Do You Understand Your Spouse?

If so, can you help me understand mine?  Or, maybe help him understand me?  Some days I just look at him and wonder what the hell is he thinking? I promise you . . he does the same with me every hour of every day.

Over the weekend he bought some kind of gizmo to track how much electricity is getting used by each item.   Know what I say?  Who cares!  And, if we want to save electricity, let’s just disconnect the stove, 2 ovens and the dishwasher and eat at McDonald’s for breakfast, White Grill (hamburgers) for lunch and Hardee’s for dinner and maybe go to Burger King or Sonic for special occasions because that’s about the only choices we have here.  Oh . . the grocery store does sell fried chicken.

So, where does he bring it and plug it in?  Guess!  Yep . . my sewing machine.  This is the plug for the surge protector that has my sewing machine, a halogen light, an Ott light and the little light that’s attached to my sewing machine.

I’m probably safe though because he’s already lost the directions and he can’t figure out how to read it and with it plugged in where it’s plugged in, he’ll promptly forget all about it.

A month or so ago we talked about a budget.  It was more Vince talking and me listening.  He thinks I spend a lot of money.  I think I’m pretty darned frugal and he should’ve known me 25 or more years ago.  He’d be real thankful for my spending habits nowadays.  We didn’t come up with a budget but decided to just buy things we really need and think about our purchases.

The next week, he went shopping.  He bought this printer.  For Chad to take to college supposedly, though he’s still looking for one that might be “better”.   What makes a printer for a college kid “better”?  It just needs to print, right?

I went searching for other printers in the house.  Here’s one . . still in the box.  No telling how long we’ve had it.

Another one still in the box.

This one has been used.  Two paper trays.  I like that!  There’s one just like it at my computer.  I have two printers at my computer.  Both are wireless so all the computer in the house can use them.   Honestly there are times when I have them both printing so I’m not complaining about that.  I don’t care if we have 20 of them if we’re using them all.  It’s having them sitting around in boxes aging that drives me nuts.  There are more . . I just didn’t spend time searching.

And, in the spirit of buying only what we need, he bought a new GPS.

Same day he decided that one of these wasn’t exactly what he wanted and he ordered another one.  But . . why do have them both still?

And, we already had a GPS.  We’ve had it for almost 2 years.  We’ve updated.  It works fine.  I love it.  I never get lost with it.  Doesn’t help me much when I forget to take it with me though.  But, there’s never a time I can remember when we need the GPS at the same time unless we’re together.  We now have three of them.

I suppose this could all be compared to why I have more than a few sewing machines and it could be said that I am justifying what I do and complaining about what he does but Singer 301 and Featherweight machines are hard to come by and when I found one for $50 or less, I bought them.  I don’t do that anymore . . mainly because I’m not looking for them but also because I don’t need them.

Oh yes . . the generator.  I almost forgot.  When we moved here, everything didn’t fit on the moving van.  Wonder why?  So, we left the generator and the garden tiller behind.  I still haven’t figured that out but by the time the packers were finishing up, I didn’t care what they left . . just hurry up and get out!

I walked upstairs over the weekend and this is what he’s looking at on his laptop.

Me:  What are you looking at?
Vince:  Generators
Me:  Why?
Vince:  I think we need one.
Me:  Why?
Vince:  OK.  We won’t get one.

Want to bet we have one before Christmas?  I understand that generators are good to have but if we’re going to get one, I want it powered by natural gas, hooked to a gas line and I just want to flip a switch and never miss a beat.  In a real, long term power outage, having to get gasoline to power a generator makes it just not worth the trouble.  I say keep a full tank of gas in the car and leave town if there’s no power!

I’d best get back to sewing because I left all those lights on and the little gizmo is tracking my power usage . . while I’m sitting here griping! 🙂


  1. 1


    He’s just “POT” with that usage tracker! LOL. Tell him to turn off the TV!! You two crack me up. Never a dull moment at your house!

  2. 2

    Evelyn says

    What will they invent next? That is tooooo funny! That being said – I do know at least to look at the energy star rating for big appliances, like freezers (I have 2), refrigerators (I have 4), and washer/dryers (mine run about 4 hours a day in the summer). But the little things – I don’t think they really matter. We did change all our lightbulbs over to energy efficient ones, but just this month I spent $30 on a small package of halogen lights – so even though they are supposed to save $, they are expensive themselves. Good for northern climates because they heat up a room real fast – so I am not so sure how much money they save in the south if you have to run the a/c to counteract them.

