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Archive for the ‘Hubby In Training’ Category

I hate to admit this to you all but I watched an episode of Celebrity Wife Swap this week.  Now, the mere use of the word “celebrity” is probably a stretch given who appears on that show.  And, this probably helps solidify hubby’s position that reality tv is rotting my brain but.. either way, the damage is done.  I watched it.  I cannot undo it.  I lost an hour of my life into a dark abyss of mind-numbing morons.  And, I’m no better… and quite possibly more stupid for having done it.  But oh well…..we all do things we regret!

 

Anyhow, this particular episode featured the Speidi couple.  Spencer Pratt and Heidi what’s her name… from that show that whatchamacallit show, that many people watched but I have no interest or knowledge of (pretty sure it’s called The Hills).  Needless to say, I’m unsure how these nobody’s could be known as “celebrities” because of this show.  But, I suppose it if can happen to somebody named Snookie… this isn’t a far stretch.

 

What struck me as absurd, was this bozo Spencer’s inability to behave like an adult.  Now, I’ve often referred to my own dear hubby as a child.. but this Spencer moron takes it to a whole new level.  His equally vapid wife desperately wants to have children and I got the impression he wouldn’t give up his self-indulgent, extra hour of sleep to tend to his wife’s severed limb much less a crying infant.    If I had ever married this kid (which I wouldn’t) I’d have to smother him during his blissful nap on the lounge chair.

 

So, it got me thinking about men taking that giant leap into adulthood.  Some men go willingly and welcome adult responsibilities – they hum happy songs as they mow the lawn, they make their own “honey do” lists with household projects, they learn all the settings on both the dishwasher and clothes washer. Some men get dragged (or rather nudged) along, kicking and screaming the entire way as they are pushed out of Mommy’s house into their own place so she can finally have an empty nest.. but they return home every weekend with a bag of laundry, they open mom’s cupboards and fridge and pack to-go bags of food, and they even cling desperately to a life with no commitments.  But, the vast majority of men, step into adulthood very slowly, by dipping one toe into the water with a solo trip to the grocery store… then, if all goes well, they may try to vacuum, perhaps an attempt at a pasta dinner, followed possibly by a made bed (WITH all the extra pillows!) and then maybe, just maybe – if they are feeling extra confident… a load of gentle cycle laundry (this one takes a lot of trust ladies!).

 

Before you know it… your husband has become an adult.  Ok wait… I took it too far.  Your husband is on his way to becoming an adult.  We all know that this is a long term project!

 

So… here are just a few ways you know your husband is “growing up”

 

  • He not only takes a trip to the grocery store but he actually looks around the house and in the fridge to create a shopping list. Not long ago hubby wouldn’t have even considered bringing a list to the store but after 10 years of marital training he did just that this past week…. I’m such a proud wife!
  • He returns from his Saturday morning outdoor chores and stands in the house admiring his own lawn. While the lawn itself may not dictate when it needs to be mowed (even though a normal person might disagree)… hubby does , in fact, set aside an official “lawn mowing day” each week and he (generally) sticks to this schedule for the entire summer. A scheduled, recurring, chore is a BIG step towards adulthood!
  • He runs out of undies and decides to do a load of laundry (all on his own!).  I’ll admit this one is still a work in progress… since only recently did I realize the underlying male struggle with understanding the need to wear clean undershorts each and every day. Hubby has, albeit on the rarest of occasions, popped in a load of laundry because he’s run out of something.
  • He, unprompted, puts sunscreen AND a sun hat on your baby/toddler. I know this goes against every fiber of his being to somehow be this domesticated.. but, he recognizes the importance and takes action to protect someone incredibly dear to him!
  • He actually hears the baby crying when it’s “HIS” night, without needing you to nudge him. This is likely never going to apply when it’s YOUR night (and he is obviously deaf).. but always remember this foray into adulthood comes in the form of baby steps……. And this is a BIG step – a BIG kid, taking care of a little kid!
  • He actually notices AND stops to pick up something dropped on your kitchen floor. Once your hubby is able to direct his Selective Vision towards things that actually need attention you’ll know he’s growing up!

