How Much Do I Love Her?

My wife yelled from the kitchen, “You took the last of the milk!”

She has accused me of many things but for once she is right.

I quickly explored my options for denial. This was a tough one.  I did indeed drink the last of the milk before slipping the empty carton back into the refrigerator.

It happened during a moment of madness.

I had taken a foray into the forbidden realm of pepperoni pizza and shortly thereafter needed something, anything, to quench the fire. The refrigerator was close, so I went for the milk.

That was on Wednesday.

This was Friday.

I don’t know how things work around your house but around here we have an iron rule that says whoever takes the last of anything, replaces it. Which explains why a quarter inch of milk has been sloshing around the bottom of the carton for the better part of a week.

Neither of us dare touch it.

To do so means a trip to the Quickie-Mart. No big deal. However, we are country people and any trip into town drags a long tail of errands behind it.

Like depositing the 85¢ dividend check from the electric co-op.

Or picking up cat litter.

Or waiting in line at the DMV to buy tabs for the trailer we never use.

These are things that neither of us are willing to do, so we avoid them by never taking the last of anything.

At first blush this may seem odd because I love my wife and would move heaven and earth for her- but neither heaven, nor earth, nor love covers a trip to the DMV.

It didn’t use to be this way.

I would do little things for her, and she would do little things for me – but with each passing day those little things accumulated more and more weight until after years had passed even the smallest of things became a test of love.

Now she tests me by expecting little things, and I test her with similar expectations – but the real test comes when we expect the exact same thing from each other – like going to town on errands.

So I ask myself, “how much do I love her?”

Then I ask, “Hey, wait a minute, how much does she love me?”

But the more I think about this, the more I think I shouldn’t be thinking about this and guilt overwhelms me.

As I step into the kitchen to talk it over, I catch her stuffing a cereal box into the kitchen trash bin.

The bin is already full. To cram the box in, she has folded it as small as she possible and jammed it down into the bin as hard as she could, thus making the bag almost impossible to pull out.

We both do this because of another iron household rule that says whoever fills the last of the kitchen trash takes it out to the cart.

She looks up, guilty as hell.

“What?” she says, “it’s not that full.”

She knows it is.

“Why don’t you just take the trash outside?” I say.

She ponders this for awhile and then a big smile sweeps across her face.

“No,” she says triumphantly, “you can take out the trash on your way to get milk.”

Author: Almost Iowa

44 thoughts on “How Much Do I Love Her?”

  1. Haha! I recognise a pattern here… (though mine shows me he loves me – well, one of the ways – by buying me packets of shortbread. Then criticises me when I eat it all. I mean… how fair is that? 😉 )

  2. MayBe you guys just have too many rules. And anyway what fun are rules unless we break ‘em? At least every once in a while. Man these vignettes would make a great book or stand up comedy show!


  3. Sounds familiar!! I love my husband dearly, but the moment I open a container of something I desperately need to finish the meal I’m cooking and discover it is empty (even though it’s still in the fridge), I could happily drop kick him into the ext county. Of all human relationships, marriage is the strongest. And also the strangest.

  4. Tell me something. When you do a chore, like unload the dishwasher, do you need to be thanked? It never occurs to my husband he’s just doing what needs to be done. He thinks he’s helping ME.

    1. I am retired and she still works. She has to for medical insurance ($2,000 a month for basic coverage in the shadow of the Mayo Clinic). So I do all the cooking and cleaning. She doesn’t have to say thank you, its understood.

  5. HAHAHA!! It’s funny because I do the EXACT same thing with the trash haha! Luckily neither of us really drink milk so that’s not an issue… yet.

      1. I’m one of those freaks who fills up at the quarter tank mark. Because I grew up waaaaay out in the country where the nearest gas station was about 15 miles away. I could make it home on a quarter tank but wouldn’t make it back to town! Now I live in Los Angeles with gas stations aplenty but there’s still those pesky traffic jams so I stayed in the quarter tank habit

      1. Ha haha. I think I told you I’m not allowed to shop except for gifts. If I ever go into a grocery, I can only stay if I promise not to pick anything off the shelf.

  6. I love how you capture these perfect vignettes of married life. It’s like looking in a mirror. My husband is notorious for leaving empty ice cube trays in the freezer. And he can’t believe I will fill the trash and leave it for him. Ha ha. At least it’s good for a laugh. Now, go take out the trash and get the milk. 🙂

    1. I love how you capture these perfect vignettes of married life

      I am just writing through the pain.

      (And she wonders why I follow her around the house taking notes. )

  7. Lol! We’ll mark 57 years come October since we said “I do.” Reading this fun post is like watching an old (awful) TV show called, This Is Your Life. Impossible to be married and not play these games. Who takes the last sheet of paper towel! Who swipes the last of the toilet tissue?

    Do yourself a favor. Bing the milk to you. Buy a cow …..and a milking stool! Lol.

    Kudos to your wife. She’s sharp as a tack! Be careful where you sit!

    1. Who takes the last sheet of paper towel! Who swipes the last of the toilet tissue?

      The answer to that is obvious. NOT ME! NO WAY!

      Hey congrats on 57 years of marriage!!! Love to hear things like that.

    1. I have been working hard on that DMV avoidance thing. Fortunately, the trailer is stuck in a big snow bank, but one of these days, the conversation will go like this:

      HER: Let’s go camping!!

      ME: You just want me to go to the DMV.

      HER: Why would you say that?

  8. Point, set, match. Some of the games we play with one another aren’t at all destructive, particularly when everyone knows the rules. Fun post.

    1. My wife and I watched Cat On A Hot Tin Roof on our local PBS channel last night. With all due respect to Tennessee Williams, we play many of the same games – less the “mendacity”.

  9. Lol! I so get it! 36 years of marriage and this is life. PS I think you can renew the dmv online these days. 😉

    1. As for online DMV renewals, the Minnesota DMV has a new system called MNLARS. It is testament to how badly government can screw up given enough money, methodology and management. I almost got sucked into that black hole to write the law enforcement interface but retired instead. That was four years ago and the DMV just asked for another $10 million to “fix” the system. 🙂

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: