One of the hardest things for me during the first year of our marriage was the concept of time. It was like we owned clocks from different planets.
I’d say, “When are we going to the store?”
H. would say, “In a minute.”
I’d go get dressed, curl my eye lashes (ok, maybe not), put on my shoes and be ready, sitting and waiting for him in the garage. And nothing would happen. Fifteen, 20 minutes would go by. The cat would come over and rub against my legs, absorbing some of the electricity beginning to get generated in my body.
I’d storm back inside and say, “Well, are you coming?”
“I said, in a minute…”
And then I discovered that my American husband had keywords when came to time. Knowing them had made a world of difference and probably added a decade to my life.
“In a second” means “Almost ready to go, go pee and get the keys.”
“In a minute” means “I’m ready when I’m done, which will probably be sooner rather than later.” In reality, this phase can stretch anywhere between 30 mins to several hours. It’s safe to put a pot roast on, start the laundry, turn on a movie, go work on work projects….
“In a little while” means “Over my dead body.” He is doing the same trick on you as your mom did when you were a kid and you’d be passing by an ice cream store. “Mom, can I have an ice cream? Maybe on the way back…” How many times did you actually get it? Yes, by the time you were coming back you probably forgot… Well, he’s hoping the same thing. Rephrase the question or offer some sort of incentive. I’ll let you decide on that part.
Disclaimer: Not all American husbands come with the same time mechanism… They keywords might be different, but the basic wiring scheme is the same…