My husband is incredibly tight. Tighter-than-my-high-school-jeans-tight. (Not that I still have them. I’m not nearly as tight as he is.)
This morning, he crawled into bed beside where I was propped up with pillows, doing email. He said, “Whachawanna do today?” He was all sweet and cuddly with his scrubby Saturday morning beard. I shrugged with a smile, and said, “What do you suggest?”
He suggested a movie the kids have been begging to see. I said that sounded good. So, I googled movie showtimes on my laptop, and then the ticket prices. I have learned that it’s always best to know what you’re getting into when you walk up to a cashier with Mr. High School Jeans.
“$9.75 for an adult? That’s outrageous!” he said with true disgust, gawking at the screen on my lap. I nodded sympathetically. As he chugged out our tickets’ exact dollar amount in his brain, I reminded him that the kids had friends coming over today. I suggested that we invite them to come along. “What?” he said, rising out of his snuggley, quiescent Saturday-morning-posture. “I mean, does that mean that I pay for them, too?”
I dropped my head, laughing, and asked him, “How much do you make, again?” He gave me a sheepish grin.
“Okay, okay…” he said. “I just want to know. Will I be paying for their tickets, too?”
I told him I wasn’t sure, but I didn’t want our kids to have to say, “My dad says you can come, but only if your parents pay for your ticket.” I thought this might make him look a little… ungenerous. He laughed and said, “OK, you’re right. I’ll pay whatever I need to pay.”
As it turned out, the other kids came with cash in hand from their generous parents. But even if they hadn’t, I’m confident we would have floated past the ticket counter without the slightest scowl, sigh, or rolling of my husband’s eye.
Why? Because I had had set Mr. High School Jeans up for success.
See, here’s what I’ve learned. The man truly is generous. You just have to give him opportunity to decide beforehand that he’s going to be. You can’t spring it on him. He has to add it up, and deduct the total from the stash in his wallet before you even reach the cashier. Before you even pull into the parking lot. Before you even get into the car!My job is to draw that generosity out, and I know just how to do it.
What about you? Instead of being married to a Mr. High School Jeans, perhaps your guy spends too much. Or maybe he talks too much. Or drinks too much. Maybe he’s prone to losing his cool. Or losing his head in stressful situations.
Whatever his weakness, you know it. And it’s your job, as the lovely lady on his arm, to help him graciously sidestep that thing that you saw from five miles back, lying there ready to trip him up. I looked up movie ticket prices today. What did you do?