Friday, January 26, 2024

I Love My Husband, but...

 RHYS BOWEN: I don’t think human beings were meant to live alone with one person for long years. We are pack animals, society beings. Until now we would have lived with multiple generations in one house, with family around us in one village. This moving off into a house or apartment with just one person is not natural… or easy.

 I’m sure everyone reading this knows that when you go on vacation with a friend and the two of you are alone together for any length of time you find out qualities and traits you didn’t know about that person. Sometimes not so pleasant ones. Imagine then being alone with one man for over fifty years! Luckily I put all thoughts of murder into my books.

  have to say we get along surprisingly well, considering. We laugh at the same things. We have the same set of standards, expectations and morals which is a big help. However after all this time there are things he does that drive me crazy.

 One is that he half-rinses any dishes, cutlery that he uses and leaves them beside the sink. A perfectly good dish washer sits beside that sink but he has never learned to put anything in that dishwasher. So I am constantly finding plates, cooking utensils etc etc lying on the counter.  I bought a rack so that at least he can leave them drying over the sink but he won’t use it. Grrr.

 Since retirement he likes to do the shopping, but he will study the ads and drive to five different supermarkets to get a better deal on avocados. It is no use pointing out that he’s used five dollars worth of gas to save twenty cents. And his economy is sometimes skewed. He’ll drive five miles for those avocados but then came back with spider crab legs at $18 a pound. Never mind. I stay silent because he likes to do the shopping and I have to keep writing.

 But one thing I have learned is that I can’t send him out shopping for a specific item without some sort of surprise. At Christmas we ran out of Christmas napkins. “Go to the store and pick up more Christmas napkins,” I said. He had no idea what Christmas napkins were, never having noticed them beside his plate for the past fifty years. “You know. Santa. Snowmen. Something tasteful and festive.”

                So he came back with this….


 

“You said green,” he replied peevishly when I pointed out that these were hardly festive.

 

And over the weekend I mentioned that I had just eaten the last banana if he happened to be in the supermarket.  And. He came back with…


 

No use mentioning that bananas don’t last long and we can’t possibly eat that many.

As they say in the south, “Bless his little heart.”

 

So confession time, Reds. What does your spouse do ( or in Hallie and Julia’s case did he do) that made you roll your eyes in despair?

HALLIE EPHRON: My sweet husband did his “shopping” in other people’s garbage. We live at the nexus of 3 garbage-pickup routes so his evening rambles varied accordingly. I still remember when he brought home a steamer-trunk-sized wicker basket that was padlocked shut and pasted with labels written in Cyrillic. 

He hurried out again (maybe they were going to put out more choice stuff!) and sure enough, came back with ANOTHER steamer-trunk-sized wicker basket, slightly larger than the first. 

A nested set. 

And off he went again. Leaving me with visions of Dr. Seuss’s Bartholomew Cubbins (the king orders him to TAKE OFF HIS HAT and when he does a larger/fancier one appears in its place… and a larger one… and). 

There was no third wicker trunk, but it’s an important plot point in NEVER TELL A LIE. Inside are found a bloodstained straitjacket… (The actual trunks contained massive accounting ledgers that even my Jerry willingly threw out.)

JENN McKINLAY: How much time do we have? Kidding. Mostly. Hub and I are cruising up on our 25th wedding anniversary this April and we have come to appreciate and tolerate our idiosyncrasies over the years. I sing all the time, apparently. I didn’t know that I did this until Hub pointed it out. Huh. Luckily, I can sing, it’s just that I get caught in my greatest hits loop (Bobby McGee, etc) that drives him batty. For me, it’s the cap on seat down issues. By all that is holy, do not walk over the cat vomit and then tell me about it like it’s my job. Finders keepers, my dude! Also, when unpackaging whatever, mail, food items, etc., we actually have bins for the remainders be it recyclable or not, you decide but pick one and use it!

