Tuesday, May 11, 2010

RTT: Things My Wife Hates


Once again, I'm doing the Random Tuesday Thoughts thing from Un Mom (click on that picture above and follow the damn instructions after you read this), and once again I am discovering that nothing is completely random. I have been collecting a bunch of tidbits all up in my brainpan, and I thought they were unconnected, but it turns out there is a fine, supple, silky thread that links them together: they are all things my wife hates. As the New York Dolls said, "Everything connects, and that ain't nowhere." (Actually, I always thought it was "that ENDS nowhere," or at least I thought that's what it *should* be. But anyway, check it out--that lyric is from a song called "Vietnamese Baby." And I have two half-Vietnamese babies, which equals one Vietnamese Baby, which pretty much proves my point. And that ain't nowhere.


Hate is such a strong word. And that's why it's the only word that accurately describes the way my wife, a strong, passionate woman of great conviction, feels about certain things. She doesn't hate people (except for Jennifer Love Hewitt, the very mention of whose name makes her gag for reasons unclear to me since I don't think I could pick her out of a lineup; and her transgressions, when brought to my attention, seem only mildly annoying) because that would be uncharitable and wrong. It's just objects and institutions, and things that some people do and say and like that provoke Dr. Mom's ire.

1. The Earth
If you love the earth, as I do, you are probably familiar with hypermiling, the practice of driving in such a way as to minimize fuel consumption. I have developed a similar system for saving water at home, called hyperdiapering.

We use cloth diapers because we decided that it was slightly better to do more laundry than to add to the overflowing landfill. Since we live in a drought-prone area, the environmental impact of cloth diapers is probably about the same as disposables; but the extra work involved in cloth diapers functions as an act of penance for sucking up resources by having children.

When we started using cloth, I followed my wife's orders, and we ended up doing 2-3 loads of diaper laundry per week. I found this incompatible with my environmentalist leanings; so I figured out how to get at least two uses out of each outer covering (we use a couple different systems, both of which involve a cover and an insert) and changing diapers only when absolutely necessary. This brought the number of diaper laundry loads down to one per week.

This is what happened when I demonstrated my earth-friendly achievement to Dr. Mom.

Me: [gestures toward washing machine] Check it out--all of the diapers in one load of wash. There's not one clean diaper left.

Dr. Mom: That's a really full load.

Me: Exactly.

Dr. Mom: I don't think they'll get as clean if the machine is overstuffed.

Me: Pssht...

[Hours pass. The dryer buzzer is heard]

Me: See, they're fine.

Dr. Mom: They still smell like pee.

Me: Why do you hate the earth?

Dr. Mom: Why do you want your children to smell like urine?

2. Bad Doctoring
Just as I am disgusted when I see shoddy workmanship in a house, my wife cannot abide a careless or clueless doctor. This sometimes puts me in an awkward position because I can't immediately spot a quack, and I tend to defer to their education and experience, blaming any befuddlement I experience during an interaction on my rudimentary understanding of medicine. When I report to Dr. Mom after a medical appointment, we often have conversations like this [note: medical jargon and implications thereof may not be completely accurate. Consult your physician.]

Dr Mom: What was your TSH?

Me: Um...ten? Or something? What's TSH again?

Dr. Mom: What? They still haven't gotten it down? She needs to titrate your meds.

Me: I know, right?

Dr. Mom: She should have been on top of that within six weeks.

Me: I think I'm taking them wrong. She explained some stuff and it kind of made sense. There were charts...

Dr. Mom: What was your blood pressure like?

Me: She said it was okay.

Dr. Mom: What's okay?

Me: Um...like, forty-five or something?

Dr. Mom: Forty-five what?

Me: PSI? Um...she thinks I should have a chemical peel on my face. Also, she said I'd be a good candidate for a hair transplant.

Dr. Mom: You need to get a different doctor.

3. When People Repeat Themselves
Since she remembers virtually everything that anyone has ever said to her, and everything she has ever said to anyone else, it vexes her when she hears the same story more than once. For some reason, she tolerates this in her father, my father, and me. I think she starts daydreaming about dragons when she hears the opening strains of one of our yarns.

4. When People Forget What She Has Already Told Them, Especially Things about Herself
To Dr. Mom, this is the height of rudeness and indicates self-absorbtion on the part of her interlocutor. She will patiently tell her life story over again, but I can see her jaw twitching and her tiny fists clenching because she knows she is once again wasting her breath. As in the case of item 3, I am given an exemption from her wrath when I do this.

5. When People Repeat Themselves
It vexes her.

6. Antiques
Like Dwight Yoakam's character in Sling Blade, she just doesn't want them around her. She doesn't hate people who like antiques; she just thinks they are wasting their time and money. Same goes for stuff from yard sales and swap meets. In fact, she has no use for any kind of used-up old dusty junk and considers it an eyesore and an affront to her aesthetics and practicality. There are, of course, a few exceptions: the traditional charm of our 100-year-old house, the reliability and economy of our 13-year-old car, and the classic lines of her vintage husband.

