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Posts Tagged ‘bigger is better’

My dear hubby is like most men.  He generally believes bigger is better, that having more, or extras, or being faster, or longer somehow makes his experience vastly superior and ensures that when he compares notes with his buddies he can tell the taller tale.

 

The interesting thing is that men, who seem to constantly “one-up” each other do it with such finesse and in such a way, that no one is ever offended.  That rather than be annoyed that your buddy is one-upping you, it’s accepted as a challenge to go further, or buy bigger or construct larger.    Ah…  the male mentality.  Always in competition with everyone around you.

 

Well, today’s post isn’t about the usual one-upmanship.  The gathering of bells and whistles that would make hubby the better man.

 

It’s actually about quite the opposite.    Hubby’s admission that he’d be fine with less……  Yes, folks, I said less……..

 

Now if you’d ask me, I’d have a # of examples of situations where less is in fact, preferred.

 

So I bring to you a story about a recent shopping excursion.  Against hubby’s grumblings, I drag him to Costco to pick up some bulk items.  As we’re walking the aisles, something catches hubby’s eye.   Something that likely won’t surprise many of you…. The cookie aisle.

 

If you recall, I have a dreadful time keeping cookies in my house.   On any given day, I can go to the cabinet and pull out, what I thought would be a full cookie package, and find 2 cookies and crumbs left for me.   Hubby has no self-control when it comes to eating cookies and, as I’ve been told by my loving husband, if I can’t get my share quick enough, then I might just have to go without.   Alas, this is the life I’ve chosen.   I suppose I could be subjected to far worse than a husband who can’t share cookies.   I mean if I had other challenges, I’d have enough stories to write a blog about how annoying my hubby can be……. OH, WAIT………………………..

 

Anyhow, back to Costco.

 

Hubby comes upon a 90 lb box of Oreos.   All of a sudden there’s a hop in his step, a light in his eye….and he skips over to the box.  As he’s placing the box in our cart, I say to him.   “You know, these are regular Oreos.   I’ve been buying double stuff ones from the grocery store.  Are you sure you want these, they’re not the same!?”.    And, he looks at me like I have 5 heads and replies “Uhm, yeah… they’re Oreos.”  And, he might as well finished that sentence with “DUH!”.   But, I feel like I’ve done my part.  I’ve stated out loud they’re not the ones he’s used to.  The last 4-5 times I bought the double stuffed version, but he’s confirmed, he’s ok with LESS.   Well….. okie dokie….everyone, who’s anyone, knows they aren’t even remotely the same but who I am to argue??

 

How can you even compare folks??

Regular Oreos

Double Stuff Oreos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we get home, Hubby plows his way into the box.  After he’s on his 5th or 6th cookies he declares…”you know, these aren’t the same at all.  We shouldn’t buy these again.  They don’t have enough stuff”.  And, I remain silent because I know that less is never enough for hubby, even if he doesn’t know it himself…….

 

By the way, do you know how long a 90 lb box of Oreos lasts?   Approx 1.2 weeks… and I think I ate about 6 of them.   So, I suppose the lesson is that less can indeed be enough when there are no other cookies in the house……………..SIGH………………..

 

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Man Rule:  If it isn’t the biggest…. it can’t be the best  …. Right??

 

My TV post earlier this week got me thinking about this bigger is better theory.  This is one particular Man Rule that creeps up on me sometimes, even when I least expect it. 

 

You see, I don’t feel the need to have the biggest anything.  Small things can still be fantastic and I generally prefer performance & quality over size.  (this post is starting to sound sexual…. It’s not meant to be… although I suppose this could be the first Woman Rule since some of the same principles do indeed apply!)

 

Men always want women to say that size doesn’t matter but in actuality, it matters tremendously…… to THEM! 

 

In a man’s mind, size is a physical display of manliness (get your mind out of the gutter!). It’s a way to illustrate your success, or dominance to the outside world.  Size comparisons also breed competition, which is a cornerstone of the male psyche.mine is bigger

 

Vinnie’s TV was an example of how size gives you bragging rights when you’re a man.  We all know how important competition and bragging rights can be to a fragile male ego…

Some examples of male “competition”:

  • My team is better than your team
  • I can grow a better beard than you can
  • I can eat more hot dogs than you can
  • I’m the Guitar Hero Champion
  • I can toss this wedding ring into that cup more times than you can

 

Most of those examples are performance based competitions BUT

When a man sees that he can “win” the competition by way of a physical object instead of actual effort, well…. you can guess which route he takes!

 

Hubby illustrates this behavior quite regularly. Most recently with Electronics Envy, not long ago with our new fridge purchase (in case you missed the post — hubby insisted we buy biggest/coolest fridge on the block).  And even more recently with our pumpkins.   Yes, I did say pumpkins  (I told you this man rule creeps up on me sometimes!).

 

Every year we take our nephews out to pick & carve pumpkins.  Hubby likes to egg them on when they chose what he considers to be pumpkins that are too “puny” (keep in mind these kids are 4 & 6 yrs old, so” puny” pumpkins to hubby is certainly a decent size for the kids).

