MY THOUGHTS ON THE SUBJECT ARE AS FOLLOWS

My truth. My life.

He said… She said… Post 1

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How many of you have a fighting streak in you?  I do, I do.  Well, maybe not fight, but I love a good debate.  My husband always tells me that I would argue with a brick wall.  Well I guess today, and every wednesday, you can just call him Mr. Brick Wall!

He has graciously agreed (which means I told him that he was going to do this with no arguing) to do this weekly post with me.  Here’s how this works:

You ask us questions.  Any questions.  I can be about love, relationships, sex , kids, life, death, and anything else.  Then, I will give you my answer (which will be correct) and Lance will give you his anwer (which will be not correct).  We are going to do 2 questions a week.  Email me your questions at deanaburson@yahoo.com or facebook me or direct message me on twitter.  We will give our original answers in the blog, then we need your participation.  I want to continue the discussion in the comment section.  Lance and I will respond to the comments as well as each other.

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And so we begin:

Our first question is from Jessie.  AKA: The Jester Queen.  If you haven’t visited her stuff you should.  You can find her in these places.

Facebook   Twitter  Blog  (just click on these links)

* How do you decorate the house when one of you is a pack rat and the other is a borderline hoarder? We need to visit that scary store named Ikea, and I’m intimidated and he’s terrified of overspending. But if we don’t get some of the (yes really) six cartons of books unloaded (after five years in this house) I think I’m going to lose my MIND. HELP! (I wish we could get rid of some of the books. Fish will fly further and longer.)

Lance:Unless the books are Twilight or written by John Grisham then I understand the stress. After music, books are the next best form for art that you can have in a home. But, the deal is, once you have kids and furry kids (pets to you mortals), and the collection of “stuff”, sacrifices have to be made. Normally, I’m the neat one in the house. I don’t care for clutter, and putting your crap up was beat into me growing up. But I live with four matrons of mess. It’s got to be one of those things where you talk to each other and decide what’s important to store, clean, throw out, or burn in effigy. In our house if the Bobina told me I had to toss some CDs, then, of course, I’d build a hut out back and hang with my tunes. See? That’s prioritizing.

Deana: I have the best solution ever… get all of your books on your kindle or e reader.  This way you dont have to have thick books to worry about.  Lance has cd cases cluttering up my bedroom and it drives me crazy!  All of his cd’s are in a case in his car, yet he insists on taking up my bookshelf place.  However, Ikea does have great stuff!  Next time you come to Atlanta, lets go!  I dont claim to be neat, but in all fairness, I am probably the most orgainzed in the house.  I have everything exactly where I need it.  For example,  Lance spent 1 hour looking for his keys the other day when they were right next to where he left them.  You might consider donating some of the books to homeless shelters, so that they could go to a good use.  This might make it a little easier!
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Our Second question is from  Mel.  She is a must read kinda gal!  You can find her here:  Facebook  Twitter  Blog  Ketchup with Us
* What are your thoughts on when people say “My husband’s babysitting the kids.”? Do you think it is insulting or spot on?
Lance: Here’s where me and the wife may actually agree, to an extent. Technically, you can’t “babysit” anything but babies. But since, as a parent, you consider your children babies until they start paying taxes and a mortgage, then there’s some gray area. Words are important. I try my best to make my word snobbery work with Bobina. So, I know she dislikes it when I, or any other male, drops “babysitting” when referring to their own kids. But, the way I see it is, when my wife and daughters tell me we need to go to a store for “something reallty quick” and we end up hitting six stores over two hours and I miss the first half of a sporting event of Deadliest Warrior on Spike, then they can forgive me for dropping “babysitting” every once in a while. Of course, neither my wife nor I are stay at home parents. If your wife stays at home all day and asks for you to hang with the ungrateful urchins then saying “what? I have to babysit the kids?” should draw the hellfire of a thousand demons from her eyes and mouth.
Deana: Under no circumstances should anyone male or woman say they have to “babysit” their own kids.  I find it very insulting.  The few times that Lance tried to pull that on me, I put him in his place.  When I hear someone say that, it tells me that the person saying it has no respect for the other parent and/or no respect for the children.  Sure having kids is a full time job but it is not a chore.
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Start sending your questions our way..
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29 thoughts on “He said… She said… Post 1

  1. This was such a fantastic idea. You guys are perfect to do this together. It’s like the Newlywed Game, but way better!!

