The Unspoken Language of Love

Learning to interpret the unspoken communication in a marriage is one of the most valuable tools a husband can have in the pursuit of harmony. While all wives have their own versions of this language, here are some examples of my wife’s wordless vocabulary.

Raised eyebrow  . . . . I’m not quite sure yet, but I suspect you are about to do or say something that will make me think you are an idiot.

“Huff”  . . . You are an idiot.

“Sigh”  . . . I disagree, but it’s not worth the time to argue about it.

“Huff, sigh”  . . . You are an idiot, but you already know that, so it is not worth my time to say it again.

“Chuckle”  . . . I told you that you were an idiot, but you wouldn’t listen.

“Groan”  . . . Please don’t try to fix the washing machine with spare car parts for the fourth time this week, let’s just buy a new one.

“Groan, sigh”  . . . I wish you wouldn’t try to fix the washing machine with spare car parts, but I know you are going to no matter what I say.

“Huff, groan, sigh, smile”  . . . You are an idiot for trying to fix things that are beyond your capabilities, and I can do nothing to stop you when you are on a do-it-yourself mission, but that is partly why I love you.

 

Buy a whole book full of silly stories like this one:

Single Family Asylum

 

 

Big clumsy Fingers

I have big clumsy fingers. They don’t always work well with phone apps.

With the WordPress app, I find myself accidentally hitting things that I wasn’t intending on hitting.

One such thing is the “follow” button that is all too close to the link that takes me to the blog I am trying to get to. I end up “unfollowing” by mistake. Then I have to decide if it will cause more damage to leave the blog unfollowed and hope the blogger doesn’t notice, or re-follow causing a notification to pop up and most certainly making the blog owner wonder what kind of shenanigans I am up to.

I end up liking a lot of my own posts as well. I would never do this intentionally . . . . It just seems vain. But it happens when my bullish fingers go wandering through the china shop of the WordPress app.

The Worpress app has a lag that causes me problems as well. I’ll hit “like” on a particular post, and it takes several seconds for the little star to change colors. I get impatient and hit the “like” again. The little star finally changes color but then immediately back to it’s original color because I hit the like button twice. I have repeated this scenario up to ten times . . . Sending ten notifications to a blogger that I liked their post. . . . . ten times.

Again, I’m sure they are wondering what sort of shenanigans I am up to.

Taco-holism.

Hello, my name is Jon, and I am a taco-holic. 

Living with a taco addiction is terrible. It affects your ability to make rational decisions.

Sunday night we ate at my favorite taco place. That night I became deathly ill. This of course raises the question of wether it was the food or the flu.

Today, I took the taco leftovers out to throw them away just in case they were the culprit . . . . But I couldn’t do it. I decided that risking grave illness was better than throwing tacos away,

So I ate them.

I’m sitting on the toilet waiting . . . Just in case.

Showering Genius.

Being the intellectual type, I can’t help but try to streamline daily tasks and duties.  Just because something has been done a certain way for long periods of time, doesn’t mean that it can’t be improved upon.

One morning I was standing in the shower when our cat suddenly came flying into the bathroom and through the shower curtain in a panic. Hot on the cat’s tail was our dog Pippi, who also came flying into the bathroom and then through the shower curtain. Once both animals were inside the shower, they proceeded to engage in an extremely vicious claw and fang fight.

Now, the dog chasing the cat was nothing new around our house, but the dog and the cat ending up in the shower with me was a new development.  The brain of an ordinary man would have been preoccupied with the multiple lacerations sustained on his legs and buttocks during the dog and cat scuffle which he had just been in the middle of, but I barely even noticed the pain and blood. Instead, my mental gears began to turn as I stood in the warm flow of water, looking down at Pippi.

I was in the shower . . . . . and Pippi was in the shower . . . . . . We were both already wet, so why not give the dumb dog a bath . . . or shower as it were. I had just taken two separate tasks, showering and dog washing, and combined them into one highly efficient event.

