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He Said, She Said: Cleaning The Mess

You know all those stupid and/or funny little moments in a marriage that make you shake your head and wonder if you’re losing your mind? We have lots of those around here in The Semi-Domesticated House. I’m going to share some of them so you can giggle at the sheer ridiculousness that is marriage. Welcome to the He Said, She Said: True Stories series.

Setting the Scene: One night last week around 1am as Matt and I were getting ready to go to bed. I was already upstairs and heard some naughty words coming from the kitchen. I did not investigate because I did not want to know. The following took place when Matt arrived in the bedroom.

He Said: I spilled a whole cup of the kids juice down the back of the fridge shelf.

She Said: Did you clean it up?

He Said: I’ll do it tomorrow.

She Said: So basically that means I will get to do it tomorrow because there’s no way you will do it before you go to work.

He Said: I’ll do it when I get home tomorrow night.

She Said: No, don’t worry. I’ll dismantle the whole fridge and clean it while cursing your name and plotting to poison your dinner.

He Said: Can’t we just buy a new fridge?

She Said: No, it’s ok. I will clean it. Then I’ll poison your dinner, you will have a raging case of the shits and all will be right with my world again.

The fridge was sparkling clean when I got up the next morning.

The End.


It all started with the movie Twilight. I have anxiously waited for the movie to be released on DVD. I didn’t get to see it in the theater because I happen to have a child who would lose his shit if I even attempted to leave home without him. Lose. His. Shit. For Real. S’rsly.
I was especially excited to see that the movie would be released on a Saturday. A Saturday that Matt had to work, of course. This meant that instead of making a quick sojourn to Target while Maia was in preschool and I only had Mase to deal with, I had to drag all 4 of my kids out to Target. I could have waited until after Matt got home from work but seriously, with my luck lately the movie would be sold out and I’d be forced to go postal on some poor unsuspecting worker. I tried to get Matt to call in sick to work but he refused. Damn him. I even told him that I had ‘The Fever‘ which technically can be construed as a real life illness. He disagreed. I was forced to pull out ‘The Look‘ but I had not yet had my coffee so it was a weak attempt. Not something I’m proud to admit but there you have it. Matt ran like a schoolgirl headed off to work and left me home with The Semi-Domesticated Children.
I finally got them all ready to go out. I bribed The Semi-Domesticated Children to behave by promising to buy them those disgusting baby bottle lollipop things that they seem to love so much. I normally refuse to buy them because it never fails that the sugar in the bottle ends up spilled all over my floor and it just leads to more work for me. Who makes those stupid baby bottle lollipops anyway? I’m going to write them a letter. Anyhoo, moving on…We got to Target and I gave them all ‘The Talk‘ before we went inside. You moms all know which talk I speak of. The one that starts with ‘So help me, if you dare…’ and ends with ‘don’t try me, I will leave you here’. My children tend to tune me out so I have to throw in some incentives to encourage them to behave. By incentives, I mean down right threats. I threatened to take their Nintendo DS games and send them to the little children who don’t have any games. You should have heard the gasps of horror. Point made. Don’t judge me.

We walked directly to the movie aisle where Target had obviously not anticipated the demand for this movie. S’rsly. I could see the display. There were a couple of regular DVD’s left but only one blu-ray DVD. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a lady dressed in pajamas heading straight for the display. I just knew she was going to grab the last blu-ray. That knowledge gave me a burst of speed as I shot down the aisle, dragging small children behind the cart. Most of them were mine. I reached the display only seconds before she did. Her gnarly hand fell on the blu-ray DVD right after I claimed it. Surely she was not going to try and grab it out of my hand. The look in her eyes told me that Hell yes, she was going to try it. I did what any self respecting Edward fan would do. I stared that bitch down. Steely eyed and dead serious. She gave an experimental little tug, presumably just to see if I was up to the challenge. She got her answer in a hurry as I yanked the DVD back towards me, almost jerking the pajama clad bitch off her feet. She hissed at me. Oh yes she did. I felt compelled to give her a warning before I ripped her limb from limb. I leaned in close, so The Semi-Domesticated Children wouldn’t hear.
‘I am fully prepared to gnaw your arm off if you don’t let go.’
She stared at me for a moment, trying to gauge my insanity level of instability. Whatever she saw made her realize that I was not kidding. Not even a little bit. I left with the last Blu-ray DVD and 3 baby bottle lollipops. I could barely contain myself, waiting for Matt to come home. He had been given the
privilege of spending the afternoon with his children so Mommy could get her Edward fix. I was giddy with anticipation. I didn’t even yell when I had to clean up spilled Baby Bottle lollipop sugar powder off the floor, the table and both couches. I popped the movie into the Blu-ray player, just to get it ready. The player wouldn’t read the disc. I tried it again, sure it must be an error because the universe surely couldn’t be that unkind. It just couldn’t. I waited while it loaded….and waited….and waited. Again, it said Unknown Disc. I couldn’t believe it.

