It’s a family trait.
Monsieur Stoic, as I may have noted, is a bit anal. He’s can be so literal and so precise at times that you (well, I, really) just want to kick him in the shin. (Note: I am not advocating violence. I’m merely expressing a fantasy.) I am not usually so exact. However, there are moments where the two of us trade roles. The difference is the situation as well as the reaction. When I’m being anal, I freak out. When he’s being anal, he gets really mocking. Let me give you a glimpse of what this is like.
Example A. We are out shopping for groceries. We walk by the milk case, where I open the glass door and reach in for a gallon of 1% milk.
“Don’t grab that one.”
“Check the date on the one behind it.”
“I’m not checking the date. That’s stupid. We’ll go through this gallon in 3 days.”
“Check the date so we have the freshest milk possible.”
“I’m not checking the date,” I say as I set the jug in the cart. He calmly removes it, opens the cooler doors, and swaps it out for a gallon with a use by date 3 days after the one I originally grabbed.
“That was” he chuckles “SO hard, wasn’t it?”
Example B. Since we’re in the process of getting our house ready for sale we need to make things more…presentable. We need new guest bed sheets, so while we’re out and about, I look at sheet sets. (WHY the hell do they make 8 piece sets that have a bunch of stupid pillows and not a single fucking sheet in the set? It makes no sense to me. WHO DRESSES THEIR BED WITHOUT SHEETS?!) I settle on a set that looks nice but has all the necessary pieces and goes with the scheme of the room. I bring it to the cart.
“How much is it?”
Stoic gives me a look. “I’m not paying $80 bucks for a set of sheets.”
I bristle. “Look buddy, I’ve been looking for sheet sets. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a decently priced set of sheets that have everything in it? This is a good deal.”
“We can find it cheaper online. Go put it back.”
I chuckle in that way that suggests I am not amused. “You have to be kidding me.”
“I’m not paying full price for a sheet set.”
“But it’s not full price, that’s the sale price.”
“Not cheap enough. We’ll buy it online.”
I growl, but I walk off with the sheet set to put it back. Should have made him do it.
Example C. We are getting ready to can home made vegetable stock, because it’s cheaper and tastier than that crap you buy in a can at the store. We’ve never used a pressure canner before, but he’s helped his dad make pickles, and we’re pretty good at reading. How hard can it be?
“How much is in there?”
“I don’t know, I’m filling up the measuring cup.”
“Why not use a ladle?”
“Because this is easier.”
“But you’re not filling it up to the 2 cup mark.”
“Then I’ll get some more in there,” he says, moving to dip the cup back in the heated broth.
“Just use a fucking ladle,” I say exasperatedly, shoving one in his hands.
“Wait, you didn’t pour all that in.”
“It doesn’t all fit.”
“But how much did you put in there?”
“I dunno. A cup and a half?”
“Honey, I need to know.”
“I didn’t measure. I can’t tell you,” he replies without sympathy as he loads up the next cup without really looking at the amount.
“HEY.” My frustration is palpable, but he dumps it into the waiting jar anyway. “You need to measure that!”
“It’s not that big a deal.”
I’m more or less panicking, so my voice is getting shrill. “YES, it is. I cook with this stuff, I need to know how much is in there so I don’t have to measure.”
He shrugs. Inside, I’m screaming. I take over filling the jars and learn that a pint jar? Doesn’t actually hold a pint.
“But I need these to hold 2 cups! If it doesn’t hold 2 cups then it messes up my plan!” And I’ll lose my homemaker badge and life will suck and BLARGH. So, in light of this lesson, it makes sense to me to start filling some of the jars in 1 cup increments, so I fill one of the jars half full.
“You can put more than that in there.”
I snap at him, “NO. This is how much is going in this jar because this is a logical amount.”
No conflict until we’re outside with the camp stove and pressure canner. This happens:
“How much pressure is needed?”
“Ten pounds.” Not that I knew, but I had looked it up on the internet BECAUSE THE INTERNET KNOWS EVERYTHING.
Fifteen minutes later….
“Wait, the pressure gauge is reading 11.”
“It’s like cooking with the pressure cooker. You get it up to pressure and have to relieve pressure when there’s too much.”
“How do we relieve pressure on the canner?”
“You don’t. You turn the heat down.”
“But what if it keeps going up? It’s supposed to be at 10!”
“It’s not going to hurt anything if it goes up a little. I wouldn’t let it get to 15 or anything.”
“BUT THE INSTRUCTIONS SAID 10. IT’S AT 11. IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD.”
Of course, after I relent and let the pressure vacillate between 10 and 12 without having a cow, the pressure drops to 8. I start to worry. IF IT’S DOWN TO 8 THEN WE’VE RUINED ALL THE JARS AND WE’VE DONE ALL THIS WORK FOR NOTHING AND OH MY GOD I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW POORLY THIS IS GOING.
Stoic comes out to check on my progress. I’m not visibly upset, but as soon as I open my mouth…
My head explodes.
On second thought, I’m not anal. I’m just neurotic. My bad.