Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Rule One

There are only two rules you need to know to succeed in a marriage. They are:

  1. Your wife is always right.

  2. If you are right, and your wife is wrong, refer to rule one.

Today we did something that had been put back, and back…and back… for about 3 weeks. My sister in law is moving, and said we could have her dining room table and chairs. The catch, if you can call it that, is that she lives over 60 miles away, and we had to go get it ourselves.

Now, as a guy, I don’t give a crap what kind of table I eat off, as long as it’s clean, roughly the right height and fairly sturdy. However, things like dining tables are apparently very important to women.

The first problem comes in, in that Sunny has been complaining about the clutter in our house for about the past year. Her definition of clutter, however, appears to be “anything I don’t personally like.” So despite the fact my swords got put on top of the entertainment center under sufferance, it’s perfectly ok to bring in not one, but TWO entertainment centers, and a whole dining room set.

Anyway, getting this dining table was very important to her, so I let it slide and didn’t complain.

Last night, Sunny reminded me on her way to work to go to bed early, so I’d get up and be bright eyed and bushy tailed when we headed off to get it. She insisted on this.

Unfortunately, this morning brought a bit of a family emergency, so Sunny went to see her daughter, and said, and I quote: “I will be back by 2 O’Clock. Have your shoes on and be ready to leave when I get back.”

This apparently is a sticking point with all women. You must be ready and waiting at the door at exactly the time prescribed. Not having your shoes on and making her wait 15 seconds while you slip them on is unacceptable. So is making them wait about a minute while you go to take a piss before you leave.

‘This Is The Time We Are Leaving. Delay Is Unnaceptable’.

But as every guy knows, it’s always a case of ‘Hurry up and wait.’ We’ve got to be ready to go, but if we hurry them even slightly, because they’re still deciding on the shade of lipstick to wear when you should have left half an hour ago…we’re being unreasonable. I mean, honestly, what’s worse? Being half an hour late (if you’re lucky), or her leaving the house in the shoes that are the wrong shade of white?

The worst part is you go off an occupy yourself while they’re ‘getting ready’, and when they decide to put in an appearance, an hour after you where meant to leave, you get it in the neck for making them wait that extra 15 seconds while you go back into the house to get the car keys. (I HAD THEM IN MY HAND AN HOUR AGO, WOMAN!!!).

Yes, Ma’am.

I was ready, shoes on and all at 2pm. I was ready and 2:15. I was even ready at 2:30. When she finally arrived at 2:45 I, quite reasonably I thought, asked “Where have you been?”

In return I got a ‘talk to the hand’ gesture and a “Sh.”

Now, at this point I wasn’t being a smart ass. I had been starting to worry, and just wanted to know what held her up…

I should say that only at that point I wasn’t being a smart ass. Mrs. ‘Complain about the minute it takes to use the bathroom, but calls it no big deal when she’s three quarters of an hour late’ actually dismissed me with a wave of her hand when I asked a question.

Oh, it was on then. It was on like Donkey Kong, Biz-atch!

“Well, what took you so long? I’ve been sitting here bored shitless just waiting for you! “
“WELL!” Said Sunny. “I forgot what the traffic was like over there at this time.”

This was delivered with a ‘Well DUH!’ kinda attitude.

Again, let me get this straight. She didn’t factor in traffic, purely a mistake on her part, and somehow it’s slowly becoming my fault. I could see her getting ready to snap as I washed my coffee cup out before I left. (45 minutes versus 15 seconds….I was making us late…not her.)

I shit you not, as she was flitting around the house getting ready to leave, I sat on the couch and started watching TV. Ten minutes later she had the nerve to walk through the living room, truck keys in hand and say:

“Tsk. Are you ready?” Delivered with the: ‘Come on, you’re holding me up!’ attitude.

Yes, my darling wife, I’ve been ready to leave for the past hour. I apologize for watching TV while I waited, and I know it’s my fault we’re late, because I now have to waste time by standing up, turning off the tv, and walking to the truck. Next time I’ll wait outside by the truck while standing to attention. I will read your mind and see the future. I will understand that your delay was unavoidable and my fault, as expecting you to know that rush hour traffic is heavy was a mistake on my part, and I should have informed you of this. On the other hand, I could simply have stood outside, by the truck, completely still and doing absolutely nothing for the past hour. After all, I am only here to serve you.

Anyway, we left.

Now, the ride over there wasn’t entirely comfortable. There where three of us, Myself, Sunny and my stepson Frank. We were in a single-cab pickup truck. Both Frank and I are over 6 feet tall. Sardines anyone?

We arrived. It took over and hour. We also knew the ride back would be even longer, as we’d have to keep the speed down with a fully loaded truck.

The table was heavy, the chairs where awkward. It wasn’t fun. Especially the part where a falling table grazed my swonicles.

I accepted this with good grace. Life can’t always be fun.

We were on our way back home when Sunny looked thoughtful.

“I hope that table fits in our kitchen.” She said.

Whoa, whoa, whoa!!! Back it up there, Skippy!

My mind worked at lightning fast speed:

Fact One : The dimensions of our kitchen is a known quantity.
Fact Two : I’d assumed that the size of the table was also a known quantity.
Fact Three : A simple phonecall could have solved the will it/won’t it fit conundrum.

I also went through the full spectrum of emotions. From anger, to sorrow, to frustration and more, in the space of just a few seconds.

