Saturday, February 6, 2010
Training a husband: Silk is better than Steel
When I married, I wasn't any spring chicken, so I did know a thing or two about the male species. With that being said, I've learned exactly how much I didn't know about the male species through my interactions with my husband of more than thirty years.
Let's start with the simple idea of expiration dates on milk. I remember clearly, waiting in the car and looking at the huge smile on my husband's face as he handed me the gallon of newly purchased milk, "I really had to look hard, but I finally found today's date!" I thought he was joking, until I read that indeed today's date was stamped on the milk jug.
Taking a deep breath, I calmly explained that even though I appreciated the effort of reading all the dates and finally snapping up the last of "today's date" he would need to go back in and find a date far into the future. I was afraid at this point to tell him to find a date far away from today's date, because I surely didn't want last week's expiration date on our milk. He did huff and puff, but finally he took the jug back into the store and slumped back, wordlessly handing me the milk. To this day, he finds the best date in all the dairy case.
Back when we first married, ice was made in metal trays in our refrigerator's freezer. I suppose that there was a manly rule somewhere that stated that the person who took the last cube was responsible for replenishing the liquid to the tray. I don't know, although I did ask. Aggravation met me many times when I wanted a glass full of ice and there were only two cubes left (one from each of the trays in the freezer.) It got to the point that I began to learn to drink lukewarm sodas and water, until I came up with a brilliant solution. When he wasn't looking I loaded up the freezer with ten ice cube trays, so that at least I would have ten ice cubes, if needed. Many the times I found out the filling all ten trays was an act requiring balance and the ability to hold open the refrigerator's door with my knee, because the freezer door was spring loaded. Finally, a few years ago, we were able to purchase the appliance of my dreams....a refrigerator with an ice maker. No more warm drinks and glares in my husband's directions have decreased remarkably.
We were blessed with my mother for transportation of our daughter from school, except for rare cases when she couldn't because of doctors' appointments. My husband assured me that it wasn't a problem, as his office was only a few blocks from our daughter's school. Armed with sticky notes and verbal reminders, my husband gallantly took up the duty of picking up our girl from school. Luckily, our daughter learned to be calm and not panic, even when she was left standing outside waiting for her dad.
A call to his office, "Dad, how are you?"
"Dad, how was your day?"
"Okay, what about yours?"
"My day was fine, Dad. Hey, Dad, did you forget anything today?"
A pregnant pause and then, "Nope, don't think so, Hon. Why?"
"You forgot to pick me up at school, I'm still here."
A very pregnant pause, "I'll be right there." He was there in five minutes and she forgave her dad.
Two days later and I won't repeat the above dialogue, as it was basically the same, except, she added, "Again!" to her last statement. So, we all learned an important lesson that week, in spite of adoring someone to the ends of the Earth, you can forget to pick them up from school.
What other lessons have I learned these last thirty some years with the man I love? I know that in spite of all of MY faults (I do have many) he loves me and would do anything to see me smile. He is my closest friend and confidant and the best milk buyer in the world.