As One Does Now: In Which Ms. Bean Becomes Mildly Exasperated With Her Husband

A story gleaned from our daily life.

The scene…

Husband and Wife at home, quarantined like many other couples.

Husband, working from home with his trusty laptop computer, having commandeered the kitchen table that is in the middle of everything at the back of the house.

Wife, writing in study at front of house.

Doorbell rings.

Wife sees FedEx guy leave small box on the stoop.

Wife goes to kitchen in back of house to get her gloves so that she may pick up the box, safely.

As one does now. 

Wife tells Husband, who is sitting at the kitchen table that is smack dab in the middle of everything at the back of the house, what she is doing.

Husband who is staring at computer screen appears to understand, nodding head in an affirmative manner.

Wife collects small box from front stoop, walks to kitchen at back of house, and wipes down small box with Clorox wipe.

As one does now. 

Husband sees Wife bring box into kitchen and seems to understand that she’s applied the proper ablutions to it, leaving it in plain sight on the kitchen counter because she’ll open the box later.

Wife returns to writing project in study in front of house.

One half hour later…

Husband strides purposefully from kitchen in back of house to front door, opens it, then expresses dismay that the box delivered by FedEx is not there.

Husband is flummoxed and queries Wife as to where said box is.

Wife explains all that transpired within Husband’s purview while sitting at the kitchen table that is smack dab in the middle of every stinking thing in the back of the house.

Husband looks baffled.

Wife says didn’t you notice what I was doing, hear what I was saying. Weren’t you interested?

Husband says: “Of course I was interested, but I wasn’t watching what you were doing or listening to what you were saying at all.”

Wife *sighs* LOUDLY, *rolls her eyes* DRAMATICALLY, and returns to her writing project, refusing to respond to Husband’s absurd, somewhat disparaging, comment.

As one does now.

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Charmingly cynical. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Fond of words.

171 thoughts on “As One Does Now: In Which Ms. Bean Becomes Mildly Exasperated With Her Husband”

    1. Jill, excellent point. I didn’t do that. If I’d started with “Hey, I hear the NFL is going to have free games next fall” I bet he’d have perked up and listened to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I have had similar scenarios play out in my house, but I’m usually the one in your husband’s role. I can relate to his focus. When I’m deep into something, the world moves on around me unnoticed. Coming out of that is like coming to the surface of the water from deep in the ocean. I have to set alarms and timers if I really need to remember to be somewhere or do something. Most days, having that kind of focus is a (mildly exasperating) gift.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Arlene, I like that you know yourself so well that you set alarms to get you back to the now. I tend to be a daydreamer, but I usually notice movement or noise. However those of you blessed with intense focus don’t, obviously. Whatever works, works, eh?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have missed meetings and left friends waiting at coffee houses because I get so wrapped up in something. I feel terrible! And laundry – I use a timer now because otherwise the clothes would sit in the machine for a day after I forget all about them. Alarms and reminders are my lifelines.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh my, if it isn’t one thing ’tis another. I fear that I might forget engagements and appointments, but I write myself large notes that I leave on the kitchen counter. I need to up my game and do like you do, using alarms to get me going out the door at the right time.

          Like

    1. Kate, well, I’m not saying that type of conversation isn’t going on here, too– but the longer we are in self-quarantine the more I’m learning to rise above the irritating and mundane. Or so I tell myself.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I usually ask He-Man if he’s busy and can he listen before going on to tell him anything if he’s at his laptop. If he’s working he won’t be listening to me. If he’s busy he says he is and I move on. I will talk to him later when he will listen. We’ve been doing the ” he works from home” thing for many years now so I’m over that learning curve. It wasn’t easy adjusting at first! Thankfully we survived it. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deborah, good advice. I’ll do as you suggest and not expect anything resembling interest, even when I’m traipsing around the kitchen right in front of him. This work from home situation is new to both of us, but seems to be great overall, despite what I may have said here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I didn’t feel it was great when he first started Telecommuting, and felt like he invaded my space for the longest time. I mean a man should be at the office from 7-6. amirite!

