Dear Husband,

Why is it that you assume that I might make a decision based on what would arguably be called sound judgement but then change my mind at the last minute? Do you think me that fickle? Or changeable? Do you think that I often don’t fully think things through? Being a somewhat typical Libran, I think there are some people who believe that I think things through too much…

I ask you this question because this morning , right before your last day of work for the year, you decided to buy a padlock for our garden gate. Your security warning beacon has risen again. Now I was actually half asleep at the time but even so, my brain could still immediately lock into the fact that without proper attention on my part, my husband might be about to make my life difficult. I therefore considered and asked you to get a combination lock.

I made my preference for a combination lock known because, Dear Husband, you misplace things. I don’t mean to offend. This is merely a statement of fact. Due to this propensity however, small keys are somewhat dangerous. I have also found myself locked out of a previous garage before because you had the only key with you at work and I don’t fancy being in that situation again either. I think it is important that I am always able to unlock the gate in case of emergency. There is also the distinct possibility that we may need the neighbours to do this for us at some time in the future so a combination seemed a good idea. Easy.

So you head out to shop for a padlock (those 24 hour Kmarts are good for something) and half an hour later you sms me.

You:      Locks are 6 keyed and 12 combination
Me:        Well 6 can be a birthday
(I think I was still a little asleep but I figured you couldn’t possibly be talking about buying a keyed lock when I had asked for a combination one so your sms must reference the number for the lock)
You:      No no, $6 and $12-15…Not combo lengths
Me:        So not clear from your sms. So are you asking me anything or just saying?
(I get a little testy when you ramble and don’t get to the point – sorry)
You:       Asking if you still want a combination
Me:        Sure. I specifically mentioned before you left that I wanted a combination. Do I assume you think there’s only room for 1 brain in the house & its yours if home?
Me (again): Funnily enough…still want a combination…
(I get very testy when I think you’re wasting my time with silly questions – not quite as sorry)
You:       Fair enough. See you soon.

So yeah, a bit curious as to why you didn’t think I was serious in wanting the combination lock the first time around but we got there in the end. Now we have to hope that we all remember the combination.

Always yours,

Your Loving Wife

* Photo taken at Sculptures By The Sea


One Plus Two Equals Lots


Dear Husband,

You may think that even though I did maths at college, I must not be very good. Either that or you think you’re protected by a bubble and I don’t talk to the neighbours. Either way, I sadly have to inform you that you are wrong and you are so busted.

As background to my story, I’ll take you back to last week when you told me that you wanted to get someone in to do the garden so it would look cared for whilst we were away over Christmas. Actually no, I now wish to digress a moment to mention the following:

  • You wanted the yard to look tended so people wouldn’t think that we were away but had lovely stuff to knock off. This was under the guise of being security conscious yet recently, at about 10:30pm each night when we go to bed, you have been unlocking and relocking the car from the bedroom. Just to make sure its secure. Now I don’t care much about the burned CD’s and the crappy GPS you are locking in and we have insurance on the car so if it makes you feel better, go for it, but personally I think that the car beeping unlocked and locked at the same time each night kind of announces to the neighbourhood that we think we have stuff for the stealing…but perhaps that’s just me?

Back to my previous story however, you asked if you could spend $50 that we hadn’t budgeted for over Christmas so you could not do the physical labour on your day off. At least that was the impression I got. Mowing the yard was a big job and you didn’t want to have to do it before we went away. I’d say what would you think if I decided to start taking all our clothes to a laundry service or hiring a housekeeper for the next few months to do the dishes but I’m almost afraid that you’d try to find a way to make it work rather than be horrified by the laziness of it.

