When I’ve accused my husband of laying awake nights concocting new ways to annoy me, he disagrees. “I don’t have to lay awake—I irritate you without trying.”
I recently discovered how he invents all these bothersome habits of his that seem to multiply daily as he ages. He is the founder and lifetime president of the Annoyance of the Hour Club for Men.
He never upset me when we were dating and engaged. Well, maybe once a week or so, but it was easy to overlook the wee little quirks that everyone must have. Love and passion trump those prickly frustrations hardly worth mentioning.
Until the honeymoon. While I was sleeping, washing my hair, or glancing at the moon, he called the first meeting of the AOHC, with only himself in attendance. And he’s been devising new ways to bug me ever since.
How can a person make noise getting underwear out of a drawer? He’s invented a way.
How can he always need to be in the same spot at the same moment as I, in my extra large kitchen? He’s figured that out, too.
Can he listen to high-pitched snippets of irritating music as he transfers cassettes to cd’s on the computer when I’m gone to work all day, and he has the house to himself? Oh, no. He must do this never-ending job when I’m home, trying to concentrate on my writing in the next room.
When I’m at Bible study on Friday nights, I’m sure he holds meetings of the other men who belong to his Club—all married men—and they share their secrets and new discoveries.
“I found out that when I trim my toenails during her favorite TV show, it drives her nutso.”
“Dude, that’s nothing. You need to trim them when her mother is visiting. Or better yet, don’t trim them at all, and then stab her with them just as she’s dropping off to sleep.”
I can imagine the back slaps and high fives when one of them comes up with an original annoyance.
“Hey, you guys know how we decided to start mumbling to ourselves all over the house? I discovered this week that humming the same tune hundreds of times in one day works much better. They can ignore the mumbling after awhile, but the humming makes them crazy. Especially if there’s no definable rhythm or melody. Just make something up with the same six notes over and over.” They then practice for each other, perfecting their hums until they reach the perfect pinnacle of irksomeness.
Next on the agenda comes smacking, slurping and spilling of the noisiest snacks and drinks they could find, and closing their eyes to the leftover mess.
They end the meeting with a secret oath to work harder at grating on their wives’ nerves, proselytize every new husband they meet, and teach their sons from infancy how to develop exasperating habits.
I thought of starting my own club for women, so we could retaliate. But after two minutes of consideration, I realized none of us would live long enough to catch up, let alone even the score. I’m forced to concede: as creative as we are, we women cannot hold a—drippy—candle to the ways men find to annoy.
Since beginning her writing career, Jeanette Levellie has published hundreds of articles, columns, stories, greeting card verses, and poems. Last year her debut book, Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top, became a bestseller on Amazon in the Christian Humor category. Find more of her mirthful musings on www.jeanettelevellie.com