Couplehood

Stories of You and Me

My hearing has been coming back and going away sporadically over the Summer. Yesterday, I said to the hubs, “Babe? My voice, in my head, sounds really loud all of a sudden.” He replied, a little scared, “What is it telling you do?”

This morning we were standing in the kitchen, hugging, and I said, “Thank you for providing so much love, laughter, peace and security for the last nineteen and a half years.” He replied, “You’re welcome, but I’m taking today off!”

Who knew undershirts could cause such angst?

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While folding the hubs undershirts on our bed Sunday afternoon, I started reminiscing.  (BTW, doesn’t our $20 yard sale comforter look great?)  Before I met the hubs, the only other male I knew that wore undershirts was my dad.  I guess that was another sign of the wonderful man the hubs was; one of many things he had in common with my dad.

I used to tease the hubs because he wore an undershirt all the time.  Not just under dress or work shirts, but also under polo shirts and t-shirts and it’s his pajama top when he sleeps.  I’d ask him why he didn’t go without one when he wore a polo shirt – it’s thick enough you can’t see through it, or a crew neck t-shirt – the t-shirt covers everything the undershirt does.  Even on hot, humid 90+ degree days he still wears an undershirt!  After a couple of years, I stopped teasing and cajoling him to lose the undershirts and accepted that I was in love with an ole fuddy duddy.  😉

Fast forward 10 years, we have a child and the hubs still washes his own clothes.  One day he came downstairs, all showered and dressed and cameo me for his goodbye kiss before heading out the door.  I admired him by looking him up and down as he walked towards me and stopped at his throat.  He had on a red polo shirt, top button undone, and instead of seeing the standard white undershirt, I saw bronze skin.  Different emotions flashed through me – disbelief, surprise, lust – and then one other emotion that I had never felt before in my life – jealousy.

Me: Wait.  What’s going on?  Why aren’t you wearing an undershirt? (with a touch of accusation in my voice)
The Hubs: I don’t have any clean ones left.  I thought I had one more, but I was wrong.  I’ll do laundry tonight.
Me: Then wear a dirty one.  Or change into a dress shirt and tie.
The hubs: What’s wrong with you?  I don’t need to change.
Me: Wherever you’re going, it can wait.  I’ll go wash your undershirts right now and you’ll be much more comfortable leaving this house with one on.
The hubs:  Will I?  What’s going on Jessie?
Me: (face turning red, breathing heavy, teeth clenched, lips pursed) I DON’T WANT WOMEN TO SEE YOU!
The hubs: HUH?!
Me: That little triangle of bronze skin showing where your shirt is unbuttoned hasn’t been seen by anyone other than me in over a decade!  I don’t want want anyone else to see it!  No other woman should be looking at it!
The hubs: I’ll button it up.
Me: NO!  The collar of the polo shirt is wider than the undershirt and women can still see you!
The hubs: You’re scaring me.
Me: (dissolved into puddles)

He didn’t change.  He didn’t put on a dirty undershirt.  He wouldn’t wait while I washed his clothes.  After holding me and passing me tissues while trying very hard not to laugh, he went to work just as he’d come downstairs.  He was amused and flattered that I was jealous.  I was mortified.  He came home that night to a drawer full of the clean undershirts from the hamper as well as others I’d bought that day to make sure he had an amble supply.  And I’ve been washing his undershirts ever since!

Another reason the hubs and I have stayed together

Two years ago, I did a monthlong series called, 31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years.  I posted a new one every day during the month of July.  It was fun, it was hard and, sometimes, it was embarrassing.  But experience – the good, the bad and the ugly – can only help each other when we share it. A few months ago, I came up with another reason and jotted it down quickly to share later.  I just found it, so I’m sharing now before I lose it again.  😉

There can be no hiding physically or emotionally.  We have to be able to bare who we are to each other.  We not only have to be comfortable enough to ask for what we want and need, we also have to accept and not judge each other for asking.  We listen and then do – willingly.

The hubs shaved my legs when I could no longer reach them around my pregnant belly.  When I get the stomach flu, and it’s coming out both ends, he comes into the bathroom with me, pulls my hair back into a ponytail, wipes my face with a wet cloth, holds a glass of water with a straw in it in front of my face so I can drink and have something to throw up instead of dry heaving.  Granted, he pulls his undershirt up over his mouth and nose b/c it is not the sweetest smelling place to be right then, but he’s there.  And I’m over worrying about him smelling my poop or seeing me at my worst.

He also tried to paint my toenails for me when I was pregnant, again because I could not reach them.  It was such a struggle for his giant man hands to grasp the tiny nail polish brush and he ended up painting not only my nails but the entire top knuckle of each toe.  But that’s OK!  He tried, because I asked.  Although he finally sent me to get a pedicure from a salon after seeing the job he did, that wasn’t his 1st response.

