Pet peeves. I have a few of them, particularly about my husband, Chuck. Here's a list of the currently ranking top five.
1. He cares about what people think
"Sorry, my wife doesn't mean to be rude!" This comes out of Chuck's mouth fairly regularly when we are in the States. I'm used to walking straight past shop assistants, security guards, or guides. I don't even notice their friendly, upbeat greetings. I'm too focused on what I'm actually there to do.
Chuck cares about people. It's highly irritating, especially when we're in a hurry. He stops to talk to people, he gives up his place in line for others, and he offers other people to go first. He even gives the last car park left to someone else when we've been driving around in circles for ages waiting for a park! It drives me bonkers.
But it's also what attracted me to him in the first place.
2. He stops to smell the roses
We did a trail run on the weekendâfourteen kilometres of glorious hills! Chuck and I started in different heats so we didn't see each other during the race. At the finish line, he excitedly came up to me with his phone out, showing me all the photos he had taken during the race of the views along the way. He asked if I had taken any photos from the lookout at the top.
Umm, are you kidding?! It was a race, not a scenic tour!
I climbed up that mountain and ran straight down the other side. I was more interested in the splits on my Strava app than taking photos, or even looking at the view. Every second counted!
Chuck was shocked. He couldn't understand how someone could put so much effort into a climb and not enjoy the amazing view at the top for even a minute.
I don't understand why you would put all that effort into climbing the hill quickly, only to stop at the top.
But now, I kind of wonder what the view was actually like up there.
3. He spends ages talking on the phone
Chuck spends A LOT of time on Skype talking to his family and friends in the States. He's been in New Zealand for three years, but still keeps in touch with dozens of friends back home. It annoys me that he will spend three hours ringing people for a chat. Just send them a quick group message on Facebook, for goodness sake!
Me? I'm a huge fan of minimal effort relationships. But unfortunately, low input relationships also have low outputs.
4. He is emotionally manipulated by an animal
Our dog has Chuck wrapped around her little paw. A small whimper and Chuck comes running to give her hugs. When she whines at the door, he apologises to her for not giving her enough love that day. He carefully checks the ingredients list on all her food to make sure it's healthy, and reads reviews before buying her toys.
Arggghhhh!!!! It's a dog!!
I don't have time for thatâway too much effort. Give the dog food, exercise and a place to sleep and she'll be fine.
It is cute seeing how much our dog loves Chuck though.
5. He turns on the dishwasher when it's not full
And the washing machine. Ok, there's no excuse for this. Wait until there is a full load before turning any appliance in our house on. End of story.
But, it is nice to occasionally come home to clean dishes and laundry hanging on the line.
It's strange how the very things that attracted me to my husband in the beginning are also the very things that really annoy me. His focus on people over tasks, his ability to stop and enjoy life, his willingness to invest deeply in relationships, and his kindness to animals are all such amazing qualities. Ok, I still haven't quite let go of the whole half-full dishwasher issue yet.
But, I am definitely blessed to have someone who balances out my weaknesses so well!
Disclaimer: I have permission from my husband to write this list!
Claire Debrois grew up in Feilding, NZ, and holds a communications degree in public relations from Massey University. She lives with her husband in Wellington and works in digital communications for the Bible Society. She enjoys keeping fit and active, and is a field engineer in the Army Reserves.
Claire Debrois' previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/claire-debrois.html