Fine Living According to My Husband

This is my husband, Chris.  I may have mentioned him once or twice before.

My husband Chris appreciates the finer things in life.  He has good taste.  High end taste.  Champagne taste.  He likes top of the line things.  His thought is that we should buy the most expensive, nicest version of whatever we want to buy.  And if we can’t afford that version, then we should go without.

Exhibit A:

Chris has an iPhone.  Because it was the best, of course.  He has had said iPhone for several years.  Nothing is wrong with this iPhone.  This iPhone works perfectly fine.  And yet, Apple came out with a new version of this iPhone which now means that said iPhone is out of date.  It’s crap.  It’s junk.  It’s a waste of space.  And now Chris wants a new iPhone.

Exhibit B:

We have two computers in our house.  It’s a necessary evil for us.  Recently, Apple came out with the iPad.  Chris now believes we need said iPad because, clearly, what we have been using for the past four years is out of date.  It’s crap.  It’s junk.  It’s a waste of space.

(Are you seeing a pattern with Apple products here?  Me, too.)

Exhibit C:

We would like to buy a house.  Or rather, more specifically, we would like to not live where we are currently living. Chris drives through the most expensive neighborhoods in town and declares that these are the only acceptable neighborhoods that we can live in.  The rest are crap.  Junk.  A waste of space.  And it’s all well and good except that WE CANNOT AFFORD THESE NEIGHBORHOODS.  And so, instead of looking around in neighborhoods that we can afford (which are lovely neighborhoods, by the way), Chris feels that if we can’t afford the nicest neighborhoods in town, then we should stay in our ghetto.  There is no in between with him.  Even though I constantly remind him that the rest of the world lives somewhere in between.

I actually love and hate this quality in Chris.  On one hand, it drives me crazy because while I’m clipping coupons and buying generic rice, Chris is trying to convince me that he NEEDS, CAN’T POSSIBLY LIVE WITHOUT, MAY ACTUALLY DIE if he doesn’t get an iPad.  Which, allow me to remind you, would be our third computer.  And while I’m afraid to go outside my house at night and can’t leave my curtains open during the day, Chris is campaigning for a house in the most expensive part of town.

These are the things that drive me crazy.  Absolutely crazy.  Because I’m always the one having to say no.  It makes me constantly feel like a wet blanket.

But on the other hand, Chris’ belief that we should have the best of the best means that, while it takes us a little longer to save for the things he deems “worthy,” we usually end up with quality that we don’t have to replace every couple of years.  And I understand that.  And on most days, I even appreciate that.  Looking back on significant purchases we have made, I’ve been happy that we made them.  I like that our stuff lasts and that, if it doesn’t, Chris has usually gone the extra mile and gotten the expensive warranty so it gets replaced easily.

Sometimes though, I am ready for something immediately.  Today, for example, I am ready to immediately move out of this house.  But if we stick with Chris’ plan of shooting for the best we can possibly get, it might be a while and I’m going to have to be patient.

More than the patience thing though, what really drives me crazy about Chris is that somehow he always manages to make it work out how he wants it to.  And it never ends up costing us more than we originally had to spend.  I don’t know how he does it.  But I can see that it is about to happen again with our house.

Chris decided that he wanted to live in this one particularly nice neighborhood.  I couldn’t argue with him.  It’s beautiful.  I wanted to live there, too.  But I kept telling him we couldn’t afford it and that we needed to move on.  And what did Chris decide to do?  He decided to start looking for houses in the neighborhood that are being foreclosed on.  Even the foreclosures aren’t really in our price range though, but Chris kept on looking.  And what do you think he found this weekend?  He found a house that someone started renovating.  They put in this really expensive kind of tile, granite counter tops, uber chic bathrooms.  They got mostly through the renovations and they apparently ran out of money and foreclosed on the house.  So now, this home is being offered as-is for about $150,000 less than the average selling price in the neighborhood.  And because Chris is able to do most home renovations himself, he thinks he can finish what they started (i.e. the kitchen needs half it’s cabinets; but in exchange for that it has brand new, top of the line, stainless steel appliances…).

