Fair is Fair

Being a Libra, I am nothing if not fair. I like my scales balanced.

ScalesOfJusticeI recently had some blogging fun at Doug’s expense by writing about a few things he says that I don’t like.

I’m keenly aware that there are things I say (and do) that Doug doesn’t like.

Here are a few:

I talk during TV shows, and I’ve been know to ask a question or two in a movie.

I know, I know.

It’s annoying.

Doug is completely silent during TV shows and movies.

I, embarrassingly, am kind of an emoter.

(And, yes, spell check. That is a word. It means to portray emotion in a theatrical manner. And, sometimes I do that.)

You know, the one that gasps when something shocking or surprising happens.

I say things like, “Oh no! What is going to happen now? Why did they do that?”

“I don’t know,” Doug says, slowly, with forced patience. “How am I supposed to know? I haven’t seen it before either.”

I don’t expect him to answer, but the urgency in my voice makes it sound like I expect a reply.

Sometimes when he watches television, I walk in during the middle of a program and say, “What’s this about? Who is that? What’s going on? Why did he do that?”

He takes deep breaths and tries to calmly answer or just stares at me to give the message: “You’re doing it again…”

It’s rude of me. I know that. But, for some reason, I keep doing it.

And, it gets worse.

Sometimes, after he answers all my questions, I get up and leave the room, leaving him wondering why I needed to ask all those questions in the first place if I didn’t plan to watch the show.

Then, I come back into the room, and say, “What did I miss?”

I wish I could say I’m going to stop doing this but I just don’t know if I can.

Maybe I’m trying to gauge whether what he’s watching is worth my time and interest. Maybe I think someday it might be.

I mean, maybe one of those hoarder episodes will be different from all the other hoarder episodes.

My challenge in writing this post is narrowing down the things I say that annoy him because blog posts aren’t supposed to be very long.

So, let me share with you what might be one of our typical Saturday morning conversations. It illustrates a few of my annoying habits:

D: I’m going to the barber to get my hair cut.

L: Why? Let me do it. How hard can it be?

D: I’m going to ignore that you said that.

L: Seriously, how hard can it be?

D: I’ll stick with a professional, thanks. Why do you always say ‘how hard can it be?’

L: Because it can’t be that hard. We could watch a youtube video and learn how to do it.


D: Aaa, no thanks. That doesn’t really engender a lot of confidence in me when you say things like that. What if I said that when you were going to get your hair cut?

L: Well, that’s different…

L: Fine. Go to the barber to get your hair cut, but on your way, can you take this trash out?

D: You are such an add-on-task queen. You don’t believe in me ever just doing one thing at a time, do you?

L: Well, you’re going out. You might as well take the trash out while you’re going,

D: What else are you going to add-on to this errand? I know there’s something else you’re going to want me to do while I’m out.

L: Well, since you asked, want to stop at the grocery store? And, who is the movie villain voiced by Douglas Rain?

D: What do you need at the store? And, how am I supposed to know about that villain thing? I hate it when you ask me random crossword puzzle questions.

L: Whatever. You don’t hate it. He’s that Canadian actor that was the voice of that computer. Oh, you know, what’s it called?

D: I have no idea what you’re talking about.

L: It’s a three-letter word from that old space movie. Come on, you know!

D: No. I don’t know. And, I’m leaving to get my hair cut. And, don’t say, “How hard can it be!”

L: Don’t forget to take the trash!

So, in addition to talking and asking unanswerable questions during television programs; I also add-on tasks, say “how hard can it be?” every time he goes to get his hair cut; and I pressure him to help me solve obscure crossword puzzle clues.

I’d like to say I will try to improve in these areas, and that I am not going to ask him anymore questions during TV shows, but that would take the fun out of TV for me. I can’t just sit quietly and not react.

But, I’ve found a solution. Now, I text people and hope it’s less annoying.

My conversation with Annie about Prison Break
My conversation with Annie about Prison Break

And, at least I will promise never to try to cut Doug’s hair with the help of a youtube video even though I enjoy telling him that. I mean, seriously, how hard can it be?


Family, Relationships

Marital persnickety-ness follow-up

I love the responses I get from all of you on my blog.

My last story on “Marital Persnickety-ness” generated several interesting comments.


One of my favorites was from my friend Sara, who I’ve always admired

because she and her husband consistently work on strengthening their marriage.

She said, “Just wait until your 40th anniversary and you have been empty nesters for years. All those little habits become more and more evident and yet our capacity to ignore the trivia and love the person continues to increase.”

I love the idea that the longer we’re married our capacity to overlook each other’s habits and our ability to love each other increases.

Inspiring news from a woman who knows.

Now, about the pillows — ‘Mr. Right, and Mrs. Always Right.”

Some of you wanted to know how to buy them.

I found the photo on my favorite website pinterest.com, and should apologize for not crediting it!

Just remember the rule if you go to pinterest:

Get in, Get out.

