Make Your Compulsive Nature Work for You

I never know which words to capitalize in a title.  How do you know?  Fat lot of good that English major did me.

On Friday my compulsive nature kicked in full steam.  I channeled its power and went with it.  The result was that I finally finally finally got the curtain rods hung in my kids’ room.  For two months now, I have been stuffing their curtains into the top of the blinds each and every day.  Inevitably one of the kids pulls them down (Because it’s so fun!!!  Wheeee!!!) and I curse and shove them back in the blinds once again.  I had the curtain rods ($60 rods, down to $7 at Bed Bath and Beyond- booyah), I just hadn’t gotten sick and tired enough of the stuffing and shoving to do something about it.

Friday morning I had had enough.  The timing was great.  We needed to leave our house at about 9:30 to meet Lisa and Eloise on Main Street, so I had limited time.  This forced quick action and meant no hemming and hawing.  Just put some marks on those walls and start drilling.  Which we did.  I can’t really tell you what the kids did while I marked and drilled.  I know I broke up a few fights and ignored a few whine-fests.  My friend Cheri stopped by at 9’ish (I think- the morning was a blur) and I was still in my pajamas, looking like hell warmed over, and my kids were naked and bickering with each other.  But I pressed on- we had a deadline to meet and I was sick of stuffing those curtains!

The final product:

I hung them a bit high- like the window looks surprised all the time- but I don’t care.  I am compulsive but not a perfectionist.  Good enough is good enough for me.

Here’s a very important and perhaps pivotal fight that the hubs and I had about 3 years ago, which enabled me to hang those curtain rods this morning.  This was three houses/apartments ago, and I had been asking, hinting, and nagging him for a few weeks to hang up curtain rods for me.  Every night was something along the lines of: “Do you think you could hang up those curtains for me tonight?  No?  Umm… maybe tomorrow?  Saturday?”.  And on and on.  Some nights we were too tired, some nights he couldn’t get around to it before Chicken needed to go to bed (and the apartment needed to be quiet), and some nights he just didn’t feel like it.  Imagine that.  Things came to head one night, weeks after I had launched my campaign to get the curtains hung:

Me: “Will you hang the curtains tonight?”

R: “No.  Sorry.  I can’t because of X (perfectly legitimate but also spousal rage-inducing) reason.”

Me: “I am losing my mind.  This must get done.  You keep putting it off.  What is the deal?  I have been asking and asking and you’re not doing it.”

R:  “Kat, maybe you should do it.  Using a drill is not that hard.  I can show you how, and then you can do it yourself whenever you want to.  And you can BACK UP OFF ME.” (He may or may not have said that last sentence, but I’m sure he felt it).

Okay, completely NOT the answer I wanted from him.  I know- “teach a man to fish” and all of that.  But I wanted to sit on the couch and instruct (“Little higher.  No, too high.  Okay- higher again.”) while he did the labor for me.  However, he was RIGHT.  I didn’t need him to do it for me.  Plenty of people hang their own dang curtain rods.  And he didn’t give two hoots about curtains.  I did.  So…it kind of makes sense that I would just learn how to wield that drill myself.

Another productive fight with lasting positive impact.  Let’s see that finished product again:

6 thoughts on “Make Your Compulsive Nature Work for You

  1. good for you! you’re lucky. T won’t let me do anything to compromise his man powers. I have a list of things that need to be done around the house but he insists on doing them…with all that free time he has.

  2. This highlights one of the many differences between your husband and mine. After a certain amount of “encouraging” (nagging), he could eventually hang them himself, because he has learned what an imperfectionist (let’s call that a word, shall we?) I am. I would hang them crookedly, without an anchor, or in some other way haphazardly and it would drive him crazy. So he’d rather do it himself, with a level and what-not, so that they don’t torture him for the rest of eternity.
    But then, that’s us.

    • r is also a perfectionist. something i did not know about him when i married him. however, that really only applies to when he does the project. so i can do it “good enough” and he won’t notice those imperfections, but if he does it than the imperfections are all that he sees.

      such a man of mystery, he is.

  3. “I hung them a bit high- like the window looks surprised all the time- but I don’t care.”


    I just pretend I don’t know how to use a drill so Isaac will do it. It works out for both of us: I get to oogle him from the couch and he likes it when I tell him how to do whatever he’s working on. 🙂

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