"No good deed goes unpunished..."

So, yesterday my wife sends me a text, "Hey, is there any way I could borrow $20 until Friday? (though I had more gasoline than I actually do)"  She said needed it "tomorrow-ish".

I told her I probably could, that I'd see what I could do.  I didn't have cash to spare in the checking account until I get paid next, but I had one credit card with extra room on it...  I could put the gas on that, and send in an extra payment on Friday.  When she got home from work later last night, I let her know that I could cover some gas for her.

This morning, before I went to work (the gas station was closed by the time she got from work last night), she was still asleep, so I took the spare set of keys, filled up her car with gas, and picked up a few loaves of bread (we were completely out) while I was at it...  Today is our wedding anniversary, and while she isn't really in the mood to celebrate, I wanted to do something nice to let her know I was thinking of her.  I'd hoped the full tank would be a small, pleasant surprise toward that end.  Then, I left a little "Happy Anniversary, Love Me" note on her dashboard.

Today, she sends me another short text, thanking me for the note and wishing me a happy anniversary, too.  Then, she sends me a long text, beginning "I know this is going to sound petty, but...", complaining about the full tank of gas...  She didn't need it.  She wanted $20 cash for a little bit of gas and for parking at a minor league baseball game, and now she might not be able to go to her best friend's daughter's birthday party.  Also, she didn't like me taking her car without asking -- she knows it was to surprise her, but it still bothers her.  She appreciated my intentions...  Thanks for the gas and bread.


Okay, so I wanted to share this partially just so I could stop being frustrated by it, and partially because its a good example of how ADHD spouses inadvertently go wrong, and how the non-ADHD spouse sometimes feeds into that.

That first text was all the information I had...  I even saved it in my phone, so I wouldn't forget it.  To me, it read just as "Can you help me buy gas for my car? I could pay you back on Friday."  I knew she had the party at the baseball game, but she never mentioned anything about needing cash for parking (in fact, that's why I thought she needed the gas money...  she was saving her cash for parking and a present).  Perhaps there was some implication for cash in the text, but if there was, I completely missed it.

So, I thought I was doing something a little extra nice for her...  Instead, I ended up getting in trouble for doing it wrong and inadvertently violating a boundary for her car (even though we have a spare key ring with keys for both our cars for just this sort of circumstance) that I never knew about.

Now, I understand much of why she's upset about it -- despite my best intentions, I didn't do it the way she wanted and she also feels I overstepped my bounds a bit -- but...  How was I supposed to know?  There was a whole set of details that she neglected to mention.  Had I known them, I likely would have done things quite differently.

I know I'm sometimes forgetful and/or in attentive, but I don't think that had anything to do with this.  This felt like I was being set up for failure, and then blamed for it when it wasn't exactly my fault...  or, at least, not ALL my fault.  After all, how can I do something the certain way she wants it done, if I have to guess at the details she left out?  Even a non-ADHDer would get fouled up in those circumstances.

Anyway, we talked -- texted? -- it through a bit.  I complained about her not giving me all the details, and apologized for taking the car without letting her know.  She grumbled a bit and almost withdrew ("I really don't want to do this right now."), but asked for an explanation ("Why did you tell me you would be able to loan me $20 when that wasn't true?").  I explained the misunderstanding...  ("I didn't understand you needed cash.  I missed the implication.")  In the end, she said it would work out, and sorry for not being clear enough.

So, despite the misunderstanding and the drama (not mine, this time!), I think it turned out okay in the end.  "No good deed goes unpunished," or so they say.

I'm better now.