Sunday, May 31, 2009

Way too much honesty, again

I discovered something when we went to Kenya five years ago, and that is that your marriage can be all fine and dandy but then you go into a new situation and whoa! you find out all kinds of things about your relationship that you would just as soon not have known, and that you have to painstakingly sort through and salvage.

So the other night we went on a new venture--planning our new kitchen at Jerry's Home Improvement Center.

The lady helping us was nice. Paul was doing his best to be nice.

But I was almost in tears.

This is the deal--too many choices are paralyzing. I need time to think. And by thinking, I mean, looking things over without talking, kneading them in my mind, in silence. You know, THINKING.

To Paul, thinking means talking.

And the harder the decision, the more you talk.

And the harder time your wife has making up her mind, the more, louder, and faster you talk, to help her, you know.

And when she says, "Ummm," which is her way of saying, "I need to think in silence," you don't hear her because you're deaf in one ear.

And when you are sitting in front of the nice helpful lady, a wife cannot turn and say in a loud voice, WOULD YOU PLEASE! STOP TALKING???" because she was raised Amish and doesn't know how to just Say Things Out Loud. Especially in front of a helpful lady who is looking like she feels sorry for you, the husband, for having such a wife.

Yes, well.

Of course I tried to hint and LOOK at him pointedly, which is about as far as you go with an Amish upbringing, and it does not work with a Smucker, for sure and certain, which I should know by now.


Finally the ordeal was over.

Paul marched out to the car, smiling and happy with all we had accomplished, and hadn't it gone well?

We got in the car and I cut loose, letting him know in vivid detail what was ACTUALLY going on and would he MIND and ooooooh, it was HORRIBLE.

Would you believe he still took me out to Olive Garden after that?

Toward the end of the 4-cheese ravioli I squeaked a meek apology for chewing him out.

He smiled and said he hadn't felt chewed out.

I think he actually thought my rant was just finally learning how to think out loud like he does.

Now, the big question, if the planning was this hard, will our marriage survive the actual renovation???

You can vote on this if you like. Yay, nay, or only with weekly counselling.


  1. I think so. We remodeled our kitchen three years ago and it isn't an easy thing to do. Ours was simpler than yours will be, because there are only two of us. We fixed some meals in the micro wave in the middle of the family room floor, did our dishes in the bathroom ate out often had more pizza than we had had since we got married and over all just toughed it out. It does take commitment and the more you make it a 'team' project the better. Lots of planning doesn't hurt either - we went to a home show first to get ideas, worked with a local cabinet maker which made design changes easier, bought some things at Jerry's, shopped from Eugene to Portland for counter top materials and put in a lot of sweat equity. When it is finished you will enjoy it and soon forget how difficult it was at the time. Best wishes.

  2. All I can say is, summer, BBQ and paper plates. Go fast. Get it done by canning season!!

    I expect Paul did NOT feel chewed out but was finally glad to have some input...

    It's okay to think inside, but even after 20 or so years, Paul still cannot read your thoughts...we have a code for that in our marriage, "Not nearly long enough." As in, we haven't been married long enough for me to know what you are thinking! This also works for arguments and pleasant things, as in "We have not been married nearly long enough, and I look forward to another 20 or 30 years to get to know you and enjoy you."

    I think I mentioned it's Home Depot that has the marriage counseling?? :) (or maybe it's Lowe's). My daughter told me that in response to her in-laws always offering generous remodeling help, she has learned to just smile and say thank you. You probably need to start from there... None of the choices are going to change eternity. Just smile and be thankful it's getting done!! (says the woman who has had a tub on her front deck for TWO YEARS now!!)

  3. Years ago I wanted a dishwasher. Really, really wanted one but the hubby kept saying "not now". When I went back to college he took over the household duties and I was sure I'd get that dishwasher now that HE was doing the dishes. But I made the mistake of telling that to a friend, and he overheard. Turns out HAD been planning to get one, once he realized how much work it is. But then he felt too embarrassed to go through with it. LOL I had gone on "strike" and we'd been using paper plates for some months, and those months extended into a couple of years until I finished college and resumed my housewifely (is that a word?) duties. THEN he bought a dishwasher :-)

    That's the most renovation we've ever done, and you can see it didn't go very smoothly. So I'll be praying for you! LOL No seriously, I will. Just can't help but laugh just thinking about the blog fodder the renovation will provide.

    Oh, and I can relate to your opening segment on going to Kenya and finding out things you'd rather not know about your spouse. Same thing here, our year in Uganda brought out ALL THE UGLIES in both of us. But it was a good refining process too. God uses all these experiences to shape and mold us.

    Even kitchen renovations.

  4. Skip the weekly counseling and instead spend a week in a "kitchen" in Kenya. ;-)

    WV: porma (which sounds vaguely Greek) -- so let me Google it or Dict it.

    I give up; it's taking too long on my very slow dial-up connection.

  5. Dorcas, my dear.......don't you know that you should always go look FIRST and then take hubby back the second time. That way you can "guide" him in his thinking!

    You will survive.....we did (will be married 50 years in November). Just remember to make your choices first and then "guide" and he will think the choice was his!

  6. So much for "safe, generic" posting! :-)

    I do wish you the best! I'm sure it will be nice. Those kind of decisions would be tough for me, too.

  7. husband I worked together and traveled together and worked long hours where we only had a few hours of sleep between jobs...If that doesn't get you to know someone, what can? (remodeling?). I felt like we knew each other pretty well going in, and we never really did have a rough year--other than the normal stuff like brings--illness, injury, loss of family, job loss, etc.

  8. Yes, well. When we added on to our house someone said, "If your marriage can survive remodeling, you can survive anything!" We learned to go with the things that first made us say "Yes, I like that!" Often we would look around and analyze and price compare and still end up buying that first thing that we just "liked" for whatever reason. Now four years later we can't imagine how we lived without the extra space.

  9. I also need some quiet time to think before making decisions. We have resorted to talking in code. When I look at him and quietly say "Give me a moment" it means "Stop talking and give a moment to think about this."

  10. no advice here because I... can't...stop...laughing. Thank you Dorcas for taking a somewhat painful experience and turning it into a hilarious story and making me feel better about my marriage and the times when my pointed staring does not seem to penetrate. I simply love your sense of humor and if anything will get you through the remodeling, that will.

    This story deserves a spot in your next book "Remodeling the Kingdom". :-)

  11. Isn't anybody going to vote? "Yay!" :)

  12. Having spent six of our almost twenty-four years of marriage in Haiti, I can testify to the truth of that first paragraph. It's also true that our marriage is much stronger than if we hadn't had to work through all this hard "stuff" together.

  13. Love the honesty=) And thankyou for the realistic look at marriage and diffrenences with your man.

  14. I read this blog aloud to my son and "non-blogger" husband (who both mull things over silently forever before they make a decision) and they laughed in all the right places. But they really laughed about the line where Paul felt you were learning to think out loud like he does! Pauline

  15. I vote Aye! for your marriage. Years from now you will laugh at what has happened. To be sure it will happen again over something else. But I bet you are looking forward to getting your kitchen done. Hope you like it. Phyllis Scoggins