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Most people know life is full of compromise and that marriage certainly is. As a writer, I get to pick and chose what and where my characters will compromise. Life isn’t that cut and dry.

I’d say my husband and I are fairly well-matched. Okay, I’m being a little too humble. We’re really well-matched. Before we went on a single date, we sat down and told each other pretty much everything and were a bit shocked to see how alike we were. There haven’t really been any surprises.

But you know, even in the best circumstance, there is always that thing that drives you crazy. For me, that thing sits innocently on the counter, staring at me with what I know is veiled animosity.

That thing is Gizmo. I mean even the name reminds you of a gremlin and if you don’t remember how that turned out, watch the movie.

For those of you who don’t know (I didn’t) Gizmo is a little rechargeable can opener. Sounds harmless, right? First let me state that I don’t like appliances on the counter. My idea of luxury would be an appliance garage. Until my husband moved in, the coffee pot and microwave had the sole privilege of being permanent counter-top residents. They worked well together, kitchen stayed uncluttered. All was well in the world.

My husband is a foodie and he loves all things cooking (like me). He’s also a bit of a nerd (also like me) He raved about Gizmo before I even saw the inside of his apartment. He thinks is the best thing, well, next to the microwave. He doesn’t drink coffee. Yes, I know. It’s one of his few flaws.

The problem with appliances on the counter is you have to clean them or they get dusty/greasy. Dust and grease is just gross. Gizmo is white. I clean it a lot. At first, I tried to put him in the cupboard with the toaster and blender, but my husband, rightly, pointed out that Gizmo must sit on his charger. So I put him on the charger and looked at it. I’m not sure who designed this thing, but there is a pretty side to Gizmo. The side that isn’t showing when it’s charging.

You want to know the insult that Gizmo adds to injury? He won’t work for me. I do exactly what my husband does and Gizmo just makes a steady humming noise but fails to travel around the can. I got it to work once. When my husband was watching.

So Gizmo stays on the counter, next to the coffee pot, unused but much-loved by my husband. It’s a good thing I keep the handy manual can opener in the silverware drawer. It has never let me down. And it doesn’t mind staying out of sight until it’s needed.

By the way, when I told my bestest internet friend the previous story and told her I’d probably post about it, I was greeted with silence. I promptly added, I’m still working on it (which I think the standard writer response to such things) Of course Crystal being Crystal, before we hung up she reminded me to work on that post.  Straight shooter that one.

So I worked on it. A (little) bit.

What compromises have you had to make in your current relationship?


28 Responses

  1. Too funny, Shawna. It’s always the little things, right? My husband and I are really, really well-matched too. By the 5th date I was planning our wedding. 😉 But like you, I hate clutter. If I had my way there’d be a spot for everything so my counters would be empty. His flight cap, backpack, and detritus of work would not find a home in the dining room every evening.

    My husband’s a big foodie too (he pretty much taught me how to cook beyond my vast repertoire of pasta and rice), so we’ve been collecting really cool things lately. Like a stand mixer, vacuum sealer, food processor, and dutch oven. We use them a lot, but we have no space! They’re piling up on the counters in the kitchen, and the sideboard in the dining room.

    As far as compromise, honestly, I can’t think of anything specific. We make minor adjustments all the time, but it’s such a part of relationship maintenance that I don’t even notice. And he’s worth it!

  2. Hi Gwen!

    My husband and I love to daydream about our perfect kitchen and all the toys it would contain. ; ) We recently became Pampered Chef consultants partly for all the cool gadgets. Stopping myself now so I don’t go on and on about kitchen accessories. ; )

    And you’re right, minor adjustments are part of relationship maintenance. Of course ever since he read this blog, my husband has teased me about that silly thing. : ) He is absolutely worth it.

  3. hubby and I have an agreement, he has his man cave to play with his video games and electronic toys and I get to have my books. I think it’s a great compromise.

    As far as cooking and kitchens go, we moved into our new house almost 2 years ago. We have repainted every room and they all look fresh and new but the kitchen. Our kitchen has awful wall paper on the walls. We decided not to paint because we were going to update the kitchen – as soon as we could come up with the money. it’s still in the same shape as when we moved in. 🙂 I do most of the cooking around our house.

  4. Heather,

    My hubby can cook, he also BBQ’s up a storm (not literally) but I do most of the work in the kitchen for practical reasons. Especially once he taught me how to cook (mostly) authentic Mexican meals–I refuse to use lard.

    My kitchen looks like it’s straight out of the 70’s. Okay, maybe 80’s. Everything is white. Like you, I’ve painted almost every room except the kitchen. I’m thinking a brick red…one day. ; )

    • Now that I’m not working outside the house, I do most of the cooking too (yep, lots of Mexican here sans lard), but The Engineer has his special meals like fresh pizza (with dough from scratch!) cooked on the grill.

      Our kitchen is updated, but so much smaller than what we’ve had in the past. The only way to get more counter and cabinet space would be to extend into the eat-in area. We might do it if we planned to live here for more than a few years. When we moved back to DC, we made a conscious choice to give up some space–does anyone actually need 3500 sf??–for a better location and a yard full of old, tall trees. I love almost everything about this house, but the kitchen is totally unsat.

  5. LOL. Well ya know, the post wasn’t this cute and funny the first time to you told it. It was more like, “There’s things thing … it’s ugly on one side … he likes it … I don’t … I’m gonna blog about that.” And I’m certain the word “despise” was in there a few times too.

    My compromise: Husband likes to sleep with a fan. I like to sleep in silence. He gets the fan, and I get the awesome tempurpedic pillow. The only one we have. That pillow makes up for the noise.

    • Crystal,

      Finally I remembered to use the reply instead of post comment feature!

