Bar Exam Wife

06Feb08

Bar Life

Ten Twelve Things That Suck About Being a Bar Exam Wife:

  1. You have to do the dishes. And sometimes cook dinner. (If you can’t understand what I’m talking about because you do these things anyway and/or you like doing these two things, insert two things you hate and/or are very unskilled at and that your spouse does because of your hatred and lack of skill.)
  2. You have to hear things like, “Does this make any sense to you: blah blah blah blah trustee blah blah blah decedent blah blah. That just doesn’t even make sense. Who writes this stuff?” Then…
  3. …you have to try to pretend you (a) understand, (b) also think it’s stupid and whoever wrote it is a dummy, or (c) (GASP!) try to explain it based on your 100% lack of knowledge of whatever-the-f*ck it is you’re being asked about.
  4. You have to put up with alarms going off very very early in the morning and the proper recipient of said alarms occasionally hitting snooze and/or flat refusing to get up then returning to sleep to snore while you contemplate the stippling on the ceiling.
  5. Your kid is sad because he misses daddy and daddy is sad because he misses his kid. And you miss weekends. Ah, weekends. The closer you get to the bar, the more distant your memory of weekends becomes.
  6. You have to watch your bar exam husband go through torture. This part really sucks. If it’s his first bar or he has not yet passed a bar exam, the torture is worse. Sometimes, he looks physically ill. Sometimes he swears he’s not taking it. Sometimes he is so distracted he forgets what month it is. If it is his second state (i.e. he has passed and is practicing in one state and is taking an exam in another state), as in our case, the torture is less but still noticeable.
  7. You have to spend a lot more time alone. Like, a lot.
  8. You have to pick up a lot of the slack around the house (see #1 above) and you don’t even get to complain about it or at least you try not to complain because you know that your husband probably (a) has more to complain about, (b) is less happy than you are, and (c) would much rather wash the dishes than study. Plus there’s the fact that he’s taking the bar to benefit both of you not, as you sometimes wonder, because he’s a mean, mean sonofabitch who wants to make your life unpleasant.
  9. It’s nearly impossible to tell when you should encourage your bar exam husband to relax and take a break and when to encourage him to buckle down. When he’s neglecting the books, this is especially hard because who are you to say, “hey, maybe you should be studying more” because saying that would be sort of like saying to a pregnant woman, “hey, maybe you should try not to be so hormonal” or something. Basically, it’s unwanted advice and really just makes matters worse.
  10. You just keep wanting to say, “HEY! Only 64 more days until the bar exam!” because you are counting every single damned second until the thing is over but this initiates shaking, cold sweats, and much, much anxiety in your bar exam husband. And yet sometimes you accidentally say it and then you get the look.
  11. You save up things to complain about when the whole thing is over (you even write letters to your husband that you never give him because writing them genuinely helps you feel better) but then once it’s over, you forget to complain. The second time around, you kind of wish you’d gotten the chance to complain after the first one because now you feel like you’ve got extra complaint baggage stored up and it’s harder to make room for your new complaints.
  12. All you can think about is all the stuff you want your bar exam husband to do after it’s all over — all the ways he should repay you for all your selfless effort during whoa these so many months — and so you kind of forget that you should probably also be repaying him and doing nice things for him when it’s all over.

The good news is, it does all end and your husband does return to normal and all the things you wanted to complain about vanish and your husband does take back his half of the work of making life happen each day and everything is good. Until results are due out and then the torture begins again. Ah, such wonderful things to look forward to in the coming months.

Did I mention, though, that we only have 18 days not counting today and the day that Brian drives to Albany for the exam? Did I mention that? Because I can’t mention it to him but I can tell you! EIGHTEEN DAYS! Only 21 until I get him back.  (Well, 21 until I get him back in body; probably 24 until I get him back in mind.)

WOOHOO!