 

 

I’m sure there are others and your list may indeed be longer than mine!  Some of the indicators I mentioned above may not actually be perfected in our home.    But as I mentioned before, it’s a long term project.  It’s a marathon, not a sprint.  And, it’s the path I have chosen… each day, my hubby grows up a teeny, tiny, bit.  Someday, hopefully before my son starts catching up to him, he will firmly step into adulthood and then we can begin to hone some of the skills he’s acquired to start coaching our son –so his wife-to-be will not have nearly as much work as I did!!

 

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Last night my hubby was fired.
 

He was obviously slacking on the job.  He had received a warning, and failed to improve his performance.  So, in the low tolerance arena of Christmas Tree Decorating, he was summarily dismissed from his duties.

 

And, this was all driven by my 6 year old nephew.

 

Even my nephew quickly picked up on the fact that hubby likes to lean back in his chair and watch as people around him scramble to complete tasks.   Since he likes to do things on his own timeline, it seems that he was too slow to hang the ornaments and when he decided to sit down on the job, my nephew had enough and told him he was FIRED!

 

I suppose you could look at this one of two ways:

 

1)  My nephew is being taught at a very early age to not tolerate slackers and to not lower his expectations to meet people’s lack-luster performance

OR

2)  He’s being indoctrinated at a very young age into “traditional” male behavior.  Which dictates that you should slack off just enough so that people around you are compelled to finish your task.

 

It’s a sly way of training youngsters.  It’s not overt.   It’s certainly not detailed in any sort of literature (that would undoubtedly provide proof!)  It’s done in plain sight, in a way that doesn’t draw attention, but makes a little boy realize just how much their adult role model can get away with.  And then – the seed is planted.  All that needs to be done is to let it take root, and slowly grow as the boy gets older and dips his toe into the pool of “doing just enough to appear that you are trying - and then allowing someone else to finish the project”

 

It’s either BRILLIANT.   Or MADNESS!   I’m still not sure which.

 

But, I will say this…….There have been many days when I would like to fire hubby. 

 

Like the day when he sat next to me in front of the tv folding laundry.  I had folded 42 different items and hubby had folded 3.  Or the day when I asked him numerous times to move a heavy box into the basement and it sat there for weeks.  Or even the day when I asked him to clean his whiskers out of the sink, only to find that he must have made a swish of his hand with the sponge, and only captured an itty bitty fraction of what was actually in the sink and declared himself to be DONE!

 

"Slightly" adjusted to back up my case!

On all these days I would have liked to say “You’re Fired”.  But I’ve learned over the years that it’s far better (and much more rewarding) to look at him after he’s half-assed a task and happily declare… “You’re NOT fired”.  And, “I’m certain you will do better next time!”

 

Touché dear hubby touché!

 

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As much as I pick on my dear hubby, and as annoying he can be, he truly has moments where he really is a great guy.

 

This past weekend he illustrated, beyond a shadow of a doubt,  that he has the capacity to do truly nice things.

 

Hold on to your hats…. I’m about to drop a doozy on you!

 

This weekend hubby went shopping….. I know, shocking!!!!   (as you know, hubby HATES shopping)

Not only did he go shopping BUT, he went to Costco on a weekend…. yikes!!!

And… here it comes…… he went shopping to buy toilet paper ……. holy crap (no pun intended)!!!!

 

But, my dear blog readers it does not end there.  No it does not.  As if it wasn’t enough that he went out to buy a staple home item, a paper product, a product that he, himself, thinks fairies deliver to our house.  I added one additional item to his shopping list.   An item that breaks all man code.  An item that makes grown men whimper.  An item that relates to a topic that cannot be spoken out loud…..

 

Yes folks……Hubby also went to buy………….tampons …. gasp!!!!    I admit it, I sent my loving husband to do the one thing he abhors (shop) and to make it entirely worse, I asked him to buy female products….. the horror!!!