        Monday is house cleaning day for me and years later I’m still not comfortable having him here while I’m cleaning. I was horrified for him to find out I’m not June Cleaver! I look a right hot mess doing housework! Even if we’d been married for over 20 years by then. 🤦‍♀️

        There’s a learning curve, but I have since had a change of opinion and it’s pretty great having him home in his office. Sometimes it feels like he’s miles away and just just down the hall! 😀
        I still don’t like doing the house cleaning with him home though!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Your experiences are playing out in my life, too. I don’t like to clean the kitchen when Z-D is in the middle of it because I feel like I’m invading his office space and because I feel like I might not be doing it to his high standards. Weird, isn’t it?

          I’m liking having him around overall. During M-F we’ve pretty much divided the house into back and front, with him occupying the back part, me up front. It works well enough and will be better when one of us can also get outside on the deck or screened-in porch. Looking forward to that, truth be told.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my. Such a familiar scenario. I envy you your ability to keep a smile on your face (or at least on mine; I thank you). I have dealt with this for years. Some day, when I am more assured of my smile not abandoning me, I may write of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet, I’d love to read your take on this type of situation. I wonder how many other spouses are going through the same thing? Working from home is great, but it does take some adjustments in expectations. 🙄

      Like

  4. Sigh. This is a constant around here. He even accuses me of Imagining I Said Something Out Loud.

    Sadly, this was a common occurrence even before the pandemic.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. To quote a friend: “He has you on “mute”.
    This was and continues to be my experience and I have the eyeball strain to prove it. I’ve learned to address him by his name and ask for his attention if I expect to get it.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. You have clorox wipes? Yes, that’s what I’m taking from this after I read through the comments and determined that you did not forcibly disinfect Z-D nor move his office to the dungeon, should you have one. You seem to be making it work over all. Except for this you clean while he sits there. Seems to me if he is at home, he could make some time to help clean. But that’s me.

    But seriously, we still don’t have basic paper products available no less clorox wipes. I am officially jealous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zazzy, oh fear not, Zen-Den is helping with the cleaning. He loves to clean the kitchen counters, empty the dishwasher, and do the laundry. It’s fascinating really. All these chores allow him to remain in the middle of the kitchen, his office, while helping around the house. Once the man plants himself somewhere he takes command of the area.

      Sorry to make you jealous. We have Clorox wipes that we bought long before COVID-19. I’ve no idea if any are available on the shelves around here now. When these run out, I’ll find out, won’t I?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I should have known he was being helpful! I have one partial pack of clorox wipes which we’re rationing. I wish you luck and hope you don’t run out until the stores are well stocked again.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Marian, oh I’m going to enjoy you being the villain. Forget this post about typical male behavior, I want to read about you not being your usual self. 😃

      Like

    1. Laura, good point. There is more work around the house now, what with all the extra cleaning and fretting about keeping things sterile. I’m an adequate housekeeper, but I don’t naturally love it. However now…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Just so familiar.
    You know those funny fils/commercials where there’s a person slowly walking through a room while at warp speed there’s another person wildly careening around that first one like a crazy busy bee doing all sorts of things? Yeah, it feels like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. philmouse, exactly. I agree. I am the crazy busy bee slaying novel coronavirus germs, real or imagined, while he is soldiers on at one deliberate speed, getting. things. done.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. News hasn’t been news for a long time, Ally, but it’s clearly gotten worse. I turned on the TV yesterday afternoon, at 4:59. Just in time to hear. “That was the News at Four. Stay tuned for the Five O’clock News.” Fortunately, I was heading for a replay baseball game.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. AutumnAshbough, yes the man can concentrate and he does get lots accomplished because of it. I, of course, appreciate that but really… when Ms. Beans speaks… one should listen. 🤨

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree. It’s rude and feels dismissive.

