Unless we’re talking millennia, I’ve been around for awhile. I know how to do stuff, so it seriously annoys me when people get up in my business. My husband was so cute when we were first married. “Are you sure you want to paint the baseboards first?” he would lovingly ask. “Piss off!” I would lovingly answer.
So why do I get so prickly about taking direction from my husband? Let’s see, are you telling me how to split an atom, or how to boil water? Are you grading me on my performance? Do you really want to fly solo in the bedroom for the next month?
There is one area where he’s eager to let me take the lead—pest control. In particular, he’s afraid of toads. If one of the little critters gets on the back porch, my sweetie is sure that the toad is baring his fangs and marshalling his buddies for a sneak attack.
I have a problem when he asks, “Are you tired? Would you like me to take over?” after the first five minutes of me driving on a road trip. I only scraped the paint a little while shooting the gap between a semi and a guard rail in a blinding rain (true story). That could happen to anybody.
Oddly, I have no problem taking constructive criticism about my writing. It’s not like anyone has said, “Get a real job, loser.” I’m grateful when people take the time to tell me where I can improve. If I get bad reviews, I may cry a little, maybe kick some puppies, but I’ll probably get over it.
When you put yourself out there, you’ll probably run into people who will not like your work. Nothing keeps you humble like receiving the charred ashes of your book in a Mason jar. Not that I’ve done that myself or anything. I don’t own a Mason jar.
As long as you’re not my husband, please feel free to offer constructive criticism. If you absolutely feel the need to be mean about, just be sure to hide your puppies.