Why he nagged

My wife projects a competence about stuff. The stuff that makes life better. As an unkempt bachelor fighter jock, that competence worked on my rough edges like fine grit sandpaper. Within a week of dating, she convinced me to burn the sheets I had used since, well, let's not get into that, for a new fine set ‐ in my alma mater's colors, no less. My thirty‐year‐old hand‐me‐down furniture converted itself into cash, a ring, and a wife. The same grit wore down my compatriots in the Navy. The rough, the awkward, the socially inept (Hornet guys are all the same) all felt her influence during our drunken nights of dominoes and Halo in the high desert of California and while tearing it up in the Playboy Club at the Palms. It was a miracle to behold. White Reebok‐wearing, braided black belt for all occasions bachelors began styling it up.

Once I jettisoned the Navy, she put her sandpaper on the shelf. We were in Maryland with no friends and family, and she was laid up sick all summer with our precocious Honey Badger in her belly. When one is hauling around a Honey Badger inside one's body, finding the Kate Spade diamond in the TJ Maxx rough becomes less urgent.

The baby‐nesting came; she was alone. The sandpaper came off the shelf. I tried to help her,but I never had this type of grit. We made mistakes with baby gear:a too expensive crib, baby wipe warmers, and some sort of butt paste we could not explain. As we worked through the Honey Badger's arrival and the subsequent months (now years!) of joy,she refined and replaced her original grit‐the fashion grit is still there, but it sits in the closet, biding its time, waiting for the proper Pucci sale, Cartier piece, or sex‐on‐a‐stick Dior heels (that this Nebraska nerd even knows these names is a testament to her grit). Bob, Bumbleride, 4moms, and Hannah Anderson compose her grit now. New Moms replaced Clueless Navy bachelors as her rough stock.

She built a list of must haves and must have‐nots: Links, reasons, pros, cons. After the umpteenth time I forwarded the email to a desperate husband working through baby‐ nesting, I began the nagging. I nagged in the car, in bed, in the morning, over email. She needed to use her grit. The need was for other moms, but mostly for her. She has a strong opinion with stronger evidence and experience supporting it. I am tickled that she acquiesced at last. To her credit, she has taken almost none of my terrible advice about how to do the thing since then. Stained with Style will be a resource to the Mom looking for the right amount of quality for the right amount of price. She has done it with Tomcat drivers, Hornet weenies and Honey Badgers. Let her do it for you.

tl;dr: My wife is awesome, and you should read her stuff. 

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