Sticks And Stones

First, to properly understand this post, you should go read this article. I’ll wait. 

Now. Wasn’t that interesting? Maybe it didn’t ring true for you, but for me I can honestly say, I do all of those things. I always use language (often those exact examples) to “soften” the message I’m trying to express, and to protect myself from anyone who might be offended or disagree. Like my opinion matters any less than theirs. 

The other day I said something which My husband did not agree with, and after he expressed his dissenting opinion he said “don’t you think?” And it occurred to me what a sneaky, underhanded little phrase that is, because it served no other purpose than to get me to reverse my original opinion and instead agree with him. 

Now, I’m not trying to call him out at all, and I don’t honestly think he was using verbal manipulation on me in some passive aggressive attempt to win the point. I honestly can’t even remember what we were talking about, but this stuck with me because my initial reflex was to say “yes.” Despite having begun the conversation with the total opposite belief, I was prepared to capitulate and agree with something 180° from my original position, simply due to ingrained response. 

I don’t know whether this is simply because I’m a woman and have been subconsciously conditioned to be more agreeable and less assertive, or because I personally am deathly allergic to confrontation. Probably the latter. But I do know that when I actually managed to override my automated affirmation and say “no. I don’t think so, which is why I said … to begin with” he got much more defensive as though I were overreacting or being aggressive about the argument  And again, I’m not trying to call my husband sexist- he’s just the premise of this particular example. But my interactions with him do shed light on how the subconscious differences in gender communication (and the relevant, but often flawed perceptions of those differences) are actually affecting my daily life. 

I’ve always found articles such as the one I linked above to be fascinating insights into behavior we aren’t even aware of, and I’ve been paying closer attention to my own language and responses lately. I’ve become so much more aware of the fact that my daughters are watching, and that the example I’m setting isn’t always one I’d like them to have. For example, I’ve become hyper aware of the fact that I say “sorry” all the time, when what I really mean is “excuse me.” Instead of being polite about passing someone in the grocery store aisle, I am instead apologizing as though taking up space in general was something to be ashamed of. Not good. 

Anyway, I’m not even sure where I’m going with this post. I just find it interesting to notice how these totally innocent and understandable foibles in our speech patterns can actually be subtly affecting our confidence and how other perceive us. 

What do you think? Do you have any of these habits?

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Dishwasher Saga Part Eleventy Billion

Last week, Tuesday I believe it was, our oven crapped out on us. There are a lot of things in desperate need of replacing in this house, but I had thought the oven wasn’t one of them, so that was extra special. But we put on our adult pants, and Wednesday afternoon we signed on the dotted line for a brand new electric range. Threw in a dishwasher too, because there was a sale and because ours was beyond disgusting inside. Picture indelible staining and multiple missing prongs. 


We were scheduled for delivery on Thursday, I thought for sure our luck had changed when the guys showed up at the very start of our 4 hour delivery window. Excellent! Prompt delivery meant my mom and I had plenty of time to get everything installed before the kids got home from school. I could make dinner, and all of the dishes piled in the sink could get squared away without a fuss. 

An hour later we had a sparkling new oven, all hooked up and ready to roll. 

Then we got to work on the dishwasher. Suffice it to say, it did not go well. 

First we had to remove the old one, which went reasonably smoothly even though the water shut off under the sink didn’t entirely shut off the water. We got all the correct hoses and cords and whatnot attached in their proper places, and we went to slide it into the hole. 

Where it didn’t fit. 

Oh, it MOSTLY fit, but it stuck out that last little 1/2 inch just taunting us with its refusal to slide properly into place. Not ones to quit in the face of adversity, we subdued the beast, and eventually managed to wrestle it into its proper position. 

Then we tried to reattach the water. Because my existing dishwasher connection was a very stiff copper hose, we couldn’t do this step before sliding the dishwasher in to place. But hey, laying on the floor trying to see into a 3″ clearance and screw together two pieces of plumbing shouldn’t really be that much of a challenge. Right?

Ha ha ha ha ha!

An hour (more?) later, after pulling out the dishwasher and trying to connect the two piece from a better vantage point, and surprisingly not developing a murderous rage, we decided to buy a flexible water hose and new connection. 

Start fresh, try again, pip pip cheerio old chap. 

The new pieces made the process a little smoother, but we still couldn’t get the connection to stop leaking- most likely because we messed up the plastic part on the dishwasher with the metal threads on the water hose. Fantastic. 

We gave up after 6+ hours, and I got to work hand and adding dishes while my mom went back to Lowe’s and complain. And they immediately told to just bring it back and exchange it. Hooray!

So Friday morning I uninstalled the dishwasher of ineptitude, strong armed it back into the box, and we swapped it out with a new model. An hour and a half later, we had the new dishwasher properly installed with no leaks or hang ups. 

Later on that night I learned that at some point during this production I had severely wrenched my back. But I didn’t care that I could barely walk or stand up straight; it was worth it. 

Or so I thought. 

Last night, we had finally filled it up and I was ready to give it a spin. Loaded in the detergent, and the rinse aid these highfalutin energy savers all require, and I fired ‘er up! Didn’t sound entirely right, but what do I know? My old dishwasher was a million years old! These new ones are so quiet! It’s all fine and dandy!

But then this morning, I went to grab a little plate from the “clean” dishwasher, and I noticed it was still dirty. In fact, ALL of the dishes were dirty. And the little soap packet was just sitting there, untouched. 

But wait! The water shut off valve had never been turned back on! That’s all it was! Isn’t it funny that we’d go through all that trouble, installing and removing and reinstalling and disconnecting and reconnecting and reinstalling it all over again and then forget to turn the water back on? So silly. I’ll just run it again. 

Except this time the dishes didn’t get cleaned either. And the little soap packet was still sitting untouched and undampened in the bottom of this traitorous dishwasher. 

What. The. Fuck?

Our old dishwasher has already been hauled away for scrap, so we can’t even reinstall it’s hideous, yet functional, carcass. At this point I’m seriously considering just adding more cabinet space and not even having a dishwasher. We can just put the kids to work hand washing everything.

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366 Project- Week 37


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Another Day, Another Lip Balm

I’ve probably mentioned before how important lip balm is to my life, but just in case you missed the memo, here it is again.  I LOVE LIP BALM. It is absolutely crucial to my daily existence, pretty much only ranking second to my iphone in terms of can’t live without it. And while I naturally have my prefernces, I’m forever exploring new kinds and discovering new favorites.

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366 Project- Week 36


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