I remember when I was attempting to train the Hooligans to be aware of such things as picking up after themselves, and I said to H1, “Put your cereal bowl in the sink. We don’t have house elves.” He gasped in shock and said, “You gave them clothes!” LOL. 

LUCY BURDETTE: after almost 32 years, I really cannot complain. John is a gem. Funnily enough on the cat vomit though, John would simply not see it. He gets very focused on what he’s doing and listening to, so that small things are not on the radar. If we do have an argument, it would be about directions and navigation. (Why ask for help if you’re going to go another way in any case??)

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Aww, Jonathan is pretty adorable.He makes lunch, does the dishes WAY better than I do, and never complains that I am using the dining room table as a book marketing fulfillment center.  He does, like Lucy’s John, disagree with the GPS direction thing. ”It WANTS you to go the other way,” I say. “ It KNOWS traffic things you don’t know”. He doesn't care. 

Or sometimes  he’ll say: “Okay, you want me to go the GPS way?”  Like it’s MY fault if it turns out to be  a mistake.

Oh, I guess I could say..he cannot find anything. He'll ask: “Where’s the mustard?”  I’ll say: “ Fridge door, middle shelf, last thing on the right.” It’ll be right where I said it was–but he can’t find it.

But you know, who cares. He's the cutest.

DEBORAH CROMBIE: As we are coming up on thirty years this spring–I am gobsmacked at the thought, how could it possibly be that long?--I'm pretty good at ignoring the annoying things. (Especially as the hubby does things like fix my suddenly non-functioning computer keyboard at 1 a.m. last night!) But he does suffer from some of the same husband-itis quirks mentioned above. Leaving rinsed dishes in the sink or on the counter, not in the dishwasher. Leaving the mail I've sorted for him (because I am a "deal with it immediately and everything has a place" person) lying on the kitchen island for two weeks. Oh, and he can't find anything in the fridge either. Not that I can blame him, I suppose, as the contents are a sort of three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle and you risk life and limb when you hunt for things–or at least having a jar fall out and break your toe.

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: I guess love is when you get to spend 30 years together and it feels way too short. Which is not to say my dear Ross didn’t drive me CRAZY at times. The socks, every night, on the floor on hs side of the bed. Because he was going to “wear them again,” which he never did, because I tossed them in the hamper. 

Like Rhys’s John, he would come back from the grocery proudly displaying the great bargain he had gotten: steaks at only $6.50 a pound. Total: $35. For one meal. For a family of five on a budget.

Like Hallie’s Jerry, he was a bit of a hoarder. I still have his textbooks from law school up in the attic (too heavy for me to lift)  and he graduated in 1986. When he died, I was finally able to get rid of the boxes full of his classroom materials he put away every summer and NEVER reused. Not going to lie - it felt good.

Like Lucy and Hank’s John and Jonathan (I guess we know what name was popular in the ‘40s!) Ross made baffling navigation choices; the most irritating of which was his refusal to just backtrack if he got off the route we had mapped out. He would always insist he could “box the compass” and get us where we wanted to be. Like… how hard is it to pull into a driveway and turn around? It’s not a judgment on your manhood.

Rinsed dishes in the sink? Check. Not finding things in the fridge unless right in front of his nose? Check. I guess Ross was kind of an ur-husband.

RHYS:  Any other husband/partner quirks to share? I guess none of ours can be too bad as we'll stuck it out for quite a long time!

94 comments:

  1. Honestly, I have no complaints . . . .

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  2. My husband drives me crazy as he just can't stop buying things online. I cringe every time I hear a delivery truck pull up outside the house. What the heck did he buy now? We don't have room for anything else. But we run out of milk or juice and you can't get him in the grocery store unless I'm with him. He has no problem going to any hardware stores to get something for one of his many projects. And I have a bad back, so bad that I can't bend over without screaming, one of the 2 cats has gotten sick and I'm like why didn't you clean this up, why is it always my job. So no matter how much pain I am in I have to clean it up. He will do the laundry, do the dishes, cook and even make the bed so I only complain when I am in a lot of pain. He is a great guy and only gives me those looks when I sing, and we help each other out when it comes to trivia.

