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There are things that you should discover before you marry someone. For example, on my wedding day back in 1996, I believed the following about my husband:
1. He was a friendly, outgoing guy.
2. He had a surgery as a young child to remove a vestigial tail that he was born with. (Yes, I believed it enough that I learned proper use of the word vestigial.)
3. He was organized.
The horrible, mind-boggling truth:
1. He was the president of chess club in middle school so that he didn't have to socialize at recess. His favorite activity in high school? Playing role-playing games. (I had to look that up just as much as I had to look up vestigial.) He was a complete introvert, who pretended to be outgoing later in life (from 11th grade onward) so he could meet girls.
2. THE TAIL THING WAS A LIE!!! Can you believe that?!? I know, right?!?
When we were first dating, I found a little indention on his lower back. He told me the story of the surgery where the tail was removed.
THAT LYING LIAR CLAIMS THAT HE THOUGHT I KNEW HE WAS JOKING ABOUT IT! (That was completely worthy of all caps, right?)
One day, after we were married, I was telling someone the story when he looked at ME, as if I was the CRAZY ONE, and told me that he thought I knew he was joking - and had thought that for years. Then he laughed and laughed.
I still have received neither the apology chocolates nor the apology jewels that I so rightly deserve.
3. He is NOT organized. He is ex-military, so he always made his bed and kept things pretty clean (fooling me), but he can't keep up with a schedule or to do list to save his life. He can't remember when he has meetings, parties (although, on consideration, he could be lying and just avoiding those), or things to do. He is the king of procrastination.
This is the part of the blog where I give you sage advice about:
*putting things on a family planner,
*having weekly meeting to remind the family what is on the agenda,
*emailing dates/times to the offender in advance for those moments when they claim "you never told me,"
*giving them a lovely, simple planner for Christmas, and
*teaching them how to plan.
Don't even bother with those last two! You will drive yourself crazy. And you will drive them crazy. Two crazy people do not make a nice relationship.
Nonplanners are hard-wired that way. You cannot expect them to change.
Instead, change you. Change the way that you react.
1. Be willing to be the family secretary.
I believe in fairness and equality in a marriage, so I assign them something I HATE to do. They clean the toilets or do the dusting or do whatever chore you hate, when asked (not later, because they don't plan, remember) in exchange for you taking over the family social calendar. If you can peacefully agree to this, in advance, it will save much heartache.
2. Let others know you are the planner in the family.
One of my friends, B, will call my house to make plans. If my husband (who is also a horrible phone communicator) answers, she waits patiently for him to hand me the phone. She used to ask, "is Kristy there?" but stopped, because he would answer with "yes" and silence.
3. Understand that they will NOT remember birthdays, anniversaries, and other important occasions and plan accordingly.
To be fair, my husband has an incredible memory for occasions. But for your husband or wife...
Yes, that means you should go ahead and put in your Filofax order for Christmas right now...and let the nonplanner know how much you are going to appreciate that new, buttery leather.
Good luck. I know how important your planner is, but remember that they may not understand. Be patient. They do have some other good qualities. Probably.