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Posts Tagged ‘Nagging’

Ok.. so like every post I write lately, I will start with an apology for dropping off the face of the earth.   I’ve been traveling for work 2 weeks out of the last 3.  We’ve had to deal with a sick baby with a fever for days (and shockingly, I mean the real baby, not the hubby).  And, I also somehow need to fit in all the stuff that life throws at me.. all this, while maintaining the ever-so-late bedtime of about 9:00pm since our wonderful little bundle of joy is still filling our lives with “joyous” sleepless nights.  It’s hard to squeeze in blogging time in between a work day that ends at 7pm, the baby’s dinner, my dinner, bath time and the baby’s bedtime all before I collapse from exhaustion at 9:00.

 

Anyhoooooo…..

 

You may recall from past posts that sometimes, only sometimes, I do what some might refer to as nag.

 

I prefer to call it reminding…… over and over and over and over and over………….

 

You may also recall that hubby has a severe case of Selective Vision.  In that, he has the unique ability to not actually see what’s directly in front of him… in plain sight, day, after day, after day.

 

So, it might come as no surprise to you when I tell you that the below picture is a bag that’s sitting beside the dresser in our bedroom.   Now, at first glance you say “Eh, no biggie….. it’s obviously holding important items” or you may think “What’s the big deal… it’s a pretty tiny bag that’s barely noticeable”.  But, let me share a few facts about this bag:

christmas gifts

  • It’s literally right next to the door to the bedroom so you see it (or at least I see it) Every. Single. Time.  I go into the room.
  • It’s also right outside the door to the bathroom…. So, if you were sitting on the toilet with the door open (not that we ever do this………) you would be staring straight at it
  • It’s been sitting in this spot for approximately 2 ½ months
  • Prior to sitting in it’s current spot, it was sitting in our living room for approximately 1 month  (and then I got SICK of looking at it all day long and moved it to it’s current – AND APPARENTLY FINAL – resting place in the bedroom)

 

Perhaps the most perplexing fact about this bag is it’s contents………….

 

Wanna guess what’s in it?

 

Wait for it….. it’s a good one……………..

 

The bag is filled with an assortment of hubby’s Christmas presents.   YES, you read that correctly……. It’s holding friggin Christmas presents.  And, just in case, you need clarification on this.  TODAY is April 17th.  Christmas WAS December 25th.

 

These are apparently items of little-to-no urgency… hubby is obviously saving them for a rainy day (literally….. a rainy day…. one of the items is a poncho for him to wear at Giants games during inclement weather).  Another item is actually remnants of the actual gift… you see, the bag is still holding a shoe box from a new pair of kicks he received.  He’s worn the new sneakers but, heck, why ever get rid of the box when you can leave it in a bag, in the bedroom…… F-O-R-E-V-E-R????????????????

 

These are likely gifts that require thinking about where they should live permanently…… and, if it’s not completely obvious about where an item should be put away…. Hubby’s solution is to NEVER put it away.   LUCKY ME!

 

being a nag

So, I ask you this……. I have not nagged about this bag once…. Nope, not one single time.  I quietly moved it upstairs.  I silently walk past it every day.  I bite my lip as I move it around the room so the cleaning ladies can vacuum.  BUT, I have not nagged one time.   So… after almost 4 months, if I were to remind him about this bag…. (since it’s obviously a permanent fixture in our room and he no longer sees it) would it in fact be nagging?????????????????

 

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I’ve mentioned before that sometimes this blog serves as great therapy for me.  This is to say that when I watch hubby step over stuff laying on the floor, leave whiskers all over the bathroom sink, or I throw away the umpteenth empty soda can from the kitchen counter…. rather than have silent conversations with myself about how to smother hubby in his sleep, I jot down a note to blog about it.

 

It’s become a tool for me to vent my frustrations about hubby’s clueless male behavior without picking a fight over Every-Single-Stupid-Thing he does around our house.  This is not to say that I’ve mastered the art of not nit-picking.  My will power to ignore every overlooked thing, or crumb, or untouched project, can only go so far.  But for me it’s helped to solicit comments from other poor people all over the world, who lovingly deal with schmos of their own.  So, if you’re a lurker here and never comment, this is the time you should share a story of your own!! (It’ll make you feel good!)

 

Anyhow, many of you know that hubby is a regular blog reader.   This can bring about a very unique set of circumstances after I post an entry. You see, I almost never tell hubby what I’m going to write about.  The topic (and my feelings about the topic) comes a surprise to him each time I post and sometimes it leads to conversations after the fact.  And, some of these conversations are pretty dang funny.

