It’s New Year’s Day. I’m hopped up on (decaf) peppermint mocha, a full night’s rest (thanks to the hubs who got up early with the girls), and the endless possibilities that come with a clean slate of sorts. New year, new me, right?
The hubs has already started tackling the kitchen cabinets: purging foods that have been sitting there since the summer, scooping out crumbs, and making things all neat and orderly. It makes it easier for me to dive head first into my mission for the first month of this new year: organizing my life.
While he finishes what he started in the kitchen, I start in on the dining room and the (hideous, overfilled) hutch. At some point during my wild getting-rid-of spree, hubs is done with the food cabinet and moves to the couch in the living room, where the girls are playing. I soldier on, finishing the dining room and tackling more kitchen cabinets before deciding the time has come to ditch the Christmas stuff.
I announce my intentions to my husband, who is lost in a game on his iPhone and grunts in return. Slightly irritated, I head downstairs, wrestle the bins I need up from the basement, and start loading all of the Christmas stuff inside. The hubs is still lost in his game.
Before I even get to the tree I am (almost without thinking) putting things into the bins with a bit more force. Is he kidding me? He’s going to sit there slaying dragons or whatever the hell it is he does while I do all of the work?! I put the whole tree up while he sat and played games and now I’m going to take the whole thing down without so much as a finger being lifted by the prince?
I start on the tree (huffily) and can not believe he has not so much as glanced up to ask if I need help. What an asshole.
I stomp downstairs in search of a rogue bin when it becomes obvious that all of our decorations are not going to fit into the ones I found. Then it happens. I hear footsteps creak on the floor above me–footsteps that obviously belong to an adult. Panic races through me as I speed up my search.
Please tell me he isn’t touching anything. Please. Please tell me he is not touching any of the ornaments–or, worse yet, any of the bins. I practically run up the stairs, almost certain that he has destroyed the packing that I so methodically started.
Relief washes over me when I see that he’s up but has started to tackle another organization project. He hasn’t so much as peered at the tree or the semi-filled bins that surround it.
Then it hits me: he knows better.
He knows that if he so much as removes a single ornament and tries to find a home for it, I will sense that the delicate balance of my newly-packed bin has been destroyed. I will search for this offensive hunk of plastic and immediately remove it. You know, so that I can find a better place for it.
He knows better.
So what exactly is it that this woman wants? I want my husband to feign an interest in helping me. I want him to pretend that he really wants to help, even though he knows what the outcome of his inquiry will be. I want to have to either twist his arm not to help or I want to be able to delegate a task to him that I think he can handle without messing up my flow. I want him to allow me to be a total control freak while pretending to be chivalrous.
It’s important that he doesn’t try too hard to offer help. That would be annoying. But it’s also important that he doesn’t put too little effort into it. That would be annoying too. He needs to strike the perfect balance of really wanting to help while knowing that I won’t want it and being OK with that. He needs to know when to push a little and when to back off. He needs to know where the boundaries are and how to tap dance around them.
Is that so difficult?
*For the record, my husband is not actually an asshole. He just plays one on the internet. Also, he hates it when I say “for the record.” Just, you know, for the record.
Image via The Gloss.