Now, we haven’t been inside the house yet so goodness knows what we’re going to find.  And even if we find that it is perfect, things still might not be able to work out and this house may not be The One for us.  But it just showed ONE MORE TIME that Chris always manages to get exactly what he wants, even if he has to work a little harder to get it.  Even when I hold his feet to the fire and say that we absolutely cannot possibly afford any more than X amount of money on a house, he manages to find just what he wants in the exact place he wants it for the exact amount of money that I set.  HOW DOES HE DO THAT?!?!?!?

I think it takes both Chris and I to make important financial decisions.  I bring a perspective on things that he doesn’t have when I talk about details like resale value, school zones, down payments, etc.  Chris factors those things in and works within the limits that I reasonably set and then balances out our decision making by continuing to keep his standards high.

Adult decisions are really hard.  Especially when you’ve got to find a solution that satisfies both you and your partner.  But I think that’s where respect and trust comes into a marriage.  I know Chris respects me and so I trust that when he sets his mind to something, he’s going to make sure that we work together responsibly and within our means to achieve it.  It took a while to build that level of trust with Chris.  It took much longer to build that kind of trust, actually, than it did to trust him in our relationship.

It’s easy to trust that someone loves you, but it’s much harder to trust someone with your checking account.

But in marriage, you need both kinds of trust.

What I do not trust is that Chris will have the will power to wait for the new iPhone until Christmas (when we’ve agreed to buy him one).  I most certainly do not trust him with Apple products.  That’s the next level of trust we are working on…

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44 Thoughts to “Fine Living According to My Husband”

  1. I am so much like your husband. And my husband is just like you!

  2. Good luck with the house! Sounds like a great opportunity IF it’s The One for you! What is it with some men and Apple products? I could care less about the new iphone (I have the regular ol’ 3G and it works perfectly fine) and ipad that get ’em drooling? Someone in Apple’s marketing department really knows what they are doing!

  3. Ha! You may not trust your Chris around Apple products, I don’t trust mine around anything “football”. I am waiting to pull into my driveway and see a Nittany Lion Shrine on our front lawn. Oh, it’ll happen. Just wait.

  4. House hunting could be a nightmare. Sounds like you two are in it together and that’s what matters. Good luck!

  5. I married that guy too only mine has no ability to wait whatsoever and the results to our finances are . . . undesirable.

    He did manage to con his company into getting him an ipad. I have to say that while it’s cool and a fun conversation piece, it is not as useful as a laptop. IMHO (and Rich’s too actually) if you have an iphone and a laptop, the ipad is superfluous.

  6. Cavegirl

    oh boy! your husband and mine are so much alike, especially with the apple products. don’t even get me started on the darn i phones…. same goes with the house thing. last year my husband comes to me and says “i think we should build a house”. i told him he was mad and that there was no way we could afford it. he proceeded to show me a budget with everything laid out and how much money we would need for down payment, closing costs and all that stuff. and sure enough, he was right. it wasn’t easy but here we are in a beautiful new house that we designed and worked our butts off for and its perfect!

    good luck with the house search! i loathe moving and hopefully will never have to do that again.

  7. I totally see how that would be frustrating… but it also sounds kind of like a super power! Best Deal Man!

    Crossing my fingers that you get your dream house at your dream price.

  8. Ana

    That is awesome that Chris can work with those parameters and make things happen so he can reach his dreams!

    Now for the apple matter.. I think you are on to something.. Apple must put guy crack in their products.. JUST this past Friday… I was at the mall with my boyfriend looking at an IPad.. and he was telling me all the reasons why he NEEDED one.. I am sorry but I don’t get it! Everything it does.. he can do on his Iphone already OR his laptop or both!

