4 Things My Wife Has Made Me Better At

My wife makes me a better person. I know that sounds like something a wife would make a husband say, but it’s the truth, my wife did make me say it. She’s standing over my shoulder.*

Moving along now. I’m not always a very practical person. I think dreams were meant to be chased, no matter how naive or impractical, and money buried in the backyard because banks are not to be trusted. That’s how my brain works. My wife knows that. As such, she does her best, little by little, to make me a more practical, functioning member of society. It’s not easy, but I like to think she has succeeded. At least a little bit. Here are four things—practical things—my wife has made me better at since we first met on that joyous April day almost four years ago.

Paying bills. I like to think I’m pretty good when it comes to money management. And that may be true to a certain extent; I don’t spend a lot. It’s in my nature. For example, whenever my wife is at the store and asks if we need anything, my default answer is always, “NO! NOW GET BACK TO THE HOUSE BEFORE YOU BLOW THE CHEDDARS GIFT CARD TOO!” Even if we desperately need food, or haven’t had any deodorant for two and a half months, I’ll tell her we’re good. We don’t need to be spending that kind of money. However, my affinity for not spending money affects my ability to pay bills. If it were left up to me, most of our bills wouldn’t get paid because they’d be sitting in a drawer somewhere with me assuming it would all work out because my intentions are good and come on everybody let’s be happy. It’s just easier that way. Thankfully, my wife is there to tell me that kind of behavior, however logical to me, is in fact ludicrous. Now pay the freaking bill, Devon.

Making a resume. My wife has helped me get at least two jobs since we’ve been together. Probably more. Some of that is because she’s applied to a few jobs for me—some I knew about and some I didn’t—and filled out the questions entirely. But some of that is also because she’s improved my resume immensely. For perspective, here’s a picture of what my resume looked like before her influence:

Needless to say, I wasn’t getting a lot of callbacks. Now, however, with my wife’s influence, I have a working resume that got me a job and is no longer a picture of a sandwich.

Locating things in obvious places. I have a difficult time finding things. For instance, not too long ago, my wife asked me to get a new trash bag to replace the trash bag we had just removed. No problem, I said. I was already in the kitchen and, according to my wife and TIME magazine, I’m an incredible husband. I looked under the sink and saw no bags. Apparently we were out. I relayed this information to my wife with my deepest regret. Unconvinced, she scurried to my location and looked under the sink. A triumphant smile crept across her face (all husbands know this smile). She then, with a startling amount of satisfaction, pointed out three boxes of trash bags, for a grand total of ninety trash bags. I also lose my keys almost daily. With my wife’s guidance, however, I am making progress.

Plunging toilets. My wife and I have lived together for a few years now. Inevitably, we’ve encountered a few clogged toilets along the way. At this point I’m quite comfortable with the scenario, but pretty terrible with a plunger. I don’t know what it is—poor technique or something in my diet—but it’s not for a lack of effort. For example, during our most recent “incident,” I spent what must have been thirty minutes working on the problem. No luck. Defeated, I told my wife the unfortunate news. We’d have to blow up the toilet. Unconvinced (a reoccurring theme it would appear), she walked into the bathroom and shut the door. Not thirty seconds later I heard a flush. Surely not, I thought. Moments later, however, she exited the bathroom and looked at me, not saying a word, a triumphant smile (and perhaps a touch of pity) across her face. At my request, she has since shown me her plunging technique. I could not be more eager for the next opportunity to prove myself.

*She really does make me a better person and wasn’t standing over my shoulder. That would have been creepy, and probably welcomed.

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