Tag: Marriage

The absent-minded genius

quadraticformulaMy husband is a genius of sorts. He can fill a white board with an algorithm no one else understands, but he cannot find his glasses.

Seriously! He has even, at times, worn his glasses on a granny chain around his neck to keep track of them. It makes him look like a cross between a rugby player and a 1940’s-era movie librarian.

(These would be his regular glasses he can’t find. He knows where his prescription sunglasses are. They are in the bottom of Lac Vieux Desert in Wisconsin.)

He has also misplaced his long underwear (yeah, I’m wondering about that too), his favorite pair of mittens (for which he blames the rest of us), and once, his wedding ring (he tried to replace it with a completely different ring, hoping I wouldn’t notice. I noticed.)

He is a conceptualist. I, on the other hand, am steeped in the practical, which some might say is my weakness. He is the dreamer of 100-foot windmills in the yard, perpetual motion engines, and running a business from a catamaran in the Bahamas. I’m “With the nice weather forecast for the weekend, it might be a good time to re-caulk the siding.”

But when you’re all about the big ideas, you sometimes miss the obvious – which is why it’s good to have someone like me around to bring you crashing back down to earth.  My favorite example is a conversation that went something like this:

Him: I need a 1/4″ washer for this project, but the hardware store didn’t have any. I’m not sure what I’m going to do.

Me: Why didn’t you just buy two 1/8″ washers?

Him: (Utter silence.)

And then the door slamming as he headed back to the hardware store.

If you live with an absent-minded genius, there will be compromises. You will need to manage all household expenses, bill payment, school schedules and medical appointments. You will need to feed, clothe, and transport the children. You will need to find storage for miscellaneous mechanical inventions in various prototypical states, and tolerate a lot of odds and ends in the garage.

The upside is…well, I’m sure there’s an upside, I just can’t think of one right now.

Well, maybe it’s that he can create just about anything he puts his mind to – a beautiful pergola in the yard, a house completely wired for a completely wired family, with access to whatever electronic activity you’d care to embark.

Ah, yes…the wireless network. Reminds me of another recent conversation. We were having some strange problem that brought down half our network – the upstairs TV, two of the four wireless connections, the printer in my office. He spent hours isolating the problem and trying to identify its cause.

Him: I can’t figure it out. The signal to the router is fine, but nothing connected to the router is working.

Me: Don’t you think the router probably just failed?

Him: (Utter silence.)

And then the trip downstairs to check the router.

We complete each other. Or something like that.

Why my husband should read my blog

IMG_0349Never one to pass up an opportunity, I’m using a situation that occurred yesterday to get a little familial love. Not that kind of familial love! Seriously. I mean spousal support and validation.

It seems my husband’s phone lit up yesterday after I published my post about cleaning out the garage. He asked me what I’d written when he returned home.

Asked me, because he doesn’t read my blog. He subscribes by email, but he doesn’t read past the blurb.

“It’s too much trouble to log in and everything,” he said.

“Click,” I responded. “All you have to do is click.”

This isn’t the first time this has happened, and let me say, I’m really flattered that so many of his friends are readers. But he should be reading it, too, if for no other reason than to know why the rolling pin is coming at him when he walks in the door.

So I’m giving him one more chance to see what I’ve disclosed to countless others. Here, in one easy list, are all the recent blog posts in which he figures prominently, so he will know that his friends know:

So there you are, dearest. Now you can catch up. All you have to do is click. See you tonight.

It’s time to clean the garage

IMG_0660My husband and I have a definite difference of opinion. I am a purger who assumes that at least half of what we own at any given time (if not more) is dispensable. He saves scrap wood.

And other stuff. And not in an organized fashion. His is the work bench so disastrous that when he needs a nail it is easier to go buy a new box of nails than search for one the right size.

I routinely go through closets, drawers and storage areas. I throw out the kids’ artwork. Pass on books that I loved and could probably reread. Discard family heirlooms. He keeps the user’s guides from the technology training course held so long ago it is like the Model A of technology.

All this, in the garage. Because I won’t let it in the house. Once something is deposited in the garage it would take an act of congress to get me to bring it back inside. And we all know how unlikely that is given the current state of Washington.

When my husband and I disagree about whether or not to keep something, it goes to the garage. To him, it’s convenient storage. To me, the garage is a staging area for the stuff we can someday discard, when the mood is right, when my husband is so sick of banging his car door into that box of junk that he is seized with a temporary urge to purge.

When he hits this point, all sentiment falls away from the man. He will discard boxes without looking into them first. He will throw out toys the kids are still using, practically removing them from their hands. I take full advantage of these liberating moments, when they arrive.

Today, a new twist. He called me to the garage to take a look at something he’d brought home. It was a motorcycle. Something he’s always wanted. And needs to park in the garage.