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  3. RHYS: Like you said, these quirks are annoying but can't be all that bad since the REDS & spouses are/were together. PATIENCE is the key.

    I have lived alone for most of my adult life (age 20), so I don't even have many bad roommates tales to share. But it's true you really get to know someone when two of you are on vacation. My late mom & I went on two vacations without my dad: first, an Atlantic Canada/New England guided bus tour for 2 weeks. A few years later, we went on a 6-week trip to Europe. Nothing was booked except our first night's hotel in Frankfurt, Germany & return flight back to Toronto. We travelled by train (Eurail & Britrail) to whatever country/city she wanted. She was a city person (Paris, 10 days, London 7 days) and was quickly bored when we went to picturesque Alpine villages such as Hallstatt, Austria or smaller cities such as Bath, England.

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    1. Agree about traveling with friends. My bestie of 45 years and I took a few days at the beach after my son's wedding last year. I barely survived it! I think my limit with her is 24 hours...

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    2. Yeah, it was interesting & I learned a lot more about her likes & dislikes. It was also the first we shared a bathroom & stayed in the same hotel room! My snoring must have drove her crazy!

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    3. I've traveled with my mother, too, Grace, and with my daughters. Luckily, the youngest and I only shared a room and bath in Venice together for three nights, 'nuff said.

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    4. On the positive side, my mom was an adventurous eater (my dad was the opposite). And we saw plenty of incredible European art & saw great theatre performances & concerts.

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    5. I traveled with friends and family and I learned so much about them rooming with them, I now prefer a room to myself.

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    6. My sister (12 years older) and I traveled in the UK for 12 years before a massive row in 2004. So even a blood tie doesn’t ensure mutual annoyances!~Emily Dame

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  4. I love all these traits and commonalities. Hugh and I mark twenty years together in a few weeks and I'm grateful for so much. If I notice cat throw-up, I lay a paper towel on top so nobody steps on it and he cleans it up. Handles all the cat litter. Keeps our freezer organized so we know what's in there. Loves clearing walkways and driveway of snow and ice, down to the pavement. Makes the beds every morning. And so much more.

    But he likes washing dishes by hand. Often I'll take a dish from the dishdrainer and pop it right into the dishwasher because IT ISN'T CLEAN. After living with a highly critical mother and then first wife, he often takes umbrage at the least thing I say. He mostly only shows empathy for cats. He also leaves his sorted mail on the table for weeks unless I take action. And can't find things in plain sight. He's also terribly absent-minded and we both still laugh about the time I found his glasses in the pantry cabinet. Still, he's a keeper.

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  5. Mine can't find anything in the cabinets or fridge either, especially if it's right in front. But what drives me crazy is his insistence on being a DIYer. And he's not good at a lot of it. We replaced our own doors a few years back. They're hung crooked and have air gaps, which he can't see and denies. I've wanted to get my kitchen (original to 1982) renovated for years. Why haven't I? Because he insists he can hang new cabinets on his own. "It's easy!" he says. Meanwhile I watch shows like "Help! I've Wrecked My House" on HGTV and see my future. Nope. The funny thing is when we decided to build his dream garage several years ago, he was happy to pay professionals to come in and make it perfect.

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  6. Aw, I have to confess, I fit the cliche of the one who can't find anything. I've gotten a little bit better over the years, but I think that's just extra practice from having to look for things my children have misplaced. It trains you. After many bad experiences, I've also gotten better about having a place for very, very important things (documents, my wallet, the keys) but little piddly things still often elude me (the remote, my Kindle, the pen I was using just three minutes ago).