  9. “It’s easy to trust that someone loves you, but it’s much harder to trust someone with your checking account.” Oh what a great quote!

    We are selling our home in hopes of moving closer to my hubby’s work and that area happens to be 2-3 times as expensive as where we live now! My husband is the same way as Chris. He has picked out neighborhoods that are so expensive and looks at houses a little to much out of our price range, but is determined that’s where we need to end up rather than “settle” for something less.

    I guess its good that we pick men who set the bar high and reach for it rather than someone who just “settles”.

    Best of luck!!

    Cabin Fever in Vermont

  10. Crossed fingers for a good result with the house so that you can get out of the place you’re in now! =) It sounds like even if THIS one doesn’t work out, Chris will work some magic and make something great materialize. I hope so!

  11. I think that Chris sounds like an awesome shopper.

    And I totally understand his problem with Apple products. Totally. I think I might have a problem. 🙂

    Marla @ http://www.asthefarmturns.wordpress.com

  12. Oh goodness… my husband is the same way. He’ll be just fine and happy for a little while and then he gets a case of the ‘I wants’. And when that happens, all of a sudden he comes up with every reason possible that he or we need a new laptop or ipad or sports car or whatever it is that month that he’s obsessed with, and he tries to tell me how it will all work out with the money or that we’ve done really well in the stock market this month…. yeah, right.

    It took me a little while to figure out his ‘I wants’. I used to fall victim to them and agree that we needed whatever it was. But now I’ve learned to fight against it and be the voice of reason. Usually after a couple of weeks he calms down.

  13. Oh I can relate! Not completely but I can relate!

  14. Lisa

    Sounds like my hubby, though my hubby gets buyer’s guilt about 10 seconds after the credit card is swiped and I’m the once convincing him that he needed to buy that expensive toy, etc which it totally bad but doesn’t happen with everything.

    Look on the bright side, he chose you as his wife, he deemed you to be one of the finer things of life, which makes you champagne or creme brulee if you will 🙂 And not jello 😉

  15. dear katie
    this was an excellently written piece. i especially like that you ended with the apple products which you began with. and the exhibits were a very nice touch.
    love, melissa

  16. Jessica W

    Matt is not allowed to go into Best Buy unsupervised. I’m not allowed to go into Home Depot or Lowes. Sometimes trust is knowing limitations. 🙂 You guys make a great team!!

  17. Kat

    I love this post because 1- My husband, too, wants the new iPhone (his is less than 1 year old) and the new iPad (for which we literally have no use). But unlike your reasonable husband who waits patiently and gets what he wants for the right price, mine just likes to get the new things. And 2-I, too, hate being the nay-sayer. But finding that balance is all part of marriage I suppose. Good luck with the home purchase!!!

  18. Tressa

    Sounds like Chris is somebody I want to do my shopping!!

    Good luck with the house hunting, not a fun thing, but Chris may make it happen!!! Just don’t leave him alone with the checkbook 😉

  19. Emily

    Has Chris joined a gospel choir and you forgot to mention it?

  20. Shana

    Well, I guess you should actually feel quite special that he chose you!! 😉

    Good luck with the new house and I agree, you must get out of that bad neighborhood ASAP!

  21. Jenn

    Good luck with the house hunting. One piece of advice: If you want to move out of the ghetto in the next 6 months DO NOT buy a short sale or foreclosure; especially if owned by BOA. We’re going through it now and we signed our contract March 23rd (accepted March 24th) and we still don’t have a closing date. It’s a nightmare. In the end we’ll be glad to get a good deal on the house but the headache of it all almost isn’t worth it. Defiantly the most stressful thing we’ve ever been though.

    We looked for 4 months because hubs is like Chris and I’m like you. Sure would be nice if we all could afford the best of the best!

  22. I read your blog regularly in my reader but I have to be honest I don’t usually click through to comment. But today I just had to respond!

