The husband and I have been together 15 years (yikes!) and throughout that time I have learned a few things about the male species.
For example, men, well males in general since I see it with the twins, have selective hearing. They ONLY hear what choice words they WANT to hear regardless if the information you are providing is important.
Another example, one that still stunns me, is how really simple the male mind is. Before you get all huffy with me, let me explain that I do NOT mean this in a negative way. It is not an insult, rather a statement of fact.
As a woman, I am used to over-analyzing nearly every decision, thought, action and text that I send/receive daily. I can spend hours talking to girlfriends over whether I should wear black skinny jeans or black boot cut pants to my office Christmas party and have back-up to support each choice.
Heck, I can spend an entire day emailing Hot Mrs. Jeter over whether there was “tone” in the text “How are you today?” depending on who sent the text and the circumstances under which it was sent.
This is just how women are. It is not our fault, it is how we are born.
A woman, especially a mom, can walk into a messy house and immediately begin prioritizing what needs to be put away, who needs to be fed/changed and what the status of the laundry is. A man can walk into that same room, clear a spot off on the couch and sit down and ask what’s for dinner.
I am sure there are exceptions to this, I would never assume that ALL men/husbands are like this. However, from my own personal experience, I have found this behavior to be predominant.
Anyway, this blog is not meant to bash men. Rather, it is to bring up an interesting quirk that the husband has. Over the years, when we have had things delivered, removed, put together or fixed, the husband is VERY big on asking the men who come to the house whether they would like a drink and giving them a tip when they leave.
To the husband this is all very black and white. If a man delivers, for example, bunk beds (that we paid $$ money for and waited around ALL day to be delivered) you are to give him a tip no questions asked. If there is more than 1 delivery person, the tip increases end of story.
I have argued with the husband for years over this. I can almost understand the tip if the delivery people build something but if they are just dropping off a mattress why is it necessary to tip them? Anytime I ask the husband he replies Because, that is what you do.
The husband knows I am not big into tipping, especially to scary looking delivery men, so he will usually remind me 10x before he leaves, leave the tip money on the kitchen table, and call/text me throughout the day to remind me. This used to drive me insane but I have gotten used to it. Dare I say, I may even understand it a tiny, little bit?
That is until yesterday. We live in a townhouse community and the stellar Homeowners Association (i.e. a bunch of residents who think they are God because they sit at a folding table once a month with clip boards deciding the fate of the community) decided that “we” (all residents) were required to replace a certain water pipe, at our own expense, and that it needed to be completed by 12/31/12 or else fines would be inflicted.
This caused a major uproar among the homeowners since the price of replacing the pipe was anywhere from $2800 – $3100. There were meetings, lawyers and fights and in the end the Association won (bastards!). The husband and I begrudgingly arranged for our pipe to be replaced even though it would be a HUGE inconvenience (no water and jack-hammering inside the house for an entire day).
Everything was set to take place and then Hurricane Sandy came and work was delayed a couple of weeks. Ok, no big deal, I can roll with the punches as much as the next person. The husband and I played phone tag with the installation company and finally agreed upon yesterday for the pipe to be replaced.
Super!! I was thrilled – as was my aunt who babysits the kids all day. Ok, it wont be too bad and it should all be over by 1pm I told myself and my aunt. Nervously, I left for working thinking that I would come home at 4:30 and this whole pipe business would be a distant memory.
Instead I came home to my front door wide open, 2 men covered in mud going in and out of my house, my uncle and kids coming back from Shop Rite (where they had gone to use the bathroom) and yellow “caution” tape all along the front of my house.
The younger of the 2 workers let me know that he was just the assistant and that I should ask the other guy (his uncle let’s call him Bob) what was going on. I said hello to Bob and was met with this ramble (I am paraphrasing and I swear I am not making this up):
We ran into some problems and can’t run the snake through the pipe…it may be that the house shifted and the foundation crushed a certain pipe but hey, it should be ok because we can hook you up to a temporary water source (my neighbors hose) if you could just go next door and ask your neighbor if it’s ok that we use her hose….oh wait, do you know where the spigot turn off valve is? oh, it will be ok, the owner is comin’ out tomorrow to take a look – after all I have only been doing this a year or so – and hopefully it will be ok. Dont worry, it shouldnt be that much of an additional cost (for the digging out front) and it’s only a hole in the concrete. Oh hey, your kids have iPods? My 3 grandsons have them iPhones and they call me all the time and ask me Hey Pop what you doing? arent kids funny? Did I tell ya that your house is the ONLY one in this complex that had this here problem happen? I can’t wait to just go home and go to bed.
After Bob was done, I turned to my aunt and told her to take the kids to my mom’s house and I would meet her there later. I argued with the kids to put their shoes on and repeatedly texted the husband telling him he needed to get home ASAP.
After the kids left I sat in the kitchen, trying to distract myself with word games on my phone, and listened to the now 3 men (some other guy showed up) attempt to fix my water pipe. All 3 men completely ignored me (I am a only a woman after all) and and talked amongst themselves about digging holes in foundation and I don’t know why you just didn’t do this earlier!
Just when I was debating hiding in my bedroom, the husband came home. As soon as he walked, Bob and the others acknowledged his presence and told him what was going on. It was decided that “they” would come back tomorrow and just dig up some holes on the side of the house (sure, no problem) to see if they could find the source of the problem.
The husband thanked them and then did the most bizarre thing – he offered Bob a beer. Bob accepted (hey, he was done with work) took the beer to go (don’t ask) and I stood there speechless.
After Bob left the husband and I had the following conversation:
Husband: you wanna go to the diner fo dinner?
Me: I guess…wtf are we gonna do if we have no water? What do I do with the kids? and WHY did you offer Bob a beer??!!!
Husband: It was the right thing to do. You HAVE to take care of the workers who come to the house so they will work extra hard for you. What’s was the big deal…what time do you want to go to the diner? Hey, where ARE the kids anyway?
And there you have it, the difference between men and women.
In case you are wondering, as of now we still have no water. The husband let Bob and his crew into the house and was then going to work. “We” decided if they had anymore problems they could just call my cell and I would go home and deal with it. I have no idea what the hell will happen in my house today, and frankly, I don’t really want to know. All I do know is that when I get home, I will NOT be offering Bob another beer.