Thursday, April 9, 2009

Passive, Meet Aggressive

Numerous readers, okay 3, have asked for a follow-up on Tom’s utter inability to deviate from whatever plan he has in his head. I’ll try to keep this brief, since writing about it tends to make me re-live these moments and I get mad all over again. Not good for either of us, you know?

The White Faucet Incident:

In our old house, the kitchen was about 5 ft x 8 feet, the size of a modest hall bathroom. Tom’s dad was visiting and he helped jazz it up a bit by adding a new laminate countertop and a porcelain sink. I was taking care of a newborn and a toddler, so “the guys” went to Home Depot to pick out our new faucet. Well, those two brought home a $150 faucet with a dandy pullout spray. The problem was, they had chosen function over form.

Function over form? Who did they think they were dealing with? That thing looked like a cheap plastic piece of crap to me. With very few square feet in my oppressive little kitchen, I knew the power of a gorgeous stainless steel gooseneck faucet to cheer me in the mornings. This white plastic jobbie had the opposite effect.

Instead of waiting until after it was installed to tell Tom I hated it (I had learned this lesson after the Pillow Top Mattress Debacle), I pulled him aside and quietly told him it was not to my taste. Tom’s response: “We already bought it. It’s going in.”

Tom didn’t want to hurt his father’s feelings by questioning his taste— my father in law of short-shorts and tube socks fame—so he chose not to do anything. He also didn’t want to go back to Home Depot. And, I suppose he didn’t want me to look crazy, or demanding. Well, any guy with a brain should know that I could unleash all kinds of crazy if forced to live with that ugly faucet. And I did.

P.S. Now Tom’s dad and I go to Home Depot and leave Tom at home.

The $5,000 Carpet Stain:

When we moved 6 years ago—from a 1950’s house to a 1960’s one—I worked my tail off getting ready to move. That tiny house looked like a Pottery Barn Catalog when I was finished staging it to sell. Tom and his dad worked on the heinous outside chores, which sparked The Lead Paint Meltdown of 2004, of which I am not yet ready to write.

I stuck to the inside, decluttering, painting, re-arranging, and trying to make it look like no kids lived there. I packed box after box to move out of the house prior to showing it, so it wouldn’t look like the shoebox that it was.

The upside of all of this work was that I got down to 118lbs for the first AND LAST time since I was a junior in high school. Such was the short-lived benefit of all that stress. The night before the open house, when I still had a million things to do, I handed Tom a can of Resolve and asked if he would spray the stain at the bottom of the stairs. Nope. We’d done enough, he reasoned. If these people didn’t like our house the way it was, then they should just get over themselves.

Fortunately, it was a sellers’ market, as seen by our strange, strange experience getting into a bidding war with an ex-boyfriend on our new house two weeks prior.

Our open house was on Mother’s Day, in the rain, and still the offers came in. The only problem our agent encountered? That stain on the carpet. It frightened several buyers away because they feared we had water in our basement. He posited that the stain cost us about 5 grand. After the open house I sprayed it with Resolve. 15 seconds later, the stain was gone.

And a bonus:

The Wii Resistance:

On Dec 26 two Christmases ago, when Wii’s were harder to come by than a Cabbage Patch Doll in the 80’s, I got a call from my sister, who lives 5 hours away. “Anna, I’m standing in Wal-mart holding 2 Wii’s. Do you want me to buy one for your family?”

I turned to Tom, who responded in a quiet and confused voice: “But Christmas is OVER.” I thought of this inflexible remark in the ensuing weeks as I made daily pilgrimages to The Game Stop in an attempt to buy our son a Wii for his March birthday. Tom never retracted his "Christmas is OVER" stance and acted like he enjoyed camping out in the cold at Best Buy to finally snag one before Jake's big day. Note: Tom did not use the same “Christmas is OVER" reasoning when procuring a large screen t.v. for himself-- I mean the family this January 2nd.

Okay, now I’ve gotten myself into a lather all over again remembering these incidents and others. Does that happen to you? Tom tried to get frisky last night, but I kept thinking about this blog and I got all hot and bothered, and not in a good way.

So I’m wondering, when does venting become re-hashing? Tom, please do not answer this question. If I get comments telling me what a jerk Tom is, does that help my cause or hurt my marriage?

Would this blog benefit or suffer if I wrote more posts about how kind, shy, H-O-T-T , and hardworking Tom is, and that he’s a great provider and an awesome dad? Would that be lame? I know that’s not what I’m interested in reading as I sit in front of my screen in my comfy pants.

What about you? Do you want to read that stuff, or as a blogging community, are we more of the, “If you have nothing nice to say about anyone, come sit next to me” ilk?


Christy said...

I like it both ways. Wait, that doesn't sound good. I mean, I like to read about good days and bad. I wouldn't mind reading posts about how great Tom is, if they're truthful posts. If you were just going on and on about how fabulous he is, but he's really a turd, that would kind of suck.

I'm glad you told these stories - I think I'd heard the one about the Wii before? Did you maybe guest post about it before or something?

And can I just say that I'm jealous you're in your comfy pants!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Honestly? This is one of my favorite things you've ever written. It's SO funny and not at all mean spirited. We know how much you love and appreciate your husband - so it's okay to tell a funny story at his expense.

But I'm a little horrified because you described my kitchen faucet to a T. You are right - white faucets are hideous. I hate mine.

Slacmc said...

This was so comforting to me! It is so nice to know that NO ONE has the perfect husband. And you know what we are all a little crazy from time to time!

Gretchen said...

I think the way you talked about Tom was very honest and respectful. I pictured that anything you wrote here today you would not be ashamed to tell him to his face. That is very classy.

I think it's wonderful when a woman can politely and sincerely share what's bothering her about her husband without being disrespectful about him. I also think it's very sweet when a woman talks lovingly about her spouse. It shows how much they love each other. NOT ooey gooey, but sweet.

Shawn said...

I just like it real! Some of my daughters friends' blogs are so sappy sweet and life is perfect and my hubby is gorgeous and the kids are perfect....blah, blah, blah!!

That is one of the reasons that I like it here in the East---they SAY what they mean--and you just have to deal!

So---do what eveh mood you are in!

Unknown said...

This was EXCELLENT! :) I am NOT alone!

Heidi said...

I loved this! Sitting in comfy pants and all. I shuddered at the white faucets and was thrilled to read that you stood your ground.

Susan said...

It is always nice to know that our husband is not the only one who wouldn't agree to a new bedspread because "they shouldn't cost that much" even after 3 years of pointing out that, in fact, they cost that and MORE!

Shana said...

I have to say, I have a little bit of a Tom streak in me. When I have an idea? I am certain it is THE BEST IDEA EVER! And when it proves to be, um, not so much? I have a hard time admitting that. To the point of continuing to push my INSANELY HORRIBLE IDEA to completion and,ultimately, disastrous results.

But the Christmas is over thing? I'd be rehashing that gem for the rest of my life : )

Stimey said...

I gotta say, this is hilarious. And it reminds me of my husband and his occasional, arbitrary declarations of, "I don't care. I'm just not going to do it," no matter how good my reasons are.