My husband is allergic to nagging. It’s a condition where he considers my bare minimum of nagging to be his absolute maximum. I could do so much more nagging, he has no idea. So lately, rather than being either overly aggressive (husband, do this) or passive-aggressive (oh, I wish I had someone to help me with this), I start my requests with, “Honey, can you do me a favor?” Which follows by a long silence where I desperately want him to commit before I reveal the favor and he desperately wants to avoid committing. Finally I say, “Can you take the chili out of the fridge, quickly dump it into the trash and directly into the trashroom?” It was a job I’d been afraid to tackle for many, many weeks. The smell, the strangeness growing on top.. oh, this was a big favor. And much to my surprise, he said, “Sure, I can do that.” And, he did.
I thought I had cracked the code until dinner with friends on Friday when he revealed that he, in fact, had cracked my code. He laughed as he told them my new favor technique and he said it works because each time he thinks I’m going to ask something much worse so doing the requested task seems pretty harmless.
The truth is I can be a nag. Feeding him brownies is the best way to tell him I’m sorry for being so annoying. And then when he’s done with that brownie, I can say…. honey, can you do me a favor?