I'm a talker. And contrary to my mother's wonderful advice to only say nice things about people or not say anything at all - ESPECIALLY about your husband - I tend to rant and commiserate. Even about my amazing husband. Ok, often about my amazing husband. I don't think he takes it too personally since I'm like that in general. Not that I only say negative things, I'm just one of those people who says every single thought that comes into my head, often to the chagrin of those who know me (and myself). Because I'm sometimes (ok, fine, often) found whining about the things my hubby doesn't do that I want or does do that I don't, I'm going to take this opportunity to expound on one of the things I complain about, but secretly makes me love him in several ways.
He collects Coke Rewards points. I'm not sure you're familiar with this, so to explain, Coca-Cola has a redemption system wherein you create an account online and whenever you obtain one of their products that has a code on it, you type it into your account and earn points. You can redeem the points for things like gift cards or apparel or electronics or any number of things. To keep it simple, the original rule was you could only enter 10 codes a day. (Now there's a limit to 100 points a week or something, but for the purposes of my story, we'll just stick with the original guideline.)
When I say my DH collects these points, I don't mean this in a general, "Oh, I had a Coke today, so I'll keep the cap and enter the code in later" kind of way. I mean in a driven, obsessive kind of way. The man prints the high school football schedules for the entire city so he can strategize which schools to go to after games to try to score the most caps from the bottles the kids leave lying in the stands, and if he can time it to make it to two on Friday night and one Saturday morning before they're cleaned up. He can collect 500 or more caps in a weekend.
Why is this even something I would complain about, you ask? After all, he's the one doing all the work. I'll tell you why. Because it takes a lot of time. Time to collect them, time to clean them, time to enter all the codes. Time that could be spent doing other things like helping around the house, playing with the kids or hanging out with me. And this has been going on for four years. FOUR YEARS, people! In those four years we've had two kids and bought a house that was double the square footage of our old one. This is the source of my frustration with his hobby. Admittedly, he scaled back considerably with the addition of each of these new responsibilities. (At one point he had six or seven separate accounts. Ten codes per account times six or seven accounts - about an hour or so a day was spent entering them.) And to be fair, a lot of the prizes he's redeemed the points for have been for me (I heart my iTouch). So I shouldn't complain too much. And you know what? Even though I sigh dramatically whenever I see those dreaded caps, secretly I'm feeling quite proud of my man. And here are the reasons why:
1. His passion. Whether it's work or love or hobbies, he puts everything into what he does. He never does anything halfway. I like to think I'm passionate, but often I'm just a lot of talk. He's the hardest worker and most devoted friend you will ever find.
2. His ability to complete a project. I am notorious for starting something I find to be fun and creative and then getting bored and stopping. For example, I did a large cross stitch for one of my friends when her daughter was born. It was about 8x10, two bunnies with some quote about friendship beneath it. I actually did all the cross-stitching - it took months. I did all of it except the finished outline. So close to being completed. Her daughter just started her junior year of high school. SERIOUSLY?? Just finish the dang outlining already! My hubby not only started this four years ago and still does it at the very least every week (usually every night), but when he enters a code, he marks the back of it to indicate which account it belongs to, then places it in a box designated for that account. When the box is full, he dates it and stores it in the basement, neat and tidy. Which brings me to number three....
3. His organization. I like to be organized. I like for everything to have a place. But when I'm mid-project, I'm a mess. At work, my desk is a mess; at home, my crafting space (ie, the formal dining room table) is a mess. I'm good about cleaning up at the end of a project, but don't expect that to happen until I'm completely done. As I mentioned above, he keeps this project organized all the time. He stores the caps he hasn't entered yet in Ziploc bags of 100 so he can have small quantities to work with.
4. His problem-solving/compromising skills. The clean-up crew at the football stadium told him it was a pain for them to deal with half-empty Cokes that were missing their lids because they spilled everywhere, and asked him to stop taking them. He told them if they'd give him a trash bag, he'd throw away the bottles for them. Most people probably would have said, too bad, or fine, I'll find somewhere else to go, but my hubs found a solution they could all be happy with.
4. His compassion/thoughtfulness. When he collects the caps, he wears gloves and keeps the bags of caps in the garage until he has a chance to soak them all in the sink to clean away the dirt and germs which keeps his family healthy. And, of course, as I mentioned before about the iTouch, I've been the recipient of many wonderful prizes. Most of what he redeems the codes for are for the family, like a camcorder and a travel DVD player. Of course he gets some things for himself (mostly autographed sports memorabilia), but he shares A LOT.
5. His entrepreneurial spirit. He LOVES to find a way to make money/get a deal. I do my fair share of coupon clipping and a bit of bargain shopping, but am not motivated to take on something like this. (Don't even get me started on his insane ability to figure out and obtain the hot items at Christmas-time and sell them on eBay for a nice profit.) I am in constant awe of the way he can find an opportunity, set a goal and achieve it.
There are so many more reasons I love my husband. But these are the ones his Coke addiction brings to mind. Now if I can just keep them in mind tonight when I get home and want to snuggle on the couch and watch TV with him, and he says he's got to enter his codes.