In the days that followed, I couldn’t help but be proud of my combining showering with dog bathing, and I began to think of other things that I could incorporate to make the time wasted in the shower even more productive. With the whole water/washing theme of a being in a shower, the natural progression seemed to be washing clothes.

I figured I could just wear whatever clothes I wanted to wear for the day while I was in the shower. I was sure that the scrubbing of the clothes will also seep through to my body and clean it as well. The only dilemma was whether I should use laundry detergent or body wash, so just to be safe, I settled on using a dash of both.

The combination did indeed seem to result in the cleaning of both myself and my clothes, but the drying of the clothes needed some adjustment. At first, I liked the idea of just showering with the clothes on that I would wear for the day, and then just walking out of the bathroom ready to head off to work. However, I discovered that it takes anywhere from three to six hours for the clothes that you had showered in to dry, which seems to also lead to chafing in “uncomfortable places”, (chafing that my wife delighted in calling “diaper rash”). So now, I shower with the clothes on that I will wear for tomorrow, and then hang them over the shower curtain rod, and put on the clothes that I showered in yesterday to wear for today.

I found that by showering twice a day, I could even help out with some of the rest of the family’s laundry (with the exception of my daughters jeans because I can’t fit into them). But my helpful efforts were not appreciated. In fact, I actually became the subject of anger and ridicule from my wife who happened to walk into the bathroom just as I was stepping out of the shower wearing the dress that she would most likely wear to church that Sunday . . . freshly laundered, might I add.

As time went on, I continued to develop more time saving activities that could be incorporated into my showering and have even come up with a daily showering schedule that looks like this:

Monday:

Morning shower . . . laundry (I’ve now gone to a two to three outfit shower by making one or more wardrobe changes).

Mid-day shower . . . dishes from the previous day.

Tuesday:

Morning shower . . . laundry or wash dog every other week.

Mid-day shower . . . dishes and watering of half the house plants (I can’t fit all the house into the shower at once, but I’m working on a rack system that would accommodate all of them).

Wednesday:

Morning shower . . . laundry and second half of house plants

Mid-day shower . . . dishes.

Evening shower . . . drapes and linen, alternate.

Thursday:

Morning shower . . . laundry and attempt to wash one of the cats . . . if, I’m feeling ambitious.

Mid-day shower . . . dishes.

Evening shower . . . bathroom throw rugs and scour the shower walls.

Friday:

Morning shower . . . catch up on any laundry or dishes.

The system seems to be working well in spite of spending most of my days with pruned fingers. I continue to look for new ways to improve on my showering activities. One idea of mine is to build a shower that you can drive your car into, so you can shower and wash your car at the same time. I would call it the “car wash” . . . well, ok, I know that someone already used that name, so maybe I’d call it the “car shower.”

I hate my lawn.

I hate my lawn. 

I’ve heard other guys say that, but they were referring to the fact that their lawn wasn’t perfect. I hate my lawn because it exists.

My wife doesn’t realize it, but I don’t plant pine trees all around our property because I love pine trees. I plant pine trees all around our property because pine needles kill grass. Dead grass doesn’t need to be mowed. 

I hate mowing. Mowing is such a waste of time. Time I will never get back.

My mowing lines aren’t straight. That’s partly due to the fact that mowing is so boring. To make it funner, I pretend that my lawnmower is a getaway car and I’m being chased around the yard by the cops. 

When I get tired of running from the police, I mow all the areas left where the police didn’t chase me.

I hate weed whacking too. I hate weed whacking even more than mowing ever since the “barefoot weed whacking toe massacre” incident. Now I make sure to wear shoes.

Maybe I’ll like my lawn more when I retire. Maybe then I will actually like time spent mowing. But until then . . . . I hate my lawn.

The Path of Least Resistance.

I remember being so excited when I found out I was going to be a dad. My wife and I could hardly stand waiting the nine months it took for my first daughter to arrive.

But now when I think about it, it’s almost as is if that that after your children are born, you spend the rest of their lives trying to make it seem as if they didn’t exist.

