I have coined my own term for my dear hubby.
At our home he is affectionately known as an AWFULIZER.
You may recall in my post just last week, that I live a life of extremes. Well I don’t, myself, necessarily live in extremes, but anyone who is in close proximity to hubby, must ride the pendulum with him as it swings from one side clear across to the other. (This is not to say that hubby is manic or depressed or needs to be medicated… hmmmm… unless…… nahhhhh, estrogen in his coffee doesn’t count….) He just happens to be someone who let’s stress get the best of him sometimes!
Hubby apparently comes from a family line of awfulizers…. So says my mother-in-law, who suffers her own version of extreme living, with, let’s call him… Awfulizer Sr.
Hubby can create his own version of events that automatically assumes the worse possible outcomes, the most extreme circumstances and the highest levels of stress.
Let me share some examples:
My version: The lights flicker in our new car and we should take it to the shop
Hubby’s version: This car is the biggest piece of crap we’ve ever owned and it will never be fixed, and driving it is ruining his life
My version: We should power wash & seal/paint the deck this summer year
Hubby’s version: If we don’t power wash & seal the deck NOW, this will be the year it crumbles to the ground
My version: Hubby has had a challenging work week
Hubby’s version: He’ll never get all this work done, clients will be pissed and he will obviously be fired.
As you can see, the behavioral pattern of an awfulizer basically takes something that’s somewhat less than ideal and makes it into something that’s too overwhelming, completely unmanageable, horrible, terrible and totally unfixable. Basically, well, just plain AWFUL!
Perhaps my most memorable experience of awfulizing came the year we took on a major outdoor renovation project. It was: The Year Of The Pool.
After lots of badgering, hubby finally convinced me to agree to put in an in-ground swimming pool. Now, if you’ve ever undertaken a project such as this, you know that it can be incredibly stressful, a bit overwhelming and very frustrating. You have to deal with decisions of style, size, tile, location, filter type … blah… blah…. blah…. Then, after you’ve made all these decisions, you have to deal with tons of contractors and complete and utter destruction of your backyard. Have I mentioned that hubby doesn’t handle stress well????
So, we debated back and forth and over and over, on where the pool should go and how big it should be. And, we finally came to a decision we were both happy with. I should mention that much of this conversation was hubby saying.. “I really think it should be bigger”….” “maybe it could be deeper”….”I think just a little bit longer..”. Don’t forget folks.. Bigger is Always Better! Right??!!
So, the day comes for them to dig the hole. And, if you’ve never seen a huge gaping hole in your backyard before it becomes a swimming pool, then you probably can’t imagine the shock on hubby’s face when he saw how frickin’ huge it was. Panic sets in. “What have we done??? I think we ruined our backyard” he declares. I try to talk him down and eventually he grows to accept that what’s done is done. Crisis #1 averted.
Then the day comes for them to pour our concrete patio. I’m actually not home for this but I get a call at work…. “Oh my God…it’s huge. What have we done? We have no grass left! I think we’ve ruined our backyard”. He once again declares. I calmly try to talk him down.. and he grows to accept that what’s done is done..” Crisis #2 averted.
I’m sure I can keep going… but I’m going to guess that you’re starting to get the picture here. I can assure you that by the time our pool build was complete, I was on crisis # 428,623.
I think the most important comment about hubby’s awfulizing is that, after he’s had some time and a bit of distance from whatever is causing him stress, he realizes that it’s actually not as bad as he thought it was. And, that all that stress he put himself through was truly exhausting (not just for him… but for me too!)
And, just so you know how that pool project turned out:
Once hubby started to see the big picture and we were at a point where we could put out lounge chairs, he realized that he was totally happy with all our decisions. He’s completely happy with the size of the pool & the patio and we do indeed have plenty of grassy area left. And, just for the record.. we did not “ruin our backyard”.
Do you have an “awfulizer” in your life? Or maybe you, yourself are an “awfulizer”? If you have a story, please feel free to share!