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.
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 And yet, Apple came out with a new version of this iPhone which now means that said iPhone is out of date.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.
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 Chris now believes we need said iPad because, clearly, what we have been using for the past four years is out of date.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.)
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…