Thursday, May 22, 2008


Tim is a worker. Serious. Always doing something productive. This is probably one of our biggest issues. I write. Sometimes I get paid to write. So you'll see me sitting at the computer. Sometimes I'm blogging. Sometimes I'm writing. But to me, it's productive time. I really think, deep down, that Tim is convinced it's a sin to enjoy yourself. I've been trying to help him overcome this mindset for 10 years today.
We had a heck of a argument over the weekend. He works his 40 hours at work, and then he spends about 15-20 hours a week on home rehab on a rental. Saturday night, we had a wedding to go to. The son of a friend was getting married, and I was looking very forward to it. Unfortunately, by the time we got there, Tim was very tired from working all day. He wouldn't dance. He didn't talk. I wanted to hang loose and have a good time. Tim wanted to go home. We ended up leaving early, and I was disappointed.
Tim comes from a fundamentalist family. Wesley Methodists do not drink. They do not dance. His mother's never worn a pair of slacks in her life. His father is a preacher. They are a very sober, straightlaced pair. And they begat my husband. After 10 years of marriage, I'm again explaining to him that I'm not going to hell for a wine cooler, and he isn't going to hell because he dances with his wife, and we're not going to hell if we talk and laugh and enjoy time with our friends. On the contrary, it will seem like hell if we don't.
And like all big differences, this one cast a pall that lasted for a couple days, mostly due to the fact that Tim is quiet and doesn't talk a lot.
Yesterday was my birthday. I worked all day, and I was cold and wet by the time that I got home. Tim gets home before I do. He baked salmon. cooked asparagus and made salad. He'd bought a bottle of wine, the first he'd ever bought in his life. He'd picked romantic music for the stereo. There were candles on the table and flowers too. He met me at the door dressed in black pants with a white shirt, looking very waiter-ish. and said, "Will there be one for dinner tonight?"
It was fun. A lot of fun.
I did something I've never done before.
I slept with my waiter.
That was fun too.
Tim doesn't talk a lot, but I'm sure glad he listens.


Bush Babe (of Granite Glen) said...


Oh, how I understand your situation... not the non-dancing, non-alcohol thing (wow!) but the silent bit. It's tough for wordy women (something I suspect we have in common!). I like to talk things out. SSB likes to sleep on it and get on with it.

Your Tim (I've said it before) is a KEEPER. He is also not allowed to read my upcoming post on my girls weekend. He may have a stroke.).

Happy Birthday again!!


debby said...

Ah, no. He's not judgemental. He'd probably laugh. He just holds himself to very high standards. Sometimes, this paragon of virtue and his good wife (who is a bit looser in her standards) clash, but he doesn't hold the world to his standards. I couldn't stand him otherwise. He does not believe as his parents believe. Neither does any of his 5 siblings. But the thing is, being raised like that leaves its mark. He is good, but not so good that you want to slap his father the preacher, who needs a good slap...

Pencil Writer said...

WOW! He listened AND acted accordingly. Very sweet and comforting, no?

Most men, I get the feeling, (not all) but most men like to DO things rather than talk about them. I too love to talk/write. I know my husband thinks I waste a lot of time doing both.

Oh. I just remembered. I have 4 natural brothers. They're all talkers. My mom and I just discussed yesterday how it is that if one of her children calls, she can count on at least an hour-long conversation.

But HAPPY BIRTHDAY. May each additional one be better than the last. How blessed you are to have a husband who is such a hard worker, who has high standards and isn't judgmental. What a keeper!

Congratulations on sticking together to enrich each other and grow together!

Redlefty said...

I know what you mean, debby. My parents were raised very strict religious, and I had a little more leeway when I was growing up. Yet I took on things that have been hard to shed.

How somebody can simultaneously believe that alcohol is evil and that Jesus' first miracle was creating alcohol from water... it boggles me!

Your hubby sounds like a great, flawed guy!

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

That is so funny! You slept with your waiter! Oh my! Your post put a smile on my face, thanks Debby!

Well, you are making made a giant stride just by him buying wine...terrific!

Here's to more strides....!

And Happy Birthday to him!

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Oops! I meant to write, Happy Birthday to YOU!


Hal Johnson said...

Rhonda and I don't have much friction in our marriage, but one such source comes from the fact that she's a doer and I'm more of a thinker. So, I can relate.

I spent a good part of my childhood attending a Southern Baptist church. Even though I quit that bunch at the age of eleven, yeah, the mark is still there. Sheesh, to this day, I'm hesitant to do the wild thing standing up because someone might think I'm-gasp--dancing.

Even as a child, a scratched my head as to why a glass of wine or a beer was supposed to be a sin. Something tells me that Jesus was incredibly funny once he got a couple of belts of wine in him.

Have you heard the three universal religious truths?
1. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
2. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian faith.
3. Southern Baptists do not recognize each other in the liquor store.


What a gem of a post.

Hal Johnson said...

Another thing: would Tim consider loaning me his notes?

Mary Paddock said...

Happy Birthday Debby! Sounds like Tim is a sensitive guy who pays attention to the waves he makes in your life.

Gary was a Charismatic Christian when we met in 1984--didn't dance, didn't drink, didn't listen to anything but Christian music. I was a seeker, a Christian still separating fact from fiction. Heathen that I was, I drank a little, danced, listened to "worldly music", played poker, and ran with some seriously colorful artistic types. As a couple we surprised all but the people who knew us the very best when we started dating and then got married. Buried beneath my free spirited exterior was a conservative with strong fundamentalist leanings trying to get out and beneath his conservative exterior was a much repressed free spirit who only needed a little encouragement.

We've reached some compromises over the years. Gary's gotten good at picking out the occasional bottle of wine. Getting in the car behind him these days you never know if you're going to find a classic rock station, easy listening, or Christian station playing at top volume (the boys think it's funny when you can hear the bass beat before you can hear the car pulling in the driveway). I listen to a lot of Christian music and don't dance with anybody but him (when I can talk him into it). I gave up poker, mostly because he was better at it than I was.

I could never ask for a better listener or friend than Gary. He's the only person in the world who really "gets" me, you know?

jeanie said...

Oh happy birthday, Debby - and you good, good man Tim!!!

See, he didn't need any old frying pan except to put the fish in Deb!

Put a real smile on my face, your story.

V doesn't drink - not because of Christian convictions (which he does have) but because he has done his share of drinking and has stepped back to let the rest of us enjoy.

Mikey said...

Happy Birthday!!!
Tim is wonderful :) That whole post made me smile. I'm so glad you slept with the waiter. That's called leaving the best tip of all :)

debby said...

Jeanie, gotta say, your comment confuses me. I'm hoping this 'putting the fish in Deb' is not some quirky Australian porn reference....

Yup, everyone. He is fundamentally a good egg.

Yesterday was our 10th anniversary. Tim hooked up the ice maker/water dispenser in our 'new' refrigerator. I did something I never did before. I slept with the refrigerator hooker-upper guy. It was fun.....

jeanie said...

lol Deb - me and my darned commas.

I meant "See, he didn't need any old frying pan except to put the fish in, Deb!" - as opposed to the frying pan theory I was putting forth in our funny email exchange...

lol on sleeping with the fridge man.

PaintedPromise said...

this post of yours, is making my blog :) that is, if I can figure out how to link!!!

debby said...

Jeanie...I believe that is your cue...