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Posts Tagged ‘selective vision’

Did you ever wonder how one area of your home slowly gets taken over by so much stuff that it eventually assumes the responsibility for the new stuff more than the old stuff?

 

And then one day, you realize that you don’t know what has happened to your house.  And you wonder how your sewing room became the exercise room, or your exercise room became the laundry/ironing room.  Or perhaps you had a great den where you used to snuggle up and watch movies and now it’s become the kid’s playroom and is constantly littered with toys.  I’m sure many of you can relate.  And, you probably think that this post is about to outline all the ways our house has been overcome by baby crap (which it has) or that my family room no longer resembles an adult space (which it doesn’t) or that my office has become the staging area for baby baths… and the permanent home of a bath tub (why wouldn’t you keep a bath tub in your office??).  Anyhow, this post is about none of those things.  And, it’s NOT about how the baby has impacted our space.  It’s all about how hubby likes to “re-locate” items to places where they don’t belong and leave them there so long that they adopt the new-found space as their permanent (inappropriate) home.

 

You may recall THIS POST where I first started talking about this phenomenon and how it impacts every-day life and the relocation of items around my kitchen .. over .. and over… and over… and over…  That post is worth a read if for no other reason than to commiserate, if you find yourself constantly wishing that items would be Put Away at your home.

 

Well, be careful what you wish for… because sometimes, Put Away, doesn’t necessarily solve the problem.

 

I present to you Exhibit A:

Closet Upstairs

This is one of our closets.  In all honesty, it would probably be defined a “catch all” closet.  Hubby keeps some suits in here.  I keep extra purses, some hats, some of our travel items and other misc stuff.   It’s a closet filled with things we don’t really use regularly……………………including, apparently, a good deal of our “regular-use” tools.

 

Hmmmmm, you may be thinking……  Screwdrivers and drills in your suit closet……. Interesting use of space.

Ahhhhhhh, you may say…… easy access tools upstairs for quick repairs……. Smart storage.

Oooohhh, you may utter…. That’s a mighty nice vest hubby has…… He’s quite stylish.

Yikes, you may be judging…. They REALLY need some professional closest storage help…. That’s quite a disaster.

 

And to pretty much all of these…. I would say you are correct…………… well, sort of.

 

Until you think deeper about it.  And realize.. we have a full basement at our house.  We have a 2 car garage at the house.  Read this as:  MANY other, BETTER, permanent home locations for all the tools.  But alas, they are living happily in my upstairs closet.  I suppose there’s a part of me that’s happy they are not sitting in the hallway (which is likely where they started) … They were probably relocated to the closet when I forced hubby to pre-clean for the cleaning ladies, or maybe when we were having house guests, or quite possibly after I tripped over them with the baby so many times that I BEGGED him to move them out of a regular walking path.  To be totally honest, I don’t actually remember how they wound up in this closet…. Because it’s been THAT LONG that they’ve been living there.

 

Out of sight, out of mind for hubby…. So I’m pretty sure these items could stay in this closet until the baby leaves for college or until hubby needs his drill for something.  At which time, he will undoubtedly scour the house for tools that he cannot locate only to declare that he’s “looked everywhere” and they must be “gone” and he now needs to go buy everything new.   And, then of course, as we wives always do… I will ask him to re-confirm that he has indeed looked “everywhere” and then I will promptly go to this closet, pull them all out and remind him that the reason he cannot find anything, EVER, is because he never puts things back in their proper place…………   and the cycle will continues, as it always does………….

 

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I’ll admit that I have a bit of “pregnant brain”.  It sort of brings me back to the “mush brain” I was experiencing while I was unemployed.  Sometimes I don’t make sense, my memory is somewhat lacking and there are days, where you might just call me stupid (ok, maybe  it’s more that I do stupid things than I’m actually stupid – but, I’m sure that’s debatable)

 

BUT my question today is…….. What would explain the “pregnant brain” that hubby is currently exhibiting?

