The Refugee Crisis and My Husband’s Sock Basket

We have two sock baskets. One for white socks, one for black socks. All the white socks belong to my husband Alex. Most of the black socks are my son’s.  This system has worked perfectly for years. Until yesterday. Alex appeared in the living room with his sock basket. It was nearly full.

“Half these socks aren’t even mine,” he said and dropped the basket.  His are plain white Haynes calf high.He started sorting the socks.  There were “his socks”, socks with holes that got thrown out and the “others.”

The “other socks” were the white socks with pink or blue around the top. White socks that were ankle high and made by New Balance or Polo, tube socks and girl socks.  “They don’t belong in here with mine, they’re different.  This basket is just for my socks.”

“You’re being super prejudiced .” I teased him.

“Yes I am, I only like my kind of socks. Sorry.” But he wasn’t really.

When he finished there were three piles. His, those to throw away and “the others.”

He took his basket and left the room. And I was left wondering what to do with the poor “others”. Most of them were still perfectly good socks. First, I matched up the ones I could, there would be a home for them.  But what about the rest?

They’d been kicked out of their home and now had no where to go. No one would accept them simply because they were “different.” I felt guilty throwing them away, but boy, there were a lot of them. They were refugee socks, without a basket.

This behavior doesn’t surprise me from Alex. He’s Hungarian and Hungary typically doesn’t want refugees. They build concentration camps, surrounded with barbed wire and dogs. Refugees can stay there or leave the country and go somewhere more welcoming. Hungarians are all about taking care of Hungarians. Screw the rest of the world. They forget in the late 1950’s they were the refugees, running from Russia and seeking asylam in America.  Alex is a very good man but that sentiment runs deep in his blood.

So, what do I do with the remaining 27 refugee socks? I’ll probably end up throwing them away because there’s no basket or drawer that wants them. They are the lost “other socks.”

As President Trump said last week. “Who knew this stuff was so complicated.”

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What Happens When You Treat Your Man Like A Dog?

I have a really good husband. We’ve been married for twenty or twenty two years.  We both always forget.  We also have two really wonderful dogs.

Aries is a German Shepard/Wolf hybrid.  I thought I was buying a simple female German Shepard. A fat man in a red corvette lied to me.

And then there’s Spots.  He’s a stocky white dog with weird brown spots.  He’s a pit bull mix that showed up in our yard, emaciated, with cigarette burns on his head.  I swore I would never have anything to do with a Pit Bull of any kind, but all this dog does is wag wag his branch like tail and he tries to make us happy.

Last night I was lying in bed watching a PBS show about barns in Arkansas.  Spots looked deep into my eyes and I started rubbing his silky ear.  “Look at those pretty spots on your ears. That one looks like an island, that one looks kinda like Cuba and that one looks like a water bottle. You have the prettiest spots, Spots.”

His club of a tail thumped heavily. He was in doggie heaven. So, he rolled on his back and snorted cheerfully.

A few minutes later Spots rolled over to stare at me again and I started rubbing his nose. Slowly, I ran my thumb down, between his eyes and I said, “You are so handsome.  Look at your weird eyes and think neck and sausage like tail.” In less than a minute he was asleep. So happy to be loved.

When was the last time I rubbed Alex’s ears?  I don’t think I ever have. Have I commented on his nose or ears lately….last week I told him I was going to trim his Eisenstein eyebrows or shave them off in his sleep. And what have I ever said about his tail? Maybe years ago.

You see where I’m going?  If we treated the people we love like the pets we love the world might be better.  Man, I would love it if Alex stroked my hair, scratched my neck or told me I was so beautiful and sweet, even though my breath smelled like roadkill.

I need to rethink good behavior, bad behavior and our reward system.

Sure, Spots and Aries give me unconditional love. But so does Alex.



Taking Care of Your Wife

wifeAlex and I are in an interesting place right now. He’s not working, at all. And I am For a multitude of reasons we decided for now and maybe forever he didn’t need to work and instead would stay home.

Everything has been lovely. He’s not nearly as stressed or exhausted, the house is in much better shape because he’s always been a better cleaner than me.  And on most evenings when I get home there’s a wonderful dinner waiting.  Having a chef at home has it’s rewards.

But I’ve had to fuss at myself several times because I do something he’s done in the past.  For years, I stayed home with the children. He’d come home from work after eight or ten hours and I was ready to talk.  I wanted him to pay attention to the things I’d accomplished while he was gone.

All the laundry was done, the kitchen was mopped, I painted the bathroom.  If Alex was dismissive or uninterested in my accomplishment I remember feeling really hurt and pouty. I felt that he thought my work was unimportant to the family and menial.

So, I’m trying not to be that kind of working jerk. I’m not going to let mys3elf walk in the house, say hello than sink into the couch to watch the news. I’m going to focus on him for a few minutes because he’s focused on us all day.  The truth is, I’m really really happy the house is so much cleaner and he’s finishing all kinds of projects.  I’m so happy I’m not the only one who has to deliver the missing notebook or trumpet to the school in the middle of the work day when a child forgets something.

So, husbands and wives out there. If you have someone at home taking care of business walk around and admire all the stuff they are accomplishing. Say thank you, repeatedly. You need clean clothes, you want dinner. You hate it when the kitchen floor is sticky.  And what does it cost you? Conversely, if you have a spouse who works  while you stay at home say Thank you so much!” Cause you get to sleep in a little if you want, cause you can sit down and watch 15 minutes of Grease in the middle of the day, because they are trying to take care of your family.  Finally, neither on of you needs to act like the martyr and sigh all the time, cause you’ve got it so rough. There are perks to both sides of this coin.

Just remember to take care of each other.