I am not a fan of motorcycles. They scare me. And they cost money. But when I saw it, I did not raise concerns about safety or expense. Instead, my first reaction was, “If you’re going to park that in the garage we will need to get rid of some stuff.”

“OK,” he said, amenably.

Yessssssss! Guess what I’m doing today…

This is a Blogging University Writing 101 post.

A family in haiku

For Suzie81’s weekly word challenge on the word Family – a haiku for each of my dear ones.


For all my asking
Through our years together you
Still use my towel

A beautiful girl
If only I could see you
Through that pile of clothes

Boy One
Early bird rises
And as he does every day
Fails to feed the cats

Boy Two
Youngest, at table
Molecule by molecule
Consumes his dinner

And that is all.


The worst gift I almost got

Lest readers of my last post think the hideous green vest is the worst gift ever, let me tell you about the one that got away.

I was three months pregnant and sick as (ironically) a dog when the call came.

“My husband is out of town,” I told the earnest young woman on the other end of the phone. “Is there something I can help you with?”

“I’m returning his call. He inquired about purchasing our retired sled dog team,” she said.

Retired sled-dog team? Wah?

IMG_0159Turns out my husband had hatched a plan to buy this for me for my birthday – eight retired dogs and a sled. It is true that I had often expressed an interest in riding on a sled pulled by sled dogs. That did not, however, equate to a desire to own one.

I’d had a rough pregnancy. I hadn’t eaten anything but boxed macaroni and cheese in weeks and had spent most of my evenings curled in the fetal position wishing for death. The thought of a future slinging dog food and picking up you-know-what sounded hideous. Fortunately, I was able to plead an upcoming change in family status and get off the phone.

My dear husband is a little hit-and-miss in the gift giving department. There is a lot of thought that goes into the purchase of a sled dog team. Not exactly sure what kind of thought, but I’ve got to give him credit for that. He was a big winner the year he handpicked every pearl for a beautiful long string I received as an anniversary gift. Ditto for the Mother’s Day I arrived home to one of the famous blue boxes. But there was a Christmas where he not only bought me a pair of slippers (unromantic) and left the price tag on (unobservant), but also stuck the box, unwrapped, on a branch of the Christmas tree (unmentionable).

He keeps me guessing, anyway. Maybe a little mystery is good in a marriage that’s lasted as long as ours.

More contributions for the worst gift ever? There have been some doozies so far.

My husband went to Canada and all I got was…

My husband has gifted me with the ugliest piece of logo wear ever. Not only is it mucus green and made of a fabric that threatens the endangered petrol species, it is a vest. A VEST people!

Logos obscured to protect the innocent
Logos obscured to protect the innocent

Did I mention it is also a men’s size large? That’s right – he thinks I am a large, colorblind man with no fashion sense. Its claim to fame is that it has a logo from the Vancouver winter Olympic Games (wasn’t that four years ago?) My only consolation is that he didn’t pay anything for it so I don’t feel a need to don it out of guilt.

My husband is not completely lacking in taste. He has a good eye for jewelry, and he’s always the best-dressed man in any meeting he’s in. But when it comes to selecting clothing for me, I have to wonder – is it that his overwhelming love leads him to think I’ll be beautiful in anything I wear? Or is it that he has not glanced my way in a few years?

You see, there have been others. An XXL women’s swim cover-up he bought when we were vacationing in Florida. (I’m a non-statuesque size 4. The armholes reached all the way to my waist.) And the size large boys’ ski pants he picked out for me, forgetting that adolescent boys don’t have hips. I, however, do *cough, cough*. I couldn’t pull them up over my thighs.

Then there was a pair of fleece pajamas that were very comfortable – that is, until I wore them to bed, my body temperature soared to a thousand degrees and I woke drenched with sweat from a dream of being in a hot tub with an extremely unfortunate collection of B-list celebrities. No woman over 40 should wear fleece to bed.

Not all the clothing he’s bought me has completely missed the mark. There was a fleece jacket that was sort of nice. I wore it quite a bit until my teenage daughter borrowed it and stuffed it into her gym locker for the rest of eternity. Come to think of it, there was another fleece jacket that was OK too. There must be something about recycled pop bottles that makes him think of me. Or perhaps he thinks to himself, “I’ll give the gift of fleece. You can never go wrong with fleece.”

It occurs to me that if I wore all this clothing at once I’d look like someone from a bad reality TV show. But even I have too much self-respect for that. Not so much self-respect, however, that I could resist posting a picture of the vest. You’ll notice I’m not in it.

Worst gift you ever got? I’m sure someone can top this. Or you can read my next post and find out how I almost got a whole team of sled dogs for my birthday…