Friday, May 31, 2013

How Do I Annoy Thee?

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




Karen Lange said...

I chuckled all the way through this! Oh, how I can relate. My sister and I sometimes joke about how these men we love and respect so much can annoy the daylights out of us. And with us being so perfect, you know? We chalk it up to character building. :)

Happy weekend!

Terri Tiffany said...

Oh my! Such truer words were never written. Laughed much about being in each other's space in the kitchen. I am renting a very small house so imagine NO space in the galley kitchen and he has to be there when I am.

Barb Snyder said...

I love this Jeanette! Things I find annoying? Eating out of the serving bowl when we're mostly done with our meal instead of just dipping more out onto his plate. You know, you're eating less that way. Also, when getting a snack of ice cream, you get a a REAL small bowl so you don't eat too much, but continue to eat out of the ice cream carton after you've filled your tiny bowl. How about licking your finger and running it along the bottom of the snack container to pick up the crumbs and salt?

Gotta love 'em don't we? Wouldn't want to do without my husband, annoyances and all!

alan said...

I enjoyed reading this, though I didn't find it quite as amusing as the first three commenters. But then, they have something in common that I lack - or did I get that backwards? Oddly, I have the same complaint about the kitchen. After all, I do all the cooking. Why is she always exactly where I need to be?

A friend of mine commented some years ago that he believed women were put on earth to reach middle age for the sole purpose of driving middle-aged men crazy. I told him that was horribly sexist and inappropriate. We're no longer middle-aged, but I'm starting to wonder if he only had the time frame wrong.

Anonymous said...

The same situation was the reason I started writing articles about Things That Make Me Nuts, with my husband. I put them all in a book by the same title and my husband read five pages and said I was crazy. He never read any more of the book. People who read it say it is very funny, but when you have to live with it day in and day out it will drive you crazy.

I hope your husband didn't keep tract of how much toilet paper you use like mine does. Good article.

Caroline said...

lol. Jen, as always, you're good for a chuckle. Now I can come clean: I've hidden this so long . . . He eats the cakes I bake out of the "pan" --whatever. It gets worse. He starts at one corner and circles the pan, all edges, and leaves the middle--the least desirable--till last.

It doesn't matter that I don't even care that much for cake mixes or that I hardly ever eat more than one piece, if that, or that I've just fixed it mainly for him. Drives me batty.

And what about telling everyone he loves to eat juicy apples so the juice runs down his chin. Ugh. Everyone laughs. I smile like it's a big joke. Ha. If only THEY lived in this house!

Too bad I adore the man or I'd send him down the road talking to himself. :)

JoAnn Durgin said...

Great post, and oh you hit a nerve (in a funny way, of course). I was just thinking the other day about all the things my hubby does that bug me after a quarter century of marriage. Thankfully, the good outweigh the bad, but there are things like deciding to clean when I'm at the computer (similar to one of our examples) or rustling the papers when I'm trying to concentrate on something or sleep, or eating raw cookie dough for breakfast (and being lean when I struggle with every single calorie)...the list can go on. I'm sure listening to all my writing "stuff" irritates him on occasion, but he's one of my biggest supporters, so I think I'll keep him around. Blessings and thanks again for a fun post.

Donna B said...

Hahahahahaha and here I thought my husband was unique in the way he has to occupy the WHOLE kitchen no matter what he's doing...or what I WAS doing!

How about mumbling from the other room while you're washing dishes and when you say "What?" he glares at you and won't answer? Or is that one all mine?

J.B. DiNizo said...

Funny, funny comments! Nothing like picking up the phone when it rings and hearing a loud burp, identifying your loved one calling home! But we miss them when they are gone!

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

Dangit! We've been exposed.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Thanks for the commiserating, ladies, and the nods, gentlemen. I'm sure you guys could write an article similar to mine, on the ways we gals annoy you.