Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Finders Seekers

I adore my husband Jay. He's brave and strong. He works hard as a Captain of the Fire Department. He's loving and generous. He's kind to animals, children, and the elderly. But, like us all, the man does have limitations... 

In honor of Husband Appreciation Day, following is an edited version of an email correspondence from a few years ago between my sister, cousin (named changed), and me. True story.  

(To those who don't know Jay and are concerned about his sensitivity: he laughed and told me to post it. He knows he's not the only man who checks out when it comes to girl stuff.)   

Hi Vicky and Lora,

I’m recovering from yesterday. A strap on my highest heels broke as I stepped off the porch, and I bounced down the front steps. I can’t walk or use crutches since I hurt both legs.   

Today Jay made me go to the doctor for x-rays. There's a sprain in one foot and a hairline fracture in the other shin. I fought going to the doctor's because it’s so hard to get ready without the use of my legs. Jay tries to be helpful, but he’s too impatient with "girl stuff" to be much help. When I try to get up, he scolds me with, “Don’t get up! Just tell me what you need, and I’ll bring it to you.” He's sweet, but here's how it went:

"Jay, honey, my eyeliner isn't in my make-up bag; can you look in the middle drawer of the vanity cabinet for it? No, that's the middle drawer on the side--I meant the middle drawer of the whole cabinet. No, sweetie, not the other side, the long flat drawer in the middle. The pencil drawer. No, I don’t keep pencils in it; it’s just called a pencil drawer. The drawer directly above the chair. That's right. Now, I need the black eyeliner pencil. It's in there among the other make-up, but it should be right up front since I use it all the time. Just look. No, honey, that's lip liner, I need eyeliner. It looks kind of like that, but it's black on the outside. That's brown. That's green. That's lipstick. Honey, the entire thing is black. It looks like a #2 pencil that is completely black on the outside instead of yellow. No, that's a tube of lip-gloss, and it's pink. I said black. Are you even trying? Yes, it's there. I know it's there. I'm positive it's there. Can I crawl over there without you getting mad? Because I can find it easier than you can. Yes, I know you're perfectly capable of finding it, but I know what I'm looking for so it will be easier for me. (Pause, as he continues to dig through the drawer contents.) Honey, I really need to get ready. No, that's lip liner again. Red lip liner. Seriously, I'm coming over there. Oh, now you found it. (Cleansing sigh) Thank you for your help, honey…"

He was the same way with my clothes. "Jay, could you please get me the turquoise top with elbow length sleeves hanging on the left side of the closet? No, that's dark forest green. Turquoise is a bright aqua blue. No, that's navy blue. With red stripes. I want a solid turquoise top. No, that’s lime green. No, that's purple. With spaghetti straps. I said turquoise with sleeves. Yes, all my tops are right there. I know it’s there. That's the only place it could be. Relax--I'm not getting up; I’m just leaning over to look. Jay! I can see it from here! It’s right by your hand. That's pink. Next to the pink. Thanks for saying you're not trying to be difficult, but, honestly, you're not trying to be helpful when you pull out a pink top and I asked for turquoise. Yes, that's it! You found it!" (It was such an exciting moment!) "Thank you for bringing my turquoise top. I agree; it was pretty hard to miss..." yet somehow he did.   

Oh, how I want my legs back. Next time I'll go with whichever top he grabs. No, wait, then he'd have to find the bottoms to match! Either way I'm toast. 

Love you both,

Turquoise top? Must be in the other closet.

(Email response from my cousin)

You crack me up! That sounds EXACTLY like trying to get Charlie to bring me something. They do NOT want to find it so they can prove to you that next time you should just get it yourself. He always asks me to find something for him that’s practically glued to his nose! I come over and say, “It is right here, in front of you!” That is scary funny! Next time have Jay bring the whole drawer to you. Then you can find it. You have to think in terms of large items, not small. Here are some examples:
Honey, I want a drink. Can you bring me the fridge, please?
Honey, there is something I need in the car, so can you drive it in, pretty please?
I am expecting an important letter. Can you dig up the mailbox and bring it to me?
I need something from the dresser upstairs. Can you carry the dresser down to me, please?
You get the idea.

(Email response from my sister) 
Pamela--Yeah, I agree with Vicky--make Jay bring you the whole drawer or whole dresser. That… or phrase things in firefighter language… something like… “A massive fire was lit by the black eyeliner pencil in the middle drawer. Please extract the object for evidence.” 


