November 3, 2009

Natural Conclusions

Yesterday evening Paul had me feel his forehead for fever twice, which means it is time once again for him to be a colossal baby. Today he is staying home from work, parked on the couch groaning and asking weakly for things, and I am trying not to be deeply resentful at the way when he is sick he "stays home from work," whereas when I'M sick.... Well, there is no sense going down this path.

You may have noticed I rarely have a good word to say about Paul. One of the main reasons for this---and forgive me for lifting the veil here---is that reading praise about someone else's spouse is borrrrrrrrrring. Bad things are win-win: either the readers feel happier about their own spouses' flaws in comparison, or they feel relieved that they are not the only ones yoked to boneheads. Good things, on the other hand, are lose-lose: either the readers feel unhappier about their own spouses in comparison, or else they are bored.

Another main reason is that I think you and I know each other well enough by now that you'd assume I wouldn't live with someone for fifteen years if I didn't kinda like him. I've left a marriage before so I'm clear on that option, I'm toward the pragmatic end of the spectrum on such things, and I have a good life insurance policy on him. If Paul were truly defined only by his shopping dumbheadedness and his pathetic babyish illnesses---or even if that were the larger part of him----I don't see any reason I'd stay with such a cheesehead, and I'm pretty confident that's a conclusion anyone can draw. In fact, it seems like a natural conclusion that he must be pretty awesome in other ways for me to put up with the dumhbhead/baby crap.

Another main reason is that non-annoyances don't start writing themselves in my mind. If Paul is being a pinehole, a new post springs into being naturally: I compose it as I'm angrily doing the dishes he left, or as I'm going to the store to get the eggs he didn't get, or as I'm lying awake pretending to be asleep. Whereas if he's not doing anything annoying, if life is going on as usual, posts do not compose themselves. And to return to the first point, they'd be pretty dull if they DID compose themselves: "Paul did the dishes without leaving food on them this time. Also, he went to the grocery store and came home with the things on the list. Also, a child brought homework back to school without me first having to fish it out of the recycling bin."

Well, I've hidden in here long enough; I'm going to have to go back out there. PITY ME.

43 comments:

Rah said...

The devil in me wants to say you should, all day, keep going to him and asking him to feel YOUR forehead. Comment frequently about how nice it is to have someone there to help out when you aren't feeling so hot. When he lies down, you lie down, when he wants a cup of tea, say "Oh, good, would you make one for me too?" It would be interesting to see what a little "competition" would do.

As I said, the devil in me... Maybe the guy really is sick?

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

I manage sympathy for about 2 errands & then I get all "You know when some people are sick they not only have to go get their own juice, they often have to get juice for OTHER PEOPLE at the same time, then they have to change those OTHER PEOPLE's diapers then moderate those OTHER PEOPLE's argument about what DVD OTHER PEOPLE are going to watch next, before that person gets to lay down for 3 minutes before they have to get up and deal with OTHER PEOPLE again. Maybe you could just try reaching for the remote yourself this time." It's not that I don't love him, but dude is grown man & he wouldn't do without whatever it is he needs if I wasn't here. So pretend I am not here.

AndreAnna said...

I'm a bigger baby when I'm sick than my husband. There. I said it. Not proud of it but I could wallow and whine for daaaays.

I reeaaaaaaaaaaaaaally hate being sick. I'd rather have a pinkie cut off in exchange for never being sick again for the rest of my life. And I'm not kidding.

Fran said...

LMAO!! They really are babies when they are sick. Luckily mine is sick only about once a year, but oh that one time...it's hell! I am TOTALLY going to do what Rah suggested next time!

Amanda said...

Thankfully mine is only sick once in a great while because I would leave him, honest to god. Last winter I had to take a morning off of work to drive him to the doctor's for a sinus infection, which I get, oh every three months or so.

The kids had the flu the same time I did this year, he avoided us so as not to get sick.

I need to stop. I'm getting all riled up. I SO understand.

Tess said...

Condolences on the Man Cold.

I couldn't agree more about barfy spouse-lovey posts. Lose/lose indeed.

Annika said...

I don't know. I have it on pretty good authority from some anonymous commenters that if you complain, you are an ingrate who does not ever see the positive in anything. I'm sure my anonymous friends would not lie to me about this.

Emily said...

I had this same epiphany about a year ago, when I got some hate mail from people who claimed I must not want to be a mother, since I complain so much about my children. Would you honestly read my website if all I did was talk about how wonderful they are? No, no you would not. How irritating would THAT be?

Same goes for husbands.

pickles and dimes said...

Jason always tells me all I do is complain on my site. Yep, because 1) nothing really good is happening lately, and 2) no one really cares about the good stuff anyway. :)

I totally understand.

Shelly Overlook said...

You have my pity, my empathy and you can borrow my woodchipper, too, if you need it. Okay, just kidding on that last one, I may need it for myself by the time my hubby finds a job again.

Let's face it, the truth is us womens are perfect and men are just plain annoying. Or something like that.

Kim said...