    My husband definitely has his share of foibles as well. A little one that drives me crazy is dropping things wherever and not dealing with them. Mail he hasn't opened (I don't like to open other people's mail, but I think I'm just going to have to get over it before we miss something important), Half empty boxes and bags of all sorts of starchy snack stuff (that I don't eat!) gets strewn over the counters when it could be put neatly in a pantry container. Giant Amazon boxes full of toilet paper and paper towels just stacked in the dining and living room that makes me feel like I'm in a warehouse. He does not see the clutter. I'd love for him to get better, but since it bothers me and not him, I'm trying to get better at tackling it and handling it with as much grace as he does when I confess to him I have lost the remote again and need his help ;-)

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    1. Hugh doesn't see dust at all, Jill. I finally hired every-four-weeks housecleaners. It's marvelous!

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    2. Yes! We do the same thing and it has helped a lot. Pricey, but I'd give up my birthday, mother's day, and Christmas present before I'd go without their help again!

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  7. From Celia: good morning everyone. Yes tis really I, awake and with a dental emergency so I’m waiting till opening time patiently. Well Victor and I will reach 55 years in May DV etc. And he can join the husband band on sink vs dishwasher, mustard or anything in the fridge, cupboard etc. which is not visible on the front line. Now of course at 97 we are in a different phase which is sorely stretching my OCD tendencies but I’m working on that. All in all I am blessed and grateful. But for the love of Mike please stop moving stuff. It actually all has a home and we are happier when we can find it in its home, especially in my kitchen.

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    1. Aw Celia, good luck with the dental emergency!

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    2. Ouch, tooth issues are the worst. Good luck getting speedy relief, Celia.

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    3. Wishing you well with your teeth!

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    4. Good luck with your dental emergency, Celia.

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    5. CELIA: Hope they can fix your dental emergency! Tooth problems are the worst.

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    6. Best wishes at the dentist. I understand the 'put it in the proper home' issue. Harrumper cleans up by opening a place and putting it in - out of sight, out of mind, so put the rubber boots in the candy drawer, put the cashews in the fridge. If you can't see it, it didn't happen. It also means it will be months before the rubber boots will ever be found!

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    7. I'm training my grandnephew in the 'everything has a place and put it back when you're finished with it' idea. Remember when armoires were all the rage to hold tvs, etc? I found one at a garage sale really cheap, painted it, fitted the interior with lots of shelves. Behold! A place for all his stuff. It's really cute to watch him open the doors and decide everything needs sorting. Or, hmmm, there's something that can go to the basement storage (which means he can now bring something up from basement storage). The kid's a keeper!

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    8. good luck with your dental emergency, Celia!

      Diana

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    9. FLORA: I love the idea of a separate storage place.

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    10. Celia, hope that your dental emergency was treated and that you are feeling better.

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    11. From Celia: so grateful for all your support just wanted to say THANK YOU ALL before I nod off. XOXOXO

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  8. Happy big-number upcoming anniversaries! Our next one on March 1 will be 42 years. And yes, some days I wonder how we got this far!

    Steve used to do the dishes all over the counter thing. But... since we've moved to this house *I* am the one who rinses my dishes and leaves them in the sink. He has taken over dishwasher duties (along with his own laundry, hallelujah), after I mentioned how unfair it was that HE got to retire, and I was still the household drudge. No, things are not always to my standards, but I have learned to look the other way, it's so freeing not to have to make sure the dishwasher is emptied. I still cook most of our meals, vacuum, and manage the sheets and towels, never dreaded chores for me. I am grateful that he cuts the grass, and is near religious about keeping the fireplace glass cleaned (closed system, and needs to be cleaned after every use), and keeping the wood box in the living room full, along with the woodpile on the porch. He also actually enjoys washing windows. Go figure. He will willingly do the grocery shopping, unless I want something unusual. He's game to help with my crazy projects, digging holes for the trees, building eight (!) raised bed boxes for my garden, and putting up a deer-proof fence around them. What a guy. In return, I grow fruits and veggies he loves.

    So we rub along. We aren't perfect, but make a pretty good team.

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  9. After reading today's post all I have to say is..."Ahhh, the joys of being single".

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    1. Yeah, single life is for me, too, JAY!

