Stranger in a Sorta Strange Land: Home Habits I've Adopted from My Husband

Stranger in a Sorta Strange Land: Home Habits I've Adopted from My Husband

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Carrie McBride
Jul 13, 2015

The way you do things at home is informed by the household you grew up in and the home habits you've created on your own. Moving in with someone is like being a tourist in another country where you speak the same language but have very different cultures. There may be significant overlap but also a culture clash about differing home routines and preferences - some of which you reject (and squabble about!) and others which you come to embrace.

Here are a few formerly-foreign home habits I've taken up from my husband (and let's hear about yours...).

Toilet paper:

No, we don't have the over/under debate at our house (we're both firmly in the over camp) but, as I am reminded each time I visit my mom's house, I was raised on thin, inexpensive toilet paper. I don't remember having an opinion about it as a child and I carried this buying practice, without any thought, into my adult years. When I started spending time at my now-husband's apartment a decade ago I did take notice of his thick, plush t.p. but I assumed he was just trying to impress me. But after moving in together and doing my first "shop" for the house, well...he was not impressed by my chintzy toilet paper choice. Thicker toilet paper is quite more expensive (I get your thinking, mom!), but I begrudgingly purchased it for my husband's sake. I never disputed its superiority, but it just didn't seem worth the extra money. Ten years later and I think it's totally worth it and I happily include it in our small household extravagances.

Paying for having the laundry done:

I've been a renter for twenty years and only one apartment - my first - had a washer/dryer in the unit or building. For years I was a quarter-hoarder and made a weekly trip to the laundromat. Laundromats can seem almost romantic in the movies with the potential for making meaningful connections with strangers over the folding table. But in reality laundromats can be hot, depressing places with intense jockeying for empty dryers. My husband was baffled that I would choose to spend a few hours a week doing my own laundry instead of dropping it off and paying more to have someone else do it for me. It was more than penny-pinching for me though. I found the idea of someone else handling my clothes disconcerting. I kept up the practice of doing my own laundry for a while, but, in a pinch one day, dropped it off and never looked back. I still dislike paying for it, but agree with my husband that at this point in my life (with a job and two kids) my time is better spent on other things (like vacuuming).

Eating salad after the entrée:

As a kid, salad was a regular part of dinner at our house. Nothing fancy - iceberg lettuce, tomato, cucumber and maybe carrot. And it was always the first thing we ate, like a warm-up to the main event. My husband's father is Italian and he grew up eating salad after the main dish - always. The first time my husband cooked dinner for us I was...confused to be presented with a salad at the end of the meal. But it was one of those things that seemed important to my husband and not very important to me so that's how we started eating - and now I like it. Knowing there's a salad waiting for me helps curb my eating a bit. Instead of having seconds, I save room for salad.

Okay, these are just three little home habits of my husband's that I've adopted - what are yours? (My list of his home habits I've rejected is a much longer list...)

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