Especially after my last two posts full of heroic bravado, I know my female faithful are longing to know what it’s really like to be my bride. Well, as luck would have it, I feel like pulling back the curtain a bit. The following back and forth occurred on the drive to see some houses. As expected, I lead. Enjoy!
“I’m just saying that I don’t think ‘how old a house is’ should automatically disqualify it.”
“All I think about is how much everything is going to break and any money that we save we will spend on fixing it.”
“Every house needs repairs. To me, and this may just be me, the key is having money for those repairs. Sure we could probably afford a slightly newer house, but we’d be signing on to not having that extra few hundred dollars every single month for the next 30 years.”
“I just want a nice house.”
“I know you do, Honey. Me, too. I just feel like you’re not seeing things the best way. So I’m going to keep trying to paint the picture I see.”
“I just would like a nice house.”
“I’m not saying we’re not getting a nice house. I’m mostly just saying we need to stick to a budget. That’s a good idea, right?”
“If we buy a house that’s one hundred years old, and then we need to sell it fast, who’s going to buy it?”
“We don’t know the future no matter what. We didn’t think we’d be moving again just three months ago. I don’t think the future should weigh so heavily in the decision.”
“You’re not understanding me.”
“That may be. But I am asking you to try harder to explain yourself then. (breath) The way I see it, even if you’re right–and we buy an old house and are stuck with it–it’s better to be stuck with a small mortgage payment, than a big one, no?”
“That kitchen was very small.”
“And I feel like I can imagine how knocking out one part of one of the walls would make it feel bigger.”
“-And, sorry, I have a philosophy that small is better anyhow. In the future, there will be more people crowding together in that kitchen than in a big kitchen, I promise. I can’t explain it, but I have seen it. In my last house, it was small and I could fill it with people. Other houses I’ve been in weren’t like that. I can see the full, noisy kitchen now. There’ll be twenty of you in that little area chatting away and interrupting each other, saying, ‘Excuse me!’ ‘Pardon me!’ ‘Ha, where’d the … go?’ Everyone will love it.”
(Here, reader, I think it’s better to spend your time imagining the look I felt being cast upon me, than read any feeble description of it.)
“No? Well, I’m right. But I’ll try another way. How’s this? When you say you want a nice and big kitchen, what I hear is that you’d rather spend three hundred dollars per month to look at a kitchen, than on anything else. Is that what you’re saying? Would you say it like that? ‘I’d rather spend money to be in a kitchen than on shoes or clothes or A-‘s education or vacations?’ Is that what you’re telling me? If so, that’s easy. I agree. Let’s do it. But then you can’t complain in the future.”
“Did you just say that to me?”
“(Here see laughter coming out of my big, beautiful smile as I shake my head.) That’s not wrong to say. It’s helpful to say. It helps us communicate because as of this moment I still can’t figure out what the problem is. The way I see it, we have to pay a certain amount of money to live in a building. And anything above that is not smart. Why pay more than the minimum? I’m talking about flexibility. Sure, if we get an old house, it may have more problems. But as they come, we have options. We can fix them immediately. Or maybe never. Or sometime in between. But all the while, we can choose and rank how important every other thing is.”
“The bathtub was very short.”
“Let me put it this way. Would you rather have $300 a month or no money a month?”
“Then I win. I’m telling you that if we stick to the budget and get an older house, which perhaps will need more repairs, we will have $300 a month extra to spend on whatever we want.”
“What if I put it this way? What I’m saying is, if we get an old house, within budget, then every month you can go to the store and buy anything you want.”
Here, careful reader, the flaw in husbands and wives trying to talk to make decisions together manifests itself fully. The following questions remain:
Did my heroic, strong, brave, and incredibly intelligent self just get worn down to promising a blank check to my wife?
Was this her aim the entire time?
Did I, in fact, promise it? Follow-up: And, if so, am I bound to keep that promise?
These questions and more are now staring me in the face as I proceed down the path only found by those seeking marital bliss.