Saturday, September 22, 2012
Marriage 501, Lecture 399: Anniversary/Engagement
I don't think I've ever told you guys about my engagement trash can! I have referred to it, but never told you the whole story. Here it is.
We had decided to get married. When is this - summer 2007? Oh sure SH had been in loooove with me for a long time and I was crazy about him, but we were both a little skittish about this marriage thing, he because he did not have a good experience with his ex and I just because I had dodged some bullets already.
I was not unmarried because nobody had ever proposed to me. Oh no. I was unmarried in my early 40s because I treasured my independence. I liked living alone. I don't like compromise.
I still treasure my independence and don't like compromise.
Several boyfriends in my past had wanted to marry me. Several, I tell you. But fie, fie with them.
SH was the first I wanted to marry. He does have his weirdness, but he doesn't do things like leave all the cupboard doors open so the cockroaches won't have a place to hide. Or mash the little ends of soap in the corner of the bathtub.
Everyone does odd things and I have my own weirdnesses - I always keep a safety pin around so I can get gunk out of my teeth because one of my paranoias is that I have something stuck in my teeth but it's really not paranoia because I have very stuff-prone teeth so often, there is something there - but maybe true love is when you find someone whose weirdness you can live with. The boyfriend with the cupboard/soap thing was wonderful in many ways, but I just couldn't take all that gray slimy soap in the corner.
But SH - well, he was different. My life is better with him than without him. I missed him too much when he's gone.
We started talking about rings. SH sort of wanted to buy me a ring.
I don't wear rings. I wish I'd known that before I spent $200 on my college class ring, which has not seen my hands since 1987. I could have paid my rent with that money.
I don't like them. My hands aren't that nice. I have icky nails, unlike my mom and my sister, both of whom seem to be able to extrude ceramic from their fingers. Rings get in the way. I do too many things involving my hands to want a ring. You can't wear a ring when you garden. When you work with weights. When you do housework.
I didn't want one. I especially didn't want SH to spend thousands of dollars on a ring. "We could go to Paris for that money," I tell him. "Or put it toward our mortgage." I'd rather have a grand trip to Paris to look back on than a ring any day.
He was frustrated. He wanted to do something.
"Get me a decent trash can," I told him.
I hated the trash can in his kitchen. It was about 14" high and you had to push the lid with your hand to open it. I hated bending over to open it or lifting my leg 16" to mash the opener with my foot. I hated bending over to peel onions into it. I hated the little bags it held. I hated it.
"I want the fancy trash can like Leigh* has," I said.
Leigh had the nice, tall, chrome, foot-operated trash can. It doesn't break your back to peel onions. You just step with your foot to open it.
She has since gotten the trash can that has the laser beam opener. Maybe for our 10th anniversary.
But the ordinary, non-laser fancy can wasn't cheap.
It was about $60. For a trash can.
I tried to put that into beer units for SH so he could relate. He and I have different ideas about how much to spend on everyday items. I think it's worth it to spend a little more to get higher quality in something you will use every day. He is more of the "buy cheap" school (except for car accessories and wine, but even his cars have all been used - he is not a spendthrift). I tell him buy nice or buy twice.
He wanted to wait until he could find the trash can on sale. That's fair. I don't see the point of paying more than we have to.
But it didn't go on sale and didn't go on sale and didn't go on sale. We knew this because SH scours the ads in the paper every Sunday. He will even find a lower price on something he already bought and go to the store to get the adjustment. Target does that, you know. SH is not wasteful with money. Unless you count buying a lot of wine, which I do count. As wasteful.
After nine months of watching, though, the darn trash can never went on sale. By now, I had sold my house and moved into SH's apartment, so his trash can had become a real issue.
One evening, he came home with a big box. It contained the trash can. "I got it for you," he said. "And it wasn't even on sale."
I knew he loved me.
* Leigh is the friend whose presents got peed on at her bridal shower by the hostess' neurotic, yappy dogs. The hostess was a psychologist. The dogs peed on Leigh's presents. The hostess still did not put the dogs out. Psychologist heal thyself is what I said.