Saturday, March 31, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 365: How can I miss you if you won't go away

While SH is on his first long trip for months, I had great plans. I had ambition. I was going to Get Things Done, the kind of Thing that makes SH go all, "Whooooo!" if I tell him about it because he gets stressed at the idea of anything happening in the house that he is not controlling.

That's why I like to clean house or scoop the cat box or put away the silverware when he's not there to supervise. SH has very definite ideas about how things should be done, but he does not necessarily want to do them himself. My motto is that unless you want to take over, bud, then be quiet and let me do it my way.

The things I was going to do - not the things I wanted to do - wait. Let me tell you what I want to do but can't do until SH is dead:

Throw away the Manistee Michigan Visitors Guide, Summer 2011
Throw away the carryout plastic containers from various restaurants
Get rid of all - not just some - of the empty corrugated boxes in the basement
Sell the NordicTrac that SH has had since I met him but has not used once
Get rid of all the old phones and old computers. SH's office looks like an electronics museum

But blesshisheart, SH did toss a bunch of corrugated boxes this weekend. Seven, at least. He replaced the air filter in the furnace. He moved crap from the dining room into the basement. It's not that he's lazy. It's just that he is a quasi-hoarder.

There is a tiny bit of method to his madness. I do not accumulate things and occasionally, this comes back to haunt me. I had some shoe inserts that were several years old. I finally said to myself that I was not going to buy shoes that didn't fit any more anyhow, so why would I need the inserts?

A month later, I bought the Spanish high heels that were too tight in the next size down and just a tiny bit loose in the next size up. I can get inserts, I thought.

Which of course I can but wouldn't it have been better never to have thrown away the old ones? Then I wouldn't be spending another $7 at Walgreen's. I would have $7 more to apply toward future shoe purchases.

Where was I?

Oh. On the What I Was Going To Do while SH is gone. I was going to

1. Patch the peeling paint in the shower stall. I repainted the entire bathroom, using mildew resistant primer, when we moved into the house. I did this when I moved into my house in Memphis, as well. Tell me - shouldn't professional contractors who re-do houses know to use mildew resistant paint in the bathroom? Why should it be left to me, an amateur, to clean up their peeling paint mess?
2. Paint the baseboards, which have become scuffed and dirty since we moved into the house. I'm sure cats don't help, especially cats who bat marbles and pens around
3. Paint the risers on the basement stairs for the same reason.

Then I started thinking. That sounded like a lot of work, plus it involved paint, which is a pain in the neck and requires special clothes and I probably threw away all my paint clothes last summer because I thought, I won't be painting any more.

I wondered if maybe the Mr Clean Magic Eraser, plus a toothbrush and some elbow grease, might not solve the scuffing problem.

Darned if it didn't clean it right up. After some work, of course, but I was going to have to clean them anyhow before I painted and now I had what I wanted without doing the extra work of painting.

Which made me think that maybe the bathroom can wait. Why get out all the painting stuff for one little patch?

So now, instead of Getting Things Done, I am goofing off. I mean, diligently looking for a job.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 292: Food poisoning

SH: I had a little fruit bowl on the plane.

Me: Then that's some produce.

SH: But there was a big strawberry in the middle, so I didn't eat that much after all.

Me: Didn't the strawberry contaminate the other fruit?

SH: There was a piece of orange next to the strawberry that tasted a little bit like strawberry, but I ate it anyhow.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 823: Fashion is his life

SH: I don't have a nice lightweight jacket for business travel.

Me: You have that silk sportcoat.

SH: It doesn't really go with the new shirts you got me.

These new shirts - the Boston Store was having its Goodwill sale, but SH didn't manage to get to it, so I took in the donations, got the coupons, and picked out four shirts I thought he might like that I definitely liked. They met the shirt rules as far as I understood them: not made in China, cotton or mostly cotton, no big logos, and blue. Except for one peach polo. I think he would look good in peach. We are awash in blue, which looks really good on him, but sometimes, one wants a change.

