August 24, 2007

The Complexity of the Male Mind

Could I please get some insight here? I am completely dumbfounded by the inner workings of the male mind.

Let me give you a little background story first. I must share with you how the famous Greenhouse Window Argument of ‘04 came to be.

I can’t remember where we had been that day. We might have just come from church or shopping or something, but it was a Sunday for sure and we were on our way home. We were all together and driving down a road we’ve driven hundreds of times before. It was a beautiful afternoon and the sun was about to set. All was quiet in the car as we coasted down this familiar road lined with some small businesses and many homes.

I happened to notice that one of the homes we passed had one of those kitchen windows that actually sticks out past the perimeters of the house and is a shelf for plants and such. I think they usually put them over the kitchen sink or off the dining room or something. Since I have a horrible reputation of neglecting houseplants to the point of their demise, one of those seems to be the perfect solution for me. Any plants located directly over the kitchen sink have the best chance for survival in my care.

So, we’re in the car and I casually mention to David that someday it might be nice if I had one of those windows I could keep plants in over the kitchen sink. No deadlines. No shopping requests. As far as I’m concerned, he should not feel any pressure at all from that statement.

Yeah, right! That evening ended with David coming home and making a huge list of all the things he felt he needed to get done around the house. The items on the list ranged from putting on a new roof (which we hired someone to do two years later without ever having a single leak) to tiling the shower in our bathroom. With all the things I’m supposed to do as a mother, maybe I should make a list like that. I do believe that there is not enough paper in this house for me to list all the things I should get done in the next couple of years!

So, somehow this seemingly harmless statement turns into a heated discussion that elevates to an actual argument over nothing. This thing that which does not exist in our world and I may want ten or fifteen years down the road has caused turmoil on our otherwise peaceful drive home. Apparently, expressing my possible future wants is more than he can bear to handle right now. I might as well be telling him that what we have is not good enough and never will be.

Jumping ahead to this morning, this subject came up again. I have been eyeing this kitchen table at Sam’s Club for weeks now. It’s square, comes with eight chairs that all fit around it and expands to comfortably accommodate our family and then some. The table we have right now is small and round. It supposedly has leafs to make it bigger but their location (and even their existence) is a big mystery at this point. Getting five people to be able to sit and dine comfortably at this table in its current state is no easy task. If we have anyone else here for dinner, we just give the table to the kids and we grown-ups just sit on the couch and balance our plate on our laps. Now that’s some real family bonding time!

So, I saw the table I want just a few days ago. I happened to notice that it was marked down to about $600.00 and it was the last one. I’m sure it’s gone by now, so I figured that it was safe to mention it to David. I told him that I saw a table that would totally fit our needs. It was a pretty good price and I’m sure it’s gone now, but it is something to think about. I said nothing of wishing I could buy the table right now or even in the near future. I was just happy that I finally know what should work for our family. I have a goal, dream, whatever you want to call it. Everyone fitting well around the same table enjoying dinner is the picture that comes into my head when I think of this table. I can even envision baskets piled high with freshly baked biscuits being passed around the table and someone telling a funny story that sends milk out of someone else's nose and gravy boats...okay, so maybe I've seen too many episodes of 'The Waltons' or something, but you get my point right?

David gets a very different picture in his head when I mention a new table. He thinks I’m basically saying that our current table is just something else I’m not happy about. Suggesting that the table we have is not the table of my dreams is basically like telling him he’s a failure as a provider and he married an ungrateful woman. This really is a game where nobody can win.

Now, either David and I are just a couple of oddballs or other people have this breakdown of communication in their marriages as well. So, can someone please either tell me how I can do things differently or at least tell me that we’re normal?

I honestly thought that we females were supposed to be the complicated ones. Maybe we are and I’m just too complicated to see it.


tanya said...

my ex (michael) was exactly the same way. honey, all you can do is what they do to us when we behave this way.ignore it. it'll simmer down and hopefully at some point ya'll try to discuss it again. sorry i don't have better advice but i am getting divorced for the 2nd time remember? :P

Anonymous said...

Your normal ~ David's normal ~ the kids on the otherhand are not (had to throw that one in lol)!

I too have this little wishing game I do with Paul and really it came to be he thought I was putting ideas in his head. Turns out he's not so dumb afterall! I AM putting ideas in his head ~ it just takes him longer to process things!

Jana said...

Oh yeah ... you are normal. Well, at least according to my house you are!

micpro said...

Yep! This sounds very familiar. I can assure you that you are perfectly normal : ) Love the title for your blog - your sense of humor would fit right in around our house!

Miriam said...

You are normal. Guys see themselves as providers and problem-solvers. It affects the way they think about the things that are spoken in conversations.

(20 years of experience speaking here! LOL!)

Wife Soup said...

HaHaHa! That sounds pretty familiar, the content may be a little different, but there are always those touchy subjects that seem to set my husband off no matter how I try to approach it. Come to think of it, it does usually involve money in some way, I guess it is that breadwinner thing. I know my husband feels that pressure much more than I do.