    I agree with you about the babysitting thing. Demon shooting eyes would be my chosen method.. And JQ’s answers are great strategies. I just donated a bunch of our old books (baby and adult) to a shelter. And Lance, love the hut idea….but I want one! 🙂

  2. I can’t stop laughing!!!

  3. I love your willingness to tackle the question, and yes, I would love to drag you to Ikea with me. My mall alarm goes off the instant I walk into a big store, and I either buy without thinking, just to get out of there, or I stand numbly and purchase nothing because I’m so overwhelmed. Having a sensible un-overwhelmed friend along would help.

    And we won’t be getting rid of any. These books don’t exist in electronic format. We have three volumes, three volumes from the journals of Woodrow Wilson. Do you know why we have them? Because DH is a WWI scholar. When he wrote off to the Wilson Library asking for a copy of one or two pages, the library had so many extra copies and so little use for them that they just gave him three entire books instead. Actually, I’ve given that one enough dirty glowers that it’s been moved to his office at school. But there are plenty of others.

    And my degrees are in English and Library Science. I have a rather battered first edition of Dance Macabre which I won’t be giving up soon, among others, lest I make it sound like he’s the only one with a book issue. We only got a Kindle this year, and it’s Caroline’s, so I can’t put all the stuff on there that I want. I couldn’t even read my own book except on the PC until this Christmas. (And at that, she’s been ordered not to read Mommy’s book on her own Kindle, not that I have to do much ordering. She got to the first F-bomb reading over my shoulder and shuddered and walked away. Somehow, my children are averse to foul language when I use it daily.)

    I counted. We have eleven bookshelves in our house. All but one of them are filled with things we couldn’t bear to part with when I made us go through the books last. Four of those shelves belong to the kids. I tried to clean those out this weekend, and it induced sobbing. They each chose to donate five titles. Five. (And the last time I snuck their books out of the house, I found myself at the bookstore with then eight-year-old Caroline sobbing uncontrollably because I had to replace some wordless board book. Naturally, I couldn’t replace it. Naturally, she couldn’t find another one like it. Naturally, she now inspects her shelves daily to see if I’ve been getting rid of her stuff again.)

    DH and I may do better when we hit the shelves again this year, but I doubt it. Really, if I could persuade him to install a long wall shelving unit in two room, the books would probably be OK. But the aversion to change in this house is so great that I can’t even rearrange furniture without inducing severe trauma to all of my loved ones. We got Sam a new bed for Christmas last year. A bed he had begged for. And he lost his mind for three weeks after we installed it, because we had taken his old bed, which was nothing more than a mattress on a camp bed spring base, away.

    I swapped a bookshelf with a table in the living room, and all three of them went back to the place where the table used to be and just stared at it like I’d shot someone on the spot. Our sofa is fifteen years old, its frame snapped this fall, and the stuffing is coming out to the point that Sam’s favorite hide-and-seek-spot is INSIDE the couch cushions. But I’ve got at least another month of none-too-gentle persuasion to go before I’ll win the battle of “we-must-replace-this-NOW” with any of them.

    Scott got me shelving for my birthday, and it’s wonderful. There’s a shoe caddy (which within three days had crap piled up two feet high on top of it) and a CD rack, and my CDs are out of boxes for the first time since we moved in five years ago. (Yeah, I’ve got Lance’s CD problem. I’d die if I had to give them up. A friend tried to put his out AT THE CURB, and I dragged every one of them home, even Neil Diamond, whose only good song is Sweet Caroline. I gave the ones I hated away, but geez, the CURB.)

