Posts Tagged ‘to-do list’

Sorry I’ve disappeared…. I’ve been traveling for work this week and that always screws up my free time….. dang job!


Anyhow, here’s what’s on my mind this week!


I’m truly surrounded by absurd male behavior.  I mentioned last week that I was worried about a having a “mini-hubby” when we found out we’re expecting a boy.  But now, I think I’m coming to realize that due to the mere fact that it will be a BOY, even without hubby’s “mini-me” training, I’m just plain screwed.  Because men…. pretty much all men….. are just absurd!


I’ve given examples of my father-in-law, my brother-in-law and even my own father.  And today, I’d like to share one more story that might help illustrate the crazy world I live in.


As if it’s not enough to have tons of material from my own husband to blog about regularly, the other men in my life seem to love to “step it up” to keep me on my toes (or maybe they are all just hoping they’ll get a blog mention??)


Here’s a little back story.

A few years ago we had a new fence installed around our backyard.  We had some challenges with getting our gate to automatically close to ensure that our pool isn’t accessible to little ones and our dog can’t escape.  But my Dad, who is a wiz at stuff like this, swept in and fixed the problem for us….. voila…. problem solved (or so I thought).


Fast forward to the end of last summer.

My hubby is doing his summer chores and he goes out to mow the lawn.  Afterwards, he comes in and says… “Did you do something to the gate?”  “No why?”, I respond.  “Well, the closing mechanism is all different than it was last weekend”.   Hmmm… well, unless the fairies have now taken on mechanical tasks, there can really only be one explanation.


So, I call my Dad…..


Me: “Dad, do you do something to the gate this week?”

Dad:  “Yep, I was wondering how long it would take you guys to realize it!”

Me: “Well, it’s not like we go into the backyard every day….. we do have jobs you know.  So anyway, hubby just mowed the lawn and he noticed that it’s not closing right again”

Dad:  “Not closing?”

Me: “Yeah, before, Maggie (our dog) couldn’t run away but now it seems that she might have free access to the outside world”

Dad: “Hmmmm, ok I’ll look at it again”

Me:  “Uhm, Dad?

Dad: “Yes?”

Me: “Why exactly did you mess with our gate at all?   It’s been fine for quite a while, and we didn’t ask you to fiddle with it?”

Dad: “Well, I didn’t like the way it looked.  When I fixed it a year ago, I wasn’t totally happy with the closing mechanism, so I came back this week to improve it”

Me:  “Interesting….. you didn’t ‘like the way it looked’ and so you improved it???  “But it was fine… AND more importantly it was closing…. and now it’s not.  Not so sure that’s an improvement”


So the next week my Dad was back at our house fiddling with the gate.  You see, my Dad is a “fiddler”, and he’s also a perfectionist – a potentially lethal combination for a man. He’s always got some sort of a project going on and he likes to tinker around the house (ahhhhh… the joys of retirement!).  So, after a few tweaks, the gate is closing again – HOORAY!


Thank you Dad… for fixing a gate that we didn’t know needed any fixing.


Fast forward to this summer.

Hubby goes out to mow the lawn.   “Hon” he says, “I think your Dad is at it again.”  “What do ya mean?” I reply.  “Well, the latch on the gate is different again”


Oh boy… I thought we were done with this.


So, I’m at my parents house.


Dad:  “You guys aren’t very perceptive are you…..”  he’s taunting me

Me:  “Is this about the gate?”

Dad: smirking “Ah, so you did notice”

Me: “I noticed that you are once again messing with a gate that’s working perfectly fine..”

Dad:  “Well, it may have been ‘fine’, but now it’s ‘more than fine’.  I have improved it!”

Me: “Are we done with this one?  Can we move on from creating projects out of things that are not projects?  I mean if you’re looking for things to do, I’d be more than happy to make you a list of things that actually need doing!”

Dad: “I think we’re done.  I’m pretty happy with it now.”

Me:  “Gee thanks, I’m happy that you’re happy…..”


Mom: she pipes in from the background  “Well, I’m not happy…..   He keeps leaving the projects he should be doing here to go and mess with your gate!!”


And there you have it.   Yet another man trading off his time to create projects from thin air just to avoid doing projects on the To Do List!   This procrastination, avoidance, prioritization by men is just simply mind boggling!!!!!!!!!!!


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In my home, I have realized that if there’s an item that doesn’t provide hubby with some sort of enjoyment or conversely some sort of stress, it really never hits his radar and therefore is unimportant to him in his every day life.  And, if it’s unimportant to him… apparently I am the only one who pays attention to it.  And, I have to admit that hubby & I are generally not focused on the same things…


So, anything that applies to the home, is purchased for our home, or is used for decorating our home is for Me

Unless, and this is a huge unless, it provides some sort of happiness & fun for hubby.    

If it provides hubby with some entertainment or enjoyment then it may be for Us. 

But….. if it’s a source of hubby’s happiness (ie. the Man Cave or a TV).. then it’s surely for Him.


What do I mean by this??  Well, I’ve noticed this trend over the years and it has come to light again recently since we just renovated our family room for HGTV.  The things that cause me stress.. or at least draw my immediate attention, are NOT the same things that attract hubby’s immediate focus.


We have a beautiful new family room.  It’s so nice that it draws attention to how bad our kitchen counters are.  This makes me want to bump the kitchen counters closer to the top of our “To Do” list.  We also have a bathroom that’s 1/3 renovated from almost 2 years ago.   I walk into it each & every day and wistfully think about the day that I will have a new vanity.  We also have quite a few touch ups necessary from the recent TV renovation we did. The room is sort of finished… by sort of I mean, we did a 72 hour renovation for TV.  Let’s be honest, the magic of TV (hopefully) allowed us to finish the room for the camera, when in fact, there are quite a few things that need to be tweaked in real life. 


