Friday, May 10, 2013

How To Make Your Spouse Do Stuff, Den of Chaos Edition

We needed some kind of window covering in the master bathroom – the nekkid windows in there are like tiny but powerful heaters, driving up the temperature not only in there, but all the way in the master bedroom as well.

I finally got off my arse and got the ball rolling on that. Yesterday, the raw materials arrived. And I looked at them…and then I looked at my husband…and I thought to myself, OH boy…this is going to end up being like the downstairs bathroom, which has needed new flooring for, like, four YEARS now…

And sure enough, he was settling into a mode that clearly told me I was going to be hard-pressed to get any finger-lifting from him. After all these years together, I can just tell when he’s going to be resistant to the suggestion that now would be a GREAT time to get on that project.

But I am a wily old fox. So when I had wrapped up the bulk of my work for the day, I wandered downstairs, rummaged together all those raw materials, then poked my head into the Man Cave and casually told Himself that I was going to, you know, just go ahead and get the curtain rods hung, you know, now-ish.


(Note how Mr. Tall Guy doesn’t even need a ladder to do this. I would have needed one. How I planned to use a ladder in the bathtub [which, yes, is where he’s actually standing right there], I have no idea. But I’m sure it would have been a) dangerous and b) awkward and c) he would have pitched a major hissy fit about me doing it “like that” if he’d caught me in the act.)

I have found that I have three basics ways I can attempt to coerce Himself into doing these sorts of Domestic Chores on my schedule:

  1. Needle-n-nag
  2. Humor (comedian type, not “awww, you’re RIGHT, this IS soul-suckingly hard to deal with, awwwwww” humoring)
  3. Cheerfully tell him never mind, I’ll do it m’self, ‘kay?

The first method has a really lousy success rate. Frankly, I think men as a general rule have developed a genetic resistance to it that kicks in the instant they are married. Thus pretty much all that ever happens when I try to use the jab-jab-poke-poke-how-about-now-how-about-now-how-about-now method of spousal encouragement is that he will quickly discover he has approximately 32,418 much more important things that absolutely, positively, no matter WHAT, need to be done first.

Like sharpening his screwdrivers. Or organizing his Netflix queue. Oiling the Shopsmith. You know, man-stuff no woman could ever understand. (Pfffffft, yeah-right. Who does he think he’s kidding?! Like the Supreme Goddess of Procrastination can’t recognize her own subtle ways at work…!)

The second one has a much better success rate but sometimes takes a while because it lacks any sense of urgency, since the addition of same tends to cause it to lose the humor part and degenerate into needle-n-nag. Plus he’s so damned funny right back at me that I’ll get distracted by the humor and forget that I’m trying to get him to DO something, crap, what WAS it…?

(Aside: this is a key benefit of marrying someone with a raging case of ADD. I may carry on three different conversations at the same time with you with alarming frequency – which is damned confusing I’ll grant you but at least you’re not actually inside my head, where there’s usually more like eight or ten or twelve simultaneous-but-completely-separate streams going – but I also completely forget what it was I was trying to make you do given any kind of distraction what-so-ever…so simply asking me if I’ve gotten any good blacksmithing recipes in Warcraft lately can buy you, like, three days of not being bugged about whatever-it-was. Score.)

But the third method (which we both know is merely a variant of the second one but with a dash of danger added to it for added spiciness), particularly when it comes to things like hanging curtain rods or pictures or anything ELSE which, done incorrectly, leads to crookedness, has a nearly 100% success rate for me.

It’s like the instant he realizes that I’m no really heading for the power drill (!!) and no really am going to slap those things up all half-arsed (!!!) and with very little regard for math and/or measurements (faints) (which, for the record, I totally will, because I always think that the ‘hold out my fist with my thumb sticking up and squint at it’ method of leveling is going to be close enough for gummint work), this dark vision yawns open before him of having to spend the next gah only knows how many years walking past something that is {shudder} crooked.

He’s the kind of guy who is physically incapable of leaving a crooked picture alone. He will adjust it. Also he will re-file all the cards at the stationary store if he finds them misfiled. I would mock him for this, but that would be like throwing rocks at a neighbor from the yard of my glass house.

Anyway, he had those rods hung in about half of nothing flat. And walked away smiling, because, crooked curtain rods, AVERTED.

And then I took a $3.98 package of plastic garden netting (what, you thought I’d bought actual curtains to hang there? Please, have you MET me?!), cut it to fit, and did you happen to notice the plants on the windowsill there? Or should I say living curtains, because…

Yes. I’m growing the curtains. AAAAAAH!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I KNOW RIGHT?! I laughed so hard just thinking about doing this last month, and now I keep getting up so I can go look at it, even at this super-early stage, and then I just giggle and snicker like crazy.

These are moccasin rice beans. I bought a bag of them to eat at the Bean Festival last year, and having found that they were becoming really hard to find, decided to see if I could start growing my own. Which I could, and rather easily at that. Woo hoo.

From the test bunch I grew over the winter, I expect the vines to end up anywhere from three to five feet long by the end of their lifespan, with ridiculously large window coverings leaves on relatively thin, wiry vines. Within another week or so, they should start popping out small, pinkish-white blooms – the test batch actually started out rather modestly, then suddenly went nuts right after the first pods were swelling up.

I think that’s the part I’m looking forward to, and hoping works out again on this larger scale. If it works out the way I hope it will, it will be amazing…those lovely, lush leaves with the bright, shy little flowers and their subtle, almost-not-even-there scent…like growing my own little set of promises where I’m sure to see them, every single day.


Anonymous said...

Ooo the Blog definitely needs a summer picture of your curtains. Don't forget, 'k?

Colleen Mole said...

That is the most awesome thing ever!!! PLEASE make sure you post progress photos for us!???

Speaking of which, every time I check your blog I am hoping to see that bright orange warehouse shelving you picked up last year. Any chance you've tricked Him into doing something with it yet? :)

Anonymous said...

what a fabulous idea for a living (productive!) curtain.
Nancy FP