The story to the Pottery Barn Anywhere Chairs (as I mentioned in a previous post), has in it an intrinsic lesson on how to deal with my husband in particular — as so wisely advised by my Mother-in-law (MiL). Happy reading!
Let’s first set the stage and talk to you a bit about him. For those of you familiar with my husband, you’d know that when it comes to spending, (to put it nicely) it is one of his least favorite activities, no matter what it is you’re spending on. Admittedly over the years that we’ve been together it has gotten better slowly, but it still doesn’t make the outlay of cash any easier. He will still scrutinize and analyze and have you (me) justify each and every purchase. You can imagine his stress when Sam comes up to him with something she wants and says, “Daddy will pay for it.”
Now in my defense, I am not that much of an impulsive shopper and I also carefully consider what I spend on. But once in a while, like any girl, I will find a nice thing or two I’d like to get (that is not exactly purely utilitarian but will serve its purpose), like the chairs. They are pretty, useful, and of good quality I felt they would be a good investment. Plus I fell in love with them. I was given a budget anyway, and I figured that for as long as I didn’t exceed the amount, I could spend it in any which way I wanted.
I did my research too as part of my “justification”. Four out of the four moms I talked to with chairs were highly satisfied and recommended I get a set. So I thought I had sealed the deal.
Apparently I was wrong. The budget was not released to me in full (again, typical hubby behavior) and all purchase plans were screened. So immediately, upon seeing the brand and the price of the chairs on the website, he shot the idea down immediately. They can sit on fluffy cushions from Wal-Mart, was his line of thought. He checked them out, these cushions (They saw a couple in Target too if I’m not mistaken). It’s a good thing MiL was beside him to casually dissuade him and convince him they weren’t going to be pretty. So for a while we were left with no chairs/cushions in the playroom.
Now according to MiL, my husband inherits this trait from my Father-in-law. The trick, she says, is to just not tell him. When he sees it there he’ll like it and realize you were right all along. By then there’s nothing more he can say or do.
In close cahoots with MiL, we waited for the opportunity for me to get the chairs. Then Black Saturday came and Jamie and I had our date. Luckily the slipcover designs I wanted were still available in-store, as it would have been more costly had I ordered everything online (my husband should be proud because I got one at a 20% discount since it was the store display!). I also was referred to a store within Southpoint Mall which did name embroidery, making them all the more non-returnable. I got this all done within the day. Yes, the gods were on my side.
Keeping tabs with MiL as to their location, we made sure I got home first and was able to assemble and display the chairs where I’d envisioned them to be. We were selling the idea of the chairs staying after all.
True enough when they got in, he saw the chairs as displayed and liked them (victory #1), no questions asked. His alarm bells went off later on when he spied the Pottery Barn boxes collapsed in the garage. Then the interrogation came.
“Oh. Didn’t cost much”, I said without meeting his gaze and quickly left the room to avoid further interrogation. I later added that my Mother-in-law blessed the purchase and funded it as well (victory #2). Well there was also not much he could do after that because when Sam saw her chair with her name, she kept saying, “I love my chair mom! Wow!” (victory #3)
In the end I think he was partly amused that I had “help” in ensuring my project’s vision would come true on the exact day he was not around to physically stop me. Of course, it was a scene all too familiar — he had witnessed this countless times growing up in his own home, and now it was actually happening to him. Nonetheless he let it go after a day and has since then fallen in love with the chairs, like MiL said he would.
The Moral of the Story: If you are the only male in the household, it’s best to just hand over the credit card and close your eyes.
Happy Mother’s Day to my MiL, and all the other MiL’s around the world, who help make their sons speechless. 🙂