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Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

I was cyber-harassing advertising execs from the comfort of my own room the other day when my husband came in, holding one of my jackets.

“Someone must have broken in, taken one of your jackets out of your wardrobe and left it one the back of one of the kitchen chairs,” he said.

“Oh, those people!” I sighed and kept on typing.

Five minutes later, he came in with another jacket.

“I really should change the locks on the back door,” he remarked, as he hung it up in the wardrobe. “Those people are out of control.”

A few minutes after that, he came in holding a grand total of four paper mushroom bags of varying ages and fullness.

“They’ve played that mushroom bag trick again!” he said, waggling the bags at me.

I shook my head and tutted. These were obviously the same people who, according to my husband, poured bucketfuls of water on the bathroom mat and then left it sopping wet on the floor and who left things soaking in a bucket in the laundry long enough to make their own killer swamp water and who always turned the heat up too high when cooking onions.

They were also the same people I suspected of switching the meat at the supermarket when my husband was shopping so that he ended up paying full price for sausages that were due to expire the very next day. And the same ones who never ever put the rice canister or the rice cooker away after using them. And who managed to lose one of Mr Justice’s school shoes somewhere between home and my mother’s house, by letting it roll unnoticed out of the car door at the petrol station.

And when I went on strike and refused to put the used toilet rolls in the recycling, the subsequent mass accumulation of used toilet roll wealth (pictured above) was entirely the fault of The Others because they suggested to my husband that I was collecting them for ‘crafting’.

Honestly! Why don’t these people just leave us alone?

I was thinking about all this when I heard my husband calling me, saying breakfast was ready. But strangely, when I got to the table, no food had been served and, in fact, most of it was still cooking on the stove.

“Sorry, I thought it must have been you calling me to breakfast but it must have been The Others playing tricks again because breakfast is clearly nowhere near ready,” I remarked.

“Actually, it was me who called you early because you always come late,” my husband replied.

“And I always come late because the food is never ready when you call me,” I was quick to retort.

We glared at each other for the briefest of moments before relaxing back into a smile. We knew this was The Others wanted us to do: they wanted us to fight. We weren’t going to fall for another of their tricks. Oh, no. Not us!

Honestly, marriage is much easier when there are other people involved.

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There’s not much to be recommended about starting work at 6am, except, perhaps, the possibility of knocking off early.

“Why, I can be home by 2:30!” my husband recently said, trying to look at the upside of his working hours.

“You can but you rarely are,” I corrected him. More often than not he’s not home until 4pm, conveniently after the school run. Funny, that.

“Okay, okay,” my husband said. “So I can be home by 2:30 if I have to.”

“If you have to? Is that what you think of your life here at home – as something you only do if you have to??” I was quick to accuse. My poor husband. Conversations with me must be like running blindfolded through a minefield while being chased by rabid she-dogs with PMT.

Still, it must be said that my husband and I have completely different concepts of time. I don’t feel like any of the time I take away from my family duties ever really feels like my own – it’s simply feels borrowed. And my husband? Well, let’s just say he has a greater sense of ownership over ‘his’ time.

Here’s an example: the other day he was supposed to be working a half-day – finishing at 10:30. He’d arranged to have ‘an early lunch’ with a colleague who leaving work forever that day. At 3:15pm, I rang him, asking if he was almost home. 

“Um, almost…” he replied. There was a lot of noise in the background. 

“Are you still at lunch?” I asked.

“Oh, no. Of course not!” was his quick response. “That finished ages ago. But here’s the thing, see… I was at the bus stop waiting to go home when [another friend] rang and asked me out for a beer.”

“So you’re at the pub,” I said.

“Yes. Yes, I am.”

“And not, for example, about to meet me at the school so that we can attend the meeting with Pixie’s teacher that you, yourself, arranged?” 

“Ah, no. No, I’m not,” he admitted, before adding cheerfully: “But you can go and show that at least one of us is a responsible parent!”

As you can imagine, when he got home over an hour later, I had a few words to say on the subject.

“All it takes is a phone call,” I said, sulkily. “I think you take it for granted that I’ll just look after the kids and do all the responsible things while you go do whatever the hell you want.”

“You know I’m always happy to do the same for you!” he replied with the air of somebody who’d just spent the afternoon at the pub.  

Now it’s here that I should give my husband some credit: he applies the same standards to my time management as he does to his own. He’s always saying “Go out and have fun! Don’t come home unless you’re completely shit-faced or in the back of a paddy wagon!” – partly because he knows the chances of me doing it are negligible. 

He decided to reiterate that point: “You know what’d I’d say if you rang me, saying you’d just taken a bad acid trip and were stuck at a rock festival for a week with Mzzz E?”.

