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Dishwasher | Budget Referee

Dishwasher

I am in physical danger every time I empty the dishwasher. No, really!

When I load the dishwasher, the silverware is always face down. My mother did it that way and I’m certain her mother would have done it that way, if they even had dishwashers back then. When my beautiful wife, Dee does the dishes, she always puts the silverware in face up. This means for me the knives and forks become weapons. Her logic is that they gets cleaner that way. Humor Oh yeah? Well, so does my hand once I wash the blood off.

We have a very long list of “opposites.” As a matter of fact, if Dee was writing this, she would say it was a short list. So because we think so differently, we have established a common understanding of a big issue in a marriage—money.

But let’s not go there yet.

What you think you say is often not what the other person actually hears.

This is important when you talk about a spending plan.”

Now we move on to making coffee. Every time she makes it, it is eight level measuring spoons. Now me, I eyeball it. Come to think about it, this one skipped generations and came directly from Grandma. “Hey, Grandma – how much salt do I add to this dish?” “Enough,” she would say. So you see, I have both love and logic behind my rationale.

You can’t argue with logic like that!

Like many, a few years back, Dee and I decided to switch to a rewards credit card. So got two cards for one shared account. We knew we needed to set up communication for handling that.

Now we move to the money part.

You see, the rewards card is an opportunity for us to honor and allow our different points of view and communicate responsibly.

But wait, there’s more.

Like many men, I have a hard time expressing my feelings. Even when I think I am overcoming my hurdles—as Popeye says, “I sez what I mean and I mean what I sez”—I am quite possibly, in Dee’s eyes, failing miserably. You see, what you think you say is often not what the other person actually hears. This is important when you talk about a spending plan. \

Newton Minnow, the head of the Federal Communications Commission under President Kennedy, had majored in semantics—the study of words, their meaning, and the context in which they are used. He once remarked that 99% of all conflicts are about the misunderstanding of words used in different contexts.

Some of you folks of a certain age may know of Newton because of his famous remark about television being a “vast wasteland.” You Millennials and what-nots can substitute Roku and Amazon for the word television. It was a heavy device—not a smart phone or tablet—for watching video entertainment and news programs.

No matter what your generation, when you talk about money and finances with your spouse, significant other, or life partner, you not only have to hear what is said, the two of you have to keep talking until you fully understand each other’s meaning.

Now I think it’s my turn to empty the dishwasher and make another pot of coffee…or maybe I should just take the rewards card and head out to Starbucks.

Categories Couples