I’ve warned you before that if you don’t, you’ll be lost in pinterest land forever.

Then when you finally look up from your computer

you’ll wonder where your life went.


I did a little searching for how to buy the pillows and made a couple of discoveries.

First, you can buy the linen pillows that I pictured on my last blog at etsy.com in the “yellowbugboutique.”


A couple other good ones from the yellow bug folks:

probably not the best Valentine present...

My second pillow discovery was pillowcases embroidered with “Mr. Right/Mrs. Always Right.”


 So there you have my shopping tips for the day… not my usual type of blog post but since a few of you asked, you got it.

And while I’m plugging websites, I have one more for all of you who love food/and or cooking.

It is my go-to site for awesome recipes.


I just made Barbara’s yummy Breakfast Hashbrown Casserole this morning.

(Barb, I used all egg whites — not as pretty and tasty but a bit healthier.)

Warning:  You will get hungry and want to make (or at least eat) everything you see on this site.

And in the interests of full disclosure, I must confess the blogger is my awesome, talented cousin.

Trust me, you’ll love her recipes.


I’m craving her PB&J cookies now…

And I really want the donuts for breakfast instead of the healthy casserole.

Unfortunately, the cookies and donuts won’t move me toward that New Year’s weight loss resolution I publicly shared…

Darn. Why did I share that anyway?


Happy pillow and recipe shopping!


Give Me Some Attitude

A couple of weeks ago I taught a lesson to teenage girls about improving their attitudes at home.


When I told them the topic of the lesson, I saw them subtly but noticeably fold in the middle, giving me the teenage attitude slump that said, “This is the last thing I want to discuss.”


Then I rephrased the topic and called it,“10 Ways to Control Your Parents or at Least Melt Their Hearts.” Then, they became curious.


Girls and attitudes must go together just like girls and boys.

There’s just something inherently sassy about a teenage girl.


My goal was to break through their flimsily constructed veneers, and charge into their teenage territory where all their insecurities live.


Without even knowing it, I think teenage girls put out the attitude vibe to make them look and feel strong.  If they sport a little sass, they keep people at bay, protecting their ever-changing vulnerable and always-developing souls.  It’s like their way of saying, “I’ve got this.  I don’t need my mom or dad trying to tell me how to do things.  I’m a teenager. I’ve totally got this.”


The problem is they don’t really have it, and they know it.  They just can’t take the risk of outing themselves to their parents.  That would ruin everything.  They would feel powerless and childlike.


So in my lesson I came up with some attitude-busters to give them alternatives to the normal teenage way of interacting with their parents.


During the lesson, the adults mentioned that these ideas are excellent for all relationships.  So I decided to share them on my blog.


So here they are:


  1. Shock your parents by preparing to share something about your day or your activities.  You know they’re going to ask.  Instead of rolling your eyes, being offended, and harrumphing around angrily, just be ready for the question, and tell them something – anything.  It will get them off your back and they’ll feel like good parents who are succeeding at being involved in their kids’ lives.
  2. Listen politely when they try to tell you something.  Just look at them, make eye contact for a few seconds, and act interested, like you appreciate what they’re saying.  Pretend that what they’re saying actually interests you. They will suddenly think you are amazingly mature, and without even realizing it, they’ll trust you more, which means they might give you a little more freedom.
  3. Apologize.  If you get home late, forget to call, don’t clean your room, or whatever the offense, just say you’re sorry.  Don’t make excuses, get defensive, blame someone else or get angry.  Simply apologize.  (Practice your tone of voice on this one because it makes all the difference!) This one tip will help you more than you can believe.  It may mean so much to them, they might want to take you to Chipotle for dinner.
  4. Obey the little rules.  Trust me on this one.  If you obey the little rules like your curfew, they may ease up on you when you want a bigger thing, like permission to go to the midnight premiere of a favorite movie.
  5. Send them reeling with this one simple question, “So, Mom and Dad, how as your day?”  Give them a minute to get their bearings and follow-up with another question about them. This will score you big points.
  6. Practice eye contact with a genuinely pleasant facial expression.  You only have to do this for a few seconds for it to have a big impact.
  7. If you know they are going to ask you to do something, do it before you’re asked.  If you know your mom is going to ask you to set the table, just do it.  This will end a lot of what you perceive as nagging.
  8. When it’s your turn to pray in your family, pray for each family member by name.  Pray for their specific needs.  This will give them such a love chill they will want to do something nice for you.
  9. Write them a note.  Put it on their pillow.  Just tell them thanks for something they’ve done for you or simply say, “I love you.”

10. Be patient.  Talk slower and quieter.  When you feel yourself talking fast or getting agitated, take a breath, slow down, and lower your voice.  Oh, and help them read the small print on labels and use the DVD player.  It will help their shrinking egos.


The next week when I saw one of the girls, she said, “It works!  I tried some of those pointers, and they really work.” So, who knows?  They might just work for non-teenagers too.