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    2. I’ve been married twenty five years and I’ve now been single for twenty six years.
      Even if I loved my husband dearly let me say how much I appreciate being single.
      I don’t think that I could live again as a couple.
      Danielle

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    3. I just like the ability to do what I want, when I want. I'm not beholden to go to someone else's relatives for holidays, don't have to provide for someone else's entertainment and I don't have to find a place to bury the body when they irritate me beyond measure. I think of me being single as a time and prison time-saving measure.

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    4. Also, when the last three relationships I was dumb enough to attempt are collectively known as "The Disaster, The Aftershock and The Regret", there's no more reason to even want to be coupled up.

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    5. I'm glad we don't have to help you bury bodies Jay!

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  10. Jerry, thanks for the chuckle. I'm sure your spouse appreciates your love and sense of humor ;-)

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  11. 40 years of marriage this coming August. I’ve spent countless hours looking for things my husband can’t find. “A place for everything and everything in its place” is a concept he just can’t seem to follow so that things don’t become misplaced. If I put something away where it belongs it is my fault that he can’t find it. Arrgh. But I have never had to mow the yard and have not shoveled snow in the past 10 years. Basically the only thing he will not do is clean a bathroom. I have tested this theory by holding out until a gas station bathroom would be a better option. No dice.

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    1. Yes, the finding thing! Roseann Barr still makes me laugh 35 years after I heard this:

      “This bugs me the worst. That’s when the husband thinks that the wife knows where everything is, huh? Like they think the uterus is a tracking device. He comes in: “Hey, Roseanne! Roseanne! Do we have any Cheetos left?” Like he can’t go over and lift up the sofa cushion himself.”

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    2. That is completely hilarious, Karen!

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  12. If there's a dish in the sink or food getting a wee bit old in the fridge, I look around and say, "Who DID that?" Oh yeah.. it was me.

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  13. The ads. I can relate. He goes through the health food store flyer for about 20 mins (and don’t talk to him then as he can’t hear you), and then drones on about how much they cost and why would anyone buy them. Every week. We don’t take them and the flyer comes in the junk mail. The question arises, why bother, and why, why why? It must have something to do with the same reason he listens to the phone sellers and then going on about how dumb people are to fall for them. Just hang-up!
    No need to start about him starting a conversation, and then he walks away still talking, and can’t understand why I can’t hear him.
    Cheap – yup, don’t put anything on the list unless there is less than a crumb left, and then complain if I pay full price (I shop on sales when they are available so regardless of if we need coffee this week, if it is on sale, I stock up). He won’t get a hair cut (it has been 3 months) as he doesn’t want to pay the $25 – and no, I can not cut it for him.
    He does clean up the cat puke, and he can work a snow blower and a chain saw, so I guess I will keep him.

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  14. I'm coming up on 28 years this August. Rhys, you're singing my song with this: "One is that he half-rinses any dishes, cutlery that he uses and leaves them beside the sink. A perfectly good dish washer sits beside that sink but he has never learned to put anything in that dishwasher. So I am constantly finding plates, cooking utensils etc etc lying on the counter." The Hubby refuses to use the dishwasher. "It uses too much water." Never mind all the reports saying a dishwasher uses less. Especially when The Hubby LEAVES THE WATER RUNNING FOR ALMOST THE ENTIRE TIME he's washing. Has he seen the cost of water and sewage?

    Since he retired, though, he's rarely home. He's either at the Cottage puttering away or he has to make trips to Buffalo to take care of his dad. So most of the time it's just my son, Koda, and me. And The Boy lives in his bedroom, so actually, most of the time it's just Koda and me.

    Koda has a LOT fewer annoying habits. LOL

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  15. Aha, I knew it! Thanks for the laugh, Jerry.

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  16. I know the feeling, folks! One of my favorites was when my ex-husband asked, in all seriousness, honey, where do we keep the ice cubes? In the bathroom, I told him.