I guess I did OK: he actually liked two of the four I got. One was rejected because it had the wrong kind of pleat in the back. Who knew? He wouldn't even try on the peach shirt: he didn't like how the placket was sewn, he didn't like the logo (small and I could have removed it), and he doesn't like the brand. What did Izod ever do to him?

But 50%. That's good in baseball.

Me: Yeah - I guess it wouldn't.

SH: I have a fleece, but that's not appropriate. My black leather jacket is too heavy.

Me: You could take a sweater.

SH: But what if I get too warm?

Me: Duh. You take the sweater off.

SH: But then my hair gets messed up!

Me: Oh Lord.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 636: What the meaning of "is" is

Early in the evening.

SH: I hope you'll stay up until 11.

11:00 is about an hour earlier than he likes to go to bed and about three hours later than I like to go to bed. Compromise.

At 11:00.

Me: I thought you were coming to bed.

SH: Why?

Me: Because you said you hoped I would stay up until 11.

SH: So?

Me: That was an implied promise that you would be in bed at 11.

SH: No it wasn't. It wasn't a promise. It was just a vague implication.

Monday, March 26, 2012

To sleep

I got sick. I never get sick.

Perhaps those two sentences are a logical impossibility. Only one of them can be true.

Let me modify my statement.

I got sick. I rarely get sick.

My body has betrayed me. I am blaming the late night on Wednesday with SH and our singing class friends. My body doesn't like to be out past midnight. I can't believe I ever stayed out late when I was in college. Although when I did that, I was able to sleep late the next morning because there were no cats whining to be fed.

Life is easier without cats.

I was infected Wednesday night when some people who were sick came out to the bar.

If you're sick - if you're contagious, then don't go to a public place. Leave me out of your disease-ridden coughs. Honestly.

But the combination of exposure + lack of sleep = I got sick. I started showing signs Sunday afternoon. By Sunday evening, I was desperate enough to take sudafed, the drug that I don't care if everyone can buy and sell to meth labs as long as I don't have to be fingerprinted every time I'm congested. NOTE TO LEGISLATORS: Most of us just have a cold or allergies! And yet you treat us like criminals! Just legalize all drugs, remove children from unfit parents, which you're supposed to do anyhow, and leave the rest of us alone.


I took sudafed so I could breathe at the same time I was reclining. I don't really sleep that well sitting up.

Well, guess what? The drug I used to think made me sleepy now keeps me awake. I fell asleep, I woke up. I sniffed for a while, fell back asleep, woke up again. Sniffed, etc. All the way through the night.

This process does not lead to a good night's sleep, either for the sniffer or for her bedmate.

No more drugs, I thought last night. I'm done. I even called my insurance company nurse hotline to get advice on non-sudafed solutions.

Saline nasal spray, hot, steamy shower.

Problem was, those solutions don't last. You can breathe for a little while, but not long enough to fall asleep or to stay asleep.

I decided it would be better for SH, who doesn't need to get sick, if I could at least lie in bed without sniffing and snoring, so I took another sudafed. The devil you know.

Guess what? I couldn't sleep. And I was still sniffy. The best of both worlds.

So I grabbed my pillow and a quilt and went down to the basement to sleep on the sofa. At least there, my tossing and turning and sniffing wouldn't disturb anyone but the cats.

The cats were thrilled. They hate being banished to the basement at night.

Laverne bounded over to the sofa, hopped onto my feet, then walked from my feet to my shoulder. Once she was on my shoulder, she leaned her head over to sniff my face. Her whiskers tickled my cheek. She sniffed in satisfaction, settled herself on my shoulder, and began to purr.

If one is already having problems sleeping, a purring cat on the shoulder does not make things easier.

Then Shirley had to get into the game. She, too, came over to see what was going on. I felt her spring lightly onto my hip. Laverne gallumps, Shirley jetes. She confirmed that it was indeed moi, and not SH, her favorite. She left. I'm not the one she wants.

