Posted by Danny
I think I’m a pretty selfish person. In fact, “think” is not really the right word.
I remember early on in our marriage when Lisa and I found the thing that was going to be our issue. On Saturdays, I would wake up at 9 ready to tackle the world! I’d drink my coffee, make my list and get to work. I would even include “Make a list” on my to do list just so I’d have one more thing to cross off. It gave me a sense of accomplishment.
Lisa, on the other hand, did not enjoy spending her Saturdays marking things off my list. Quite the contrary. She wanted to watch Beverly Hills 90210 reruns. She’d curl up on the couch with a diet Dr. Pepper and watch Kelly, Donna, Brandon and Dylan play out the same old tired scenes week after week.
I’d come in the house, slam a few doors, leave the list on the table (with a marker just in case SOMEONE wanted to wash the car or something) and ask Lisa a question to try to stir her. “Have you seen the lawn mower?”
“I haven’t. Have you checked the garage? That’s where it usually is.”
“What about the mop? When I finish mowing I guess I’m going to mop the kitchen – since it’s on the list.”
“Suit yourself. I think it’s on the back porch where you left it after you mopped last weekend. You sure do mop a lot.”
Finally, after a year or two of brewing up frustration with my wife because I was carrying the full Saturday load, I exploded!
“I do ALL the work around here! How can you just sit there on a Saturday while I work my behind off keeping this place up and running? I’m sick of it. And I don’t appreciate it.”
Oh – I really told her.
“Well, I don’t appreciate you getting me up early on Saturday and planning my entire weekend with stuff that I have absolutely no interest in doing. I do not like yard work. I do not want to clean all day. I work hard Monday through Friday and I plan to chill on Saturdays. I need some down time. Why don’t we get a maid and spend more time together?”
“Well, that’s just fine.”
I told her again! We’ll see what happens now. I was skeptical about finding one, paying for one and her ability to be REALLY committed to the cleanliness of our house.
But my wife found a maid.
And… we spent more time together on Saturdays. And I learned to enjoy savoring my coffee and reading the paper with my wife in the bed – which is why I can remember all of the characters’ names in 90210.
I wish I had learned those lessons two years earlier – the lessons of compromise, listening and realizing that my wife just attacked Saturdays (and some other things in life) differently from me and that was ok. I didn’t have to have it MY way. There was a way for both of us to win.
Just think of all my wasted hash marks on my pointless to do lists.