Anyway, I caved and said that you could hire the gardener if you first got rid of the garden waste that was already in the yard because that was easier than dealing with you sulking. You told me that you would ask my aunt and uncle if you could borrow the 4wd and the trailer (which I refused to do on account of the last time you had me ask, you changed your mind at the last minute and I inconvenienced them for nothing). But then what happened next? The $50 we didn’t have blew out to $100 that we didn’t have either when you got the garden people to quote on removing the waste and taking it to the tip as well as mowing and edging the lawn. I shouldn’t have been surprised really, but fool that I am, I was.

You assured me though that this solution was actually cheaper than you doing the work yourself what with petrol and tip fees etc. You promised me that you’d take the dog for a long walk with all the time you’d save not driving around everywhere and it was easier not to be the bad guy so I said sure. And when I got home, the yard did look good. The waste was gone and it was all neat and tidy. The dog had been on a walk and you even had a gift for me – you had cleaned up the garage in my absence. Something I have been bugging you to do for ages! I thought this was awesome. You were kind of in a crappy mood when you picked me up however which was a bit disappointing. It was not until the next day that I got the rest of the story…

You had to go next door in order to borrow the trolley to assist in cleaning the garage. When you asked to borrow said trolley however, you also had to mention why you wanted it. As I’m kind of bad at remembering exact dialogue (and this conversation came to me second hand as it was), it amuses me to remember it as follows:

You:       Would I be able to borrow the trolley for a couple of hours?
Neighbourette: Sure, why do you need it?
You:       I’m going to clean up our garage so we can actually find stuff in there.
N’ette:   (surprised laughter) Oh my god, your wife will be thrilled! She has been wanting your garage to be sorted out for ages.
You:       (a little awkwardly) Yeah, well it was about time I got around to it…I figured it was my share.
N’ette:   (more surprise) Your share? Out of all of the household chores that you and your wife perform regularly, you think “cleaning the garage” is your share??
You:       (grudgingly and somewhat under your breath) Well I didn’t say it was a 50/50 share…

Sorry, that cracked me up. The idea that you felt a little on the back foot from what the neighbour said amused me. As did the confession that the housework is perhaps not split between us 50/50. I’m sure that little interlude did not put you in a good mood. It only amused me further however to hear that you went back later in the day and tried to tell a stay at home mother of two that you were tired cause you hadn’t sat down all day…Amused that is until I started adding things up.

You dropped me at the station around 7am and you picked me up around 6:30pm. The gardeners arrived at around 3pm and you went to ask Neighbourette and the kids if they’d like to accompany you on your walk with the puppy at around 5:40pm. This was 20 minutes before you should have known full well that they’d be eating dinner therefore making it quite impractical that they’d join you. You apparently proceeded to sit on their floor for 25 minutes or so to have a chat before going on your walk. You admitted to me that cleaning the garage took you a “couple of hours” so let say 3 to be generous and as far as I can make out, that is what you did that that day.

So all together, I was away for 11 ½ hours during which you spent 3 hours cleaning, no more than 2 ½ hours supervising/assisting the gardeners (you said you helped load up the waste), at least a half an hour and probably a whole one talking to Neighbourette and about 15 minutes (which didn’t impress me) walking the dog (you also needed to spend time in transit to pick me up before 6:30pm). The wife – 11 ½ hours away, the husband – less than 7 hours accounted for yet you hadn’t had any down time all day? What were you doing for the other 4 ½ hours? It doesn’t take you that long to feed either yourself or the dog!

Curiously yours,

Your Loving Wife

* Photo taken at Sculptures By The Sea

Navel-gazing One

Dear (hypothetical) Button,

You’re not really an actual button yet. You’re more of a notional button or an idea button. A button that we envisaged it might be fun to have at some point in the future, like you might be useful which seems to be as real a reason as any although not as romantic as you might wish. You may never be an actual Button of course but I figured that if one day you might be then I would want to say this to you. Look at the effort I have already gone to on your behalf!

