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

Bathroom Musings

Dear Husband,
It would occasionally be nice to think that you and I were like Eric and Annie Camden and we were living in 7th Heaven. You know, all love and forgiveness and understanding and those other fluffy things. Not that we don’t actually have those things now of course. And by likening them to fluffy I am not trying to say that I don’t think they are important because they are. Its just that when I think of you and I and where we are at right now, I think we are a little rougher around the edges. I think we’re a little more Dan and Roseanne of the no last name required.
I was thinking this thought this morning as I stared at the tub of hair gel that was sitting on the edge of the vanity in the bathroom. The tub that I have been waiting over a couple of weeks for you (at sometime) to put a lid on when you’re not using it. The tub I can foresee falling off and oozing all over the tile floor if the puppy got a bit boisterous when you were trying to get him into the shower. The tub that may well be at wagging tail height if the great dane were no longer a pup but a dog. The same tub that could easily succumb to gravity if you knocked it off the edge whilst shuffling past half asleep at some obscene hour of the morning to pee. The tub that I can see potentially speckled with the dying bugs that have snuck into bathroom and gotten caught. The bugs who continually find their way through the flyscreen on the window that has remained slightly open ever since we bought the house because I’m pretty sure it was painted that way. Or perhaps I should say the tub that slowly absorbs bits of spittle and toothpaste as we clean our teeth every day (the vanity is really not that large) or splashes of water as we wash our hands and faces in the sink (did I mention that the vanity wasn’t very large?). Anyway, lets just say that I can envisage a whole host of things that would I assume not be desirable to one who actually uses the product.
And I thought this, that we were a lot more like Dan and Roseanne, when I looked at your open tub of hair gel because I was reminded of an old episode. When I looked at that tub that I had no intention of closing myself in order to potentially avoid any of the aforementioned undesirable occurrences, I was reminded of the time when DJ was pointing at Darlene. Being a typical younger brother, DJ was trying to get a rise out of Darlene at the kitchen table by continuing to hold his index finger pointed at her about an inch from her body. She of course tired of the situation quite quickly and turned around and thumped him one. It was at this point that DJ let out the wail of the maligned younger child and went crying to Dan complaining that “she hit me and I didn’t even touch her!”. Dan of course had been sitting at the kitchen table the whole time reading a newspaper but knew exactly what was going on and replied back without missing a beat “well it was hardly worth it then was it?”.
That’s kind of what I was thinking if something ever happened to your hair gel.
Lovingly yours,
Your Loving Wife
* Photo taken at Sculptures By The Sea 2011

Things we have learned: Each job has a beginning, a middle and an end

Dear Husband,
One might argue that we have more learned “of” this phenomenon rather than learning this as a lesson in and of itself. Or maybe it is that you have learned that I think this and happen to believe that you should think this too. But maybe it is that in realising this, we now know that we see these attributes completely differently and therefore we are learning to understand where the other is coming from? Or perhaps not.
Whichever is the more correct, I think this lesson will remain a bit of a work in progress for us as a couple because from where I stand at least, I am still surprised that you are amazed when I take issue with some things. The fridge is definitely a case in point. Now that we have impoverished ourselves to some extent by buying a house, you have taken to trawling through the free classifieds for things that we might want. In addition to the things you find that we really don’t need, you managed to find a fridge that would fit in our kitchen. Now I am not knocking this. The new free fridge is great. We now have a working freezer in the house and we don’t need to go to the garage for ice cream which is awesome but we seemed to view the whole process a little differently.
Your version (and granted, I have taken poetic licence here as don’t “know”): I spent ages making sure I was checking the sites so if anything good was advertised, I could snap it straight up. When I found a great fridge, I arranged for a friend to help with their car and booked a cheap trailer so we could pick it up. After picking up the fridge, we drove it back, set it up in the house and then I cleaned it up. Done and dusted.
My version: You found a replacement fridge and planned with the neighbour to go and pick it up. You booked the trailer half an hour before you needed to be at your destination which was in fact half an hour away thus making you late (and unable to return the child along for the ride before picking up the fridge which was the original intention). When you returned, you moved the original fridge from its position into the dining room and manoeuvred the new fridge into the kitchen before returning the trolley to the neighbours. You then wiped down the new fridge and got it ready for use.
So close yet so far. You appeared completely gob-smacked that I was not happy with the fact that I now had a big fridge sitting in my dining room with no conceivable notion that it would ever be removed any time soon since you had returned the trolley already. The fact that I keep tidying up the house and try to make it homely seems to have escaped your notice or perhaps it just doesn’t compute that having a large unnecessary appliance where it does not belong would not make me happy. We had words over that and I expressed that I wanted it out of the house. I wanted it gone completely actually but since that was an unrealistic expectation at the time I said I didn’t particularly care where you put it as long as it wasn’t in the house. It is now sitting in the same place you put it that afternoon. Just like the carpet you pulled up is sitting in the same place you moved it to when I asked you to get it off the porch. And kind of like the washing up never gets put away in the cupboards unless I do it.
When you occasionally do the washing up (and yes, I acknowledge that you help out sometimes with “my jobs”) you 1. run the water, 2. wash the dishes and 3. stack them to drain. When I wash the dishes, I 1. go through the house collecting all the items that require washing up, 2. run the water before washing each of the dishes so I can move them to the draining rack and finally 3. wipe up any items that are still wet before putting them away in their correct position. Which is the proper way to wash the dishes. In my opinion.
Opinionatedly yours,
Your Loving Wife
* Photo taken at a Canberra Floriade festival a few years ago.