Laverne got tired of balancing on my shoulder and clomped her way down my side back to my feet, where she curled up in just the right place to pin the blanket over my feet and make it impossible for me to turn over without displacing her.

I fell asleep, woke up, sniffed. Fell asleep, woke up, sniffed.

When the sun started to come up, the cats decided they'd had enough sleeping and it was time to get up, which meant more jumping on me to see why wasn't I awake? The sun was up! Time to get out of the basement!

I put my earplugs in and turned over.

That's when Shirley decided it was a good time to pick up her blue marble in her mouth, carry it up to the fourth step, then drop it and watch it bounce all the way back down the stairs.

Our stairs are not carpeted.

The sound of a marble bouncing down the stairs might not wake a person up the first time it happens, but when a cat carries the marble and drops it seven times, a person has to pay attention.

I'm going to look for new drugs. Vicodin, anyone?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 821: Contagion

After I've been sniffing and sneezing all day and have finally resorted to drugs.

SH: Maybe tomorrow we can [wxyz].

Me: What about tonight? [sneeze]

SH: You're sick!

Me: You don't have to kiss me.

SH: I'd have to wear a biohazard suit.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 453: Getting in touch with his inner whiner

SH: And I have to travel. And these guys are making it a pain. And I'm hungry.

Me: Should I make you some lunch?

SH: I don't know.

Me: I could.

SH: I don't want to take this trip.

Me: I know. Should I make you some lunch?

SH: I don't know.

Me: Do you just want to whine? Or do you want me to offer potential solutions?

SH: I just want to whine.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 297: Saga of the Blue Shirts, continued

SH: Hey! My shirts are out of order!

Me: What do you mean?

SH: Those shirts you washed are in the wrong place. You just cram them in wherever.

Me: I didn't know you had a system.

SH: There are the shirts that I've worn once or twice but I can wear again and then there are the completely clean shirts.

Me: Perhaps you should be in charge of putting your own clothes away from now on.

SH: That might be better.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 582: Sweet nothings

Pre [wxyz]

Person 1: Card check

Person 2: Union thugs

1: Gun control

2: Concealed carry

1: No nukes

2: Castle doctrine

1: Tax, tax, tax

2: Tax cuts

1: Recall

2: Mandate

1: Solidarity.

2: Right to work

1: Yes you can!

2: Well, I'm hot. Are you?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 652: Too hot

SH: Now that I got a new [temperature] sensor to put outside, I ordered another reader for downstairs.

Me: Why?

SH: Because it's handy to be able to know what the temperature is!

Me: But if I want to know what the weather is like, all I have to do is stick my head outside.

SH: But this is cool. And it was only $9.99 on woot.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 112: It's all about togetherness, part 2

Last night's playlist after singing class:

Just Call Me Angel of the Morning
When Will I Be Loved
Wedding Bell Blues
Delta Dawn - which was another favorite of my fifth grade music teacher at Bowie Elementary in Lubbock. Nothing like age-appropriate music for ten year olds: songs about depression by an anorexic and another song about a Miss Havisham sung by a 14 year old. I shouldn't have assumed that just because it was a young teen singing the song that I shouldn't have to go up a key or two. I was on my knees, leaning toward the floor, trying to get that low.

See? Low.

This Kiss

Before I get into the technical inaccuracies of This Kiss, I need to talk about the Dance Lady Who Comes in Late To Class and Makes a Dramatic Ruckus.

We were late last night because I went with SH to a political thingie in the interests of marital harmony and it wasn't horrible because there was food - fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans cooked with spices.

Yet she was even later. SH and I slipped into class and sat down quietly. She came in a few minutes later and made a lot of noise, as is her wont.

Then, when the teacher started to tell us about singing with the karaoke machine he had brought - which he has been telling us about for a while so it's not like there wasn't warning, she butted in.

