Thursday, June 26, 2008


Okay, so generally I spend forever mulling over something lovely, deep, and thought-provoking to write here but ladies, I need some help in a very trivial, and petty matter. Please?

So here's the deal. The other morning before he left for work, hubby apparently carried a box in from his car and left it on the kitchen counter. It's one of those styrofoam packing boxes, packing tape around it, that sort of thing. I didn't give it much thought, figuring it was some new merchandise for work or somesuch thing.

We talked on the phone one or twice during the course of the day. He didn't mention it. I didn't mention it. That evening after dinner I went shopping for Emma's birthday party. Neil asked what I was getting and I said I wasn't sure, but probably hotdogs.

While I was out, I decided to get buns and deli meat instead, as most of the birthday guests are fairly health conscious.

I came home loaded with groceries. To find that Neil was really, really mad at me.

Why? Because apparently the styrofoam box he hadn't mentioned? Was full of hotdogs and other meat from the local butcher.


And he was mad that I hadn't put the contents of the "cooler" in the fridge. And then he was mad that I hadn't bought hot dog buns for the hot dogs he hadn't told me he bought.


I pointed out that he was equally culpable. That the box didn't look anything like a cooler, and that he needed to communicate and not get grumpy at me over something I had no way of knowing.

He grunted. That was it! He just grunted!

And continued to be grumpy the rest of the night.

Finally I told him off for it. Said it was ridiculous of him to be sitting there mad at me and blaming me when it was as much his fault.

He said he hadn't denied it was partly his fault.

Apparently the grunt was meant to communicate that fact. And apparently I shouldn't assume I know what he's thinking when he goes off for a sulk.


So help me out ladies...he's completely insane, right?

And how on earth do we develop better communication skills? Because everything else is fabulous, it really is. He's a wonderful husband, father, and provider. Lately, he just hasn't felt like a wonderful friend.

Has anyone else struggled with this sort of thing?



Nichole said...

yup. I vote for "completely insane"!

As for communication skills. . . all I can say is sometimes that's just the way it is. It's that whole Venus/Mars thing. I'm sorry. I know that doesn't help.

If it were me and my hub here's what I'd do (I'm famous for this, btw): I'd badger through the stonewalling and sulking and talk it through to make him see reason and make him admit I'm right, particularly in a case so cut and dry as this one. It might take a few days. . .

And I'd make him promise that next time, he'll do the really simple thing needed to avoid a similar mess and Communicate (with a capital C). Notes are fine, text messages or e-mails work, phone calls are better.

heather said...

oh bother...
THIS happens to R and I quite frequently (okay nearly daily). But I only let him sulk and grouch for about five seconds and then I BARK... anyway, I too think it's an unfortunately inescapable thing in certain seasons of life. Both of our heads are so FULL, we have no room for storing...boxes and the like. I cannot give advice since I'm still in the throws of the stomping my feet phase.
So I guess the only point of this comment is to let you know you're normal. :)

Stella said...

Sometimes talking to my husband is like talking to a styrofoam packing box!!!

I probably would have asked him what the box was at some point during the day. BUT I would have expected him to let me know that it was something that needed to be put away or put it away himself!

I think it's a matter of constantly talking. Constantly sharing, even the stuff that doesn't matter. And it's constantly listening, too! It's a lot of work and it's all baby steps but well worth it!

Nichole said...

I'm with Stella. Sometimes it borders on . . . micromanaging. I'm CONSTANTLY (as in at least daily) reference checking with M. "What are your plans?" "Tonight we're gonna do X, Y, then Z, right?" "OK, I'm gonna do this, you're gonna do that, and then we'll tackle this together".

I WISH I were kidding. Sometimes it feels like running a business and being business partners (my worst fear). But, that's the nitty and the gritty.

If you can get to the point where you OVER communicate, it gets easier.

Ryan said...

Let me start by saying, "I'm a man."

[waiting for the shots to ring out....]

No shots. Great. I always like to deal with situations like this with humor.

For example, the other day my wife packed a thermos-like container in my lunch. This was odd because one, I didn't know we had a thermos, and two, she didn't say anything about it.

Well, I was in a rush, so I didn't question--I figured she had packed, as a treat, my favorite drink in the world: milk.

Come to find out, however, that it wasn't milk at all. At lunch time, as I was unscrewing the lid, I was surprised to find [dramatic pause] NAPALM!

In terror I flung it from me, realizing too late that this was kind of (just kind of) a stupid thing to do. The thermos bounced off the padded cubicle wall, whipping itself back in my direction, now with it's contents flinging in every direction.

I'm actually writing this from my hospital bed where I am being treated for third degree burns on over 90% of my body.

And do you want to know the sickest thing of all?

It all started with a styrofoam box I had left on the table the day before, with hot dogs in it that my wife was supposed to put in the refrigerator. When I got home, I exploded because she hadn't, and as some sort of sick revenge, she decided to mix the styrofoam box with gasoline and stick it in a thermos for my lunch.

Napalm, people!

So, next time something like this happens, let me suggest this: treat it with humor; tell a little anecdote of sorts. Smile.

Do like me, and make something up. You just might laugh :)

Sarah said...

Ok... well my first impulse was to laugh. I mean, how typical was this situation? :) And the grunting... Somehow it reminded me of Raymond and Debra. Love that show.

But as for advice... The best I can say is to laugh over it together. Today someone tried to tow a car we were responsible for, we came home to find out we had to wash sticky stickers off the side and pay a fee, we had to drive for 1.5 hours to return the car, and we had to do it before dinner. I could have cried. My husband could have blamed. But the best thing for me was when I burst into laughter. It was a ridiculous situation and better handled with laughter. So, I would just make a joke. Something about a hot dog. Then later, the next time you eat hot dogs you can laugh about it again.