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Posts Tagged ‘sharing’

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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The household version of this philosophical riddle might be:

 

If you complete a task, and no one is around to see it, does it count? 

 

I guess this is the question at the forefront of hubby’s mind.  And, I think I’ve discovered his answer.

 

Drum Roll Please………….

 

A Resounding NO!  (unless of course, you leave some sort of evidence that you’ve done something………..)

 

Even after knowing this manly philosophy, I guess I still just don’t get it.  And that folks, is why I write a blog!  🙂

 

I’ve spoken before about hubby’s inability to complete full tasks.  It’s the ever-elusive completion stage of most projects that’s the source of much of my marital frustration, confusion, head-shaking, WTF moments

 

If hubby makes the effort to start something, you’d like to think that he’d make the effort to finish it but….  You’d not only be wrong but you’d be fighting a losing battle.

 

Just a snapshot of some examples:

  • Hubby spills food on the counter.  He grabs a paper towel to wipe it up.  Hours later, said paper towel is lying crumbled on the counter.
  • Our toilet needs to be plunged.  Hubby grabs the plunger (it resides hidden in the bathroom) and unclogs the toilet.  Days later, said plunger is still sitting right next to the toilet, in plain sight.
  • We have a leak in our laundry room.  Hubby changes out our condensation pump from under the furnace.  Months later, all tools used for said project remain on the floor, in front of the furnace, in the laundry room.

 

As you can see, hubby is not totally useless.  He will (at times and after much nagging) take on a few projects or clean up after himself.  The big questions are:

  1. How long will it take him to start a task?  And……
  2. How long will it take for the entire project to be completed and all related items put away?

 

On the first question the answer is quite possibly — FOREVER.

On the second question the answer is almost certainly — FOREVER (although, I think I need to take some sort of responsibility here since I seem to have conditioned him to delay completion just long enough so that I’ll finish for him  — guess who put away the plunger & the tools in the laundry room??).

 

So, based on this philosophy, I think I’ve had an epiphany this week.  Hubby obviously wants credit for doing tasks and the only way to solicit this credit is to leave evidence that he’s completed each task.  After all, in a relationship, each person really just wants to feel appreciated…. Right?!

 

And, for a split second, I thought about using the same method to solicit credit for all the tasks I do at home.  But then I realized, that all I’d accomplish would be to leave clutter all over the house that hubby would ignore, walk past and navigate around.  And rather than earn myself credit, I’d just live in a dirty house filled with “unseen” evidence.

 

So, maybe next time I find an incomplete project from hubby, I’ll gather up all his evidence and put it into an “I appreciate you” pile.  Either that or I’ll find a way to use each item in a special way to say thank you for doing a household task…..cause nothing says “I appreciate you” more than a plunger shoved up your……    🙂

 

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Hubby & I have a unique travel tradition.

 

We buy a couple of standard snack items that come with us on every single trip we take. These items get stowed away in our hotel room so we don’t need to run out every time we want a snack.

 

I honestly have no idea how this tradition really started.  It’s uniquely interesting because 2 of the standard food items are not items that we normally snack on at home.  I can’t explain this behavior, much like I usually cannot explain hubby’s male traits. But hey, they are what they are… so I accept them.

 

So you might be wondering, what are these snack items?

 

Well, one is a tube (or quite possibly 2 tubes – if that’s the right packaging description?) of Pringles.  The flavors may vary but I always buy them to pack in our luggage on every vacation.  Maybe I initially started with Pringles because they are packaged in a way that allows me to stuff them into our bag without finding myself with a crushed bag full of crumbs or, perhaps it’s because it’s easy to grab a mini stack of 5 or so to have a quick snack.  Either way, Pringles always come with us on a trip.

 

The 2nd item is a large package of twizzlers.  I’d have to assume once again, that I was applying some sort of logic at one point when I decided what the “travel snacks” would be.  These are easy to grab & easy to pack… and hubby loves them.

 

So, I got to thinking recently that perhaps the biggest reason I’ve decided on these 2 particular snacks is because they are easily rationed.

 

Rationed??   Yes…. .rationed.

 

If you’re wondering why I need to ration anything, then you haven’t been reading along.   You can read about my snack battles with hubby here:  Snack Battles or here: Did You Take The Last?


In order for me to get my fair share (you could also probably read this as any) of the travel snacks, I need to make sure hubby hasn’t eaten them all in one sitting.  Years ago, we used to operate on basic consumption trust but then I realized that on day 3 of vacation, the snacks that were designed to last all week, were almost gone.  So, he forced me to do something I never wanted to do.   I felt like that mom that says to her 4 year old “if you can’t share, I’m going to take it away from you.”  So, while I certainly didn’t want to take them away… I had no choice but to react.  And, since we’re in a foreign place and I cannot run to the store to buy more twizzlers.  I was forced to put him on a strict twizzler allocation. And… he thinks he’s sneaky, but I know that, sometimes if I’m not paying close attention, he’ll sneak extras… so I have to be on full alert at all times!

 

A replay of our absurd twizzler conversation…

 

Hubby: “Can I have some twizzlers?”

Me: “How many have you had today?”

Hubby: “I’m not sure”

Me: “You’re not sure, or you don’t want to tell me?”

Hubby: “Uhm….”

Me: (getting the package from the dresser) “Babe, this package is half empty.. I think I’ve eaten like 3 of them since we got here”

Hubby: “Well, how many can I have?”

