Wednesday, February 3, 2016

When He Drops the Ball On Your Toe

Dear Aunt Madge,

My husband is a sports NUT. 

If it were only football or hockey I could survive this. But he's into every sport. We have cable channels we don't watch just so he can have a ton of sports channels. Name the sport and he's watching it. 

He even watches golf.

And apparently darts is a sport too although no one breaks a sweat unless they have to split someone else's dart down the middle like Robin Hood. 

Not only does he watch them, but he watches them with the volume so loud it shakes my collection of Precious Moments figurines. And he yells at the TV, as if the players and coaches can hear them. And then he yells at me because he doesn't realize he's yelling.

And the parties. He invites all his friends over - even the smelly ones - and I'm expected to be the polite hostess and make Dagwood sandwiches and nachos. 

And let's not forget the sports memorabilia. I've got jerseys and hats and balls and old video tapes of past games, and trading cards, and equipment (that he doesn't use) all over my house. He insists we sleep on Edmonton Oiler sheets, and drink out of cups with baseball teams on them.

But if I ask him to go for a walk with me, he looks at me horrified, because apparently walking isn't a sport, and then he goes back to yelling at some guy lifting weights.

It's not that I expect him to spend every spare moment with me. But I did hope to have some attention without resorting to putting on football gear to spice up our sex life. Apparently I look better with huge shoulder pads and a helmet that covers my face.

I've resorted to spending time alone or with girl friends. I have a craft room that I spend a lot of time in and my own TV which I watch my favorite TV shows and movies, and I go out with friends. I have made a lot of quilts and sweaters and read a lot of books.

But I can do all that living alone, without the screaming and the smelly friends who demand sandwiches. 

Any ideas what I should do?

Stuck in the penalty box

P.S. I knew he liked sports when I married him, but I had no idea it was an obsession like this.

Dear Stuck,

You poor, poor, dear. I feel for you. Honestly. I had a friend with the same problem. She tried everything. Once she poured a bucket of water on her husbands head, but he just thanked her for cooling him down. She even went on a date once with a man and her husband just waved goodbye without even looking at who she was going out with.

I would not suggest either of these tactics.

Obviously you two need to talk but that's pretty hard when he's busy telling the players to swing, or shoot, or whatever else they do in sports.

You could just give in and become a sports nut too, but that might not work that well for you. Not everyone is cut out to sit in front of the TV and scream at people who can't hear you. Some of us require some kind of acknowledgement back. 

You've got some decisions to make here. Is this guy worth hanging on to? If as you said, you could do what you already do living alone, then why have him in your life? If he's not interested in you unless you're wearing football gear, then maybe, he's just not that into you.

I know that's tough to hear, but you probably already know it. Would he even notice if you moved out? You could just leave his armchair and the tv and move everything else. He might notice you are missing when he wants a Dagwood sandwich.

Oh, and about that...stop making them for his friends. They're his friends, he should entertain them.

Here's a tip, when smelly friends come in I would suggest spraying them with Fabreeze before they sit on your furniture.

So here's the thing. You can try talking to him. Maybe you can dress up as a coach and give him a pep talk like they do in the movies. Draw things out on a chalkboard for him. Tell him he better shape up or ship out.

If he doesn't then you either have to accept him the way he is, or you make changes for yourself. Move to Italy and find a handsome Italian, become a craft designer and travel the world, rent an apartment in another city, do whatever you need to do to either accept things the way they are, or change things so that you are happier.

Remember, it is far better to be alone, then to be with someone who would rather be hugging a football.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Dream Man Who Might Just Be Only That

Dear Aunt Madge,

I met a man over the internet. Well, I haven't actually met him yet, that happens next month when I have enough money to send him a plane ticket.

I know it sounds crazy to say I'm in love even though we haven't actually met yet, but I think it just shows that we are in love with each other's personalities and not each other's looks, since we haven't actually seen each other yet.

Which brings me to my problem. He sent me a picture of himself and he's incredibly handsome. My girlfriends tell me that it isn't really him, that it's just a model picture. I'm sure he wouldn't do that, but here's my shame - that's what I did. I sent a picture that wasn't really me. Well it is me, but it's me several years ago.

I knew it was wrong, but at the time I had no idea the relationship would get as far as it did. I just liked the attention he was giving me. The truth is, that I weigh a hundred pounds more than what the picture shows and I haven't told him yet.

