Sunday, July 16, 2006

Good Wife vs. Manipulative Spouse -- Sometimes, You Have to be Both

Lissa made a good point in her comment to my last post. I'm sure if Fearless Husband was still single, he would've packed the way single men do (wad it all in the suitcase, buy new underwear, socks and toothbrush once he reaches his destination). And the gifts I bought for him to take to his parents, grandparents and sister? Wrinkled and/or broken. Would that have bothered him? Not in the least. But it sure would've bothered me. So my choice to "help" him pack was for me (and for the sake of assorted silk kimono and pieces of porcelain), not for him.

One thing I've learned though...if I had let him throw away the little embarkation card thingie, to try and teach him a lesson, guess who would've had to put up with Mr. Crankypants?

Yeah, that would be me.

Now though, he owes me for saving him big beaurocratic problems. I'm sure he'll try and make up for it (hopefully with something sparkly!) So, I'm not being a good wife as Lissa asserts. Instead, I'm being selfish -- because I prefer him to be sheepishly grateful rather than cranky.

Sly? Yep. Evil of me to find joy in his guilt? Probably. But hey, it's still joy.

I Told You So!

Got the baby...err, Fearless Husband...all packed and off to training in the USA for a month. I miss him already. But I can't figure out how the man was able to function for all those years when he lived alone--he sure has forgotten how to pack a suitcase and what to put in it!

However, he made up for a lot of the frustration when he called mid-trip from the Tokyo airport. When we came into Japan, we were each given a little "embarkation" card thing. Mine was stapled into my passport. His was handed to him, as he uses his military ID card instead of a passport. His little card ended up in the trash can at the hotel that evening. I happened to see it perched on the pristine trash can liner, fished it out, and put it in my wallet, "just in case."

Fast forward six months. This morning, I handed him his embarkation card thingie, and said "I know you said you don't need this, but please, just carry it in your wallet." He rolled his eyes and grumbled, but took it. Lo and behold, it was REQUIRED for him to leave Japan! Since he had the card, he didn't have to step out of the insanely long line and argue and plead to be allowed to legally leave the country.

After he got through the long line and into the proper terminal for his flight to the US, he called me. When I answered the phone he said, "First of all, thank you. Second, go ahead and say 'I told you so.' Go ahead, say it. You were right." (He really is a thoughtful man, see?)

I struggled hard, managed to supress my gloating, and said "Oh, honey, that's ok. I'm just glad I saved it for you. Now, can you say that last part again, the 'you were right' part? Maybe a little louder this time?"

Hey, sometimes joy can come from a little self-satisfied smugness, and that doesn't make it wrong....right?