We are not afraid to ask for, or even demand, what we need from each other:

Don’t try to fix it, just listen to me.

Hold me.

Leave me alone right now.

Tell me I’m not screwing up our child.

Hand me that wrench.

For the love of all that is holy, pick up your (insert whatever it is they leave around).  

Help me.

What are you afraid to show your spouse?  What are you afraid to ask of them?  How would you react if they showed you their’s?  How would you react if if they asked of you the same thing?  Would you judge?  Or would you marvel at the courage and strength it took for them to do that, accept them and love them even more for trusting you with it?  Why not give them the opportunity to accept all of you?

Phones, Gas and Coffee

I’m frustrated with the hubs right now.  I tried to get ahold of him a little bit ago, to no avail.  He’s out of coffee.  Last time he ran out, he went to the store and bought a box of something he’d never tried before, Peet’s. He really liked it and asked me to get him some.  I felt bad that I forgot to get some yesterday, so he didn’t have it this morning.  It was on my list of things to do while B was at camp today.

They didn’t have any Peet’s K-cups at Costco, where I went after dropping B off at camp, and I bought cold things so I had to go straight home.  I ate my lunch and watched a show while I cooled down and then decided to head back out to get the hubs coffee.  He was out of work by this time, heading to pick B up from camp.  I called him, twice, and he didn’t pick up.

This happens a lot.  And when I say a lot I mean 75% of the times that I’ve called him over the past 19 years, he doesn’t answer.  And I’m not talking about at work; I don’t expect him to be available when he’s working.  I’m referring to when he is on his own time.  For some “mysterious” reason, his electronics, and I mean every single one that he has used, has “not worked properly”.  Even his pager before there were cell phones!  The page was never received; the phone never rang or vibrated; he didn’t get a notification that I texted him, etc., etc., etc.  Funny, when we switch devices, I have no problems with his phone but now all of a sudden he’s having problems with my phone. It’s not the device; it’s the user.

He calls me all the time just to see what we’re doing.  And if I miss his call because I’m in the bathroom, or on another floor or mowing the lawn, I call him right back.  I only call him when I need something but I can’t get through.

I called him, twice, before heading out to get him coffee to find out which flavor or brew of Peet’s he wanted.  No answer.  Fine.  I head to the garage and the gas light is on in the car.  I grab the lawn mower’s gas can and pour a gallon into the car’s tank to get me to the store and back.  Now, it’s 93 outside and The Weather Channel says it feels like 100.  I climb into the car with no A/C and the hubs calls.

TH: Did you call me?  I don’t know what happened, but it didn’t ring.
Me: You mean you didn’t hear it because you’d accidentally hit the button on the side that turns off the sound or you didn’t hear it because the radio was blaring in the car?
TH: Neither one.  I don’t know why it didn’t ring.  What did you need?
Me: (*rolled eyes* “Whatever” in my head) I wanted to tell you some good news and ask what kind of Peet’s coffee you wanted.
TH: IDK what it was called but the package was purple.  What’s the good news?
Me: I don’t feel like telling you right now.  I’m hot, I had to add gas to the car from the lawn mower and I’m irritated that, once again, I could not get ahold of you.  I want to get to the store and back into the cool house.

We hung up and I went to the store.  They are having a sale on Peet’s and only 2 of the 8 kinds remain on the shelves, neither of which is purple.  He usually likes a dark roast and neither of the ones there is a dark.  I call him to find out which of these two he wants.  Guess what?  He doesn’t pick up.  REALLY?!  Less than 10 minutes ago I told him how frustrated I was that I could not get ahold of him and he did nothing to remedy the situation?  I left him a message, repeating my frustration at not reaching him.  I also told him why I called and that I was tempted to go home without any coffee for him!

did get him coffee, though.  I have a temper but I’m not mean.  However, after putting it on the counter in front of the coffee machine, I did this to it.  Definitely immature, but it made me feel better.

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Third Time’s a Charm

Third Time’s a Charm

The first man
I fell in love with
broke my heart
when he left me.

The second man
I fell in love with
broke my spirit
When he abused me.

The third man
I fell in love with
broke my walls
when he came back for me.

The Hubs Isn’t Perfect, You Know

I say that, because a lot of women have told me that they think he is the “ideal man”.  He cooks, declutters, cleans, does the laundry, thoroughly enjoy being involved in our son’s life, doesn’t “babysit” his own child, is strong and protective when it’s warranted, is handsome and sexy, makes me laugh everyday and can make my entire body tingle with the slightest touch.

But he definitely isn’t perfect.  Just like any partner does, he knows how to push my buttons and can annoy the hell out of me.  I’m all about disclosure and am honest with y’all about me and my imperfections, so I’ve gotten the hubs’ permission to share some of his.