"Karaoke sounds honky tonk," she insisted. Then she blathered about how the background music wasn't lush and didn't enhance the song she wanted, which was some big band song. I have no problem with big band - love it, but she was wrong.

Yet she wouldn't shut up. And the teacher was too nice to cut her off.

So I had to say something. When she insisted again that karaoke sounds honky tonk (as if that's a bad thing), I interjected.

"No, it doesn't." Damn. I wanted her to shut up.

The teacher agreed with me, citing music he'd heard both on his machine and out singing with SH and me.

She continued. I rolled my eyes, which is rude I know, but she was eating class time with her stupid stupid comments. "I wish she'd shut up," I whispered to SH.

The 13 year old boy with the beautiful, sweet soprano that he is going to lose in a few years sitting across from us - we have a diverse class - saw me and grinned. I guess I'm not the only one who wants her to shut up.

We finally got her to be quiet so we could actually sing. Nobody wanted to go first, but SH is not shy, so I volunteered him and of course he sounded great, although he wasn't satisfied. "I wasn't even warmed up!" he said to me.

Then Megan sang an Irish folk tune a capella. She has the voice to do it.

Nobody else would volunteer. Not even Dance Lady, who has talked and talked about when are we going to sing? I have to agree with her on that one.

So, in the interests of giving my classmates a reason to feel good about their own singing, I volunteered. SH and Megan are hard acts to follow, but I am not.

As in, I am not a great singer and never will be, but I like it.

The Dance Lady's phone started to ring. The ring tone was something by Mozart, I think. "What is that?" I asked.

She shrugged. "It will stop in a minute."

She was close. Thirty seconds.

Who would think to turn off her ringer before going into a class?

I sang "It's So Easy to Fall in Love" and nobody looked pained and indeed, they looked more optimistic than they did before.

I am not a hard act to follow.

Back to "This Kiss."

I like it. I sang it. And I changed the word that has always bothered me.

I am a bit of a grammar/usage snob, but I don't beat people over the head with it. Mostly because that's really rude, but also because I know I often have a beam in my eye, so worrying about the mote in someone else's is not a good idea.

Also because someone's command of grammar does not correlate with his worth as a human being. Just because a person says, "ain't" doesn't mean she is not worthy of respect. There are educated people who should know better and when they misspeak, an internal, "Tsk tsk" might be in order, but when an older person who didn't go past eighth grade says something improper, you don't even "tsk." You just think, "Wow. This person didn't have a chance to go to school past eighth grade. I'll bet she wished she could have stayed in school rather than working as a cleaning lady to help support her family."

Still, for written copy that one supposes has been reviewed more than once, I get critical. In my mind. Not out loud.

And when I get a chance, I make the appropriate corrections.

In "This Kiss," she refers to "centrifugal" force.

In physics 101, we learned that it's centripetal force. Center seeking. That's the force that matters.

So when I sang, I changed the word "centrifugal" to "centripetal." It was easy, because they have the same number of syllables. Which makes one ask, "Why didn't they just do it right in the first place?"

SH wants to know if I would change "Lay Lady Lay" to "Lie Lady Lie," but it's moot. I don't like Bob Dylan.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 899: Fussypants

After I read The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband.

Me: You have some of this guy's qualities.

SH: I don't have Asperger's.

Me: No, but you're a high maintenance drama queen who freaks out and who is very focused on what he wants even if the other person with you doesn't want to talk about politics.

SH: I don't have it.

Me: I didn't say you did. I just said you have some Asperger's qualities. Let me read to you about this guy and laundry.

I read the paragraphs where David Finch, who is absolutely hilarious and brilliant, writes about his habit of fetching his clean clothes from the dryer while leaving the rest of the clothes there. Because he didn't need them. They weren't his clothes.

SH: I'm not like that.

Me: You're a little like that.

The next day. SH goes to the basement to get his second sock. I had put the first one on the clothesline two days ago, but the other one had ended up on the drying rack in the basement. This isn't so hard to understand because I put small things on the drying rack, but sometimes, small things get tangled up in the sheets and I don't find them until I'm outside. Once out there, I might as well just hang them outside. It's easier.