And I'm always suspicious about the people who do always post barfy crap about their spouses. I know several people who do this and I'm cynical enough to think, "Who are you trying to convince, us or yourself?"
Brian got sick while I was away last week and I walked into the house last night to what can only be described as a massive explosion of detrius. Not to mention he almost od'd on codeine cough medicine. Makes me wonder how long they'd remain civilized humans without a female to keep them that way.

jird said...

You know, a little bit of venting about dopey things just helps get us assurance that we're not crazy for being annoyed by them. Not homicidal, just annoyed.

I used to work with a small group of women, and during the frequent late nights we worked, we'd start talking about exactly these sorts of things, and I always felt a little bad because one woman never had a bad word to say about her husband, and I started thinking how fabulous and tolerant she must be, and wishing I could be as nice as she. They got divorced a couple of months later, and I realized that she never complained about him because she had real, big, important problems that you can't casually vent about with your friends. Not saying that never complaining means your marriage is in trouble, but I think that if you have serious marital problems, you're not spending a lot of time telling funny stories about how your spouse never scrapes off the dishes after dinner.

d e v a n said...

yes, yes, yes! Obviously, there are some readers who think that if you write bad things about your spouse, then they must be an a$$hole and must be a boob for staying with them, instead of the more likely scenario - which is that you are both humans who actually like each other but get annoyed. Not that I would know...

Anonymous said...

Any complaints you've posted don’t seem like divorce-worthy problems, more like humorous observations about issues any relationship might have because no one is perfect. Your writing conveys to me that you’re pretty happy with your relationship and your life.

Kate

Gina said...

I do pity you - Man Sick is a terrible, horrible thing to endure.

Lola said...

You are so right about how it's boring to read when someone else is blissfully happy with their significant other, and also, that a post will write itself when you're pissed. As someone just starting blogging, these are rules I will be recognizing and applying!

Mairzy said...

I don't think good observations are all necessarily boring. One of my favorite Paul posts, which I still think about and laugh, is the one where you listed several of his geeky jokes (such as dressing Elizabeth in her pajamas and announcing, "Exoskeleton installation complete."). Suit yourself, but you're an entertaining enough writer that you can make the Good Things just as fun to read as the Bad Things.

-- Mairzy

Bunnyslippers said...

I just read the first paragraph of your post to my Paul (who is staying home sick today). He gave me this "I'm not like that" look and asked me to go downstairs to bring him the camera. I would have been annoyed if it wasn't so ironic. Thanks for the laugh!

My verification word is 'stinks'.

Jen said...

I'm certainly happy to hear I'm not the only one composing angry posts in my head while doing something my husband neglected. The only difference is...I don't post them. Mostly because my husband reads my blog and he is very uncomfortable with all of our family and friends reading the somewhat personal things I would say. And mostly about how he's being a jackass, well, that wouldn't really be fair to him unless he was able to get on there and post about what a neurotic bitch I was being. So anyway, I do the mental composition mostly for myself to organize exactly why I am livid and then I go talk to him about it instead of posting it. Because sometimes I DO expect him to read my mind and well, that isn't fair either.

Anonymous said...

Man Cold on youtube. Sooo funny

Fiona Picklebottom said...

I propose that when you're sick, you make Paul stay home from work while you go lie on the couch at the Barnes & Noble... plenty of reading material and awesome goodies at the Starbucks shop if you feel like eating.

Jess said...

Even though I know this was not your intention, it makes me want to not write nice posts about Torsten anymore. Am I BORING everyone when I do it? Eek.

Jenni said...

My husband is also a major baby when he sick, and I snicker at him not so covertly. God forbid me or the children is sick - he will be felled with illness TEN FOLD!! Well, the last time he was sick, he was ACTUALLY sick - he got hand, foot, & mouth. He was so triumphant that he was actualy ill! And I had mocked him! But I told him if he didn't cry wolf so often he wouldn't be mocked.

I've been loving your blog lately. I mean, I've been reading for a long time and have always liked it, bu tyou are just doing it for me lately. Hilarious stuff.

Brooke said...

Totally. Good husbands are boring. :-)

Leeann said...

I just love you. I mean, not in a creepy way or anything but you say everything I ever want to say, ninety times better than I could ever say it.

I should have started a blog under a pseudonym so I could rail about MY husband. He would be all upset if I carried on about him and he would be UNBEARABLE and it isn't worth it.

But damn straight .. in my head I am reading this going YEP, and Uh HUH! and YOU SING IT, SISTER!!

Misty said...

My husband leaves food on the dishes too.

90% of the time.

It's a good thing he is cute. ;)

StephLove said...

Does he read your blog? I've wondered.

LoriD said...

My husband is home "sick", but is also caring for a legitimately sick child. It's painful the number of phonecalls I've had from him at work ("She wants mac & cheese but I'm too tired to make it on the stove - how do you do it in the microwave?") I am dreading going home and listening to all his exaggerated moans and groans.

Erin said...

