Pickle Jars, Alarm Clocks, and a Mouse

After spending 16 years together with my husband, I’ve come to realize that marriage is a partnership and that we each bring our own talents and strengths to our marriage.


I reflected on this realization as I struggled to open a pickle jar the other day. I tapped on the lid with a knife and relied on all of my upper-body strength as I leaned into the jar and twisted.  My face turned red. I grunted like a cave man. I felt my eyeballs starting to involuntarily leave my skull. Finally, I yelled, “HOOOOOONNNEEEEY!  Could you come in the kitchen for a minute?”


A few seconds later, he popped around the corner.  “What do you need?” he asked.


“A little help with this jar, please.” I answered.  “This one is really tough.  I’ve been trying to get it open for …”


“POP!” I heard the safety seal break open. 


“No big deal,” he said as he sauntered out of the kitchen.


“Don’t worry about me,” I shouted after him.  “A ruptured blood vessel in my brain probably isn’t that serious.”


The next evening, I heard, “*&#$JKJDFJJDFJ*DLFJLKJDF!” from the bedroom.  I walked into the room where I found my husband obviously frustrated and hunched over the alarm clock, squinting at the illuminated screen.


“Having trouble, sweetie?” I inquired.


“This *&#$JKJDFJJDFJ*DLFJLKJDF alarm clock!  I can’t figure out if I’m setting the alarm for a.m. or p.m.” he answered.


“Move over,” I said gently as I moved my fingers along the clock buttons as deftly as Liberace’s fingers used to dance over the piano keyboard. “Voila!” I finished setting the alarm with toss of my arm in the air and a flare that would have made Liberace proud.


“It’s set?” my husband asked in wonder.  “You made it look so easy!”


“No big deal,” I said as I strolled out of the bedroom.


Yesterday morning, my daughter and I walked out into the garage to leave for the grocery store.  “AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!” we both screamed together.  I ran back inside.  “A mouse!” I managed to blurt out while jogging in place.  “GET IT!”


Armed with a broom and the attitude of a warrior, my husband ran outside.  I held up my hand in protest.  “STOP!” I yelled.  He froze in his tracks.  “Don’t do anything until we’re out of sight.”


My daughter who loves animals and was already upset with the warrior image she had just witnessed, got into the car with me.  I began backing out of the driveway. “Poor mouse,” she said just as her Dad brought the broom down, ending the life of a rodent who had just made a really bad choice to enter our garage. There was that moment of silence that precedes what you know is going to be at least an hour of immediate counseling and probably years of expensive and long-term therapy.  “WWAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!” my daughter cried loudly.  “DADDY IS MEAN!”


I stopped the car at the end of the driveway and rolled the window down.  “NICE!” I shouted to my husband who stood in the garage, looking a bit guilty.  “I SAID TO WAIT UNTIL WE LEFT!”


In a great partnership, talents and strengths are important, but timing is everything.



About Vicky DeCoster

Award-winning humor writer Vicky DeCoster is the author of "From Diapers to Dorkville," "Husbands, Hot Flashes, and All That Hullabaloo!" and "The Wacky World of Womanhood." She has been published in over 60 magazines, books, and on several web sites. Vicky lives in Nebraska with her husband and two children where she loves to laugh every day. Visit her at www.wackywomanhood.com.
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