By the time Matt arrived home from work I had worked myself up into quite a temper. The first thing out of my mouth when he peeked his head around the living room wall was not pretty, I won’t lie. Matt had the presence of mind to try out a few other Blu-ray movies to see if it was just Twilight that was not working. Of course, none of them worked. I swear I heard fate laughing at me. I told Matt and he muttered something about Cybil under his breath. I’ll show him Cybil. If he thinks Buffy, my inner diva, is bad, just wait until he meets Vivi, my inner bitch. Not to be confused with Prudence, my cynical inner bitch. I think they might be cousins though. Matt suggested that we go purchase a new Blu-ray player for his own protection out of the goodness of his heart. We loaded the cranky and whiny cheerful children into the van again and headed off to Best Buy. We didn’t even make it 15 feet into the store before Matt was overcome with Electronics Envy. For those of you unfamiliar with this affliction, Electronics Envy is typically caused when a man sees another man buying mac-daddy electronics. The only cure is for said man to also purchase mac-daddy electronics, preferably ones that he most definitely does not need. Electronics Envy leads to Impulse Purchases and results in Morning-After Regret. Women, in our world this is called dating. What started out as a quick trip to purchase a blu-ray player ended in Matt bringing home a brand new 47″ plasma television. He drooled over it, he stroked it, then he named it. You know how it goes, once they name it- it’s coming home with you. It’s a fact. Applies to kittens, puppies and plasma televisions. Luckily the one he fell in lust with was an outlet item but not an off brand because as Matt informed me, ‘Just because there is a name on it does not mean it’s a name brand’. Sigh….He bought the 47″ LG 1080 plasma TV. I have no idea what any of that means, all I know is that it’s a big ass TV that clearly shows every pimple, blemish and cellulite dimple on all those airbrushed chicks that normally look perfect. Which incidentally means we will never be watching home movies on this baby. Who needs that kind of trauma?

Matt gleefully unloaded the new TV as soon as we came home. Our old TV was only 37″ and fit nicely in the corner of the family room on a fabulous TV stand that I love. A TV stand that is made to hold a TV up to 42″. Anyone seeing the issue here? I’ll give the rest of you a moment….