I’m sure there are thousands of women who wake up one morning and (after some orchestrated peeing) figure out that they are categorically on their way to welcoming a new button into the world. There are others however who happen to do a little more prep work than, you know, the crucial bit. So like I said, I have already made a concerted effort on your behalf. I went to the doctor and I got jabbed! Apparently the fact that I’ve had Rubella doesn’t necessarily mean my blood remembers I’ve had Rubella. Humph.

I also got poked in some awkward places which I am assured is nothing compared to how I will be handled and “penetrated” if you become a real button. The lady doctor was very nice about it though so I suppose I should count my blessings while I can. Because I have to say that the further educated I become on the art of making buttons, the less appealing it all sounds. (I nearly wrote appalling then by accident instead of appealing but in a way the word is fitting here too, the less appealing it sounds, the more appalling it is). If it wasn’t for the fact that brand new buttons are widely regarded as truly awesome, we probably wouldn’t stand for the side effects.

What person would under other circumstances voluntarily sign up for the following: vomiting, swelling, sleeplessness, PAIN, bloating, exhaustion, cramping, aches, anxiety, PAIN, the constant need to pee, diet restrictions, stretch marks, mood swings, PAIN, increased chance of other health complications, the loss of personal space (there is apparently an inverse relationship between your personal space and the size of your belly) and did I forget to mention UNBELIEVABLE AND EXCRUTIATING PAIN? I tell you what, these happy hormones that people keep on promising me better be pretty bloody ecstatic!

Alles Liebe,


* I would credit the image if I had the faintest idea who owns it.

Good Night

Dear Husband,
I cannot believe that you made me get out of bed last night to put the puppy to sleep. Ok, ok, calm down. Let me now set the record straight that I know full well that you didn’t make me. You didn’t grab me by the hair and haul me out of our bedroom or try and tip the mattress up sufficiently that I would roll on to the floor but you did that passive aggressive crap saying that if I was asleep or I really didn’t want to then I didn’t have to but you’d appreciate it if I made the effort. So basically, you made me.
And now I am on the other side of a horrendous night where I couldn’t get comfortable and didn’t sleep for hours and I’m thinking what the hell? I went to bed early last night because I was sick. Not sick and tired (of things in general or something in particular), just sick. I’d been sniffing and sneezing the whole day and my body was tired so I went to lie down in the peace and quiet, away from the blaring television. Then you come in and make out like I’ve been unfair and left you the short end of the stick.
You seemed upset that I might be leaving you the job of putting the puppy down on your own. Something that I have done plenty of times on my own. This was of course at the same time as you seemed to be laying on a separate guilt trip to make me feel bad should I chose not to be there to say goodnight to him as a member of our family. Seriously! You made it quite clear you weren’t happy. I don’t think I’ve heard such derision aimed at me since I was in London with an English friend and I said I didn’t want to wait in a line to see the crown jewels. She was most offended!
I was offended last night too. You’re no picnic when you get really ill. You just shut down and I make allowances. I try to ignore when you get snippy with me. I don’t harp on about you doing nothing in the house all day if you are home sick. I have also let you go to bed early before whilst I stay up with the dog so we can keep him in a routine that hopefully keeps him from chewing more of our kitchen tiles. But you? Could you do the same for me and let me rest? No. I had to get out of bed so I could pat the puppy and say goodnight. For you. Let me just say Not Happy Jan.
Disgruntled but yours,