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  17. After 36 years of marriage hubby and I are mostly settled into patterns that work for us. But one of his quirks is a little different from most other husbands, I think. He was the eldest of 8 children, so tidiness was really pounded into his head growing up. (His quote: "When there are 10 people living in a house, chaos is only ever minutes away.") So he is very tidy -- it's just that sometimes the tidiness is superficial. Like, things just get pulled into tidy piles without sorting, so later when it comes time to track down a specific piece of paper, the hunt is on. Oh well -- I wouldn't trade him, and I am keenly aware of how blessed I am to get to grow old with him!

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    1. that's the key isn't it Susan? Most of us wouldn't trade at all! My inlaws had 7 kids, and the father used to say 'if everyone picks up one thing, the house will be neat."

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  18. RHYS: If I may make a suggestion? I do not know if it will help. When I ask someone to go grocery shopping for me and I want a certain something, this is what I do. I take a photo of an item I want and send it on my smartphone to the person who is shopping for me. I have been told it helped them look for what I want. If I am doing the shopping and I am asked to get something that I am not familiar with, then I ask for a empty bottle or a box (to bring with me) so that I know Exactly what to look for.

    Your story reminded me of my grandmother sending my grandfather to the grocery store and my grandfather would come back with extras like cashew nuts. Too funny.

    Regarding dishwashing, I never use the dishwasher. Always wash dishes by hand. Yes, I wear rubber gloves.

    JENN: That is too funny about the Hooligans saying "but you gave them clothes"

    Reading all of the comments, I was thinking "no one is perfect". These are quirks that you learn to live with over the years, though they are Not Deal Breakers, right?

    Diana

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    1. It would be fine if he took his phone with him!

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  19. Clare: My husband may have some annoying quirks but he has a secret weapon that makes me forget them. He makes coffee and unloads the dishwasher every morning and in the evening is always willing to head to the supermarket for wine or chocolate if I mention I can’t live without them. I have my own annoying quirks but I make great food for dinner from scratch whenever asked and deal with bills and online stuff. So we are both grateful for each other!

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    1. Clare, making great food for dinner from scratch is a wonderful talent! Sounds like you make a good team!

      Diana

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  20. This is the funniest thing I have ever heard! It’s brilliant, and would make a wonderful movie. I am picturing it right now.l— I think The Husband School has great Hollywood potential!
    It’s secret, as you said.
    And grooms are told about it at their bachelor parties!

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  21. Oh, my other favorite thing: and it really works out for the best. We often go to the grocery store together, it’s just what we do. So every time, I say: do we need lightbulbs?
    And it takes so long for Jonathan to decide about lightbulbs that I can complete the rest of the shopping while he is looking at them. It works perfectly.
    And yes, we’ve been married for 28 years.

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    1. HANK: I love that you can complete the shopping while Jonathan is trying to decide about lightbulbs. It all works out, right?

      Diana

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    2. We have too! 29 this May.

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    3. Sorry - this is Clare.

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    4. That is spectacular!

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  22. a secret husband school sounds like a great idea! thanks for the chuckle!

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  23. I chime in only to say that 'husband quirks' are not limited to the male gender...quirks are quirks across humanity and the not-finding-things-in-the-fridge problem crosses all boundaries! Enuf said!!

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    1. Amanda, if my husband can't find things in the fridge, I guarantee it's b/c *I* put them back incorrectly not him. He's much better at putting things in their place than I am. Bu I am also am the one who cleans the fridge, so he's pretty understanding of my quirks. If he can't find something he always asks for help kindly without getting exasperated. I'll keep him!

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    2. Amanda, I agree with you that quirks are quirks across humanity. Diana

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  24. Hank, that sounds like Hollywood potential to me too! Diana

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  25. It will be 43 years on February 1. I am the House Elf and that has worked out fine for us. Socks on the floor? No problem. Dishes in the sink? Um-m, still no problem. I cook, do the laundry, bake, etc. He mows the lawn, pushes the snowblower, I help shovel.
    He has an amazing work ethic and our lives have been good because he did what he did and I did what I did. We both know it. He is reliable! Me, too.
    Today's blog is delightful.