I do not think it is a "man cold" issue. I think it is a "husband/fiance/boyfriend cold" issue. Single guys are more than capable of taking care of themselves when they are sick but the attached men, well... what a bunch of babies...until you are the one who is sick and then they have selective amnesia: "you aren't that sick. I was WAY sicker than you and I still functioned perfectly fine!"

I don't so much think that posts lavishing praise on significatn others are boring but when there are a lot of them part of me thinks "whose ass are you trying to kiss?"

the new girl said...

The GEM in this post is this phrase:

Yoked to Boneheads.

Which I will commence with stealing and using forthwith.

CARRIE said...

I just wrote my own blog post about a similar thing. I write about things that irk me.....not the tra-la-la wonderful shit in life.
I love the yoked to boneheads comment too.

Christina said...

I had this issue a couple of days ago when I was nauseaus as all get out and felt like a train hit me. I was afraid I was getting the flu and spent almost all day sleeping it off. He came in a few times on the premise of checking on me, but usually it was coupled w/ him needing to ask a question or inquire about food. I couldn't help but think how much of a baby he'd be if we were reversed. haha But, agreed - you just think about that in your head then and that it's a good story to tell. Obv he does sweet things all the time.. but *yawn*

Swistle said...

StephLove- No, he doesn't read it. I would feel weird if he read it---like trying to talk on the phone to my best friend while he was in the same room.

Lola Lakely said...

So I found you by way of The Vegetable Assassin who linked to Becky and then Becky linked to you. Phew! That was a lot of work on my part, clicking on oh so many links. I'm glad I did, cause I like your blog!

"Bad things are win-win: either the readers feel happier about their own spouses' flaws in comparison, or they feel relieved that they are not the only ones yoked to boneheads."- By far my favorite line! I think I'll stick around here!

Sarah said...

Oh Swistle, this is exactly why I read you. You are just too darn funny! The Smartest Man Alive is also sick -- with the dreaded flu. While he's nearly comatose, and thus not whiny, it still sucks. I keep checking on him periodically to make sure he's still breathing while attempting not to get any germs. Good luck with Paul's sickness.

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

My boyfriend is also a big baby when he is sick. He's still, so far, pretty good at taking care of himself though... but I just know that once we're living together and married, that will SO change. I will try to stay strong and not give into him, but I know I too will fall victim to the Sucky Man Cold.

MEN = IDIOTS.

Plus, totes need to vent on a blog, that's the only reason to have one. Did people usually write:

Dear Diary,

My day was absolutely perfect.


???

Well, they only wrote that if they were 13 and were writing about their Crush finally glancing in their direction.

Barb @ getupandplay said...

I second the "Man Cold" on YouTube. It is so true. Men (and husbands in particular) are wimps about minor illnesses.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXLHWmjA5IE

Hulga said...

I feel lucky for having a husb that doesn't get all whiny and pouty when he's sick. Although, I don't feel totally lucky because what he does do is sneeze all over the kitchen and touch everything with his diseased, unwashed, snotty hands thereby making me have to get him everything anyway unless I want to get sick too. Ugh. There's no perfect situation, but there are blogs to vent on. Yay!

Amy said...

Okay, this is totally random and not related at all to your recent post, but your "good book gift ideas" from last Christmas was so wonderful. I ended up ordering several of the books just knowing they'd be perfect for SOMEONE even if I hadn't thought of who yet, and they were...and not even for who I'd thought I'd give them too!!...so I'm hoping you could do a 2009 list as well??? pretty please????

DomestiKook said...

Did you know it's Nation Blog Posting Month? 30 posts in 30 days! 30! Not sure if I'm going to make it but I'm going to try. I am going to host a giveaway of some of my Etsy jewelry that will close at the end of the month, open to everyone who comments on the giveaway post. Not sure what day the giveaway post will be but the winner will be randon number generated. Randomness for free goodies = awesome.
I find your posts both funny and inspirational, I thank you for that. :)

Stacia said...

I love your posts about Paul. I don't think most people read complaints and go "Then get a divorce, stupid!" A few people do, sure, but they're pineholes.

P.S. I stole your word "pinehole."

Also, I agree on all counts that husbands can be big babies when sick. The last time my husband got sick he pointedly refused to take his medicine the way he was told to, so I had to monitor his medicines. When I finally got a chance to sleep he, of course, OD'd on Tylenol and cough syrup. He blacked out, threw everything up, I had to get up to watch him and clean up the mess.

I related this story to other women who all nodded solemnly and said they understood. I told one guy who didn't understand what my husband had done wrong.

The problem is genetic and related to testosterone. I know this for a fact. This is science.

Chrissy said...

HATE the man cold. Blech. My husband always claims to have a fever, but will never measure it with a thermometer. Why? Because it's imaginary.

Also on the subject of divorce, my BFF with four kids always tells me that when you see someone with a lot of kids getting a divorce, it means that marriage was REALLY REALLY bad, because it would have to be worse than single parenting four kids. Shudder.

Sunny said...

Hmmmm...my hubbys name is Paul, too and you have pretty much described some of his bad traits to the tee............are you sure we aren't BOTH married to the same guy??????????
Just sayin'.......!!
;-)