Things we have learned: Sometimes you have to fight for what you want.

Dear Husband,
You know, it never ceases to amaze me that when you go into attack a service provider with all guns blazing. You always seem to come out much better off. You wanted phone reception in rural Victoria for the three days that you were planning to spend there in the entire year when you really didn’t have anyone you “needed” to call? Sorry sir, I can’t fix that for you but let me give you three months usage for free. You don’t happen to have in writing that you were promised additional data on your phone plan but you have a $500 bill that you don’t want to pay? I do apologise sir, allow me to waive that extra charge for you and ensure that your plan is amended in our system for its remaining life. Honestly, the stuff you get away with sometimes…
And then there was Harry Potter and the eventful event cinemas where as it turned out, it was me that got all worked up. Over baby talk. I am all for people maintaining some semblance of a life after they have children but I am not an advocate of parents bringing infants to evening sessions and allowing them to chatter repeatedly through the movie. Sure, we were not subjected to screaming or crying but the constant “da da da da da” was just as annoying. Your kid appears less than 2 years old. I don’t think they really understand “shhh!”. But this stupidity and lack of consideration (on the parents part) was then matched by the cinema who advised that their policy is to only refund movies within the first half hour and they simply could not do anything if you haven’t gone to find someone to alert them of the issue or notified an attendant at some point through the movie which I must say is complete and total bollocks.
  1. You can do whatever you want regarding refunds, vouchers and gift certificates if you are the duty manager because you did when my tirade got longer and louder. Please don’t insult my intelligence.
  2. After you have made it abundantly clear that you will never willingly choose to offer compensation after the first half hour of the movie, I am so not ever going to consider walking out halfway through in order to find a staff member and complain whilst I miss the movie I paid to see. And by the way, I don’t care if you “think” this process takes two minutes, I don’t even leave the cinema to pee because I’ll miss part of the movie.
  3. To be honest, if I am sitting smack bang in the middle of a row in front of the offending party, I am really not comfortable getting up and stepping over others to flag down the roving staff member thus making it perfectly obvious that I am the one responsible for the parents being publicly warned and possibly thrown out. So what if I’m chicken? I heard plenty of whispering that said there were a good handful of people in that theatre who felt the same as me but none of them wanted to make an exhibition of themselves either. 

Somewhat aggressively yours,

Your Loving Wife
* Photo taken at Firewater last year in Sydney – obviously.

