Whereupon I complain about my wife

3 Sep

To be totally fair, my complaint has already been registered, acknowledged, apologized about (by me and by her), and moved on. We’re efficient around here. The specific grievance happened this morning, in that harried space between the time I wake up and go about my day, and the time that my dearest leaves for work. I like to slurp in the internet during this time, contributing both to my feeling of being plug-in and my feeling of being info overloaded. But I have mad internet-fu – I’m not the guy to whom you send videos of smacked kitties, but I can find most things and I’m pretty decent at matching interesting-ness to person without getting all chain letter-y about it.

Oh, during this time, my wife likes to amp up anxiousness about her day to shocking levels. That is, she checks email, reminds herself of all the things she hasn’t yet gotten done, and mostly tries to focus on getting out the door without losing her shit. So you can imagine that my “Hey honey, look at this neat article about mentor training and teacher evaluation that would barely make it onto your 6-mile-long ‘someday/maybe/read later’ list!” doesn’t go over great.

Repeat, basically, every day.

Today, I ran across this fantastic article about one person’s quest to design and build the perfect bathroom, which led to the rest of his site about building a modern house in Seattle. You should know, by the way, that my wife’s three chief hobbies are: 1) obsessively searching online for a house for us (and attending open houses, renting a car for a Saturday afternoon just to ‘check out’ some who-knows-fucking-where neighborhood that might be ideal for us to live in, etc.); 2) obsessively watching HGTV, especially any show where people are renovating or house-hunting; and 3) imagining our lives as a carefree work-life-balanced couple in the Pacific Northwest, despite the fact that neither of us know almost anyone anywhere in a 3-state radius.

So this site is definitely up her alley. And her response when I showed it to her was, “somebody has too much time and money on their hands.” Which irked me then (with her), and irks me now (not necessarily with her, as I said, we’ve come to terms. But in general). Why does this bother me so much? I am increasingly all about the idea that you should pursue what you love, and do it with joie de vivre. Life lists, Mondo Beyondo. And it generally sucks to have someone blithely dismiss your passion. Eat, Pray, Love deserves some credit here, and it’s what makes it bearable despite self-indulgence. And of course, as I carped about just that movie a bit ago, I’m often as guilty as wife when it comes to pissing on people’s love. But I’m still on my hobbyhorse, lemme finish.

Clay Shirky has written about the ‘cognitive surplus’ in our post-industrial society, and provides the following comparison between hours spent giving time to make Wikipedia and time spent watching TV:

That’s right. To anyone saying that someone has too much time and money, I would say instead that people should work to make money to have the time to do what they love. Instead we spend our lives wanting more time, and watching TV. And certainly I know that it’s a form of privilege and luck and timing and luck and being born to wealthy parents and luck and hard work and luck.

We should be lucky enough to sell a start-up and build a house we love (or do more tikkun olam, which might be more about where I would direct my energies). But I’m going to be embarking on some stupid of my own soon, too, so I’ve got something of a dog in this hunt.

Anyhow, I’ve committed to continuing finding shiny pretty internet things for my wife, and she’s committed to being less dismissive of my findings. And if you want to know how to design the perfect modern bathroom in Seattle, here’s one man’s opinion.

2 Responses to “Whereupon I complain about my wife”

  1. Mike D. September 3, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    Ha! Tell your wife I would be offended by that remark if I wasn’t so busy burning hundred dollar bills in my gas fireplace.

    Good luck on the house hunt, by the way. You don’t need a new house to get yourself a Flipside showerhead though. Do it up!

  2. Peter September 3, 2010 at 6:29 pm #

    Yeah, today I tried and failed to run a cable along some baseboards. It feels like I’d be making a quantum jump to get the Flipside.

    But jeez, why shouldn’t we have the best damn showerhead in the universe.

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