Matt was perplexed. What to do, what to do. I saw a shopping trip in our immediate future. To Ikea. I’ve been dying to go to the new Ikea that they just built in my city since it opened a couple of months ago but had not yet been able to convince Matt that we needed to go. Now I had a reason. An indisputable reason. Sweet victory. Once again, we loaded up the now bitching and arguing children and off to Ikea we went. I totally bribed the older 3 with the chance to play in the Ikea kids area if they would just fortheloveofmysanity, please shut up in the car. Have you been to an Ikea? Have you seen the kids play area? My kids were in awe. S’rsly. Their little mouths were hanging open. So was mine. The little kids in the line in front of us didn’t want to leave their parents. They cried, they whined, they begged, they promised to behave. My kids? Ran like the hounds of hell were nipping at their heels towards the bouncy ball pit. They didn’t look back, didn’t wave, didn’t even remember that we were their parents. My work here is done. Ma and I made our escattpe, giggling like teenagers and reveling in our new found freedom. We toured the upstairs showroom first, but of course we didn’t notice the arrows directing traffic so we spent 20 minutes going the wrong way, fighting our way through a sea of people. Some of which desperately needed a shower. And some deodorant. For Real.
We finally located the area that held the TV stands. All 8 million of them. Sweet Jesus. Matt is not known for being able to make quick decisions, with the obvious exception of plasma televisions. He was dazed and confused by the selections, which left me to make the decision pretty much on my own which is how it should be anyway.  I chose the one I wanted. A gorgeous dark wood with glass doors and shelves and enough storage room to hold all our shit. Of course, then I had to pick out some media boxes to store the DVD’s so they wouldn’t be visible through the glass doors because really I need the organization. It’s a sickness. Not to mention the boxes make the unit aesthetically appealing, which is necessary despite what Matt says. We went to pay for our purchases and of course, Matt’s credit card declined. The next 15 minutes were spent with Matt giving some snot nosed little shit at Amex his life history. Stupid fraud department. They declined his card because he was making purchases ‘out of the norm’ for his card history. Matt was not pleased. Naughty words were said. Finally the snot nosed little shit released his card so we could continue on our way. While Matt loaded up our purchases, I went to retrieve our children. They did not want to come. One of them actually told the worker that I was not his mom. Little shit. The worker had to carry Maia out kicking and screaming. Maia was kicking and screaming, not the worker. Although, I’d totally understand if the worker was kicking and screaming. All those kids, in one area….the mere thought makes me twitch. They had so much fun, they whined the whole way to the van. I’ve made an executive decision. Ikea will be my summer camp. I can drop off 3 of them for up to 2 hours at a time as long as I don’t leave the store. With a cafe, comfortable seating and wireless internet, who needs to leave? Plus, it’s all free. Hell yeah, summer camp at Ikea. Who’s with me?
We brought our purchases home and Matt set out putting it all together. More naughty words were said. Lot’s more. It took him around 2 hours to put it together, mostly because The Semi-Domesticated Children kept disappearing with his tools. Incidentally, a screwdriver will clog up a toilet. Just an FYI. Finally, success. The TV stand was put together and in place and Matt carefully placed the new television on top. I think I heard angels singing. The light of God shined down upon thee. Or it could have been the overhead lighting, but whatever. Matt anxiously turned on the television, eager to watch his beloved Duke Blue Devils in the NCAA game. The satellite didn’t work. All we saw was snow. More naughty words were said. Matt hurried upstairs to watch the game on the little television in our bedroom while I spent half a damn hour on the phone with Dish Net-don’t-work. All their little tips and tricks, well they didn’t work. I had to schedule a technician to come out the next day to fix it. Sigh…

As I sat admiring the new television stand in all it’s glory, I realized that what would make the whole room complete is a new dark wood dining set to match. That would be divine. Matt was not so sure. Of course, he was more concerned with his wallet than the overall appearance of our home. He’s cheap like that. I had to pull out the big guns. I whipped out the receipt for his gigantic 47″ plasma television aka his new number one love in life and just happened to read aloud the Television Return Policy. You can see where this is headed, can’t you?

Bright and early the next morning, off we went to buy the most gorgeous dark wood dining room set that I happened to find staring out at me from one of the ads in the Sunday paper. It was as if Fate was on my side, for once. It was on sale, Matt’s very favorite four letter word. He was still not convinced, he didn’t want to spend the money. He wanted to think about it. I warned him that this particular store only has limited quantities in stock and they sell out fast. He refused to budge. And once the satellite fixer dude showed up and worked his magic, Matt was lost in the world of the NCAA for the remainder of the day. I broached the subject a few more times and he was still ‘thinking‘. I informed him that nothing good could come from him spending that much time thinking, his brain might overheat. In fact, I’m pretty sure I saw smoke coming out of his ears at one point. He went to bed with an ultimatum hanging over his head that night. Buy me the dining room set or else. I didn’t elaborate on what the ‘else‘ might be. We’ve been married long enough that his imagination can conjure up far worse consequences than I could ever describe to him.

