I want to thank you for the advice you gave about “Fred” and his Elf of the Shelf antics. You told the letter writer if Fred’s forgetfulness about lowering the toilet seat was “the biggest problem in her marriage” she should consider herself lucky. Your advice has me looking at my marriage in a whole new way.
My husband of seven years, “Barry”, is a plumber. This is the second marriage for both of us, so we are not young kids with stars in our eyes. Every day Barry returns home from work and his clothes are filthy, smelly, or otherwise in need of laundering. Barry does his best to aim for the laundry hamper when changing, but misses almost every time. He claims that when he gets home from work all he wants to do is toss off his clothes and relax; that he spends the greater part of his day kneeling under sinks, next to toilets, or working on underground pipes and the last thing he wants to do is bend over to pick his laundry up off of the floor. He feels that the fact that he makes an effort should count for something.
Barry’s attitude would annoy me to no end, especially since I am a busy stay-at-home Mom (we both have custody of our teenage children) who works hard to keep the house clean and presentable, in addition to everything else that must be done to keep the household running smoothly. I had reached the point where I was ready to blow my stack with him when my mother forwarded me a link to your Elf on the Shelf on the toilet letter. I showed the letter to Barry and asked if this was what was becoming of us – were we turning into a couple who fought against each other instead of with each other?
Thanks to your column, Barry and I had a long talk. He felt that I did not appreciate how hard he worked and how achy his muscles were when he returned home; I felt that he was being disrespectful of how hard I worked to keep the house looking nice for him. Together, we talked through our aggravation and have been working on improving our relationship, working with each other instead of against each other. It has only been six weeks, but Barry’s “aim” has greatly improved and he is even keeping a score-sheet to record how many “points” he scores. Turning this chore into a game has improved both of our moods, and should Barry lapse I remind myself, as I pick up his clothes without complaint, that my marriage could have much bigger problems. Our children have all noticed the difference in our attitudes, and have commented on how much happier we seem since starting “Laundry Basketball” and have suggested other “games” to make the drudgery of chores fun.
Thank you, Tazi!
Happily Married The 2nd Time Around
Dear Happily Married The 2nd Time Around:
I am so happy to hear that my column assisted you through your marital stress! It is rewarding to know that my little kitten self played a small part in helping you with the heavy lifting of improving your relationship with your husband. I am purring all over!
Please spread the word that www.asktazi.com is the place to go for advice, entertainment, and a little break from your own reality!
Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.