Thursday, September 8, 2011

Negotiating Your Marriage

Whoop, BAM big-a-dee boom!  These are the kinds of sounds you'll hear in your ears when you read KLZ's blog called Taming Insanity.  Mostly because it's a whole crazy land of insane over there, and to be perfectly honest, taming that insanity is more of a process than you'd imagine.  My suspicion?  Cute kid syndrome.  It gets the best of us sometimes.  AND she's got a second one on the way, so she's doubly screwed by the cute. 

But the nice part is - she's got a husband who is ok with a little bit of the nutso.  

So to cut to the chase - she's agreed to guest-post for me because she's super, duper awesome - and likely also because she was the person who really got me getting into the whole "blogging" thing in the first place, which plays into it somehow, I'm sure.  She is sarcastic and sweet all at the same time, which pretty much makes her the best person ever.

DISCLAIMER: Dear Bill’s readers: I have been trying to write this post for two weeks. I keep coming up with ideas that seem interestingly random and then falling flat on my face. I’m trying for you, I really am. My point is: pretend you like this so Bill doesn’t send his father-in-law after me. I hear he’s got a guy.

I recently started a conversation with my husband. Now, husbands may refer to this type of conversation as “Nagging” but years of working in Corporate America has taught me that it is really called “Level Setting”.

“David,” I said casually while checking Twitter, “I’ve really been trying to keep the house clean lately. I’m sure you’ve noticed.”

Like any good husband, he was wary and refrained from speaking to me.

“Now, I know we’ve got a lot going on,” I continued, “but I think we need to set some priorities before the baby gets here. Our closet needs to be organized and the garage is a mess.”

“I told you it was your job to get that Jacuzzi out of the garage,” he was quick to point out to 5 months pregnant wife. I ignored him.

“So, those things are things I really think we need to focus on in the next two months. I also need to buy diapers, wash the baby’s clothes and determine what we need to buy the boys’ for their winter wardrobe.”

“Wah wah wah, wah wah wah, wah wah wah wah,” heard my husband.

“But what’s really important is this,” I continued on. “I hate the goddamn vacuum. I need you to know that I am never, ever going to vacuum upstairs. If you think that needs to be done more often, that’s on you. Because while I should do it, I won’t. I need you to be aware of that so that you don’t get any unrealistic expectations.”

“When have you EVER vacuumed upstairs?” he spit, suddenly slightly outraged.

“Never,” I confirmed. “I need you to know that won’t change. Not while we get ready for this next baby, not while I’m on maternity leave, not if I become a stay at home mom. I’ll do laundry and dishes and cook. Hell, I’ll scrub toilets but I absolutely will not vacuum upstairs. I thought you should know.”

He was quiet. For a long time. I’m not sure he knew how to respond without getting slapped. Although he could have been fuming that I hadn’t yet disposed of the Jacuzzi that was sitting in our garage.

“Well honey,” he responded some hours later, “you should know: laundry is my vacuuming. Never gonna happen.”

“Duly noted,” I replied.

And that is how you set levels. Suck it, Corporate America. You ain’t got nothing on us.

Pew pew pew!  Did you hear those sounds of laser-y awesomeness?  If so, head over to Taming Insanity and tell her just how cool she is.  Thank you for guest posting, KLZ!


  1. I clearly need to learn something from KLZ. Do you give lessons?

  2. Alison, lesson #1: stop caring. It makes it a lot easier to not get upset when your husband accuses you of jacuzzi hoarding.

  3. Ha! Great post! And, I agree with the idea of setting levels. So long as a husband and wife know what each others' levels are and accept them as valid, then that's all that really matters!

  4. If you hoard a whole jacuzzi in your garage, I'd hate to see what's in your closet.

    You are a master negotiator, KLZ. I think you won this battle.

  5. Dear KLZ,

    I KNEW I liked you. I don't vacuum either!

    So let's sit in a jacuzzi together and drink wine.
    (After the baby of course.)

    I'm excellent at setting levels AND priorities...Clearly.



  6. I need some help in negotiating my marriage. Pretty much the only thing I won't do is take back (disgusting, stinky, eew) cans & bottles. Ryan recently informed me he doesn't "do baths". NOT a fair trade.

    I need a KLZ Level Lesson.

  7. I think Mike and I have had this exact conversation. I will not vacuum, EVER. But I also refuse to do his laundry. So I make the bed and change the sheets on a (semi) regular basis. He is physically incapable of putting a sheet on a mattress. He loves that darn vacuum, though. Score!

  8. I love KLZ.

    She takes no prisoners.

    High five, woman.

    And, after meeting the Davers, this post was just SO REAL.

  9. Excellent. Pregnancy is the PERFECT time to put more things on the hubbies list. I haven't changed a cat litter box ever since.

  10. I like how you think, Lady.

    Today my husband said to me, "Luke is going everywhere and getting into shit he's not supposed to and I don't know what to do." and I said, "We need to do a better job baby proofing." to which he said, "We need to clean the floors twice a week so he won't put dust balls in his mouth." Notice the WE in that statement that really means "YOU". How would you handle this?

  11. Jacuzzi hoarding?

    What's up with the *upstairs* carpet that you find such issue with?

  12. I have to wonder about why you hate the upstairs carpet so much, too...

  13. and I was just writing out my list for the hubs. only he won't see the list, or really even be aware that there is a "list" persay. I like to tell him these things right before he goes to sleep at night, and then the next day I can say, "Yeah, you totally said last night that you would take care of it." It works every time - he never wants to admit he may not have really been paying attention. haha

  14. Just curious, what's up there that you detest so much? My wife hates our $39 vacuum and wants me to buy one of those snobby British ball vacs. Well since blogging pays so well, I have to draw the line somewhere but like your husband, I am a man of compromise. So I broke down and bought a $79 vac along with a BALL for a buck and saved myself $300! W.C.C.

  15. I think it's the act of DRAGGING the vacuum upstairs, right? I hated doing that when we lived in a two-story. HATED. IT. And vacuuming the ACTUAL stairs. No way.

    KLZ rocks and I think this new blog does too...

  16. We set levels! I won't scrub the shower and he won't dust. Deal.

  17. Idon't vacuum upstairs or downstairs!!! POW!!! LOL
    I love are so funny and real and sassy!


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