If they cry, you stuff a pacifier in their mouth to silence them. If they are running around screaming and breaking things like idiots, you try to find some quieter, calmer activity that will occupy them. Or even send them to a “time out”, which not only quiets them but makes them disappear as well.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my children to death, but I can’t deny that I tend to react to them in whichever way I determine will make them quietly disappear the fastest. 

As they get a little older, this reaction is often what I call “the path of least resistance”. Sometimes I will try to disguise the path of least resistance by calling it “letting them learn from the consequences of their decisions”. At least then I can assign a methodology to my not wanting to engage in an arguments with my kids.

When a child wants something that might not be the best for them, I have to consider if the bad result of letting them have what they want is so awful that I want to endure the tantrum involved with telling them they can’t have it? Sometimes the answer is no.

I try hard not to give in to complete apathy as a parent. . . . . but I don’t always succeed. 

Six year old Hannah: “Can I have a gallon of gasoline?”

Me: “Wellllll, I guess. But take it to your room and play with it.”

A lot of times it is my wife who alerts me to just how far down the path of least resistance I have travelled.

Annoyed wife: “Why on earth would you give a gallon of gasoline to a six year old?”

Me, second guessing my decision as I answer: “Ugh. . . because she asked for one?”

Even more annoyed wife: “Well if she asked for a basket of hand grenades would you let her have that too?”

Me trying to sound logical: “No. Hand grenades are expensive and much louder than the whining I will get when I tell her no. 

Sometimes I will give them what they want to quiet them, but I will add “but just this once” to make myself feel like caving in isn’t a regular occurrance. 

Six year old Hannah: “can I have a gallon of gasoline?”

Me: “I guess, but just this once.”

Other times I will give in to the path of least resistance, but only with a compromise to their request. This way I feel like I still have some control.

Six year old Hannah: “Can I have a gallon gasoline?”

Me in control: “Hmmmmm, no but  you can have a quart of gasoline. A gallon would be just too dangerous.

That’s not funny.

It seems to me, that when entering the world of having children, we are expected to leave our sense of humor by the door. Joking is permitted in nearly all aspects of our lives, with the exception of infants and children.

Shortly after the birth of my first daughter, Hannah, my mother-in-law arrived at our house and asked where the new baby was. I simply answered, “I put her in the clothes dryer to take a nap.”

She did not find it to be the least bit funny, and in fact, you would have thought that I had just committed a murder right in front of her. At this point, I probably should have simply explained that I was just only joking, but then my razor sharp wit took over and I added, “I tried putting her in the dishwasher but I could still hear her crying.”

This sent her into a rage, “YOU DON’T EVEN JOKE ABOUT SUCH THINGS!”

It would seem to me, that when it comes to joking about sticking infants into appliances, the general consensus is that if I joke about it, then I have to actually do it.

I have an entire list of things that Mom’s and Mother-in-laws don’t find humorous when it comes to children:

Painting their faces to look like Alice Cooper (but if you decide to do this anyway, MAKE SURE it is not a permanent marker you are using for face paint).

Fake snakes in the diaper.

Setting them on the porch with “For Sale” signs pinned to their clothing.

And it’s not just my wife that doesn’t find any humor in my antics. One time when I was left alone with my two daughters and four of their cousins while all the mothers went shopping, a young niece started singing, “The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round.”

Before long, all of the other kids had joined in, and after ten minutes of the same phrase being repeatedly sung by six loud children, my sanity began to wear thin. To make the concert more bearable, I decided to compose a second verse to the song, and have them perform it when all the mothers arrived home from shopping.

The second verse went like this, “The cheeks on my butt make lots of sound, lots of sound.”

The six of them performing this new verse in front of their mothers did not go over any better than the daughter in the dryer joke. You would have thought I had taught them all to swear like sailors. In fact, one of my sister-in-laws still won’t let me watch her children alone to this day.

