The Break Up, with Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston was on over the weekend and my husband and I caught part of it. The part where, well, they break up. Jennifer starts by asking him to help clean up, that it will only take 15 minutes and that she doesn't want to do it in the morning. He is reluctant and complains but finally relents and gets up to help. She promptly says to forget it, that she wants him to want to wash the dishes. He says that isn't going to happen and then everything and anything that has ever bugged the other comes out of the wood work.
My husband and I were chuckling because we have had those kind of disagreements as well. I ask him to do something, he complains about it and resists for a while and then eventually does it, but not happily. And I think this one clip out of the movie resonated with me so much because while I know that there are things that he doesn't like doing, I really do sometimes wish that he would do it without the song and dance before hand.
Don't get me wrong, Peter is a great husband and a wonderful father, but I think that I have told him that one too many times and it is going to his head. I have frequently heard that I should be happy that he does what he does because it is more than most husbands/fathers do. That may be but I'm not married to most, I'm married to him and while I do stay at home, I also expect him to do his share. It isn't like I'm asking him to build the Taj Mah Hal. I'm asking him to unload the dishwasher.
My favourite response is "I just unloaded the dishwasher." Um, yes ok, two days ago, and it is full again. Funny how that happens, isn't it? Seriously, can't you just say, OK. He usually follows with "I hate unloading the dishwasher" and "When this one breaks we aren't getting another" and then a sigh and a huff and off he goes. Really, was the second and third act needed? (By the way, when this one breaks, we are getting another one.)
Another one of my favourites "I already changed her diaper". Yes, congratulations. The badge of honour and certificate are in the mail. Do it again, will you? I seriously wouldn't be asking if I wasn't already doing something.
I am a pleaser to a certain extent. If he asks me to do something and I know it'll just take a second I tend to do it right away. Partially because I'll forget if I wait until later (sad, but true) and partially because I enjoy doing things for him. Sometimes the list gets longer and I have to tell him that things are going to have to wait because I still have a bunch of stuff I haven't done, but really, I'm at home so I do most of the phoning to inquire, picking up of stuff etc etc. If it needs to be done, I do it.
Not that I'm an angel. There as been many a time that I have groaned a the request to go to the outdoors show or the cottage show. But the things that need to get done, I do typically without any complaints because it is what it is and it needs to get done.
When we go through the song and dance about garbage, dishwasher, kitty liter and diaper changing, I always wonder. Really, is there anyone out there who really really REALLY enjoys doing these things? No. We just do them because they need to be done. And in my mind that should be enough to just say OK when I ask for them to be done.
Really. Seriously. Just do it.