        But my powers of concentration are nil since even before the lockdown. I would like to be so intent on my work that I could block out the other inhabitants of my household. I miss that kind of flow. I am envious, indeed.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You’re right that it is a case of getting in the flow. I can do that when I’m pressed for time on a project and I’m by myself in a room, but I cannot do that with movement around me. And I was moving around. It truly doesn’t matter, but his honest response made me laugh… eventually.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. This gave me my laugh for the day. So funny that Zen Den didn’t notice what you were doing that whole time and didn’t hear the doorbell either! He was really engrossed in his work.
    “Chip” is only working from home every other day, but usually goes in anyway. When he is here, he starts in the kitchen, then moves to the garage. We have very limited contact.
    When I want him to hear what I am saying, I get him to give me eye contact, like I do with the grand kids, so I know he listens to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beth, I’ll give it to the guy, he can focus. But he was/is sitting in the middle of the kitchen so you’d think he might have picked up on what was going on. You’ve seen this house, that kitchen table is like a four way stop.

      Your suggestion then is to treat Z-D like a grandchild and all will be well! I LOVE IT. I’ll let him know who suggested it, too. 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

    1. L. Marie, oh now I hadn’t thought of that. He could have rescued the package, saving me from the possibility of getting all those novel coronavirus germs on me. Good point.

      Like

    1. Wife deafness. There’s no cure. Next time you could try delivering the box naked but that doesn’t always work either to break the spell the computer placed on him.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Jean, what a great term for this phenomenon! I think his work will always trump the less consequential activities going on in the kitchen aka his office space. I get it.

        Like

  9. haha! I love the reference to Schitt’s Creek! We are going through the same thing over here. Yesterday, I printed a GC for friends birthday. Next thing I know, it’s being used as a cheese plate. WTH? Glad we are in this boat together AB.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Almost Iowa, you may be right. I like the guy, he’s a good one, but really if you’re sitting in the middle of something going on around you and you don’t notice it… I dunno what to think.

      Like

  10. ha ha thanks for the laugh Ally Bean 🙂 I would have to say ‘golf’ to get his attention. But sometimes I feel like a wraith flitting here flitting there, unseen, invisible, as quiet as a mouse – until I roar like a lion!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Susan, at least you know the magic word to get your husband’s attention. I know what you mean about being invisible, but I do like knowing you can roar. We all can when it is needed.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I can see it now – all of us accomplished eye-rollers getting together and performing for an audience of our mates. It’ll be awesome – if only we could get them to pay attention.

    I myself find the stench of clorox and bleachy cleany things a most effective attention getter. Just saying…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deborah, I hadn’t thought about the performance aspects of a bunch of women, rolling their eyes in unison, garnering support and respect before an appreciative audience. You think big, darling.

      I agree that bleach has a stench. I do not like it, but I accept the need for it. Apparently it does not arouse Z-D’s interest however.

      Like

  12. You’ve just described a typical day in my life. I always suspected I was only so much white noise in the background of Husband’s day, but there have been a number of occurrences similar to yours that sealed it.

    Recently Husband was surprised that I knew about something he was working on. How did I know about that, he asked? My response – I pay attention. The man who is never at a loss for words, was speechless. The differences between men and women never cease to amaze.

    My new superpower? I’m invisible 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joanne, ha! I like your superpower and suspect I might have it too. “I pay attention” is a perfect comeback that explains how most women I know learn things. I’m tickled that you made the man speechless. That seems like a victory of all womankind, I do believe.

      Like

  13. Oh girl! I can so relate to this! The gloves, the dwindling Clorox wipes, the husband! Although he would argue I’m guilty of the same and he maybe right😂 These times test our patience but I know I’m blessed to have my best friend by my side ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sue, I agree that these times are testing our patience. I, too, am blessed to have my best friend by my side… only wish he’d tune-in a little more when I’m telling him important things. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  14. It’s not their fault.
    Poor dears.
    They can’t multi-task like us.

