For instance, his shop is neat and immaculate at all times. Pliers are in a certain drawer. Open-end and box-end wrenches are carefully placed on a pegboard in order of size. Screws are sorted and sized. You get the picture. Meanwhile, in the house you will find clutter of various kinds, dust on the furniture, and dishes in the sink. Because I'm in charge.
For tomato cages, I drive steel T-posts in the ground by every plant and put a home-made cage made from six-foot-tall fencing. Cliff makes them for me as needed, and that is something he can do that doesn't cause disagreement. Usually I drive the fence posts myself, but this year, due to lack of rain, I asked Cliff to do it. We got a little rain today, which probably helped the effort, and he drove the first post. Instead of driving the next post, he started to wire the cage to the post.
|The only wire Cliff put in place before our falling-out|
"But it's easier to take the cages off when you're done with them this way."
"But I'm the one who does that, and I don't mind."
"Well that's what I get for trying to help," he answered. "I get beat up for helping."
|Here's how I do it. Not as neat, but it works, and in the fall I don't need wire cutters to take it away.|
"I prefer to just put the cage wires inside and outside the post, and I don't have to use wires to secure it."
He went on with his post-pounding then, and by the time he finished, we seemed to be on speaking terms.
The thing is, he worries about appearance. He likes the corn plants marching like soldiers across the garden, exactly six inches apart. A crooked row gives him nightmares. If too many weeds get ahead of the vegetables, the whole garden gets plowed up. This is why I try my best to keep him out of the garden, and it is why he sincerely tries to stay out of it.
So, I once again make a note to myself not to ask Cliff for help. For the last couple of years I've driven the posts in with a post-driver myself, and I think it would be good for my marriage if I do it in the future.