The next morning before he headed off to work, he agreed that we could go get the dining room set that evening when he came home from work. It might have been the nightmares that his subconscious inflicted upon him in the dark of night or it could also have been the threats and warnings that I whispered in his ear while he slept. Either way, I was getting that dining room set and the reasons why were just details. As soon as he got home, we loaded up four bitching children into the van and headed for the store, which was only about 10 minutes from our house. They were sold out. They’d had 15 sets in stock the day before but sold them all before closing thanks to the advertisement in the Sunday paper. The nearest store with a set in stock was 45 minutes away. They were kind enough to put it on hold for us, seeing as it was the very last set. Matt spent 15 minutes bitching about having to drive all over creation for this dining set. His rant was abruptly cut off when I reminded him sharply that if he’d agreed to go get it the day before, we could be at home enjoying it right now instead of driving to the other end of the damn city to buy it. He promptly shut the hell up.

It was dark when we finally got home. Matt set about putting it together while I shoved The Semi-Domesticated Children into the bath and then the bed. It took him about an hour to put it all together and it was so worth all the hassle. Gorgeous. I big pink puffy heart it. As Matt tallied up all the receipts from the weekend shopping extravaganza, he was muttering something about that ‘damn Edward vampire groupie shit‘. When he was done adding it all up he had a heart attack informed me that Twilight better be the best movie ever made because it totally ruined his weekend.

I consider it $2200 well spent. Twilight was totally worth it.


I sent Matt to the grocery store last night to buy 5 things. 5, count them FIVE, things. He had a list. A very specific list. This should not have been difficult. It should have taken him 10 minutes, tops. What started as a treasure hunt quickly deteriorated into a Seek-and-Destroy mission. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that he called home 7 times in order to purchase those 5 items.

SEVEN times. For Real.

I was in the middle of bath, book, bed with the kids. I had to keep answering the phone. The kids were not pleased. They kept sighing and rolling their eyes just like their mother.

Phone Call #1:

Matt: They don’t have the animal crackers in the red bag. They’re in a white bag.
Delia: Are they the same thing that usually comes in the red bag?
Matt: Yes
Delia: Then buy the white bag.

The white bag now sports a great big ole yellow sticker on it that says ‘Same great taste, different package’. S’rsly. For Real.
Phone Call #2:

Matt: I can’t find the coffee creamer.
Delia: Are you kidding me? It’s in the dairy section, right next to the milk. You know, that cold area on the side of the store.
Matt: I’ll go look again.
Delia: You do that.

He found it. $10 says he asked some poor worker who had the misfortune of asking Mr.McHunky if he needed help.
Phone Call #3:

Matt: Do you want the hard taco kit or the soft taco kit? Does it come with refried beans or do I have to buy them separately?
Delia: What kind of tacos do we normally eat?
Matt: The hard shell ones.
Delia: Then what do you think you should buy? And yes, you need to buy the refried beans separately.
Matt: Okay.

I couldn’t make these up if I tried.
Phone Call #4:

Matt: Where do I find the refried beans?
Delia: Directly underneath the Taco kit, on the left, bottom shelf.

Can you guess what the next phone call was about?
Phone Call #5:

Matt: Do you want Fat Free or Regular Refried beans?
Delia: Fat Free.

For Real.
Phone Call #6:

Matt: Should I get the already shredded lettuce in the bag or the whole head of lettuce?
Delia: Are you going to shred the lettuce for the tacos?
Matt: I’ll get the bag.
Delia: Alrighty then.

Phone Call #7:

Matt: Iceberg or Romaine?
Matt: Ok. No need to get testy.
Delia: If you call me again, I will murder you in your sleep. I swear it.

He bought the iceberg.

I don’t understand. It should not be that hard. I think he fakes being confused so I won’t send him back to the grocery store. I’ve got his number. Never going to happen, my poor delusional hubby.

Never. Going. To. Happen.

If he tries my patience like that again, I will be sending him to The Walmart with a list of feminine products to purchase. Oh yes I will. Then I will turn my phone off and leave him in the very pit of hell in the feminine product aisle.

It’s genius. An Evil Genius but Genius nonetheless. Let’s not split hairs.