Here are 5 imperfect things about the hubs I don’t like:

  1. He has these black and white rules of life that make no sense and drive me insane. For example, it’s fine to eat breakfast foods at dinner but me eating dinner foods for breakfast is a crime against nature in his book.  Seriously, there are much more important things in this world to worry about.
  2. For being such a neat freak, cleaner and silent hater of how messy I keep this place, he leaves his dirty socks all over the house.  Sometimes, a sock will be on a different floor than it’s mate because they were removed hours apart!  Once they leave his feet, they are invisible to him.  I’ve even fought the urge to pick them up to see how long he’d go before doing it himself.  Two weeks.  And only then did he pick them up because he was completely out of socks.
  3. Most of the time he won’t turn the TV off.  He will be the only one watching the TV yet when he exits the room for good, he leaves it on.  ERR!  Such a waste of electricity and added noise pollution I don’t need with B reciting lines from songs or movies over and over and over…
  4. He constantly tries to regulate my body temperature for me.  He’s very observant.  He notices when I get up to put on a sweater, socks and/or slippers (because I’m cold) or when I change out of long clothes and put on shorter ones (because I’m hot).  As soon as I make a move like that, he goes to the thermostat and adjusts it.  If I put on more layers, he turns the heat up; if I change into cooler clothes he turns the A/C down.  I know what y’all are thinking – “That’s so considerate!” or “I wish my husband paid attention to me like that.”  No, it’s not!  I have been asking him, telling him, begging him for 65 years (that’s how long he said he’s been married to me today) to stop.  You know why?  Because 10 minutes after I put that sweater on, I’m roasting.  Ten minutes after going upstairs, finding a cooler outfit, changing into it and coming back downstairs, I am freezing.  I am back in the same predicament, uncomfortable temperature-wise, just at the opposite end of the thermostat now.  *sigh*
  5. No matter how many times I ask him to, he does not turn down the volume on the TV or computer before turning them off.  So when he comes downstairs at 5:30am and decides to update his timecard before going to work, I am jerked awake by the loud “BWOOOOONG” the computer makes as it boots up (do they still call turning on a computer “booting up”?  I’m dating myself here…)  On the rare occasion he does turns off the TV, it’s always at night and the volume is left pretty high because he was cooking in the kitchen and wanted to hear the game on the TV in the family room.  If I get up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep or I get up with the hubs and B is still asleep, I’ll turn the TV on to watch the news or a DVR’d show I can’t watch with B around.  I don’t know about y’all’s TVs, but when we turn ours on, the volume and mute buttons are not activated until 11.25 seconds after the TV has been turned on.  Those seconds might as well be minutes and by the time I’ve launched the remote across the room at the power button on the TV, B has been startled awake and is screaming because he thinks were under attack.
So there you go; the hubs is human, after all.  And please know, these five are not the only things that bother me about him, but these are the major offensives in my book.

 

My Sweet Husband

This is our coffee machine.  Taped to it and over it are 2 notes; notes that I wrote to the hubs.  Usually, I stay up later than him and he gets up before me, so if there’s something I need him to know before he goes to work, I write him a note and stick it where I know he’ll see it.  It’s not always by the coffee maker.  Sometimes it’s stuck to something in the fridge, on another cabinet or even on the doorknob of the door through which he’ll leave.

For example, the note on the coffee machine was stuck on a bottle of creamer in the fridge that was just about empty, and the note advised there was another bottle in the extra fridge.  He’s not real good about checking the extra fridge or the pantry  shelves in the basement to see if we have replacements when something runs out.  So I left him a reminder.  I’m not writing poetry or leaving steamy love notes, but I do end them all with “I love you!!” and I put a smile under the two exclamation points.

The thing is, he never takes them down!  After the notes have been hanging around for a week or two, I rip them down in frustration and toss them into the recycle bin.  I steam over his laziness for not removing them himself.  A note hanging in the kitchen, either one I’ve written for him or myself, is important.  I want them to catch someone’s attention.  However, if there are notes hanging off all the cabinets, then none of them would catch my attention.

The blue note, above, was placed on an item in the fridge at least a month and a half ago.  After reading it, the hubs moved it to the coffee machine.  The pink note was written last week and remains where I stuck it.

Friday afternoon I asked him (in a huffy manner), “How come you never throw out the notes?!”  He looked over at them, smiled nostalgically at them and then looked at me.  There was so much love and tenderness in his face and he just smiled at me for about 10 seconds.  Finally he said, “Just ’cause,” kissed me on the forehead and walked away.

It finally dawned on me – their like souvenirs or mementos to him.  I found him and asked him, “Am I not telling you that I love you frequently enough?  Do I not say enough nice things to you?  Is that why you need to keep them?”  I was worried and wanted him to let me know if he needed something from me.  “Nope,” he replied.  They’re just his love letters and likes to see them everyday.

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