Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Deep, Cleansing Breaths

I should start out this post by saying that JP doesn't read this blog. He could, of course, and I've even bookmarked it on his computer, thinking he should have easy access to anything a stranger in Minnesota might be reading about him. But when I asked him a few months ago if he ever read it he said no, not since Landon was born. Since that means I've written 32 months of posts that he hasn't seen, I asked why he didn't want to check to make sure I wasn't saying anything bad about him. He looked at me, wide eyed, and replied, "but what could you say?" An insufferable response if it weren't so true. He's a pretty awesome husband, dad, and best friend and I rarely have any complaints. The ones I do have- his passionate and time-consuming love affair with swimming, his dogged determination to forge an unconventional career path no matter how uncomfortable it makes me- these are frustrations I accept because even with them, he truly is the more giving half of this marital partnership. He's dragged himself out of bed on many a morning when it wasn't his turn and I can't say I've done the same. He's a keeper, even if he likes to soak pans that don't need it.

But I hung up on him today -- slammed the phone down in a desperate attempt to avoid screaming profanities into the receiver with my door open and my co-workers, the ones who remark that I'm always so cheerful and smiley, in hearing range.

You see I did our taxes back in January. I had one portion remaining, the one about any personal business deductions or expenses, and I've been asking repeatedly since January 20th for JP to look at it regarding the swim school. He finally told me on Friday that we didn't need to add anything about the company and I immediately filed the taxes that night. Then today he called to let me know that oh! he happened to read through all the papers the swim school's CPA sent him over a month ago and it turns out we're supposed to file something with our personal taxes and there's some deductions we can take and we're supposed to get an extra refund because the partners overpaid on their business taxes. Isn't that great?!

I should also add, just to complete the picture, that I had just spent 5 hours over 2 days and 4 phone calls battling with our insurance company to cover my weekly progesterone shots. The ones that will cost a total of $300 and should prevent another $55,000 NICU bill. And also, some of my other OB claims were submitted incorrectly, so it turns out I paid more than I should have, and it will take hours of phone calls to get reimbursed for them- and no one would have ever told me I overpaid if a co-worker hadn't happened to mention on Monday that certain categories of maternity costs are covered at 100% under our plan regardless of whether the deductible has been met. And I pay nearly $1,000/month for this insurance. And it is a good plan, and I'm grateful for it, but my god it should not be this hard to get the things I'm paying for paid for.

So it was not a good time for JP to cheerfully inform me that he had discovered the answer to the tax question I'd been asking him for 7 weeks, 4 days after I submitted our taxes. In fact, he is very lucky I hung up because otherwise I probably would have turned it into a fight the likes of which we haven't seen since 2003 when we broke up for 5 months.

I grabbed my keys and went out to run errands. I find them soothing because of their productivity and the ability they give me to cross things off my to-do list. I picked up this owl at Target for the baby's nursery:

and hugged it in my arms as I shopped around the store. I also got a fabulous pair of gold sandals at DSW for $9 after a bunch of coupons and found a changing pad cover in the perfect shade of green at Babies R Us.

I returned to my office feeling calm and re-centered. I no longer wish to physically harm my spouse. I have in fact spoken with him in a pleasant manner and told him about my stuffed owl and golden shoes (about which he was far more enthusiastic than normal), and informed him that he will fix the tax problem and I'm not going to remind him about it. It's not even going on my list. I'm just going to ask about it sometime in May and my god it had better have been done. But I love you! and sorry about the slamming of the phone thing. Let's get ice cream after dinner tonight, yes?


  1. Wow, you are way calmer than I am. My husband would have gotten an earful and a large charge on his credit card bill for that one. I hate being the one that does the taxes while he complains that our refund isn't big enough even though I've explained a million times that a refund shouldn't be big because it means you way overpaid.

    BTW, my husband also soaks pans that don't need soaking. He does this because it drives me nuts and he knows I will end up finishing scrubbing and drying them myself rather than let them sit in the sink. I have a serious pet peeve about anything being left in my sink especially overnight. There is just something really unappealing about dirty dishes floating in dirty water before I've had my coffee in the morning that skeeves me out.

