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Husbands Beware

by David Yehudah, Bellflower, CA, USA


I'll let you ladies in on a dirty little secret men have hidden from you lo these many years; sometimes, when it comes to a difference of opinion, we are right. That is when discretion becomes the better part of valor, and silence becomes our mother tongue. Ole Br'er Husband, he lay low, because we know it just ain't worth the trouble.

Now, I've known this for years and have practiced it diligently. That's why I still have all my hair and most of my teeth. But last night the temptation was too great. I fell with a mighty thud. It was almost like the line from Act 1, scene 1, of Macbeth, "Nothing so became his life as his leaving of it."

When we bought this house it had a dishwasher already installed. It's not a great dishwasher, but it's pretty good. Patty hates it. It only has one spray arm, and, according to her, if it doesn't have at least two, it's not a proper dishwasher. Since I'm the one in charge of washing dishes around here, I have been laboring under the misapprehension I should have some say in what machine I use. Besides, if we get a new machine, I'll have to install it, not a thrilling prospect for YT.

So far I have been successful at warding off her attempts to upgrade, using a technique known well to all husbands as creative procrastination. I agree with her suggestion we get a new machine whenever the subject comes up, even going so far as to shop for one, with her along, of course, at the home improvement center. Then I tactfully change the subject, and, being a mere woman, she forgets what it was we came for. Works every time.

Well, last night I loaded the dishwasher, but there being space for a couple more dishes and supper looming on the horizon, I closed the door to wait for another plate or two. That's when Patty decided to "help."

She opened the door on the dishwasher and proceeded to put dishes in the cupboard. Patty actually put several dishes away before she noticed one wasn't quite clean. So she looked at another dish, and, lo and behold, it was dirty, too.

My! She started yanking dishes out of the machine, examining them, and tossing them with contempt on the cabinet. Her eyes were just blazing.

"Look at that! Just look! I told you that machine ain't worth a damn! I want a new dishwasher, and I want it now!" She was waving her arms about and pointing at the dirty dishes she had piled on the cabinet.

I tried; I really tried. I repeated the mantra "silence is golden" to myself several times under my breath, but I just couldn't stand it. Knowing I was deliberately putting myself and half the household in harm's way, I said, "Honey. Sweetie-pie. The dishes aren't clean because I haven't run the machine, yet."

Drawing herself up to her full five-two, she made a sound like an untended teakettle and stared me right in the eye. I barely beat her to the door.

Foolish me, I've made a mental note to myself several times under similar circumstance to put heat and light in Mac's doghouse, but I kept putting it off. So now I'd better get busy; it's going to be a long, cold winter out here.


Editor's note:

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