Tuesday, June 18, 2019

But I love Him Anyway!


I know we’ve just celebrated Father’s Day and that has made me think fondly, but with some amusement about my husband John, to whom I’ve been married for over 50 years now.
His good points: he brings me a cup of tea in bed in the mornings. Much appreciated.
He does all the grocery shopping.
He makes sure the household bills are paid.
He is good with money.
He is generous, if a little lacking in imagination. He has bought me some lovely pieces of jewelry, when he sees something he thinks I’ll like. On the other hand, when I told him to surprise me one Christmas I got a biography of Winston Churchill! No, he would never think of buying clothing or bath products.
And he is first reader and editor of all my books. He is ruthless in his criticism resulting in many fights but I do take many of his suggestions.

But he does have his quirks:
He is fanatical about the dishwasher. No matter how I stack things, he goes in and rearranges everything. Oh, and he washes everything before he puts it into the dishwasher. 

He is always losing things and blaming me. “Where’s my pen? Did you use it?” And I say, “It’s right there, on the table, in front of you.” And he’s says, “Oh.”
This is not new. The kids once wrote a skit in which he comes into the room at Christmas time and asks, “Where did you put the Christmas tree?”

He is going deaf and will not admit it. I was telling him that he needed an online vault for his passwords. What sort of fault? He asked. Sigh.  Apparently I whisper, look away when I speak, drop my voice at the end of sentences and mumble. Does this sound familiar to other wives?  I keep trying to convince him that hearing aids these days do not just magnify all sounds but can be tuned to the frequencies he has lost.

And lastly it is my belief that old men should never be allowed anywhere near technology. You should see him with Alexa.
“Alexa, do you think you could find that Benny Goodman number that goes like this…”
When she says “I’m sorry, did you mean…”
He goes on, “So there is some woman singing and…”
Eventually Alexa goes silent in despair.
John: That darned thing just doesn’t work properly.

The same with Siri. We had to come off the freeway so he could find a bathroom. Yes, old men need to do that too. We could not find out how to get back onto the freeway. I was driving. I told him to ask Siri.
John: Siri, we came off the freeway to take a pee and now we can’t…

When we used to use a GPS we were driving in Phoenix (which is a no-brainer. All streets either go North south or east west. GPS, whom we had called Mildred, said Take Bell Road exit. John always liked to take Greenway. Mildred didn’t like this.
Recalculating: Turn right at 39thStreet.
He kept going.
Recalculating, Turn right at 38thStreet.
He kept going
Recalculating: Turn right at 37thStreet.
Me: for God’s sake turn it off.
John: She has to learn!
Me: LOUDLY. She’s a computer. She can’t learn!

But I love him anyway.


  1. Too funny, Rhys!
    And how lovely that you get coffee in bed, the groceries bought, the bills paid, and the dishes done. My John will empty the dishwasher, cut the onions, or undertake any other task I might need to have done. And he brings me coffee . . . it’s so very nice to have a thoughtful guy around . . . .

  2. Thanks for the laugh.

    Although I have a similar story about my mom. When I was a kid, we were rushing around to get ready for a piano concert. Mom was trying to get dressed. She's in her bedroom, and I sudden hear her call out. "Where are my nylons? Mark, did I give you my nylons?" Why she would have given them to me is beyond me. But where were they? Over her shoulder.

  3. Oh Rhys, what a great post. Thank you! There is no "John" in my life however, I'm sure these are the types of stories that my son will be telling about me! I don't have Siri or Alexa and the GPS woman is just simply an infuriation I don't need when I'm behind the wheel in Los Angeles traffic. Have a great day!

  4. Fun blog! I'm thankful our "new" used car has a CD player for road trips. The driver gets to pick the tunes, so I know I'm in for a looong ride when boxed Wagner operas are stacked in the front seat. Audio books are "distracting".

    1. Oh, no, Margaret. You get the award for Most Patient Spouse, ever.

    2. Margaret, would that I could take that looong ride with Wagner for you. With you being magically transported to enjoy the destination.