 

We all know he is generally oblivious to stuff around him.  We also know that he has expertly honed his ability to employ Selective Vision.  So, I’m not sure why I’m surprised when he’s clueless about things right in plain sight.

 

A few months back (yes, I did say months), we had some trouble with our air conditioning.  So, we promptly grabbed a fan from the basement and set it up in our bedroom to help keep us cool while we slept and waited for the AC repair guy.    I think our AC was fixed in about 3 days (HOORAY!).  And there sat the fan.   Days passed, weeks passed, and then finally months passed…. AND…… there sat the fan.

 

Now, practically every day, I noticed the fan.  I mean, heck, it’s kind of big and it’s smack there in our bedroom.   I moved it to get into my closet.  I tried to ignore it as the cleaning ladies cleaned around it.  And, I waited.  And waited.  And waited.   As you know, if you’ve been reading regularly, I’m pregnant.  And, I didn’t want to attempt to carry this fan all the way back down into the basement on my own.  So….. I  w-a-i-t-e-d.  Not saying a word, just wondering when, if ever, it would hit hubby’s radar.

 

Then one day, being a woman, I just had to say something.

 

“Honey, do you think you can move that fan into the basement at some point?”

 

And, as if the baby had sucked away all his brain cells, he innocently looks at me and says…….  “What fan?”

 

And folks, I’m flabbergasted.  It’s big, it’s OBVIOUS, and it’s on hubby’s side of the bed.  And yet, he has no idea what I’m talking about.  It’s been there so long, that it’s now a part of our bedroom.

 

I honestly think it could have possibly stayed there…….. FOREVER.

 

And, just to paint a better picture for you….. I just had to catch a snapshot of proof.   Please tell me how you could miss this??

 

 

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I’ve written ad nauseum about hubby’s selective vision and his inability to take in things around him that don’t seem important.

 

But I never imagined how quickly he’d be able to seemingly forget we are having a baby.    Now don’t get me wrong, it’s hard to forget in the obvious sense of the word.  There are quite a few things that provide glaring daily reminders

 

  1. There’s a room that’s full of baby furniture and we debate at least every other day if we should change the paint color
  2. There are doctor visits every 2 weeks
  3. Apparently I snore non-stop at night now…. And couple this with the 4-5 trips I make to the bathroom,  at least one of us is probably not sleeping at all
  4. We still haven’t agreed on a name so that’s part of everyday conversation
  5. Everyone, and their brother, sister or aunt….. asks about my pregnancy, the baby, the names and so on…
  6. And, it’s also hard to ignore the amount of people who seemingly think it’s ok, to rub and touch my belly without permission (but, in all honesty hubby probably doesn’t notice this since he’s not the one being molested!)

 

Anywho…. The one element you may have noticed missing from that list is my HUGE belly (which obviously grows more with each passing day).  And that’s because while hubby sees it……. I’m not sure he actually SEES it.

 

Please let me explain.

 

I’ll travel to our basement to do laundry and after taking 2 flights of stairs, it’s not uncommon for me to be a little winded.  So, when I plop myself down on the couch next to hubby he says…..”Why are you breathing so heavy?”.   UHM, I don’t know, maybe because WE’RE HAVING A BABY and, I have a HUGE BELLY, and I get tired more easily?????  HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN???!!

 

Or

 

We’ll have lunch on a weekend and after about 2 hours, I will say to hubby “I’m hungry again….. I’m gonna grab something to eat.”  And he replies…… “You’re hungry AGAIN??  Didn’t we just eat a little while ago?”   UHM, YES, did you forget there’s somebody inside of me sharing my food?  Do you not see my big belly… WE’RE HAVING A BABY YOU KNOW??!!

