I love my husband, the Crankee Yankee, dearly. He is my best friend, my companion, my rock, my love, my North Star and my hero. We have been happily married for over 12 years and I would be utterly lost without him. However, no marriage is perfect because we humans are not perfect. Case in point: my parents have been married for nearly 60 years. In all that time, my mom has never been able to convince, cajole or threaten my dad into putting his dirty socks in the hamper. A few years ago, he went from tossing the socks on the closet floor to dumping them beside the hamper–but not actually in the hamper.
The Crankee Yankee and I have no garbage disposal. We throw all our produce peelings, etc. into our compost pile in the back yard, which turns into wonderful loam to put on our gardens. The system works beautifully. BUT the Crankee Yankee still leaves what I call “food boogers” in the sink; strawberry hulls, radish leaves, chewed gristle (urghh), onion skins, olive pits and so forth. (Note: the plastic bag that holds the food boogers is literally 6″ away from the sink.) I have had the “There is no Food Booger Fairy who cleans out the sink” conversation with him, and he is contrite and apologetic. And yet–the food boogers keep on coming.
I swear I love that man more than my jewelry, but he is a hot mess. Some of his other more baroque habits include:
- Leaving several neatly-folded paper towels everywhere. When asked why, he will ALWAYS say: “I’m going to use them!” (Oh really, like–WHEN?)
- Neatly stacking magazines, torn-out articles from newspapers, coupons, and other paper-y stuff on every surface.
- Wearing what has to be the oldest, most worn out, nasty, sweaty and smelly baseball cap on the planet while working on the house and gardens. Seriously, not even flies will land on that thing.
- Wearing t-shirts until they are literally two sleeves and a neckband holding a bunch of holes together.
- Underwear the same.
- Letting his toenails get so long that he’s ripped sheets. And also “poinking” my legs with them in bed.
- Leaving sticky notes all around the perimeter of our computer. Honestly, it makes the computer screen look like a frilled lizard.
- Sneezing, blowing his nose and coughing loud enough to break the sound barrier.
- The Crankee Yankee is a mumbler. I am constantly asking, “What? What?” He will pick a time to tell me something important when I’m in the shower or downstairs folding laundry or outside. I know he’s talking, but I can’t make out more than a few words. He says what he wants to, assuming I can hear him loud and clear (this after 12 years of telling him I can’t hear him)–and just walks away. He therefore does not hear me shout “WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY??”
- If I’m watching a TV show he doesn’t care about, he rattles the newspaper like castanets. When I turn up the sound, he looks at me with those big brown eyes and says, ‘oh, sorry–am I too loud?’
Yes, these things are annoying and constant. These are the things that drive me nuts. These are the things that make me roll my eyes. But these are the things I will long for if the Crankee Yankee leaves this earth before I do. Then I will wish with all my heart to hear that mumble, pick fruit peelings out of the sink and will dearly miss the sight of all those sticky notes flapping around the computer screen.
So, lesson to myself and all others who live with Crankee Yankees of their own: aggravation, frustration and irritation don’t last. The love and affection we feel for our imperfect partners (who love and appreciate us imperfect partners!) is a wonder and a miracle. In the beginning, the middle and the end, this is what really matters.
I would say more here, but I have to go scoop the soggy cereal out of the sink…