But he knew that when he married me!

I am planning a solo trip to visit my grandma, several weeks from now, and I think the planning logistics may just be the death of me. It occurred to me yesterday, not for the first time, that there is a fundamental difference between me and my husband. He travels frequently for business, and here is how it goes: he emails me his travel itinerary, he packs his bag, he leaves. Here is what happens when I go away on a solo trip:

1) Check everyone’s calendar for the least-inconvenient time for me to leave.
2) Book flight. Ask husband to book the rental car.
3) Arrange for the kids to be at my parents’ place for a couple of days.
4) Explore options for the dog. Book dog into kennel. Arrange for grooming at the same time. Discover they don’t have dog pickup on the weekend. Figure out if husband will be able to pick up dog before closing time on Friday.
5) Have minor mental breakdown over the dog issue; husband works very long hours; picking up dog before 7pm will be a problem.
6) Discover an immovable appointment just before kids are due to go to their grandparents’. Cry.
7) Make gigantic list of my own packing needs, in addition to what the kids will need for a couple of nights away.
8) Remember that my mother does have ample washing facilities in case they run out of clothes. Panic anyway. Make notes about cortisone cream that was forgotten last weekend and was the cause for my husband to go out in the middle of a gigantic prairie thunderstorm, and also about vitamins, allergy medication, children’s Tylenol, and what about Mark’s inhaler? It EXPIRED? Cry.
9) Make list of items to pack for the dog.
10) Cry.

It’s exhausting to be me.

It’s not like it’s easy to be my husband – I do feel sorry for him during the summer break, heading off to work while the boys and I go to the pool or the amusement park or just hang out all day, eating bonbons, etc. However, clearly he is the winner when it comes to travel. Some of this is naturally occurring – in my anecdotal experience, with my own small, statistically insignificant sample size, women tend to take charge of the packing/ children-and-pet logistics when travelling. Some of this, though, is me and my control-freak, manage-the-details, burst-into-tears-when-encountering-a-difficulty ways.

This is not the first time I’ve realized the Mars versus Venus nature of our marriage. It’s a good thing: I’d hate to have two people like me in the house. Can you imagine? Me: “Wahhhh, what will we doooooo?” Hypothetical Drama-Queen Husband: “OMGOMGOMG! WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIEEEEEE!” No, a household really only needs one such person. And that person is ME, every 27-60 days.

Remember last year’s list about the things I love but my husband hates? Time for a redux, but this time it’s a list about my husband’s least favourite things that are inevitable, being married to me. Let’s make it a meme! Join in and tell me what your husband (or wife, whatevs) dislikes the most but yet must put up with in the name of marital harmony.

My Husband’s Least Favourite Things, But That Are Necessary When Living With Nicole:

1) Histrionics. I am generally a pretty even keeled person. I’m not a drama queen, generally, but sometimes (PMS) a girl has reason to get a little worked up (PMS). For example, last night when I sat straight up in bed in the middle of the night (read: 10:15 pm), ran to the kitchen, looked at the calendar, discovered the appointment for me and the boys to get our Nexus cards, an appointment we’ve been waiting for since last year, and began to sob raggedly. My husband calmly pointed out that the appointment was the day before my flight and I had many, many hours to get the boys to my parents’ place, and yet I was a complete wreck (PMS).

2) Questions About My Appearance. I think this is a universal male thing. “Do I look fat in this outfit?” “Do you think my butt is getting bigger? I do.” “How does my hair look?” “What do you think of these shoes.” His answer is always “You look great.” Whether this is truly his love-is-blind feeling, or this is a survival mechanism he has developed, I don’t know. All I know is that he would rather be poked in the eye with a safety pin than answer those questions.

3) Cilantro. I realize this is one of those genetic things, either it tastes good or it tastes like soap, but regardless even the word cilantro makes my husband shudder. I like it, which means that there is a lot of separate, after-the-fact adding of cilantro to my meals. Which brings me to…

4) Vegan meals. Sure, he’ll happily eat quinoa salads (hold the cilantro) and rice bowls and all sorts of vegan delights…as long as there is a side of meat. See also: my gig over at Yummy Mummy where I am the Meatless Mummy Con Carne. I once asked him if it was hard being married to me, and the first thing he said was “No. You’re easy to be married to. Except you’re a pain in the ass to go out for dinner with.” Well I never. The boys are excitedly planning a dinner at a barbeque where one of my husband’s old friends is playing in a blues band, and my husband checked the menu online to see what were the vegetarian options. In a barbeque place that specializes in meat platters. The vegetarian option is a green salad. I guess I’ll eat before hand. The second thing my husband said about the negatives of being married to me is…

5) My taste in movies and, relatedly, my inability to watch an entire movie not of my choosing without falling asleep. He also seems to find it “irritating” to watch my favourite movies with me, while I recite the dialogue (see also: When Harry Met Sally. Where was Sunday, what had I done with Sunday? I told him the truth and he didn’t believe me. They don’t make Sunday. Because of God.) I am a DELIGHT to watch movies with.

6) My black clothes. He seems to think that colour in wardrobes is a good thing. But if all your clothes are black then you’re always colour coordinated! Right?

Your turn, lovely readers. What does your spouse dislike, but is just part of being married to you? Do tell! xoxo


  1. 1), 2), and 5): me, too!

    My husband hates when I worry about, oh, I don’t know, everything.

  2. I read this. Not sure why I didn’t comment. Oh, wait – maybe because it made me think I’m a huge bitch. My husband’s just too afraid to say what he hates when I do it. But I’m pretty sure thinking everyone in our family including me has cancer at regular intervals probably figures into it. And maybe all the hair products I have to travel with.

  3. My husband and I love a lot of the same music but there is a bridge he won’t cross called singer songwriter poet types … my loves Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits…husband can’t stand ’em. Similarly I hate his dumb math-rock favourite bands. Actually the overlap is much smaller than I remember it…

    He must accept about me that I think and analyse toooooo muccch and will happily dissect the personality of the person ahead of me in line at the grocery store while he can’t even remember that we were AT the grocery store. I mean come on.

    We also have dissimilar taste in movies..I can be in the mood for Atlas Shrugged but I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it. On the other hand, all these dissimilarities means that at Christmas, when I buy him a movie, it’s REALLY for him. No really. I do not want to see it. You go ahead honey.

    • I don’t like action movies. This is a source of contention.

    • If I want to drive my husband batty I just have to use the term “singer songwriter.” I’m not sure what’s aversion to the phrase, and I don’t care b/c it’s just fun to yank his chain. Ergo, I assume that “she likes to yank my chain” is one of the things my husband dislikes about me. Also: my insistance upon using deodorant and anti-perspirant as synonyms.

  4. My husband does not care for my choice in movies. I do like the chick flicks and he’s like, “Oh. YAWN.” But we do watch the slapstick comedies together. For instance, we find The Hangover movies hilarious.

  5. My hubs keeps telling me that there is nothing that drives him crazy about me. I think he is delusional. How about my penchant for piling things on Every. Single. Flat. Surface? “I knew about that when I married you. That doesn’t bother me.”


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