Before I met my husband (and for many years thereafter), I was a city girl. I was born in they city. I grew up in several cities (serial city-monogamy, if you will) since we moved quite a bit in my formative years. As such, I grew up hearing mostly city noises: cars honking, people yelling at each other at all hours, sirens blaring from emergency vehicles…yep, those emergency medical workers, those were my peeps. When I got older, I went to college in the city, as was proper. I stayed with what was familiar, with what I knew.

It was my comfort zone and I was sticking to it.

My husband grew up in one city, but because it was on the border of a town, it was more bucolic in setting than the cities that I inhabited in my youth and young adulthood. As such, my husband grew up hearing more countrified-type noises: birdsong, crickets, frogs croaking and the like.

I was used to my outdoor noises. He was used to his, much like I used to listen to disco music and he liked alternative rock…we made peace with it, in a never-the-twain-shall-meet sort of way.

One (very early) morning not long after we married, I was driven to put the pillow over my head to cover my ears. No, my husband wasn’t snoring. It was those damn birds! Chirping their stupid heads off! Waking me up at dawn when I (inherently a night person at that time in my life) had barely been asleep for 4 hours!

Him: “Why is the pillow over your head?”

Me: “Because those stupid birds are chirping so loudly that they woke me up and I can’t get back to sleep!”

Him: {Silence}

Years later (read: yesterday) he told me that he seriously wondered if he had chosen the right life partner (and further wondered if I was deranged) because I’d made that statement.

Good thing I hadn’t told him about how I was envisioning shooting each one of them in their little heads after each chirp.

Desperate times.


To ponder:

Posted: June 24, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

‎”Sometimes I wonder if men & women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.” – Katharine Hepburn

This piece is republished from an Email Forward: If you marry a girl from Massachusetts

Three friends married women from different parts of the country.

The first man married a woman from Wisconsin . He told her that she was to do the dishes and house cleaning. It took a couple of days, but on the third day, he came home to see a clean house and dishes washed and put away.

The second man married a woman from North Dakota . He gave his wife orders that she was to do all the cleaning, dishes and the cooking. The first day he didn’t see any results, but the next day he saw it was better. By the third day, he saw his house was clean, the dishes were done and there was a huge dinner on the table.

The third man married a girl from Boston . He ordered her to keep the house cleaned, dishes washed, lawn mowed, laundry washed, and hot meals on the table for every meal. He said the first day he didn’t see anything, the second day he didn’t see anything, but by the third day, some of the swelling had gone down and he could see a little out of his left eye, and his arm was healed enough that he could fix himself a sandwich and load the dishwasher. He still has some difficulty when he pees.

I hate to exercise but I walk as often as I can and call it that. To take the edge off, I walk at the ocean when possible. To make myself feel even happier when I’m out walking, I often will slow down to look for sand dollars, unusual shells, sea glass, and rocks, especially heart-shaped rocks.

One day I had especially good luck. I found about a half-dozen rocks, all different sizes, and all were pretty well-defined  heart shapes.  I stuffed each one into my pockets as I found them as I walked my usual route to the jetty and back.

When I got home, I emptied the contents of my pockets out onto the kitchen island. They were even nice than I thought! I was pretty excited about what I’d found, so I called my husband over to see.

Me: “Look what I found at the beach!”

Him: “What?”

Me: “Heart rocks!”

Him: Silence

Me: “Aren’t they great?”

Him: Silence

Him (finally): “What are they?”

Me (picking one up and holding it closer so that he could see it better): “It’s heart-shaped rock! Are you kidding me? Can’t you tell?”

Him: “That looks like a pancreas.”

by Susan Joakim, reprinted with permission.

Susan: I cannot believe how fast my facial hair is growing lately.  I’m going to have to get a wax every few days at this rate!

John: That’s because you are getting older.

Susan: But I read that facial hair’s growth slows with age.

John: You’re a woman – everything is backwards.

Susan laughs hilariously for 5 minutes…..

Susan: It’s just so funny because you said it like you really mean it.

John: I did mean it.

Next day The doctor tells John he has arthritis – payback is a bitch!

Years ago, my husband had a milestone birthday coming up. I wanted to do something special for him. He was (and is) hard to buy for. You know the guy that will tell you exactly what he thinks if you ask him if your butt looks fat? He’s that guy.
It’s the same with presents. If you buy him something, he doesn’t care how long you thought about it, or how meaningful you think it is, or much you thought he’d like it. If he thinks it sucks, he’ll tell you.

So I thought of something great. I surprised him with two days away in Maine at our favorite inn. I called his boss and arranged for him to have the days off from work without him knowing. I packed his bag and put it in the trunk ahead of time. I got a babysitter for our son and packed his bag and put that in the trunk too.

On his birthday, after making him breakfast and telling him how much it sucked that he had to work on his 30th birthday, I said…”Surprise! You don’t have to work today!”

This was followed by the other surprises: going to Maine, staying overnight in the jacuzzi suite with the ocean view, and so on. I drove to Maine for the first time myself, not telling him where we were going. In the end, we had an excellent time and he assured me several times how much he loved his present. I was elated that I had pulled the surprise off and that he really liked his gift.

Because this is another milestone birthday year for one of us, we were talking about that time recently. I could tell he was holding something back though, so I said, “What?”

He hemmed and hawed a little before he said, “Well, it was a great surprise and a great present, but the sex wasn’t that good.”

I know.  He’s that guy; don’t ask.


Posted: April 12, 2012 in Occasions
Tags: , , , , , ,

My husband works every weekend, so that means he also works every holiday that happens to fall on a weekend. I actually can’t remember the last time he had an Easter Sunday off.
I felt bad that he had to miss the holiday with us. We were celebrating with his family, having Easter dinner with my in-laws at my sister-in-law’s home.

He missed out on the preparation of the Easter Basket goodies for the kids. He didn’t get to participate in or watch the annual Easter Egg Hunt.  I felt especially bad that he was missing out on the food. We had a traditional dinner of turkey, ham, mashed white and sweet potatoes, corn…and stuffed shells, and sausages and meatballs in gravy…hey, we’re Italian, what can I say? Also the cookies, brownies, fudge, cakes, pies…well, you get the idea.

I decided to make up a plate for him, so when he got home from work he’d have a little of the holiday waiting for him to cheer him up. I called him that afternoon to tell him.

Me: “Hi honey. We’re missing you today! I made you up a plate for when you get home. Happy Easter!”

Him: “It’s Easter?”