Reasonable standards

My husband can really piss me off.  I know that’s not kosher to say out loud, but it’s true and I know I’m not alone in feeling this way about my spouse.  Any person who never finds their spouse annoying has never been married.

That said, my husband exceeds my expectations for being aggravating, but he does so  intermittently, so as to catch me off guard.  Just when we seem to be in a groove where he hasn’t let me know in a while that my standard of not having several days’ worth of crumbs on the floor when guests arrive to our house for dinner is a ridiculous, unreasonable standard, he’ll ambush me.

His favorite technique is to exaggerate my requests so that no one could argue with him, not even me.  For example, he’ll agree to clean the outdoor furniture that hasn’t been cleaned all summer before people come over.  However, because I know his standard for cleaning the patio table would be to spit in its general direction, I will ask if it’s cleaned to “my standard”.  He will then say something like, “Yeah, I cleaned it, but I am not going to get on my hands and knees and scrub the entire deck with a toothbrush until it’s clean enough to eat on.”  Sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, that will infuriate me because, duh, obviously that is not my standard as it’s no one’s standard, and it makes me seem like I’m asking for something totally unreasonable. Which I. Am. Not.  (That last part cannot be emphasized enough, so I wrote it like that, with the periods.)

By the way, I’m not sure why he keeps using this Pick an Extreme Example approach on me because 100% of the time it does not go over well.  Then again, my daughter pointed out to me that a guy who owned a lamp with bird poop on it from when it was in a dumpster may not be the best person for me to ask whether the cleaning job was done well enough, and she has a point.

I recently realized that there is a pattern to my husband’s irritating behavior. Every 3-4 weeks, he flares, like arthritis or cyclical vomiting or something. I don’t know if he’s trying to use the electric company’s meter reading to remind him to incite me or what, but there’s definitely a pattern to this. In fact, I just looked at the calendar and there’s frequently a huge influx of annoyingness on his part right before my period!  He knows my PMS is worsening as I age, so he apparently waits until I’m at my most vulnerable to be the biggest jerk!  Listen, in case you doubt this, that man is all up in my Google calendar constantly, and I’ve advised him as a friend to be on his best behavior before my period, so he’s obviously deliberately, on purpose trying to kick me when I’m down…on the ground, picking up three days’ worth of crumbs off the floor that apparently none of our guests would mind having stuck to the bottom of their feet.

I can’t write anymore now, as it’s time for dinner.  I’m serving my man his dinner on the deck floor, a dinner that may or may not contain dried up shredded cheese sprinkles, a stale cheerio, and two popcorn kernels.  I will decide at the time, using a complex proprietary algorithm that I even I don’t understand.