Entries in Relationships (112)


Things Mrs. G. Tried That Didn't Work

Early in her marriage and facing the demands of an active toddler and the fatigue of another bun in the oven, Mrs. G. tried passing off Kentucky Fried Chicken as the centerpiece of her own home cooked meal. She put the KFC drumsticks and thighs on a bed of Minute Rice to create the illusion of authenticity. Mr. G. sat down to dinner, looked at the chicken and said are you really going to sit there and tell me you cooked this? No, really, are you? Mrs. G. left the table in a huff and silently mouthed the word bastard every time he came near her for the next two days.

Mrs. G. went to see a therapist for four months. The therapist was a nice woman, but she was stressed out because her mother was in a nursing home, she was facing three dental surgeries because of problems caused by inferior preventative care, and one of her three cats was experiencing chronic bladder problems. Did Mrs. G. mention the therapist charged $120 an hour? Who could blame her considering the new roof she needed to put on her house, the house she lived in all alone because marriage and children hadn’t been in the cards for her. She had known since junior high school that she wasn't meant to be a mother, and her parents were fine with that. They just wanted her to be happy. Often times when the fifty minute sessions were over, Mrs. G’s therapist would not charge Mrs. G. for the extra seven minutes she spent talking about herself while Mrs. G. wrote out the check.

One night while making chili, Mrs. G. decided to substitute tofu for ground beef. She lied and told her family it was ground turkey. All three of them questioned said turkey’s texture and consistency, but Mrs. G. stuck to her story and all but said they were experiencing a level of paranoia that might benefit from prescribed medication. When she later admitted her tofu deception, her family insisted they knew the chili was not right. One child actually cried. Even though Mrs. G. has not bought tofu again for twelve solid years, her family still approaches her chili with doubt and suspicion.

Many years ago, during a particularly nasty Seattle traffic jam, one of Mrs. G’s children really needed to pee. This child was uncomfortable to the point of tears, so Mrs. G. told this child that it was quite common for children in other countries to pee in Gatorade bottles when they couldn’t get to a bathroom. That it was done all the time. In Gatorade bottles just like the one laying right there on the back seat. It would have worked if the other child in the backseat hadn’t been laughing uncontrollably throughout the entire exchange while intermittently yelling whatever you do, don’t think of gushing waterfalls…of Gatorade.



Newly Wed

This dishy bride is Jess of See Hear Speak No Evil. Isn't she lovely? Jess asks:

Mrs. G,

As you know, I'm getting married in less than two weeks. Id really like to know the three most important things that have kept your marriage strong.



Mrs. G. has been thinking about this question all week. She is reluctant to give anyone marital advice, because it is a serious subject and she has not one whit of professional training other than reading a Dr. Phil book years ago relationships are a tricky business. She and Mr. G. have been married for eighteen years, but, Jess, all Mrs. G. can say with any certainty is:


and Valleys. Peaks and valleys. Some deeper and higher than others. Some fixed by a king sized bag of peanut M&M's. Some not.

With this in mind, here are a few of Mrs. G's March 5th, 2008, tips for Keeping a Marriage Strong. She specifies the exact date because, and this is the tricky part Mrs. G. alluded to earlier, answers change depending on the day, month or year.

In an attempt to be unbiased and even-handed, Mrs. G. asked Mr. G. what he thought were the three most important things in keeping a marriage strong .

Mrs. G: What do think are the three most important things in keeping a marriage strong?
Mr G: What kind of question is that?
Mrs. G: I'm just curious. What do you think?
Mr. G: Love, trust and friendship.
Mrs. G: And?
Mr G: What do you mean?
Mrs. G: What do you mean what do I mean? Can you dig a little deeper and give me some specifics? That's what I mean
Mr. G: I'm not sure I know what you mean. That's my answer. It's simple. Can I stop talking now?

This conversation speaks to Mrs. G. Marriage Rule #1: Don't always look for deeper meaning. It is entirely possible that you will never find it. Sometimes a wet towel left on the bedroom floor is just a wet towel left on the bedroom floor. It doesn't symbolize oppression or disrespect or pent up rage or unfulfilled dreams. Most often, it symbolizes a wet towel left on the bedroom floor. If you can't accept this simple truth and you must explore the wet towel left on the bedroom floor and, say, its role in empowering the patriarchy, Mrs. G. suggests you buy a journal and, for the health of your relationship, work it out on paper. Silently. Sometimes it is what it is. In this case, a wet towel left on the bedroom floor. So, Jess, if it's not a bona-fide big-ass deal...

let it slide. And then let it slide some more.
Mrs. G's Marriage Rule #2 is the classic but still relevant: The Only Person You Can Change Is Yourself. Mrs. G. truly believes that the most positive ingredient in her marriage is her and Mr. G's ability to live and let live. She accepts that he will never be able to locate baking powder at the grocery store without a map, and he deals with her inability to cope with the strangulating nature of a top sheet. She knows that if she asks him a question regarding any subject and he doesn't know the answer, he will make it up. Without pausing or batting an eye. He accepts that she can't handle raw chicken and has an unexplainable need to buy at least seven new calendars a year. He snores. She smacks her gum.

