I want you to WANT to mail the card

Yesterday, Nick and I had a very Jennifer Aniston/Vince Vaughn moment. No, no — not in the sense that we’re breaking up, silly! But we sort of lived out the “I want you to WANT to do the dishes” scene from The Breakup. Except, I was Vince Vaughn and Nick was Jennifer Aniston…

… Let me start over.

Nick had a card that he had written out for his grandmother, and it was addressed, with a stamp on it, sitting at the top of the stairs in our apartment. That’s where we usually sit things that need to be remembered on our way out the door. The morning after he wrote the card out, I saw it still sitting there. Huh, I figured — Nick forgot to grab the card on his way to work. Guess he’ll mail it later. I went about my day and pretty much immediately forgot about it.

The following day, yesterday, it was still sitting there. Geez, I thought to myself, when is he going to mail that card? I ended up not leaving the apartment yesterday, so I didn’t grab it on my way out anywhere to drop it in the nearest mailbox, and it just didn’t occur to me that I should go out of my way to mail it.

Last night, Nick said to me, “Will you remember to mail that card tomorrow, or should I just walk down to the mailbox right now?”

Um, excuse me?

I barked very nicely said, “I was never told that I was supposed to mail that card.”

He immediately knew that the way he had asked his question sounded accusatory, and he backtracked a little bit to redeem himself. After a little spattering back-and-forth, he said I was right, he had never asked me to mail the card, and he apologized that it came out the wrong way; then, he walked down the street to mail the card.

But it occurred to me later in the evening — why didn’t I mail that card for him? No, he had never outright asked me, but I saw it sitting there for two days in a row, and I ignored it. The mailbox is half a block from our apartment, and yes, it would have been “out of my way,” but I work from home and it probably would have taken all of 90 seconds of my time to take care of it. But I didn’t.

He wanted me to WANT to mail the card for him.

He does nice things for me all the time without my asking, but I did not extend the same courtesy to him. I felt like a jerk.

Hopefully I’ll learn from this incident and go out of my way to be a little more courteous the next time. Next time, I’ll WANT to mail the card for him.

Do you and your spouse ever have the “I want you to WANT to do the dishes” moment?


  1. We actually have the "I want you to want to do the dishes argument" all the time – about the dishes. When I first saw that movie I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time.

  2. This happens all the time–usually with silly things like cleaning the floor.

    I'm actually writing you this comment to tell you that an ad for CougarLife.com appeared on my Google Reader on your feed, likely because you mentioned Jennifer Aniston. Crazy, right? :)

  3. Um, all. the. time. I want my husband to want to clean the bathroom and put his shoes away. And I'm sure he wants me to want to unload the dishwasher and take out the trash. Alas…

  4. All the time. My Love Language is acts of service, so my husband doing little chores or picking up around the house make me so happy. He has a hard time remembering that by doing this, he is showing me how much he loves me. When he doesn't do them, I will just because things need to get done! I want him to WANT to do the little things to show me he cares and to take them off my plate.

  5. yup! happens all the time. when i first saw the movie i felt the same way- so funny & such good writing because it is soo true!

  6. Oh definitely, but usually over bigger things than mailing a card.

    For example, when Husband made up his holiday call schedule this year, he is working Memorial Day weekend (our anniversary), Labor Day weekend (which we always spend with my parents), and four days over Christmas (which we always spend with my Catholic grandparents, as both Husband and I are Jewish).

    He didn't think it was a big deal — since we live apart, not being together on our anniversary doesn't really matter, and he figured I can still go see my family even if he can't.

    I wanted him to want to try to be together on our anniversary and to want to spend time with my family without having to tell him that it was important to me… but he didn't know that I wanted him to want to do that!

  7. All the time! He always wants me to want to pick up after myself and keep the house in order. And I always want him to want to do romantic gestures for me. :) It usually ends up with Rob picking up after me and me being romantic to myself!!

Comments are closed.