Added to that, my friends are so negative about this relationship even though two of them met their husbands on the internet. They worry about the fact that he's rich yet doesn't have a car (his license was suspended due to a misunderstanding), and he occasionally asks me for money to help him out (he has money, it's just that it's tied up in different businesses and investments and he doesn't have access to it). 

He showed me pictures of his beautiful home and he frequently talks about his trips to Europe and Africa. His job takes him all over the world! I know we would have a wonderful life together.

It seems to me that my friends have a double standard. They were the ones that encouraged me to try internet dating and I did because they found success. Now they are only being nasty.

So I'm scared about when he does come out here. I mean if he really loves me like he says he does, will my weight really matter? And how do I get my friends to support this relationship. I don't want to lose my friendships over this. I would think they would want me to be happy.

Nervous on the World Wide Web

P.S. I know this sounds crazy too, but I have given him a lot of money, but I look at it as an investment. That money won't matter at all once we're married and I'm living in his house and traveling the world with him. Besides, it's my money that I worked hard for and I should spend it any way I please.

Dear Nervous,

I know why you wrote me. You wrote me so that I would say "Don't listen to those jealous friends. He will love you just the way you are and you will have a wonderful life."


I'm all for the warm milk and butterflies and rainbows and positive affirmations but this is one of those times when you just got to say "Who put pudding in your skull?|

Now before you get all upset with me think about this. If you weren't completely honest with him, isn't it possible that he hasn't been completely honest with you?

And really, if it's his personality that you're in love with, why are you drooling over the beautiful home and the trips around the world. You didn't even tell me about his personality other than the fact that he asks you for money.

Now I'm certainly not against a woman looking at a man's financial prospects, you need to be practical here because nobody wants to be a homeless hobo eating rats, but, it just might be possible that this is what this man is. How do you know that's his home? How do you know he travels? How do you know he's rich? And what kind of misunderstanding causes a man to lose his driver's license?

Before you send this man another dime, skype him and have a conversation where you can actually see each other. Yes, that means that he will actually see you! And no you can't put one of your pretty girlfriends in front of the screen and treat her like a ventriloquists dummy. Besides, how can you see what he looks like if you're hiding on the floor?

It's time to put on your detective hat and look up his place of work - or where he says he works. Is he actually on the payroll? What is his position? Did he ever show up for work with a loaded gun?

It's time to check out his friends. Do they seem like decent friends or are they all on the wanted lists that the police post.

It's time to check out his police record - you know he has one because he lost his license. Ask the police about them - and don't say that it's all a misunderstanding.

Google his name and see what comes up.

You may not find him at all! He could have a made up name as well as a made up face and a made up personality.

Now I understand that you might be steaming mad right now because I didn't give you hot chocolate and unicorns but remember, "Don't count your chickens if they are actually wolves."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Great Toilet Paper Roll Debate

Dear Aunt Madge,

My husband and I have been having major fights over something that is threatening our marriage.

When he puts the toilet paper roll on the dispenser, he puts it on the wrong way!

He has it cascading over the top and it really should go under. I've explained this to him I don't know how many times, but he just doesn't listen.

Whenever I put it the right way he switches it around to the wrong way so I have to switch it back.

Why is he doing this? It drives me batty to no end. It's bad enough that I have to switch the roll around whenever I visit other people's homes but I shouldn't have to do it in my own house.

I swear he does it just to drive me crazy. And he doesn't just do it in our bathroom, he does it in every bathroom in the house.

How do I change this man?

Tears shed in a water closet

Dear Tears,

If you want to change the man than a divorce is required and some internet dating and you're still not guaranteed that you'll find a different man.

If you want to keep this man then you can't change him and why would you want to because...


Let me repeat that.


Honey, in my house I was grateful if I could find the toilet roll somewhere in the vicinity of my arms reach including finding it under the toilet tank. Somedays it was like an Easter egg hung which is no fun with your pants down around your ankles.

Frankly I never understood the great Toilet Roll Debate. I first became aware of it back in the seventies when I started reading my mentors Dear Abby and Ann Landers. They devoted entire columns (note the "s") to this problem and readers would write in putting in their two bits of whatever they were flinging.

It does date back to the time before toilet paper when people would argue whether the Sears Catalog should be ripped starting at the front or starting at the back. The debate became more complicated because there would be those who insisted that the pages with ladies undergarments should be disposed of first while others said they should be saved until last. Of course this led to more arguments about what order the catalog should be use. Children wanted to save the toy sections, women wanted the fashion and home sections untouched and men insisted that the section with farm and auto equipment be left alone. When toilet paper came along the debate became much simpler.