 

And perhaps my favorite

 

It’s nighttime and we are watching tv and I declare “Ok, I’m really tired, I think I’m going to go to bed.”  And hubby lovingly replies.. “Really, you’re that tired?   Didn’t you sleep in this morning?”  UHM, I’d like you to try carrying around a melon all day just using your belly, I’d like you to have to visit the bathroom 5 times at night while you’re tossing and turning.  I’d like you to deal with an achy back, knees and some fun-filled general discomfort and we’ll see what time you want to go to bed.   (But of course, even after I’ve thought this all out, I realize that hubby doesn’t EVER go to bed when he’s tired, so he has no way of truly understanding……. AND HE NEVER WILL.)    *****SIGH*****

 

So yes folks, he knows we’re having a baby……. But I not sure he KNOWS we are having a baby.   Either that or this is just his way of subtlety reminding me that he’s still living a “normal” life – drinking beer, eating sushi and staying up late while I am obviously not………………  and so, the rest of our lives begin.   *****ANOTHER REALLY BIG SIGH*****

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Did you ever wonder how many times you can move something around your house before it finds a permanent home?

 

I’m currently testing this theory and I think I’ve just hit the eleven-billionth time and apparently, I have not hit the maximum # of times.

 

It’s actually an interesting phenomenon.

 

It feels sort of like a war.  I flank the item and prepare for an attack.  I flush the item out into the open.  I take cover and wait for my men (man) to dispose of the enemy.  And I wait.   And I wait.  And I wait. 

 

Then, if I don’t keep this enemy in my sites at all times, somehow it relocates.  So I must retreat and plan to battle another day.

 

I will admit that there are days where I do indeed sabotage my own efforts.    I’m just so worn down and tired from the battle that I actually inadvertently help perpetuate the war.

 

Ok, so maybe I’m over-dramatizing the battle that exists in my house and maybe the enemy is a mere notebook or some sort of work-out-gear but it always plays out the same way and I’m amazed that I’m involved in, what I’ll call, the 7 year war and there’s no end in sight.

 

If you’re the kind of person who needs more literal storytelling, I’ll switch gears a little bit for you.

 

There are a set of boxing hand wraps that have been living in a variety of places in my kitchen for about a year or so.  And when I say, in my kitchen, I do not mean a drawer… I mean my counter.  They started out on my kitchen table (this was probably after the first time hubby used them, after his first boxing class – a little over a year ago).  They sat there, until his next class, and then they reappeared when he was done.  I don’t know about you, but I sort of feel that a kitchen table might not be the best long term place for these.

 

So I move them to the corner of a counter.  Then, they reappeared back on the table one day.  So I move them to the island in the middle of the kitchen.  A more focal point in our kitchen where they will undoubtedly call out to hubby  “please find me a permanent home where I can happily live out my days…..”.  But obviously hubby is employing selective hearing or quite possibly they have a woman’s voice and he can’t hear them at all……so, they sit on the island for 2 weeks.  Then of course, in my pre-clean for the cleaning ladies, they need to be relocated.  So back to the side counter they go.  This time into a basket so I don’t have to look at them every day.  Apparently I have found them a suitable new home.  So, they live in this basket (which by the way, still isn’t the proper place for them, it’s just my cleaning lady place for them) until hubby uses them.  And then, no surprise here, they find their way back to another random counter.  This battle replays itself for months UNTIL one day, I decided to clean out that basket.  So, they make their way back to the island where I ask hubby…. “Can’t you possibly find a better home for these?” And, hubby looks at me like I have three heads because they have a home… the basket.

 

And, this scenario replays itself all over our house.

 

  • I place folded laundry on the bed for hubby to put away.. he moves it to the floor to go to sleep.   I move it back to the bed.  He moves it back to the floor.
  • Hubby has a bag of stuff that needs to be returned to Lowes… it’s sitting on the kitchen counter.  Cleaning ladies come. I move it to another room.  Cleaning ladies leave. I move it back to the kitchen table.  I realize it’s not obvious enough on the kitchen table so….  I move it to the kitchen island. It sits there for 2 weeks.  Cleaning ladies come.  I move it to another room.  Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

 

 

But perhaps one of my favorite examples happened earlier this year. 

