Tag Archives: Arguments

Men Are From Mars; Women Are From Who Cares?

14 Aug

Picture the scene: a new box of cereal, too tall for the cereal shelf.

Solution: reduce the size of the box.

Here is the Hub’s handiwork:

           Crunchy Neat

Here is mine:

            Rice Tearmies

Where do you stand on the Seriously?  It’s just cereal! debate?

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A Is For ‘Arguments’

31 Jan

Everywhere I look, bloggers are alphabetizing their themes: A to Z of The Country I Live In; A to Z of Kittens; A to Z of Food; A to Ad Infinitum.  It’s not a bad idea, particularly if, like me, you don’t have any ideas. 

Therefore, in the spirit of if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, here is the first in an occasional, 26-part series (suggestions for Z welcomed with open arms and eternal gratitude; if none are forthcoming, this may be the first 25-letter alphabet since theta eta pi): The A to Z of The Laughing Housewife.  I propose to tell you random things about me and my life.  Pretty much what I’ve been doing for the last two and a half years, in fact. 

A Is For Arguments

The Hub and I argue a lot.  When we first married, it was all we did (well, not all we did; we were just married).  I’m not afraid to admit that he irritates me like no other human being on earth.  The feeling is mutual. 

I once marvelled at a friend of mine who assured me she and her husband never argued.  She was a vicar, so I had to believe her, but that sent her way up the list to Number 2 most irritating human being on earth.  I am easily irritated.  We all are.

I’m pretty sure I write about our arguments regularly, so I closed my eyes and chose a year from my archives and here’s a sample:

10/7/10

I have had a strange day: the Hub and I did not squabble once. We squabble a lot; we think of it as our pressure valve: if we don’t let out a little steam there will be a huge explosion and the Hub will get scalded.

I would say it is learned behaviour but my in-laws were not at all quarrelsome. Dad Hub was the mildest-tempered man I ever knew; though I did once see him slightly annoyed. Mum Hub was fiery by nature but hated falling out because she loved everyone too much, and Dad Hub more than most. The Hub has her nature but not her restraint, and he is unfortunate enough to have married the biggest nark in the business. The Hub rubs me up the wrong way – except for today, when he gave me a back rub and I almost dozed off in his lap. Make back rubs, not war, will be my motto from now on. 

Perhaps it is learned behaviour on my part: I take after my Dad, who was narky by nature. My parents rowed a lot; it wasn’t unusual for them to not speak for a fortnight or more. When they did speak it was usually to row. I have never understood all those American movies and tv programmes where the adult child falls apart when their parents announce they are divorcing: when our parents said they were separating, we three children shouted ‘hurrah’ and did an impromptu jig around their personal baggage. 

They were happier apart and friends at the end; Mum helped look after Dad in his last weeks and was with him when he died. 

A Sunday roast consisting of roast beef, roast...

Image via Wikipedia

 

I remember one particular row that went on for months. Every Sunday we had a traditional roast dinner and my Dad – who loved his food and his roast dinners in particular, so he might have just been spoiling for a fight – complained that he was sick of roasts every Sunday and why couldn’t we have something else? Mum never said a word but took his plate away and scraped it into the bin, and cooked him bacon and egg there and then. Next Sunday we had a roast dinner, as usual…except for Dad, who was served bacon and egg, without a word from Mum. And the next; and the next; and the next Sunday after that…for six solid months, until Dad finally caved first and asked in his best little boy voice if he could please have a roast like the rest of us this Sunday? Without a word from Mum, he got one. 

Dad never complained about his meals again. 

 

31/1/10

I told you shopping was a bad idea: the Hub and I spent our afternoon in Stockport squabbling. We squabbled in his bank – why could we not draw out the money in the warm inside, where muggers were less likely to steal it from my shivering fingers? (Me) Why did I not top up my phone through the ATM while we were there? (Him)  What is this irrational mistrust I have of technology? (Him) (Pity he didn’t ask me that ten minutes ago, just after I lost the first and much funnier draft of this post) My bank – why did he have to wait so long in the queue for me while I went to three shops in an effort to find one with a working machine to top me up by a fiver when I could have done it at his bank? (Him) The post office – I suddenly realised that he had not wrapped Tory Boy’s book like I asked him to before we left the house and he claimed that he hadn’t known I wanted it so urgently because I had never said so and I countered with the adult response that it was about time he learned to read my mind then; raspberry.  By the time we reached the pound shop we were at glaring point and in the street outside, with our sotto voce argument now screechy-screechy, we decided to kiss and make up before we exchanged blows with the bargain toothpaste we were carrying. After twenty-eight years together, we are pretty good at conflict resolution; especially because 1) I know I’m right – like the old joke has it, a husband’s place is always in the wrong; and 2) I wasn’t sure my toothpaste would get in the first blow.