Random Video (Dr. Mom does not hate these)



Cobra Tango


  1. Blimey!

    I'm rubbish at Dr's too - and I'm a nurse.

    I tend to just nod and try and get out as quick as possible. Of course I don't actually pay for it (directly) so it's perhaps not so galling.

  2. LOL! Except for number 6 (and I'm not all that into antiques) I'm so hearting Dr. Mom. She seems like my kind of woman. I do tend to repeat myself sometimes, but I blame that on the fact that our circle of friends is ever shifting (Mr. HH is in the Army and people are always moving in and out, so I don't know who I've told what to).
    Yogabean cracked me up. It's always weird to hear a bloggers voice on video clips.
    Once again, I skipped RTT. Damn me! I forgot it was Tuesday (don't tell me you don't occasionally forget what day it is) and posted about our trip to Reims, France and our visit to Eisenhower's War Rooms (where the Germans surrendered). How stupid of me to post something historical on a Tuesday. Gah! Next week! Maybe. We'll be on a cruise so we'll see.

  3. My mom is a nurse and asks me all kinds of questions like that after I've had a doctor's appointment. I can never remember any of the answers so I usually just say "Umm yeah" or "he gave me pills". Then she says I need to find a new doctor. Because it's totally his fault that I can't pay atten...

    I hate it when people repeat themselves too. My boss does it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. *puts gun to head*

  4. Couldn't pick me out of a line up? I do not have gigantic boobs to be ignored by the likes of you. Good day!

    -J Love.

  5. Are you familiar with the website Yogabeans? It's done by a mommyblogger named Eden Kennedy, who also runs fussy. It's hilarious.

  6. Dan,
    My new doctor is very cool and likes to talk about books and stuff. That helps. I'm much more likely to pay attention to and follow directions from a doctor I can relate to. You don't have to pay for it, sure; but don't like fifty percent of Brits die waiting in line to get appendectomies?

    I heart Dr. Mom too! I pretend like her competence is annoying, but secretly I'm very proud of her. I was an army brat, so I know all about starting over every couple years. It's a good opportunity to reinvent yourself, and that often means revising and embellishing the old stories.

    Yeah--I'm worried about what's going to happen when I'm real old and have to remember to take multiple pills at specific times. I'll definitely need a nurse.

    J Love,
    You don't have gigantic boobs? Now I'm totally confused. For a minute I thought I knew who you were.

    I read fussy sometimes, but haven't read Yogabeans. I must have seen that word on fussy and stolen it without realizing it.

  7. This is my first time here, so I will say: 1) you are funny; 2) your kids are ridiculously adorable; and 3) I want to marry Dr. Mom (do not tell my husband).

  8. Aren't kids SUPPOSED to smell like urine? I may be doing this 'parenting' thing wrong.

    Is the hate-on for antiques because they're essentially repeating themselves?

  9. In video two are you just letting yogabean scream in the background?!? She doesn't seem to like not having attention, which I can understand.

    I agree with Dr. Mom about antiques. I agree with Keely--antiques are just repeating themselves.

  10. Like #4. You describe her very well, your love of her comes through and you get an exemption, sounds like you might be loved as well.

  11. Juid (Judi?),
    I'm glad you caught that. I was a little worried That I sounded like a dick.

  12. With regards to the diapers ~ add a cup of white vinegar to your water, gets rid of any smell ~ I do this with my towels. Great blog.

  13. Mme. P,
    Thanks for the comments, but please don't marry my wife. I'm just getting used to living with kids--I don't think I can handle more grownups in the house.

    Thanks for the tip! (I guess it's none of my business why your towels smell like urine.)


  14. She totally does have gigantic boobs.

    -Jamie Kennedy

  15. I love the guitar! MORE!!!

    Oh, yes, more babies too. Of course.

    Dr. Mom sounds very efficient and practical. I like that in a woman.

  16. I'm thinking it was your mad tango skills on the guitar that lured wifey in to begin with, right?

  17. Steamy,
    Did you just ask me to play more guitar? Well...I suppose...I mean, if you really want me to (prepare to be relentlessly serenaded.) Yes it's true, Dr. Mom brooks no bullshit.

    Cpt. D,
    It was either that or the Sammy Hagar pants!

  18. LOL at the Jennifer Love Hewitt comment. I am so hopeless when it comes to any sort of celebrity recognition whatsoever, but if someone was on camera for 20 seconds in an obscure straight to video movie as a child actor 25 years ago, you can bet my wife will know everything else they've ever been in, recognize their voice by a mere sentence, and comment thoroughly about how their taste in fashion has evolved.


Don't hold back.


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