“Honey, can we have a cat?”
“I really want a cat…”
“Aw, c’mon. You love cats.”
I sulk in silence for all of 10 seconds. Wait for it… wait for it… “You’re really mean…”
He sighs. “Fine. You can have a rabbit.”
“I don’t want a rabbit!”
“You love rabbits! Remember?”
“I DO love rabbits – but rabbits don’t cuddle on the sofa.”
“I’ll cuddle you on the sofa.”
“You’re not furry. Enough.”
“Rabbits are cute and they don’t have to live in the house with us.”
“Rabbits don’t catch rats!”
“Cats don’t catch rats – cats catch mice. DOGS catch rats.”
“Can we have a dog?”
While this is but one discussion in the long history of my marriage, you can see I have had my work cut out for me. It was always the same. The harder I pushed for something, the less likely I would be to get it; our discussions were textbook demonstrations of Murphy’s Law in action. Over the years I have tried every conceivable way to… well, GET my way on everything. I have on rare occasion succeeded, although, as you may imagine, I can be both persuasive and doggedly persistent. In my beloved husband, I had met my match.
Regarding the above actual NEED for a cat (or 2) to keep the rats at bay, I did eventually win the argument rabbit-free. How did I do it? Well, just cut and paste the above conversation 50 times over and reread it every day for about 6 months. He was a hard sell, but, owing to the severity of the rat infestation in the barn and my perseverence, I eventually wore him down and got my way, Don’t look so surprised… (and the rats, by the way, are gone!)
I suppose it is a blessing of sorts that my husband is strong-minded and good natured as he is. I could happily steamroll a lesser man, and then would end up despising his weakness. I would eat a weaker man for breakfast and pick my teeth with his bones. Admittedly, I can be a bit of a handful. Hubby may be hard to sway, but at least he is solid and I can respect that. He’s a bit of a mental superhero, actually, to stand up to me.
And then, one day, I discovered where they kept the kryptonite…
Enter: The grandchildren.
It happened quite by accident. Hubby came home and found a 10-gallon fish tank had mysteriously appeared on the kitchen counter. Space being limited in our little cottage, it was taking up some valuable real estate. Hubby glared at the offending glass box. “Take. It. Back.” He said. The foot had gone down.
“But honey,” I replied sweetly, “it’s for the boys…”
He clearly needed more convincing. “Yes! It will be good for them to learn about fish. Think of it as a science project.” He still looked doubtful. “Babe,” I added, ensuring our one way ticket to Kryptonite-ville, “THINK OF THE GRANDCHILDREN…”
And just like that, Superman caved like a plate of hot butter.
He tried to hide the enormity of his capitulation by rolling his eyes and doing a fairly convincing Julia Child impression: “Oh, think of the children... the CHILDREN…!” He was mocking me, but the battle was well and truly over. The fish tank stayed. The fact that I am the one who dragged the grandboys to the fish store and got them excited about the beauty of finned creatures is entirely beside the point. We mustn’t cloud the issue at hand with superfluous fact. (Although I can’t help but feel, in some small way, at least partially responsible…) But, well, anything for the grandchildren… I am the very definition of altruism.
“Can I get a digital piano?”
(Repeat about 150 million times.)
“But what about the boys? They WANT a piano...”
“No,” he says, but I hear the faint sound of cracks forming in his foundation.
“But honey...” I plead, reaching for the kryptonite, “think of the grandchildren…”
Hubby sighs. Loudly.
We now have a digital piano. I bask in my own selflessness.
I have discovered that, now we have grandchildren, I can get pretty much anything I want if I can frame it in such a way that it involves the grandboys. It doesn’t work so well with things like shoes or handbags, obviously. But I am working on a Karaoke machine next. Not one of those cheap plastic catalog jobby-jobs… I want a PROPER Karaoke machine. Well, not a machine, really. More like a Karaoke system. With huge JBL’s, stage monitors and a 24 channel mixer. It can do double duty for when I re-form my band… But it is for the boys, of course… just THINK of what an education they will get in sound editing. They won’t be 5 and 7 forever, you know… you can never start too early…
Yeah, I am a regular Mother Teresa…
photo of my gorgeous grandsons courtesy of Wendy Aldiss Photography
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