in Daily Life, FS Best Of

Stop! I Will Tell You What to Do

I’m at the sink, cleaning the dishes, when the following conversation occurs:

Kris: Since the Gingeriches aren’t doing their banquet on Valentine’s Day, do you wanna do something together?

J.D.: Sure. What do you have in mind? (Thinking: Dinner at Higgins or at Tong King Garden, or maybe even a quick trip the coast.)

Kris: Let’s go bowling!Sometimes I feel like I’m living with a stranger.

I’m grogging awake. Kris is folding and putting away the laundry. (We have an ongoing deal. I keep her car fueled, and she does my laundry, except for ironing. I hate to do laundry. Or, more precisely, I just never get around to it.)

Kris is trying to put away my “I agree with Tyler and Pete” t-shirt (and other recently purchased thrift store clothing), but there’s no room for it. Plus I’m giving her lip.

Kris: Alright, you’ve just earned a major chore for this weekend, boy-o. You’ve got to rearrange your clothes. Until you do, you’re not allowed to buy another piece of clothing. No pants. No shirts. No belts. No socks. Nothing. If you do, I’ll just start throwing things away. You’ve got t-shirts you never wear because they’re so far in the back of your drawers that you never see them. You only grab the top thing. [ed: It’s true.] You have friggin’ t-shirts coming out of your butt!

At this point, she notices that I’m transcribing the conversation.

Kris: Stop it! or I’m going to knock you down!Husband abuse! Husband abuse!

So, repeating to myself that mantra I developed oh-so-long ago (“Kris Gates is always right. Kris Gates is always right.”), I pull out my t-shirt drawers (of which there are three) and put them on the bed. We sort t-shirts.

We can agree that some t-shirts stay and that others must be purged, but on other t-shirts we have disagreements. For example, on our trip to Crater Lake last fall, I bought a bright red USA t-shirt for $4. I want to keep it, if only just for yardwork.

Kris: J.D., that shirt is very ugly. It is in your best interest not to wear it. It doesn’t matter what you wear it for.

Ultimately, it stays. “You’ve been very good,” Kris tells me. “I guess you can keep that for now.”

We’ve got a gallery of quotes taped to the inside of our front door. Many of you have seen them, but for those who haven’t, here are some of Kris’ gems:

I’m not bossy; I just like to tell you what to do.

I know you’re in here to be sweet, but I really don’t want to listen to Johnny Cash right now.

You complicate my life by thinking for yourself. Just do what I tell you.

Your happiness is dependent on my happiness.

Stop! I will tell you what to do.I love my wife. Sometimes our distinct individual goofinesses makes for amusing conversations, though.


On 07 February 2004 (10:01 AM),
J.D. Roth said:

Just to be clear: this entry is meant to be funny, not to be mean. I love Kris, and I find our interactions amusing. The reason she has to boss me around so much is that, in many ways, I act like a five-year-old…

On 07 February 2004 (10:35 AM),
dowingba said:

Wow, you two use hyperlinks when you talk to each other? Quite impressive.

On 07 February 2004 (11:01 AM),
Johnny Doe said:

It is of significant comfort to me to know that I’m not the only one with a She Who Must Be Obeyed.

Do you think it’s genetic? Maybe it’s on that odd chromosome that they have?

On 07 February 2004 (03:32 PM),
Tiffany said:

It is not genetic. I am very good at taking orders. All day I have been helping Rich, in the garage, put one of the cars back together. I stand there, very quietly, until Rich says, “Hold this” or “Hand me the hammer” etc.

However, when he is in my kitchen, I make all of the rules.

On 07 February 2004 (08:46 PM),
Tammy said:

Now this is an entry I can relate too. Greg has tons of shirts. Half of them he doesn’t even know exist. I was married for years before his mom and I decided enough is enough. He had this old orange courderoy (SP?) suit, mind you, from high school. It was ORANGE! He had only worn it a couple times. I said something about getting rid of it and he looked at me like I was nuts. So one day I grabbed his mom and showed her that suit. She was shocked that Greg still had it since it had been purchased in the early 70’s! She grabbed that thing and carted it to good will before Greg knew what was happening. Several years later he asked for it and I informed him that years ago his mom had gotten rid of it. What could he say? His mom had done it! There was nothing to say.

He just keeps things forever!

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