“I don’t know. What would you say?” I asked. 

“Um, I’d say something. I just have to think what…” he mumbled. “Anyway, you’re off duty now for the rest of the evening. I’m here! I’m in charge! You can blog, sleep, read, whatever you like!”

Which is exactly what I did until one hour later, when I heard a little tap at the door.

“Um, have you finished blogging yet?” he asked in a small voice. “I was kind of hoping I could have a little lie down…”

In his defence, it was the 4am start and the 10km power-walk to work that was catching up with him. Not the four glasses of wine he’d had in the middle of the afternoon, of course. Not that. Never that.

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Just last night I was making dinner when my husband said to me “Do you think those things on the back line are dry yet?”

“You mean those towels that have been up for three days? Uh, I’d say so,” I said.  

“Should I bring them in?” he asked. 

“Yes, please. I’ve been trying to bring them for two days now but, you know, things keep happening…” I said. 

“Sure, they do. I understand,” my husband replied in a way that told me he didn’t really understand at all. Or that he thought the things that “kept happening” included “blog posts to write”, “chocolates to be eaten in front of Oprah” and “champagne to be quaffed with KT”. 

On his way out to the line, the cat pounced out of nowhere and attacked his legs.

“Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuudddd!” he exclaimed. 

“The cat needs feeding,” I called out, adding helpfully: “You can either feed him now or just have him attack you the entire time you’re bringing in that washing. It’s your choice.”

“Okay, okay, I’ll feed him now,” he replied.

A few minutes later, he was about to open the back door when Tiddles McGee came rushing up to him with a distinct brown cloud in his wake.

“Looks like McGee knows who’s going to change his nappy,” I remarked, oh-so-casually. 

“Okay, okay, I’ll change him,” my husband said. 

When he emerged from the back room with a freshly-powdered McGee a few minutes later, I was (conveniently) chopping chili. 

“Could you please put the DVD on for the kids? I’d do it but I have chili hands,” I said, with a little shrug to show how much I’d like to help but really just couldn’t right at that moment. 

“Okay, okay, I’ll do it,” my husband said, between gritted teeth. 

Of course, I had cleverly referred to “the” DVD and not “a” DVD to give the impression that the DVD had already been chosen. Because I knew if he thought for a moment that the committee hadn’t reached its decision yet, that it would be an absolute and utter deal-breaker.

For one thing, the parent overseeing the decision-making process is required to read out all the DVD titles at least three times. You see, we’ve had to store the DVDs in various high places around the loungeroom because otherwise the kids like to strap the disks to their feet and go cross-country skiing in the backyard. At least that’s what I think they do with the disks. It’s the only way I can explain how scratched those stupid things get.  

For another thing, a typical decision-making process might go a little like this:

PARENT: Okay, so which one do you want to watch?

TIDDLES: I want King Lion!

MR JUSTICE: I think he means “The Lion King”.

TIDDLES: (shouting very loudly) NO! KING LION!!

THE PIXIE: “The Lion King” is boring. I want something for girls. Like “Barbie-as-Rapunzel”. 

MR JUSTICE: No way! That movie makes me sick. Let’s watch Ben 10. 

TIDDLES & THE PIXIE: Yaaaayyyyy!

PARENT: Series One or Alien Force?

THE PIXIE: Series One!
MR JUSTICE: Alien Force!
TIDDLES: King Lion! 

PARENT: Okay, if you can’t decide, we’ll just watch ABC Kids instead.

PIXIE & JUSTICE: Yaayyy!

TIDDLES MCGEE: Nooooooooooo! (starts wailing loudly). DON’T! WANT! ABC KIDS!

PARENT: Okay, okay, okay. If you can’t choose a DVD by the time I count to 10, you’ll all get nothing at all. One… two…

PIXIE: Um… I think…  (brightening considerably) I think “The Lion King”!

MR JUSTICE: Great choice! After all, we haven’t seen it for, like, five years. 

McGEE: (smiling through his tears) King Lion! King Lion!! 

PARENT: Great. “The Lion King” it is.

(PARENT then spends 10 minutes looking for DVD while children run around screaming and hitting each other with heavy blunt objects. Eventually Parent finds case down the side of the couch but with no DVD inside it and is forced to start the choosing process again).

Needless to say, as I’m writing this post some 12 hours later, I can see outside that it’s started raining and those towels are getting lovely and wet. With a bit of luck, they will take another three days to dry and will end up resembling sandpaper in both texture and foldability. And the next time my husband emerges wet and towel-less from the shower, I shall be very pleased to hand him one. Very pleased indeed.

Of course, I could go and bring them in myself right now, but I think I have a point to prove here. Don’t you?

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