  5. Quirks or not your John sounds like a keeper for sure; both of you are so lucky to have each other.

  6. I am laughing so hard! You two are priceless!

    ( and I love how wearing glasses is fine, but they balk at hearing aids. Jonathan is thrilled with his… Let me know if you want to chat XO )

  7. On the other hand, John is utterly charming and easy to look at.
    Mine blames me for the parts of the newspaper he can't find. He's a terrible driver (too slow, tense, he didn't learn until he was in his twenties) but fortunately he's happy to let me drive. But he grinds beans and makes coffee for the morning and he's easy-going... most of the time.

  8. Oh yes. The hearing... Google the SNL skit about the Alexa Silver Edition - you'll laugh so hard!

  9. Too funny.

    The Hubby is great with home repairs and outdoor chores. But yes, he accuses me of mumbling. And he often says something to me in his head, thinks he said it aloud, and is irritated when I don't magically know what he thought.

    And he's starting the, "Where is X?" and I say, "Right there in front of you." That's something new.

  10. Oh what tribute to marital love and longevity! I practiced family law for 35 years and a post like this brings joy to my heart after all of the sad tales I heard. When ask my husband of 42 years if he forgot to do something, he''ll ask me, "Who are you?" We've survived the bumps and are now on an uncharted adventure. Good thing love is endearing and enduring!

  11. Rhys, this is my favorite post of the year! I am absolutely dying laughing! Probably, because I am married to one much like John and while we’re only at the 20 year mark, I can absolutely see us in this same scenario. The Hub is the watcher. He looks out the window and apprises me of all of the neighbors’ activity. “Chad and Megan are catching an Uber. Where do you suppose they’re going? Probably to get drunk. Thomas is home. That’s nice his wife seems lonely. Saul is out playing soccer with the kids. He’s a good dad.” And so on... but I love him anyway.

  12. Rhys, this is a beautiful tribute. I love that he brings coffee to you in the morning. A biography of Winston Churchill as a gift is a lovely gift! I often hear about husbands buying their wives a Hoover vacuum as a Christmas gift. I think he knows you pick your own clothes, right? Despite his quirks, you are accustomed to them, I would think.

    Hearing aids may or may not work. It depends on the type of hearing loss. I wore a digital hearing aid, which only worked when I was wearing a cochlear implant speech processor in the other ear. Now there is analog and digital hearing aids. Now I have two cochlear implants and they are excellent for me.

    With the advances in technology, things are a lot better.

    Is John a visual person or does he learn things by hearing and listening? If he is a visual person, perhaps he would like to learn Sign Language? Sign Language is a visual language!

    Thank you for sharing with us.


  13. Rhys, what a lovely post and one I can completely identify with. We have just achieved 50 years which, as V is now 92, is a great accomplishment. Where to start; well tea in bed, an equal opportunity kitchen Yes, that’s what the sign reads), someone who loves to drive still, and is a good driver but can’t navigate his way out of a paper bag. V is the reason for the iPhone Nav. Now me, I’m arguing with it, but I’ve learned that if the nav is on we go with the nav. Now hearing - Big Sigh -, yes, finally after many painful years he has a hearing aid that works well, and he wears it. But the pain, fights, low blows on my part to get him to this stage were not pretty. Loving his audiologist helps a lot, he has taken her flowers in the past. Use whatever tactic works, no Marquess of Queensbury rules apply here. Loss of hearing and never being willing to ask directions can be very hard to live with. We conquered directions, now for the hearing. I have converted all the tv programming to close captions which helps a lot.

  14. We celebrated 50 years (plus we always add in the 4 high school years) yesterday. Love the man dearly, but yes, yes, yes and yes to all your points. (We do have the hearing test scheduling for next month - finally. Hope it works, because either I am whispering, turning away, or yelling, right?)

    1. Congratulations, and if your experience is anything like mine you are not whispering!

  15. The GPS story made me laugh out loud. What a happy way to start the day. Thanks, Rhys!

    Does he read this blog? LOL

  16. Rhys, you and John are so dear together. I will always remember him asking you to cut the top off his soft-boiled egg in the morning.

    And yes! Steve and I had that very conversation about hearing aids last evening. He said he wasn't ready. However, I'm past ready. Ahem.