 

world-record-pumpkin

Thank God, this one was not available

Anyhow this year, as we’re perusing the pumpkin selection, hubby is drawn to the biggest pumpkin there.   This is a pumpkin that I might refer to as “too big”, but hubby refers to as “perfect”.  He bullies the kids into selecting it.  Ok, maybe bully is too strong a word.  Other choices might be:  Coaxing the kids?  Applying to their young male egos?  Training them early on the “bigger is better” man rule?  Whatever you want to call it, we wind up buying this ridiculously big pumpkin.  He’s so proud of his selection that he actually wants me to “carry it” for a minute to see how heavy it is.  This is his effort at covert bragging… in his head he’s saying…  “see, my pumpkin is bigger & better than yours”.  Needless to say I don’t play along.

 

Pumpkins get loaded into the car and we carve them with the kids at home.  All the while hubby is still training the nephews…. 

 

“See how my pumpkin is bigger than Aunt Shell’s?”

“Whose pumpkin do you like better… mine or Aunt Shell’s?”

“Isn’t the big pumpkin cool?”

“Aren’t you glad we picked out the biggest & best pumpkin?”

 

It’s hardcore little boy training at it’s best.  The kids are initially resistant but they soon seem to realize that the BIGGER pumpkin is obviously the BETTER pumpkin.  Hubby glows with joy & pride.

 

How does this story end?

 

Well, our pumpkins are happily displayed on our stoop…. hubby’s large pumpkin dwarfing my “puny” pumpkin.   It would seem that hubby has indeed won two competitions.  The one against me that I wasn’t really playing in the first place.  And the imaginary one he’s playing against the neighbors now that his HUGE pumpkin is on display for the entire world to see.  He is obviously taunting Vinnie…. who may indeed have the bigger TV, but obviously hubby has the better pumpkin.

 

And… all I can do is shake my head……………

 

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Many people say that bigger is better.

 

As far as men go, I think the best example of this theory can be seen with TVs.  If I had to guess, I’d say that TV Envy is probably a pretty common male trait.   And, as you may have read in my Marriage TruthsA TV is never big enough.

 

Somehow a man is a better man, with a big TV.  It’s some sort of an outward and unspoken sign of; manliness, importance and coolness, all rolled into one.

 

Let me share some examples:

 

During our basement Man Cave renovation, hubby was given a 50”Class TV … but, what the box actually said was… 49.9”.  And, he was “mocked” relentlessly by his friends that he didn’t have a 50” TV.  (gotta love boys being boys!).  We wound up having a problem with this TV and when we replaced it, hubby got a TV that was officially 52 inches.  (phew.…all is right with the world!)

 

Why am I thinking about this now?  Well, I’d like to share a story from this past week.

 

Hubby was outside mowing the lawn.  The end of his “chore season” is upon us.  No more outdoor work  = no more hubby chores?  (Hold on just one sec… there’s no way that’s gonna work.  I guess that’s a post for a different day……) Anyhow, he’s outside and our neighbor pulls into his driveway.  I have to be honest, I’m not sure if hubby went over to chat him up OR he came over to puff out his chest…(the meaning of this will become clear in a moment).  But, either way they wind up talking for a while outside.

 

Hubby comes inside not long after his conversation with our neighbor.

 

Hubby:  “Guess what Vinny got!” childlike enthusiasm

Me:  “What?”

Hubby:  “He just bought a new TV!”

Me: only half listening “That’s nice”

Hubby: “It’s 55 inches!!”  hubby is drooling with envy

Me: “You have a big TV” still not entirely paying attention

Hubby: “Not that big” pouting

Me: “Sorry honey, I can only imagine how hard it is to not have the biggest TV on the block anymore”

Dramatic pause..

Hubby:  “Guess what…”

Me:  “What?

Hubby:  “Well, Vinny couldn’t fit the TV AND his family into the car so he left them at the store”

Me: “ WHAT?” ok… I’m listening now..

Hubby:  “He had Lynn and the kids with him and they couldn’t all fit in the car so, he brought the TV home and left them there” obviously proud of Vinny’s ingenuity

Me: “Wait.. he left Lynn & the kids at the store and brought the TELEVISION home??”

Hubby: “Yep!” as if this was the only decision that makes any sense

Me: “I’m still not sure I get it… the TV came home BEFORE his family?”

Hubby:  smiling “Yep!”

 

Now, before you all start to question the sanity & behavior of Vinny… please understand that I later found out that he didn’t actually leave them at the store.  He took them to a neighboring store to do more shopping while he brought the TV home.  But, in true hubby-storytelling-form I was not getting all the information until I asked about 10 follow-up questions.

 

So,  based on the following behaviors:

  • Vinny’s behavior:  Coming over to ”puff out his chest” and show off his new TV
  • Hubby’s behavior:  Supporting the decision to put the TV above all else

 

The following things appear to be true:

  • Men seem to feel the need to outdo each other at every turn when it comes to electronics. 
  • Electronics seem to always get their attention even when other important things are involved.
  • The tide can turn rather quickly, once another man makes a new purchase.

 

Do I even need to tell you what hubby talked about for the next hour?? 

 

Well, we discussed how we could rearrange our house to accommodate a 70” TV.  Or perhaps this could better be described as hubby discussing rearranging for a new imaginary TV… WITH HIMSELF.

 

(I don’t think he’s realized that he’s not the only one who can employ Selective Listening when it’s necessary!!  🙂 )

 

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