 

Now, one might say that his agreement alone to purchase this unspoken woman product would show that’s he’s not a bad guy after all.  But the story doesn’t end here.

 

ring-a-ling….. ring-a-ling (that’s my cell phone ringing)

 

“Hi Babe” it’s hubby calling

“Hey, I’m at Costco and I can’t find the tampons you want”

“Well, they’re usually up front by all the toiletries”

“Yeah, that’s where I am, but I don’t see them”

“They should be in a pink box… you really can’t miss them”

“I’m standing here…. Always, Kotex….. pads, panty liners”  he’s now reading the boxes to me – out loud!!

“No hon, those are all pads… not tampons.   You’re in the right area, just move to the tampon section”

“I seriously don’t see them”

“I don’t think that’s possible… maybe they moved them?”

“Geez, I’m gonna have to ask someone”  WOW.. he’s gonna ask someone???????????

“Ok, call me back if you need me”

ring-a-ling….. ring-a-ling (it’s 3 minutes later)

 

“Did you find them?”

“Nope, I asked the woman who works here”

“And?”

“And, she started by asking me if I looked up.  So I replied, Yes.  I know I’m a man, and if it’s not directly eye level we generally don’t see it but I did indeed look up.  So, she walked over to the area with me and helped me look.  And it doesn’t seem like they have any.”

“Awwww babe….. you asked the woman to help you find tampons…..” 

“Yes, and you know, there were a good 5-6 women standing around all giggling at me…”

“Thanks hon”

“So anyway, you’re out of luck.   And oh, by the way, I bought some steaks.”  as if somehow this makes his excursion more Man-ly…….

 

So, there you have it folks.  Either hubby spent a good 30 minutes concocting a story that was detailed enough to explain why he wasn’t coming home with tampons or, he really is a good guy.   I’ll let you be the judge!

 

 

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Hubby’s birthday is mid March.

 

I should start by mentioning this isn’t a “big” birthday year.  He’s didn’t celebrate his Sweet 16 or have his first legal drink.  He’s not turning the BIG 5-0 or hitting his retirement age of 65.  It’s a random birthday, a random age and, in general, unless you’re a 5 year old and counting your years in quarters & halves, it should probably just pass with some well wishes and a few beers.

 

But hubby, in his ever-so-celebratory way, declared March to be his “Birthday Month”.  And he followed up this declaration with a mandate that all people around him must bend to his wishes, heed his requests and support his insanity.

 

Case in point..

 

Hubby:  “I think we should have burritos tonight”

Me:  “But we just had burritos yesterday..”

Hubby:  “Yes, but it’s my birthday month”

 

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

 

Me: “Do you think you could pick up the laundry from your side of the bed?”

Hubby: “Nope, sorry…… It’s my birthday month.   No laundry shall be picked up”

 

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

 

Me:  “Hon, you’re not really gonna wear that, are you?”

Hubby: “You’re not allowed to be mean to me”

Me:  “What?”

Hubby: “You must be nice to me….it’s my birthday month”

 

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

 

Me:  “Do we really need to watch the millionth episode in a row of Operation Repo?”

Hubby: “This show is incredibly, stupidly fantastic!”

Me: “But, it’s been on for hours”

Hubby:  “Yes it has…. it’s my birthday month”

 

Hopefully you are getting the picture.   I literally had to hear this statement multiple times a day, for all 31 days of March.    

 

Regrettably, use of this ingenious tactic really did deliver some great results. He often got to eat or watch what he wanted.  He got people to do extra things for him.  People were generally nicer and was he pretty successful at guilting people into letting him have his way.  (I just hate when his behavior is rewarded like this…. it’s like conditioning that guarantees we’ll see it again next year…… uggggghhhhhhhh!) :-)

 

Conversely, I’ve started using similar logic, to declare this to be my birthday year…. but it doesn’t seem to be having the same effect!

 

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It’s probably a yearly or maybe even an every-few-year occurrence, that hubby needs to “replenish” almost his entire wardrobe.