He comes back upstairs, looks at me, looks back downstairs, and says, "I left the rest of the laundry down there."

Me: I know.

SH: I guess I should have brought it up.

Me: Maybe.

SH: But I'm not like that guy.

Me: You are, a little.

SH: I'm not. But even though I don't have Asperger's, I can't imagine not accounting for every sock. I would check for pairs before putting the clothes in the laundry. I would hang them on the line together or on the drying rack. It comes naturally to me. Whenever I see one shoe or one boot, whether it's yours or mine, I think, "Where's the other one? Why isn't the pair together?"

Me: If you want to be in charge of the laundry, Mr Fussy Sock Matcher, go ahead.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 681: I can't get no

SH: Hey! I just finished doing the dishes! And now you leave a bowl in the sink?

Me: So?

SH: I just did the dishes!

Me: Leave it. I'll do it later.

SH: No. I want it done now.

Me: You are nuts.

SH: There's something really satisfying about having all the dishes done.

Me: No there isn't.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 658: No windows

Me: That window looks awful.

SH: What? Oh. Big deal.

Me: It needs to be cleaned.

SH: You don't get credit for cleaning windows. It's not a mutually-agreed-upon housekeeping task.

Me: Cleaning windows is part of cleaning a house.

SH: I don't do windows.

Me: You will if you become the stay at home gold digger.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 112: It's all about togetherness

SH: Don't you want to canvass with me this afternoon?

Me: Nope.

SH: But then you could argue with people about [the opposition candidate].

Me: Right. Because I love arguing about politics with you so much. The only thing that would be better is arguing with complete strangers.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 98: Gold digger job description

Me: I don't know how to clean this [felt] hat.

SH: All I know is how to put stuff in the machine and how to take it to the dry cleaners. I don't do any hand washing. Nothing with Woolite in the sink.

Me: If I become the breadwinner and you become the gold digger, you'll have to do it.

SH: Oh no I won't.

Me: Oh yes you will. The person who is staying home does the housework. That's the rule.

SH: The role of the male gold digger is not to do any hand washing.

Me: Oh yes it is.

SH: The answer to hand washing is that you don't buy anything that needs to be hand washed.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 209: Sinking

Me: There are some people swimming laps who can barely swim! They sort of dog paddle their laps. I'm impressed: they're crummy swimmers but they're still there.

SH: They're like you and running.

Me: Except you can't drown when you run.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 169: Changing roles

Things SH thinks he would not do if I got a job and he quit his job to become a gold digger:

1. Use a toothbrush to clean the ridges on the microwave that collect gunk from food cooking on the stove below. (Who ever thought that putting the microwave above the stove was a good idea?)

2. Clean the bathroom once a week

3. Hang clothes out to dry on the line instead of throwing them in the dryer

4. Dust

5. Cook almost all meals from scratch

6. Check the produce bargain counter at Sendik's

To which I say, "If you want to be a gold digger, that's part of the deal."

Monday, March 12, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 682: Art of the nag

SH: We need to put some of that bread in the freezer.

Me: I already did it.

SH: What? I was supposed to slice it!

Me: Well you didn't.

SH: But I was going to do it! Why didn't you ask me?

Me: Because you had volunteered to do it three days ago and you still hadn't done it.

SH: So why didn't you remind me?

Me: Because then you would say I was nagging you.

SH: But you should have reminded me.

Me: How am I supposed to know when it's reminding and when it's nagging?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 951: Let them eat cake

SH: Are you making toast?

Me: Yes.

SH: You didn't ask me if I want any toast.

[He is in bed. He rarely eats first thing when he gets up.]

Me: Do you want some toast?

SH: I don't know.

Me: Fine.


SH: Hey! You didn't make me any toast!

Me: You didn't say you wanted some.

SH: You mean "I don't know" wasn't clear enough?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 597: Vintage whine

SH: I'm tired. I've been sleepy.