Scrumthing For The Weekend

4 Aug

Make an argument for why weekends should be longer.

*

Weekends should be longer.

No they shouldn’t.

Yes they should.

No, they shouldn’t.

Yes, they should.

Not.

Should.

Not.

Shouldshouldshould!

Notnotnot!

Why are we wasting the weekend arguing?

I don’t know; it’s not like they’re long enough.

I can’t believe you’ve got a degree.

*

*

I’m Back

5 May

I was watching American Idol: The Final Six and I loved Lee’s rendition of Shania’s song. I can never hear it without thinking that she must have written it about the Hub and me. No-one gave us longer than six months when we got married. I can’t say I blame them, really: if arguing was an Olympic sport we’d be tested for steroids every time we came out from under our pile of medals.

Our first year was the worst. I don’t think we had one squabble-free day. Most of them were non-violent, however…apart from one. I don’t remember what we were arguing about – not that it mattered; we never need an excuse to disagree. That day it escalated to the point where I stormed off (I do that a lot). I am a great door-slammer; the Hub warned me not to slam that door – before you get to thinking he’s a domestic tyrant (which he is, but I don’t want you to be thinking it; we all have our secrets), let me explain that he is not a door-slammer and doesn’t understand the therapeutic benefit of shaking a house to its roots in a loud and violent manner. We lived in a row of townhouses and, although he never cares what anyone thinks about him, he is not an inconsiderate man and he doesn’t see why the neighbours should suffer just because he’s the most irritating person in the world.

Being young and newly-married and furious with him, no-one was going to tell me what to do so I ran to the nearest door and slammed it, then looked at him. ‘Do it again,’ he said, ‘and I’ll put you over my knee.’ Him not being the boss of me, I stood there with the door and went, SLAM! SLAM! SLAM! As good as his word – he never makes a promise he’s not prepared to follow through on – he picked me up, carried me to the couch, put me over his knee and tanned my backside.

Don’t be too shocked, dear reader: this was South Africa in the Eighties and feminism and modern men hadn’t been invented yet. Besides, I was so enraged that I didn’t feel a thing. Or maybe he didn’t really smack me hard enough to hurt. It doesn’t matter, because as soon as he let go, I jumped up, ran to the door, and went, SLAM! SLAM! SLAM!

The Hub was pretty enraged himself and he came tearing over, put a hand on my shoulder, and I lost control. I grabbed the nearest thing to hand and hit him over the head with it. It happened to be his most prized possession – a framed, autographed photograph of the 1981 Man City FA Cup side. As the glass shards trickled over his ears and mingled with his blue tears, I legged it. The Hub, recognising that I was not, after all, the woman of his dreams but a harridan of nightmare proportions, went off on his motorbike as fast and as far as it would carry him – several hundred kilometres; he had a full tank – and rode back at 30kms an hour on reserve. The half a day that it took him to get back gave us both time to calm down. It must have been okay because we are still together twenty-five years later.

I don’t excuse either of us: we were young and stupid and had a lot of growing up to do; we did it together. We laugh about it now. But I’m still not allowed to be in the same room as that photo when I’m in a bad mood.  And he’s still the one I want for life.  Whether that will be in this house or the big house depends on how annoying he is on a given day.


The Post Woman Only Slaps Once

28 Feb

I am just about to go to bed; I am having visitors tomorrow so I thought I would get my post in now and then I won’t have to worry about it. Bed is supposed to be a place of rest and recuperation (well it is at my age) but it wasn’t like that for the Hub last night: I turned over in my sleep and slapped him in the face. They say we do the things in our dreams that we would like to do in life but don’t have the courage for…poor Hub.

