When it’s not working

Wednesday was our 14th wedding anniversary and my husband forgot!  I called him in the middle of the day to ask about something or other and casually said:  “You aren’t working late tonight are you?” (He’s been working crazy hours.  The man is self-employed and has the meanest boss in the world).  His reply:  “Why wouldn’t I be?”  Me:  “Because it’s our anniversary!”  Him:  “Oh.”   You know that Oh, that is really followed by an expletive not spoken out loud.   “We’re we doing anything?”  Me:  “Well, no.  I was just going to order pizza.  Don’t worry about it.”  Men, if a woman says don’t worry about it.  DO THE OPPOSITE!  Him: “Ok”     

Don’t worry; this isn’t some sobbing post about how I’m going to leave my husband because he always forgets special days or anything like that.  It’s actually about organizing!   If necessity is the mother of invention (English proverb), then misplaced items and missed appointments are surely the mother of organization.   Here’s a snapshot of our family calendar in a location that my husband walks by and has to see every single day:

All our activities are written here.

 Our anniversary was listed there!  Here’s a close-up of the day:


See, it says Our Anniversary with a heart drawn beside it.

My husband did manage to come home with a card and some chocolate and I did manage forgiveness because it’s not as if I’ve never forgotten anything important in our 14 years of being married.  That is not to say that I didn’t have a few fantasies about how maybe I could give him a gift certificate to get the calendar tattooed to his forehead each month first but I got over it.

I’m easy. I can be bought with chocolate.

Later, we were discussing how I write everything on the calendar but he doesn’t always remember to look there.  I was thinking how can you NOT look at the calendar every time you walk by?  It’s second nature to me and I don’t get it.  You look at the calendar and see what’s on the agenda for the day and plan accordingly.  However, clearly this idea wasn’t working for my husband.  His suggestion was that I could leave him a note on top of the coffee pot each morning of anything going on that day.  I reconsidered the ARE YOU SERIOUS YOU CANNOT WALK SIX STEPS AWAY TO LOOK AT THE CALENDAR RETORT before saying it aloud.  It probably didn’t hurt that I’d just been looking at this family command center on Pinterest.  Hmmm, here was an opportunity to go to add some décor to the kitchen and maybe go shopping at the office supply store (doesn’t that just make you feel all giddy inside?).  I had to admit, him forgetting things and my saying but it’s been on the calendar for at least a month was not working.  It was time to regroup. 

Here’s my temporary solution until I can have my contractor (aka my husband) build some sort of family command center near the coffee pot:

This dry erase board can attach to the wall or stand as an easal.

When I showed him this, he was not overly impressed stating he thought I could just leave him a post-it note every day.    I refrained from telling him where he could “post” that idea!  I don’t mind rewriting the calendar every week in a different location but I’m not writing down it down AGAIN every single day.  So, the moral of my story is that sometimes what you think is a wonderfully organized system may not be work for someone else and if that someone else is a spouse or family member, then a little compromise may be in order.  A little compromising (actually a lot of compromising) has kept us married for 14 years.  

Compromises like my writing the calendar down again each week to keep the peace and compromises  like this one as well:

The Q-tips go HERE and no, they can NOT be put in a cutesy container. SIGH.

Have you ever had to re-evaluate your organizing to make it work for your spouse or family? 

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8 thoughts on “When it’s not working

  1. susan

    True confession #1 – I used to keep the family calendar in our bathroom… where you see it when you SIT down and read. Hubby actually used it every day. It worked.

    But it was really embarrassing when a friend came over and we had to go stand in the bathroom together to schedule a lunch date. (yeah… go ahead an giggle and the visual of three ladies standing in the reading room together).

    Does your hubby use email? Would it work to set up a google alert to his phone?
    susan recently posted..Five Minute Friday – ChangeMy Profile

    1. Jean Post author

      Ah, that was my mistake. It’s all about location, location, location. How could I forget? LOL. He’s not techy enough for the e-mail but I suppose I could send him a text message for the really big deal stuff–thanks for the suggestion!

  2. Patty@homemakersdaily.com

    Constantly. My husband is terrible about telling me when he spends money. I used to nag him about it but then I gave up and just started checking the account on-line. He only spends out of the business account and I just make sure there’s enough money in there to cover purchases. It was easier than trying to get him to tell me.

    I’ve also tried the family calendar and that worked sort of.

    Now it’s just my husband and I so we don’t need that. And we’ve been married 31 years so we’ve kind of gotten into a routine about stuff like that. But I definitely make adjustments all the time!
    Patty@homemakersdaily.com recently posted..Christmas Costs Money So Start Saving Now!My Profile

    1. Jean Post author

      Wow, 31 years of marriage is quite an accomplishment. So is the key to keep on making those adjustments even though we’re the ones who always right 😉 ?

  3. Raquel

    Yes! I think men are wired a little differently! Glad your hubby celebrated with you. Maybe he needs one of those 8 1/2″ x 11″ post it notes 🙂 Happy Anniversary to you and your hubby!
    Raquel recently posted..Organizing EmailMy Profile

  4. Beverly Meyers

    I give my husband a work calendar every year. He still can’t remember my shift is BLUE. So my compromise is I circle the days on the big kitchen calendar when I work. He actually is pretty good about looking at the calendar but if it is really important he remember something I send him an email. I also have been known to put a written note on his computer (I know he won’t miss that!) when I am leaving the house. On Anniversarys he does not have the chance to forget it because I will have been talking about it for at least a week.

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