Sure, he thought it was fun for a while. Sure, he liked being called Handsome Hubby in my Muddling through Middle Age blog. In fact, he liked it so much he even started signing emails to me “HH.” But now the fun has ended and Website Wedded Woes have begun!
Rather it was an innocent, passing inclusion of HH in a Mother’s Day gift “wish list.” All I asked for – in a light, loving, tongue-in-cheek manner – was for him to change the air conditioner filters and to schedule a handyman to fix our dog-scratched front door – two tasks HH has delayed attending to for months and MONTHS.
I thought it was funny (the blog mention, not the task-doing delays). HH thought it wasn’t.
“What? I’m supposed to get you a Mother’s Day gift?” he asked. “Is that a thing now? When did that start?”
“It’s just a joke,” I rushed to explain.
“It’s passive-aggressive,” he harrumphed, switching TV channels, making me suffer through an episode of Shark Tank. (Now if that’s not passive-aggressive, I don’t know what is!)
Honestly, I cannot believe it. After 31 years of marriage, I thought I knew all of HH’s hot, not-so-hot, and sensitive spots. Who knew that Mother’s Day and chores were sacred, no jokes allowed, hallowed ground?
Hours later, attempting to still the shark-infested (it was a bloody Shark Tank marathon) waters, I tried again to explain the Mother’s Day gift wish mention was just a joke.
But the more I explained, the more I sank into deep water.
HH declared he could no longer read my blog for pleasure. He vowed he would now be forced to read it for self-protection … to understand what was on my mind and where he was “seemingly” falling down on the job.
He complained that seemingly nothing was sacred in our marriage, and if that was the case, he “might as well just give it all up” and tell Alexa, Siri and the NSA all his secrets instead of me and my Muddling through Middle Age friends.
And I guess HH is right. Just this morning, I walked by the kitchen sink and to my deep chagrin saw that he had once again co-mingled silver and stainless-steel flatware in one soapy dish in the sink. Horrors. And making matters worse, he also had left a wooden spoon soaking there as well. I “gently” reminded him – for the g-zillionth time that “one does not mix silver and stainless-steel and that soaking wood leads to expansion and splitting.
He looked up from the papers – post-championship Golden State Warriors coverage – and asked if these statements were based on a decree from some 15th Century European Court.
I thought this was quite clever. Hilarious, in fact. I asked him to repeat it so I could quote him accurately for the blog. He glared at me. “See,” HH exclaimed and complained. “you use me as a constant source of amusement for your blog.”
Two Can Play This Game
Now HH is spending a lot of time – late at night – on the home computer. Porn? No. He is researching how to set up his own blog! I even saw a list of possible titles: Handsome Hubby Strikes Back, HH Ain’t Muddling No More, and HHand the Terminator Talkin’ Tough.
“Everything is Copy.” Thus, opined famed satirist Nora Ephron. While I do adore Nora, I do not agree with that statement. I have always drawn the line on saying hurtful things about family members and I very rarely write in detail about my children (although believe me I could!). Even friends are given protected status. Only HH and I are fair game, but now I see that I may have to re-think my writing rules. If HH has truly become website thin-skinned, then I may be left blogging solo without my comedic foil.
Alone in the Blogosphere
I acknowledge that on my own, I provide a fair amount of comedic fodder. I am on any given day quite muddled, unwise, balmy, and preposterous, but how long can I churn out stories just spotlighting my own ineptitude? I need my partner in midlife folly!
Where was Gracie Allen without George Burns? Lucy without Ricky? Stan without Laurel? Abbott without Costello?
I must mend this website wedded rift! But how?
Come back, HH! I promise higher thread-count sheets, endless – and complaint-free – nights of Die Hard and Terminator repeats, home-made dinners of your favorite tamale pie, and brisket, Phish-food ice cream and most important of all, only endearing references of HH in Muddling through Middle Age – at least the version emailed to you each week.
Now in the interests of marital security, I did give this story to HH to review before posting it on my Muddling website. He snorted and declared, “Fake news.”
Then, a moment later, he said, “I do think that HH and the Terminator Talkin’ Tough title has real possibilities, don’t you?