Shaune takes care of our finances.
When we moved in together for good that last time, he asked me if paying the bills could be his thing. I shrugged, said sure and silently took on the responsibility of being the shopper. I try to do my part and also I think it’s important to play to our strengths. This arrangement works fine most of the time. However every few months or so Shaune’s senses seem to heighten and he catches me off guard.
“Is that new?” he asks pointing to a skirt I’ve got on. Purposely I pull at the sweater I’m wearing.
“This? Are you kidding? I’ve had this since 2004.”
Then he goes back to his old self. At other times he just looks at me pleading,
“Do you need to shop Every. Single. Week?”
At these times I remind him of a handful of women he could easily have ended up with, women who have much more expensive tastes than me, who get costly hair and nail treatments every few weeks, wear only high-end name brands. I’m not sure if I really know this about them but it’s an effective rebuttal until my husband says something asinine like,
“I would never have married someone like that; I don’t find that sort of thing attractive.”
You don’t find nice hair and pretty nails attractive?
But sometimes we’re on the same page about our finances. Like this morning when I was on the phone with our cable and internet provider. (I like to keep things confidential around here so I’ll just say this: their name rhymes with Boger’s but starts with the letter “R”.)
I waited two days to file my complaint because I wanted to be calm and articulate.
Because on Thursday when my internet and cable were down, and I was home with two sick kids trying to connect my laptop to my work server, I was definitely not calm or articulate with the tech specialist who was treating me like I was an idiot because I didn’t know the difference between the modem and the router. In fact reciting the serenity prayer did nothing for how I proceeded to conduct myself especially when instead of patiently explaining to me that the power cord was the thin black wire, the tech guy just enunciated the phrase “POWER CORD” louder and louder.
Even after I explained to him that I wasn’t stupid, that my husband usually did these types of things, he continued to treat me like I was a Neanderthal. I had a half mind to explain to him that I had other strengths:
Winning half the bread in this household.
Cleaning the bathrooms.
Ensuring everyone has clean underwear.
Writing angry posts about bad customer service on my blog.
Our phone call on Thursday did not end well. When he told me that he would be scheduling a service appointment in the next few weeks and warned that if he found we had messed with our internet or cable somehow and this was the reason it was down that we’d be charged $49.50 for the appointment, well that was when I may have lost my mind. I may have screamed not very calmly into the phone that he hadn’t helped me with a goddamned thing, that I still didn’t have cable for my two sick kids or internet to get my work done.
I may have hung up on him.
And so this morning when I called to speak to the supervisor of that tech specialist to calmly but articulately complain that I had not been treated like a valuable customer who spends $300 a month in cable, internet and wireless fees with her company, Shaune and I were definitely on the same page. While I spoke with her, Shaune sat on the couch pumping his fist if I said something particularly powerful, motivated me with reminders of other ways Boger’s with an R had screwed us over in the past.
We were really in sync.
Sadly this conversation did not end well either. The supervisor showed very little empathy for how I’d been treated and in fact took the opportunity to try to get me to upgrade to the next package level in my cable and internet. I may have blown a gasket, threatened to pull the plug on all of our services and go directly to Boger’s Vice President.
I’m not sure what we’ll do though, shopping for another cable and internet provider seems fruitless. We were with the other company (rhymes with hell but starts with a B) for years before moving to Boger’s with an R and they were definitely no better. I recall some equally frustrating conversations with their support staff. In fact, it may have been the last time Shaune and I bonded this well on matters of finance.
It’s magical moments like these that tell you that the marriage is working.
Better late than never right?