  3. 3

    June Piper-Brandon says

    I’m just smiling. Most of the time I think I understand Skip, but when he wants to buy something he researches and researches and researches some more. He goes online and looks at absolutely every website about the product, every review and then mulls it over some more and the process is nearly paralyzing. When I want something I look for the best price I can get and just buy it. When I bought my Kia Rondo I knew that’s the car I wanted. My last car was a Kia Sorento and I loved it. I’m pretty brand loyal. I looked at the reviews, looked at the Jeep Patriot too (but it didn’t have a safety rating and the Rondo had a 5 star safety rating) so I went to the dealership told them what I was willing to pay for it and drove away in it. He says, he was surprised I made a decision that quickly. Lol!!! Oh well… I love him dearly and he’s good to me so I’ll overlook the indepth research quirks and keep him!! We both hate to shop so I am fine there!!

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    Pat says

    There must be something in the air. Night before last, I look and see DH shutting off the pilot light on the gas fireplace. I ask what he is doing (since Delaware is having some much colder days than are normal for the southern part of the state where we live). He says he noticed that our gas bill was a lot higher than it has ever been. Well…I remind him that we have had record cold AND it began a lot earlier this year than cold weather should even BE here. So…that night I, of course, want the fireplace on and he has to relight it. I tell him I think it only costs about $4 a month for the pilot light to be lit (assuming the fireplace isn’t turned on in that month…just the pilot lit). He tells me he thinks the company SAYS that’s how much it costs, but he suspects it might be more like $15 a month just for the pilot light. This doesn’t set well with me as HE doesn’t give a darn about the fireplace but I enjoy it. He, on the other hand, is a night owl. I go to sleep early and get up early. HE sits up until the wee hours in front of the TV with lights on and falls asleep there for quite awhile most nights. Now is THAT not wasting money??? Geesh…… this escalates to where I tell him that I am presently working a part-time job and will PAY him the lousy $15 a month if he feels the pilot light is truly costing that (but I will research it to find out if this is true first). HE, on the other hand, has been totally (and happily) retired from ALL work for 6 years now….so I ask if HE is going to pay ME for the electricity he wastes at night while falling asleep with lights and the TV going. So….Judy…the answer to your original question is….NO…I don’t understand my spouse at all…and it is comforting to know that some of you have equally puzzling spouses. Like most of you, I put up with it as he has many good points, but…that is not to say that some of the other stuff isn’t annoying. Oh….he, also, has the tendency to collect gadgets….and often they then sit. If something happens to him before me, I’d not know what half the stuff was……how to use it…what it’s worth, etc. I guess I’d have to get a big dumpster (which is probably what he’d like to do with my sewing stuff, but I have told him to call the quilt guild and donate it all to them when my time comes!!! LOL)

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    I’m sitting here shaking my head……lets say I understand your pain!!!! If your out shopping and spot a treadle sewing machine…..don’t buy it…..Do you know how much electricity you could say using that baby and exercise to boot!!!!! We own 3 generators, two for the farm and one for the house. anyway how often does the electricity go out???? I’ve lived with the same power company for the last 26 years……I think my electricity has been out for a total of about 6 hours during that time……but when we built, we had to put in an electric panel just for the generator… when the power does go out, all we have to do is flip a switch and start the generator and we have the basic services….real basic……a few lights, refrigerator and freezer, the well for water….so we really don’t gain alot by having the generator.

    Karen L

    PS……You each need to have a mad money stash…..that for what ever you want to buy with no questions asked!!!

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    Marla says

    Mars vs. Venus. It is in their makeup. Also,…there was a reason Granny had a cast iron frying pan handy! Not just for frying chicken! Just kidding!

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    There might be something genetic about not returning purchases. My husband is also a ‘Forever Researcher’ and I do admit that he usually gets pretty good prices when he finally gets around to buying something. But we, too, have multiples or duplicates gathering dust because he Will. Not. return purchases – whether to a store or online.

    Now, I’m not the expert, but I recall reading that your electronics are major power eaters. Leaving the computers, monitors, printers on when they’re not being used. Unfortunately that makes sense.

    But I think the biggest power eater is the IRON. I don’t know about you, but my lights dim slightly whenever the iron cycles on – that’s a big draw!! I figure that when I sit down (under my long-life, low-energy fluorescent light) to do some knitting, I’m doing my part by not drawing juice with my iron.

    It’s a little step, but a sacrifice I’m willing to make occasionally 😉

  8. 10

    Cecilia H says

    My husband would get along great with yours! We just had the “budget” talk and the next day he decides to buy a HD flat screen TV ! Fine with me. I figure the talk was for him because he was trying to talk himself out of the TV. We don’t have electronics that we don’t use, but when we replace a monitor or printer the old one seems to spend it’s retirement in the garage, or a shelf in my sewing studio etc. He never seems to be able to part with them.Of course he says that’s why he still has me after 35 years!

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    Hey Judy, are you sure that Vince isn’t Bob’s twin brother?

