Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The never ending list

Since I don't see H much - what with me working and him sleeping so much - whenever I do see him, he rattles off a list of what "needs to be done" and "we need to buy."

Now, I've written before about this, but H's requests for the list are doing nothing but escalating. And in the past I'd get all agitated about this (the "I have to do everything" martyr song), but now I'm less upset about the never-ending list.

Many of the things he asks for - cleaning the gutters, ordering pet food, new eyeglasses - are all fair game, but some are just bizarre.

My favorite is the pressing need to tear out a Laurel hedge in the back yard and replace it with a small building…a studio with power and water that we could rent out. The other fun one is that the 42" plasma TV that we have had for less than a year isn't "big enough," so we need to buy a 54" one. So not going to happen.

The other day, he was pressing on getting something done (I can't even remember what it was now) and I did get upset.

"Why are you so pissed off?" H asks me.

"Well, I can't keep up anymore with just what I need to do and you sleep all the time and then get up and tell me everything else you want me to do. And over time, you're able to do less and less, so you just assume that I'll pick everything up that you can't or don't want to do," I said. (AKA "the martyr song.")

"Oh, I don't understand, but I'm sorry." H said.

I thought about telling him that nothing happens in the house or our lives unless I do it, but it didn't seem worth it. So, I just dropped it as I often do. The trap is that I keep thinking that he can understand and empathize with my experience (he used to be able to), but of course he can't anymore.

The challenge is to take what I think needs to be done and talk him down from the others where I can. And since he often can't remember what he asks for, sometimes I just agree and then change the subject.

1 comment:

Y | O | Y said...

Can you turn the tables on him a bit?

"Great idea! I'll be doing (insert #1 and #2 from list here) so that would be a good project for you!"

Or, regarding the gutters or other things he can't see, you could always say you already did them.

Or, maybe a rule that there can only be 3 items on the honey-do list and he can't add one until you've taken one off?

In my experience, saying I already did them worked best!