A Problem

You have a problem, he says.

Because he is my husband and he says this, like he is perfect, I resent him. I get angry. I become defensive. I cook up reasons why I don’t have a problem. I tell him, this is my money. I’ve earned it through sheer hard work. I want to spoil myself because you don’t. Is that so wrong?

No, it’s not wrong to want to pamper yourself every now and then. But you go overboard. You can’t deny that. Isn’t that true?

I only spend when I know I can afford to.

You buy stupid things! Votive candle holders, for instance. Do we really need that?

They were 70% off, I shout at him. They were dirt cheap! And they’re not stupid.

I know you make good money, he says. I know you think I don’t support you enough. But I love you. And I’m just trying to tell you that maybe, just maybe, you have a problem. You can’t stop shopping.

I am angry. Tears are running down my face now. I am so angry with him. Is it wrong to want pretty things, to want to look good sometimes? I question.

Within reason!

You don’t understand me.

That’s right. That’s what you say everytime we argue.

I don’t want to talk about this now. I’ll only say this. My money. I do what I want with my money.

Fine. If that’s the way it’s going to be. Is that what marriage is to you?

He walks away.

I sigh. I grab my car keys and handbag. I want to go to a mall right now.