1. "We don't need to call anyone. That's so easy to fix. I can do it." This means I will be 92 years old and still living with some hideous inconvenience. Perhaps it involves keeping buckets of water by the toilet in order to be able to flush it properly. Or maybe there is a window in my study that can't ever be opened, or a burner on my stove that I can never use. Whatever it is, you see, he still hasn't fixed it, even though it would be "so easy." Either that, or the "easy fix" means, say, we have some extraordinarily huge (why are such things always huge and indiscreet?) black (and why are they always black?) pipe that snakes out of the side of the house, constantly threatening to trip unsuspecting guests who venture out after dark (which almost all do, because no one ever uses the front door).
2. "Have you seen my (oh, I don't know, binoculars, say)?" This question is never asked when I'm wandering aimlessly around the house with nothing better to do than to drop everything and look for whatever is being sought. No, most often, it's asked when I'm on the phone with someone I haven't seen/spoken to in months, or I'm busy trying to figure out exactly how to phrase some sentence I'm composing, or I'm lying on the couch or in bed, having just reached the page in which I'm going to find out who killed Professor Plum. No matter how explicitly I describe the exact location of his binoculars (and why the hell does he suddenly need his binoculars at 9:30 p.m. on a rainy Tuesday anyway?), I will be forced to put my friend on hold, abandon my perfect phrase, or put off finding out whodunit, in order to retrieve them from the latitudinal and longitudinal degrees I gave him, because he claims, "They're not there."
3. "How much did that/those cost?" followed by "That's way too much!" Actually, in Emily's Fantasyland, it's perfectly okay to hear "That's way too much!" if I've gone out and bought something like a computer or a camera, or any other number of things that he obsessively researches online. However, if I happen to have gone and bought a new teapot or curtains for the kitchen, I don't want to hear it. Last time I checked, he was neither a teapot nor a curtains expert, and I'm sure he would lose every time if he ever found himself a contestant on "The Price is Right" trying to guess the prices of such items.
4. "What are we having for dinner tonight?" There's no answer I can give to this question that doesn't inspire a response that infuriates me, most especially when the question is asked at 8:30 a.m. Please enlighten me: is there a female on the planet, barring those who work in the food industry or are juggling multiple kids with multiple evening activities, who thinks about dinner at 8:30 a.m.? At that hour, I'm typically thinking about getting another cup of coffee.
5. "Don't throw that away." Good God, why not? It's a friggin' crushed toothpaste box! I know. I know. There is some good, sound, economic and environmental reason not to toss it in the garbage, but I really, really don't want to hear it. I'm not about to collect 500 of them so we can get $1.00 off our next one and so that they can be used to make car engines.
6. "Tom said I'm (fill in the blank). Do you think I'm (fill in the blank)?" You know the proverbial female-to-male question, "Does this dress make me look fat?" This is the male-to-female version. It's a question that makes me wish I owned Harry Potter's invisibility cloak. My husband is far more self-aware than many people I know. Still, he's human, which means others sometimes see traits in him that he denies, and I do not want to be the one verifying what others see.
Stating the obvious here, but in Emily's Fantasyland, here's what I hear instead:
1. "Don't worry about that. I've called the plumber/electrician/contractor, etc., and he/she will be here tomorrow to fix it.
2. (After I've given the exact location of the missing item.) "Found it/them! You're right. That's exactly where it was/they were. Thanks!"
3. "Wow! You got those curtains and that teapot, and that's all you paid for them? You're a genius! I would've thought they'd cost much more than that."
4. Silence at 8:30 a.m. Around 5:30 p.m. or so, "Let's just have canned tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, and banana splits for dinner tonight."
5. "Let's call one of those junk companies and have them haul away most of what's in the attic and the basement."
6. "Tom said I'm (fill in the blank). You know, now that I think about it, he may be right."
What about you? Are there things you wish you'd never hear your husband/wife say again?