May 5 2016

Quotable: Geoffrey Chaucer

“He is no cuckold who has no wife.” –Chaucer, The Miller’s Tale

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Jan 14 2016

Overheard: 35 yr old female

(speaking to me), “You would not want to be married to me!”

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Sep 15 2013

One of my favorite gifts


This is the front of my Mac at work. The attached clipping is from a Pearls Before Swine comic that was clipped out and given to me by my wife.

This is one of my favorite things that I have received—not because of its intrinsic value—but because of what it represents.

At work I am often known as “the printer whisperer.” I handle a lot of the printer issues—and that’s cool. A lot of techs despise printers, but I really do like working on them.

You tend to talk about what you like, and I talk about working on printers quite a bit. I don’t know how much Heather has heard me talk about setting up or fixing printers—a pretty dry subject for a lot of people.

But this comic represents the fact that Heather at at least some point has actually listened to me talk about what I do, and understood enough to clip out a comic that pretty darned accurately what I d0 (to the extent an alligator in a superhero costume can).

She might not get every little nuance of what I do, but it’s clear that she listens to me,  she understands what I do, and she understands me.

That’s pretty awesome.


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Aug 26 2013

Quotable: Adam Clarke

“Wherever bitterness is, there love is wanting. And where love is wanting in the married life, there is hell upon earth.” –Adam Clark in his commentary on Colossians 3:19

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Oct 3 2012

Quotable: Les Ollila

“If your wife comes home and the front end of the car is rearranged you have to decide, ‘Do I want a good car or a good marriage–you cannot have both at that point.”

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Jun 19 2012


CON-san-GWIN-i-TEE, adj., relating to or denoting people descended from the same ancestor. Consanguineous marriages are those in which the spouses are related to one another by blood, hence the root sanguine.

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Feb 14 2012

The St. Valentine’s Day Bitters

You can identify all of the people who wish to be in love but currently are not by their ‘I hate Valentine’s Day’ posts on Facebook, the poor blighters. If they were happily single or just ambivalent, they wouldn’t have anything to say. How many posts have you seen from me on the topic of National Peanut Butter Day (January 24)?

Yeah, I know some of you, both in love and out, see it as a scam cooked up by greeting card manufacturers, but I feel no more compelled to do something I don’t want by Valentine’s Day than I feel constrained from doing something I do want by that whole, ‘forsaking all others’ part of our marriage vows. Heather and I see it as simply an excuse to go buy something nice for each other, which we might normally do anyway. When you celebrate as many days as we do together (first date, first kiss, Hanukkah, Friday, 17 1/2th anniversary, National Peanut Butter Day), Valentine’s is just another opportunity to express being happily married.

It’s funny, and somehow very telling, that the Roman Catholic church has 25 patron saints of unhappy marriages, but only one saint of happy marriages (I’ll let you figure it out).

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Feb 21 2011

‘the Marital We’

My friend Kaleb, another logophile, coined this phrase. It describes the phenomena when a wife addresses her husband with a sentence beginning with, “We need to…,” and by this statement what she means is, “You need to….”

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Nov 15 2010

Replies to What Prime Number Changed Your Life?

In a previous post about a dream I had involving life-changing prime numbers, I asked (jokingly) what prime number changed your life. I actually received a reply:

“The number 17. First, I met my husband for the first time the day before I turned 17 and second, I was married on the 17th of December.”

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Sep 15 2010

Personal question

Last week when we were at the store picking up a couple of things, a clerk named Rachel had helped us. She is in high school. When Heather went back a couple days ago, Rachel was working again.

“Can I ask you a personal question?” she asked Heather as she rung he up.

“Suuurrrre,” said Heather, a little warily.

“Are you and your daughters’ father married?”

“Sixteen years. Why do you ask?”

“You just seem like such a cute couple.”


I don’t think it was a rude question. It’s more of a valid question, which I guess is what makes it so sad. The general perception of marriage is one of boredom, drudgery and misery until one can finally break free of the bum/loser/tyrant/shrew he or she was saddled with. Singleness and divorce are frequently perceived as full of freedom, choice, and opportunity.

Married people are largely to blame for this stereotype. Marriage is a commitment, and it is (at times) hard work. Unfortunately, there are only a handful of qualifications to get married, and those are relatively easy to meet. Getting married is cheap and easy, so it shouldn’t be any wonder that people who have no business promising to stay devoted no matter what do so. It’s no real wonder that in Roman Catholicism there are 25 patron saints of difficult marriages (there is only one patron saint of happy marriages: St. Valentine).

The baffling thing is that we in America, do not, as a rule, practice arranged marriage, so unhappiness with one’s spouse is largely a result of one’s choices.

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