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The Pits

August 17, 2015


If you’re a wife, please accept my apology in advance for this post; if you’re a husband, sit back and prepare to be avenged. I admit the victory I’m about to reveal is insignificant, petty, shows my narrow-mindedness, but when victories are so few its size doesn’t matter.


This has been a great summer for fruit, especially nectarines. As a rule, I haven’t enjoyed nectarines because when we buy them in the store they’re hard enough to kill if thrown at someone. I set them aside and by the time they spring to mind they’ve rotted in a bottom drawer of the fridge. But if you put them in a paper bag, the gas they emit is collected and they ripen perfectly in just a few days—an old trick, but one I learned only recently.


For the past few weeks, most evenings find Mrs. Chatterbox and me enjoying nectarines while shouting out wrong Jeopardy responses. At the conclusion of the program, we retreat to our bedroom for more TV watching. Unlike many who profess that they don’t watch TV, we watch it a lot.


Recently, I came downstairs in the morning, poured myself a cup of coffee and noticed my wife’s scrunched face on the couch while having her first cup of joe before readying herself for work.


I positioned myself on the other end of the couch and asked, “Something wrong?” a rhetorical question since my tweaked husband instincts assured me that something was indeed wrong.


She sipped her coffee, looking at me over the rim of her cup with wifely superiority. “I can’t believe it,” she said.


Against my better judgment, I asked, “What can’t you believe?”


She set down her cup and pointed in the direction of the coffee table, where last night I’d placed my nectarine pit. The look on her face said it all: I’m not your mother or your maid; it isn’t my job to pick up after you. You need to share full responsibility for maintaining this house so we don’t end up living in filth like pigs.


I could add to this, but suffice it to say a wife can squeeze a volume of criticism into a mere glance.


“I guess I forgot to put that pit in the garbage before going to bed last night.”


“I guess you did,” she said.


Here, dear readers, is the victory I mentioned earlier. Let me preface this by saying that my wife does the lion’s share of maintaining our home, with me tackling the few jobs that require muscle, but I admit my pathetic husbandly body swelled with a gumbo of testosterone and adrenaline, something that could have been served up by Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi. I smiled with smug satisfaction and pointed at the end table near her end of the couch, where a napkin could be plainly seen, on which rested her nectarine pit, exactly where she’d left it last night.


How she’d not seen it, realized before tearing me a new one that she’d be on thin ice for criticizing me for doing exactly what she’d done with that wifely glance, is beyond me. The shocked expression on her face was priceless.


Pathetic I know, but honesty requires that I report this put me in an outrageously good mood that morning, until she said, “A considerate husband would have taken the initiative to put both pits in the garbage last night.”


Victories can be brief.  





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It must be the summer heat. In most cases Mrs. Chatterbox is rarely, if ever, wrong. Face it mon ami, she holds and controls the fort and the 'prized' family jewels.
By: Daniel LaFrance on August 17, 2015
They always have a good comeback, don't they?
By: Alex J. Cavanaugh on August 17, 2015
I too enjoy nectarines. Thank you for sharing the brown bag trick. The ones I've been buying from the story go from hard to wrinkly seemingly in a 24-hour period. The brown bag thing may be just what I need.
By: Michael Offutt on August 17, 2015
You are treading on thin ice my friend. Also regarding, "For the past few weeks, most evenings find Mrs. Chatterbox and me enjoying nectarines while shouting out wrong Jeopardy responses." Studies have shown eating nectarines will make you stupid!
By: cranky on August 17, 2015
Have you ever asked yourself the question, "Shall I eat a peach?"
By: fishducky on August 17, 2015
A great post and I agree that we males have to take any victory we can no matter how short lived. And it is like a magical gift that women can squeeze so many unsaid words into a glance.............
By: John on August 17, 2015
We've gotta take our victories where we can get them. However, might I point out that it wouldn't be in your best interest to gloat about it too much. :)
By: Susan Swiderski on August 17, 2015
By: The Bug on August 17, 2015
oh hahah I am laughing out loud....score two for Mrs C.! We women do have the "look" down to a fine art. Have great week!
By: Kathe W. on August 17, 2015
Hey, a victory is a victory, regardless how short-lived. Enjoy! :)
By: Scott Park on August 17, 2015
I wish the arguments in our house were as controlled as this. :D Fun post!
By: LL Cool Joe on August 17, 2015
Ah--it was so short lived but you take what you can. You have to admit though that she had a great come back.
By: Akansas Patti on August 17, 2015
Judge not, lest ye be judged! No, don't quote that to your wife, she'll give you the stink-eye again.
By: mimi on August 17, 2015
Such victories are brief, the epitome of passing, however the taste of nectarines (and peaches) are as Pat Summerall used to say, "The taste of Summer" and a lifelong joy.
By: Tom Cochrun on August 17, 2015
I would forgive a forgotten nectarine pit (and probably just pick it up and put it in the compost bucket). What I couldn't deal with was my ex - he was just plain sloppy. I remember once that I tried so hard to not say anything...but finally it came out: "Why have your dirty socks been sitting on the window sill for three weeks?" My ex just looked at me, looked at the socks, shrugged his shoulders, and joked, "I don't know - dry cleaning?"
By: Pixel Peeper on August 17, 2015
Some people just have to be over the moon about little things and then they don't get even. They have crush their opponent.
By: red on August 17, 2015
Even a brief pyrrhic victory is better than no victory at all!
By: Tom Sightings on August 17, 2015
What about the Mackinaw peaches??? As a woman who has picked a banana peel out of the side cushion of a La-Z-Boy, and dumped toenails out of a decorative candle...I cannot revel in your victory.
By: Val on August 17, 2015
Ye-OUCH! I would say I am on your side on this one... eep. Cat
By: Cat on August 17, 2015
Ah, the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat.
By: Catalyst on August 17, 2015
Ouch! Yest petty victories do get us going in the morning.
By: Tabor on August 17, 2015
By: Michael Manning on August 18, 2015
My husband won't take two steps to the trash can in the kitchen. Two freaking steps. He leaves all trash he generates in the kitchen on the counter. Two freaking steps.
By: Ellen Abbott on August 18, 2015
I basked in your brief glory.
By: Rick Watson on August 19, 2015
Gosh I hate it when a peach gets the better of us but I like her comeback:)
By: Birgit on August 19, 2015

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