Your Loving Wife

* Photo taken at antique store on our last trip to Beechworth

Share and Share Apart

Dear Husband,
I’m not sure whether I told you this but a friend of mine once went over to a couple’s house one night for dinner and when they served up, they put 2 plates on the table. One for their guest and one for them to share. Which funnily enough made my friend feel like the proverbial third wheel. Now I personally think this is kind of rude. Sure, if you only have two of everything (by design or because you are moving) then that is fair enough but for the sake of less washing up or because you think its more “intimate” to eat off the same plate, I hardly think its worth making your guests feel uncomfortable.
The reason I bring this up though is because I have noticed of late that when you are preparing food other than our main meal, you have a tendency to present one serve for us to share. We go for popcorn along with a dvd – one bowl. We have some chips as a starter – one plate. We have the rest of the salad you prepared for the bbq lunch – you bring out the salad bowl. I’m pretty sure that this is because you are lazy and not because you find sharing food this way more intimate. I’m also pretty sure that you are not overly concerned with the amount of washing up because you hardly ever do any of it. I must say though that I’m kind of over it. I am now at the point where upon seeing one serving set out to share I feel the need to say can I please have my own damned plate.
Ok, so I am selfish. But then again, so are you. Neither of us is particularly brilliant at passing food back and forth constantly and I am certainly not keen on leaning over your lap all the time just to get my share. I also eat faster than you. I don’t guzzle down my food as quick as I possibly can but I certainly don’t savour every mouthful either. I enjoy my food (as anyone who has ever lived with me will attest) and I prefer not to have to think about calculating my share if we are not hoeing in at the same rate. So I just thought I’d let you know that you are doing yourself no favours with this sharing bit. I find the habits of that other couple more kitsch than convenient and you can often make me happy by feeding me.
Hungrily (in the food way!) yours,
Your Loving Wife
* Photo taken on one of our trips to Beechworth

Good Day

Dear Husband,
Thank you for your lesson last night. Apparently I had things all wrong. Of course, I wasn’t exactly the only one. That was why I called your mind back to the previous morning. Which would now, as it is the next day, be two mornings ago wouldn’t it? Anyway, I asked you last night to recall the morning when I noticed that the ironing board was still in the living room right in front of the hallway door. A circumstance that was neither logistically nor aesthetically pleasing to me personally. I asked you to recall this morning because this was when I ever so subtly remarked that I hoped the ironing board (thus positioned) would not become a permanent fixture in our home.
Now as any married man knows, there are remarks and there are remarks. So you were aware at the time, that I remarked this in such a way as to make it perfectly obvious this was in fact a question as well as a remark. I also delivered it in such a fashion as to make it perfectly clear that in addition to actually being a question, it was a request for action. So naturally you understood that the only appropriate response was no, it won’t be permanent and I (meaning you) will move it tomorrow. But as I have now learnt, our bedroom door is an “event boundary” and once you walk out of it you are much more likely to forget anything you agreed to whilst on the inside so it didn’t really come as any great shock when by the end of “tomorrow”, nothing had moved.
So last night I asked you to recall this conversation and your response because hey, I still wanted the ironing board gone. I asked if maybe it might be possible for you to get back on that task because after all, I wanted the ironing board gone. I also mentioned that this was probably not a conversation you wanted to have with me again and the best way to avoid that was to take some affirmative action which would incidentally solve my problem as well – me wanting the ironing board gone. I went through all this to be told by you to stop talking about it because I was ruining your day. I then communicated my erroneous assumption that as far as you were concerned, any day with sex in it was a good day only to be told “no, get it right”. Apparently it is any sex in a day is good. The day might be completely crap but sex is always good. I stand corrected.
Educatedly (yes I make up my own words) Yours,
Your Loving Wife