 

When I first started this blog, I discussed it with hubby.  I offered to share everything I wrote with him prior to posting.  He insisted this wasn’t necessary.   As much as I pick on him (and as moronic as he can be) we really do have a happy marriage.  The last thing I wanted to do was share something with the blogosphere that truly upset him.  The agreement we came to was that I wouldn’t make anything up, I’d only post things that were completely true.  Hubby told me “nothing is off limits”.  And so, off I went to share his absurdity with all of you.

 

Now, as you can imagine, sometimes he reads a replay of our conversations and he laughs out loud at how ridiculous he sounds.  Sometimes our friends comment to him about how nutty his idiosyncrasies really are.  Sometimes wives of our friends comment about how similar their husbands are. And sometimes, hubby gets so caught up in the story about something he did wrong, it makes him see it through different eyes.  Yes folks, these are my happiest moments.  It’s the days when I’ve blogged about him ignoring something that’s been blatantly awaiting his attention that, miraculously, the item is put away that night.  Don’t get me wrong. this isn’t normal.. but it does happen.

 

Then, there are the days where he’s read an entry and he wants to point out things that I forgot to share, or he wants to provide follow-up information.  These conversations usually start something like this….. ” in that bowl post, you forgot that I need to use certain spoons for certain things..” or “you didn’t mention that remote I left on the stairs for months…”  It actually cracks me up that hubby wants to rat himself out and provide me with additional blog fodder.

 

So, this week when he laughed about the fact that I quoted him as saying he “hates California“.. he followed that up with, “you know, I hate Pennsylvania too”.  So, of course, like I normally do when hubby says something that makes no sense…. I respond with “what the heck are you talking about.. what’s there to hate about PA?”.  And, with the straightest face he says… “Well, when you drive all the way out west, the PA turnpike sucks.. And, of course, there’s all those Eagles fans (hubby is a die hard Giants fan with season tickets).   So, I pretty much hate PA too”.

 

So even though hubby seems to be alienating all of my blog readers, one state at a time, I can tell you that his next comment about my last post was… “so I guess we’re going to Northern Cal this year, huh?”   And, I guess it goes without saying, that it was hard to mask the tiny little smirk that began to form on my face… as I celebrated another small, but successful, output from my blog — It looks like I just may be sipping wine in Napa sometime in the near future!!! HOOOORAAAAAAY!

 

(Do you think if my next 10 posts are about wanting a renovated bathroom, that maybe it could possibly happen this year too??????????)  🙂

 

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It’s no surprise that hubby and I don’t necessarily prioritize things in the same order. I’d actually venture a guess that most men & women, when given the same list of tasks, would put them in severely contrasting order.

 

So, it should go without saying that if hubby and I had to prioritize the following things, our lists might differ tremendously

 

“Bigger” tasks that need attention:

  • Fixing an outdoor light
  • Fixing our kitchen cabinet
  • Replacing the railing in the basement
  • Replacing our sliding door
  • Replacing a basement window

 

Now, you’ll notice, I’ve only listed 5 tasks (off my list of, oh say, 40-50 projects)  3 of which are OUTDOOR so would actually require attention BEFORE it gets too cold outside.

 

So, here’s my priority list:

  1. Replace the sliding door (we’ve actually had the replacement door in the garage for over 6 months – yes, I couldn’t make this up… we’ve had it ALL summer)
  2. Replace the basement window (this has needed replacement since the day we moved into this house – almost 5 years ago!)
  3. Fix the outdoor light (it just broke this summer and we already have a replacement fixture in the garage)
  4. Replace the railing in the basement (for safety reasons… so no one falls down our stairs!)
  5. Fix the kitchen cabinet (this is a BIG one… and it goes last because we really need to make a firm decision to do a small modification or a massive kitchen renovation)

 

Here’s hubby’s priority list:

  1. Research motorcycles on line
  2. Buy new motorcycle
  3. Ride new motorcycle (because, and I quote, “this needs to happen BEFORE it gets too cold outside”)
  4. Clean a section of the garage (to store motorcycle)
  5. Play video games (this pretty much occupies any leftover time……)

 

Perhaps you noticed something about hubby’s list. YES, you are correct…. It doesn’t actually address any of the tasks!!  And, therein lies my challenge.

 

If my dear hubby would put as much (or even a fraction) of the energy into something he doesn’t like as he does into something he likes, I’d be willing to bet my list of 50 projects would only have about 6-7 left. But, he’s a man… and he focuses on the things that bring him happiness. These things obviously don’t include tasks that keep our house warm during the winter (like say, a sliding door that the wind can’t blow through).