    I instituted a policy last year that we couldn’t bring in anything new, clothing, books, whatever, without getting rid of something old. That has at least preserved the status quo at teetering-but-not-yet-fallen. But it’s b-a-d. I jokingly say that there aren’t any dead cats at the bottom of the pile yet, but I sincerely fear that it’s coming.

    We have to unwed ourselves from our physical property. I’m at a point where, except for the CDs and books, I’m ready to do that. (Of course, the books are the main problem.) I could live with hardly any clothes (I wear the same stuff anyway) and almost no bathroom toiletries. But nobody else has reached that yet, and while Scott’s the one who does most of the everyday chores (I simply can’t face the futility), I’m the only one who sees the depth of the disaster.

  4. I agree with Deana, on both points. Ask the hoarder (I’m sure it is your husband) to get rid of some stuff. If that doesn’t work throw it away when he’s not home & then blame the movers. It totally works.

    And don’t ever say babysitting. Babysitters get paid. Duh.

  5. For years, the conversation between C’s aunts and myself went exactly like this:

    “Where’s C?”

    “Out.”

    “Oh, are you babysitting the kids.”

    “Nope.”

    “Then where are they?”

    “With me.”

    “But you said you weren’ babysitting.”

    “I’m not. I’m PARENTING.”

  6. I’m the packrat, he’s the hoarder, and both of us are guilty as sin and need to get rid of stuff badly. But here’s my ‘babysitting’ story.

    Scott teaches intro college history classes, and he likes to do an icebreaker on the first day. One version of the exercise goes like this. He gets the class going about the topic of Dads’ roles in their kids lives. He always has one or two loudmouthed idiots who can’t figure out that he’s a feminist from the very fact that he’s posing the question. And he’s always got at least one single Mom saying she’d love it if her ex would take care of the kids sometimes. He’ll let them go for about twenty minutes or so before he tells them that for the first year and a half of Caroline’s life, he was the stay at home parent with a part time teaching gig at night, while I worked outside them home and kept us in things like insurance.

    It always floors them, from the idiots to the intelligent ones, that a professor would have been a stay at home parent, ever. And then he points out that we both work full time jobs now, and they are equally shocked, because they have this perception of professors as overpaid stuffed shirts, and that conversation really breaks down the stereotypes and associated barriers.

    And Lance, you are a writer. You of all people ought to know there’s no such thing as “just” a word. A single word has the power to destroy a narrative or lift it out of the mundane and into the ethereal. The connotations of “babysitting” are so repugnant to me. Ugh. And they aren’t just demeaning to Mom. Dad is implying that he has no role in his kids’ lives when he says he’s ‘babysitting’ them.

    When you get stuck at the mall for two hours, you’re stuck babysitting packages, perhaps, or possibly safeguarding the family car’s maidenhead (you never know about these rapist SUV’s these days), but you aren’t babysitting. You’re stuck. Way different.

  7. welcometograndcentral on said:

    Deana- I can’t wait to come up with a good Q for this! I loved it!

  8. Love the He Said/She Said idea!

    Jester’s “stuff” question particularly rings familiar, although my husband is the “stuff collector” and I am the “stuff tosser.” I hate stuff. I have always been fascinated by the minimalist lifestyle and have been known to indiscriminately throw shit away. All of this just serves to make my husband’s acquiring of stuff all the more acute. We bought a 54″ flat screen TV 2 years ago. Guess when he let me throw away the box? Two weeks ago. I shit you not.

  9. I can not stand clutter. It makes me uncomfortable in my own house. However, it’s been sneaking up on me in places you normally don’t see. I have a hard time getting rid of anything my daughter makes. So last night I started my mission declutter all the nooks and crannies. The trick for me was to have a couple drinks while doing so. I was tossing crap out left and right. Today I’ll be tackling closets. I’m going to need another drink!

    I love that you guys are doing this. Look forward to the next one.

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