A couple days ago, Joe decided that the inside of a couple closets needed to be painted. Immediately. So, he emptied out these closets and painted the insides of them. Well, why not? Makes perfect sense to me. I looked around the house at all the half-finished jobs and things that really needed to be fixed. I saw chipping paint, a bathroom that was primed last year, but still hadn't been painted, a gaping hole in the threshold of the back door, a couple holes in walls, etc. I bit my tongue and realized that once again, I have no idea how the male brain works. I don't understand my husband. I don't pretend to understand him on any level. How could he look around at the house and somehow miss all the obvious things that needed repair and yet feel an overwhelming compulsion to paint the inside of a closet? How?
Getting ready for the kids' birthday party last week, Joe came home from work about 20 minutes before we had to leave and said, "What can I do to help? What needs to be done?" Now, I know he was trying to be helpful, but I was on a mission to finish Brooklyn's cake, get everything together, and hop in the shower. I knew what I needed to do and I just didn't have the time to stop and give him directions. That's how I work. It drives me batty when I have to give him instructions like one of the kids. Why doesn't he just know this stuff? Seriously, why do I have to tell him everything?
On the flip side, Joe probably thought, "What is her problem?! Why is she stomping around, looking all ticked off when I'm standing here, asking her what I can do to help? What, does she think I can read minds? All she has to do is tell me what she wants and I'll do it. I don't automatically know what her plan is."
I'm pretty sure that men and women are different species.
After the birthday party, this escalated into a full blown argument. "I did everything for this party. Everything! I booked the party place, I bought the decorations. I sent out the invitations. I ordered the food and made the cakes and bought the presents. And you don't appreciate it! You can't ever acknowledge what I do and say thank you!"
"Why should I thank you? It's just a birthday party. Do you thank me for going to work every day? Do you thank me for dumping the garbage? Do you say thanks when I change the oil in your car?"
Boy, it's easy to start taking each other for granted, isn't it? It's easy to get in the habit of thinking, why should I thank you? It's your job.
Even though the little tasks we do: doing laundry, taking out the trash, grocery shopping, making doctor's appointments for the kids, paying bills, car maintenance, etc., might be our "jobs", it doesn't hurt to acknowledge them.
And ladies, we all know our husbands aren't going to suddenly start coming home, saying things like, "Wow, that's one sparkly toilet! Good job, cleaning!" or "I really appreciate that you helped the kids with their homework tonight." But, I bet if we started telling our husbands, "Hey thanks for taking out the garbage", or "thanks for giving the kids baths tonight", they might just pick up on it and reciprocate. That's my theory anyway. And wouldn't it be better if you both hear those little "thank yous" now and then? And wouldn't it be better if you were both happy and felt good about yourselves and each other?
So thank you for changing the oil in my car and getting me iced coconut coffee today, Joe! And I love the inside of the closets! I don't know how we went so long without painting them! ;)