Chapter Nine – Togetherness

Wow! We’re together, forever!!!!

Screech! Stop@#$@#$@$@#$#@$!!!

Did you just say forever? Gee, let’s let that sink in for a mo. Wow. Forever is a really long time. Yikes!

Forever can be a very long time, especially since people are living longer. So…on to annoying habits. What are they?

Annoying habits are not really deal breakers such as: physical violence, untreated drug addiction, abusive behavior whether it is physical, verbal, mental or emotional; done in private or in public, abuse is abuse. Also, chronic womanizing (unfaithful), chronic unemployment, blaming others for their lives or fates, constant criticizing others for whatever reason: their race, beliefs, attitudes, schooling, etc. etc. You need to be aware of these traits in your intended as these can be, and should be, Very (!) red flags.

So stepping down from the top violators, what things are annoying but not ‘deadly?’

Lack of generosity – miserliness – penny pinching. Mr. Wonderful may have some habits like: he forgets his wallet when you are out on a date, he doesn’t have enough money in the wallet, his credit card is maxed out, he wants you to always ‘pay your share,’ or maybe pay his share too.

Individuals (of either sex,) who are miserly usually never see themselves as such. They are frugal, careful with money, don’t like to be taken advantage of, saving for a rainy day, saving for a car, a house, a striped Bengal tiger. You name it. There is something out there that is Important! that they are saving their shekels for and that does not include this lunch, movie, dinner, so on. You get the picture.

I would venture a guess that these traits and habits are ones of long standing. It is unlikely that your pouting about it, pulling a face, patting your foot, is ever going to change it. Contrary wise, you might be happily surprised that your beloved has money in the bank, can pay for gasoline, is contributing to a 401k plan and has other good and conscientious money habits. Perhaps and perhaps not. Sometimes only time will tell on this one. To put your mind at rest, there is nothing wrong with full disclosure to each other of your full financial portfolio, both assets and liabilities. This could prevent some nasty surprises later on.

However; back to Mr. Stingy. I have heard many times from men, “I don’t believe in Valentine’s Day. It’s just a commercial gimmick to squeeze money out of people.” Ok, maybe so. However, that thinking can then domino into the same thinking for birthdays, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. There is a lot of commercialization for all these events, that’s no reason to give up on traditions and throw the baby out with the bath water.

After you have been with your beloved for over 6 months (more like one year,) and you don’t get anything for Valentine’s Day and/or your birthday card is one to two weeks late, or none, it’s time to get really clear. Pick you battles. If you can let Valentine’s Day slide, okay. Your birthday, no.

You are permitted to give your beloved ‘reminders’ of the upcoming date. Mark his calendar, whether desk or wall. Start talking about your upcoming birthday one or two weeks in advance; put some kind of reminder on Facebook, Twitter or any social media he may use. If the “I don’t believe in commercialized events like birthdays….” speech starts, you stop, look him right in the eye and say, “I really expect a card for my birthday and maybe a little something, dinner out, whatever, for that day. If that does not happen, I will be very disappointed.” You have said your piece, shut up and walk away. Whatever you do, do not argue the point, defend yourself or start to defend Hallmarks. Believe me, he will have heard you. If you are still in the dating period, when he should be on his Very Best Behavior, and he refuses to listen to you and your simple request (it is) you need to stop and have a think. Do you want to be tied to a man who has so little care about what his partner wants, he ignores your requests, just because he thinks it’s silly? Those ski boots he is saving for aren’t ‘silly’ are they?

Other small habits.Stop and think about some of the most annoying habits that people engage in that really get under your skin.

For me, one was at a church discussion group that met weekly. One married man would sit in his chair, pull out his nail clippers and clip his fingernails and let the clippings fall to the carpet. Gak!!!!

Another one, and I know he doesn’t mean anything by it, is a man who is part of another group. This man peppers every sentence or two with “You know,” and then he laughs. After a while I want to scream, “No, I do not know. Why don’t you try to explain it?” Anyway, pretty sure he has done it so long, he doesn’t realize what it sounds like. Also, he comes to the meetings in t-shirts that are covered in food stains. I almost can’t stand to look at his shirts, but my eye is drawn there like some horrible accident on the road you can’t stop looking at.

Lastly is the one where the man dismisses or minimizes your job, your degree (s), your total career, your accomplishments, your medals, prizes, family, whatever. For many people, especially when it comes to college degrees, they never reconcile themselves to the fact that they don’t have one. Since they have basically given up on the idea in general, they seek to ‘level the playing field’ by diminishing the importance of any degree and say things like “Real life work experience is the thing that really counts.”

Well, yes, experience certainly does count. So does having a college degree. If you find yourself at the receiving end of comments like these it may be time to rethink the relationship in general or have a serious talk with your intended.

Well, you know, you have your own list I’m sure. You know?

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