Every time I’m interested in something my husband tells me all the reasons it would be a bad idea. It doesn’t matter the interest: children, cars, landscaping, whatever I’m watching on TV. He’s a very “you’ll shoot your eye out” kind of guy attempting to make me see how unwise such a thing could be. Which isn’t surprising considering “A Christmas Story” is his favorite Christmas movie.
What he doesn’t understand is that sometimes I’m just curious and have no future intent. Just because I’m watching “Buying Alaska” on TV doesn’t mean I want to move there. I’m simply fascinated with people who do. Same goes for “Buying the Bayou” and “Buying Hawaii.”
His mission of deterrence started early in our marriage. I always thought I wanted four children, my husband did not. I was diagnosed with MS by the time we met, and he didn’t think it would be good for my health or his pocketbook. Not to mention we have a small home and he couldn’t see how we could fit more than two children. He made an effort to point out women with many children at the grocery store so I could note how difficult it was to manage them. I wasn’t convinced until after our daughters were born. Although my health went into a benign state after their births, I was a “deer in the headlights” type of mother. Early childhood was a shock and struggle for me.
Several years ago there was a car I was interested in. It was a large vehicle, very different from anything on the road. It looked like the station wagon of my youth on steroids. But I didn’t want to own one. I just wanted to drive one. My husband Googled and told me how expensive, difficult to maintain and huge they were. I understood all that, I still wanted to drive one, just because. It took me a long time to convince him I absolutely would not try and wheedle a deal for myself. Once he finally calmed down about it, I went to a driving event at the high school (Drive one for your team) in hopes my dreams would finally be answered. They didn’t have one available. I was highly disappointed, and not wanting to get on a dealship’s radar when I had no intention of purchasing, I’ve never driven one.
Landscaping is a different story. The yard is my domain, so I usually charge full speed ahead and do projects anyway and try not to ask for my husband’s assistance. He can’t see my vision no matter how I explain it or even show him pictures. He’s often surprised with the end result. So far, all my gardening projects worked out just the way I planned.
After 25 years, I don’t think he trusts my judgement any better than he did when we were first married. To his credit, early in our marriage, he came home one day to a hole I punched through the wall trying to find the phone outlet so I could pull it through to the other side. He had to clean up the mess and patch the hole. I don’t know how to quell his fears except to keep reassuring him I won’t do anything impulsive without consulting him first. Maybe once he retires and he can keep an eye on me, he’ll feel better.
I get it. I know I can be like a bull in a China shop once I get an idea in my head to start a project. I seriously don’t know why any of my family members trust me alone in the house all day.
Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. You can read more of her writing and her blog on her website livingwithgleigh.com, follow her on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh by Gretchen Leigh”or on Twitter @livewithgleigh. Her column is also available at maplevalleyreporter.com under the Life section.