 

Now, I can assure you that if I had things on that list like: Buy a New TV or Install Surround Sound, I’d bet my bottom dollar that they would have made it onto hubby’s list. I might even go so far as to say they could possibly bump playing video games down to #7 or #8. But alas, this seems to be yet another battle that I cannot win….. so yes, I continue to nag. If only men would realize that nagging is actually a conditioned response to their own behavior… they would live in a much happier world!.

 

There’s a relatively simple formula to have a happy home (in addition to cleaning ladies!).

 

Acknowledgment of a task + Completion of a task = No Nagging.

 

Now if only I could get hubby to be better at math!

 

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I know, I know…. I’ve been a little MIA.  That’s because I’ve been traveling for work and, with meetings starting at 8:00am and running through dinner, it’s been a bit difficult to find time to blog.

 

Whenever I travel for business I always wonder how my home is faring without me.  I wonder how many soda cans have accumulated in the kitchen, how much toothpaste is in the bathroom sink and if the dust bunnies from our dog’s hair have woven together to make a new carpet for our hardwood floor.

 

Hubby does his best to “clean” the house before I come home.  As you may know, my definition of clean and hubby’s definition of clean are somewhat disconnected but… he does indeed put in a commendable effort.

 

The one thing that’s a given anytime I travel for multiple days is the status of our mail.

 

Mail is an interesting thing in our house… It’s one of MY chores.  Not the bringing in of the mail… this is generally a shared activity (depending on who passes the mailbox first).  “My” chore begins after the mail has arrived on my kitchen counter.

 

Now, you should probably understand that one of my other chores is paying the bills and general organization of our financial paperwork.  So, I suppose it makes some sense that a secondary responsibility for me would be mail.  However, it becomes somewhat comical whenever I’m away for any number of days.

 

If I’m home and hubby brings in the mail, he plops in on the counter and the entire stack waits for me.   And, if I’m away for business, each day hubby brings in the mail, plops it on the counter and the entire stack grows & grows as it waits for me to get home.    You’d probably say, well what are you complaining about… this system makes sense.  It’s your chore and hubby doesn’t want to risk “screwing anything up” so he creates this pile and allows you to handle it as you choose.  And on some level, I’d agree with you.

 

HOWEVER…. and here’s where hubby’s behavior starts to get fun…  if hubby spots something in the pile that’s particularly interesting to him.  He may actually decide to open it.   It could be personal mail for him (a b-day card etc..).  It could be mail pertaining to his Giants season tickets.  It could be mail that appears to relate to his hobby of scuba diving.  If it’s something that catches his eye… he will take the initiative and open it.  BUT.. after it’s opened, the mail as well as the ripped envelope, returns to the pile.  And, even if it’s junk mail, it all gets returned to the pile  (another example of his inability to do a full task ?????)

 

This is the part of this story that makes no sense to me. 

 

When hubby realizes that the scuba diving mail is actually a new credit card solicitation (ie junk mail) why does it return to the pile?  After hubby opens the envelope that appeared to be personal but was actually the local lawn care company trying to solicit our business (ie junk mail), why does it return to the pile?  So, when I finally get home after being away for 5 days…. I have a stack of mail on the counter to sort through INCLUDING all the opened mail that hubby has deemed unimportant garbage but hasn’t actually thrown away  (it must be those damn Last Three Feet again!)

 

So, as I stand there sorting through the stack of mail (85% of which could have easily been tossed the day it arrived) I can do nothing but shake my head as I throw away already opened junk mail.   And, don’t even get me started about how many times I’ll need to move the important mail that hubby did actually receive from the Giants.  Because apparently, the correct permanent location for this mail is our kitchen counter.  Unfortunately, I know that I’ll have to clean around it and move it several times around the kitchen for weeks & weeks, until I finally ask hubby why the hell HIS mail from 3 weeks ago is still sitting on the counter.

 

Yet another battle that I cannot seem to win!

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I’ve touched on this phenomenon in other posts but I thought today that I’d dedicate a post to it.

 

Question:  If your hubby admits that he doesn’t notice little details, that he inadvertently overlooks the crap scattered on the counter, that he doesn’t really see the debris on the carpet, and that he’s oblivious to the chores that make a house a home, are you allowed to point these things out to him or bring them to his attention?

 

Now, I’m sure some of you will say … well, it’s all in how you present it.   And, I would agree with this wholeheartedly.

 

Here are just a few tactics I’ve tried:   I’ve presented it in casual conversation, I’ve sweetly reminded him, I’ve gently nudged him,  I’ve made deals, I’ve made lists, I’ve offered sexual favors (ok, I’m lying, I actually haven’t done this cause I don’t actually believe I should have to trade sex to get him to wipe crumbs off the counters). 

