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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Love It or List It

I enjoy watching "Love It or List It" on HGTV. If you've never seen it, it's a show that has a couple at odds over whether to stay in their current home or move. They list their grievances with their current house and give a designer a budget to renovate their it. One the flip side, they give a Realtor a list of what they need in a new home and what their willing to spend for it. At the end of the show, they have to decide if they love their newly renovated home enough to stay or list it and move to one of the homes the Realtor found for them. I could do without the scripted complaining and whining when a problem surfaces (that always eats a huge part of the budget, knocking one or more of the "must have's to stay" off the list), but the show is, overall, quite interesting. I like seeing the solutions the designer found to address the problems in their home.

Recently I watched an episode where one of the "must have's to stay" was an enlarged laundry room. The wife said her husband ironed his clothes in the laundry room every morning and it made it impossible for her to get in there and do laundry. I could see the room was too small for a man standing at an ironing board ironing and someone trying to load/unload the washer or dryer or fold clothes, but all I could think of was "Can't she do the laundry after her husband leaves for work? Or in the evening? Does she have to do the laundry in the morning when she knows he's going to be ironing? Or perhaps he could iron his clothes the night before rather than in the morning!" 

While there are probably women out there who enjoy ironing, I don't know any of them! Most women I know would be thrilled if their husband ironed his own clothes. They would gladly cede the laundry room to their man in the mornings if it meant they didn't have to iron.

My man and I have a very traditional relationship. We don't live together, but when we are together for an evening, a day, or on vacation, he does the man things and I do the women things, regardless of where we are ... my house, his house, a hotel room, vacation rental, or his cabin the mountains. He carries in the packages and bags and luggage, fixes things that break, builds things, etc. I cook and clean and iron and organize. When we go to the grocery, he'll push the cart. My job in most stores is as a "tour guide". Shopping is not his superpower. I like to say he's allergic to the grocery store! He usually has a general idea of what we need (or I have a list). He follows me around with the cart while I load it. There's usually a short pit-stop if we pass the Hostess Ding-Dongs ... he can't seem to pass up that display without at least one box ending up in our cart!

Granted, we don't live together, so we don't have the daily wearing on each other's nerves that these couples do, but after failed marriages and past relationships, we both know a good thing when we see it, and we just seem to click. We know each other very well. After seven-plus years of dating and and an on/off friendship that goes back almost two decades, we have yet to have an argument. We're not biting our tongues and "dealing with it". Our interests, tastes, and preferences are remarkably similar. 

While we don't agree on everything ... he loves the band Chicago and I merely like them. I love peach tea and he doesn't care for it. But, we do agree on the big things ... politics, religion, morals, ethics, integrity, family values, etc. We compromise ... we'll listen to his beloved Chicago when he wants and we'll listen to Evanescense when I want (which he enjoys slightly less than peach tea). He knows I can't stomach Aerosmith and Bachman, Turner, Overdrive (their music is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me) ... and I don't make potato salad because it is, to him, the culinary equivalence of my aversion to Aerosmith and BTO. 

I don't care how much he listens to Aerosmith and BTO ... as long as I don't have to hear it ... and he doesn't care how much potato salad I eat ... as long as he doesn't have to eat it! Compromise isn't hard if you have the other person's feelings in mind. Relationships don't work when one person is the only one willing to compromise. If you're the one who always has to get your way ... beware ... your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife probably has one foot, emotionally if not literally, out the door already. And for the record, if you're the one who always gets their way, you're not compromising ... you're bullying. As the golden rule commands, 'Do unto others' ...

All that to say ... I would probably iron his clothes in the morning (or the night before). But, if he insisted on ironing his own clothes, I'd happily do the laundry some other time ... and spend those renovation dollars on something else ... like a romantic getaway!

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