 

Key indicators that it’s time would include:

  • Frayed Jeans with worn knees
  • Holey underwear
  • Shrunken & stained t-shirts
  • The inability to zip up pants

 

It’s certainly no secret that hubby hates to shop.  There’s rarely a day that he will willingly enter the mall.. not even when the required purchases are for himself.

 

And… on the rarest of occasions, it’s not just the staples that need replenishing.  Every other leap year, on the 5th Tuesday of the month, when Mercury is in retrograde, hubby admits that he requires a shopping experience that’s slightly more complicated than running into Target to buy a package of boxer briefs.

 

So, when this dreadful day comes around, hubby is anything but excited to make the painful trek to the mall to get the necessary items.   And, this past weekend we hit the tipping point.

 

You see, hubby likes to wear things until they disintegrate.  So, as he picked up one of his last pairs of jeans and they melted away in his hands, he knew he couldn’t wait any longer.  Plus, it was a holiday weekend so there would be sales (HOORAY – hubby is picking up my frugal gene!).  But, as we start discussing our shopping tactics, hubby informs me that it’s not just jeans that are in need of replacing.  As you know, another major indicator of needing new clothes is an altered body state (usually known as more or less weight).  And, my dear hubby has been hitting the gym (and looking damn good if I do say so myself…. YUM!  ok, back to my story…)  Anyhoo… hubby’s shoulders are much broader and, in general, his body shape is vastly different, so there are many things that don’t fit him.  This makes him miserable – not the fact that he’s looking good – but the fact that he’s brought this on himself and now he needs a full-fledged shopping day.  As you can imagine, the thought of having to visit multiple stores, to shop for multiple items, is taking it’s toll on dear hubby.

 

He needs suits, sport coats, jeans, dress shirts and even some summer clothes – since we finally just book a beach vacation (Yippppeeeeee!).  And, these cannot all be purchased at the same place.  So, we head off to make hubby more miserable as we plan our attack on the local stores.  And then, the grumbling begins..

 

“I hate the mall…………”

“I don’t know which jeans I like” as he stares at every imaginable number of Levi’s

“I can’t believe how expensive these are….”

“I don’t wanna try anything on…..”

 

I swear, it’s like shopping with a 5 year old… but worse.  Since this 5 year old understands the value of money and actually has his own thoughts about what looks good (however misguided they may be) don’t forget this is the guy who used to wear white socks & black shoes!

 

Needless to say, we survive the outing.  We spend like 16 cajillion dollars  (Holy CRAP!  Suits are expensive) and we head home after rewarding hubby with ice cream for being so good (ok, this didn’t really happen, but it probably should have).

 

Then, when we get back to our house.  We’re barely in the door and hubby is headed down to the man cave.  When I ask where he’s going he tells me……

 

“I need to go play video games to relax and relieve myself of all the trauma caused by a day of shopping”.

“Uhmmmm… ok, you go relax and unwind dear, I know it was a rough day…..  I’ll just be here cleaning the kitchen, starting some laundry, cooking dinner, paying bills……and… and… and…”

 

I guess that’s the price I pay to have a well-dressed, stylish husband, in clothes that fit..  *sigh*

 

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Some of you may remember the first time I stumbled on the idea of using Aversion Therapy to get hubby to do stuff around the house.   No, I didn’t decide to electrocute him, or burn him, or even really harm him in any way.  I decided to use a tasty little snack (aka Marino’s Italian Ice) to try a far more subtle tactic…… a tiny annoyance that sounds something like this

 

Scraaaaaaaaaaaaaape………

Scraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaape……

Scraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaape.

 

See it’s not that bad to you & me.  BUT, to hubby it’s excruciating!

 

What I didn’t know at the time was that, when you put something out in the blogosphere, sometimes – just sometimes -  you are granted a wish that you didn’t even know you wanted.

 

And that, my dear blog readers, is what happened to me about a week ago.

 

I was idly checking my email (hoping for blog comments!) and I found a message from someone who had come across my post during a Google search.

