10 Things NOT to Say to an Oilfield Wife
1. “Oh. He works in oil …?” This is usually followed by unsolicited environmental or political opinions. Sooo, lemme just stop you right there. Unless I ask you for your opinion, please don’t give it. Personally, I love a good debate, and (surprise!) I may actually agree with a lot of what you have to say, but if you don’t know me well? Don’t start. Chances are, I told you because you asked why my husband is gone so much. Let’s leave it at that. Oh, and if the names Al Gore or Michael Moore leave your lips, I’m leaving.
2. “Isn’t that dangerous?” Yes, it is. Yes, it can be scary to think about. In the back of every oilfield wife’s mind is an incident, an accident, an explosion. Please, please don’t bring it to the front for me to obsess over for the rest of the day.
3. “What about sex?” Um, what about it? Not that it’s any of your business, but if that’s the backbone of your relationship, you’ve got other problems. A successful oilfield marriage depends on about a zillion things other than sex. Could your relationship go weeks or months without sex? No? Then maybe you should be congratulating me, or asking me for advice, instead of sticking your nose in our bedroom. And when he’s home? Ladybugs. Lots and lots of ladybugs. (If you don’t get the reference, go watch Under the Tuscan Sun with a box of tissue and a pint of your favorite ice cream.)
4. “Will he be home for Christmas / your anniversary / a birthday / the birth of a baby?” Two weeks on, two weeks off. If that date falls during his days off, yes, he’ll be home. If not? No, he won’t be home. I know this question is asked with love and good intentions, but it sucks. Please stop asking.
5. “You chose this, so you can’t complain about it.” Yes, we did choose this. Every single day he’s on hitch, my husband risks his life when he goes to work, to drill for the stuff that makes you comfortable. Oh, you don’t drive a car? Well, your bike tires, your phone, your insulated coffee cup, the soles of your shoes, your refrigerator … Guess what? They’re made with oil. My husband works hard to provide for his family, and that’s why he does what he does; that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Katie lives in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado, where she raises her sweet daughter, Maile, who will be 2 in the spring! Katie has been married to the love of her life for going on 6 years; every one of those years as a roughneck wife. The family also includes two spaniels, and a very persnickety old cat. Katie spends most of her time reading books with her little one, going down the slide at the park 10,000 times, painting and playing pretend, and dreaming of growing all her own food. You can also find her at her family lifestyle blog, Standpipe and Sprinkles.