Friday, February 3, 2012

The Friday 4: Traits I Hope We Don't Pass On

So, I've decided this is going to be my little theme for the next few weeks, traits I hope Brad and I do - and don't - pass on to our little guy. We'll start with the don'ts first to get 'em out of the way. 

4.  Brad's money-sense 

Even though Brad does all the banking (I'm not confident I could even write a check without at least minor assistance : / ), I'm the money mind in our family. When he got his first credit card at, I think, age 23, he joked, "Free money!" and while that's humorous as a joke, were I not there to insist that the balance be paid every month in full, he might have just spent the next year (till we got married) treating that plastic like an orange tree sprouting dollar bills. 

It's not that my husband is wasteful or self-indulgent - he's not. He doesn't buy cd's or clothes or movies, he doesn't spend money at the bar, etc., nor does he complain about not doing so. But when he goes to the grocery store, for example, he puts the things he/I/we want into the cart without checking the price (while I'm like, "$4 for a bag of chips?! No way!") and if I said, "Let's go on vacation," he'd give the thumbs up without thinking twice. And when we first met, I had thousands of dollars in the bank at age 18, while at age 20 he had a "Spend it the second you get it" philosophy. 

Also, he's not really a planner, so he doesn't create big picture plans with our money. It's just not how he operates. Happily, he very much appreciates my ability to do so. Which means I formulate most of our money goals and ideas, which works out well since I'm a bit of a, er, well, control freak. 

3.  My impatience 

It's no secret to anyone who knows me that I can't wait two seconds for anything. I'm easily agitated when things aren't going snap snap snap, and as soon as things seem not to be working out right away, I'm convinced they're going all awry. In fact, I'm too impatient to even write more about this topic :). 

2.  Our collective eating habits 

My husband's idea of "dinner" is a plate of Tyson chicken tenders/fingers: honey, southern style, crispy, original, honey bbq - if you can name the flavor, on any given day, there's a 50% chance you'll find a bag of it in our freezer. And if I didn't constantly have an aneurysm over the price, he'd go through a bag of Hershey's Kisses all by his lonesome every week. 

Yes, this looks gross - but it's this close
to looking good 
And believe me, I'm not much better. I'm a drink-a-holic (sans alcohol of course), and I would pick a Starbucks, Mt. Dew, IBC Black Cherry, or any number of juices over food most days of the week. I swear half my calories come in liquid form. Like, I got have my drinks. And until I was pregnant and getting sick if I didn't eat early in the day, I usually had my first bite of food circa 3 p.m., sometimes later. And that food was usually pizza or something nutritionally similar. 

So, we're not exactly health gurus in this household. And that's going to have to change, I know, once baby gets big enough to model his eating on ours. But that's gonna be a huge endeavor - you know, undoing just about 30 years of attitudes, preferences, and habits toward one of life's most enjoyable staples . . . . 

1.  My critical-ness/judgmentalness 

I can admit it - I'm too critical of everything. The brash color of the news anchor's lipstick is just as likely to get a comment from me as is the ridiculously unkempt house/yard/driveway down the block. And I'm equally critical of myself, sometimes too much so. 

I haven't been doing a stellar job of this, but I have lately been making little efforts to just button my lips whenever possible. This isn't to say that I don't think a lot of not-that-nice things, but the first step toward being less critical seems, to me, not saying all of them out loud. Which is, I must say, difficult in the environment of grad school where pretty much all everyone does is gossip (it helps to keep you sane, as Jo says). 

Regardless, it seems like the attempt to not pass on the judgmental gene to my little guy begins with him not hearing me cast aspersions left and right 24/7.

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