Me: “Probably none… not until I catch up.”

Hubby: (whining) “Come on… I want some now”

Me: “Ok, take a few, but just remember that if I don’t get any, you owe me!”

Hubby: “You don’t eat them fast enough”

Me: “Am I gonna have to start hiding snacks on vacation like I do at home?”

Hubby: “No, just eat faster”

 

At this point I’ve removed a few twizzlers from the package and I’m whipping hubby with them……


Hubby: “Owww.. stop hitting me”

Me: “You don’t like this do you…. Then, stop eating all the twizzlers”

Hubby: “Please just give them to me”

Me: “You can have these but, if you don’t comply with the allocation rules, the twizzlers are going into the safe with our passports and I’m not telling you the combination.  I may also hide the beer from the mini bar if you don’t shape up!”

Hubby: “Ok, ok…. You win, I’ll share the twizzlers..”

 

Aha!  I found the magic solution to ensure I had my share of twizzlers…. All I had to do was threaten the loss of beer… Wow, I wished I’d learned this lesson years ago!

 

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Today is Halloween.  For normal people, Halloween is a time to celebrate the Fall season with tricks & treats and ghosts and goblins.

 

For me however, it’s a day to test my ingenuity.

 

Let me explain.

 

Hubby has a sweet tooth.  He has a weakness for certain candies & cookies.  Anytime I bring something into the house that I know he likes, I have to either:

  • Stash some away for me or….
  • Buy multiple boxes to ensure that I get a taste. 

 

I’m the kind of person that could make a box of cookies last weeks.  I may eat 2 today, then none for 3 days, then maybe 2 more, then none for a week.  The problem with this method of consumption is that by day number 5, when I go to the cabinet I cannot find the package of cookies…. because, while I’ve been savoring this snacking experience, Hubby has been devouring all the cookies.

 

Then the conversation goes something like this:

 

Me:  “What happened to the cookies?”

Hubby: “I ate them”

Me: “But I didn’t get any at all…”

Hubby:  “Well then, you should have eaten them quicker”

Me: “Quicker??  I bought them 3 days ago”

Hubby: “So?”

Me: “So, how could you eat them all in only 3 days.”

Hubby: “Well, I eat 3 at a time.”

Me: “But it was only 3 days ago”

Hubby: “Well, you took too long. You gotta be quicker”

Me:  “Humpf …. Next time I’m hiding them”

There’s rarely a concept of sharing.  Hubby is conducting his own Survival of The Fittest with the cookie reward going to the top of the food chain.  If I can’t get my hand into a bag quick enough I may blink and all if it will be gone.  I joked about Hubby “sharing” items by ensuring that there is always ONE left in the bag/jar/box.  I think, on occasion, he feels sorry for the weaker person in the house (aka ME) and he leaves one sad, solitary item for me.  

 

What he doesn’t realize is, I’ve developed my own way to counteract this behavior.  I have started buying things that I know Hubby doesn’t really like.  Things like cookies or candies with nuts or coconut.  Miraculously, every time I go to get one, they are sitting right were I left them, waiting for me.  A tiny battle that I’ve won!

 

So, back to Halloween….

 candy

Knowing Hubby’s proclivities, I waited until YESTERDAY to buy the candy (this way I know hubby couldn’t get into it and eat it all before the holiday)  And, in addition to buying items hubby likes, the bowl is filled with Snickers, Peanut M&Ms and Almond Joys (this one is a good ol’ double whammy!)

 

My only other choice would be to hide some snacks in a place where I know hubby will never go… like say…… the laundry room!    (Oh damn!  I just gave away the hiding spot!)

 

Hey, I can be pretty creative if I need to be… (the linen closet is probably a good place too!  sshhhhhhhhh.. don’t tell him!)

 

Where do you hide your snacks?!

 

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This is the age old question that haunts all single men. 

It’s one of the first things a guy hears from his buddies when he announces his crazy, love clouded, intentions of proposal.  (Even those that are happily married will jump on the back slapping, band wagon to enumerate all the ways life has changed since they exchanged vows).  

Ironically enough, these lists mostly include all the ways they’ve had to “grow up”.  But, to each of them it was the day they closed the books on their childhood dreams of becoming:

  • A World Champion Grand Theft Auto player
  • The Supreme King of the all-night, chili cheese dog eating contests
  • The Record Holder of the most viewings of the Lord of The Rings Trilogy
  • #1 Bachelor Extraordinaire with the best water bed, silk sheets and pizza box collection.

While these are admirable goals for a young man, they somehow may not be a priority as you start to build a life with your new wife. 

So, do things change?  Well, I guess the true answer is.. yes they do. 

And, although not every marriage is the same, there will be things that require compromise, discussion and modification.  After all, you are now sharing your life with someone else. 

And therein lies challenge #1. 

It’s not just all about you anymore.

 

Here’s my theory (and, I’m sure we’ll dive deeper into this in other posts… But I’m putting it out there for you to mull over).

When a Woman Gets Married She’s Thinking: “I’m so excited to share my life with someone… now that there are 2 of us, we’ll be able to get twice as much done!” 

When a Man Gets Married He’s Thinking:  “Cool, now that there’s someone else sharing the work, I’ll only have to do half as much!”

 

And, perhaps that’s where the disconnect begins…………

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