Perhaps my brand of humor is a bit much when talking about something as precious as our little children. But I think everybody could lighten up a little bit too . . . because if you don’t, I will come to your house, and glue your children’s feet to the ceiling and wrap them in Christmas tree lights . . .

That is a joke, I would never glue their feet to the ceiling because the blood rushing to their heads would make them pass out. I would only glue children’s feet to the floor.

It’s Mother’s Day again already?

I had just woken up, made my coffee, and turned on the TV. I was only half paying attention to the lady on the morning news when I thought she said, “Happy Mother’s Day.”

Why on Earth would she say “Happy Mother’s Day”?

I turned the channel, and again, the person on the other news channel said, “Happy Mother’s Day”.

It’s Mother’s Day? How can it be Mother’s Day? Wasn’t it Mother’s day a few months ago? Or maybe that was Valentine’s Day or Christmas or something.

Nevertheless, it’s We-do-love-and-appreciate-you-but-as-usual-We-forgot-to-buy-you-something-that-proves-it day.

I quietly wake up the girls and we all go into full scramble alert. They know the routine well, as it comes several times a year on Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, my wife’s birthday, and occasionally even on Christmas.

Natalie will rummage through the refrigerator and cupboards to find whatever she can to make up one of her notorious breakfasts in bed for the wife/mom. She had become a master at pulling together a four-star feast from grocery and leftover remnants that happen to be in the refrigerator and cupboards. Past breakfasts in bed have included a bowl of chocolate chips, Flamin’ Hot Doritos, leftover pizza and even old Halloween candy.

With the excuse of needing to run to the store for toilet paper, Hannah and I take the opportunity to make a flying trip to the drug store during said breakfast, to grab some flowers, a card and maybe an item from the crappy cheap gift aisle . . . . . maybe a mug that says “You’re Awesome!” or a shark stuffed animal toy (I will claim to say that I thought sharks were her favorite animal after my wife opens the gift and gives me a strange look).

Quickly we return home to wrap the presents with newspaper or place into a re-gifted gift bag that is adorned with a Hello Kitty design. The added touch of “Mom” and a heart are magic-markered onto the bag or wrapping paper.

Then when all is as ready as we can possibly make it, the three of us will file into our bedroom and present our well planned, spare no expense Mother’s day celebration.

My wife is awesome. Each time the morning panic of a forgotten holiday ravages our house and the banging of cupboards signals that she is about to enjoy one of the most horrible breakfast in bed’s she has ever had, she gracefully pretends to not know what is happening. She will cheerfully eat her Mother’s Day breakfast and act over-whelmed with joy over our gifts . . . . . every time . . . and that is why I love her.

A Helpful laundry tip for husbands.

When a man gets married, many things change. Gone are the days when your entire week of laundry can be dumped into a single load and washed with shampoo because you forgot to buy detergent.

So when you are being instructed by your wife on the way that laundry will be done from this day forward, she will probably say that the each load must be sorted according to color.  This means the color of the clothes . . . . Not the stains on the clothes . . . Which makes a lot more sense. It was taking me several months to get enough items to make a full mustard or grape jelly stain load. Most clothes ended up in the grass stain or invisible stain load (the invisible stain pile was made up of clothing that had no discernible stain but smelled bad. . . . It was next to the pile of clothes that had no visible staining and didn’t smell all that badly so I could just fold them an slip them in with the clean clothes),

How Does That Make You Feel?

A book that was popular several years back seemed to think that many of the problems that can arise between a husband and wife, were caused by men and women coming from different planets. In fact the very title of the book stated it clearly, Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus. I admit that I didn’t actually read the book (because I don’t like to read things), but the title of the book pretty much said it all.

Due to the books popularity, I assume that many people just accept this theory. Again, I didn’t read it, and I am not aware of it being made into a movie yet, but blaming our marriage problems on different alien ancestry seems a bit absurd to me. I would think the author would at least wait until science had indeed proven that we were planted here by an alien race before making such claims. But even if science had proven this, it seems highly unlikely that two separate alien species from two separate planets would have decided to deposit beings on the same planet, and that the two beings would end up getting married.