    I hear all the same things here in my house, about how *I* need to start saving money and spending less, while he is buying every video game and DVD ever made. I was ROFL at the printers in the boxes because we have stuff like that all over our house too, memory sticks, backup hard drives, old computers that don’t work (but we can’t get rid of them!), extra digital cameras, etc.

    They are ALL the same.

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    Say it isn’t true……………..I think we married the same man!!!!!!!

    Hey if you find a 12 step program for him please let me know. They call my hubby the Gadget Man, if he has a prefectly good one and they come out with a different one………………….well you already know the rest of that story. Oh and we better turn off the lights and not use too much power!

    By the way our generator has saved us several times………… a power outtage they are a lifesaver…………….you can have just enough to power the fridge, freezer and the big screen TV!!!

  11. 13

    pdugeon says

    lol yep i was just thinking the same thing as Jamie.
    gather all that stuff up and take it to an Ebay store where they will sell it for you.
    you won’t get full price, of course, but it’s better than having it sitting around.

    (maybe you could put the $$’s into a vacation fund? Vince would probably like that idea)

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    I only have one thing to ask…. Are we suppose to understand them? I don’t even try anymore. I just ignore the weird stuff they do, handle all the money myself, give him his allowance and send him on his way each day. So far, it’s working out! Giggle! The researching part….we decided to buy the teen a video camera for Christmas. Ughhhh….here he went…on line….looking at every camera ever made and every report about each one. I ignored him for a week while he researched, then went out Saturday, found one and bought it. He thinks it’s cool and no more “look at this one” from him now. I heard we’re not allowed to shoot them, so we just have to learn to live with them…..hehehehehehehe

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    OMG! I laughed so hard! You are a funny gal and that whole post was hysterical and boy, did I need a good belly laugh! I *love* the printers in boxes. I live with a man that thinks his *very valuable* 8-track player is going to make him some bucks at auction some day! Multiply that times 48 years and every-single-useless-thing-he’s-ever-bought-that-probably-doesn’t-even-work! Hehehehehe!!! Wishing you the best & thanks for sharing, Marguerita

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    Marla says

    I had to laugh about the extra old computers lying around. We have a set I have been trying to get my husband to get rid of and he tells me he is not sure yet as he may put it in the garage. Garage?? You have got to be kidding me, you can’t walk in there now for risking your life. What is the man thinking?

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    A. L. says

    God! I love my husband!!! He is not a pack rat or a buyer and neither am I. He researches each purchase and makes sure it is what we want, but not to a point that is obsessive.

    We have friends who have soooooooooooooo much stuff they have 3 sheds in the back yard and a storage unit at a place outside the home. All are filled. Their attic is filled and so are all the closets.
    I feel sorry for their kids when the house has to be cleaned out later.

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    Margaret says

    Oh so funny! and then reading the comments about other women’s husband who have the same tendencies, was just too much! I thought I was the only one with a husband who has 10 of everything, Except the guns, oh we have probably 200 of them! I’ve been marrried to him for 2 years and have just learned to keep my mouth shut. But he never questions my purchases either, or what I spend money on. Really enjoyed this post.

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    PAquilter says

    OMG – thanks for the laughs. My favorite part is how he put the meter thingie on your sewing stuff. Like you care one bit how much power it uses…”No honey, I’m not going to sew today, I’m worried about using too much electricity…”

  18. 23

    Sibyl says

    I am still trying to figure out my husband after 30 years. At our house it is not GPS systems, nor printers, for my husband it is how many pair of white socks or black socks does one need??? 60 pair of each. How many undershirts. Last time I counted it was something like 50 or so. I do wash laundry, daily He just thinks one day they might not make it–i guess.

    On another note. We are getting one of those natural gas generators. They said it should be here within the next few weeks. After loosing power for 10 days during hurricane Ike, we decided we were not going to be without power again. As far as getting gasoline for the other kind of generators. Won’t do that—lines were hours long here trying to get gas.

    Hope you figure your husband out. Probably won’t but that is why we love ’em isn’t it?


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    mckie2 says

    When he’s not around some day you could donate those extra printers and stuff to a charity group. You can then claim the value as a charity donation on your income tax. That way you’ll be helping the charities and making more room for his buying – ’cause you know he’s not going to stop. I can’t really say anything though because I got a free monitor with the computer I bought 4 years ago. I didn’t need it so it is still new sitting in an unopened box. It’s way past obsolete now. Thanks for the laughs. Susan

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    I love this post. I made a resolution last year that I would not buy any more clothes or put any new clothes in my closet unless I trashed or gave away something from the same closet. Since I seem to bond to my personal items, I purchased less clothes this past year. Maybe you could adapt this policy with Vince and the entire house.

