There’s a lot of that in my house. Or rather, he-claims-he-said-what-she-swears-she-did-not-hear. And he-should-have-said-so-that-she-could-remind-him-that-he-said. And finally, neither-one-of-them-should-have-said.
Yes, we both have hot tempers (though he says he doesn’t, and to be fair, I suppose mine makes his look rather cool). Yesterday, however, we did each other no favors where tempers are concerned. And it all boiled down to $200, taxes, and terrible timing.
(Now, to our corners, and at the bell we will come out fighting.)
Him (as we’re driving to grab a bite for lunch): “After this, we need to stop going out to eat.”
Me: “Well, if we don’t have the money, why are we going now?”
Him: “I have enough in my account.”
Me: “How much is in my account?”
Him: “About $20.”
Me: “What about that 200 you transferred.”
Him: “I told you I didn’t get to it. You were supposed to do it when you got home.”
Me: “What? That means the insurance didn’t get paid. You said you were going to transfer the money.”
Him: “I told you I didn’t get a chance.”
Me: “You did not say that.”
Him: “You never hear me.”
Me (muttered under my breath): “Because you never said it.”
Now as arguments go, this was a mild one. But, as often happens, it was the spark needed to get a bigger flame going. Barely an hour later, he threw on some kindling when he told me he had gotten a call regarding the taxes he was supposed to file sooner than he did.
Me: “Why didn’t you tell me to remind you?”
Him: “I don’t need you to nag me.”
Me: “I don’t nag you! But somebody needs to tell you to do these things because apparently you’re not capable of handling them yourself.”
Him: “And you are? Have you sent off the papers you were supposed to send?”
More was said, but I prefer to edit for content. Just imagine that there were some words a parent would not want the kid to repeat in polite conversation (or not-so-polite-conversation for that matter).
Now I would like to say that we were sensible enough to recognize there was a fire that needed putting out. It’s generally the smart thing to do before it gets out of control. But no, we’re both stubbornly stupid in such a situation. If it were a real fire, we would both be standing there with a water hose staring the other down and waiting to see who would make the first move toward the faucet. Meanwhile, the whole house would go up in flames as emergency personnel hurried the kids to safety and the neighbors stood on their front porches gaping.
Well, this metaphorically sums up the situation when my dear one decided to paint the dining room. He said it would take no time at all. He could get it done while I went to get the older one from school (since he talked me into buying a paint sprayer I said was expensive and unnecessary). The only problem was the baby. She was napping. He said she needed to go with me. She would wake up anyway once he started spraying.
There were no words this time. There didn’t need to be. The looks we gave each other said it all. After mine said what it needed to say, I left with the baby, both of us in a very unhappy state. When I returned, I was no happier. In fact, just the opposite. He hadn’t started painting yet.
This time there were words. Lots of words. Shouted at the tops of our lungs. (Someone call 911. There goes the house. Don’t they know the kids are still in it?)
Finally, someone decided to activate the hose. I wish I could say it was me. I can’t. He gets the credit this time. A few minutes after I had stormed off toward the bedroom, he followed.
Him: “Why are we fighting”
Me: “I don’t know. I think it has something to do with that $200 I didn’t hear you tell me to transfer.”
Him: “Well that’s a stupid thing to fight over.”
Me (laughing): “Yes, it is. When will we learn?”
I think both of us knew the answer to that question. We probably never will. Let’s just hope somebody remembers to turn on the hose next time.