 

The note this person wrote me went something like this:

 

Dear Admin,

We understand your hubby can be annoying.  We’re so happy that our product could provide such a service to you.  We want to encourage you to continue to use our product.  It’s customers like you that help to make us proud of what we sell.  We came across your blog while casually searching for customer feedback on our product, and we were so entertained by what you wrote we’d like to send you something special.  Well, what we’d actually like to do is become an accomplice in your Aversion Therapy.  Please keep an eye on your mail for a special surprise that should aid you in tormenting hubby. 

And, so it began.

 

The person who actually wrote that email (or a note not quite or maybe not remotely like that email) was actually someone from Marino’s Italian Ice (if you don’t remember my Aversion Therapy post you can read it HERE).  And, even though my rendition of their email may be slightly exaggerated, they did indeed like my post and they did indeed offer to send me a “surprise”.

 

Now I do love surprises and it’s as if I now had an accomplice to help torture….. I mean train…. I mean….. bother (?) hubby.   HOORAY!  I was hoping for a year’s supply of ices. I mean, could you imagine having my pick of flavors to taunt hubby all year round?   I could have Italian Ice Parties where I invited over friends.  I could peel the caps off and leave them around the house as ominous reminders for hubby of what might be in store for him, if chores are undone.   I could eat cherry ones if he doesn’t clean the counter…… Lemon if he walks over stuff on the stairs…. Watermelon if he leaves toothpaste in the sink.  It could be a RAINBOW OF TORTURE!!  (ok, the excitement got the best of me …. breath….. just breath……)

 

So…. I waited each and every day for my surprise to arrive in the mail.   As days passed and it didn’t arrive, I began to accuse hubby of absconding with my surprise since it was guaranteed to have negative effects on him.

 

Day one passed – no surprise yet……

Day two passed – “Hubby, did you get a package for me today?”  “Nope”

Day three passed – “Hubby, are you sure you’re not hiding a package for me”  “Nope”

Day four passed - “I’m sure you’ve received the package and you’ve already destroyed it’s contents….”  “Nope”

Day five passed - Hmmmmm…. I wonder what they are sending me……???

 

Modeling my uniform & "tools"

 

And then, one day, I head out to the mailbox to find a manila envelope.

 

I come skipping into the house… “It’s arrived!  It’s arrived!”  And, when I open the envelope I find that Marino’s sent me the perfect uniform AND the necessary tools of a Aversion Therapist (aka Torturer). 

 

"Keep Up The Good Work!" AND a smiley!

 

I’m equipped with just about everything I need for months of training..

And even some words of encouragement from my accomplices!!

(They’ve written on the envelope “Keep Up The Good Work!”)

 

 

 

Lemme practice a little……

  • “You’re not gonna put those shoes on the table are you???  Scraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaape
  • “You forgot to take out the garbage”  Scraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaape
  • “I found 6 empty soda cans in the basement today”  Scraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaape

 

Ahhhhhh hubby…… it’s gonna be a   L    O    N    G  time until you can rest easy……………………..

 

Thank you Marino’s!   (and hubby thanks you too…. even if he isn’t willing to say it just yet…….just gimme some time with my wooden spoons and he’ll be thanking you before you know it!)

 

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I’ve written before about hubby’s selective vision and his inability to notice even the smallest of details.  And, just last week I mentioned that hubby has a unique ability to ignore even the largest of details (like say, a 5 foot tv box in the hallway….)

 

But there are a couple of scenarios that repeat themselves over and over at our house and I have to admit… I think I’ll be forever baffled by them.

 

Today I’d like to highlight 2 of these situations and I’ll simply ask you.  Who’s the crazy one here?

 

SCENARIO #1

 

On a regular basis I like to straighten up our house.. (I know, I’m freakin’ crazy like that!!)

 

One of my regular de-cluttering techniques is to make the rounds throughout the lower level of our house and grab everything that belongs on the upper level.  I then take these items and I place them on one of the stairs.  They then sit on the bottom stairs while they await their final journey to their proper place upstairs.  They are in plain sight and a constant, subtle (yet obvious) reminder for anyone heading upstairs to not head up with empty arms-a-swinging…. Or so I thought.

