I have to say, as much as I adore husbands, they also baffle me. I am sure they say the same about wives. Today my husband and I had one of those communication experiences that confirm that women and men are indeed from different planets.
You need only the following background: our laundry is in the garage. We have two baskets - one for colored laundry, one for white laundry. (My mother insists we need a third basket for light colored laundry. I disagree. Thoughts from the blogosphere on that???)
Tonight, after Ben is bathed, dressed in his jammies, the books are read, his lights are out, and we are rocking in the rocker together, he looks at me with that unmistakable face, grimaces a bit, and proudly announces, "Poopy!"
Getting Ben to the point of lights out and rocking quietly is a looong process, so I am a bit dismayed that we have to turn on the lights and no doubt start the whole routine over. I open his door slightly so as not to disturb the other boys, get A's attention, and ask him to bring me the wipes. "What?" he says. "The wipes," I say, yelling in a whisper voice, a bit annoyed that he didn't hear me the first time.
There is a longer pause than I expect before he comes to Ben's door. He is carrying a full laundry basket.
"WHAT is that?" I ask.
"The whites," he says. "You asked me to bring you the whites."
"NO! The WIPES! Not the WHITES."
This little episode reminds me of our first fight in our first house. We were newlyweds, having our first dinner party at our new condo and I was a nervous wreck. I so desperately wanted everything to be perfect. I was running around doing 10 things at once while Aaron sort of stood back and watched me turn into a lunatic. The fact that he was standing there while I was taking multi-tasking to a whole new level was excruciating for me.
Our conversation went like this:
Me: A, can you please find something to do to help?"
A: OK. (Pause) Like what?
Me: I don't know. Go make sure the bathroom is clean.
A comes back less than a minute later.
A: Looks clean to me.
I go in the bathroom to inspect. While it is in fact technically clean, there is evidence of life in the house, such as soap not properly placed on a soap dish, hand towels not lying properly on their hook, etc. When it's your first dinner party, you care about these things and I couldn't believe my husband didn't see these "glaring" offenses.
Me (voice growing a bit shrieky, eyeballs starting to bulge): It is not clean. Will you please take care of this bathroom?
I went back to my million things to do and was busy for a while. We had about 10 minutes until the guests were to arrive and I was feeling just about ready. I then realized that I hadn't heard from A in a while. I walked in to the bathroom and saw him........ grouting the tile.
Me (ready to explode): WHAT............. are............. you............. DOING?
A: I don't know. The bathroom looked clean to me but you clearly wanted me to do something in here. I wasn't going to come out and ask you what to do so redoing the grout seemed better than nothing.
Now, it's funny. At the time. Not so funny. Now when I think about that story, I realize that I am insanely lucky that my new husband did not walk out the door and run for his dear life away from his lunatic wife.