This is probably going to be one of the most un-feminist blog I will ever write, but this is one letter that I need to wite.
This is a letter of apology. A letter of apology to my husband.
Every night when I come home from work, I look at your face, and I constantly search for signs of disappointment, resentment and regret in your eyes. I wait for the day when you realise that you have made the wrong decision, or got the raw end of the wife-deal. I count down to the day that you realise you have married a neurotic, anal-retentive female surgeon who is a useless housewife.
Instead, you greet me every evening as if you haven’t seen me for weeks. You hug me as if you have missed me every moment of the day and you kiss me as if it will erase every bad moment I have had during the day.
So I feel that I owe you an apology. Well, several apologies to be exact.
I am sorry for all the last minute cancellations, of romantic dinners, first-time outings, long-awaited concerts, thoughtfully prepared picnics and all other events that we were supposed to have attended. For the outings we have managed to attend, I am sorry for each and every time we have had to leave early because I have had calls from the hospital.
I am sorry for every date that I have stood you up for, because I got ‘caught up’ at work. I am sorry for when I have kept you waiting, sitting alone at restaurants because I couldn’t just leave an anxious patient ruminating on their fears.
I am just really very sorry that it seems you are not the number one priority in my life. I give up any enjoyment with you at the drop of a hat because I think someone else needs me more than you, and they need me more urgently.
I am sorry for all the hours I spend doing paperwork at home when I could be spending it with you. And for bringing them home in the first place because I didn’t have time to attend to them at work – I have been too busy spending time with patient.
I am sorry for the long days and evenings I spend with my colleagues, in clinical work and in meetings; the nights and weekends when I should be having lazy late brunches instead of lecturing, teaching and demonstrating in tutorials for the junior doctors and students; the weekends when I travel to attend conferences instead of walking on the local beach with you.
In fact, I am just plain sorry that I spend more time with my patients, students and colleagues than I do with you.
I am sorry that when I get home I am so tired that I can’t carry on a decent conversation with you over dinner, or the number of times I have actually fallen asleep in my chair during dinner. This includes evenings on the sofa when you are telling me about your day and I respond with loud snores. I am sorry for the times when I am not listening to you because I am thinking through an operation, or figuring out diffiult clinical dilemmas in my head. I am sorry for answering my text messages from patients and colleagues while we are talking. And yet, you listen to my constant whinging about my work, hanging on every word and providing advice to help me think clearly.
So I want to say sorry. Sorry that most of the time when I am with you, I don’t give you my 100% undivided attention.
I am sorry that you have not married a Domestic Goddess, that I don’t cook, clean, or pack your lunch for you. I don’t see you off to work every morning with a kiss and a wave in the driveway. I am sorry that you have to do the groceries, drop off the dry cleaning, hang out the laundry and cook me dinners at all hours of the night when I come home from work. Despite all this, I am ashamed that I still begrudge the times you lie on the couch watching sports, stay up all night bingeing on your favourite TV shows and the Saturday nights you spend drinking at the football match with your mates.
I am sorry that I get so busy, I forget our wedding anniversaries and your birthdays.
I am sorry that sometimes I haven’t been able to be with you when you needed me. I am also sorry that sometimes when I get so upset at work, I lash out at you. I am also sorry that I cause you to worry, when I indulge in frustrated tears.
But most of all, I am sorry for each and every day that I forget to thank you for loving me, the way I am.