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    1. That's where we are, too, Judy. After 40+ years we have sifted out what we are good at and most willing to do, and it's almost universally appreciated. Not to say there aren't some minor skirmishes, but that's life.

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  26. Hank you and my husband were a match made in heaven--maybe you can both use the GPS to get there. If I deviate from the GPS route, my husband storms and pouts (he's a stormer and pouter about everything). I've learned that when I'm alone, I can drive any route I want, but when I'm with him, if I want to keep peace I'd best use the GPS.

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  27. Jill, my wife passed away two years ago after fifty-two years of marriage. She was a person who out-classed me in every possible way and I could never fully understand why she would fall for a jamook like me. Husband school taught me not only how to be occasionally frustrating but also how to make her constantly aware that she was the most precious person in creation. Every day was an adventure and a joy, thanks in good part to husband school. I recommend it wholeheartedly.

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  28. I have the most stuff in our relationship, so I’d better keep quiet. I can my husband saying. “She’s OCD enough to hang up my t-shirts by color, but her side of the closet is a jumble.”

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  29. A tip for too many bananas. Take them all of the hand and put cling film/plastic wrap around the end that was attached to the hand. I did not believe this would slow the ripening process, but I tried it and it helped. I've got no help for the husband/spouse problems....it says a lot that you've been married so long.

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    1. I’ll try this! Thanks

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    2. And if the bananas get too brown, toss them unpeeled in the freezer and make banana bread when you have enough!

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  30. 52 years if we make it to August. Dear Frank. Bless his pumpkin head. He never met a paper towel he could throw away. I make a sweep of the kitchen several times a day to throw away wadded up paper towels. He hasn't learned to shut the cabinet doors when he gets a glass out. Or shut the drawer when he gets out a spoon. He rinses off dishes (he claims he's washed them) and sets them down on a paper towel next to the sink. Right above the new dishwasher. He'll make fun of new products I buy, fancy tea, battery operated corkscrew, and then suddenly discover how great they are and aren't I glad he's discovered them. And his GPS is an almighty goddess; his wife GPS doesn't know what she's talking about. It's a good thing he has his positive points and I have high tolerance or we wouldn't have made it this far!

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    1. Laughing about the paper towels... good thing he hasn't got the same attachment to facial tissues.

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  31. Bows and applause to all who have stayed together. I have had 6 (six) long term relationships. I finally learned the only person who could/would last with my foibles is my eldest child. I am the where did I put (?) she is the finder. She plans to bury me with my car keys. On the other hand, she is the cleaner of cat liter and cat upchuck. Heading into my 78th year, I am very grateful that she choose to stay.

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    1. Ha ha ha! They'll have to make room in my grave for my keys, my glasses, and my cell phone. Only then will I be able to rest.

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  32. Rhys, I'm still chuckling at John's napkin choice. Adorable!! (As is John.)

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    1. Irwin enjoyed Rhys's story of the Christmas napkin purchase, too.
      My friend's husband was assigned the job of buying our then 4 yr old son, Jonathan a birthday present. He shopped at the Army-Navy store and bought him a hand grenade.

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  33. Anonymously Denise Terry, but I had to add our current problem in this area --- my husband heard (?) read (?) that opening the door to the basement will make the house warmer. The problem? He can't smell. We have a dry basement but it still smells musty (to me). He opens the door. I close it. Over and over.

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    1. Oooh, I see a mystery opening scene... Denise comes home expecting her husband to be home, but the back door is unlocked and the basement door is CLOSED. Has she finally won her argument with her husband, or....

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    2. OMG, Hallie, I am guffawing!