      You know, you are my sounding board…. lol beside, your reaction challenged me to take something I was musing about and turn it into a real blog. ; ) I like the fan on too, but hubby likes it on high. It makes me all stuffy. But I’d rather be stuffy than have him grumpy. So there ya go. ; )

      • I like the ceiling fan on. It’s quiet. He uses a box fan. They are freaking loud.

        • Yikes! They really are! My husband has a desk fan next to the bed. I can handle that noise, but we’ve had times when he insisted on the box fan and I lay awake scowling all night.

        • A box fan? Darling, you’re settling cheap for that pillow. Ask for more.
          ; )

        • Natalie and Shawna, There’s no reply button on y’alls comments. WordPress is so complicated sometimes.

          I’m so glad other people feel my pain. I got him to turn it to the second setting rather than the highest. And trust me, Shawna. The pillow is so worth it. But also, he works four nights and then is off for four nights. When he’s working that thing is OFF.

  6. Well, my husband is a wonderful man…for the most part. My biggest pet peeve is his OCD. I know he can’t help it, but once he fixiates on something, it is all his thinks about. It can be as little as the same show he records and watches everytime he sits down. Currently, he is into King of the Hill. That’s all he wants to watch.

    Right now he’s also into The Eagles. When I get in his truck, that’s what’s playing. I’ve intercepted three Eagles biographies from the UPS man. He’s recorded every documentary on them and watches them when he’s not watching KOTH.. Plays their music on the guitar and in November we’re flying to Vegas to see them in concert. And this is one example. Ask Keri about his welding – yeah, that lasted. Every “hobby” or “interest” is done to the absolute extreme. So I’m really glad he’s not into cooking. Though Shawna would be very glad if he were and she could get him to a Pampered Chef party.

    Love him, but he knows no moderation (except in eating and exercise…that’s where I have the problems)

  7. Gwen,

    Honestly, I’d love 3500sf. Of course there are 5 kids running around here. ; ) But I know that’s a lot of floor to mop/vacuum/sweep. ; )

    I’d love granite counters and slate floors in the kitchen, but we don’t plan to stay here forever. We have a quarter acre but would love more land. Our house is big enough (just over 2K) but not set up for our family. I have a huge formal living room that has a desk in it, but is too open to the rest of the house so I can’t work in it. (see the 5 kids running around) It’s kinda a waste of space. If not for the one big picture window, I could divide it with bookcases….

    My dream home has a dining room, (we eat in a little nook off the kitchen with barely room for the table) an office so I don’t have to work out of the bedroom, and a place for the kids to play. IE: store all the video game, doll houses etc. Oh, and another bathroom…for the boys.

    LOL We’re also big House Hunter fans.

    • Shawna: I love House Hunters! And, honestly, I loved a lot of things about the 3500 sf house (that included finished basement space), but even then it wasn’t laid out well. Too much here, not enough there. Plus the yard was small and had no privacy, shade, or nice trees in back.

      No matter what house I’m in–and I’ve lived in a lot–I would redistribute the space to make it better for the way we live. For example, our MB was an add-on, so it’s ridiculously large for us (hence why my office is there), but I’d love to move some of that space to the kitchen and basement (AKA entertainment/work out room).

      Oh well. I shouldn’t complain. These middle class problems… ;-p

  8. LOL awesome post. DH and I are well matched. Hm. assuming we don’t mean things like snoring and where he clips his toenails (eek), I’m picking magazines! OMG. He buys a magazine anytime he’s alone in the grocery store and brings them home. reads them, then puts them beside the chair.

    We of course, can NEVER, EVER DEAR GOD WHY WOULD YOU EVEN THINK IT!?!? throw the magazine away. Cause he might want to re-read it. one day. so there’s a stack by his chair. there’s piles crammed behind my couch. (I know, I know, like he’s really re-reading those). My favorite kid years was when son got old enough to rip the pages out of daddy’s magazines. 😉

    • LOL. Keri, I’m the one with the magazine collection. I have Taste of Home magazines for the last 4 years. I can’t throw them away–there’s recipes in there! My husband suggested I cut out the recipes I wanted to keep and throw the magazine away, but…but…. lol. We bought wicker end tables boxes that house my magazine collection. ; )

  9. Like Gwen (I find myself saying that a lot! LOL), ours is lots of small adjustments with no big compromises. Probably there is a lot he endures silently, but then he rebels by forgetting to take the lids off the recycling and loading the dishwasher wrong. 🙂

    • There are always lots of small adjustments. Usually on both sides. : ) We’re fine on the dishwasher. Our disagreement revolves around the fan. (Pun intended) He wants to keep the ceiling fans on all day and night. I say you don’t need the fan on in the living room if you’re in the bedroom. Why circulate the air to benefit no one?

  10. Hey, Shawna! Loved your post! 🙂 I think hubby and I are pretty well matched too. If I could break his golf addiction, we’d be much more in tune. LOL He’d lose his mind, but I would be just fine! 😉

  11. Half done projects. Luckily, I have a high tolerance, because I am surrounded by them. As in, there are chunks of plywood and stacks of tools taking up a third of my living room from the ‘putting in the bathtub’ project from last January. And outside my front door, there is a gravel pit bordered in two by sixes that is the half done forms for my future porch floor, started last November. It’s not entirely his fault. Silly little things like calving and haying and harvesting keep interrupting him, but still…argh.

  12. I would love to have clear counters but will never happen. My husband leaves everything out on the counter.

  13. Hi Cynthia. You and me both! Clear counters make me feel more relaxed!

  14. Have you considered clothing Gizmo? Perhaps if you crochet him a sweater and hat, he’ll take that as getting his freedom and go away?

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