 

  • You’d probably assume that the next time hubby goes upstairs he’ll grab a few things to bring them to the bedroom…. BUT…. you’d be wrong.
  • You may therefore assume that the items on the stairs are too tiny to garner attention… BUT…. you’d be wrong.
  • You may also think that the items are possibly so few that they are crammed into a corner of the stairs and are easily avoided when walking upstairs…. BUT…. you’d be wrong!

 

It actually requires skillful avoidance tactics and deliberate, nimble footwork to ascend the stairs without disturbing these items.  This apparently is a skill hubby has honed without even realizing it.  It’s simply amazing to me how many trips he can make upstairs without carrying or seemingly noticing, the pile of stuff taking up 90% of the first two steps!  It’s a miracle he hasn’t hurt himself trying to step OVER these items to go upstairs!

 

Just a quick sidebar:  In speaking with others, I’ve heard that this style of “cleaning” is not that uncommon.  Many other women have mentioned that they too, place items on the stairs to carry up at a later time.  The interesting commonality seems to be that almost all men seem to be oblivious to the concept of carrying said items upstairs.    What gives men???

 

SCENARIO #2

 

Our laundry room is in the basement.  The basement is also hubby’s man cave.  These 2 pieces of information are very relevant to this story.

 

It’s not all that uncommon for me to open the door to the basement and toss down items that need to go to the laundry room.  Now, just so you don’t think I’m stripping down naked in the kitchen and tossing down dirty clothes… I don’t toss down just anything.  I only toss down something that needs to be washed that isn’t going into our dirty laundry basket upstairs.  This would include things like kitchen or bathroom hand towels or maybe swimming pool towels.  These items wind up at the bottom of the stairs and they sit there until the next time one of us goes into the basement, when they get moved into the laundry room…… Or so I thought.

 

Since hubby’s man cave is the basement, he inevitably spends WAY more time down there than I do.  I really only go into the basement to do laundry.   So on any given week, hubby will have been in and out of the basement anywhere from 4-5 times more than me.  And, he must step over and maneuver his way around anything at the bottom of the stairs to get to his video games.  It’s simply mind boggling to me that he can literally step over these towels and never even think to pick them up.

 

So, one day I go down to the basement to ask hubby a quick question while he’s playing video games.  I get to the bottom of the stairs and lo and behold, what do I see – a pile of towels.  So I say to hubby “Hon, how hard was it to step OVER these towels to get to the couch” and what do you think his response is….. “Ummmm… What towels?”.  Aarrrrrggghhhhh.  So, ever-so-sweetly I respond,  “The towels that are sitting here, at the bottom of the stairs.  The ones that need to go to the laundry room. The ones that created an obstacle for you to get to the video games.” “Oh”  he says, “I didn’t see them”.  Annoyed at how oblivious he is, I turn around and walk upstairs.  Mind you… the towels are still sitting there.

 

Eventually hubby comes back up and we go about our evening.  A day or two later I head down to do laundry.   I’ll give you a moment to guess what I found……

 

Yep, you know it, those damn towels are still sitting at the bottom of the stairs.   This means that hubby stepped over them, not just on the way down but ALSO on the way back up, without ever giving one thought to picking them up and moving them.   Maybe just maybe, this has something to do with hubby not realizing that linens are indeed laundry (if you haven’t read that post you can find it here) Or maybe it’s a more basic and universal question:  Why is it that men, many of whom claim that they hate to dance, can swiftly dance their way around anything in the way on the stairs?

 

I’d venture a guess that 1 out of every 5 or so times, hubby will actually recognize that there are items that need attention.  And while I really do try to celebrate small successes, this one is just to small to warrant celebration!

 

Ladies…. please share how you’ve successfully “trained” the men in your life to pick up those items on the stairs??  Obviously I could use some suggestions!

 

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