Me: Maybe we could go to bed early tonight.

SH: I'm too tired.

Me: I don't mean that. We could just cuddle. That would be nice.

SH: What if there were whining involved?

Me: I could always duct tape your mouth.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 429: Loaded for bear

After I slammed a door because SH was being a nagger.

SH: Hey! You're not allowed to be cranky! I'm cranky!

Me: Oh no. Today is my day to be cranky. You don't get to be cranky all the time.

SH: I am the cranky one. You are not.

Me: You have just lost your crown, mister.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

With the slow fishes

You guys know I go to the Y a few times a week, right? I need someone to boss me into exercising because I am way too lazy to do it on my own. I hate exercising. There are people who love it - who claim they get a high from it.

I am not one of those people. I hate every single second that I am exercising and I hate the perky bossiness of the aerobics instructors and I hate the awful music - was it really necessary to make a rap version of The Lonely Goatherd from The Sound of Music? - and the stupid choreography of Les Mills Bodystep where they find all kinds of weird ways to use a step just so they can be justified in requiring the Y to buy their branded Les Mills steps. Oh yes, I am on to you, Les Mills. It is not necessary to stretch over a step. It isn't.

What I love is eating.

I eat, therefore I exercise.

But I have been going to the same class for three years now. I am getting cranky because I hate the music so much. I find myself stopping in the middle of class to check my email or read a People I have pilfered from the exercise bikes section because I need a distraction.

That's not fair to the teacher, who is just doing her job after all, even if she could tone down the "Woo-hoos!" a bit as far as I am concerned. She doesn't deserve my crankiness.

So I decided to take a break from Les Mills' mind-numbing empire and swim for a while instead.

I thought I would be in shape for swimming because I do aerobics and weights and I "run." I thought I would be in shape for swimming because I was on the swim team in high school 35 years ago (no tryouts, obviously). I thought I would be in shape for swimming because I used to swim at the Memphis JCC before work every day when I had a job and was an actual contributor to society instead of being the gold-digging can't find a job leech I am now.

On Monday, I got out my gym bag and my suit and went to the pool instead of the Respect Studio. (Yes, my Y calls the studios "Respect," "Honesty," and "Responsibility." Nothing wrong with promoting those values, but wouldn't it have been easier to call them Matthew, Mark, and Luke?)

The water was warm - going while the seniors are having their water aerobics is a good strategy.* The first lap was fine. With every breath, I heard a spurt of I Will Survive. On the third lap, I heard, I Love The Nightlife.

How come the old people get the good music? Not that I don't want them to have good music, but why can't the step aerobics have good music, too?

Then I switched from the lazy person's stroke, i.e., breaststroke, to the crawl, which is actually hard work.

I lasted 20 minutes. I got in after the 80 year old man in the lane next to me and I got out before he did. I got out very, very slowly and walked very very slowly into the locker room. I walked very very slowly up the stairs after I got dressed and walked very very slowly to my car.

I am not in shape. Three years of "Woo-hoo!"ing has not gotten me into shape. I think it might be time to quit exercising. There is no point.

* Although my friend Kim suggested that perhaps I should question why the water was warm. As long as there is enough chlorine, I guess it's OK.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Chats du jour: Where does an 800 pound gorilla sit?

When I posted the photo of Laverne sitting on the cookbook on facebook, a friend asked, "Why do people let their cats on the counters?"

To which I thought, "You, sir, have never owned a cat."

Only someone who has never had a cat would think that cat owners "let" their cats do anything.

Dogs can be trained. Dogs will respond to positive and negative reinforcement.

Cats can move in three dimensions.

There you have the big difference between cats and dogs.

If a dog could climb on the counter, he would. No matter what his training. Because the counter is where the food is.

We have tried. We have tried and tried to keep the cats off the counter.

The only way to do it is to keep the cats out of the kitchen. Which means locking them in the basement. Which, if you are going to do that, why have cats at all?