Hi Girls,

Hee hee! You two are too funny. Of course, he could get around those suggestions, too. It would probably go like this:

Me:  Honey, forget trying to find my black eyeliner. Just bring me the whole cabinet.
He:  Which cabinet?
Me:  The one right there in the vanity area.
He:  Which room is the vanity area in?
Me:  This one. The vanity area connects our bedroom with our bathroom. Right where you’re standing.
He:  Oh. I never heard you call it the vanity area before. 
Me:  Doesn’t matter. Just bring the cabinet.
He:  Which cabinet do you want?
Me:  The one you were just rummaging through. 
He:  I'm just saying, there's also a medicine cabinet on the wall.
Me:  The base cabinet, honey, the one with the drawers in it.
He:  I don't see it.
Me:  What do you mean you don't see it? It's right there!
He:  You mean this?
Me:  Yes!
He:  Well, I didn't know what cabinet you meant since this cabinet has a door on one side, too, not just drawers.
Me:  My mistake. Yes, that's the cabinet I want, with the drawers and a door. Please bring it.
He:  Do you want the baseboard, too?
Me:  Sure. Whatever. 
He:  I'm just saying, the baseboard is attached to the cabinet.
Me:  OK, bring the baseboard, too.
He:  I could take the baseboard off, but it would take longer.
Me:  No, no. Just bring it along. (Long pause) Now what are you waiting for?
He:  I'm trying to figure out how to get the cabinet out from under the counter top.
Me:  Then bring the counter top, too!
He:  I'm just saying, you only asked for the cabinet, and when you buy a cabinet at Home Depot, it comes without the counter top.
Me:  Bring the whole thing. (Pause) Now what?
He:  I painted the cabinet the same time as the wall.
Me:  So?
He:  I painted the cabinet the same time I painted the wall.
Me:  So?
He:  I primed them both at the same time.
Me:  So?
He:  Well, some paint might come off the wall since the primer might be connected underneath the paint.
Me:  So?
He:  Well, I'm just saying, you didn't ask for the cabinet with some of the wall primer attached.
Me:  I don't care.
He:  I could get a scraper to separate the primer.
Me:  Forget it. I don't care if there is primer attached.
He:  But I'm not sure where the scraper is.
Me:  It doesn't matter where the scraper is because I want you to bring the cabinet to me with the counter top and all the wall paint and primer attached, if need be.
He:  Do you still want the baseboard?
Me:  Aaaugh! I changed my mind. Forget bringing the cabinet and anything attached to it. “A massive fire was lit by the black eyeliner pencil that's in the top drawer on the left side of the vanity cabinet.  Please extract the evidence.”
He:  Where was the fire?
Me:  An old warehouse somewhere.
He:  How do they know it was lit by the black eyeliner pencil?
Me:  Anonymous tip or something. All you need to know is that the Chief wants you to bring him the black eyeliner pencil.
He:  I'm just saying, it's a strange way to light a fire.
Me:  Forget it! I'll get the eyeliner myself.
He:  Sweetie, don't get up! Just tell me what you need, and I'll get it for you.

Love you both,


Verse of the day:  (Jeremiah 29:13) “When you seek Me, you will find Me if you seek me with all your heart." Your heart has to be involved in the seeking to be successful in the finding.

To read why I've finally concluded that we're actually filming a sitcom, click here for "She Said, He Heard."


  1. This is brilliant! I had wondered if you might introduce this into your blog...I remember reading it (and saving it) a couple years ago...SO funny! (Tell Jay I think he's a brick! If he isn't sure what that means, the dictionary is on the bottom shelf of the middle bookcase in the...oh, never mind!)

  2. And I readily admit that if he asked me to find a certain drill bit or wrench in his shed, I wouldn't do much better.

  3. Pamela -

    I am laughing up a storm!! I LOVE this post! I know it's not fun when you are IN the situation, but it sure makes for a funny story afterward. :-) Hmmmm...Jay is always SUPER helpful at my house when you both visit. Are you SURE he can't find things?? Well, of course, I never ask him to get me eye liner, clothing, or anything else except the lawn mower or bush trimmer. ;-)

    Love you both!!


    1. Wasn't Diane's comment so hilarious? We hadn't been married very long at the time. He says now that he figured I'd settle for whatever he grabbed instead of insisting he find the RIGHT thing. Since then, he's learned that I'm very specific about what I want and substitutes won't fly. We've had the same conversation in the kitchen early on:
      He: Can I help?
      Me: Sure. My hands are icky--can you grab me the basil? No, that's parsley. That's tarragon. That's rosemary. Jay, it says "basil" on it. If it doesn't say "basil," it's not basil. No, those are pepper flakes. No, that's garlic powder. That's cinnamon. OK, I'm finding the basil for my meat, but you're getting cinnamon on yours since you seem to think it's an adequate substitute. Oh, you suddenly found the basil? Perfect."
      He's MUCH better about finding things these days.

  4. I admire your determination to wear eyeliner! Brilliant posting by the way. I chuckled audibly several times. Thank you for that. :-)

  5. Thank you for reading my blog, Rick! It makes me happy that you laughed. And, yes, I find it impossible to go to the doctor's office without eyeliner--it's a girl thing.

  6. Lora's idea of learning firefighter language is a good one; that cracked me up--extract the evidence. I had to learn engineering speech to communicate with my husband; don't know what speech he had to learn to communicate with me!

    1. Both their email replies totally cracked me up. I have a witty family. In writing, anyway--my cousin just reminded me that I'm not funny in person. I can tell the same stories out loud and not get a laugh. I guess comedy is in the delivery--some deliver through voice and face expression and some through writing.