Conversations with my wife: Early birds

If it’s not the skunks, it’s the birds. None of God’s creatures wants us to get a good night’s rest.

I’ve mentioned before how we have a thriving skunk community in our neighborhood. They like to offer their perfumes to us in the night. If you’ve ever shared property with skunks, you know they can jolt you out of a stone dead sleep without saying a word.

The skunks come around from time to time, but in summer, the birds are out every morning. I have no problem with the birds. I’m a country boy; their joyful chirping doesn’t bother me. My wife, who is not a country boy, is driven up the wall by their chatter. By the laws of marriage (“for better or worse, richer or poorer, through plagues of birds, etc.”) this makes the birds my problem.

Every morning, not long after sunrise, the birds wake my wife, who reacts by closing the windows in our bedroom. Country boys are not accustomed to the noise of windows being closed on a pleasant June morning. Consequently, this wakes me up.

“Close the window if you don’t want to hear the morning announcements!”


WIFE: Sorry to wake you, but those birds are at it again.

ME: They’re just letting you know , “It’s morning time!”

WIFE: Could they whisper it? Or maybe wait until 7 o’clock? Let’s just leave the windows closed all night.

ME: It gets too hot in here. I’d likely be a wreck every morning.

WIFE: Let’s risk it.

ME: You know, some people buy recordings of birds singing to relax them.

WIFE: Singing? They call that singing? It sounds more like a brawl.

ME: Do you also hate the sound of a gentle rain?

WIFE: I swear, one of them is about to pull a knife.

ME: What about the ocean surf?

WIFE: The ocean is fine. It’s all one constant noise, not all these different notes and pitches these birds have.

ME: So if we could get more birds, and their noises all blended together . . .

WIFE: Have you ever heard bickering that blended together?

Not in our house, I haven’t. Wife wins that round.


Conversations with my wife: Boob on fire

I was in the dining room, helping my son with a school project, when my wife hurried up to me and grabbed my hand. She clamped my hand over her left breast. She was clearly alarmed.

WIFE: “Feel that. My boob feels like it’s on fire!”

She had on a sweater over her shirt, but I could still feel that it was hot. It was very hot, chemical reaction hot.

ME: “Is it just the one?”

WIFE: “Yes. The other one’s fine.”

She lifted up her shirt and put my hand on top of her bra. We’re married and everything, so there was no danger of this act leading to anything sexual.

WIFE: “What’s going on with my boob?”

I could see a wet spot on her bra.

ME: “Is it sweating?”

WIFE: “I don’t think so.”

She stretched her bra and sniffed the wet spot.

WIFE: “It doesn’t smell like sweat.”

I sniffed it.

ME: “No. It kinda smells like pork.”

I pulled her sweater back down and noticed that the wet spot went through.

ME: “Did you spill something hot on yourself?”

WIFE: “I don’t think so. I was just cutting up an apple for the baby.”

ME: “Show me what you did.”

She led me into the kitchen and pointed to the fruit bowl on the shelf above the counter.

WIFE: “I just got an apple out and started cutting it up.”

In front of the fruit bowl, the crock pot sat on the counter, gurgling hot little bubbles in the condensed water around the edge of its rattling lid as it slow cooked a pork roast.

ME: “You leaned over the crock pot to reach the apple, didn’t you?”

WIFE: (Relieved) “But why didn’t I get burned right away?”

ME: “It took a minute for it to soak through to the skin. Your boob got slow cooked.”

WIFE: “That’s why my bra smells like pork.”

ME: “I sure hope so.”

crock pot

The culprit. My wife wouldn’t let me post a photo of the victim.

Conversations with my wife: Chicken, waffles, and the dry heaves

When my wife found some of those new Chicken & Waffles flavored potato chips in the grocery store, she was very excited. No, chicken and waffles is not her favorite dish. She’s never had chicken and waffles in her life. The first time she saw it on a menu, she thought it was a misprint. She’s never come close to trying it at a restaurant.

It’s all about the potato chip. For a long time, her entire adult life, at least, she has fantasized about new and exotic potato chip flavors. She tells me that they should make a this-and-that-flavored chip. I nod and agree. Sometimes they actually do come out with her flavor, or one resembling it. Then she gets upset and asks me why I didn’t submit her idea first, when we still could have been made rich by it. I shrug and apologize.

Whether or not they stole her idea for their newest flavor, she wants to taste it. She wants to have experienced every potato chip flavor known to mankind. Chicken & Waffles was never her idea, which spared me a scolding, and that is the best thing I can say about it.

I came in from the garage with the last load of groceries to find her slumped over the kitchen sink.

ME: “What’s wrong?”

WIFE: (Gagging noise.) “Oh my God, they’re wretched.” (Gagging noise.)

ME: “What is?”

WIFE: (Hacking into the sink, points at the newly opened bag of chips on the counter beside her.) “Get me some juice!”

ME: “I told you it was a horrible idea.”

WIFE: (Between hacks.) “Don’t talk! Get juice!”

ME: “What kind of juice?”


ME: “Here.” (Handing her a glass of juice.)

WIFE: (Downs juice in three gulps. Turns to me with watering eyes.) “That is the worst thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. I’ve never had anything so wretchedly horrible. There’s never been a food so awful. It literally made me puke.”  (She picks up the bag and shoves it into my chest.) “You have to try one.”

What could go wrong?

Is the world this desperate? Somebody should be working on Tar & Feathers flavored chips right about now.

Conversations with my wife: Interpreting motherhood

Our baby saves his crying almost exclusively for when he is tired. But when he does cry, he really belts it out. He’ll play and play, then suddenly start to wail. This means it’s time to help him drift off to sleep.

One night, when my wife was out, the baby turned on his tired siren. My wife came home as I was rocking him in my arms. He hadn’t gone to sleep yet, which means he was still bellowing his sleepy woes at me.

WIFE: What’s wrong with the baby?

ME: He’s ready for bed.

WIFE: Poor thing. Give him to his mother.

(I hand him over, which is always easier to do when he’s crying.)

WIFE: (To the baby.)My sweet baby, always crying for your family when you get so sleepy. You’re just like your mama.

ME: That’s not like you at all. You yell at your family when you’re tired.

WIFE: That’s how mothers cry.

wife scolding husband

American men have been misinterpreting motherhood since the days of the Founding Fathers (and Founding Sons). The poor, misunderstood mother in this scene is only crying at her family. Maybe it is her horribly dislocated elbow that is causing her such sadness.