  17. Oh so funny, and I wish you 50 more - with a hearing aid!

  18. Rhys, thank you for warming my heart on this rainy morning with this post reviving memories of my parents 63 years together. Mother just started drying the dishes before Daddy put them in the dishwasher. He did not live long enough to meet GPS or Siri. And lost his sight to Macular Degeneration just as he was thinking a computer and the internet would be interesting...wanted to find out what all those "www.com things" were in advertisements. And, to all you shouting, mumbling, nagging wives whose husbands insist their hearing is just fine: Daddy lived Mother's insistence that he mumbled, "didn't "issen' (family joke for listen) until he died. Thanks to all of you for the smiles this morning.

  19. Congratulations to you and John, 50 years is a great milestone.
    There are times I wish had someone to bring me tea in the morning but I'm so used to doing my own thing that I'll settle with my niece making a pot of coffee when I visit.
    I have the same hearing symptoms as John. I have had my hearing tested and, yes, it's going away. The higher tones first, which is irritating since I sang first soprano. (don't ask, this is how my brain works) I haven't bit the bullet and had a hearing aid built yet. Even with insurance, they can be pricey. It's the next big purchase. And, yes, people do speak too softly around me. And they talk too fast. And they mumble. And they know it. And they know I am having hearing issues so we spend time repeating information everyday.
    My granddad would do just about anything for grandma. He did the grocery shopping but sometimes he would bring home something not in the list. He thought it looked interesting and want her to make it.

  20. I am fascinated that he is the first reader of your books and that you follow some of his advice. I'd love to have an example of one of his suggestions! I'm almost through the Georgie series and I like it even better than Molly Murphy which I didn't think was possible. I want to be friends with Georgie, haha. I really had a good laugh reading about your husband. My husband who is 72 claims I mumble, too, but no one else had trouble hearing me! And aren't we so lucky to have guys that do all of our grocery shopping for us! It's the best. Now you should go for a foot rub. For whatever reason, he offers and I accept. Best thing ever. Better than bringing me tea even....

  21. Rhys, I laughed until I had tears in my eyes. That's so John!!! He's such a lovely man, for all his quirks. I think maybe you have a keeper there:-)

  22. PS We are missing Rhys, who is having a wonderful time in Venice, but Google isn't allowing her to post comments today.

  23. Rhys sends her best from Venice where she’s researching her next book... however the international internet gods are keeping her from posting comments

  24. Aaaah, men! What would we do without them? Live serene lives? It's nice to know I'm not the only one who loves and appreciates them but wants to bash their little brains in from time to time. My husband Frank took on the hearing issue all on his own a couple of years ago. He can get free hearing aids from the VA. He likes his. He has them connected in some magic fashion to his iPhone so his calls come right to his ears. It gets tricky when I'm supposed to talk to someone on his phone and I'm not getting any sound. He doesn't bring me coffee or even make it for that matter but anytime he is in the kitchen he asks if he can bring me anything. Or bring me a glass of wine. He is very attentive in that fashion. BUT he drives me nuts because he puts off doing chores he doesn't want to do. He says he'll do such and so, but months may go by. And then he does whatever grudgingly because I "nagged" him. Aargh. He does most of our grocery shopping. I've turned into a crabby semi-hermit this past year and I will happily dodge shopping chores. He will shop for food because he seems to think we should have food available to eat. He is very good at dealing with situations that send me into anger, depression, or meltdown. We'll celebrate 47 years of marriage in August. He's coming to Bouchercon with me this fall so meet him and be charmed! Just don't encourage him to tell jokes. Please.

  25. Congratulations on 50 years! We will be there in three.
    Speaking of navigating: my grandmother used to give directions by saying, "Turn right" while pointing left.
    Does your navigation say, "No, the other left!"?

  26. Rhys,

    John sounds like a lovely man. You were both lucky to have found each other. To many more years together.

  27. Congratulations on your anniversary. Does John have a list of your good and bad points? Since I'm single and live alone, I can only complain about me. I do recognize some of your points about my dad and grandfather but they died long ago, well before computers and GPS.