Monday, October 31, 2011

#30 He Doesn't Say, "Boo"

I love fall. I love fall with so much of a passion one would think I should actually move somewhere where there is less spring and summer and a whole lot more of fall and winter. But New Jersey beckons and I answer her call.

There is something wonderful that fills the air the minute fall is in season. You may recognize it as the something wonderful of cooler air, colorful leaves, and delicious yummies that can only be enjoyed at this time of year. But I recognize it as the starting point for what I am secretly anticipating with childish giddiness: Christmas.

And while this is my underlying excitement for the season of fall, I still do enjoy all that fall brings and would never wish to rush it past. In fact, Thanksgiving has always been dubbed my favorite holiday (but more to come about that another time).

Yet, with as much as I love the fall, I have never been able to get into Halloween. Perhaps it is because I was raised with Christian values and therefore my family didn't celebrate Halloween, but rather "Harvest". The problem there is that unless you are a farmer, you don't really understand what you are celebrating when the adults tell you, "No, we don't celebrate Halloween, we celebrate Harvest time". So. You're telling me we are celebrating the gathering of crops? But, we're not going to go gather any crops? Okay.

Or perhaps it was just the fact that I look completely ridiculous in any kind of contraption that is composed of 99% spandex, 1% itchy material, a cape, and a few patches randomly sewn on that guise me as whatever is currently "in" to pretend to be for one night.

Needless to say, I still do not celebrate Halloween. In fact, this was my first year even carving a pumpkin.

(My pumpkin: day and night).

For the last two years I managed to find somewhere else that I had to be on Halloween night so that I didn't have to be in the house as the earlier trick-or-treaters (you know, the ones who go out so early that they don't realize your porch light is not on) came to my door and waited in anticipation for no one to greet their knocks. Yet this year, I had no where else to go and needed to start supper for a husband who would be home within an hour or so. Therefore I had to ready myself to ignore. I sat three rooms away as my screen door creaked open and ignored. I heard the pitiful rapping on my door and ignored. As they waited, tried again, and then slowly let the screen door creak back shut, I ignored.

Don't judge me.

When we were married and first moved into a home of our very own, the first Halloween I thought, "Well, perhaps I should try this whole give-out-candy-to-kids-I-don't-know thing."

Once was enough. There are two, nay, three reasons why I could never keep such ridiculousness up every year.

#1. I guess I'm a little lazy, or perhaps I'm worried about my heating bill, but it is a little silly to keep opening and shutting my front door all night long just to toss a few pieces of candy outside.

#2. Kids (and their parents) are darn greedy. They come with high expectations, not a single thank you on their lips, and some come about five or six years too late to still be expecting candy.

#3 Call me a penny pincher (I've been called worse by my brothers) but, why am I buying candy for children I have never seen before in my life and who fall under reason #2? Why? Because it's Halloween?

So, think what you may about me, but more than likely, next Halloween I'll be doing the same thing. Hiding in the most distant room from the front door and ignoring what seems to be a slight tapping in order to protect my heating bill, my food budget, and my peace of mind.

(Hubby carved the whole world.
He is pretty awesome.
This picture is pretty horrible).

Sunday, October 2, 2011

#29 He Hates a Nagging Wife

Unfortunately, the words nag and woman seem to be synonymous. No one ever instantly pictures a man when they reminisce on someone who at some time has persistently nagged them to do something. One might even think that nagging is something all women are born with, an unavoidable part of them, something they are doomed to from the start, similar to the menstrual cycle.

Some men can deal with it, others run from it like the plague, and still others rebel against it. My husband is the latter. I learned within the first few months of our marriage that if I wanted something done or if I felt the need to remind him of something he was supposed to do, nagging would guarantee that it would not happen.

Nagging is a habit that is nurtured. We have the ability to turn it on and to turn it off. I've chosen to leave mine turned off.

In doing so, I myself feel less frustrated because I don't say the same thing over and over and over again, I learn how to creatively ask my husband to do the things I want done, and I learn to express to him that I will not remind him again about doing the things he wants done.

Something I have wanted done for probably two years now, and has been a thorn in my side ever since, lies with a simple, but important, kitchen appliance: the microwave. Our microwave is a mondo microwave. It is the type of microwave you expect to be in an office break room, a coffee house, or in the "19 Kids and Counting" family's home. It is much larger than necessary and only came into our possession because of the stupidity of Lance's first college roommate (not a story worth repeating for the sake of all parties involved).

The trouble that began to occur was that this mondo microwave would blow a circuit no matter what when plugged into the outlet closest to it. It got to the point that we had to pull out this hose sized extension cord and drag it across the room (to the only other outlet) in order to use the microwave. We'd unplug it and roll it up whenever the microwave was not in use to spare any person crossing through the kitchen from the possibility of tripping over it and falling to death by extension cord.

Then I got this thought. Couldn't we put a shelf over the stove (where the other outlet was) and then have the microwave right near the outlet we'd been constantly having to connect it to? It would be a win win situation because not only would the inconvenience of the cord be gone, but also, I'd have about six by three feet of space back.

Original set up of mondo micro:
(I had to use this picture from my last post because I didn't decide to write about this until the original set up had already been dismantled. Therefore, skeleton feet are included.)

Finally, it happened. We went to Lowe's to get a rod so that these cutesy curtains I'd made could be put in place to hide the disgust that is a kitchen trashcan. Then, without any suggestion from me (honestly!) my husband went and also picked up the materials he'd need to make my life in the kitchen heaven.
(Note: He also added a hook so that my awesome apron could hang all by itself looking loverly).

The final product:
I was pretty much in love all over again.

This new wonderfulness brought about another need for me: what to do with that empty space where the microwave once stood. My husband feels that less is more. Without me, he'd be one of those bachelors living in a condo that has two pieces of awesome, yet simple furniture in each room. Minimalism. That's great, but I'm a woman. We like our trinkets, our baskets, and our signs (Yes, in fact, I do want you to 'Always Kiss me Goodnight' in fact, every night.)

The spot where the microwave was:
The yellow mini-hutch (one of my top 3 favorite pieces of furniture we own)
went into the dining room causing the dining room to be completely transformed:
(And, he hung those two stars up for me that night too!)

Without my nagging for something to be done, I feel like he always goes above and beyond whatever it is I want to happen. Maybe the whole nagging thing works for some couples, for men who need their woman to remind them constantly about things, but what I would recommend to all, naggers and non-naggers, is to consider your tone. That's always been the beginning of my downfall. While when you want something done you may consider it to be earth shatteringly important, others will not always recognize it as that. Therefore, don't speak to them as if they should see things like you do. Calm reminders, peaceful observations, and creative conversation are all ways to get what you want done without nagging.