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  34. Jerry, that is beautiful. Thank you. Elisabeth

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  35. We will celebrate 40 years in September. DH and I share morals, beliefs, and sense of humor. However, in most other ways we are different. My husband is brilliant and had a great academic career, but he is, as I dubbed it, "domestically impaired." He is so absentminded, he notices nothing around the house. I used to joke that if I went away for any extended period, I would return to find him reading by a lone bulb -- all the others would have burned out and he just absently would have moved closer to the one remaining. I have always had to occasionally drive any car he is using because he does not notice warning lights. Once when I discovered a brake warning in his car, he said casually, "Oh, yes, it's been stuck on for a while." (Thankfully, it was an earlier girlfriend whose Volvo he drove, not noticing the oil light, until it seized up.) This quality of seems to be innate. Our son grew up under my hand and yet is exactly like my husband; our daughter is a problem-solver like me. (I gave her a first toolbox full of tools for Christmas.) Selden

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  36. After 30 years of marriage, the saving grace has been separate bathrooms. I knew what I was getting into when we dated and I visited his home. So, when we built ours, it was clear what we needed. Peter still leaves stuff anywhere when he is finished with it and then can't find it later. He does not keep track of what he buys online. So, there are many surprises. Although he also has the pantry and fridge disorder, he does try so hard to find things as he knows when he finally gives up that I can recite from memory where something is if we have it in inventory. His funniest shopping surprise was when he brought home some questionable items from Trader Joe's as he claimed that he thought that everything at that store was organic. I really think that he made that up so that I wouldn't give him a hard time about it. When my brother who is six years younger was in between jobs, we took him with us on a one week trip to Iceland and then a 15 day cruise from San Diego through the Panama Canal to Fort Lauderdale. At the end of that two week vacation, we both agreed that we had had enough and that future vacations would just be the two of us!

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  37. After 47 years of marriage (how did that pass so quickly?), I have had and still have some husband-related irritations that disturb me. He lives the kitchen faucet on spray after he uses it that way, and I am never prepared for that. He still thinks he's the better driver of the two of us. He isn't. Of course, there's more, but since Kevin died 8 months ago, I appreciate him more, too. I know I mention Kevin's passing a lot, but it has changed everything in our lives so completely. The first time in eight months I actually fixed a meal that Philip didn't have to do anything for was last week. He makes sure there is something for supper every night. He runs the dishwasher. I used to get irritated at how he would load it, but it doesn't bother me anymore. He washes his clothes, towels, sheets, and covers. I wash my clothes. Now, our house is a wreck because of things in boxes I need to go through, and I pretty much don't care how it looks. Philip does occasionally run the vacuum. I do some things, but he has stepped up and done much more than I have cared about doing. Ok, his living the TV on in the kitchen when he's not in there drives me a little nuts.

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    1. Warm thoughts for you and Philip. Elisabeth

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    2. thank goodness you two pulled together through this time of grief Kathy!

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  38. Jenn M. that is hysterical: We don’t have house elves.” He gasped in shock and said, “You gave them clothes!” Very clever comeback. lol

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  39. We’re closing in on 38 years and my husband still doesn’t know where anything is. He refuses to learn computing skills beyond how to access Netflix and insists I am just better at online banking, reservations and anything related to Bluetooth and wireless headphones. I’m really not that smart, he’s just really that lazy.

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  40. Sounds like you two were an amazing couple Jerry!

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  41. Yay I can post again. Have been locked out for a couple weeks!

    We are coming up on 28 years too. (What was it about 1996?). And I have nothing to complain about. Julie and I can tolerate the same level of dirt, have a cleaner every other week who keep the health department from putting an X on our front door and condemning the house

    Annoyances? Of course. What is this about half washing dishes as opposed to dropping them in the dishwasher! Oh well, at least they are rinsed and I get to load the DW my way

    But please spare me the pain of having to listen to her reading news articles when I’m paying bills, changing passwords, or otherwise concentrating on writing a brilliant JRW post. I read the same papers, watch the same news, and I read those articles and more at dark thirty when I got up with the damn starving dogs and cat.

    Whew. Getting that off my chest felt so good

    There are a number of other annoyances, but now I’m feeling so petty. So I’ll stop. Julie is kind, generous, thanks me every day for cooking great meals, and we adore each other. What more could one ask for?

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