Saturday, June 23, 2012

Think you wanna marry a writer? READ THIS FIRST!


Due to a major change in our household, this post is dedicated to my husband. What upheaval –er –major change, you ask? Grab your favorite beverage and pull up a chair. I’ll give you a wee bit of back story before we get to the meat of today’s subject.

Hubby and I have been married thirty-three years. One thing I can honestly say about this particular chunk of my life is there’s never been a dull moment. Twenty-three of those thirty-three years, hubby worked twelve hour shifts that cycled back and forth between day shift and nights. His schedule only allowed two weekends off a month. The other breaks always fell during the week –while I was away at MY full time day job. Are you picking up on the trend here? Yep. You got it. Hubby and I didn’t occupy the house at the same time very much. But due to the vast differences in our personalities and idiosyncrasies, it worked. In fact, it worked DAMN WELL.

Last month, hubby retired from that job and took another position in an adjacent plant. Now his schedule is straight days. Home every night. Every freakin’ weekend off. Just. Like. Mine. *sigh*

Don’t get me wrong! I love my husband but I’m here to attest there is such a thing as too much togetherness.  ESPECIALLY if one of you happens to be a writer. An unable to manage her time well writer who becomes surlier than a sore-tailed bear when she doesn’t get any writing accomplished.

So, as I said, this post is dedicated to my husband. It’s a compilation of his warnings to those who might be toying with the idea of taking a writer as a mate.

  1.      Learn how to cook. If you can’t cook, you better know the hours of operation to any nearby restaurants because if your writer is connected to that laptop, it’s the only way you’re gonna eat.
  2.      Put the trash can in an enclosed area so all the stuff can be strategically stacked as high as it’ll need to go or you’re gonna have to take it out once a day instead of once a week.
  3.      When your writer’s eyes get all squinchy at you over the top of their laptop screen, back out of the room. Slowly. Without taking your eyes off your writer in case they make any sudden moves.
  4.      When the dog is sitting at the front door, yipping to go outside and water the trees and your writer says, “What’s that dog want now?” That is code for: will you PLEASE get your ass up out of that recliner and walk him? Now?
  5.      Learn to follow along behind the writer wherever they go, picking up after them, and keeping track of where they’ve left glasses, keys, notes, ink pens, yadda yadda yadda. When they’re in the middle of a story, they can’t even remember their own names.
  6.      Your house won’t get or remain spotless unless you hire somebody or do it yourself.
  7.      IF your writer emerges from their world long enough to clean pig sty house under the impending doom of company coming, prepare for laser eyes mentioned in Warning Number 3.
  8.      Be thankful laser eyes are not fully armed and equipped with death ray option. Although, as writers evolve, this could be a distinct hazard in the future.
I’m sure hubby has more warnings but the above are the only ones he felt comfortable sharing. I tried to pry a few more out of him and got this reply, “I haven’t lived this long by being stupid.” 

Hmm…good advice?


36 comments:

  1. I had to read this lol. My poor husband. Now, because I'm full time writing and editing at home now, he thought (okay I told him!) we would be living in a clean house with wonderful meals. Because I adore cooking, the food is pretty good, but the house? Ugh. He truly doesn't understand where my days fly to...neither do I. But I met your husband last year at RT and not only is he adorable, but so supportive! I guess that's what they have to be to survive us. We're very lucky!

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    1. You're absolutely right, Kate! We're both very lucky. :-)

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  2. That's kool advice. I'm the writer of the household, hubby is the artist. XD

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    1. A writer and an artist in the same household? How neat is that? :-)

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  3. Oh- my hubby may have a few to add to this list... He swears I'm addicted to my laptop. Some days I thought he was looking at me, but now I'm sure he's stealth-searching for MY electrical cord!

    One thing I will add to your list for hubbies everywhere: When your writer's "in the zone" as mine deems it- DO NOT ask them to spell a word for you! It's like talking numbers to someone who's trying to remember measurements to cut before they lose it and have to begin again!!!

    This is NOT the way to gently drag your writer out of said zone! Remember the fully armed death ray threat? Yeah, that's right.

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    1. LOL! Yep, Calisa. That one definitely needs to go on the list too. ;-)

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  4. Oh, Maeve, I read your husband's words to Calvin from my laptop in a restaurant where we've gone for lunch because...well...we're both writing and neither wants to cook. Your post carried a double whammy for us since we're both writers. We both know the need for solitude so we can enjoy our characters. We both know storylines can wake us after two hours sleep and not allow us to return to slumberland. So we're understanding of the other as one of us crawls out of bed to power up the computer. He's more polite with my interruptions than I am his. But I'm working on it. He's so supportive of my writing that I'm often humbled.

