*~* An Adult Time Out *~*

I was recently engaged in a telephone call with my very best friend who moved away to Raleigh to get married….She is a newlywed.  As my friend shared her interesting adventures as a new wife, she haphazardly mentioned to me that she sits in the closet when her husband pisses her off.  Then she proceeds to tell me about… wait, back it up.  Did you say what I think you said?  In the inquisitive words of Sidney Shaw, “Brown sugar? Break that down for me.”

This friend confessed (although it wasn’t at all a confession from her viewpoint) when her brand new husband starts to get on her nerves, she retreats to her beautifully constructed walk-in closet.  To pick out his burial outfit? To grab “the box” in the back of the closet? Girl, for what?  She goes in there for a time out – a “grown-woman-who-works-every-day-has-two-degrees-and-is-currently-cranking-out-her-dissertation” time out.

As newlyweds, I understand they are still in that “discovery and exploratory” phase. They are discovering that [spouse] is actually going show up to the residence every single day after work.  Literally, everyday they’re right there, welcomed or unwelcomed, wearing the same grin that is becoming less captivating and more nauseating.  The frequency of this “showing up” has caused them to explore opportunities to “get away.”  Grant it, this is somewhat of an exaggeration and no attempt to portray my friend as an unhappy wife.  Please understand that she is an only child.  Sharing her space is a huge challenge.  This “showing up” is only one of the things we discuss in good fun, all while laughing.  “Girl, he is already pulling in the driveway and its only 5:14 p.m.  Ugh!”

Demonstrative of my friend’s creativity and strong desire to make their marriage last forever and everrrr, she has created this secret dwelling.  I’ve not seen the closet but it’s safe to assume that “walk-in” means walk-in, turn around, and walk out— not Kimora Lee Simmons-Hounsou’s walk-in, vacation and get comfy situation.  Be that as it may, this closet holds the magic.  It is where she stores her Marriage Survivor Kit.  No lie.  The “kit” includes an old school metal folding chair from church, an iPod, a magazine, and headphones. When crap hits the fan, she retreats to her closet, unfolds the chair, plops her butt down, pulls out her iPod, breathes deeply, and listens to 5-7 minutes of good music.

Of course, I had to inquire:

Me:  How does Husband feel about this closet situation?

Friend:  He doesn’t know.

Me:  He doesn’t know?!

Friend:  Girl, we are talking about Husband.  He’s not paying attention to anything in this closet.

Me:  You don’t think he has noticed the chair?

Friend:  Maybe.  Maybe not.  If he has, he certainly hasn’t thought anything of it.  I keep the other items in a little box that I’m sure he hasn’t noticed.

Me: (Single Girl) (mentally):  Friend has lost her marbles. Time out for a grown woman? O HELL NO!  In her closet?!  Humph.  I need to ponder this.

Looking back on the marriages I observed as a child, I vividly remember observing arguments – verbal attacks that were nothing less than abusive.  Men attacking women but mostly women verbally assaulting men. Sadly, many of those marriages cease to exist.  I wonder why no one ever thought to take a time out.  They had a closet, owned a chair and a cassette player.  I’m not suggesting that the Marriage Survivor Kit would have salvaged any of those marriages.  Nor am I suggesting that women keep their mouths shut or that spouses avoid their problems by running into a closet or even hopping into a car.  However, I admire my friend’s creative genius.  More than the closet, I admire the intent of the closet.  Words are still the only things that can never be retracted from a person’s heart.  Once you put them out there, they are there.  Words are still the greatest fuel to a fire.  Words are still the precursor to most schoolyard fights.  In intense moments, the most hurtful words are often the only words that come to mind.

As trivial as it may sound, the closet has all the makings of healthy combat.

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10 responses to “*~* An Adult Time Out *~*

  1. I commend your friend for finding a healthy outlet. Many people have yet to master the art of giving themselves a “time out” and breaking away from whatever may be causing them some stress. Of course I think open communication is key to resolving disagreements… but if you need a few moments to relax and chill out there is nothing better than creating your own sanctuary.

    When I need a “time out” I usually go to the bathroom. Sometimes I run a bath.. Sometimes I tug away at stray hairs on my brows lol… hell, I’ve laid across the floor reading a magazine before lol… it’s just nice to have your own space every now and then.

  2. I love it! Kudos to Your friend for creating her own marriage kit. I am also an only child and often have a difficult time sharing my space with others, especially when they make me upset so I will definitely be putting this to use when I get married.

  3. Wonderful post! I’m not married but I can really appreciate this idea. I always say that living with a man is going to be such a trying time for me as I’ve lived by myself for 4 years now. So, I sincerely give kudos to her and to you for sharing this information.

  4. I think it’s great!
    Especially if it gives her time to cool off and then have an intelligent rational conversation free of the dramasodes that usually encure when both parties argue before cooling down

  5. Totally agree with the idea of a closet for a time out. When my BF and I argue, I’m good for saying hold on a sec and dipping to the bathroom for a few minutes. Sometimes five minutes is all you need to keep you from ripping a negro to shreds with some evil words. And I know I can get evil, so a little distance is helpful.

    I think it could be a problem when you need to leave the house all together, and need an entirely separate space like inSATC2. Remember they kept Carrie’s old apartment and Big was on some, “Oh every week, just for an overnight without you…” type ish. Yeah, hell no to that.

    If men can have a “man cave” for their time away from the fam, to do their man stuff, I think women should have the same space.

    Great Post!!!!

  6. Anyone who knows anything about building something—especially something they expect to endure—will give you this advice, “Measure twice and cut once.” I applaud your friend’s wisdom to measure before cutting. Unmeasured words can (and often do) destroy. So long as her Marriage Survival Kit (MSK) is not MaSKing avoidance and suppression, this strategy may well serve to protect her sanity and her marriage. If that should fail, your friend is perfectly positioned to pick out his burial outfit or his kicked-to-the-curb clothes.

    All jokes aside, I do find it just a tad ironic that someone who is used to having more (unshared) space would find such solitude in one of the smallest spaces in the house. But hey, what do I know? I am not a woman or an only child, though I am engaged to marry one. Thanks for the heads up.

  7. “Words are still the only things that can never be retracted from a person’s heart. Once you put them out there, they are there” <—— Profound! I actually think your friend's acting like a grown woman with 2 degrees and a husband. She knows when to take a breather and relax, relate, and release. Taking a page out of her book my damn self! Nice post!

  8. Oddly, I think the concept is good. Its better than storming out the house, getting into your car adn speeding off with the risk of killing yourself. (injuring atleast) I’m not married but I think that the idea behind it is good and as you stated it keeps you from saying something you’ll never be able to take back. Thats the worst because a person will always remember what you said and how you said it.

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