In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 15, 2007 / 27 Shevat, 5767

Putting the brakes on poor communication

By Marybeth Hicks

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Usually when I'm about to spend more than $1,500, I give the purchase some consideration. I do my research, or at least I wander around a store long enough to feel I've compared my available options. If I am going to spend this kind of cash, usually I'll be able to sit on my purchase or take it for walks on a leash or add it to my homeowner's policy.

Usually I don't just take off and spend big bucks without thoughtfully deciding if my purchase is necessary (or at least defensible).

So you might say backing into the garage door was sort of an impulse purchase.

Suffice to say, I didn't set out to deplete my checking balance by creating a need for something I already owned — something that worked perfectly until I hit the gas and heard an unfamiliar (and somewhat violent) crunch.

Here's what happened: When my husband walked into our attached garage, he immediately noticed that our son hadn't taken out the garbage.

Because it was garbage day and our family most certainly contributes to the national average of 4 pounds of waste per capita per week, we can't afford to miss a pickup. When we do, we also invariably leave the garage door open by mistake and then face a regrettable mess when some varmint (or sometimes our own dog) scurries in and busts open the bags that can't fit into the residential Dumpster.

But I digress. Jim opened the door, saw he couldn't leave the house before handling garbage duty, and because he was in a hurry to make a meeting at work, asked me to please move the van so he could maneuver the rolling trash receptacle. (With balls and toys for four children and a husband who can't part with old tires, the garage is packed pretty tightly.)

Lately I've been on a campaign to improve the general quality of communication in my marriage. I realized recently it's just wrong to treat your husband like one of the children, so when he asked for my help, I offered it gladly and quickly, as it was clear he was rushing.

In fact, I responded so efficiently to his request to move the van that when the door behind my vehicle opened and I caught a glimpse of daylight, I didn't bother to confirm whether there was enough headroom to clear the bottom of the door. I just went.

The next part is a still a blur, but it as far as I recall, it went something like this: squeal ... bang... gasp... "Nooooooo" ... "Whaaaaat?" ... "Aggghhh." ... Now read that again, only this time do so in less than two full seconds.

Right away, I started to confess my remorse, because what else could I do? Of course, this put Jim in an awkward position. You can't exactly come unglued on a remorseful spouse, after all. Obviously he knows it wasn't my intention to make us spend a bunch of money (that arguably we don't have) to repair or replace our garage door.

It would be one thing if I had walked into the house with a bag full of Ann Taylor goodies and said, "I feel really badly, but I just couldn't resist the impulse to buy $1,500 worth of new clothes."

Even a husband of a spendthrift will concede she's not likely to haul off and hit the garage door just for the fun of wandering the aisles at Sears.

And face it, buying a garage door is like buying toothpaste or toilet paper or furnace filters. You have to have one, but who cares? You don't call your girlfriend and say, "Hey, when you get a chance stop by so I can show you my new GARAGE DOOR."

When I hit the door, Jim immediately became pessimistic about what this event would cost. This is what he does to brace himself for painful home-repair estimates. There goes $1,500, he assumed.

Usually when he adopts a negative attitude such as this, I argue with him. I like to look on the bright side when things go wrong on the theory it's better to bury my head in the sand until an actual sandstorm comes to blow my cover. The problem is, taking issue with Jim's concerns only adds to the stress of a situation such as this, leaving us both feeling annoyed and misunderstood.

This time, I didn't take issue with his assumption that my mistake would turn out to be a costly one. I didn't get defensive, and I especially didn't tell him to stop expending emotional energy worrying about a door that had yet to be assessed.

Instead, I said I was sorry at least 17 times and then, after Jim took out the garbage and drove away, I called the garage door guy.

Within a few hours, he arrived on the scene, put the door back on its tracks, said it was fixed and fine and didn't even let me give him a tip for his time and trouble.

In the end, it was an impulse purchase I didn't have to make.

Then again, having resisted the impulse to be defensive, I bought myself a hassle-free conclusion to a home-repair crisis. It didn't cost me anything but a little humility and the self-discipline to hit the brakes on my usual communication style. I suppose where brakes are concerned, it's better late than never.

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"The Perfect World Inside My Minivan -- One mom's journey through the streets of suburbia"  

Marybeth Hicks offers readers common-sense wisdom in dealing with today's culture. Her anecdotes of her husband and four children tap into universal themes that every parent can relate to and appreciate. -- Wesley Pruden, Editor-in-Chief, The Washington Times
Sales help fund JWR.

JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of 19 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


© 2006, Marybeth Hicks