Flowery Advice to Shut Up!

Flowery Advice to Shut Up!

My husband and I had our dumbest fight ever. It was about whether or not to include pinenuts in a pasta dish. I didn’t care and he wanted them. That is totally AOK. No issues at all. I like pine nuts. But I wanted him to understand my perspective and after explaining it for quite a while, he said he no longer wanted pinenuts. That was not at all what I was trying to achieve. I wanted understanding. He wanted release from being made to understand. What to do?!

A few days later I wrote the following paragraph as advice to myself. It’s very useful and necessary for me, maybe less so for people who don’t talk so much or who don’t have an obsessive need to communicate their every inner rumination.

Try to swallow your complaints, your perspective, your need to be understood on your own terms. Try not having terms. Your terms are as a sandcastle to the surf of other. Try to enjoy merging with the ocean. It’s going to happen regardless of your compliant.

On another note, these are a few recent abstracts from my current little book. I plan to write about them soon. I’ve been doing theme and variation on the idea of grid.

Husband Does Dishes. Wife Gives Him Grief.

Husband Does Dishes. Wife Gives Him Grief.

I might be a moron. Or I might have a legitimate gripe. I am not sure. You tell me.

I think I’m better at systems than my husband. But what’s the prize for having the best system? It’s not as if we are both going to a systems review committee and one of us gets a prize. Then the person who doesn’t get the prize is like, OMG, I love you more than ever. How am I so lucky to live with someone more clever than me? Please remind me of that daily. It’s so inspirational.

Let me lay out the nuts and bolts. We don’t have a dishwasher. We are the dishwasher. Therefore, there are always dirty dishes to do and there are always clean dishes in the rack needing to be put away. You wash a dish drain’s worth, let them dry, put them away and then do some more.

Not my husband. He likes to add wet dishes to the dry dishes. If the rack is full and there are two spoons in the sink, he will wash the stupid spoons, sprinkling water all over everything as he nestles them in with the dry ones. Now you can’t put the clean dishes away because they are no longer dry. This is like moving the trash bins to the end of the driveway before backing out. It doesn’t work! Wrong order!

We’ve discussed his methodology almost as frequently as talking about what’s for dinner. He’s not a fan of this conversation and more accurately describes it as berating. After countless spins on the merry go round of why are you like this, I’m still not sure. Direct inquiry has not been as revealing as hoped, but I think he just hates putting dishes away. He prefers washing. I find this so weird. Washing is way worse than emptying. But there it is. We are different. We have different preferences.

So how big of a deal is this? Is this a good hill to die on? Is there a scenario where I will truly be happier if I shame my dish washing husband into washing fewer dishes? Has any wife ever asked this question? What is wrong with me!

Since I am so freaking good at systems, even I can see that I am the problem here. Efficiency is a useful tool for time management but it’s not a treasure. Of all the things holding me back from peace of mind, the state of the dish drain is not one of them. I’ve never thought, I’ve got to get into therapy and deal with this dish drain situation. I can’t take one more minute of it! Okay, actually I have thought that.

I am starting to see that my desire for rigid systems is the way I self regulate. If the chores are under control. Then maybe my life is under control. When I see my husband sprinkle water on dry dishes it can feel like he is inviting chaos over for dinner. I am not saying he is; I am saying it can feel like it. But that’s on me. It’s not true and it’s a stupid over reaction.

I really love being efficient but as I stated here, Being Efficient isn’t a Great Epithet, rather than be admired for something that leads to imperceptible gains, I should like to be remembered as someone who was pleasant to be around. Maybe those newly wet tupperware lids are a sign to go make some art or tell someone I love them.