So, feeling troubled by the book’s conclusions, I decided to spend a great deal of time thinking and researching on the topic of marriage. Well, actually I did more thinking than research because I don’t like reading things. But my conclusions to all this thinking and researching is what I consider to be the root cause of nearly all marital problems.

“WHAT IS IT?” you ask, “TELL ME!” you say.

The answer is really quite simple. I’m surprised that no one has figured it out before . . .

The problem with most marriages is that women have more feelings than men.

This answer came to me after years of consideration . . . well, that and my wife constantly asking me how I “feel” about different things.

For the longest time, I really wasn’t picking up on the whole feelings thing. If a child was in trouble at school or got a bad report card, the inevitable question would be asked, “How do you feel about this?”

For a lack of a better answer, or even understanding the question, I would say something like, “hungry,” or “itchy.” But answers like these never seemed to satisfy her thirst for discussing how I feel. For me, trouble at school, or a bad report card meant grounded for a year . . . end of story . . . now let’s see what’s on TV.

It was as if she was expecting that in every little situation that occurred, I should be experiencing feelings of the same magnitude as watching a troublesome episode of Star Trek, or finding out that we were out of ketchup or something. I began to think that maybe I ought to be feeling more. Or maybe I do, but I just didn’t recognize what feelings felt like.

Now that I had identified that this preoccupation with feelings and emotions, and my lack of having an adequate amount, were a large part of what’s wrong with our marriage, I began to take steps to resolve the problem.

The natural solution was to simply tell my wife not to be so emotional over things, but this didn’t seem to work out as well as I had hoped. More often than not, it resulted in her getting even more emotional. At one point, after telling her she was over-reacting to my accidentally setting her hair on fire with my home-made, gasoline powered hornet annihilator she even threw a jar of green olives at me, leaving me with quite a goose egg on the forehead. This left me with the conclusion that the only other option was to roll with it, and try to come up with better answers for the question of how I feel about things.

My first attempt at this new approach was after a rather long and loud argument about my keeping a container of live leeches (for fishing) hidden in the lettuce drawer of the refrigerator after she had previously asked me not to. As the argument dragged on, she told me that she thought that my keeping them hidden in the fridge was deceitful and disrespectful of her wishes . . . and then she asked, “How does that make you feel?”

Trying to appease her thirst for emotion, I answered as honestly as I could by saying, “Regretful”.

Her eyebrows rose a little as if I was on the right track, but the her silence made me think that I still needed to squeeze a little more honesty and emotion out of my brain. So I added, “I’m regretful that I didn’t hide them behind my gallon sized jar of hot sauce where you would have been less likely to find them.”

Instantly her eyebrows crashed down into a frown and she gnashed her teeth, leading me to conclude that her current state of feeling was “murderous”. Luckily for me, the Styrofoam container of leeches was much less painful than a jar of olives when hurled against my forehead.

I realized that my best attempts at expressing my feelings were falling a bit short, so as a further effort to restore harmony to our marriage, I began to look up words in the dictionary to describe how different situations made me feel.

Our auto insurance premium going up made me feel . . . . . . agonized.

My daughter giving us attitude over cleaning her room made me feel . . . begrudged and rancid.

Hurting my wife’s feelings made me feel . . . precarious, nauseated, and fractured.

After a little practice with some flash cards I had made, I began to give some of my new words as answers to the inevitable interrogation over how I was feeling. Some of the odd looks that my wife shot me after these answers, told me that they may not always be what she was looking for, but she seemed to give me credit for the effort. Our marriage has gotten a bit smoother since my expressing my feeling words.

I think I’m on the right path, but I still get stumped by the whole emotions thing sometimes. The other day my wife stated that, “I just feel like bursting out in tears and I don’t know why!”

To which I replied, “Should I call an ambulance?” . . . . . . . . this was not the correct response.