Saturday, February 6, 2010

Training a husband: Silk is better than Steel

When I married, I wasn't any spring chicken, so I did know a thing or two about the male species. With that being said, I've learned exactly how much I didn't know about the male species through my interactions with my husband of more than thirty years.

Let's start with the simple idea of expiration dates on milk. I remember clearly, waiting in the car and looking at the huge smile on my husband's face as he handed me the gallon of newly purchased milk, "I really had to look hard, but I finally found today's date!" I thought he was joking, until I read that indeed today's date was stamped on the milk jug.

Taking a deep breath, I calmly explained that even though I appreciated the effort of reading all the dates and finally snapping up the last of "today's date" he would need to go back in and find a date far into the future. I was afraid at this point to tell him to find a date far away from today's date, because I surely didn't want last week's expiration date on our milk. He did huff and puff, but finally he took the jug back into the store and slumped back, wordlessly handing me the milk. To this day, he finds the best date in all the dairy case.

Back when we first married, ice was made in metal trays in our refrigerator's freezer. I suppose that there was a manly rule somewhere that stated that the person who took the last cube was responsible for replenishing the liquid to the tray. I don't know, although I did ask. Aggravation met me many times when I wanted a glass full of ice and there were only two cubes left (one from each of the trays in the freezer.) It got to the point that I began to learn to drink lukewarm sodas and water, until I came up with a brilliant solution. When he wasn't looking I loaded up the freezer with ten ice cube trays, so that at least I would have ten ice cubes, if needed. Many the times I found out the filling all ten trays was an act requiring balance and the ability to hold open the refrigerator's door with my knee, because the freezer door was spring loaded. Finally, a few years ago, we were able to purchase the appliance of my dreams....a refrigerator with an ice maker. No more warm drinks and glares in my husband's directions have decreased remarkably.

We were blessed with my mother for transportation of our daughter from school, except for rare cases when she couldn't because of doctors' appointments. My husband assured me that it wasn't a problem, as his office was only a few blocks from our daughter's school. Armed with sticky notes and verbal reminders, my husband gallantly took up the duty of picking up our girl from school. Luckily, our daughter learned to be calm and not panic, even when she was left standing outside waiting for her dad.
A call to his office, "Dad, how are you?"
"Fine, Hon."
"Dad, how was your day?"
"Okay, what about yours?"
"My day was fine, Dad. Hey, Dad, did you forget anything today?"
A pregnant pause and then, "Nope, don't think so, Hon. Why?"
"You forgot to pick me up at school, I'm still here."
A very pregnant pause, "I'll be right there." He was there in five minutes and she forgave her dad.

Two days later and I won't repeat the above dialogue, as it was basically the same, except, she added, "Again!" to her last statement. So, we all learned an important lesson that week, in spite of adoring someone to the ends of the Earth, you can forget to pick them up from school.

What other lessons have I learned these last thirty some years with the man I love? I know that in spite of all of MY faults (I do have many) he loves me and would do anything to see me smile. He is my closest friend and confidant and the best milk buyer in the world.


  1. Your post made me smile (again), Ferret. It strikes me as so funny how some skills seem to be present from birth for one gender but yet must become a learned skill for the other. My father is finally learning the joy of couponing, price comparison, and, yes, checking the dates on dairy these days. And, I must say, he is doing a pretty good job. As far as training yet another man, I have to pass on that. I've had enough.

    I suppose patience is a "learned skill" for me, and I'm still in training on that one.

  2. Mine wasn't trainable--I now know I needed a shock collar and retractable leash--so I didn't renew him when he expired.

    Not one regret.

    Congratulations Ferret, on finding one you could work with =)!

    He's a sweet guy, take care of him!

  3. Us poor men, "Look honey, fresh milk delivered today!" That is funny.

    Many years ago,the wife at the time, asked me to go buy her some umm, essential female products.

    I refused, protested, tried everything I could think of not to... to no avail.

    So I go in the store, walk down the proper aisle, find the correct product... and hurry toward the checkout all embarrassed.

    Boy did I learn a important lesson from that shopping trip.

    I waited in line at the checkout trying as best I could to not let anyone else see my purchase but eventually I had to place it on the counter.

    The checkout lady scanned the product, looked up at me and said... "What a sweetheart you are, I could never get my husband to run out and get these".

    What a great checkout lady,and I never have forgotten what she said.

  4. You guys are so great to embrace me with all of my flaws and strange stories. Of course I think my strange stories could be the result of my flaws; kind of a packaged deal.

    Edith, I do appreciate the fact that yours wasn't trainable. Too bad that isn't a "Husband Whisperer" like the "Dog Whisperer". Nothing that a choke collar couldn't cure on the stubborn curs some unfortunately choose.

  5. Hello hello, lovely. You are so darling! I'm only eighteen, and therefore do not plan on marrying anytime soon, but I found myself laughing hysterically throughout your story. Thank you so much for all of the kind comments on my blog, dear. You are simply splendid. Please keep in touch.

  6. Legion--you are a great guy! Taking on that task, and actually completing it would absolve you of a whole lot of 'mistakes' in my opinion.

    Ferret--there was someone whispering in his ear, but she wasn't telling him to behave...