Fact. Shopping with a man is a fun spoiler.
If anyone asks, I always say that money has been the hardest area of my marriage so far. Jeff is a financial planner. He is a budgeter. He is a saver. I am a shopper. I can't help it; it is in my genes. **Even my 78 year old Granny redecorates her living room once a year and has a new outfit for church every Sunday. I often tell Jeff that if we weren't married I'd have the cutest apartment and the best wardrobe in the world; AND, I'd be in credit-card debt up to my eyeballs. I mean, life's about choices, right?
Now, there has been improvement. Big improvement. I still shop, but I'm more of a clearance-rack,consignment store, TJ Maxx girl these days. However, I still "glow" when I'm shopping. I love it. And, after our very wise Pastor once told Jeff not to "stunt my creativity and passions," Jeff has learned to embrace and accept at least a good sale & a reasonable amount of shopping. So, life is pretty good...
...10 months out of the year. And then... it's the holiday season, which presents a new challenge. This weekend was no exception.
After Thursday night "shopping," which to Jeff only meant "browsing," at the Junior League Stocked Market, we were already off to a bad start. Then, Saturday we found ourselves with a glorious 30 minutes inside a huge mall in Charlotte. I'd like to give you a glimpse of our conversation:
Jeff: "Elizabeth, you literally light up when you walk into a mall. You are so excited? Do you love this? Are you so excited?"
Me: "Yes, this is a beautiful mall. I'm glad you recognize how happy this makes me. At least I can't do too much damage in 30 minutes - maybe just some Christmas shopping."
(2 minutes later in Anthropologie) *Jeff has been picking up items and dramatically gasping at their price. (VERY embarrassing.)
Me: "Oh, can I please buy these tropical bird plates for my Thanksgiving Table decorations? They are only 4 dollars each and I really love them."
Jeff: "They are plastic. And, they are ugly. Do you really want these?"
Me: "Yes, they are so cool. Besides, we need plastic plates - you know, for pizza and more 'casual' meals."
Jeff: "No. If I liked them, you could get them. But really, they are ugly. I know you want Anthropologie to be your style, but let's face it... it really isn't."
Me: "Let's leave. I'm over shopping. You take all the joy out of it."
(10 minutes later... After I have pouted all the way down the mall & through JCrew.)
Me: "Jeff, you really don't think about how what you say effects me. Anthropologie IS my style. How can you say it is not? Do you know how much I enjoy decorating? The plates were on sale. I don't understand why you have to be so negative about everything. I hate shopping with you."
***At this point, Jeff kindly apologized. (He knows what a passionate and very serious subject this is for me.) And then proceeded to take me through Pottery Barn to "get ideas." Later, he suggested we go back and get the plates... but I refused. (Truth be told, they really were a little weird for Thanksgiving. Tropical Birds on Plastic?)
Sunday night, my mom announced that she and my dad bought all new things to decorate her Thanksgiving table at Pottery Barn. See what I am up against?
Moral of the story: I bought new napkins and a centerpiece yesterday at TJ Maxx. It tends to work better for me to discuss purchases with my husband AFTER I have bought them.
Oh the hardships of married life! Haha!