    If they see what we are doing, they can’t hear what we are saying.
    If they hear what we are saying, they can’t see what we are doing.

    In short, they lose the valuable multi-sensory context that helps form short term memories.

    That said, his explanation = PRICELESS!

    “Of course I was interested, but I wasn’t watching what you were doing or listening to what you were saying at all.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nancy, I like your take on the situation between male and female communication. I think you’ve nailed it. Yes, Z-D’s explanation was great. It was the epitome of honesty, which made it even more annoying. 🤨

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I get the sense that Z-D’s a “good kid” and a “fine companion” (all things considered) . . . even if he is occasionally exasperating and “oblivious” to the obvious at times.

        P.S. I’d say the same about BFF.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You’ve described him perfectly. He is serious about doing a good job at his job so once he’s in that zone, he’s there for a while thank you very much. I can overlook his foibles.

          Liked by 1 person

  15. Never thought I’d say it, but man, I DO NOT miss my hubby now. If he were underfoot – back or front of the house in the middle of everything, there would probably be murder. Of me or him? Take your pick. We did get on each other’s nerves back in the day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Melanie, I can understand your realistic point of view. Underfoot is a good way to put it. We usually get along smoothly, but maybe it’s because I think he’s listening to me when he isn’t? Something to ponder.

      Like

  16. The same could probably be said about me as I have been working in my kitchen for the last 19 years. In my defense, I usually have headphones clearly in place so if you talk to me, most likely I won’t hear. My husband, however, has no excuse. He is not working from home and still doesn’t see or hear all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet, I understand how headphones could make it difficult to hear what someone else said. But there were no headphones involved this conversation. Z-D appeared to be aware of what I was doing & saying. HOWEVER his honest comment to me suggests otherwise. 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret, I can understand that. If I’m alone in my office I’m all into whatever I’m doing. But any kind of movement distracts me.

      BY THE WAY, I’ve been trying to comment on your blog and cannot do it. I know you wrote about this recently and I tried to comment, but *poof* my comment disappeared. Again.

      Like

      1. Things are a little weird with my blog right now. The comments aren’t coming through to my email any more. I can’t figure out what’s going on in many areas of my life. GAHH!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sorry. I’m having problems with comments here also. Different platform of course. I figure it’ll all work itself out in good time. I hope the same for you, too.

          Like

  17. In my case, Himself is actually a bit deaf. So he has that excuse (and uses it). What I find more annoying is that he literally jumps each & every time I walk into a room behind him and speak. He suggests I wear a bell round my neck so he can hear me approach … You can guess how much eye rolling that results in, right?

    Liked by 2 people

  18. You write this SO well. Smiling. George Burns and Gracie Allen (I was too young to watch them, but they are classics and I learned about them through my folks). On the plus side, if I want to, say, buy something but I know it’s not in the budget, I mention the item when my guy is deep into his laptop. When said item arrives at our doorstep, I can say quite honestly, “but I TOLD you about it.” Embarrassingly, my daughter now uses the same technique with her husband.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pam, oh you are a clever one. I never thought of that tactic, but must admit it’s a good one. Thanks for sharing it here and for the compliment. I aims to inform and entertain with my blog posts.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Hilarious. My husband and I are both guilty of doing this to each other. I think that after 35 years, we’re oblivious to each other most of the time. But in a good way.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. First of all, I now want a Klondike bar and that is SO not nice to do to me!! Secondly, maybe it’s an IT thing and I also know…are you married to my husband??? He has a response that I now know means he knows I said something but has no idea what it was and yes, he’s later asked me about something that I told him anywhere from a few minutes to some hours ago. Big fat SIGH!! I, on the other hand, hear pretty much everything he says, although here where he won’t read it, I will confess that I sometimes act as if I didn’t just because he should know better than to try to talk to me when a) I’m in the bathroom (and mentioned I’d be there), b) am flushing the toilet, c) am by the wash machine or dryer…while they’re working, d) have just started doing something in another room, e) have just gotten as far away from his location as humanly possible and am doing something, f) well, you get the idea. 🙂

    janet

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Janet, this is a wonderful list of exclusions about when a husband should know not to talk with you. I especially like your point e). I, too, want a Klondike bar but don’t see that happening anytime soon. As you said, big fat sigh.

