Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's the Little Things That Drive Us Crazy

Let me preface this blog by saying that I married the love of my lifetime.  He "completes me" blah-blah-blah, blah-blah-blah.  We have weathered many of life's storms together being tossed and turned by huge waves of uncertainty and fear.  We've survived just about everything that 3 teenaged boys could throw at us.  Together, we are a force to be reckoned with.  So far, nothing has been able to sink the ship of our marriage.  Nothing.  But, it's the little things that drive us crazy and set our teeth on edge.

The Dishwasher
I get highly offended when Alan rearranges the dishes in the dishwasher.  He has some very strong convictions when it comes to the proper loading of the dishwasher.  So do I.  Over the years, we have worked through some mighty loading issues.  Then, came our newest dishwasher with the dreaded "on door" silverware basket.  See the little dark gray hinged "lids" at the top of the basket?  I say that they are there to keep small items like pacifiers and baby bottle nipples from flying all over the place.  Alan sees them as fork and spoon organizers.  I shove handfuls of silverware into the basket all hully-gully.  He closes the little lids and neatly slips forks through the slits on one side of the basket and spoons through the slits on the other side of the basket.  All forks and spoons must face the same way with the tines and bowls up.  Knives are placed in the middle two compartments because they do not "spoon" with each other.  In the big scheme of all that needs to be done around the house, I feel like sorting silverware in the dishwasher is too time consuming and tedious.  First, I do not enjoy bending at the waist over the dishwasher door for a prolonged period of time.  Second, placing each eating utensil in an individual slot is like putting 30 keys in 30 keyholes.  Alan is convinced that spoons that "spoon" in the dishwasher do not get clean.  I counter with, "Just throw the dirty ones back in.  The second go-through will work like a charm!"  Oh, the debates we've had over this issue.  Statements like "Why do you to have control over my dishwasher!?  I don't come up to the bank and rearrange your desk!!" and "I guess you don't like having a husband that helps in the kitchen!" have flown through the air.  We have reached an unspoken agreement.  I cram the silverware into the basket by day.  He comes home from his long day at the bank and sorts spoons and forks by night.  It's craziness.

Washing Dishes
I have run this little eccentric behavior of Alan's by several of my friends, and they all side with me.  Just sayin'...  When filling a sink with water in which dishes will be washed, one adds the dishwashing liquid while the water is running so that the liquid becomes evenly disbursed throughout the water.  Simple.  Alan is the only person I know who fills up the sink with water without putting in the dishwashing liquid during the filling process.  He prefers to wait until the sink is full and the water is turned off before adding the Palmolive which he squeezes into one tiny area of the water.  He and I have "discussed" the benefits of equal distribution of soap throughout the water numerous times.  Alan reasons that he likes to be able to see the knives at the bottom of the sink.  With soapy water, one runs the risk of cutting off a finger.

In-Town Driving
A simple trip to Old Navy with Alan behind the wheel can get both of my eyes to twitching like a string of blinking Christmas lights.  Where do I even begin?  As a seasoned errand-runner, I have strategically mapped out the most efficient paths to every possible destination.  As a man who simply drives back and forth from home to the bank every day, Alan is unfamiliar with all of the shortcuts available.  I've got the routes planned out according to to specific lanes, the timing of stop lights, and traffic patterns.  With Alan at the wheel, I have to bite my tongue in half as he hangs in the middle lane until the last possible moment before executing a turn.  There are some exceptions to the Anticipatory Turn Lane Selection process.  If you are traveling going south on Slide Road and intend to turn west on 82nd at about 3:45 in the afternoon, I recommend that you stay in the middle lane until you pass Irons Middle School.  The right lane will be clogged with carpool vehicles waiting to turn onto 79th Street.  Next, there is the tricky turn off of Frankford onto 50th Street.  If you plan to turn left 1/2 a block later where 50th intersects the access road to the Loop/Marsha Sharp Freeway, stay in the middle lane on Frankford!  Trust me on this one.  There have been numerous times when Alan has missed a turn by lack of proper lane planning.  If you ever see us out and about with me behind the wheel, know that having me in the driver's seat is best for our marriage.   

Parking Lots
I am a no-nonsense parker.  I know where I'm going, and I get there lickety-split.  Alan pulls into a parking lot rather indecisively.  He takes his foot off of the gas and slowly rolls up and down the rows looking for a spot.  Once he has carefully chosen a space, he inches into it like he's parking in the china department in Dillard's.  Once parked, he turns off the car, looks around for anything that he might need - a grocery list, a return receipt, a piece of gum - for several minutes before he opens his door.  By this time, I have entered the store, made my selections, and am waiting in line at the checkout stand.  

Sometimes Alan decides that he will help me catch up on laundry.  "Catching up on laundry" means that he runs full loads through the washer and drier.  From the drier, each load is thrown on the couch in the living room...and goes no further.  I hate to fold cold clothes.  I usually end up "fluffing" them in the drier before dealing with them.  I rewash blue jeans that have cooled into crispy wrinkled wads.  That's all I have to say about that.
For those of you who are feeling sorry for Big Al right now, I'll confess some of my behaviors that irritate him:

  • I haven't balanced my checkbook in years.  (Alan is a banker.)

  • I keep my dollars wadded up and stuffed in my purse.  (Alan is a banker.)

  • I load silverware into the dishwasher with no regard to how they will spoon or not spoon once the door is closed.

  • I love towering soapsuds in my kitchen sink.

  • I tend to offer unsolicited advice regarding the most efficient routes when he is driving.

  • I am a total control freak when it comes to washing, drying, and folding/hanging clothes.  

  • Alan and I are crazy about each other.  And, we drive each other crazy.  He tells me that when he's gone on to the great beyond, I will miss him most when I'm doing the dishes, running errands, and folding towels.  He is right.  Can't help lovin' that man of mine.

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