Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

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.


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.

This week’s guest post by Kristen Leighton. Check out Kristen’s blog at  Kristen is a wife, mother, writer, blogger,  yoga teacher, and a bad girl who bakes.


Marriage is a great institution, but I’m not ready for an institution. –Mae West

Something went terribly wrong for me the day I began washing a man’s underpants—I became invisible.  I went from sexy to shabby in eight seconds flat.  Was I really a raggedy-ass version of my former self?  I sure hope not, none-the-less, that’s how it felt.

I’m no expert on the subject of marriage, but it seems, from my observations of the species “husband” that the marriage certificate is like a big old “gotcha”—a license to fart, belch, watch too much TV, and play too much golf.  The husband reverts back to life at home with mom—no concern as to how the meal gets to the dinner table or how the clean boxers end up back in his dresser.  My apologies to the husbands out there who do laundry and cook.  I married one who doesn’t and I’m pretty sure he’s not the only one.

The problem—as I see it now—was not that I said “I do” and my husband morphed into someone I didn’t recognize, but that I morphed into someone I didn’t recognize.  The solution after fourteen years—speak up or get divorced.  It was as simple and as complicated as that.

I started with the real obvious stuff, for example, we teach our son to say please and thank-you, perhaps you should lead by example and say:  Thanks for dinner it was great (even if you don’t mean it…..sometimes you have to fake it until you make it).

Then I moved on:  On date night, which doesn’t happen often enough in my opinion, I don’t want to talk about your job, our child, or sports which, basically, without a great deal of effort would leave us sitting in the restaurant staring at our dinner plates in silence like those little old elderly people you see eating and not talking, like they’re all talked out after forty or fifty years together.  Anything worth having is worth working for.

When you track dirt in from outside or make a mess shelling peanuts in the living room while watching some stupid-ass sporting event and it causes me more work in my day to clean it up—apologize.  A little I’m sorry goes a long way to making me feel better about having to wait on you and pick up after you.

And, last, but certainly not least:  When you want to make love, don’t honk my left breast and think it’s going to turn me on like a car engine.  I need to be kissed, talked to, and romanced.

Ladies, I’m here to tell you it’s an easy problem to fix.  Men are not like us (no shit) they tend to get over things and get on with life without holding a grudge.  Tell them how you feel.

Husbands, have you thanked, kissed, sweet-talked, and romanced your wife today?  Turn off your computer and get too it.  You won’t be sorry!

Have you been married for 10 or more years?  What do you do to keep the love alive?


A recently retired husband puttering around the house is a good thing, right?  It’s true that the aggravating errands for which I am responsible have been cut in half, but I envisioned that all the aggravating chores might be cut in half, given that I’ve been burdened with both the lion’s and lioness’ share of household upkeep for many years.

Silly me, I fantasized gliding across the wood floors in my house without the disgusting grit and crunch that comes four or five days post-vacuum, after we’ve walked around, our pets have shed, and the groceries and other junk have been dragged in from the alternately dusty or muddy outside.  The detritus build-up becomes intolerable by day seven post-vacuum.  Ideally the vacuum fairies would come daily, but reasonably I figured that we could move from a once-a-week vacuum up to a twice-a-week vacuum up, because there were two potential vacuumers at home now.

When my husband asked what chores he might do on a rainy day, I suggested ‘Well, you could vacuum.’

To which he replied ‘Oh, I don’t want to take that away from you!  I know you love vacuuming.’


He thinks I like (worse—love!) vacuuming?

How could I love dragging a canister around, emptying the crap, listening to the noise, catching the cord, unplugging the cord, moving the furniture out, moving it back, hauling the beast up the stairs?  Do I like (no—love!) knowing that the hour I’m burning is really wasted time—it’s not like once you do it then you don’t have to do it again.  The second you stop someone starts dropping pieces of crap all over the place.

Seriously?  I like vacuuming?  He doesn’t get it.

What I like (love, even) isn’t vacuuming. It’s when it’s done and it’s vacuum-ed.

Huge difference.

This week’s guest blogger is Sheila. Thank you so much for your post!!!!

This week’s guest blogger is Jody O’Farrell. Jody is a Respiratory Therapist, an ordained Interfaith Minister and a Notary Public. She lives in Maine with Sir Samuel Dickens, her kitty and her significant other. She is an avid biker and hiker who loves travelling, photography, and the outdoors.  Reach Jody at

My SO ( significant other…could be insignificant if he keeps it up 😉 ) recently went to stay at his brother’s to assist in some family needs. This is good. Up to this point we had not been apart other than regular working hours for months and at that have shared frequent texts throughout the day…new love, you see.  The move into the brother’s was somewhat sudden so I didn’t have much time to process this new arrangement; in fact I learned by a text message that it would be necessary. This is not so good. My beau and I did make phone connection later that evening, albeit briefly and was promised that he would call me back in a short while. Hmm; define short. 18 hours later after 3 text messages and 1 pleading phone message to said promise maker to “please call me”  I get the promised call. Okay so the guy is busy and I’m a cling-on but come on, a promise is a promise, right?

We discuss it, we talk.. excuses made…apologies given….oops gotta go, another promise-this one with an attached time. 10:00 pm-

I promise babe”.  Let’s see, at this writing it has now been 16 hours and no call.

He did text…..does that count?

      I promise I will consider not wringing his neck when I see him.