The Man I Married decades ago decided that our stackable washer-dryer doors were hung the wrong way.
Rather, he decided the dryer door was hung the wrong way. So he switched the dryer door to open to the right. He was very proud not only of his sudden observation that the door was hung incorrectly according to the layout of our laundry room, but that he also managed to reverse the door.
But he didn’t switch the washer door, which opens to the left.
Now I have to contort like Gumby when I transfer a load from one to the other, squeezing myself in between the two open doors that tend to swing partially-closed. And I ain’t that skinny.
I end up hitting my head on the dryer door when I stand up from crouching in front of the washer.
Or I step back and nearly topple backwards over the washer door when I’m standing to sort things from the dryer.
I require hazard pay to do a simple load of laundry.
(Here I must protest that laundry is not simple. I seem to be the only one in the house possessing the advanced skill of not only remembering to transfer laundry from washer to dryer, but to transfer it from dryer back to place of origin, all in the space of time it takes to keep everything from wrinkling.)
Still, MIM was so proud about this door-switching feat that I hesitated to say anything. I myself would be incapable of switching a dryer door, so some level of admiration was in order. Plus, he’d spent part of his Christmas vacation making this fix (instead of doing any number of other things around the house that seemed to the ignorant and uneducated [i.e. his wife] to be more pressing, such as installing a sink in the laundry room so that he ceases to use my kitchen thusly):
Ah, now the dryer door project makes more sense, because installing a sink in the laundry room is daunting, overwhelming, and full of obstacle after obstacle. And there was the dryer door right in front of his nose, such a satisfying and quick fix that gave him a real sense of accomplishment and daring-do.
Which is, oh, kind of like writing a blog post when one is supposed to be working on a book-length manuscript.
His intentions were good, and he was proud, and who wants to mess with that? And maybe he was right, and maybe I was being close-minded. I thought the layout would be something I’d grow used to with time. But I did not. So after a month passed, I voiced my concern when he ventured into the laundry room while I was twixt and ‘tween the doors, feeling rather like a horse in a cramped stall with the top half of the stable doors open. I tried to utilize my rusty skills, dredged up from all of those marriage counseling lessons over the years. I ventured, “I feel frustrated by the dryer door and the washer door opening in different directions.” I refrained from adding, “I feel like it was a dumb idea.” We didn’t flush all of that marriage counseling money down the drain.
“But it makes more sense this way,” he said matter-of-factly.
“Then the washer door needs to switch, too.”
“I can’t. It won’t switch.”
We both paused. And paused.
“Who does all of the laundry?” I asked him.
“You do. Fine. I’ll switch it back.”
Here’s what gets me about long-term marriage. Even though he didn’t argue (much) and said he’d do what I asked, he managed to say it with a tone that implied that my request was unreasonable, and that he was being very reasonable to comply with it without (much) argument.
Further, if I said that this was his tone, he would counter that his tone had not been condescending in the least, and that it was all in my head, as usual. Such a discussion would end up sounding like this:
Furthermore, I know that the door will not get switched back until I pester him again about installing a sink.
In long-term marriage, you can play out the entire argument in your head before it even happens. It’s like a boring television rerun from, like, the seventies.
So I didn’t say anything.
I just blogged about it.
Which he will never read, because I have an anti-husband-reading-my-blog tactic.
Awhile back, my cousin and friend were visiting and they both mentioned my Reader, I Awakened Him post and how much their partners had gotten a kick out of it. Unfortunately, MIM was there during the discussion. He had completely forgotten about the night I had woken him up. So while my cousin and friend were visiting, he got mad about it all over again.
“But I never wake you up,” I reminded him during our subsequent ‘discussion.’ “You always wake me up! That’s the only time I’ve woken you up in almost a quarter century!”
“I know!” he said. “That’s why I was so mad! It just wasn’t right! It’s not the way it works!”
Some days later, he surprised me by casually mentioning something I’d blogged about.
“You read my blog?” I asked him.
“Well, I thought I’d better after that last discussion,” he said, “so I tried to. But there were just too many, and they’re all way too long, so I quit after reading part of just that one.”
So, to avoid spousal-blog-reading: be frequently long-winded, and your hot air will be ignored by those who grow weary of it and pay it no attention. Kind of like marital disagreement.
The Erotica Writer’s Husband and Other Stories by Jennifer D. Munro
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“Jennifer D. Munro had me howling with [her] irony…” —Susie Bright, Best American Erotica Editor
“[I] was fixated. I really laughed out loud (by myself)…” —Bobbi, Literary Mama Reader
“…marvelously refreshing…” —CleanSheets
“Munro writes with an honesty and rawness… a brilliant piece of writing…” —Innsmouth Free Press