    My dear,wonderful husband has this same “challenge” of being drawn to anything that seems to be “bigger or better” than something we already have. It’s a painful battle, that sometimes I win and oftentimes I lose!

    He also has a horrible case of “electronics envy”. So, if he knows someone who gets a new “toy” he immediately needs to have one himself. It’s amazing that I’m married to a 5 year old in a 35 year old body!

    My most recent struggles with hubby’s need to upgrade:

    http://thehubbydiaries.wordpress.com/2010/01/14/i-think-we-need-to-upgrade/

  23. I think they should start 12 step programs for Apple addicts…does he have an i-Pod touch, too? I don’t get the fascination with these things…why can’t you just use a phone to make calls?

  24. Mallory

    Wait til Christmas to get the phone – there’ll probably be 3 more out by then anyway haha.

    Good luck with the house!

  25. I think it’s fantastic that you have a husband who is always aspiring for a better life for his family. It is such a wonderful quality to pass on to your kid(s). Working hard to get what you want in life and not settling for less. Great Chris!

  26. Good for you. I hope the house works out.
    I do not trust Apple either. My husband is the kind to get himself an iphone and not me. Just because I lose, drop, break things. (Is that any way to treat an accident prone wife?)

    Nice to meet you. This is my first visit. Can’t wait to read more.

  27. May I just say, for the record, that I am about 99% positive that we are married to the same man. Even when my sister reads your blog, it reminds her of my husband. There are no differences. It leads me to wonder, did Chris’ education have a concentration in some sort of engineering????

    1. Katie

      This is really going to freak you out – but he did have a concentration in engineering. Maybe we ARE married to the same person!

      1. I try to explain to people that life as an engineer’s wife takes loads of patience and the blog post you wrote is one of the biggest reasons why! And then there is the part where EVERY purchase takes insane amounts of research due to the whole wanting the best and getting the best price. It gets ridiculous sometimes…but we always get the best and save money doing it!

        PS: If you dont stop responding to my comments, I really am going to assume that we are BFFs and go ahead and invite you to my next party. It’s July 24th so save the date! 😛

  28. courtney

    You and Chris remind me so much of my husband and me. I wanted a Kindle for my b-day/mother’s day, but my husband decided that we needed an ipad instead of a kindle. Now first off, an ipad costs quite a bit more than the kindle. Secondly, we have 2 laptops and a netbook (and my work laptop). So we do not need the ipad, however since my husband thinks we do I do not have a kindle. I just noticed that kindles are even cheaper now . . .

  29. Catherine

    Ooo! I hope this house works out! What a great opportunity for an investment and a great new neighborhood. I’ll be crossing my fingers for you guys! (Plus, I’ll sleep better when I know you’re out of your current neighborhood.)

  30. I personally think you should move to whatever neighborhood would be least likely to be infested with snakes.
    You think Chris is bad? My ex-boyfriend had a collection of iPod and iPhone boxes. At least 6, probably. It’s more of a question of what iPods he hasn’t owned than he has.

  31. Katie~ Re the iphone, chances are the 5th version will be out by Christms. Re: The ipad.. does Chris realize that there is no way possible to replace the battery when it dies? Meaning you have to replace the whole ipad if you don’t wat to use it while plugged in only.

  32. Laura

    Good luck with the house! It sounds like you two really complement each other in the end – though I’m sure you drive each other crazy in the decision making process :).

  33. With this economy it’s a scary time to make big purchases, but WOW! what amazing deals are out there in real estate! I hope you find something that will be perfect for you guys, now is the time!

  34. Our husbands sound SOOO much alike! I really hope you get the house, we also bought a foreclosure that needed work (and still does), but it is really nice having a house that 1. we can afford and 2. we can really make our own. I hope things go well!

  35. I think it’s truly amazing how we are paired with people that help to balance us out.

    I can NOT imagine how you are feeling living in the ghetto with your baby and I can NOT blame you in the slightest for wanting out yeseterday! I will say a prayer and keep my fingers crossed that things work out and you are outta there before you know it!