* Photo taken at this year’s Sculptures By The Sea

Put A Lid On It

Dear Husband,
Yesterday I was not very impressed with you. You want to know why? Not really? Well I’m going to tell you anyway.
You ring me up in the afternoon to tell me that “Hey, the roof guy is coming tomorrow so can you go over and speak to the neighbours tonight about the logistics of dog-sitting and get the husband to help you move the tiles which you’ll need to go and grab from next door”. So on my last night of freedom before you return from your conference, I have to run your errands because you couldn’t be bothered when you were at home and I am expected to rope in Neighbourette’s husband as well.
When I got to the neighbours’ two doors up I realised that the slightly disgruntled end to your call (which you wanted to blame on me supposing that I had vented to Neighbourette and she was now being a bit frosty to you out of principle) was in fact your fault. After asking Neighbourette to do us a favour and having her say “yes, even though I have two small children and a small dog and a small backyard, I will take in your whoppingly huge Great Dane puppy for the day” and “you can let your roofer know”, you replied with “oh, I already did”. Now I believe that what you meant was “I already let the roofer know I was happy to go ahead but I would call him back only if there was an issue” (which there now wasn’t), however that is not the way it came across.
Our actual next door neighbours were not home. And although you have met them and talked to the father-in-law who said you could go for your life and take their spare roof tiles any time, I don’t know them from a bar of soap. I felt somewhat awkward about entering their back gate after obviously knocking on the front door and finding them not at home. I felt really awkward however about taking stuff out of their back garden and traipsing it across to our yard without their knowledge. It would be really inconvenient if someone called the cops because they thought I was robbing the place. I’d have to say this guy I don’t know totally said I could.
Fourthly and Fifthly:
You didn’t make it clear where the tiles were (we will also return to this point later). You didn’t really indicate how many I was supposed to bring back. Now these ones are together because they were kind of linked to each other.
Once I got past the fact that I’d have to go and take the tiles unannounced, I walked into the back yard to see a CRAP LOAD of tiles by the house and by the fence. I couldn’t see any other tiles in the yard so assumed they must be the ones (even though I had a nagging suspicion that they were not the same as ours). That was my first thought. My next thought was there are over a hundred of these suckers and you wanted me to “bring the tiles back to our place”?. Not 10 tiles. Not 20 tiles. The tiles. So I called you to check. I told you what I could see and where they were and how many there were and you were like “just bring what you can back to our place, we probably won’t need all of them”. Way to go with clear instructions there number boy.
Those tiles are flipping heavy. Which I realised after I got off the phone and picked up a couple of them (concerned that I was going to come face to face with a redback or a funnelweb or something).I also realised that it would be absolutely ridiculous running a huge number of trips between the two properties because I couldn’t physically carry that many at a time. So I went to Neighbourette’s house (again) and asked to borrow a wheelbarrow. I then came back with said wheelbarrow and started to load tiles. I got to about 13 before trying to lift everything only to find that I wasn’t all that confident I could control it. I then took some of the tiles out (this process was now stretching out even longer in my head) before slowly wheeling the first load to our yard.
Once I was in our yard however (before I got around to unloading) I tried to get a decent vantage point of our roof. One that was close enough for me to clearly see the tiles (which is not as easy as it sounds) because I still had a funny feeling that the tiles I had in the wheelbarrow were not the same tiles. Which they weren’t. What followed was a call to you to say they’re really not the same tiles at which point you told me to call the roofer. So I called the roofer and said I have these tiles and this is what they look like and where they were and he said they are not the same tiles so I called you back and relayed the message that we can’t use them because they are not the same tiles and we’d have to work out something else.
So now I was feeling like a cranky idiot on our front lawn in the fading light with a wheelbarrow full of tiles which I hadn’t asked for and didn’t need, a grumbling stomach that was hungry for dinner and a puppy who was howling down the neighbourhood because he could hear me but couldn’t get to me from behind the gate. I still had to wheel all the tiles back next door however, unload them to where they came from and head over to Neighbourette’s house (for the third time) to return the wheelbarrow I had borrowed.
The above were all reasons that I was not impressed with you yesterday but it was not clear until today however just how much could have been avoided if I had received some clearer instructions as to where the damn tiles were in the first place. So I am adding the fact that you could have saved me time, money, effort and heartache.
This morning I learned that around the side of the house that borders ours (ie not in the back yard, or by the back door or by the main gate where I told you I was looking) there were two neat little stacks of roof tiles that are exactly like ours. These tiles are smaller, lighter and fewer in number than the other large piles of tiles on the property.
Dear Husband, you owe me.
Faithfully yours,
Your Loving Wife

* Photo taken during my trip to the zoo at the beginning of the year