I've never found a reason why there is so much debate about it. Some claim that cascading it over the top makes it too easy to take too much. I decided to do a little experiment. I spun the toilet paper both ways and found out they both made a huge mess and it was more about the spin than about which way the toilet paper was on the spindle.

Having said all this I want to remind you of something...


Make your husband his favorite dinner and put on a sexy outfit and the football game. Yes, I realize that he will have to choose between the sexy outfit and the football game, but you can always call up a friend and go out. Just make sure you don't wear the sexy outfit.

Remember, if you sweat the small stuff, you're only going to get all smelly.

Love Aunt Madge

Friday, September 2, 2011

Toddlers in Tiaras and Fake Boobs

Dear Aunt Madge,

I don't really have a problem, I just wanted your opinion on something. My daughter-in-law is involved in this baby beauty pagent business. I don't know how much money is spent and really it's none of my business, but I don't like seeing my grandbaby looking like she hangs around street corners. I swear that five year old has more make-up on her face than that Tammy Baker person back in the 80's when her minister husband stole all that money and her mascara would just roll down her face while she cried and...where was I. Oh yes. Not only does my grandbaby have fake teeth and fake hair and more make-up than a drugstore beauty counter, but she's now got fake boobs! Yep. Can you believe it! What five year old needs fake boobs?

Now I tried talking to my son about it and he just says "they're having fun," but I don't see my grandbaby having fun when she cries at every rehearsal.

I tried talking to my daughter-in-law about it but she told me to quit meddling.

Am I wrong?

Grandma to a Barbie Doll

Dear Grandma,

First I want to scream. Just wait a moment while I do that. AUUGGHHH! There that's better. Hope I didn't hurt your ears.

You are not wrong. Unfortuneatly there's nothing you can do about it, at least not as far as trying to convince your family otherwise. You do not want to alienate them. Your granddaughter needs someone like you in her life to ground her because right now her mother is mesmerized by trophies and promises of fame and a self loathing because why else would she put her little girl through all that.

I think we should start a movement and demand an overhaul of the baby beauty business. Some of these people involved have seriously lost their marbles on the playground of false hope. First off, ever look at child models in catalogues and commercials? They look like real kids. Ever seen a tv show or a movie with kida in it? They look like kids. No one wants a little girl who looks like a porn star to sell their products. Yes, I said it. Porn star. Which is sad since we're dealing with five year olds.  And what producer, director, company is going to want to deal with the mothers of the fake barbies? I swear I saw one of these little ones singing about how people liked her booty. I almost threw up but I was sitting on my new couch and I didn't want to wreck it.

Since you can't get through to the people who are supposed to care the most about their kids the next step is to talk to the organizers. First get organized with as many people as you can find. Make up signs, write letters, picket these contests. When you finally get some attention show them your manifesto of rules. My suggestions:

1. No fake anything unless it's an animal costume. Most children can't grow tails and whiskers so that's acceptable.

2. Make-up if any should be kept to a bare minimum because spotllights can make your face disappear. And no makeup if it's just happening on an open stage in a small room. In fact no make-up at all and that way everyone's face will just disappear. Unless she's wearing an animal costume.

3. Limits on how much is spent on outfits. No little girl needs a 2000 dollar dress unless she's a part of a singing family and they're performing on America's Got Talent in the final rounds. Let's just make it that all costumes have to come from the second hand store. You can find animal costumes there sometimes.

4. No behavior or songs allowed that can't be performed in a church gymnasium. This goes for the animal skits too. This includes swishing hips back and forth and come hither looks.

Frankly I think these girls look prettier with braids, missing teeth and scabs on their knees.

Just remember beauty is in the eye of the beauty industry who can convince everyone else to spend a fortune on their products.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

50 Ways to Leave Your Mother - Okay 7 Ways to Kick Out Your Son

Dear Aunt Madge,

My 30 year old son lives in our basement. I've raised four children and three managed to move out on their own. I've always wanted to have a sewing room  down there, but this boy won't budge. He complains about the way I do his laundry and he's very demanding about his meals being on time and not wanting to eat a lot of what I make, so I have to make special things for him. He's a slob and I'm constantly cleaning up after him. He won't even make his own bed and I have to do it for him. Now he's complaining about the house rules saying that he should be able to entertain women down there. His father likes having him around because they watch sports together and he's our baby. "Don't worry he'll grow out of it," he always says. Frankly, I'm tired of being his maid and I want to dance naked in my kitchen, down my hallway and in my living room. Am I a bad mother for wanting my child to leave home?

