One of the things that stuck with me from a few years of therapy and one of the first points my therapist drove home was the whole “would’ve should’ve could’ve” thing. That any time you’re using those words, you’re making a demand on the world or a person, and we can’t make demands. (Why not? Not sure) So, rather than say, “You should’ve made the bed this morning,” you change your thinking pattern to something like, “Well, I would have been nice if you had made the bed, but you didn’t. It’s disappointing.” But you keep the emotion level at words like disappointing versus truly negative words like devastating.
Another thing my therapist usually asked me was “On a scale of 1-10, how terrible/horrible/awful is this with terrible/horrible/awful being the worst imaginable- like someone dying.” So, yeah, usually I could place it as a 2 or sometimes a 6.
Well, I’ll be speaking to him next week again and have a few questions for him. Cause yeah, this is pretty high up there on the terrible/horrible/awful scale.
And also, it’s devastating rather than disappointing. So fuck the whole would’ve should’ve could’ve. I want to imagine for just a moment what today
Today is the day you should be coming home from the European tour.
I would’ve had a hard time sleeping last night thinking about it.
This morning I would’ve had no trouble popping out of bed and I would’ve told Audrey as I went to get her out of her crib: “Guess who’s coming home today?” “Appa!” And she would have said with great joy: “Appa Appa Appa!”
I would’ve taken her to the Little Gym class rather than my parents and I would’ve been glad to have had something to keep me busy on this morning so the time went faster until you arrived home safely.
I would’ve waited for your phone call. You always call once you land and tell me you’re on your way home. I would’ve played it cool as usual when you called, though inside I was totally excited.
I would’ve had an anniversary gift waiting for you- though I’m not sure what.
I would’ve made sure the house was clean, vacuumed, and bright, even if I’d let it get messy the whole time you were gone. I’d let you believe I always lived neatly.
I would cook a Korean meal for you tonight. I’d already decided that right after you left. You would be tired of eating out, European food (maybe?), and some Korean food, kimchi, and rice, would be comforting to you. So that is what I would’ve made.
I would’ve made homemade ice cream too because you said it was the best ice cream you’d ever had. Just vanilla with chocolate chips because you say chocolate chip mint, one of my favorites, tastes like toothpaste.
After Audrey’s nap, the anticipation would’ve started building. I feel it in my chest even now as my heart rate quickens. We would’ve drawn you a picture that says welcome home, maybe placed it on the door of the apartment.
I would’ve made sure that Audrey was in a very cute outfit- either a pretty dress or maybe the Korean soccer t-shirt you recently got her.
I think, even in the light rain, we would’ve gone out to the bus to greet you. I would’ve held Audrey and asked her, “Is appa on this bus?” as each bus came and went.
Then you would’ve gotten off smiling a huge smile. You would’ve said
“Hiiiii Audreeeey! It’s Appa! Appa missed you so much. So much Appa missed you (something you said a lot).
We would’ve hugged and kissed. We would’ve walked inside with your things and I would’ve been so relieved to have you home again.
Audrey would’ve shown you some of her new toys and I would’ve asked her to say her new words. There are so many already that you haven’t heard.
We would’ve eaten, and you, though you were tired, would’ve helped clean up and do the dishes. We’d read some books with Audrey – you in the Scottish accent you’d adopted for all storytelling and most speaking too- that drove me nuts. You’d probably take a shower after Audrey went to sleep after all that traveling.
Then I’m not sure. We’d planned on trying to get pregnant this night. So maybe. Or else maybe you would’ve been so tired, you would’ve just fallen asleep while I was online emailing or something. I would’ve heard a snore and looked over to see your right arm folded at the elbow, the forearm over your eyes, your hand closest to me in the bed.
Would’ve could’ve should’ve.
would’ve could’ve should’ve
Today is so very different.