Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A back-ordered gift does not break any rules.

JMahl and I agreed that we would not be buying presents for each other on Valentine's Day.  We do this every year (agree not to buy presents), so you'd think that by now it would be a given; but I think we both still feel the need to reaffirm the commitment, just in case.  Since the present I ordered him was on backorder, I actually followed the rules this year.  Of course, he still showed up after work with a bottle of wine (which is more of a staple than a present) and gave me a full-body massage (should be a staple, but is not; therefore, I didn't mention the lack of flowers), and I provided him with a clean house, quiet, well-behaved children, and a fabulous dinner and desert.  (like every night, of course).
Granted, the house was a few steps further than just "clean", because in the spirit of Valentine's Day- and since the gift I bought him was on backorder, remember- and "just in case" he decided to buy me something anyhow (which he did not), I felt it necessary to, oh, just get a few things for around the house.  
By a few things, I do mean a relatively large purchase of a 3 inch pile area rug for our living room, and when I am going to spend a large sum of money, like a good wife, I run it past my husband first. 
Our conversation yesterday morning, then, went something like this:
JMahl:  What are your plans for the day?
Katryn: I'm going to take the kids to the park (a beautiful day for February), and maybe stop by Home Goods.
JMahl:  What are you planning on getting at Home Goods?
Katryn:  We need a rug in the living room.  Every time Micah falls she bumps her head--it's dangerous.  (See?  This isn't about me, it's about the children.)  Besides, it's Valentine's Day. 
JMahl:  I thought we weren't getting presents.
Katryn:  We're not!  (item on backorder doesn't count, obviously)  This is for the house.
JMahl:  Do we have the money for that?
Katryn:  Of course we have the money!  How could I pay for it without money? The cashiers at Home Goods are all women, so my cleavage isn't likely to get me far.
At this point, JMahl rolled his eyes, sighed, and kissed me goodbye. End of discussion.

Now, had JMahl actually put his foot down and told me no, I would have listened, but I've come to a realization over the last few months.  My husband never tells me no.  I would like to say this is because he loves me so much and can't stand to see me unhappy (which I'm sure is what he would say), but I think what it really comes down to is that he has no idea about our money.  He makes all the money, but I handle the budget, pay all the bills, and pretty much make any and every financial decision.  He knows this, I know this... the only ones that don't know this are the home estimate people who insist both of us be present in order to give us a free estimate.  I've tried telling them countless times that if I say we are going to get new windows and siding, we're going to get new windows and siding, but they don't want to believe me.  "I'm sorry, we need both spouses to be present."  (and there's no way JMahl is going to talk to a salesperson after work-- not since that incident with the Kirby vacuum girl that he won't let me forget.  But it wasn't my fault!  I grew up in the country- we didn't get door to door sales people! I didn't know!)  So they insist on husband being present, and at first this really annoyed me, and I would get in arguments with the sales people.  NO, my husband does not have to be here!  Just give me the free estimate already!  Now I use it to my advantage to get rid of them-- oh, you require my  husband to be here to make the financial decision? Well, it's unfortunate, but he's out of town on business for the next 12 weeks.  No, that's not my husband you just saw ducking under the window.  That's..his... brother.  Yeah, his brother.  And no, he's not authorized to make financial decisions for this household.  I'm sorry.  You heard the kids call him Daddy?  And me Mommy?  Well.. it's a sensitive subject, and now I'm offended.  Good day.  
I've also started using this method with Jehovah's Witnesses.  I do admire their evangelism, but I am solid and secure in my faith and have no need to be converted to another.  Unfortunately, I've found that they (and the local Baptist church, oddly enough) don't agree with me on this.  So, I'm now telling them that No, I can not make any religious decisions without my husband present.  Last time I did I ended up with a sister-wife and a ban on birth control, and neither of those were as fun as I was led to believe.  
I also don't give to charity, buy from door-to-door meat packers, or buy orange glo product anymore (that stuff does not work!), but since I'm horrible at saying no to these sales people, I've now adapted a "scared face, pull my shirt closely around me, and edge the door shut with a quick glance behind me, saying with a whisper "my husband won't let me talk to people... "  It works.  The only thing I will buy door-to-door are pizza and cookies.  JMahl and I have a mutual understanding about those items.  
But back to the point-- I don't want you to get the impression that my husband does not wear the pants in the family.  He most certainly does.  He, ultimately, does what he wants to do, regardless of what I say about it; while if he were to ever tell me not to do something, I would most assuredly listen.  It's just that he never has told me not to do something, while I, on the other hand, have told him not to do many many things-- which he just goes ahead and does anyway.  So, he really is the boss around here.  Which brings us back to yesterday's conversation.  He never told me not to spend any money.
So to Home Goods I went to buy the most wonderful, thick, soft, ahhhh! rug I've ever felt.  And some new pictures for the wall.  And they are lucky that Kolbie was begging to go to the park, or I would probably have spent quite a bit more.  I'm actually surprised that stores haven't realized yet that they would double (at least) their profits if they provided coffee and daycare the moment a woman entered the store.  WalMart is close- they have a greeter at the door and an arcade.  But they don't have the greeter handing out coffee, and they don't have a babysitter in the arcade.  If I could shop undeterred and undistracted for an hour?  What joy!  Some one really needs to get on this idea, and I prefer it be Home Goods, since I happen to love that store. Although, I'll be honest and admit that it's not so bad shopping with my kids since I can expect at least one compliment every other person I pass, and Yes, I am vain.  I love receiving compliments on my kids.  
So, I have to say that for Valentine's Day I made out pretty well. Beautiful re-decorated living room (and a rug I could (and will) walk barefoot on for hours)- see my FB for photos-, a bottle of wine, a full-body massage, quiet kids, good dinner and dessert.  My husband?  Well, his Valentine's Day present will get here when it gets here.  They say March 2. 

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