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12 Responses to “Bar Exam Wife”

  1. 1 Kelley Reed

    Just in case you were wondering….i do still check in with you on the blog from time to time :-) This one hit home and, as you can imagine, is a perfect example of what my life is like too right now! Somedays i agonize over whether or not to say anything…like this morning. After getting up and leaving the house at 5:fing30 in the morning to get groceries (not taking the kids is worth sacrificing the sleep) and coming home at 7 to find my bar study-er husband still ASLEEP in bed when he should have been up and dressed and nose buried in a book was FRUSTRATING! But, as you explained, i buried this one in the complaint bag and bit my tongue. I have trained a small voice in my head to talk me down when needed. This morning the little voice said things like “he’s obviously tired and needed the sleep. he can’t be expected to have any quality study time if he can’t keep his eyes open and brain working. he needs a little break to recharge and re-energize…yadda yadda yadda.” However, this morning, another little voice was talking too….it said “what the f*%# is this shit? I need a damned break too, but the demands of kids and house and life along with picking up the slack for an absentee husband doesn’t allow it! For pete’s sake, I am grocery shopping in the dead of night while you are still SLEEPING!!! If I can do it, so can you so get the F*%# out of bed!!” (Obviously this little voice cusses like a sailor). Anyhow, my challenge over the next 21 days will be to subdue this other little character in my head….which brings me to a legal question…I wonder if you can sue the bar association for mental health problems??? I swear I didn’t have dueling voices in my head before he started to study for the bar!

    Anyway, thanks for the laugh this morning. It’s funny b/c of your very witty sense of humor….but also b/c its all true!

  2. I can’t imagine the stress, but I’m sure I’ll understand a bit of his position when I have to eventually take my exam for my RN license. Right now I’m feeling stressed at picking up more of the slack because Aaron was reassigned in his agency and his hours shifted to 9-6, meaning I’m now completely in charge of dinner and getting the girls ready for bed. Ick.

    If you’re ever feeling bored at home, let me know and we can meet for coffee or something.

  3. Those wife moments when you have to stifle your own frustration for his good are a true test of your wife-fiber (and now your mommy fiber). I’m glad that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel!

  4. 4 Ben's Mama

    Yoga Julie… I marvel at your MANY talents… like drawing stick figures…looks like Evan is crawling~

  5. 5 cabarwidow

    LOL! I was googling bar exam stress and found this – totally funny and exactly what it is like. Glad to know this is normal. Hope we all get our husbands back soon!

  6. 6 Mrs.NC

    This is EXACTLY what I needed…I felt alone on my own little island with 6 more days left until my husband takes the exam. This blog with all the comments made me laugh so hard b/c it’s all SO true!

  7. 7 stereo

    Quite fantastic post. I recently stumbled upon your blog post as well as desired to point out that We’ve genuinely adored looking a person’s web site threads. At any rate I shall be subscribing to your feed and i’m hoping you’re posting once again rapidly!

  8. 8 Qanda

    Well said…..My husband just recently graduated summa cume laude and is studying for the bar which is in July.. He did it while working a full time job as an engineering manager. These past 4 years have been very challenging but all worth it. He never missed our kids’ (age 9 and 14) birthday or mine. We always celebrated our anniversary even if it meant studying in the car on our way to the restaurant or quizzing him in the hotel room. I think because he has such a great passion for law and success he made it all seem so easy. I think because I have such a great passion for him to succeed and an even stronger love for him it all seem so easy for me as well. When you love someone unconditionally and you have that unbreakable bond, nothing is impossible. Good luck to all…..please love support your spouse through it ALL for it will be worth it in the end!! :)

  9. Can I simply say what a comfort to uncover somebody that genuinely understands what they are discussing on the web.

    You actually know how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
    More people really need to check this out and understand this side of the story.

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  10. 10 Katie

    Thank you, thank you thank you for this!
    The crazy person that looks like my husband is taking the exam right now (day 1 of 2) and yes, it’s been a haul. We have 2 kids, he worked the whole time, he has a job lined up – which I know is a rarity and we’re very thankful.
    Last weekend, the kids and I got out of the house and went up north (read:to get out of daddy’s way). When I got back after leaving the kids with the grandparents for the week, my husband told me a guess-what-happened-to-me story about how he crawled into bed at 12:30 in the morning after studying late only to roll over into a pool of cat puke (she’s really a lovely creature, please let me know if you’d like to take her). He mentioned that he’d changed the top sheet on the bed and the whole thing was just a gross story about our oh-so charming cat.
    I thought about it. What I know about top sheets and puke is that…what the hell is changing a top sheet going to do? Thank you for changing the top sheet buuuut, and that’s when I saw it. THERE WAS STILL CAT PUKE ON THE DUVET…ON MY SIDE OF THE BED. I said “you left the puke on my side of the bed!?” He said, “well…, it was so late.” I said “………thanks………”. he said “I wasn’t thinking of YOU.” I said, “I know.” Note the wife points there because I was thinking a lot more than what I said.
    So, bottoms up, heads down, almost there…


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