splinters

I have a sneaking suspicion that my husband's one joy in life, the one thing that gets him out of bed every morning, the one thing that fills his heart with joy, is driving me absolutely fucking out of my mind crazy. I think he has amused himself the past 10 years by slowly watching me get twitchier and spazier. I imagine he probably has a few bets down on when the final snap will occur.

Case in point:

We have this dining room table. It's a pretty, antiquey number made from a cherry-ish colored wood. It's been in his family for a while and while we are slowly destroying all it stands for with mashed bananas and chocolate milk stains, we really do like it. It's fancy, and nice.

It has two leaves with it that expand it from a 4 seating or cozy 6 seating table to, I imagine, a ten seating table. We only have 4 dining room chairs, and our chairs are kind of specific and not-so-easy to come by, so I imagine we will only ever have 4 chairs, at least until I get sick of them and buy new ones. Since the baby will be high-chairing it for a while, and since we don't really know anyone to invite to dinner, I feel like we are okay with the four chairs and therefore don't need to put the leaves in that make the table enormous.

My husband begs to differ. He's really into big. Big tv's, big couches, big dictionaries, big macs, big tables. He could not care less that with the leaves in I cannot reach T's plate to cut his steak. It matters not to him that with the leaves in the table takes up every single inch of extra space in my kitchen-with-attached-dining-room. He is not worried in the least that my tablecloth will not reach the ends of the table with both leaves in. He wants those leaves in, goddamnit, and he will not rest until they are in there forever.

This has become a ridiculous passive-agressive sort of argument for us. In the month we have been in this house, I have removed them three times from the table. Mind you, he is only up with us, at the maximum, for one hour every day, and 45 minutes of that is spent in the bathroom showering and shaving and blowdrying his hair. He sits down at that table for maybe one meal a week, if we are lucky. Why on earth he cares about the leaves is beyond me. But he does. Does he EVER.

Tonight, while I was cleaning the bathroom, he was vacuuming the dining room for me. Which was super-nice. He shut all the lights off when he was done and headed off to bed. I went into the dining room after the bathroom was clean to get the dishes washed (maybe he thought that if he couldn't see them thanks to the dark that they would just give up and crawl into the dishwasher themselves) and low and behold, he had wiped down the table when he vacuumed under it. And put both of the leaves back in.

Mother. Fucker.

I am a nice woman, and very patient, but I swear to you I took those fuckers out, held them in my hand and walked towards the fireplace. We could use a nice fire tonight, right? It's cool enough out. It would be romantic.

Alas, I did not burn them. Yet. They are a family heirloom. J got a sternly worded warning, though. And if you start receiving cute little whittled figurines in the mail, you'll know who ultimately won this fight.

help. Seriously, help me. (a long post full of woe)

I need your help. See, the problem is this: I am a nice person. A really nice person. I have a super hard time saying when I'm angry, because I hate the thought of hurting anyone's feelings. The other day, when I called a link Blake gave me stupid and preposterous, it took, literally, everything I had in me to do it and I still feel REALLY bad about it. (It was pretty asinine, to my credit.)

Today, I have to be mean to someone. I have to be utterly, horribly mean, I think, and I need your advice on how to do it. Here's the situation:

My car was picked up for shipment to Canada on June 26. Scheduled delivery to us was July 13th. No problem. A ton of paperwork was filled out and faxed off to the shippers on June 15. If there's one thing I've learned in this move, it's to fill out all the paperwork very carefully. So, car gets picked up, paperwork is all done, no problem, right? Wrong. So very, very wrong.


  • The day the car is picked up (June 26th, a week after I moved) my rep, the "Corporate Coordinator" for my particular auto shipper, he emails me asking for more, new paperwork. Knowing full well that I am in a hotel. Does he call? No, he EMAILS. A week later, when I finally get online, I see the email and now start trying to get my old lienholder (who is a jackass sort of finance company) to type up some letter that they don't want to stating that I paid off my car and notorize it and then fax it to "CC", we'll call him. They do it after a few days of calls ending in J calling and yelling at them.


  • July 18th, (note: 5 days past the ETA on the car) I get the letter I asked the finance company to fax to "CC" in the mail, along with my original title. I email "CC" and tell him I have these papers, and ask if I should send them to him. I will quote you his exact reply. The reply from this man, who is getting paid, um, A LOT of money to ship my car. This man who is 5 days past his deadline.

"Hi Mr. Lady,

I received it. We will file it for entry (*the car). I will keep you posted.

Sincerely,

CC"


Um, OK? That was curt. But, as long as the car gets here, it's fine. It wasn't fine with J, though. He was leaving town and wanted me to have my car. So he called. "CC" said that I could expect my car that Monday the 23rd or Tuesday the 24th.

  • July 25th, (12 days past due) still no car, so I email again. I was nicenicenice, and explained that I really need this car and it's now past the ETA he gave J and could he tell me what's going on.
  • July 26th, (13 days past due) he emails saying that customs wants the original title before they will clear the car. Remember, on July 18th how I asked him if I should send it and he sent me back a short, rude-ish reply saying he didn't need it? So, I email back, kind of annoyed (my head is exploding, but can't hurt his feelings, you know) and say that 'yes I have the title, I emailed you when I got it, remember?'
  • July 27th, (14 days past due) he emails back that I should mail the title to him in New Jersey, from where he can get it to Washington so customs can clear my car.

This is where I lose it completely. Mail to NJ will take, like, a week, and then the overnight to Washington state, so now we're looking at early August before I get my car. I live on the side of a mountain. I have 3 kids and a smallish stroller. I may kill someone soon if I don't get my car.

  • July 28th, (15 days past due) I email and say we may just go get the car ourselves. (did I mention that the car is only 2 hours away, right across the border?) He seems to like this idea and tells me all about how we can do that in his reply.
  • We decide to wait. Getting three kids on a train to Washington, though it sounds like supergreat fun, may be a little beyond my abilities at this point. We can't rent a car because my carseats are all in my car. In Washington.
  • August 4, (22 days past due) a Friday, I email saying that he should be getting the original title that day in the mail and could he let me know when he does since it's the only proof I have that I own the car and I am really nervous to have mailed it. He emails back immedietly saying that he already has the title and will file the car for entry. When I ask how long it takes from here, he replies that he should know something on Tuesday or Wednesday of the next week, since Monday is a holiday in Canada. But my car is not in Canada. It is in Washington, he is in New Jersey. It's not a holiday in any of those places. And I'm pretty sure that the border doesn't close for provincial holidays. But I let it go. He must know something I don't, right?
  • August 8th, (26 days past due) Tuesday. Still no word. I email to ask and he says that I can expect the car on August 10th. I ask how that all works and he explains to me that the car will cross the border, the people delivering it will call me to schedule the drop off, and that's that. Yippee! A car. In TWO DAYS!! We are so happy we could spit.
  • August 10th, (28 days past due) yesterday. No car. I wait by the phone all day. I check the online tracking 5,857 times. It hasn't moved. I email and ask if there is any news. He does not reply. And then I cry.
  • August 11th, (29 days past due) today. I check the email and there is a reply to yesterday's email. Again, let me quote it for you. I don't want you to miss out on the experience of such wonderful customer service.

Hi Mr. Lady,

The vehicle will be ready to cross by Monday.

Sincerely,

"CC"

I am now just about 2 full moths with no car. I would like to strike him down with a very long, very sharp swordish thingy. What do I do? What do I say? How can I possibly reply to this?