Expired Maternal Instinct

P.S. He has a job but doesn't pay expenses because he needs to save money to buy a house.

Dear Expired,

It's a good thing that I don't have my own TV show - well not good for me but good for you - because then you would have to look at my face. Right now my eyes are wide with astonishment and my mouth is hanging open and it ain't pretty.

So you're complaining because you have a son who won't leave a house where he has free rent, free meals, and free maid service. Now who's fault is that?

No you're not a bad mother for wanting him to leave. You're a bad mother for making it too easy to stay. But all is not lost. There are several things you can do. Here are an assortment of suggestions. Pick what you will from them but pick something.

1. YOU HAVE TO DO THIS ONE! STOP! Stop doing his laundry. Stop doing his cleaning. Stop doing his cooking. Stop buying him food. Stop lending him the car. Stop doing things for him. I know, I know. He's your baby and if you stop cleaning then things will pile up and bugs will come and termites will eat your home and the government will descend and declare your house a hazardous zone. It's not going to happen. If it gets too bad just get a shovel and put stuff in garbage bags and put it out in the trash. Lock your fridge and cabinets. Keep his mess contained to his room. If you're worried that he'll break your washer and dryer, don't let him use your washer and dryer. Hide the detergent. He can go to a laundromat and ruin their machines. If you can't keep him out of your fridge and cabinets then get rid of all your food and start eating out. If your husband complains about the expense then show him the expense of keeping your son around (note suggestion 2). Anything that he leaves lying around the house is confiscated. Keep it for yourself, give it away, sell it, or throw it out. If you have to pick it up then he doesn't get to have it. No exceptions. If this is hard for you, you could arrange deals where he has to buy back his property either through money or service. If he wants something done, he has to pay you in advance. Real money, honey. Call it your trip to Europe, build a sewing room, buy a car you always wanted fund.

2. Make up an expense report of all the money he has cost you since his high school graduation or 18th birthday. This includes the food he eats, the utilities he uses, any money he borrows, the rent he doesn't pay and any other costs that he has. Show this to your husband. When he sees this in black and white you'll more likely get him on your side. Show him what you could have done with the money your son has cost you. Like the cruise you always talked about, season tickets to his favorite team, that cabin you wanted to buy or the big screen TV he always wanted to watch his sports.

3. Give him an eviction notice with a date that he has to leave by. He will most likely ignore it. But you won't. Stick to it and be gutsy even if it means that all his stuff ends up on the front lawn. Change the locks on the door. If you want to show him some kindness you can let him have a tent and a sleeping bag.

4. Send him and his father away for a camping weekend or something. Now gather your girlfriends and Nate Berkus. You know that sewing room you want? Time to claim it. Clean out the basement of everything you don't want down there (his stuff), and repaint, repaper, and refurnish. Make it as girly as possible. Make it you. Put a lock on the door and don't give him a key. You can use the money you saved on not buying him food and shutting off the hot water when he takes a shower (did I mention doing that?).

4. Take out an ad in the newspaper and announce that your 30 year old still lives at home and refuses to leave. Make sure you give his real name. You can also put a sign on your front lawn with the same information.

5. When he brings women to the house, tell them all about him. And I mean every embarrassing he has ever done. Then ask him if he needs you to go to the store to get him some more adult diapers because he used the last one the previous night. Be sure and ask him if he also needs some more cream for that rash of his. I know you want him to get married and out of the house but it's not fair to inflict him on some woman until he can take care of himself.

6. Do tours of his room. Show all your friends and anyone else who might be interested. You could post FREE TOURS on the sign on your front lawn.

7. Hold a garage sale of all his things.

Will he hate you? Probably. But if your children don't hate you sometimes then you probably haven't done your job right. One day when he's standing on his own feet and has his own place and possibly even a wife, he will thank you . Really.

Just remember, a bird in the hand will poop on your lifeline.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

When Motorcycles Seduce

Dear Aunt Madge,

My husband insists on keeping his motorcycle in the dining room. Not only that, but he spends a lot of time taking care of it. I swear his motorcycle is his mistress. I've tried talking to him, but nothing gets through. How can I get rid of this thing?

