I had a bit of an epiphany today. I realised that “because I want it” is not sufficient reason for you to get off your butt and do anything. Over the years you have probably become immune to the stereotypical parental response of “because I said so” and now you seem of the opinion that the reasons for my requests all fall into that same bucket. Oh, I know that sometimes all I need ask is “can you do this for me” and you will try to do it forthwith but the reason, the real reason that you’re doing it is not merely because I want it or because I said so. Case in point, the other night I was coming home late and I asked you to record some of my weekly tv shows for me. You did oblige but I’m not convinced that you were thinking, she has asked me for a favour and I’d be happy to do it. I rather fancy that your thought process was more along the lines of they don’t repeat this stuff so she’s going to be really pissed if I forget. And that’s so not worth it.
So its not as if you won’t do things that I ask but unless there’s some other reason (ie not because I said so), you’re not one to spring to action. Like with the wine. We went away for a long weekend and you got to buy over a case of wine. Awesome, right? Last year you got less than half a dozen. Anyway, when we got back home, that wine proceeded to sit on the floor rather than being put away in the wine shelf. Like I asked. It was not until we were up to the we will have guests tomorrow and they simply won’t fit if that wine is still on the floor that the bottles were distributed to their rightful place. Therefore “because I want it” just doesn’t cut it.
Now I have been considering what would qualify as a decent reason for all of the other tasks I have asked you to perform over the last couple of months to no discernible effect. What would motivate you to get rid of the busted washing machine and microwave that are currently taking up space in the garage for example? Part of me has been tempted to put the microwave in the place of your pillow and swap your dressing table for the washing machine but I am seriously afraid that you would just put the microwave on the floor and leave things as they were. For ever. I could threaten you to do something within 48 hours unless you would rather I take it into my own hands of course, but I know you don’t like being pushed into doing things that way and I’d rather not have you stomping around the house in protest.
I have actually wondered though whether any old reason would do. You know, other than because I said so which clearly doesn’t work. Like it is actually imperative that you cull the amount of glass beer bottles you are keeping in storage for brewing because rabbits are highly attracted to glass. Therefore, the sheer volume of it towards the front of our garage could tempt some feral creatures to sneak their way in, breed like…well, rabbits, in the small dark spaces you have created and then wreak havoc. In a drunken stupor (they could easily find a way to actually get into the beer I’m sure) they might then burrow through the garage wall and under the house and then start gnawing on the very supports on which our house currently stands. So you must cull the bottles because you don’t want our house to fall down around our ears do you? I could say something like that to you but I’m pretty sure you’d look at me like I was an idiot.
Another option that crossed my mind was that I could offer you an incentive as your reason for doing the things that I ask. A quid pro quo for whatever task I require to be finished at the time. It sounds great in theory. Even fair on the surface but I don’t really like the idea that I need to bribe you to get anything done. I must also confess that I am a little unsure as to whether our values would align on the proposed incentives anyway. What would be worth it for me may not be worth it for you. At all. And vice versa. Although personally I think staying married to me should be enough of an incentive…
Anyway, I have realised that I may need to adjust my thinking. I can no longer assume that when I make what I believe to be a perfectly reasonable request, you will see it for what it is. Who knows, maybe when I say “can you please tidy that pile of floordrobe near the bedroom door” you hear “can you please increase the amount of floor space in the bedroom because you’re making my toenails hurt”, which is clearly a ridiculous request and indeed notion. Maybe you just need a reason that makes sense to you. One that will only enable you to see the question for what it is and not what it could be. Maybe a lot of the above and probably this epiphany won’t actually stop me from just plain asking you to do something without automatically offering a reason. But it’s the thought that counts.
Your Loving Wife
* Photo taken at last years Vivid Festival