    🙂

    Megan

    http://reddirtandcrazy.blogspot.com/

  36. Jennifer

    I truly believe the right “things” comes along at the right time. We bought our first home at the end of last May. We had been looking and searching for 4 months. Everything in our price range had something about it we didn’t like and we aren’t handy for a fixer-upper wasn’t for us. The one we did like we lost out on. We were getting frustrated, disapointed and just down about the whole process thinking we’d never find something we could afford in our price range. And then two weeks before we had to give notice at the apartment complex we were living in we found the right house. It was worth the wait. I hope this is your right house Katie. Good luck!

  37. Aaron is the exact same way. This is how I ended up with an iPhone. Dude, I don’t even like talk on the phone! But Aaron wanted an iPhone and gave me this whole schpeel about the plan when you buy two and blah blah blah…and after months of saying no, he just wore me down. I don’t need techno-geek things like Aaron “needs” them. Hell, I didn’t even own a computer or have cable when I started dating Aaron! And I actually had some sort of savings!

  38. Brendy

    You would really enjoy this comic I saw on theoatmeal about buying apple products. http://theoatmeal.com/comics/apple It could not be more true!

  39. I wish this attitude were foreign to me but take “Apple” and replace it with “Microsoft” anything and you would pretty much have my husband.

    Speaking of husbands, I ran into YOURS over the weekend at Pat O’Briens!! I was celebrating a girlfriend’s birthday and saw a Chris-like guy get up and go to the restroom (or bar, I didn’t really pay much attention). I told my husband what was up and he told me to simmer down and stop being a stalker. When “Chris” came back to his seat, he was facing away from me so I couldn’t tell for sure if it was him. But it was driving me batty.

    So (ignoring my husband’s reasonable advice) I decided to go up to him after I had made my way over there to hand our request to the piano man. I said, “Excuse me, you look really familiar, is your name Chris?” Sure enough it was him (which I knew the second I was actually facing him). Anyway, I embarrassed myself sufficiently and told him I was a reader and loved the blog and asked about you and Bean. (Then I instantly felt bad when I remember you had JUST talked about trying to get people to call him Micheal more. DOH!) He was incredibly nice and made me feel a bit less embarrassed.

    I hope he was ok with my barging in and that I didn’t embarrass HIM in front of his (I’m guessing?) coworkers. I hope they know about the blog because I don’t know how else he explained the random chick approaching him in a piano bar. My girlfriend (the birthday girl) assured me that he told them I was hitting on him. THAT didn’t help the embarrassment on my part!

    Anyway, don’t know if he told you about it but I thought I’d ‘fess up and come out of hiding. And assure you that A) I’m not a stalker and B) I wasn’t flirting. 😉

    ~Layne

    1. Katie

      Hi Layne! I was going to do a whole post on your encounter actually!! Chris was so excited he could hardly stand it. I don’t think his head could fit through doorways for two days! He felt like such a rock star! Plus, those were his co-workers. He had mentioned the blog before, but when you came up all his friends were like, “Who ARE you, Chris??!?!” He thought it was awesome! 🙂 So glad you commented! I’ll probably tell Chris’ story tomorrow on the blog, so be sure to look for that!

  40. Okay, I admit, you have me terribly curious about what neighborhood you live in! Mainly because I work in Parramore, and we’re in the midst of writing a grant application for the federal Promise Neighborhoods grant to expand our work into Holden Heights and Washington Shores, so less than ideal neighborhoods around here are kind of on the forefront of my mind. At any rate, this is a great time to buy in Orlando… A friend of mine is foreclosing on her house in College Park right now, and has neighbors that are doing the same thing. C’est la vie.

  41. Andrea B.

    My husband had to have the new Iphone too! (He did get a good deal on it but that’s not the point!) Meanwhile I continue to use the same phone that I have had for 7 years.

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