the words of tim walker husband • dad • writer • superhero geek

chair #1 or chair #2?

Furniturethere’s one way to create tension in my relationship with my wife, jennifer.
it has nothing to do with clothes left on the floor.
or dishes left in the sink.
or toilet seats in a certain position.

it has to do with choice.
specifically, purchasing something that costs hundreds of dollars.
home improvement projects.
paint colors.
couches.
cars.
choosing a rental car.
choosing a vacation destination.

we don’t make these kinds of purchases often, nor do we have the kind of disposable income that allows us to make these kinds of purchases often. so when we get that opportunity, the weight of it creates friction.

both of us are terrified of making the wrong choice.
the wrong expensive choice.
the wrong expensive choice that we have to live with.

i know. these are first world problems.
i get that.
but it still is enough to make me hyperventilate.

at our previous home, we had to pick out a new roof color.
we went with the one i thought was best.
and when the roofers put it on the house, the color of the shingles looked so much lighter.
i freaked out. i had ruined our home.
i thought that if we ever sold our home, that one choice would keep us from finding a buyer.

but then, after a few weeks, we got used to it.
it worked fine.
it was a roof. it kept the rain out.
and we did eventually sell our home. the roof wasn’t even an issue for the buyer.

jennifer and i cope with this fear in different ways.
for her, it means exploring every option out there.
for me, it means “let’s just get it over with.”
and our fear spills out in her anxiousness and my moodiness.
a lovely mixture that results in overreacting to the slightest comment and utter exhaustion in the endless search for the right item.
good times.

and somewhere in the process, the fun has been sucked out of the purchase. well, at least the ones that should be fun.

after almost 19 years, we’re getting better at it.
but it’s still a struggle.

i suppose that if we had millions of dollars, this wouldn’t be an issue—because the tension is about making the best decision to last awhile.
but then again, we probably wouldn’t have to continue to learn how to work together to work through the issue, would we?

couches come and go. paint colors get changed.
but constantly learning about one another, and learning how to work together is what it’s really all about anyway.

 

the contents on this site are ©2013 tim walker. all rights reserved. for permission to reprint or publish this content elsewhere, please contact me through this blog.

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