Thursday, December 01, 2005

Power Of Suggestion

Yesterday, Toby came home for lunch with a look in his eyes that said I'm-ready-to-conquer-the-world-if-my-finances-are-okay as he punched away at his calculator wrist watch. He didn't seem too interested in lunch as he wandered around the house with a tape measure and pencil and a much too small stocking cap on his head.

After making his food, I searched the house looking for him and found him measuring our room.

"Are you ready to get new carpet, Hun?" was his greeting as he scrawled another number on his little stick-it pad.

"Carpet?" I asked.

He looked at me with a pleased grin and with a note of triumph in his voice said, "Yep."

My only wise response was, "Are you sure we can afford it?" As soon as I said it I wanted to suck the words out of the air and into my stomach, even if they would've given me a stomach ache to eat them.

I should know that before Toby even puts gas in the car, he makes sure our budget can accommodate it. And to put carpet in our house would give him even more reason to analyze and critique our finances.

He overlooked my question and informed me of the allotted allowance he had set aside for this new project and where exactly the money was coming from and how it would be handled.

I raised my eyebrows in shock and excitement and went back downstairs to stir the soup, trying to adjust to this new idea.

Eventually he came down stairs and I could hear him counting the steps as he made his way down. As he went to the table, he jotted down another number and ate his dinner while he read a book.

In no time, he was done and standing at the door with the pencil and paper and stocking cap and telling me to get the baby so we could run to the carpet store and pick out carpet.

I should know by now that when Toby sets his mind to do something, he goes all the way. But, for some reason when he was measuring the rooms, I inwardly assumed I'd have a couple days to digest the plans. He wasn't even giving me an hour to think about it.

I was thrilled to go pick out the carpet right then. I love picking out carpet and other such house hold items and to be kept waiting in order to digest an idea, well, sometimes that can be annoying. We went and picked out a few samples and came home.

Later that night, I knew the time had to come to finalize our choices. I washed my hair and showered, put on a pleasant night gown and arranged the sample boards across our bedroom floor. Of course, I would've washed me and made me clean had we not been deciding on carpet but since we were doing both that night, I made sure to plan them together. Adds to the effect somehow.

Toby sauntered in and informed me right up front that whatever I chose would be fine with him.

I assured him I knew that but would really appreciate his suggestions. I don't like making such life changing choices by myself -- like picking out carpet that we'll have to live with for the next 25 years.

He put his chin in his hands and intently peered at the samples for our room. I pointed at one and he agreed. We moved to the hall's carpet choices.

We both pointed to the same one at the same time and deemed that one chosen for the hall and steps. We moved on.

As we picked the final choices for the other two rooms, he'd say one choice; I'd say another. We'd discuss differences and details and then make a choice. Then I'd pick another one and then he'd point out yet another one. Finally, we were moving to actual colors (like blue, green, etc.) even though from the beginning we had both agreed that staying neutral (like tan, grey, etc.) would be best.

Just out of the blue, I pointed to a pleasant blue Frieze
. He immediately liked it and said to go with that for what will be Landon's room. I said something to the effect of what if our next child is a boy; then Janae would get that room. (It's the smallest room and would suit one child better than two.)

"What if the next one is a girl?" Was the response I got -- as if there could be another sex besides boy or girl.

And then he said, "That's a nice color; it would work for a girl... it's kind of a grey blue color."

It was a nice color and I was half tempted. But what he said next only confused me.

"It really isn't blue anyway; it looks grey. Yeah, it's a grey color," he finished with.

I blinked my eyes and searched the very fibers of the carpet for some obvious strand of grey.

"That's as blue as you can get, Hun... sorta a grey blue shade but everybit of it is blue." I couldn't see how he didn't get it.

"Fine," he said as he shrugged his shoulders. "You pick out the carpet... this is why you should just do it yourself because you don't like my suggestions." And he went back to his book, as if the fact that I didn't agree with his all his choices made it so the previous agreeable choices were obsolete.

"Well, my dear Hun, remember I said I wanted your suggestions?" and I really did mean it. "I didn't tell you that you had to pick out the carpet -- I just wanted your suggestions."

He kind of nodded his head and agreed and was relieved the weight of the carpet was off his shoulders. He pointed at another color with his toe and then suggested we should just go to bed and look at them in the morning. The light would be different and would make the colors more obvious.

I agreed on that suggested choice and we headed to bed.

Sometimes power of suggestion is the most effective; other times, well, a suggestion is just another choice. If only some people would realize that.

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