Husband tries but fails (again)

Husbands are imperfect creatures. They forget birthdays and anniversaries. They don’t listen like they should. They think there’s a magic fairy who swoops in unseen in the middle of the night to put the dishes in the dishwasher, clean the catbox, add items to the grocery list and do those hundreds of other small chores that go unappreciated. Also, they smell bad.

Let’s not mince words here: husbands are inconsiderate, thoughtless, self-centered slobs. With the wide availability of turkey basters to perpetuate the species and home security systems to fend off potential predators, we’ve pretty much outlived our usefulness.

We’ve become little more than ornery, unpredictable pets, providing as much fodder for the outrageous stories our spouses can tell their friends as does FiFi, the daft, inbred but adorable teacup poodle.

“You’ll never guess what FiFi/Roger did last night,” they commiserate with their pals. “He chewed a hole in the corner of the couch, spilled food all around the edge of his bowl, and peed in the sunroom again.”

As one such loathsome creature, I can testify first-hand about the many flaws in the husband’s character. In just one recent evening, I managed to provide evidence to convict every one of us of enough gross misdemeanors and felonies to send the whole lot off to federal prison for the rest of our natural lives.


I ate the wrong soup. There’s a wonderful little coffee shop not far from our house that creates some of the best homemade soups you can imagine. A few weeks ago, my wife brought me a to-go cup of a transcendent turkey vegetable they occasionally make. When they had it again the other day, she brought me another cup meant to be my dinner. She had stepped out for a few minutes, so I retrieved it myself from the refrigerator, warmed it up and ate it.

“How was the soup?” she asked when she returned.

“Good, but not quite as good as the last batch,” I replied.

She opened the refrigerator to get her own dinner. There sat the turkey vegetable soup, untouched.

“You know, you ate the shrimp and roasted corn bisque I got at the regular grocery store,” she pointed out.

“I did? Huh,” I answered. “I guess that’s why it didn’t seem quite as good.”

I bought conditioner instead of shampoo. C’mon! It’s an easy mistake to make. Have you looked at the aisles upon aisles of rows upon rows of haircare products at the store? The selection is overwhelming.

I brought my purchase home and set it on the counter in the bathroom, waiting until I used up the tiny bit remaining in the old shampoo bottle. Beth noticed my mistake, found the receipt I had already discarded (instead of saving it like I should’ve) and was going to be nice enough to make the exchange for me.

I think I should’ve paid for my error by learning a lesson the hard way and using the conditioner instead of the shampoo. Except, I’m not sure I would’ve noticed the difference, being someone who thinks turkey tastes like shrimp.

I forgot to wash the dish towels with the rest of the towel load. You’d think I’d get some credit for doing the towels in the first place. But no.

It makes sense to throw the tiny rags in with a much bigger load. I know this on a conscious level, and yet when I’m in the midst of gathering up all the towels and washcloths from the various bathrooms, it often escapes me.

Frankly, I fail to see the need to wash towels in the first place. You’re using them to dry off cleansed bodies and clean plates. How do they even manage to get dirty? I imagine this is the subliminal thought process that almost always makes me forget to get this right.

I left vitamins out on the counter. After years of allowing my overall health to wither away because I failed to take a daily batch of vitamins, I’ve finally become convinced that the practice is a good idea. So I gather a colorful assortment from several bottles and assemble them on the kitchen counter in preparation of dosing myself.

Then I got called away for a minute to address the urgent need of watching Sports Center’s Top Ten plays. When I returned to the kitchen, one of our cats was pawing playfully at the vitamins.

“You can’t leave that kind of thing out on the counter,” I was told, even though I already knew that. But again, the connection between knowing something and performing an action in alignment with that knowledge was not made. Some kind of synapse issue in the older male brain, I’m guessing.

“It’s not like it’s going to turn them into giant super-cats,” I respond defensively. “And even if it did, I still think I could handle them.”

Wrong answer.

I left my Scrabble game open on our computer. The terminal we have in our home office is a wide-screen variety that allows me to super-size the display just perfectly to play the game. All it takes to return the display to normal size is a simple push of the “escape” key. It’s right there on the top left of the keyboard, for Christ’s sake!

For some reason, however, I always forget to do this. So when my wife comes along to update her podcast list from iTunes, she’s greeted with a monstrous type font that she somehow finds frightening. (Or maybe it’s the fact she can only see about three rows of selections at this size).

“How quizzical that you can’t be thoughtful enough to do this little thing for me,” she says, and I’m thinking “Hey — ‘quizzical’. Great Scrabble word!”

I was insufficiently outraged by the fellow husband who didn’t adequately appreciate a handmade baby gift. A new father at work was given a baby blanket by my wife’s friend who had spent several months crocheting a beautiful coverlet. He offered a hurried, insincere “hey, thanks” and put it with his briefcase to take home at the end of the shift.

“She felt really bad about it,” my wife said of her friend. “She had worked so hard and was so proud of it.”

“Yeah, but it’s just a blanket, right?” I asked. “It’s not like she gave him something really valuable, like a Series E savings bond.”

“You can’t put love and hand-crafting care into a savings bond,” she said.

“Depends on the denomination,” I responded half-sarcastically.

Again, wrong answer.

I didn’t pick up the taxes on my way home from work. Our CPA has had them ready for several days now. All I had to do is stop by his office — right on my way home from work — sign a few dotted lines and we’d be done for the year.

But I keep “forgetting.”

“I was afraid it would take longer than a few minutes,” I offered as my latest excuse. “Besides, I found that new ice cream that Daniel’s been looking for. I had it in my car and was afraid it would melt.”

I bought ice cream for my son. Being lactose-intolerant, he’s not supposed to have dairy.

I just hope that when he gets married, his wife will be nice enough to remind him.

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4 Responses to “Husband tries but fails (again)”

  1. Posky Says:

    These might not seem like real failures but for a dad-type human, they’re important. It’s weird how life changes as we grow.

  2. Carola Says:

    I love this. It’s great to read on a guy’s perspective of the whole household routine and the little glitches that occur. Good stuff.

  3. Paul Dixon Says:

    Davis, Davis, Davis. When you make a concession and accept guilt, don’t give away the whole candy store, man.

    You’re ruining it for the rest of us…

  4. Phillip Donnelly Says:

    A good point about towels being used to dry an already clean object. Perhaps we’re not as clean as would like to think we are.
    However, now that you mention it, wasn’t I meant to do something about taxes. Just because I no longer live in France doesn’t mean I don’t have to keep handing over those Euros!

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