Before you start feeling sorry for him, let me tell you that I am not the only violent sleeper in this marriage: more than once he has dreamed he’s in a fight and has punched the wall. Sometimes he wakes up with a bruised hand and wonders why; sometimes I wake him up by yelling at him that he nearly got me that time. Then he mutters, ‘Curses!  Foiled again.’  Maybe we should think about separate beds or arguing less. No: when I suggested it we argued more.

We are great squabblers over stupid things: the door’s not quite shut; whichever one of us closed the curtains left a gap; the pillows are the wrong way round on the bed; one of us ate all the cheese & onion crisps. It used to bother me but now I think it works like a whistling kettle (on a stove top, naturally): a little tension is released each day so we avoid drying up and exploding. I have known the break up of couples who never argue; by annoying each other each day we are actually saving our marriage. That’s what I’ll tell him next time he moans that I didn’t take my empty cup into the kitchen. Right before I throw it at him.

I wonder if it’s the squabbles that make me punish the Hub in the night, when we are both asleep? Apparently, I often yank his pillow out from under him so that his head crashes to the mattress. It wouldn’t hurt when awake but he tells me it’s a shocker when you’re dreaming that Demi Moore has at last seen the light and dumped Ashton for a real man, and you suddenly find yourself flat on your back with a humped-back woman hogging the bed. The humped-back woman is me cuddling his pillow and imitating a chevron.

Then there is the matter of the duvet: the poor love is under the impression that, because he sleeps in the same bed, he’s entitled to a share in it; he has delusions of equality. Men think the funniest things, don’t they? He’ll be wanting more than a quarter of the mattress next.

Fight, Club

31 Jan

I told you shopping was a bad idea: the Hub and I spent our afternoon in Stockport squabbling. We squabbled in his bank – why could we not draw out the money in the warm inside, where muggers were less likely to steal it from my shivering fingers? And why did I not top up my phone through the ATM while we were there? What is this irrational mistrust I have of technology? (Pity he didn’t ask me that ten minutes ago, just after I lost the first and much funnier draft of this post*) My bank – why did he have to wait so long in the queue for me while I went to three shops in an effort to find one with a working machine to top me up by a fiver when I could have done it at his bank? We squabbled in the post office when I suddenly realised that he had not wrapped Tory Boy’s book like I asked him to before we left the house and he claimed that he hadn’t known I wanted it so urgently because I had never said so and I countered with the adult response that it was about time he learned to read my mind then; raspberry. In the £ shop we had reached glaring point and in the street outside, with our sotto voce argument now screechy-screechy, we decided to kiss and make up before we reached the point of exchanging blows with the bargain toothpaste we were carrying. After twenty-eight years together, we are pretty good at conflict resolution; especially because 1) I know I’m right – like the old joke has it, a husband’s place is always in the wrong; and 2) I wasn’t sure my toothpaste would get the first blow in.**

He will be nice to me tomorrow: I’m having a wisdom tooth out. Though he can’t help wondering how I’ll manage without it. I was not sure if he was referring to my mind or my eating habits when he said that, so I decided it would be safer not to ask. I’m not looking forward to the day – going to the dentist is as bad as going to the hairdresser’s: a stranger has your looks in their hands and charges a month’s wages for the privilege, no matter the out come. All you can do is shiver, sweat and pray that it won’t be too awful. I actually love having my hair done; I just don’t like going to salons for it. What I really need is a personal hairdresser that I’ve known for years to be at my beck and call: another reason to win the lottery.

Fortunately, I trust the dentist who will be butchering me: it is Mr Lee, who I’m going to marry when the Hub is castaway for four years, if you remember.*** Mr Lee won’t remember because I haven’t yet told him the fate that awaits him. Poor Mr L: he thought he had escaped me when he left his practice to go into dental surgery. The shock on his face when he sees me tomorrow will do more to relax my nerves than all the drugs he’s going to be pumping in.

I’m off now to stuff my gullet, because I won’t be able to eat for a few hours tomorrow and I want to be prepared. Still, it could be worse: I could be getting a haircut.



*the grass is always greener and the jokes are always funnier on the other side; have you noticed?

**the text is always greyer in parts where my techneptitude triumphs; have you noticed?

***new readers might like to type ‘Tom Hanks’, ‘Demi Moore’ and ‘Dentist’ into the Search box on the right for clarification


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