      Like

    1. Donna, yes I feared this was the norm when I wrote this. Jill and Janet are onto something: start with sports or power tools. Those are attention grabbers.

      Like

  21. Ally, Huge laughing out loud, yet I am totally on your side. It just sounds like regular married life, too much togetherness, I wish he would stop clearing his throat all day long…………. You remind me how our children would ask my husband a question over and over and over again, getting louder and louder…….then finally instead of using “Dad” say “Chuck” to get his attention. Sometimes this did not even work. Good luck. You are preaching to the choir.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erica/Erika, I’m glad you found this funny because it really was once I thought about it. I’m finding that many commenters relate to this conversation so it is a common phenomenon, probably exacerbated by all this time together every day. Pretty clever of your kids to realize that by calling Dad by his name he’d pay attention to them. Usually. The things we do…

      Liked by 1 person

  22. At my house, feeding the dogs goes on “right smack in the middle of everything.” This is never a quiet event. The dogs get to rip roaring around, playing tug, I’m clanging dog dishes, cupboards, etc. Dogs munch noisily. Hubby is mere feet from the action, staring at computer. Half hour later: “Do I need to feed the dogs?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eilene, SAME STORY within a different context. It is amazing how things like this can happen, yet there you go. Man in middle of situation, man clueless as to what is happening. It almost baffles the mind.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. I read or heard somewhere that many wives are finding out a lot about their husband’s livelihood and their work habits these days … you hope the latter is better than the listening abilities. Either that or you are like an old married couple like the Bickersons. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Linda, overall this work at home dealio has been great for both of us. I’m clear on what Z-D does and how he does it, so being together like this isn’t eyeopening. Generally speaking he seems to know what I say or do, but I tell you with this delivery his mind was elsewhere. And the box was. right. there. in. front. of. him. 🤨

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is funny – it really is Ally. Right over the head by concentrating on something else. I actually could not believe when the news story indicated that some women had no idea what their husbands did at work – maybe there are a passel of kids and that situation dominates the conversation? Maybe a housewife in the 50s whose sole focus was on running the household, but today, that is surprising. I think companies and businesses are going to realize how lucrative it would be to have their employees at home as they are more productive – no standing around visiting with co-workers, back late from lunch, etc. No stressed employees from a long and arduous commute. I hope more people get the opportunity to work from home. By the time the pandemic and isolation to the home is over, working offsite and remoting in ought to be seamless by then.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Linda, I cannot imagine not knowing what your spouse did, but I also cannot imagine many things lately, so I believe it. Still, wouldn’t you be a little curious? Interested? Supportive?

          We are hoping that you’ve suggested. This working from home has been wonderful for Z-D. No commute, no office nonsense, no unhealthy lunches, no trapped inside a cubicle. And the thing is he tells me he’s accomplishing more sitting in the middle of our kitchen than he did in the office. Fingers crossed here that working from home becomes his new normal. It makes sense and cents in so many ways.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I think nothing should surprise me anymore.

            I realize there has to be a warm body in the office to do some administrative tasks, but not a full crew. And there will be court appearances and depositions for litigators, big closings for corporate attorneys. My boss has a friend who is an attorney, now semi-retired. There are three or four attorneys working at his firm. They went to a paperless office years ago. All of the attorneys have Summer homes and like to enjoy them and have a three-or-four-day weekend all Summer. So they have an administrative person scan in all mail and put the correspondence/pleadings PDFs into the client files so everyone has access to each file by simply remoting in. It has worked well for them. They used voicemail and had their fax machine directed to their e-mail. My boss says no one sends faxes anymore, just e-mails and PDFs.