    As for insurance companies, it took me 8 months of appeals and denials to get one RSV shot covered for Bear. It was a nightmare and the shot was $1,600.00. Crazy, right? In the end I won and the insurance paid 800.00 for the shot because apparently they get a 50% discount even though I would have had to pay 1600.00 if they hadn't eventually covered it. Gah!!

    Ice cream after dinner does make everything better though.

  2. I totally agree about things left in the sink; I don't like anything left in there for longer than 5 minutes, ever. I will say that JP doesn't do it so that I will finish the job - he always goes back and does it, but still, it's usually for a pot that boiled noodles or something. There is no reason for soaking! The pot could be back in its home under the stove, and isn't that such a better place for it than on my counter?

    This is the first year I've done our taxes. It was an adventure I will not be repeating. The person with the JD and bachelors in philosophy and biology really should not be doing them over the person with an MBA and bachelors in finance. I was just too eager to see if we owed anything; next year I will find the patience to wait until JP does them, or I will tie him to a desk chair when I can wait no longer. The latter is far more likely to happen first.

  3. OY. My blood pressure rises for you. I take care of all those niddling little things in our relationship, too, and it drives me positively around the bend when John casually mentions "oh, did you do this?" or "why isn't that happening faster?" or "oh, did I tell you I found the new insurance cards that came in the mail to my office a few weeks ago?" (after I'd asked him repeatedly and had been hounding the insurance company on the phone to send replacement cards because the ones they sent had apparently gotten lost in the mail....)

  4. What a great post. I find it so scary to be really angry sometimes - especially with people that I really love (I think because of growing up in an angry household). It sounds like hanging up was the perfect way to handle the situation. Hope you enjoy the ice cream! :)

  5. Love it, only because it makes me feel normal. I am definitely a much better wife after getting some perspective often brought by the joy of a tiny purchase, such as nail polish or the perfect pillow. Oh, and I think the pan soaking is a universal man thing. Once I decided to be zen about it and just let it soak for as long as he thought it was necessary. Apparently that was more than 5 days, because after 5 days, I washed it myself.

  6. Lag - you beyond crack me up. Be thankful the slamming of the phone at least sent home the message you were upset. My husband would have assumed I just dropped the phone on accident - and continued to annoy the pee outta me the rest of the day! :) And I SO SO SO know the speed of man... if I am suppose to tend to something, I better have it done within the next hour. Daryl??? Oh gawd, FIVE years later in this house, and the garbage disposal is still in the box - under the sink!

    And yeah - pan soaking is a man thing.

    I work for an insurance company, if you think anyone looks at the cost of a NICU stay vs the shots - you are sadly mistaken. Throw me an email if I can help sort out that nightmare.


  7. I know you were angry but I really had to laugh out loud - this post should have a heading NSFW (laughter may result)

    You write so very, very well.

    I loved the "An insufferable response if it weren't so true" - have you been reading Jane Austen lately? And the last paragraph is simply hilarious - the best comedy is based in truth!

  8. Marriage ... ain't it grand? :D

  9. Preggo rage doesn't help. I came very close to beating my husband to death with a half-eaten shoe because he left the dog out and she ate one of my favorite pairs of shoes. He's lucky to be alive. Although I would probably be that pissed even not being pregnant...

    I know all about the insurance crap. Giving hands when you pay your premiums turn to giving you the finger when you file a claim. (Sayeth my Insurance Law prof) I had epic issues with the RSV shot, definitely. They think if they dick you around long enough, that you'll finally give up and just pay the bills yourself. I just start shrieking at them about bad faith, and write nasty letters that I resend on a daily basis until they pay my $20 claim.

  10. nothing is so horrible that a little shopping can't fix! That owl is so cute! I can't wait to see final pics of the nursery!

  11. My husband soaks glasses he used for water and juice. I win.