You see in Sunny’s situation, I would have seen two options:

  1. Keep my husband and son busy all day by crow barring the three of us into a truck for a combined 2-3 hours. Have them move a gigantic, heavy and awkward table out of a house. Have them load said table onto a truck, crow bar everyone back in the truck, drive back home, have them unload the truck, and hope to hell everything fits.

  2. Call my sister and say: “How big is that table?”

I could have blown my top. I could have shouted. Instead, I said:

“Please tell me you’re joking.”

She shrugged back at me.

“No honestly, tell me your joking.”

Again, a shrug and a hint of a grin.

“Well.” I said. “You’d better be joking, because if we’ve just gone through all this shit for nothing, I will be pissed at you…and I mean more pissed than I’ve ever been.”

(That isn’t saying much, I’m not pissed at Sunny often. That statement meant I’d probably not put the exact amount of creamer that she likes into her coffee…I’d have also done a sub-standard job of rubbing her back…Yeah! Take that, Biz-atch!)

She did that wife thing, if you’re still single, you might not have seen it. Basically, they look at you…then their faces turn to stone.

She was pissed at me.

Can someone explain that to me? She’s just dragged three of us to the Georgia border in a two seater truck, made us to all that work, potentially for nothing. I express my sincere displeasure at the prospect, and I’M the one who’s in the wrong?

I was thinking:

Ok, I’ve just given up my entire day to do something that I honestly don’t give a crap about. I don’t care if we get a new dining table or not, but I did it anyway, with a smile on my face,  just because I know it’s something that’s important to Sunny. We left an hour late, due to a mistake of hers, which took up even more of my day. Now I find that the whole thing might have been for absolutely no reason, because she didn’t think to call her sister and get a measurement of the table before we left…Now I’m the bad guy because I pointed out her mistake, even though I didn’t even raise my voice, which I believe I wouldn’t be over-reacting to do.

Sunny was thinking:

I go out of my way to get us a nice table for the house, I get stuck in traffic, which is somehow my fault, and now he’s acting like it’s the end of the world, because I made one teensy mistake. What a bastard!

This brings me back to the beginning of this post.

Refer to rule one.

You see, ladies, may of you don’t realize that as bad as we may seem, we men can be a whole lot worse. We’d also be completely justified in doing it.

Although I’d have been in deep shit for a month or two, I could simply have said at the start of all this:

“I don’t want a new dining room table, the place is cluttered enough as it is! If you want to go get it, go get it, but I’m not helping out any!” Then let her go off, do it all herself, and sat on the couch as she struggled to bring it in.

You see, women care about dining tables, matching curtains and couch cushions. Guys care about the computer, the TV and the stereo system.

But here’s the thing.

I used the lesser know Marriage Rule 3:

Rule 3 : If rules 1 or 2 don’t seem fair, keep your damned mouth shut.

If I’d have made a big issue out of it, and started an argument to prove that I was in the right, we would have argued for about half an hour, not be speaking to each other right now, and would have been engaged ‘Marriage Cold War’ for about two weeks.

Instead, I followed rule 3.

When I saw the stone face thing, I shut my mouth and unloaded that table with a smile on my face and a spring in my step..

Right now, Sunny’s napping before she goes to work, and I don’t have to worry about getting wee-wee in my coffee for the next two weeks.

I know I’m right, she ‘knows’ she’s right, it’s win-win and all the unpleasantness has been side-stepped.

…until she reads this.


(Oh, and in case your wondering, the table did fit, and it looks nice…and if I don’t blog in the next week, Sunny did it. I‘ll be buried under the house. Someone tell my parents.)


mistyforeverlost said...

Too funny and a daily occurance in this house.

BTW--your link from sunny's page doesn't work. I keep having to read the porno comments from her netflix post to find your blog.

Miz S said...

Misty- Do what we did- all our favorite blog addies have been posted in our favorites list on the comp. No more hunting.

Miz S said...

It's wonderful to see there are men who really DO understand women and how to deal with them.
So let me explain.......

First of all....I KNEW the actual TABLE would fit in the kitchen- I was worried about the turn from the door into the hall into the kitchen. It could have been taken apart if it was too tight a fit to go thru in one piece.

Also- I admit- I could have stopped and found a pay-phone to call and let you know I was running late- but in that traffic- in that part of town- it would have added anouther 15 minutes AT LEAST to do that so I chose NOT to.

The hand......Altho you truly didn't raise your voice when you asked where I had been-(thank you, sweetheart)-the tone was one that you would use with an errant teen and I took a bit of offense to it (because I was already stressed having to deal with that traffic and the family emergency AND knowing I was running late after specificly asking you to be ready and waiting as obviously you were.)I felt bad enough already without beingmade to feel worse- thus the hand. I shouldn't have done that- and I apologize.

And yes, I have been complaining about too much clutter in the house- mainly because we have ours and Frank's stuff in there, Franks which will be gone this week. When I come up on things that will make the house nicer and make things more convenient-IN THE LONG RUN- I take advantage of them. I'll sort it all out later and if there are things we can't use- we will pass them on to someone who CAN use them. Like the entertainment center...the small one- not the larger, nicer one that we switched to.
I want to thank you for being such a sweet understanding hubby. I know you don't understand a lot of what I do- but you do try and give me the benifit of the doubt and try and understand my reasoning when I explain.
It's one of the reasons I love you so.

Ron Bramlett said...

Hey its always 'on like donkey kong' when my woman gives me the 'talk to the hand' gesture (at least twice a week).

And those 2 rules have been scribbled onto my palm for quick and easy reference...