Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Marriage 601, Lecture 456: Samantha and Darren

I love my husband. I love him madly. He annoys the heck out of me, but that does not mean I do not love him. He is a really good sport about this blog and doesn't mind that I tease him here.

So don't take what I say as a "I hate my marriage complaint." Take it as it is intended - a wry commentary on the challenges of two people sharing a house and a life - an acknowledgement that nobody, including me, is perfect and we can all get on each other's nerves every once in a while.

I do hear people saying they never fight or never disagree with their spouse and I wonder what universe they live in. Maybe SH and I are the outliers - maybe we are the only ones who argue and bicker and disagree. Or maybe there are a lot of liars out there. I don't know. If you tell me you never disagree or fight, my first thought is

1. Liar

and my second thought is

2. One of you is holding it all in because s/he is either scared to disagree or has no original thoughts.


I want to talk about something that SH did that annoyed me and I want to know if any of you guys have experienced the same thing.

Last week, a friend of SH's invited us to dinner. SH consulted with me and then accepted.

Then he told me he had asked if there was anything we could bring.

Then I learned the "we" was me, because the answer was yes and SH volunteered me to cook dessert.

I do not want to be volunteered to bake.

And - bigger issue - I don't expect other people to bring food to my house when we invite them to dinner. We have gracious friends and they always show up with a bottle of wine or flowers or something, but when they ask if they can bring anything, I always say no. Nope. Don't bring anything. It's all under control. You are my guests. I will feed you.

Also part of the bigger issue - I always ask if I can bring something when we are invited.

But if the person says "yes," I don't say, "Well, SH will do something. I will tell you that we will supply X, but by "we" I mean "SH," who does not know I have voluntold him to do something."

When SH informed me that I would be preparing a dessert for this meal, I got annoyed and told him this was not Bewitched where he could show up with Larry at the last minute and expect me to add another plate to the table.

He said that I always ask if I can bring something and that this dessert is not that much work, which was true.

But I thought he should have asked.

And of course the more I write about this, the more petty it sounds.

So maybe I am cranky over nothing. But I think he should have asked.

He was contrite and apologetic - said he had not thought about it because I always ask.

So maybe I overreacted. What do you think?


DaniBP said...

I'd be totally annoyed too! My hubs will send email invites to me so I can respond and take the scheduling off of his plate as it were... but if he voluntold me to bring dessert to a dinner of a colleague... I'd be very unhappy and feel like a slave!

wellfedfred said...

well, first, I love "voluntold."

Life is the art of the possible. Himself still puts his feet on the furniture and has lots of other annoying habits - he narrates the text of bills while he's writing checks - who cares? - and thinks I'm his personal IT department. He suggests I join things or go to things (so he won't have to), and hen when I do go and get appointed to the board or elected president he is annoyed at me for "not knowing how to say no." But I did succeed in training him not to invite his relatives over without permission or to make dates with couples I can't stand, so that's something.

On the other hand, if he promised I'd bring dessert without asking me, I'd bring Girl Scout cookies, and a lecture on how nothing builds character like door-to-door selling. Unless, of course, there had recently been some kind of community scandal, in which case I'd bring Mallomars. Noone can find fault with Mallomars.

webb said...

Ditto it all. Mitchell and i agreed the first week of our relationship that accepting an invitation without checking first was an absolute deal breaker.

Dessert is a little harder, but I agree with everyone. I always offer and when the answer is "yes" then I reach an agreement with the host MYSELF. If he agrees ... then he makes the dish. Fortunately, he's a good cook.

Committing one's spouse to work is an absolute no no.

ps: we know you love him, and we do, too. It's just so much easier to laugh at the foibles of marriage when it's someone else's. So many of your conversations take place here, too.

Anonymous said...

I one wants to be voluntold. For some reason, my husband is usually very careful about this. I think he's afraid I'll volunteer HIM for something he doesn't want to do. Anyway, maybe this post was a little bit cathartic for you. BTW, I love that voluntold word. Charlene

Gaylin said...

I have a friend whose husband volunteers her baking skills constantly, I figure at some point in time he will get a skillet to the head . . .

Asking first before volunteering is always a good idea for SH. Or send him to baking classes.

Anonymous said...

I agree that it's annoying -- and I think that it's equally annoying when it goes the other way (i.e., volunteering a husband to paint the neighbors' fence or similar -- I know of cases).

Resist taking on Gaylin's idea of a skillet to the head, though, good as it might be!

Jen on the Edge said...

You're in the right here. HE can bring the dessert, since he volunteered.

Regarding couples who don't fight/disagree: We almost never fight. We will bicker or disagree, but an actual fight? No, rarely. Fewer than a dozen of those in 25 years. True story.

Joy said...

It sounds like SH made an honest mistake, but you're right. He shouldn't have voluntold you that you were on for dessert. Even if you're a great baker. Even if the dessert doesn't take much time.

You're also right that as a rule, guests should bring wine or flowers, but the host should make the food. When I make dinner for guests, I have a plan, and someone else's random bread or dessert or whatever is probably not going to fit my plan (and honestly is probably not going to be as good as what I make).

HHH said...

Totally agree with you. I have a policy that being invited out to dinner translates to "no responsibilities in the kitchen for all invitees," so I always decline all offers for food. On the other hand, my next door neighbor ALWAYS asks me to bring dessert, "because you are such a good cook." As I see it, that's just her manipulative way to get out of making (or, in her case, buying) her own gd dessert.
Another hostess theory of mine is that there are only 5 bottles of champagne in our county and they all get circulated around and around from house to house. The poor bottles have to do double travel duty during Christmas week.