Hogg Widow

Dear Hogg,

By thing, do you mean the motorbike or your husband? Let's assume you mean the bike. I don't know if you can get rid of it, it would be easier to kick a mistress to the curb, but maybe you can create a peaceful co-existance. I've come up with several ideas for you.

1. Decorate the bike. Go wild. Pick a theme, like Princess, or French Country. Or maybe you can decorate it seasonally. Tinsel and ornaments at Christmas, paper hearts on Valentines, stuffed bunnies in leather at Easter, you get the idea. Do not be afraid of paint, glitter and glue.

2. Use it as a rack to dry your delicates.

3. Feed your husband dinner in the garage. He seems to be confused about what the different rooms in the house are for anyway.

4. Take the bike out yourself and claim the room as your sewing/zen/gift-wrapping room and warn him that anything left in there that doesn't belong will get fair treatment with a sledgehammer.

5. Sell the bike - this one is risky, it could lead to divorce, but you can always use the money for a lawyer.

6. Move your husband's things into the dining room including a bed. Tell him if he likes the bike so much he can sleep with it.

7. Call up the local tv and radio stations and announce that you will be giving free guided tours of your home and the crazy room where the bike is. Be ready with stupid stories about your husband. You could do number 1 in combination with this.

8. Go on holiday to Europe without him. You won't get rid of the bike but then you won't have to look at it either. Adopt an accent, and send photos back home of you drinking wine with handsome European men.

9. Everytime you see the bike point to it and cry "it's after me." Wake him up in the middle of the night and tell him you had a nightmare about the bike chasing you. Hide under a table and cry about the bike stalking you. Claim that the bike says mean things to you. Board up the dining room so the bike doesn't "get you." If this doesn't make your husband move the bike then refer to number 8 and stay there.

10. Serve dinner in the dining room every night and set a place for the bike. Ask the bike to pass things and cut up it's meat for it. Tell the bike that if it doesn't eat all of it's food you will banish it to the garage for a time out - and then do it.

I hope one or some of these suggestions can help you. Just remember, honey, a man's home is his castle - and we all know a castle is cold, uninviting and filled with barbarians unless a woman claims it as her own.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Time to Bring Out the Camera and the Locksmith Tools

Dear Aunt Madge,

The other day I found a bottle of cologne in my husband’s car. He rarely wears cologne around me and he’s often gone for days at a time on sales trips. I couldn’t help but wonder just who he was trying to smell good for. When I asked him about it, he got all defensive and said “what’s wrong with a guy smelling good? You’re just paranoid.”

Am I being paranoid? I’m starting to wonder about the bills now. He never lets me look at them insisting that he’ll handle the finances and he has an office in our house that he locks and I don’t have a key for.

And he often leaves the house late at night saying he needs some fresh air, or he goes to the movies but doesn’t invite me to come along.

Is this man hiding something?

Suspicious and stupid.

Dear Suspicious,

I would grab a trench coat and a magnifying glass and turn into Nancy Drew if I were you. That man is hiding something. It could be anything from being a secret smoker, to having another family, or even being a world international spy, which would be kinda cool as long as he was playing for the right side and you get to drive the flying sports car. I’m sure that if you asked him he would have a simple explanation for everything and it would be a lie. So don’t ask him. Just one of those things doesn’t necessarily mean that something’s going on, but when you put all of them together then you have every right to be suspicious.

Honey, you are not stupid. Even if he is playing games behind your back, being loving and trusting is not stupid. It’s required in a good marriage. He’s the one being stupid for putting your marriage in jeopardy and not being honest with you.

He’s thrown down the gauntlet. Pick it up girl and fight for yourself. Break into that office and go through the credit card bills. Put on a black outfit, smudge your face, and follow him one night when he leaves. Invite a friend along for an eye witness and a shoulder to cry on. Bring a camera and take plenty of incriminating pictures. Check his cell phone when he’s sleeping. If you call one of the numbers and a woman answers pretend that you’re from the IRS and make sure you get her personal information. You want to be sure of what’s going on before you make any drastic moves. You need to know the truth or it will drive you crazy, or worse get you some disease that you can’t get rid of.

Shooting and poisoning, although pleasant to think about, are not viable options. And hanging him by his toes and torturing him may be difficult to do alone. You want to do something that will have you come out ahead, like divorce him, take everything he has, and then move to Tuscany where all divorced women dream of going. Then you can become a famous writer or meet a handsome man, or both. Either way, you’re in Tuscany. Just remember, it’s better to have loved and lost, than to be stuck with a loser for the next twenty years.