The Mind of Anne

Posts Tagged ‘Nice Husband Bill’

February 26th, 2016 Crabs and Marriage and Politics

Blue Crab

Blue Crab

I love my husband. I have admitted to many people that I recognize it’s not easy to be my spouse, my child, my parent, my sibling, my friend, my co-worker. I have a temper. My snarky threshold can either make you laugh with conspiratorial joy or make you so angry you want to scream. My thoughts and actions are what could be considered “quirky” at times and my husband, known as Nice Husband Bill on Facebook, is a master at interpreting and sometimes just tolerating what he recognizes is just “The Mind of Anne.” I suspect someday he will be canonized.

Nice Husband Bill and I are married a really long time (39 years in May to be exact). We’ve worked out how to manage our lives – who does what in running the house, who handles the finances, who gets to be couch commando in charge of the TV remote control on any particular night. He has his interests. I have my interests. We have our interests. And each of these gets equal time.

Nice Husband Bill & I - 1978

Nice Husband Bill & I – 1978

And fighting. Yes, we fight, we argue, we disagree, like normal people or one normal person and a quirky one. (Who is the quirky one changes depending on the issue and the day and maybe even how the planets are aligned.) One thing I observed was our alignment with something I read in a women’s magazine about 20 years ago or my recollection of the article anyway. I want to say it was Family Circle magazine but I can’t remember for sure (nor can I link to the article since it was, um, decades ago.) Anyway, the article provided observations about long-term marriages gathered by interviewing 50 couples who had been married 50 years or more. There were a lot of the typical statements, which I’ll spare you. The one that stuck in my mind was a statement made by an overwhelming majority of these 50 couples (I want to say 100% but I might be overstating). Whenever they got into a fight, no matter how serious, they never considered divorce as an option.

And there we are. Nice Husband Bill and I are particularly well suited. As I admitted to him quite recently, I’m not sure there is another human on the planet in the husband department who could put up with my crap, my quirkiness, the Mind of Anne. Since divorce is never an option, we have come up with some rather creative ways to make decisions that are best for our family, our future and us. One of these methods is to use humor. If we can find humor in a situation, the tension is quickly broken and we can get to the actual problem solving.

That brings us to this past Wednesday night. We had a lot to do that night for an appointment the next day. Nice Husband Bill had worked a very trying and tiring day so he was particularly irritable. He wouldn’t tell me what was bothering him. He was snippy and took offense or misheard everything I said. He even snapped at a few things I could have complained about but in fact, had not. And of course, I snapped back. We needed to break the spell we were under and fast.

Nice Husband Bill has been studying Spanish using a wonderful free app called Duolingo and he has gotten quite dedicated to it. I think he put himself in a self-imposed time-out that night to quickly do his daily Spanish lesson. I saw my opportunity.

Since I am noodling around with Duolingo myself, I asked Nice Husband Bill how to say, “crab” in Spanish. He replied, “cangrejo” and went back to his lesson. I pretended I hadn’t heard and said, “Did you say Guillermo?” (That is Bill in Spanish, BTW.) We went a few rounds of his “NO, cangrejo” to my “Guillermo?” with the most innocent face I could muster till it clicked that I was calling him a crab. With a wink and a nod, the tension was broken. We were able to approach our task with renewed focus and a common joke.

Bill&Anne

Me & Nice Husband Bill

Nice Husband Bill has since referred to himself as Cangrejo Guillermo a number of times. And on seeing a crab ingredient on Top Chef last night, he called it “Guillermo”. So with a fun little inside joke (not so much on the inside since writing a post about it), we could find common ground and solve the problem at hand.

My point of all this isn’t just a cute story about marriage, although if the shoe fits, use it. I think we, as a society, need to spend more time finding the common ground so we can solve the problem at hand. Whether it’s a personal relationship, a work issue, a confrontation with a stranger or even (and especially) a political disagreement, we need to work together since sometimes divorce isn’t an option there either.

November 11th, 2013 Going Feral

Nice Husband Bill was out of town for a whole week on his annual excursion. I just got him back yesterday. Although I miss him when he’s away, I look forward to doing a boatload of things I ordinarily just can’t get to. I always make an exhaustive list of things TO DO and figure if I miss a few, it’s a good list to continue on when Nice Husband Bill is back.


TO_DO

I make my big TO DO lists whether he’s going away for a day or a week. Sometimes I get big projects done like refinishing all the kitchen cabinets or smaller things like taking the 15 minutes to put the goo on my headlights so they get nice and clear instead of the yellow tinge I’ve looked at for a year.

Then there are times (like this one) where I make the list and then go a bit feral. The list had all sorts of great things on it:

  • eBay madness
  • Winterize the car
  • Getting the garden ready for the winter
  • Steam cleaning all the rugs
  • Latching all the windows
  • And on and on.

You get the idea.

Then there were promises I made to myself to exercise every day – both yoga AND Zumba. Jumpstart that diet.

I did NONE of that.

What I did do:

  • I ate frozen potpies or ordered Chinese for dinner so I wouldn’t mess up the kitchen and have to subsequently clean it.
  • I showered but wore what I call “less restrictive clothing” (read: a half step above PJs) and didn’t style my hair unless I was going out.
  • Even though it was chilly, I turned the heat up and didn’t make a single fire in the wood stove.
  • A lot of days I didn’t leave the house and just hung out with the dogs and the cat.

Yet I was pretty productive even in my feral state, just on things I felt like doing rather than what was on the list.

Most notably:

  • I caught up on two very time-intensive classes on coursera.org – video lectures, reading, essays and forum participation.
  • I joined a book club and read this month’s book in its entirety – Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
  • I downloaded a bunch of books, which prompted me to clean up and reorganize my Kindle.
  • I finished my Dr. Who marathon catch-up leftover from a previous feral period. I am ready for the 50th Anniversary Special on November 23 and the subsequent season.
  • I went into New York for three dates at the American Ballet Theatre and one at the New York Philharmonic.
  • I was all over the Internet (lots of new ideas for future lists) and Facebook (Hopefully I was entertaining, supportive, thought-provoking . . .).
  • I listened to music I hadn’t listened to in years – Lou Reed and stuff that fell out of my rotation for some unknown reason – plus music I hadn’t heard before (many downloads followed).
  • I found my piano music – no more excuses for ignoring the piano keyboard that sits no more than two feet from my elbow. (I didn’t actual play but I’m ready to.)
  • I saved my iPhone from its attempt at learning to swim.

And the most important of all: I set up this blog.

I feel rejuvenated after my week of being feral. And now that Nice Husband Bill is back and life is normal again, it may be time to start working on that list. Maybe.