    Another method to my madness is to set boundries for stashing stuff. Don and I both are collectors and stashers (we may need it later…..six years from now or it’s on sale at a good price so I need 2 dozen). Don’s stashing is confind to his shop, family room closet, and the shelves under the house. He also has two file cabinets in our sewing/computer room. I have the rest of the house for stashing. My fabric is taking over every closet but it’s neatly stored and organized. My husband’s stash is not neatly organized….he has unopened boxes of coffee pots, crock pots, (3), electric skilets (2), printers, tools, the list is too long to list. “He may need these for gifts someday, or the coffee pot might quit and we would need it replaced in a nano second. You would think we live in the boonies but Wal-mart is only 5 miles away and the market is closer.

    He has a fire proof safe with jewelry he purchases for me on Sam’s Online Auctions. When he needs a present he simply goes to the safe and presents me with a blinging bangle. I’m not complaining but it’s really quite comical to watch him make a decision as to which glitzy gift I’m getting and for what occassion. HIs safe is about 3 ft high by 3 feet square. Filled with state quarters and jewelry. A few years ago a female friend of our oldest son came to visit on Christmas. My husband opeded the safe drug out a neckless and gave it to my son for a gift for his unexpected friend, who came bearing gifts. The stash sure came in handy.

    Just organize the stash in one particular room, like items together, and give them as gifts or necessities as the situation arises. Or make a report like your fabric stash report, call it Vence’s Junk Report and track the ins and outs of the junk.


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    I do not understand my spouse, plain and simple. How I wish I did, though!!! I will not be mentioning the electricity tracking thing or as someone else mentioned – he will run right out and buy one!! And yep, he barks when I buy a $15 dollar skillet because the handle is falling off the one we have but he spends top dollar for most of his toys. I try, at all costs (pun intended) not to mention what I spend because then he has nothing to bark about. 🙂 I think I may actually be able to participate in your January Quiltathon. Hope, hope, hope!!!

  22. 27


    That was a hilarious post – almost unbelievable, after all how many unopened printers can you have!? My DH is a little gadget crazy; he’s currently looking to buy a new desktop/laptop. We have more machines than we have space for already – a Linux desktop, a Windows laptop and a iBook; in addition to Windows laptops given to us from work. What is wrong with the Windows laptop, I ask? “Well, you can’t play Civ IV on it?” he says. But that is very sweet because he does not like computer games, I am the one who wants to play Civ IV. The laptop helped him by killing its disk drive. He wanted some expensive software for the Mac to create DVDs but better sense prevailed and he went out and got 1GB ram for the desktop to use some Linux software instead. He also displays some “buy it and forget it” tendencies. We bought a Lego Mindstorm set a few years ago and he *has not even opened it*. At the time he was so full of ideas and it seemed like I would have to tear him away from it once we got home. And – he complains about my ever growing stash, comparing it to the unopened Lego set. So, I would have to say “No, I don’t understand mine” – but it keeps life interesting! 🙂
    Thanks for the laughs!

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    I can’t remember when you said you moved to Missouri. I know that we have thought about the generator considering some of the crazy ice storms we have here in the KS and MO areas. I remember being out of electricity for 3 days not too many years back.

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    My husband is not really into buying anything, but he sure has a hard time letting go of broken or outdated stuff he does have. This morning, for instance, I decided to play some Christmas CD’s while cleaning house. The probem is, our CD changer is attached to his 1970 stereo that he simply will NOT let go of, even though the speakers work intermittently. Christmas carols are just not the same when you only hear every other word!

    I want a new sound system, but his old one is taking up all the space! It is so frustrating to have something that does not work preventing me from having what *I* want. 🙁

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    I’ve just read the post & comments out loud to my husband, whom I *think* I understand. (As my first husband, still a good friend, used to say about me, “My wife understands me all too disasterously well!”) My current husband (also a good friend) is much much better about the “stuff disease” than I am, although I’m considerably better than my parents were. In fact, here’s a quick story about how good my DH is. We live in what had been the weekend house for Hub 1.0 and me (Hub lives in the city house I originally bought). There’s a barn that used to house horses by the prior owners; we keep the tractor, wood supply, etc. in there. Well, when DH moved in full time, he actually organized a skip and threw stuff away. Stuff of ours, stuff of his (a little bit — he moved here from England, so he’d not brought a lot of stuff over), and even stuff from the previous owners that had been left in the loft of the barn. Amazing! I wouldn’t have bothered, ever!

    As for printers, nope — we have three, but only because he got one free and it does color. In fact, his printers are English, so they have to have special converters to run on our power supply. I did get a new printer when my Canon S330 died, but DH researched it quietly, ordered it, installed it and made me very happy.

    DH does ask that I recommend generators to those of you in rural areas. The longest power outage here has been 27 hours, but we’re on well water, so it could get nasty (and boring) without some alternative source of power. Ours is a permanent installation, hooked up to propane tanks. It turns out to be expensive, but better than the alternative. It turns on automatically after 15 seconds of a power failure.

    Thanks again for all the funny stories!