How the better half lives

May 25th, 2008

Upon returning from the pet store with goldfish, hermit crabs and/or aquatic turtles, which have been called one of the most labor-intensive reptiles to maintain:

Don’t worry, you won’t have to do a thing.

Upon being reminded that it’s time to renew the car insurance, pay the property taxes, or fix the broken sprinkler that sprays a 30-foot geyser onto the neighbor’s front porch every morning.

It’s on my list.

Upon hearing of the bolt embedded in the tread of my brand-new tire:

That’s easy. Just drive it down to the station and wait for it to be fixed.

Upon learning of the first day of school, the date of the parent-teacher conference, the call from the school nurse, the school reading night, art night, volunteer night, open house, and the last day of school:

Wish I could be there.

Upon entering the kitchen while the lasagna is in the oven, the artichokes are steaming, the maple-glazed carrots are glistening, the salad is chilling and the garlic bread is warming 15 minutes before the company arrives:

Do you want me to grill something?

Upon opening the drawers where four dozen articles of clothing have been sorted, washed, dried, folded and returned every week for the last 12 years:

Thank god. I was almost out of underwear.

Upon getting out of bed, after the dog has been walked and fed, the water boiled, the beans ground, the slow-drip coffee made, the girl’s breakfast and lunch assembled, the dishwasher emptied, the permission slip signed, the homework checked and the child herded out of bed and wrestled into her school clothes, all by 7:25 a.m.:

Are you in a bad mood today?

Upon being asked to check his calendar for a week in the summer when it might be possible to plan a vacation.

Nothing. Not one word.

DISCLAIMER: These incidents are not exactly based on the real life of any actual better or worse half that I know. But they may be based on one you know.


  1. They might be based on a life I know, but I’m too busy to check.

    Comment by marta — May 26, 2008 @ 2:20 am

  2. You’re living in my house. How come we haven’t bumped into each other?

    Comment by Jo — May 26, 2008 @ 8:02 am

  3. The early morning scenario is my cross. I try like all hell to take it in stride, but I just keep missing the mark. Good post.

    Comment by Kristin H. — May 26, 2008 @ 6:46 pm

  4. I’m glad I’m not alone.

    Comment by Shelli — May 26, 2008 @ 7:48 pm

  5. When it might be possible for YOU to price check hotels, secure reservations, buy plane tickets, arrange care for the dog . . .

    Comment by Mama Zen — May 27, 2008 @ 2:35 am

  6. “The laborious process of growing a human is analogous to how women’s work is seen. It’s hard to recognize because men’s work has such extravagant evidence – skyscrapers, for instance- while much of women’s work just makes the world quietly turn” – Ani DiFranco (in Mothering Magazine)

    Turning words and turning worlds,

    Comment by Wendy — May 27, 2008 @ 10:17 am

  7. Very good post. I doubt he’ll search for “better half” when he’s looking for posts about him. : )

    It really is amazing all the non-work work things we do each day. It’s 6:30 a.m. here and despite no shower yet, despite all that I had to do already this morning, the youngsters are crying to get up and start the day. Talk about the better half.

    Comment by Shawn — May 27, 2008 @ 10:42 am

  8. SO well written. Those are my perceptions of how the better half in my marriage lives so much of the time. Especially the “I was almost out of underwear” one. WHAT????

    Sometimes I have to say, “YES! I’m in a bad mood. I’m going out. I’ll be back in a few hours.” That always helps.

    Comment by GailNHB — May 27, 2008 @ 1:23 pm

  9. great post – keep breathing! 🙂

    (you ARE a Superhero)

    Comment by Allison — May 27, 2008 @ 4:17 pm

  10. Oh. You’re living in my front closet? Let me know if you get hungry and I’ll throw together a sammie for ya. 😉

    Comment by laughingatchaos — May 28, 2008 @ 4:44 am

  11. If you add…

    Upon hearing that one of the kids is ill:

    Oh, I guess you’ll have to miss work today, eh?

    …then you might be talking about a better half that I may or may not know!

    Comment by Lana — May 28, 2008 @ 3:48 pm

  12. Upon returning from an obviously overly-indulgent hour away…found not only that some twister had dumped tupperware, matchbox cars, and stuffed things all over the yard and house but the baby up past bedtime not yet in pj’s and a better half who responded to my stunned look by saying…

    but I entertained the toddler for the whole hour.

    Ahhh thank you!

    Comment by Sarina — May 29, 2008 @ 2:44 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

archives by month