 

It’s interesting though that some households really do work this way (and hey, I’m not judging, if this works for you and you’re happy with trading sex to get a load of laundry done by your hubby then, fan-friggin-tastic!)

 

As someone mentioned yesterday, perhaps I should vacuum naked to get hubby to help with vacuuming.  While I’m quite certain this would indeed get his attention, I’m not quite sure he’d make the leap from seeing me vacuuming naked to “gee, I think maybe I should get the scissors and clean off the beater bar”.  [this example makes me want to make some sort of sexual joke pertaining to “beater bars”… .but I’ll refrain]

 

Anyhow, there appears to be a fine line between reminding him of something and nagging.  I have yet to figure out where this line actually sits… to me it seems like he’s constantly moving it.  Some days it’s a narrow, dark red line that says “Do Not Cross”, some days it’s a wide grey line.  I have tried to figure it out on my own, by trial and error, but that just hasn’t worked.  I have also tried to ask hubby the following question:

 

If you admit that you don’t notice stuff around the house and, without my pointing it out to you, you may never actually see it, how do I bring it to your attention without being a “nag”?

 

The problem is.. he can’t actually answer this question because too often he’s practicing Selective Listening and/or Selective Vision and he’s afraid to admit it.  The line is constantly moving because he picks and chooses when he sees things and when he’s actually listening to me. BUT, and here’s the big but, he never actually tells me when he’s really paying attention so it’s impossible for me to know!

 

So I ask you, my dear blog readers… if he admits he needs reminders, and that he doesn’t take in details around him that he considers extraneous, when I try to help guide him.. how can it possibly be nagging?  And, if I get louder and louder after the 5th or 6th reminder, I’m just trying to make sure he is indeed listening to me… because we all know, that when he goes to his nothing box he simply can’t hear anything around him.

Or, I suppose, we could just wind up like this…..  🙂

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I can remember when hubby used to leave me cute little notes… they used words like amazing, magical, wonderful.  They came via post-its hidden in my work calendar or maybe via a mid-day text message.  

 

It was always a tiny gesture but, to me… it was awesome.  Just goes to show that a tiny bit of effort really can go a long way.  What hubby didn’t realize was that one of these notes could often replace say….. cleaning up the sink after he shaves.  This trick might only work on occasion, but, assuming I’m having a good day, a cute romantic gesture (one that only takes him a second) could stop me from grumbling as I clean up the crumbs he left on the counter.

 

The more cute gestures, the less irritated I’d be at his little housekeeping transgressions.  This of course is a fine line, that most men have not learned to walk.  It’s a balancing act that requires the utmost of thought and care.  Because: It does NOT mean you can buy me a card and expect me to excuse the fact that you never lift a finger in the house.   SO MEN — just for the record, that’s not how this works…

 

After all, ladies… all we really want is to feel loved & appreciated right??  Well, that and a partner who does his share of chores, and takes us out for nice dinners, and rubs our feet, and listens to us, and cooks for us and.. and, .. and……..(hehe.. ok, maybe we’re not that simple… but anyway….)

 

Back to Hubby. 

 

He truly was a smart man. He learned how to make me feel great and, I think deep down, he realized that this was a good way to quell some of my frustrations.  So, every few days I’d find a loving note…. Until … (insert ominous music tones here…).  He lost his mind.  Ok, maybe he didn’t lose his mind, but, ever-so-slowly, the notes began to change.

 

And as the years passed, the notes started to look more like this:

 

 post its

As you can see, the tenor of these notes is slightly different.  He still loves me but these notes are not tucked away in cute places and there aren’t any fluffy, happy words.  These notes are found in plain site, on the kitchen counter, scrawled before heading to work.  And, well, they just don’t seem to have the same ring to them.

 

Has hubby forgotten this delicate balancing act?  Does he not realize that these notes may actually have the capability of squashing some of the “nagging”?  No, not all of the “nagging”… they’re not brainwashing, magical notes.  But, I bet at least on that day, I’d be less apt to ask him why he can’t seem to remember to put his dirty socks into the hamper where they belong.

 

What’s the morale of my story today??  Well, it’s all about the power of a well timed loved note…

 

If this power is used for Good rather than Evil.. there would be a lot more happy, romantic couples in the world.  AND MEN – you can read this as LESS NAGGING!

 

(Hubby…. I hope you’re reading this…. Love you!! 🙂 )

 

Ladies feel free to share this post with your man…maybe even subtly leave a copy around the house?  Who knows what cute little expression of love you may find tucked into your purse tomorrow! 

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