 

As you may remember…. (another battle that I lost)….We bought a new TV. 

 

The HUGE tv box sat in a hallway in our kitchen for weeks (we were saving it just in case it had to be returned).  True Story:  We actually had to move it to get in and out of the garage. Then one day, the cleaning ladies came and hubby moved it upstairs into the hallway (closer to the attic, where we should store it.. I was celebrating a teeny, tiny bit in my head).  Then it sat in the hallway upstairs forever.  I can remember moving it to a spare room to hide it when we had friends over… then dragging it back to the hallway as a subtle visual reminder for hubby to put it into the attic.  Move into bedroom. Move back to hallway.  Move to bedroom.  Move to hallway.  Move closer to stairs so it’s a MORE subtle reminder.  Move to bedroom.  As you can imagine, months were flying by and one day I said to hubby… “what’s the story with this friggn’ box?  Are you ever gonna move it into the attic?”.  And, you know what he says….??  Brace yourself…. He says “Oh, that box?  It’s garbage, I’m just waiting for the next trash day to bring it outside”.  WTF hubby….. WTF?!!!

 

I’m convinced that hubby either has the worst case of selective vision that ever existed OR I’m being repaid for some horrible things I’ve done in a previous life.

 

(and.. if this wasn’t enough… click HERE to see what happens a few days after this post!) 

 

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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 could probably write 10 posts alone on hubby & laundry (and who knows.. maybe I will!)

It’s a topic that, at least in my house, has so many different aspects to it:

  • The wash cycles for: whites, lights, darks, gentles
  • Sorting clothes
  • Folding clothes
  • Dryer vs non dryer
  • Putting clothes away

(I could go on and on…)

Today, I’d like to talk about items that miraculously get laundered but, somehow don’t seem to fit into the category of laundry. Or at least not in hubby’s vocabulary.

In case you are confused (and why wouldn’t you be?), I am referring to linens. And, for the purposes of today.. I’ll even fine tune this more for you. Today, I’d like to specifically talk about towels. Towels that are seemingly laundered by magical fairies at my house!

Hubby admittedly doesn’t really do laundry. It’s sort of one of “my tasks” on our divvy list of household chores. It’s probably better this way, since I actually understand all the subcategories of laundry that I noted above and well, let’s just say, hubby may not even know where our laundry room is. And, since we know “clean is not always clean”, we also must deduce that he perhaps doesn’t understand the definition of dirty??

Anyhow, back to towels.

I think that hubby would use a towel, left on the rack in the bathroom, until it disintegrated into nothing. I have never, ever, as long as I’ve known him, seen him decide on a given day, that a towel is “dirty” and should be laundered. I often even wonder if he realizes that occasionally he’s using fresh, clean towels? This is another unique male trait – the ability to just simply not see the towels as they walk themselves to the laundry room (even though they have to pass through the Man Cave!)

I remember a true story from my college days that perhaps gave me the first glimpse of male mentality when cleaning up towels….

 

pumpkin

The guys who lived across the hall from me had a smashed pumpkin in their shared bathroom.. the details of WHY are probably unimportant. Suffice to say, they were college guys, and pumpkin smashing apparently provides great comedy? Well, no one cleaned up the remnants of this mushy pumpkin. These guys probably never cleaned up this bathroom at all (remember this was college). What they did do was, toss dirty towels on the floor. Fast forward a few weeks.. I hear excitement from across the hall. And, when I take a look, I see that they are gathered around a discarded wash cloth that had found a home in the corner of the bathroom. This washcloth, which was still damp, had sprouted a new fledgling pumpkin from the seeds that were all over the floor. And, I got to see it first hand: Male EXCITEMENT and PRIDE. They were celebrating the magic of using dirty towels to create something special!

