Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What I Said is Not What I Meant

“Here’s the garbage.” Clunk went the bag at my feet.
“Steve! Why are you bringing me the garbage?” I put another dish into the washer.
“Didn’t you ask me to take the garbage out?” Stomping feet headed towards the living room.
“Yes dear I did. Why did you bring it back to me?” I dried my hands on a towel as I followed.
“Well, the bag is only half full so there is no reason to take it out yet,” growled my mate. “And why should we waste a new garbage bag when we can still fill this one?”
“Steve, I made salmon for dinner. The packaging plus the skin and bones are in there. It will begin to smell up the kitchen if we leave it here overnight. I heard you take this bag out the door a few minutes ago. Why did you bring it back?”
“Don’t you tell me over and over again that taking the garbage out is the kid’s job?” huffed my husband.
Technically he is right. Often Steve will go to throw something away and notices that the garbage is full. He has decided that no one will ever take it out, so he has to. I then remind him that it’s our youngest son’s chore, and I will remind kidlet number three to do it! Husband is thoroughly annoyed because in his world kids should never be reminded to do a chore. Ever.
“But kidlet isn’t here this weekend. Which is why I made us this special dinner that we had by candle light, remember? He won’t be back for two more nights. Am I supposed to cook, clean up the kitchen, do the dishes AND take out the garbage?”
Spousal unit was now ensconced in his recliner attempting to navigate his way through the various remotes to turn on the TV, the surround sound, then find something he likes on the History or Military channel. I gave him a few minutes to work. Soon he had his show in hand, and I waited for his response. There was none.
“Steve,” I said as I stood between him and his Myth Busters. I slowly repeated my question. He blinked visibly several times, but did not look at me or respond. He just sat there. I just stood there. He sat some more, so I stood some more. A commercial came on. Still no response.
“Steve!” I threw my hands up in the air. “Will you please answer me?”
“Well, ummm, ahhhhhhh,” (indistinctive mumbling followed).
“What? Please speak distinctively. I didn’t understand what you said!” I tried to remain calm when I really wanted to shout.
“See?” raged Steve with clear enunciation. “I knew you would be mad if I did kidlet’s chore! He never ever does his chores and he always forgets and he shouldn’t be allowed to go anywhere on the weekends because you always get mad at me!”
I stepped back and sank onto the couch. Whoa! I took a deep breath.

I explained that I was tired and now frustrated, but not angry. I told him how much I enjoyed us having a quiet dinner together. I said that I hadn't thought it would be a big deal for him to help with clean up by running that partial bag of garbage out. I explained again why it needed to go out. I looked at my hubby and waited.
Steve ducked his head and looked at his knees. Oh oh, I knew that look.
“What did you do?” I questioned, twisting my towel into a knot.
After a short pause, he admitted that he had forgotten to put the garbage cans out that week so they were overflowing. There was no place to put the one partial sack. Nothing else would fit in either can. Our trash wouldn’t get picked up until next Tuesday.
Oh Lordy, it’s going to be a smelly weekend.

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