Welcome to My Husband Hates Me Because..., our new series in which we explore all the quirky and charming ways in which we inadvertently drive our spouses crazy.
The most common question I get about my husband is, "Is he a Clean Person too?"
I imagine that when people ask that of me, they're hoping that my answer will be, "No, we have a sort of Oscar and Felix thing going on." Disappointingly, that's not the case. My husband isn't a capital-c, capital-p Clean Person—which is good, because I don't think that two Clean People should necessarily be married to one another—but he is pretty tidy and, more importantly, he knew who he was marrying when he took his vows. So, much to the dismay of people who expect to hear hilarious stories of a great power struggle between the tidy wife and the slovenly husband, we really don't tussle over cleaning-related issues. It's not a part of our daily static.
There is, however, a very specific thing about which I create near constant static, and it is this: My husband uses an absolutely ungodly amount of Kleenex. You guys, you cannot even imagine. And as a result, I live in a near state of panic over the fact that he is bankrupting me via tissue usage.
That is, in fact, a regular lament heard 'round our household. "HOW CAN WE POSSIBLY BE OUT OF TISSUES AGAIN? YOUR TISSUE USAGE IS GOING TO BANKRUPT ME."
You know how in a marriage, you're supposed to pick your battles? This battle is one that is absolutely not worth picking. And yet I cannot help myself. I am rendered utterly incapable of rational thought or behavior in the face of my husband's snot rag consumption. And, somehow, he has not yet divorced me.
Look, I'm sympathetic. I have allergies! Fairly rotten ones! Worse than his, even! And still, I do not use nearly as many tissues as he manages to blow through. (GROAN) Don't even get me started on what it's like when he's sick. The decorative wastepaper basket I keep in the bedroom turns into Mt. Tissue within an hour of being emptied. (You can probably imagine what the sight of an overflowing garbage can does to me. To make matters worse for my neuroses, I do this whole type-type-type thing from home so when he's sick, I'm treated to a perverse version of Take Your Husband To Work Day in which my blind tissue rage is stoked hourly.)
He's really not doing anything wrong. It's me. I live in a constant state of heightened anxiety about our supply: What if I need to blow my nose and we're suddenly out of Kleenex?! Or, worse: What if we're out of Kleenex and we can't afford to buy anymore because we already spent all of our money on Kleenex?!
As if the tissues weren't enough, I feel like we're always dangling from the precipice of some paper goods crisis. If we're not out of paper towels, we're running low on toilet paper. Which means that virtually every blasted day, I'm at the market picking up some supply or another. A few months ago, the lady who is stationed at the register began tut-tutting at me for being in there every day. After a few days of this, I finally broke and was like, "Look, we live in a really small apartment so I can't stock up on reserves. We live a 'replenish-as-you-go' existence, stop judging." I was literally explaining my life choices to the cashier at the market. That is how crazy our paper goods consumption has made me.
I'm not actually sure that my husband understands the depths of my emotions surrounding his use of paper goods. At this point, he barely reacts when I begin carrying on about the sheer volume of Kleenex he uses. Perhaps I have broken him, entirely? There was a time when I could at least muster a, "I'm sorry my nose is running!" But now? My laments merit only the measliest grunt of acknowledgement.
It is actually my hope that the writing of this will help to cure me of my miserly tissue ways. Because, seriously, this sounds kinda nuts, doesn't it? The fact that I have any feelings at all about how often my husband blows his nose is troubling, much less the fact that I feel certain we're facing economic doom because of it.
And so that's why my husband hates me. That, and also because I pants him every night while he's washing the dishes.
Illustration by Tara Jacoby.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.