baking something?” Jan called out from the lounge. He knew she only baked on Saturday. He wanted his coffee.
The TV in the lounge was turned on at eight, so it was coffee time. She and the kids were very well trained. When Daddy watched the news they were never to interrupt. She knew that by now he was preparing his pipe, and waited.
Was that going to be their routine every day from now on? Playing the dutiful housewife serving him? How was she going to explain why she had cut up all her cigarettes? Jan hadn’t asked again, and he might never do so knowing him. Her intuition told her to say nothing until he would ask again, but she also knew that she was eager to share her experience, knowing that she could be hurt by his response.
The lonely evenings
“There you are. Why were you so long in the kitchen woman?” The aroma of his pipe made her immediately crave a cigarette, but the idea alone made her feel ill.
“Why are you in such a hurry?” Noticing that the TV was turned off. “Is there nothing more to watch?’
After the news, she more or less could choose what to watch. He was not interested in sport, only sometimes in documentaries and they both started to watch Dallas. She liked, or more or less hoped that there was a movie to watch. He knew that.
TV was not the main entertainment focus in their lives. Sometimes the kids would watch a children’s program after they had done their homework. The TV was never on during the day. In Australia she would sometimes watch a movie during the day when Jan was not home and while her babies were playing in the playpen. It was more to ignore the inner loneliness for not having anyone to talk to.
Now she started to dread the evenings. She wished she could work on her leather work in her outside room, but the light from the one ceiling bulb was not good enough. Watching a movie took her away from her feelings, and if they watched them together she felt more of a connection to him.
Lack of communication
“Is their nothing in the TV?” she asked again
There they were both drinking coffee and there was not much else to talk about. Her latest pocket book was waiting for her, but she would rather talk.
“What, not smoking?” he asked.
“No I told you I quit.” She now wished she could still play a music record, but they had sold their turn table and all their records in Australia before they left.
“Maybe we should get a music player again. I miss listening to music.”
Jan got up to turn the small transistor radio on that she had used when she was on her own in Durban. The classical music filled their lounge.
“Are you now telling me what made you quit smoking?”
Her heart skipped a beat because he asked. Where to start? How was she going to explain the voice?
“Somebody told me to stop smoking; something to do with me not ‘growing’ if I kept smoking.”
“Oh, what do you mean by not growing?”
“I was not sure myself, but I now think it had to do with my mind. I would mentally not grow.”
“Who told you all that nonsense? You are reading too many New Age books!”
How could she now admit that it was a voice that she had heard? He would blame her hallucinations on the books she was reading. It was true that she had read about channeling, but she was sure she had experienced the real thing.
Being called boring
Sascia’s budgie was suddenly twittering from under the cover that was draped over his cage. The kitten Twinkle jumped on the back rest of Jan’s chair to be nearer its cage. Jan laughed at the kitten’s hunting pose, but she was more worried that their new pet would one day jump onto the budgie cage.
“Better get her down and read your book about what, warships? Since you believe that everything I read is nonsense.”
“Why not get into bed and have sex. Come let’s make an early night.” Jan emptied his pipe and got up. It was just after nine, far too early for her. She was far keener to get stuck a pocket book by Raymond W. Bernard that Pat said was a fascinating read. It was about the possibility that their planet Earth might be hollow. She would love to inspire Jan to read it as well, since it was not like a spiritual book.
“You go I will read my book first. It’s far too early for me.” Knowing it would annoy him, but she was not in the mood for sex. Was she ever?
“Grrrr you are boring.” Jan said sniggering as he picked up her pocket book. His whole behavior made her feel sad. They were married for close to eight years and they seemed to have nothing in common anymore. Had they ever? She now wondered. Jan was reading the back cover and she was still hoping he might be interested. Inwardly she hoped he would stay and talk.
“What a lot of rubbish...the Hollow Earth. Woman get to your senses and come to bed.”
She curled up on the couch and grabbed her book away from him, “I’m not boring; I’m just not in the mood. I miss having a stimulating conversation, but all you want to do is have sex and go to sleep. That is boring!” So she finally said it!
She tried to ignore him by pretending to read while feeling hurt at his belittling tone. It was the first time that she rebelled by not going to bed at the same time. She truly hoped he would be fast asleep when she joined him. Was this the beginning of them breaking up?