You’ve Got Male

Dear Husband,
Now that we are approaching the two year mark, I have been putting some thought into the journey so far. We have certainly grown as a couple and in addition to all the small changes that one should really expect in a marriage, there were a couple that I at least did not. One of them was to do with our mail. And I am not referring here to the change in address from my maiden name to my married name even though as we both know I have been lazy and tight and therefore haven’t actually forked over the cash to change this officially yet. I resent the fact that I have to pay for a 2nd marriage certificate first to prove that I have wed because the marriage certificate that was issued when we actually got married is not sufficient but I digress…
As much as people might wish it were different, we are not yet a paperless society and as such, we still receive correspondence via the post. In our household though, since I tend to be the one who is home last, I rarely get the task of checking the mailbox. You on the other hand often bring in the mail, some of which is addressed to me. Now one might be forgiven for thinking that when this is the case then dear wife, “you’ve got mail” but personally I have found that more often than not it’s really the case of honey, don’t you know, “you’ve got ‘male’”. On repeated occasions I have found important letters in the middle of a whole stack of other paraphernalia, underneath the couch and even beside the toilet. Its like you bring mail into the house without looking at it and put it down next to the first thing you do and forget about it. You certainly don’t let me know we have received it. You just leave it to me to find, if I’m lucky, whilst I live in the hope that nothing scary like a final reminder notice is lurking amongst a pile of junk mail catalogues that I forget to double check before turfing into the recycling. I don’t understand the difficulty in always putting mail in the same location so I am sure to see it – our homes have never been that big that this should be a chore – but apparently it is beyond your skill set.
And then there is the mail that you take marginally more attention of and do actually open yourself, regardless of the addressee. If it looks at all interesting you seem to figure that by rights, you should be entitled to open it. Unfortunately for you Dear Husband, your wife does not agree. Chalk it down to my crazy desire to maintain some semblance of independence or personal identity in our marriage but I happen to be of the opinion that mail addressed to me alone is actually mine. Not yours. And despite the fact that you would never be convicted in a million years for opening my mail, its actually illegal for you to do so which means that you should not do it. I am not of the opinion that I have to be present for you to open any correspondence that is addressed to both of us (I think that’s a bit much) but I do kind of like the idea of being able to open my own presents. And no matter what you may think, there is no way that opening a cylindrical container over 40cms in height that was delivered to the door and addressed solely to me was something you opened by “accident”.
Your Loving Wife
* Photo taken at stupid o’clock in the morning at a Balloon Festival early last year – i.e. not this month.

What To Expect Your First Year – Part Three

Dear Husband,
Since you should it is said “start as you mean to go on”, you should then of course actually go on as it were so I thought I would elaborate on some of month three’s concerns. These were not sleeping through the night, sharing a room, sharing a bed and roughhousing. Taken slightly out of context, they look kind of interesting together. Or perhaps that was suggestive and to a certain extent, if you’d merely raised an eyebrow at me I’d know exactly what you mean so you may have a point. But once again these things struck me as subjects that I have considered previously.
Like the sleeping through the night thing. Basically because you didn’t regularly do it. Or rather I would consider that there was an above average occurrence of you not doing it. Everyone has nights when they wake up for no reason and I have had a couple of nightmares in my time sure, but that is more like a small number in my lifetime, or maybe in the last decade. Not the last fortnight. You are a lot better now than you were then though (either that or I sleep a lot deeper) because its not often anymore that I wake to you tossing around in bed and mumbling to yourself in a distressed fashion. I wish I could help more though.
Apparently however, sharing a bed and indeed the room actually does help you. Something about your subconscious adjusting and knowing that you are not alone maybe? For myself, the adjustment in sharing was more accepting I no longer have anywhere that I can legitimately kick you out of if I want “me” time. Except for the bathroom which doesn’t count. Not that I spend a lot of time either in the bathroom or kicking you out of places (or even having the desire to do so) but on the odd occasions when we are totally pushing each other’s buttons, the only real escape is outside and that usually causes more problems than it solves anyway…
And then after I had noted several of the listed “concerns” there was the “important to know” section for this month under which was listed “corporate day care”. Which I must say that I am largely in favour of in your case. Especially because when you scoot off to your global organisation each day, I know that they will occupy you for a large number of hours during which you cannot call me just to “chat” because you’re bored. Not that you chat really, as there seems to be more dramatic pauses than conversation over the course of our phone calls but I dislike personal calls without any real purpose whilst at work (in an open plan office) so keeping you occupied so that you don’t make them is a big plus in my book. It also saves money because your mobile bills are smaller and hey, they pay you for turning up as well. Awesome.
Perhaps selfishly yours,
Your Loving Wife.