It's like the people who have kids and then buy enormous houses where the kids' rooms are a mile away from the adult spaces. I understand the desire completely - note that SH and I do not have children - but why have kids if you never want to see them? Just don't have kids. Then you can have a smaller house that's easier to clean and it will still be quiet.

We have tried negative reinforcement. We put sticky paper upside down on the counter thinking the cats would not like the sensation of stickiness on their paws and stop jumping up there.

We were wrong. The cats loved the sensation and played on the sticky paper. I found little cat footprints crisscrossing the paper. From the bedroom, I heard the slow unpeeling of a cat foot from the paper - a long pause - another slow unpeeling - a shorter pause - and then a steady splick splick splick as Shirley enjoyed the novelty of both noise and sensation.

We tried putting pots and pans and anything else that would fall, make noise, and not break on the edge of the counter. They figured out how to jump over them.

We tried spraying them with water when they were on the counter. Water torture doesn't work. I have run the kitchen tap on Shirley for a full 30 seconds to try to keep her out of the sink. All I have done is made her wet, so that when she shakes in disgust as she glares at me, water flies onto the wall, the coffee maker, the toaster oven, and the clean dishes.

SH and I were discussing cats with our voice teacher the other night at our traditional post-class karaoke. "My cat thinks her name is Babygetdown," our teacher sighed.

If I can invent a process or spray or magic spell that would make cats do what their owners want them to do, I would be rich beyond measure.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 146: He's a victim

SH: I can't stop eating cookies! [I made chocolate chip Nutella cookies yesterday and we got our Girl Scout cookies today.]

Me: Do you want me to hide them?

SH: I don't know.

Me: Don't blame me if you eat too much, then.

SH: Hey. I'm not responsible.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 569: His whine is my command

As I am baking chocolate chip Nutella cookies (I swapped whole wheat flour for some of the regular flour, so they are not too decadent).

SH: The reason I didn't eat the cookie [the last of the rosemary cornmeal cookies I made last week] last night was because if I had eaten it, there wouldn't be any cookies in the house.

Me: Your logic is unassailable.

SH: I didn't know there would be a whole lot of cookies today.

Me: Except you were whining last night that there weren't enough cookies.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 182: Feeling my oats

SH: Hey! You're spilling those oats!

Me: So?

SH: And you're getting them on the floor!

Me: Tomorrow is cleaning day. I'll be washing the floor anyhow.

SH: If you do it slower, then you won't spill!

Me: Fine.

SH: Don't overfill the cup!

Me: Oh good grief.

SH: Let me.

Me: Gladly.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 568: Who's in charge?

SH: Wow. It's supposed to snow nine inches tonight.

Me: Yuck.

SH: I guess you'll have to shovel in the morning.

Me: I have to shovel?

SH: I have to be somewhere at 10.

Me: Then I guess you'll have to shovel.

SH: I thought you were the chief snow shoveler in this house.

Me: During the week I am. On the weekends, it's a joint task.

SH: But I have to be somewhere.

Me: Oh I'll shovel. But it will be at my convenience.

SH: Before 10?

Me: Probably not.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 39: You're Not Doing It Right

SH: Hey! You're stacking the dishes wrong! There's plenty more room for more dishes in there but you've got small dishes on top of the big dishes.

Me: That's because I have been washing them in batches.

SH: You're not optimizing the dish stacking.

Me: That's because I'm doing them in batches. If I waited to do them all at once, you would say I'm doing that wrong - that I'm a Not Dish Doer.

SH: It's OK to batch them. But only if you wait about 30 minutes before you do them. If you wait longer than that, like two or three hours, then you're Not Doing It Right.

Me: If you want to be in charge of washing all the dishes in this house, be my guest.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 852: Of these foods you shall not eat

SH: Oh gross! Don't eat those now!

Me: Why not? I like blueberries.

SH: Because I was going to kiss you and now you'll taste like blueberries and I don't like blueberries.