What projects does hubby think about? 

  • Moving our patio door to a completely different location on the back of our house
  • Building a new deck in our backyard
  • Buying a new dishwasher (ours works perfectly fine… even if it does sound like an airplane taking off)


Are hubby’s projects important.. YES

Are they on our long term project list… YES

Will we eventually make our way to these tackling these items.. YES

Must we forgo all the other projects that are higher on the “To Do” list just to satisfy his need for immediate gratification…. Uhm… I’d like to say NO!


When hubby gets something in his head.. he wants immediate gratification… yes, he’s that guy.  So, once he becomes fixated on something (even if it’s something we won’t really need or use for 5-6 months) he wants it done now.  And, all I can say is… what about new curtains or my kitchen counters?

But you see.. that’s the problem…. It’s MY kitchen… and MY curtains…

Whereas the patio door & new deck are arguably His (at least in his mind)… or quite possibly Ours.  As for the dishwasher, while I suppose technically.. it’s mine (based on my aforementioned logic)…. It is loud enough to interrupt hubby’s TV viewing which puts it into the category of a stressor… which gets hubby’s attention and therefore obviously requires immediate action.   You can see how this cycle works!


If only we truly saw things through the same eyes… Or, if all the stuff in the house was actually OURS.  Maybe we’d be closer to being on the same page.  But, I live in reality and I know how hubby’s mind works.  If it’s not impacting hubby TODAY and either making him happy or unhappy it’s just not on his radar and probably never will be!


Now, if I could only find a way to make curtains & counters fun… maybe I could begin to solve marriage problems all over the world!

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How many times have you had this conversation?


Woman:  “Honey can you please  ________” (you can fill in almost any activity)

Man: “Sure”

a few hours go by..

Woman: “Honey did you forget to _________” (aforementioned activity)

Man: “Nope, I didn’t forget”

more time passes

Woman: “Honey, you said you were gonna ________” (same incomplete task)

Man: “I told you, I’ll get to it”


It’s at these moments, which are far too frequent, that I’d like to channel some Calvin & Hobbes and give my hubby A Swift Kick In The Butt


I mentioned last week that women tend to do stuff when it needs to be done and men tend to add-it-to-the-list-for-doing-at-a-later-time.   I also wrote a post about Hubby’s Selective Listening where I shared an example of hubby’s inability to hear me when I try to talk to him about tasks.  In that post I also surmised that perhaps men do indeed listen, but that the male concept of timelines is misaligned with a woman’s concept of an appropriate project completion schedule.


The challenge of course is the male definition of  “a later time”.  This could, on occasion, mean at the end of the tv show or it could possibly mean after dinner.  If you’re lucky, it does indeed mean sometime this week but it could, under some circumstances, mean, perhaps I’ll get to it this year and if not I’ll shoot for before I die.  A man’s underlying intentions are good.. he does indeed plan on doing it, he just can’t mentally commit to when.


It’s this last possibility that sometimes causes the biggest issues.  Because in true male form, most men don’t ever verbally communicate the mental timeline they’ve assigned to the activity.  They’ve just committed to doing it eventually and a woman has assigned it her own timeline.  Problem #1 — rarely do these schedules overlap!


I’d like to share another example not from my dear hubby… but from my dear dad (because after all, he too is a man, and has typical male tendencies!)


When I was in 4th grade I wrote a report on the first Space Shuttle.  I wrote to NASA & I spent hours scouring encyclopedias.  And, I’m proud to say that I won a school wide competition for the best report – the grand prize was a model of the Space Shuttle… a model that needed to be assembled from scratch.


When I asked my dad to help me with this project he replied “Sure”.  I waited a few weeks.. “Dad, you said you would help me”.  He replied.. “I will, but I’m a little busy, let’s do it over the summer”.  Summer came & went.  The new school year arrived.  “Dad, did you forget about the space shuttle”.  He replied “No, I didn’t forget, let’s do it over Spring Break”.  And so on… and so on.  I’m sure you can imagine where I’m going here.. or, maybe you can’t.   Let’s just say that I am 38 this year and this space shuttle is sitting in pieces, in the original box, in a closet, in my basement.  And, on occasion, when my mom is complaining that my day hasn’t completed a project, I very nicely mention that I still have one of my Dad’s incomplete projects at my house…. some 28 years later!


This story is not to bash my dad… but it has become a family joke now – every time we talk about project  to-do lists. And, it illustrates the example of male timelines!  And as for my dear hubby, well let’s just say that he has a few “space shuttles” of his own around our house.


I’m sure many of you have the similar lists of incomplete projects.. some of them are placed on your “immediate list” (taking out the trash or putting laundry away) and some on the “short term list” (things like cleaning up the garage or sealing the deck).  Although “short term” for a woman might mean 1-2 months and “short term” for a man could mean 6-12 months.   The big issue arises when men start to move your “immediate” tasks to their “short term” list.    


Those are the days where the battle of will begins.  Just how high can the dishes pile up in the sink?  Just how long can he go without clean underwear? Just how many days can he take a shower without any soap?  The problem however is that when you’re battling with a man over things like these, he will almost always win.  Because to be honest, he’s actually not bothered by any of them and the only one annoyed is you!


And, I’m sorry to say men…. But, those are the days where we become nags….. and, good God how can you blame us?????????

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