- Describes a system which requires a high degree of maintenance to ensure proper functioning and without which it is likely to break down.
- (figuratively, pejorative, of a person) requiring a lot of attention or reassurance; emotionally needy
I sat, my face contorted with my consternation.
"Jeremy?" I began. I hesitated a moment, then: "Am I high maintenance?"
Jeremy kept doing whatever it was he was doing, and replied, "No."
My soul twisted a little.
"But Emily says I'm high maintenance."
Let's rewind a little.
Emily had come over for our weekly "Lost" marathon. I was sitting on the couch, writhing in agony because the food I had eaten was attempting to dissolve my esophagus.
"Hey, Jeremy," I said. "Could you get me some Tums?" I normally wouldn't ask Jeremy to get them for me, but moving has become extremely difficult. Think sea lion on dry land. But with no flippers. Or a head.
Jeremy looked at me sternly.
"You've already had a bunch of those, and you're not supposed to have anymore."
I gave him a scrunched up face.
"I've had three," I complained, the acid burning away. "I can have up to ten in 24 hours. So, it's either Tums, or you have to drive to the store and buy me a gallon of milk."
He gave me a dark look, and then his face brightened.
"You can have coconut milk," he beamed. "It has more calcium than cow milk!"
"That's just nasty," I said. "But, fine, if you won't let me have Tums..."
Jeremy wandered into the kitchen, and came back a minute later with the container of almond milk.
"Where's the coconut milk?" I asked. I had fully prepared myself to take my medicine, and was confused. Why did he bring almond milk? Was he taking pity on me because coconut milk is gross?
Jeremy's shoulders slumped. He then pointed out the calcium content on the almond milk container.
I looked at it briefly, and then asked, "But does it have the same amount of calcium that the coconut milk has?" I wasn't doing it to be annoying. I was trying to be submissive to my husband's desires that I not eat the calcium pills of death that would cause me constipation if I insisted on eating them.
"I don't know!" He exclaimed, completely exasperated.
I looked up at him with wide eyes.
"Well, why don't you go find out?"
Jeremy sighed and went back into the kitchen.
Emily, who had sat silently through the entire exchange, laughed and said, "You are SO high maintenance."
"No, I'm not!" I protested. But it ate away at my brain.
Was I high maintenance?
Was I some pampered purse puppy?
Was the idea disturbing to me because it was true??
I began a mental inventory.
I didn't seem high maintenance...
I then decided the only way to get a concrete answer was to take an online quiz.
But then I began to wonder: Do they have an online high maintenance quiz? Would needing one mean I was high maintenance?
I drew my eyebrows together with determination and typed "high maintenance quiz" in the Google search bar.
And BEHOLD! there were TONS of them.
Okay, I thought to myself, here's the moment of truth.
The questions asked on most of the quizzes had mainly to do with how I expected people to treat me, or how I treated others, i.e. waitresses, mates, friends, etc.
First result: You are sooooooo low maintenance.
Second result: You make Jane Goodall look like Jessica Simpson.
Third: Low maintenance.
I only had one test that said I was high maintenance. But I thought the questions a little unfair. Like, this: "When you go to a bar, would you get a) a fruity mixed drink b) a martini or c) a beer?" Since I haven't had any of these, I figured I'd go with a fruity drink (because if I was at a restaurant I would order a lemonade), but in retrospect I probably picked the most expensive one on the list. Then they asked: "Do you drive a) a sedan, b) a minivan, or c) an SUV or sports car?" Well...I drive a Suburban because I have a gaggle of children and we need space in the back that we couldn't get from a minivan. But the double blow comes from the whole sports car thing being thrown in. I mean, really?
So, am I high maintenance?
Do I require my husband to work extra so we have more money?
No, I would rather he was home.
Do I require a giant house?
No. Jeremy and I frequently get cross-wise about buying a house, because I'm all about a smaller house that would be easier to clean. But his argument is valid, since we keep having kids and will need more space, but still...less space to clean is less space to clean.
Do I go out and spent money on spas, manicures, facials, waxings, clothes, jewelry, hair extensions, and the like? No, I mostly spend it on food, because I really, really like food. I have had a manicure, but I prefer doing my own nails, since I don't like spending the money, especially when the nail artist doesn't know what they are doing (yes, I'm still bitter about the $80 I spent on a mani/pedi that I had to redo right before a wedding). Now, I DO want to go get a pedicure done before I have my baby, but that is mostly because I don't want to scare the doctors and nurses any more than I have to (which is also why I shave my legs even though it requires quite a bit of acrobatics on my part....see above reference to headless sea lion), and maybe having pretty toes will distract them from the horrors of childbirth. And the cellulite I've been collecting on my thighs for the last 8 months.
Do I require a new, fancy car? No, I'd rather have a reasonable vehicle and NO car loan, thank you very much.
Do I require anything from Jeremy? Only what God has said a man should do. And I would expect that Jeremy requires me to do what God has said I should do. Equally yoked.
Now, as far as being emotionally needy...
Am I emotionally needy with my husband? Well, yes, just as much as any wife is needy with her husband. If she didn't need him, why would she be married? I rely on Jeremy, as he is my best friend, companion, fellow parent, and *blushing* lover. It's a mutually needy relationship. We need each other. After all, "neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 11:11)
All that being said (and, by the way, I'm not saying that any of the things I listed are bad, but only that requiring them to be happy might be), does Jeremy spoil me?
Yes. Yes he does.
I know he does. And trust me, I am fully aware that he treats me like a queen, and I feel bad when I ask him to do things that I could do for myself (especially right now...flopping blob of dismembered sea lion....). And it freaks me out to think of him dying suddenly, because I would probably, at some horrible point, decide that I needed to spend my life with someone and chances are they wouldn't be nearly as nice as Jeremy.
I tell him frequently that I am grateful for how he treats me, and he laughs it off by saying, "Well, it's because someday, I'm going to want to buy something really, really big..." But I know that's not why he does it. He does it because that's who he is. And I thank each and every one of my lucky stars that I managed to pin that man down.
So, Emily, I'm not high maintenance.
I just need maintenance. Just like everyone else. *wink*