Jess, if you find yourself in a position where you are sure that your new husband is, perhaps, the least attractive and most unpleasant person you have ever agreed to spend the rest of your life with and that you would like to stab him with a pencil, put the pencil down, lock yourself in the bathroom and take your own inventory. Mrs. G. often approaches her relationship mathematically, like in the following equation:

his ego+my moodiness+his refusal to clean the shower+my lack of organization skills+his idiot friend+my idiot friend+his inability to wrap up cheese properly so that it doesn't get those repulsive hard and discolored edges+my obsession with hair and Secret Boyfriends - everyday bullshit and a long day's work=just fine x i love you
And, finally, Jess, Mrs. G's Marriage Rule #3: Above all else, be nice. Hug and kiss each other, rub each other's feet, and work really hard not to bring up, on a fairly regular basis, the time that he didn't empty the dishwasher on your birthday nine years ago. Even if it was right after he forgot to notice your new haircut and fix the cord on the freakin' vacuum cleaner for the 27th day in a row despite the fact that it was his mother coming over that night to eat the dinner you cooked on your birthday. It was nine years ago. Peaks and valleys, Jess, let it slide. Just walk right over that wet towel on the bedroom floor and let it slide.

May your lives be filled with peace, love, health and happiness. Congratulations!

OK, Derfwads, now it's your turn. Help a new bride out. Remember when you and yours were just starting out? Can you offer Jess any thoughts on how to keep a marriage strong? What has worked for you? And, equally important, what hasn't worked for you?


Book winners announced this afternoon!



You know you've been married for almost eighteen years when you whisper to your husband in a very public place that you aren't wearing any underwear, and he whispers back:

You're out of clean ones, aren't you?



Family Mammogram Day

Last Wednesday was Family Mammogram day. Mrs. G, four of her girlfriends and two of her girlfriend's mothers loaded into one car and headed for the big city of Seattle to service their breasts. Everyone dresses up and wears mascara and pretty shoes. Mrs. G. is the youngest of the group at (as of today) 41 and Martha is the eldest at 75. Family Mammogram day is a yearly tradition, an excuse to get together for fun and fellowship and to hold each other accountable for completing this critical preventative procedure that is easy to put on that list of things to do that never get done. Maybe next month often leads to maybe never.

Mrs. G. wants to take a moment to dispel the notion that mammograms are seriously painful, as in: Seriously. Painful. Think of your largest breasted friend, add a cup size and that is Mrs. G. She is stacked. Her bosom is ample. The discomfort she felt as her breasts were smashed much like marshmallows between two substantial metallic graham crackers was tolerable and brief. Mrs. G. measures her pain in terms of rug burns and childbirth. The mammogram? Not even close, reader, not even close.

So the best part of Family Mammogram day (besides seven clean bills of health) is the shopping and lunch that follow. Mrs. G. and her friends stroll in and out of hip and funky, over-priced Seattle shops and then head over to their favorite diner. Everyone laughs and catches up and generally enjoys getting together and being girls. One friend is in the thick of planning her oldest daughter's wedding and another is just finishing up her Ph.D. Martha, the eldest of the breasts, recently celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary, and her children threw her a huge surprise party complete with catered food, a band and over a 100 family members and friends. Mrs. G. took a moment to marvel and congragulate her on such an extraordinary achievement: raising a family and sustaining a marriage for fifty years, for half of a century. In gest, Mrs. G. asked her how many years it took for the marriage to become easy, to enter the warm waters of smooth sailing. Martha took a sip of her wine, looked Mrs. G. right in the eye and said, "Oooh, about 48." She was sort of kidding and sort of completely serious, and Mrs. G. completely got it. It was a simple moment. It was an honest moment. It was imperfectly perfect. Just like marriage.

photo by "unknown" courtesy of Google images.


The Little Things

Mr. G. is an early riser. Most mornings he is up and out the door before Mrs. G's alarm goes off. On these mornings, she rouses just enough to notice how carefully Mr. G. slides open his dresser drawers and how gently he pushes them shut. She hears the quiet click of the bathroom door. He is so lovingly deliberate in his attempt not to wake her. She dozes off to the sounds of his morning routine, the gush of the shower and the tap of his razor against the edge of the sink. When she hears the bathroom door begin to open, she quickly strikes her most becoming sleeping pose and closes her eyes, feigning sleep. Every morning, without fail, Mr. G. walks quietly over to her side of the bed and whispers in his softest soft voice have a good day, babe. I love you.

He thinks she doesn't hear him. But she does. Every single time.



You're Fired, Dear

Mrs. G. was sitting in her living room watching this. She was minding her own business and trying to learn about the menopause. She watched TV alone, undisturbed, for about three minutes before Mr. G. came into the room and sat in his chair. He sighed, he shifted in his chair eight times, and then he sighed again. She could feel him eyeing the TV remote on the coffee table. He didn't want to watch this. He wanted

to watch that. But that had been dominating the television for most of the weekend. Mrs. G. was tired of that, so she ignored him. Mr. G. sighed. He cleared his throat. He jiggled his foot. She pretended he wasn't in the room. Or the entire house.

The second Mrs. G. got up to get a glass of juice, Mr. G. lunged for the remote and clutched it to his chest like a life preserver...

Mrs G: What are you doing?

Mr. G: This is mine. You're fired.

Mrs. G: I'm what? Give me that!

Mr. G: You're fired. You can't handle the power.

Mrs. G: What power?


Mr. G: The power of the remote. Dear, you're fired.


Mrs. G. threw up her hands and walked out of the room. Mr. G, his mission accomplished, sat down in his chair and watched the rest of the game. After almost eighteen years of marriage, Mrs. G. has come to accept that when it comes to the television, Mr. G. is a tyrant and a despot and an oppressor. He is a Television Overlord. And it hit her, like a ton of bricks, what she should give her husband for Christmas:

A holster. A holster for his remote.

Where do you buy one of these?



Mrs. G's "I Shouldn't Have Married For Love" Christmas Wish #1

Mrs. G. thinks this would bring out the roses in her cheeks...


In Sickness And In Health

If you want an idea how illness goes down at Derfwad Manor, please watch the following video. It is worth your time, and Mrs. G. suspects some of you might be familiar with this strand of virus. We birth children and, well, just watch...

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