“Text me when you get home.”
I tell this to almost all of my friends or anyone who is incredibly close to me after they drop me off after an evening of hanging out, excluding my family considering that I live with them. It’s become something of a habit that has developed more and more over the years. My grandma would tell my mom whenever we made it home from school. Then, when everyone got their own cellphones, we were expected to call or text my mom ourselves. Now, when I have work, I call my grandma to tell her that I made it safely and same with my mom, really without anyone probing to, anymore.
When others hear of this, they wonder why I even have to do it. Yes, sometimes it becomes tedious and a burden. I used to get annoyed in high school because I saw it as a way for my mom to control what time I came home when I wanted to be out with friends longer. It wasn’t like I came home at one in the morning. Really, the latest I’d come home was 7 pm. I honestly didn’t understand it at first.
Recently, I’ve found myself in constant arguments with my boyfriend concerning this exact habit. Often after work on the weekends, he goes out with his coworkers and stays out late. I usually don’t fancy sleeping until he’s texted me that he’s home from work. So when he goes out late and ignores telling me that he’s made it home safe, even if its at four in the morning, I get really crossed. I get worried and annoyed and anxious at the fact that I don’t know if he’s made it home.
I begin thinking “Hey. I’m over here worrying and losing sleep about you and you’re not even going to consider a simple, two worded text message?”
And then I realize that he didn’t grow up the way I did. He didn’t have to tell practically everyone who lived with him that he was home when they weren’t. It wasn’t enforced. So him having to go through that now, way past the age where he needs someone looking out for him, and it coming from someone who isn’t his mother, usually puts him on edge and starts small arguments between us.
Him on the side of not understanding why I make such a big deal out of something so small and me on the side of not understanding what’s so difficult about it. In many ways, he and I are extremely similar. This is one of the top five things that make us complete opposites.
So I’ve tried, for his sake rather than mine, to break this habit of mine. Of constantly asking him to tell me when he’s home and getting upset when he doesn’t. I’m not ashamed of being the kind of person who cares enough, for most people, to tell me if they’re safe. But I will acknowledge that I am overbearing with him at times.
So I will take a break from this for a bit, to keep us both on civil terms on Monday mornings. But I will still lose sleep, wondering if he’s made it home.