Obviously, there’s no way I’d allow a science experiment in my bathroom, but I have to wonder if his Selective Vision applies to towels also? It seems to be the only explanation I can come up with. We know that hubby only sees what he wants to see… but, in the case of dirty towels, does this also mean he has Selective Smell? Whatever the case, I am forever baffled about why his clothes make it to the hamper (usually) but the towels never do. Unless, perhaps, I’m the one who created a monster, by continually making sure they are laundered? If this is the case, I guess I have to live with it. I cannot just leave hubby’s towels there forever…. because in MY bathroom….. clean actually needs to be clean!

Maybe this is yet another male mystery that will continue to remain unsolved. “The Dirty Towel Mystery”.

Do you have an explanation? If so, I’d love to hear it!

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Yesterday I talked about Selective Vision:

  • The unique ability of men to “not clutter their brains with unnecessary information”
  • The male ability to literally choose to not see things around them, that they deem unimportant.

 

Well today, I’d like to address an even worse affliction… Selective Listening.

 

Yes, we’ve all been there.  We talk to our spouse, perhaps just one word, maybe one comment, perhaps 3 or 4 sentences and then we stop.   Anxiously awaiting acknowledgement, a response, an answer, a sign of life…. AND….. SILENCE

 

 

“Honey” I say politely

No response….

“Babe?” I try again

Silence

“Honey” slightly louder

Still nothing

“HONEY” even louder still

Am I talking to myself???

“ROD!”

Finally… “huh?”

“I’ve been trying to talk to you for like 2 minutes.”

“Oh, I didn’t hear you”

“Well, I tried to get your attention like 5 times”

“Yeah, well, what do you want?”

“Can you carry this downstairs, it’s kind of heavy?”

“Yeah sure”

 

I got his attention… HOORAY!!

The wheels are in motion (so I think)….

Then there he goes… right back to watching tv.

 

This is the moment of realization for me… that I really didn’t have his attention at all.  Even after he stopped, looked at me, and formed responsive words…. He really wasn’t LISTENING.  But, I’m a reasonable gal, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

 

I go about my day

Heavy item is still sitting there

We have dinner

Heavy item is still sitting there

We snuggle up to watch tv

Heavy item is still sitting there

I mention to him, in my most loving voice…. “honey, don’t forget to carry that downstairs”

“I won’t”

We go to bed

Heavy item is still sitting there

 

The next day comes……

He goes to work…….

I stare at the heavy item….

I sigh…..

 

 

Hubby comes home from work, STEPS OVER heavy item in the middle of the kitchen (I’ve shuffled it over to a can’t miss location). He employs “Selective Vision” and goes to get a snack.

I watch, wide eyed.

 

“Honey, do you think you can carry that downstairs?”

“I just got home from work”

“I know, but I can’t do it myself”

“I told you I’d do it”

“ok”

 

We have dinner

Heavy item is still sitting there

We sit down to watch tv

Heavy item is still sitting there

 

“Honey, I know it’s late but do you think you can carry that down tonight?”

“You just don’t ever want to let me relax, do you?”

“That’s not it, I just don’t want to have to walk around it all day tomorrow”

“FINE.. ”  he gets up grumbling…. “and, you don’t think you’re a nag”

 

Once again, I have to ask…. If men admittedly don’t remember to do stuff, but when we remind them about anything, it’s nagging……. what’s the right way to communicate with a man??

I have yet to uncover the mystery solution…

 

Maybe it’s not even a true issue of communication.  Maybe, just maybe, it’s a topic that I haven’t even addressed in this entry.  Perhaps it’s the concept of “timelines & scheduling”.  It could be that, where we are misaligned, is actually the simple fact that my project completion timeline did not match up with hubby’s for this given task (but that’s a blog topic for a completely different day!!)

 

The one good thing is, that I’ve learned to recognize “Selective Listening”.  At least this way, I can properly set my expectations.  I’ll admit, I haven’t mastered controlling my response to his actions but at least I’m no longer surprised when the heavy item sits, in the middle of my kitchen, for days!

 

 

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