(originally published here on August 25, 2009). Since I’ve already admitted our “blanket situation“.
Now that we have been married for thirteen years, my husband and I have gotten pretty good at working out the different roles in our relationship. Some things I’m in charge of, some things he’s in charge of, and some things we do together. It’s pretty balanced and comfortable.
But sometimes one of us gets a little funky in some area, and the other person has to step in and have a little “come-to-Jesus” meeting with the other person.
Case in point-my husband and his relationship to our rechargeable batteries. A few years ago we started buying rechargeable batteries since we both are so enamored of electrical gadgets. But lately, for like, oh, the last year or so, the batteries have stopped holding their charge. So we’ve been having a lot of conversations like this:
Me: “So, the rechargeable batteries are losing their charge.”
My husband: “No they’re not.”
Me: “Yes, they are. Seriously-I put them in the camera, and I can take like two pictures, and then I have to replace them again.
My husband: “The batteries are fine. They work just fine for me.”
It’s like one of those relationships where a girl is dating some scummy, lowlife guy who beats her, but she keeps on making up all these justifications for why she’s not leaving him:
“Oh, he didn’t mean it.”
“Oh, I know he loves me.”
“But I can change him.”
So last Friday my husband got home from a business trip, and when he tried to work on his computer he saw that he needed new batteries in his mouse. And I am not kidding, he walked back and forth in front of me from the kitchen to his office THREE TIMES in the space of five minutes because, guess what? NONE OF THE BATTERIES WORKED! And as he passed me by his face dared me to say anything, which I didn’t have to, because the smug grin on my face said it all for me in that it was loudly broadcasting the message of, “SEE-I TOLD YOU SO!”
But even then he refused to admit defeat, continuing his attempts to manufacture tiny threads of hope that he could hold onto, so I had to stage an intervention.
“We are going to Fry’s this weekend, and we are buying new batteries AND a new charger!” I proclaimed.
“Oh we are, are we?” retorted my husband. But in his heart he knew that we were, because I almost never put my foot down like that, which means that when I do, he listens.
So we went, and he was all resistant and rejecting everything they sold, and I was like, “Dude-IT’S JUST BATTERIES! And we can get a charger AND a set of batteries for under twenty dollars. I don’t understand what the problem is here.”
He really didn’t have a good answer to that question, so I prevailed and we made our purchase. And so now we have two chargers plugged in in the kitchen, because apparently you can force my husband to go to the electronics store and buy new batteries, but you can’t make him use them. So now he makes a point of only using old batteries from the old charger as if to say, “I know Jenny has abandoned you, but I never will.”
It’s like these shoes he had back when we first got married. He had this pair of Docksiders which he loved, with a deep and abiding passion. Which was just fine, until the day I noticed that every time he wore them, he bled. His beloved shoes were MAIMING him, but he absolutely refused to admit what was going on.
Me: “You can’t wear those shoes anymore, because they are causing you to bleed.”
My husband: “I don’t know what you’re talking about. These shoes are just fine.”
Me: “There is blood flowing from your heels even as we speak. THEY ARE NOT FINE.”
My husband: “There is nothing wrong with these shoes. They are the best shoes ever. Go away!”
So somehow I managed to get him to throw them away, but to this day he still mourns their loss, and blames me for ruining their perfect relationship. Which I guess is just an example of tough love, when you have to step in and be the bad guy to keep a loved one from getting hurt.
And so I know that to be fair, I should include some stories now about how I am all unreasonable and in denial about things, but truly, around here it’s pretty much like, “Oh, Jenny’s being crazy again? It must be Monday. Or Tuesday. Or a day ending in “-day”.” (See: The Having Of Fibromyalgia, And My Denial Thereof, In That I Am Not Really Sick).
But I can tell you about an area in our marriage where my husband and I are The Most Stubborn Human Beings Who Have Ever Lived.
When I was in high school my mom bought me an all-new set of bed linens, to replace the set I’d had almost since I began to sleep in a big-girl bed. The set was PEACH, to match the PEACH flowers on my wallpaper, and included a PEACH blanket. To go with all the PEACH in my PEACH room.
Well the blanket came with me when we got married, and for some reason my husband insists on referring to my CLEARLY PEACH blanket as “the pink blanket.”
For thirteen years now we’ve been having this debate, with neither side budging an inch. It’s gotten to the point now where one evening, when I was very sick and needed a blanket, I refused to ask my husband for help. Because if I asked him for the peach blanket, there was a chance he would refuse to bring it to me. And if I referred to it as the pink blanket, then he might think that he had “won”. Because we are dorks, and also, being firstborns, “I AM RIGHT. AND YOU ARE WRONG. WHY CAN’T YOU SEE THIS?!”
Don’t you wish you lived here too?