Pine Needles, Poop and Scratches

I am a firm believer in spousal manipulation. Unless it is directed at me. Normally, if I need to get a lot of writing done, I research that evening’s sporting events and nonchalantly recommend that if my husband wants to watch a game…I guess I could write for a bit. Well, today it happened to me.

Hubs wanted to get up early and hurry to get our errands done, so we could work on the house. We rushed around all morning. When we got home, I went straight to the kitchen and did the dishes, a load of laundry and then begrudgingly went outside to tackle our pine needle infested, overgrown back yard.

My husband was upstairs working diligently on picking up the office and our bedroom. I thought. I came in to get a drink of water and found him lounging on the couch. Shock.

Even she sold me out. (He took this a different day) She was all curled up on dad, didn't even come outside to play.
Even she sold me out. (He took this a different day) She was all curled up on dad, didn’t even come outside to play.

“I thought you were cleaning up? I’m out here working my butt off…”

“It’s my day off.”

He was right. He had worked seven days straight, about twelve hours each day…I only worked three and a half days this week. But still.

“I know, but I thought you wanted to hurry up and get errands done so we could work on the house.”

“I’m kinda tired”

I gave myself a moment to consider the situation before melting down. He had worked seven days. True. He also spent the last weekend with my cousin’s husband (while I was away at a writing conference) building shelves, unclogging drains and cleaning. I calmed down, went back outside to finish my project and shut the door.

I think he was surprised that I didn’t freak out. Yes, I may have normally been frustrated. Secretly, I was. But, he deserved this day to relax. I needed to get stuff done.

There were plenty more of these!
There were plenty more of these!

A few hours and a plethora of scratches (on my legs) later, I was done. I’m not exactly sure how I got so many scratches. In the end, I felt accomplished. I picked up the dog’s poop, the pine needles and pulled weeds. Hubby was proud of me. Also happy that I got some serious exercise in, I treated myself to a yummy pasta dinner.


Ouch! They go all the way down my leg. Next project is refinishing the deck.


I suppose in the end…It wasn’t so much a manipulation as it was helping each other out. A lesson in making one another happy and that being the main focus, as it should always be.

Tomorrow…I think a sporting event will probably be on TV.

A part of our clean yard. Ready for planting and having people over.
A part of our clean yard. Ready for planting and having people over.

Have any learning lessons in relationships like these? Any spousal manipulation stories? Backfires?


24 thoughts on “Pine Needles, Poop and Scratches

  1. Wow, I am proud of you, Lindsay. I think you handled this very well. I don’t get upset nearly as much as I used to with my husband. I just isn’t worth it in the end and they both do work very hard. And as you said, you accomplished a great deal and got in a bunch of exercise while doing it. Well done.

  2. That was good of you. I’m not sure I would’ve behaved as civilly. Actually, I probably would’ve slunked back out of the room, hoped he hadn’t seen me, and grabbed a good book and curled up in a chair. 😉

    Doesn’t it feel good to accomplish something you’ve been putting off, though? It’s like losing ten pounds of weight. Great feeling.

  3. Why am I not surprised? The picture on the couch is classic.

    You know about my bed making manipulation and that is the only manipulation going on in our household. Yep. No other manipulation going on here.

    1. What a bum 🙂

      I stole the term “spousal manipulation” from you. I just thought I was a good schemer. Your term sounds better…for some reason.

      I’m sure that there is no other manipulation going on over there….

      1. Scheming, manipulating.. You have to find a way to get what you want. Except at my house, where, like I said, there is no other manipulation going on 🙂

  4. Wow, Lindsay. You handled that like a rock star. Good for you for being the cool wife, rather than the nag. I was married much longer than you b4 I figured that one out.

  5. ‘Spousal manipulation’ made me laugh. I have to admit, I tend to choose my battles. I am obsessively neat; my husband… um, not! So we constantly negotiate… 🙂 I have to watch myself because I know that I can be a pain about the house looking just the way I want it. He’s more comfortable with clutter. Again, we constantly negotiate! LOL

    Got a kick out of the dog’s picture. My three can be found laying near my husband, and will often look at me with a ‘What’s your problem?’ expression on their faces.

    1. Jennifer Windram is the one who coined it spousal manipulation. It is so fitting, unless you’re explaining your “negotiations” to the husband.

      Neither of us are entirely very neat, so we have to really lean on one another to help get things done. We each do the chores we don’t despise. It works for us… most of the time.

      My dog always gives me those looks. Such attitude!

      Thanks for coming by, Kate:)

  6. I’m drawing a blank but I know there is SOMETHING here– the manipulation thing. In some silly way I know the Boyfran and I do this to each other but I need more sleep to remember anything other than my middle name 😉

  7. Being currently single, I have no choice but to do all of the house chores myself when I finally move out of the family home next week. That’s it, I’ll have to find myself a man to ‘spousally maniplulate’….. 😆

  8. On the other hand, you can keep this one in your pocket next time you need a day on the couch.
    (Though it doesn’t sound your husband would get upset.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s