Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Things THIS Wife Hopes Never to Hear Again

It's completely hopeless, I know. Hoping so often leads to hopelessness. Still, it would be so wonderful to wake up one day in Emily's Fantasyland. Much goes on in this wonderful land (most of it involving books in some way), and Bob is definitely there with me, saying all the wonderful things he often says to me. However, to make it a truly magical place, there are just a few things that in E.F. I never have to hear come out of his mouth. Here they are:

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?


Courtney said...

Too funny that we were working on posts about this at the same time! Since I did a blog post on this you know most of my answers but I agree - Sam is always telling me I spent too much on this or that except, oddly, clothes...he doesn't care at all what I spend to clothe the family, although he still insists on buying lots of his stuff from discount racks. We are right now in the middle of our greatest debate...whether or not to have open windows at night...sigh....until it's legitimately freezing outside I like an open window!

Stefanie said...

1,2, and 5 are definite things I wish I didn't have to hear. I don't have to worry about what's for dinner since he does all the cooking! The funny thing though about #2, you and I both probably always or almost always know where the item is. How I know where the hammer is when he is the last one to have used it I don't know, but I do.

Because of the floor project we just had a big clearing out of junk he collected and he was amazed at himself. Even so, as we were getting rid of an old beat up paeticleboard desk from the house that we are going to replace, he began considering that it could still be useful for something else! I wanted to smack him with the file cabinet drawer! I made sure that desk was broken up into so many pieces that there was no way for him to salvage anything before the garbage collectors came and took it away.

Anne Camille said...

All of these. Plus "Watch out for my glasses" -- when I'm about 10 feet away. Why doesn't he place them someplace where I'm not about to sit or step on them, like -- oh, I don't know -- his nose instead of my side of the bed or on the passenger side car seat!

The food debate is my biggest gripe. Worse than asking at 8:30 -- it is asking the dinner question while in the middle of breakfast. Good lord! Focus on the meal you have, not the one you will likely be lucky enough to have in 12 hours!

litlove said...

Lol!! SO true. Mister Litlove is DEEPLY resistent to buying in outside help. The first time we did our kitchen over, it took a year from start to finish, no kidding. I nearly went insane. Plus, I am also the magician who has to find butter in the fridge, shoes in the shoe rack, etc. We even have a specially designated family hiding place for things : 'it was hiding right in front of me!'. Oh and he also has a collection of 'useful bits of wood'. Nowadays at least he knows to hoard it out of my sight! Can I come and live in your fantasy world too? :-)

Emily Barton said...

Courtney, yes, I thought it was hilarious that we were obviously both struggling with a few "husband issues" around the same time. I'm like you: I like the window open as much as possible. Bob doesn't because of the noise (we live on a very busy highway). It's very hard to compromise.

Stefanie, we have a huge old ugly desk that sits in the basement, because Bob can't bear to part with it. Could you please come destroy it for me?

Anne, yes, why DOES the question come up at breakfast? And glasses most definitely don't belong on your side of the bed or in your car seat. I say go ahead and sit on them :-)!

Litlove, you most certainly may come live in Emily's Fantasyland where nothing ever "hides right in front of me."

Jodie Robson said...

I came by to read your RIP posts and got caught by this one - especially 1, 4 and 5! I have to admit that 4 isn't so much of a problem since OH retired and does almost all the cooking, but it drove me nuts for years. But the waiting for something to be fixed and the accumulation of junk still drive me to fury. My other bete noir is the requirement to supply names, places, missing words all the way through every conversation - okay, so he has a problem with his memory, but no one told me 35 years ago that I'd have to be its permanent stand-in (yes, I know, I'm being utterly unreasonable). Hmm, and 6, yes...see what you mean...

Rebecca H. said...

"It's time to take my bike apart to clean it." My cue to take a long, long walk! What I love to hear: "The guys at the shop say my bike is ready!"

knitseashore said...

1. "It's hot in here." No it's not; that's why I've shut all the windows (house or car) and am now wearing a blanket! When I'm comfortable, he opens ALL the windows as far as they go, and turns on fans. There is no in between.

2. "The hill/end of the trail is not as big/long/bad as you think." Oh yes it is. How can I trust the opinion of a bike racer when my legs don't have nearly the same power? My response: "and the check is in the mail, right?"

3. "I'm riding tomorrow morning." Translation: "I'm getting up way before the sun and the roosters, and the alarm will go off when you are in your deepest REM sleep, so that even when you fall back asleep, it will be restless, and you will feel tired and mopey for the rest of the day."

4. Historical context. Mr. SOC LOVES history, and copes with every situation by relating it to a past event. When Irene hit, and we lost power and water, he pulled his "Hurricane of 1938" book off the shelf, and read out loud (by candlelight) to me how our forefathers and mothers coped with said event. With no tea and no shower, I frankly DID NOT CARE how they coped -- I wasn't coping with the hurricane of 2011 well at all after the second day!! I'm going to get him the Signals T-shirt that says "History Fan: You'd Be More Interesting to me if You Were Dead."

Thankfully, we are both pretty OCD, so except for his work i.d. badge, we don't have to play "find the missing X" too often.