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    1. We're very lucky. Aren't we, Vonnie? We'd never make it without the support of our sweeties. Give Calvin a hug for me! :-)

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  5. I am laughing so hard I could hardly read all of the above posts. Maeve you are terrific and I am sure if your hubby should survive the beginning months of his retirement, he will learn to appreciate you and his new job all the more. My hubby ran a crew for the electric company for years. When he retired after 33 years he all of a sudden decided to run me - didn't happen. He is still alive after 11 years of retirement - aw that closeness thingy thing - and we've actually grown closer the past year or so. Of course, I've only had my writing contract since December and the pressures haven't hit full time yet. It is definitely a new challenge, but I am amazed at how supportive is is now and how proud. I am thinking it and he is worth it. :)

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    1. *big grin* They're most definitely worth it, Paisley. I may end up giving you a shout for advice on either how NOT to kill him or an opinion on the best place to hide a body. ;-)

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  6. ahahaha. Oh my goodness. This is fabulous, Maeve. I had a good long laugh as I recognized myself in quite a lot of these (okay, almost every single one). Our poor hubbies. The things they put up with. Great post, Maeve. Thanks for the giggle.

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    1. Hubby's finding a bit of solace in all the comments. Now he knows he's not alone. Thanks Joanne! :-)

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  7. Har-har-har. This is good, Maeve. As to a writer and an artist living in the same house--yep--hubby and me. The nest emptied quickly. I think the offspring referred to it as running for their lives. They probably still do.

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    1. *Snicker* Those offspring will someday realize just how wonderfully they had it. I bet they were never bored! :-)

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  8. Great post - and wonderful advice! Thank goodness my hubby is an amazing cook so my kids haven't starved. If I'm in the middle of writing a chapter, and he's caught at work...the kids have been known to eat popcorn for dinner. Corn is good, right? :)

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    1. Popcorn is definitely one of MY favorite food groups! And it does require heat for preparation so THAT counts as a home-cooked meal! ;-)

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  9. Oh! Thats so funny Rebecca! I wonder if my kids would like popcorn for dinner tonight....? :)

    GREAT post Maeve and I absolutely bow down to your restraint in not doing something physically painful to your hubby - those poor men! They really do put up with a lot don't they? :)

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    1. I'm afraid they do, LaVerne! But we're worth it now aren't we? *snicker*

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  10. Maeve, that was definitely an entertaining post.

    Our poor husbands. Mine knows when I'm in the zone because as soon as he hears the infamous "Whhaaat????" come out of my mouth between ground teeth, he backs away slowly.

    Then of course I get the ever so sarcastic, "Excuse me when you're in the middle of your writing and I'm asking what you want for dinner."

    Guilt sets in, I answer. Feel bad for a second or two and then get back to it. I think sometimes our husbands feel neglected. Mine even came up to me once and said, "Gheez, what do I have to do to get your attention? Wear a kilt?"

    He wasn't pleased when I replied, "You could give it a try." I truly think writers only understand other writers. Who needs a 12-step program when we have our chapters? We're our own support group.

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    1. You're absolutely right, Victoria! I'd be lost without the support of my writerly peeps. Let me know when your hubby finally caves and dons that kilt. After all, look how handsome his son looks wearin' the colors! ;-)

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  11. Thanks for the laugh, Maeve. My guys have come to be wary of the laser look, especially when it is accompanied by the 'vortex growl'. Sucking mom out of the vortex when there is no blood or broken bones involved is a cardinal sin on the testosterone ranch.

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    1. Ah yes...I'm quite familiar with the "vortex growl". I hope the wee beasties are wise enough to heed your generous warning. ;-)

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  12. What a delightful post. I had to laugh although I saw the underlying truth in hubby's warnings.
    I wish you all the best.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Sarah! :-)

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  13. He is SOOOO right! lol

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    1. *big grin* I'm afraid he is... :-)

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  14. I had to laugh since much of this happens in our house. Luckily my hubby is a great cook and likes to feed me.

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    1. A great cook is a valuable asset, Shelley! Enticing smells floating out of the kitchen are very good for the muse. ;-)

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  15. OmyG*d! This is my life! My hubby joked that it was fortunate a friend flew in from New England to visit...the house got cleaned! I had not realized the amount of dust that had piled up. Married 36 years, and I hope hubby keeps working 40 hours elsewhere so I can keep writing at home...alone.

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    1. LOL! I'm glad to learn I'm not alone, Nancy. Yesterday, my youngest kept her father entertained by taking him to buy fireworks for the 4th. The house was BLISSFULLY quiet! ;-)

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  16. great post, and hysterical comments! We were just talking yesterday about how the house got cleaned because my MIL came for a visit. The refrigerator even had FOOD in it, and not chinese deilvery containers, lol

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    1. LOL! Thanks Traci. By the way, if anyone asks about the Chinese delivery containers, you could always say you're not only supporting the economy but you're ALSO recycling! ;-)

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  17. Married 31 years. When my husband is at home, he encourages me to write. THEN, he'll play a video game with loud pinging noises, watch loud car crash videos on his computer, have to read me a funny line from the book he's reading, tell me about something that happened at his job, etc... And the man still lives. It's a miracle!

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  18. You sound like a woman with AMAZING restraint, Sandra! I bow to your patience. :-)

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  19. I emailed this post to my husband. He thinks he's the only husband who's suffering.

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    1. LOL! He's definitely not alone, Cara. :-)

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