            The AM news station I listen to has very few anchors there now. Their anchors and reporters work from home, as does their in-house traffic reporter and they get weather from Accuweather (who also now works from home), so they operate with a skeleton crew. I have followed the morning news anchorwoman on Twitter for several years – she has a long commute and always got up at 2:00 a.m. in the Winter for a start-time of 5:00 a.m. She is my age and I’m sure enjoying her at-home gig immensely.

            There are definitely less distractions at home – for me even less as I am here alone. I hope it works out for you and Z-D.

            Like

            1. Interesting how the law firm has adapted to using technology so the attorneys can work from home. I haven’t heard anyone mention using the fax machine in years, now that you mention it. We’ll see how all of this plays out over the next few months, but the savings in time and stress and money when working for home makes it seem like a winner idea to me.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Sounds like a good plan to me too. If you have some administrative people who can handle things at the law office it is perfect; maybe even split the workweek up for home versus on-site once normalcy returns; courts may even even resort to video conferencing – recently an appellate or Supreme Court hearing was held that way – it was a first.

                Liked by 1 person

    1. Judy, I seem to have hit a subject that resonates with all my readers– most feeling they aren’t being heard, a few admitting to being the one not listening. I had no idea when I wrote this how universal this was. The things I learn…

      Liked by 1 person

  24. This is a great sitcom! What channel is it on??
    Alas, I don’t exactly know how this feels because my husband is working away from home. BUT his old job required him to work remotely and he was home all the of the frick frack time unless he was traveling, which was only once a month.
    So I can relate to this. Add in a pandemic and I don’t know how all of you aren’t murdering your spouses and hiding the bodies.
    Or maybe you are…..muah AH AH.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Writer McWriterson, kudos to you for leading the way regarding this work at home experience. You know what we’re going through having been there, done that before all of us who are just now learning how to… adapt… to each other whilst living together all the time. Clearly there’s a learning curve on this. 😳

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Reminds me of a former employer who once said to me, after I said I told her something several times, “Was I listening?” HOW DO I KNOW? (P.S. She was also an attorney, but I don’t think this “issue” is attorney-specific.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tara, that is a weird question to ask you. Like you said, how would you know? While Zen-Den is an attorney I don’t think that is the reason he was so disinclined to pay attention to me. As I recall that wasn’t one of his classes in law school. 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My filter wasn’t broken at that point so I just stared blankly and furrowed a brow at her… Now, who knows what I’d say! They shouldn’t have a How to Ignore People class in any school, but maybe a How to Listen to People class may be of benefit to everybody? A thought. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  26. I don’t have this experience because my wife hasn’t missed a day of work at the office since this whole thing started. In fact, she’s been working longer hours, and some Saturdays, too. Those PPP loans are keeping her hopping! But I can sympathize with your plight (not to mention the eye rolls).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Swinged Cat, it’s a different experience to be home together all the time, but overall I’m liking it. Of course I’d like it better if I didn’t have to roll my eyes when a certain someone shows his interest… in an interesting way. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  27. This is *exactly* as one does now. I love my husband, but I am really grateful he’s considered essential and is at work during the day. Coronavirus is A LOT.

    In fairness, just yesterday I looked at my husband and said “wait, did you just say something?”

    Like

    1. Katie, I know I’ve done the same thing with Zen-Den on occasion when I’ve been working in front of the computer in the study, so you’re right it can happen to the best of us. But when there’s movement associated with the words, I perk up and notice. He does not.

      Like

  28. Although people rightly accuse me of sexism, I have to say, any other version of this story would be unbelievable when compared to my own experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joey, I can only write about that which I know to have happened and be truthful about it, so this is my story. I suspect yours would be similar. 😉

      Like

Comments are closed.