The Lesson Matt Had To Learn

Awhile back, I had a comment that addressed the fact that Matt had tossed a credit card at me on his way out the door. The commenter was surprised that I didn’t have my own credit card. I actually do have my own, it was more of a symbolic credit card toss- sort of like throwing in the towel or waving the white flag. But it did make me reflect on marriage and money and the perceptions of a stay home mom.

Back when I worked full time, I had my own paycheck coming into the house every month. We only had one joint checking and savings account. We spent money liberally without checking with each other, we both knew that there was plenty of money in the account to cover our purchases. We didn’t fight about money, we didn’t have his and hers accounts. It was our money. When I decided to become a stay home mom, things changed. All of a sudden, our income was cut significantly. It became imperative to make and stick to a budget. Let’s just say, that’s not my strong point. Matt is the anal retentive, Excel spreadsheet using, budget maker. It took a lot of trials and tribulations to get to the point we are at now with our finances. And by trials and tribulations- what I really mean is fighting, screeching, yelling, hair pulling, and no sex having. I don’t do change very well. One of the biggest issues for me was feeling like I had to ask for money, or ask for permission to buy something. I am not a 10 year old. I am his wife, not his child. My inner diva, Buffy, just wouldn’t allow me to roll over and let Matt control the money and dictate my spending. Have you ever seen a grown woman bitch slap herself? It’s not pretty. For about a year after I left my job I let the resentment grow and build up. It was just festering under the surface waiting to blow. One day- BOOM. Mount Buffy’s-a-Bitch blew and the resentment overflowed like hot, molten lava. Poor Matt was right in the path with no escape. We had the mother of all fights. We have had relatively few real fights in our almost 13 years of marriage. We learned a long time ago that picking our battles is a lot more preferable than fighting over every single thing. We formed a somewhat tentative peace treaty after the big explosion. But I still felt like I had to ask for permission to buy things and to make it worse, Matt and I had very different ideas of a want vs a need. Yet we continued to live in relative harmony, occasionally arguing about money and bills that I forgot to pay on time. We went on this way for a couple of years. Then it happened.

The Incident.

It started out as a seemingly normal morning. Until I mentioned that I had found this great little dress for an upcoming wedding we were attending. It was ridiculously expensive, even on sale, but I loved it. I had planned to go back to buy it later that day. Matt said no. Oh yes he did. He actually forbid me to buy the dress. Forbid me. I know, I couldn’t believe it either. It was time for drastic measures. I did what any self respecting Southern woman would do. I called my mama. She gave me some sage advice that made me spring into action. The following days in the Semi-Domesticated House were part of a lesson that Matt just had to learn. It had to be done. No way around it. You know all those little things that women do to make life easier for their husbands? All the thankless little jobs that he doesn’t really notice? I stopped doing them. Then I watched with glee as he wandered around confused for days. Poor thing. It was as if someone moved his food dish.

I did the laundry, minus his clothes. I didn’t match up his suits, shirts and ties for him when I put away the laundry because they were all still dirty. I didn’t take his suits to the dry cleaners or pick up the already cleaned ones. I didn’t cook dinner. I didn’t make him up a separate container of leftovers to take for lunch the next day. I didn’t pick up all the toys lying around the house before he got home. I didn’t have the kids fed, bathed, changed and ready for bed when he came home. I didn’t check the voice mail and write down his messages for him. I didn’t remind him to sign his mother’s birthday card because I didn’t buy one like I normally do. I didn’t replace the toilet paper when it ran out in his preferred bathroom. I didn’t run interference when the neighbor asked for Matt’s help moving that weekend. I didn’t set the DVR to record his favorite basketball team’s game.

By the end of the week he was rumpled with no clean dress shirts or suits, wearing mismatching outfits, eating PB&J sandwiches for lunch, nursing a broken big toe from tripping on a toy, exhausted from wrestling the kids in their nighttime routine. He missed out on a great guy’s trip because he didn’t check his messages, he had to apologize four million times to his offended mother and he got stranded high and dry in the bathroom with no TP. That weekend he wondered where it all went wrong as he helped the neighbor move heavy furniture down two flights of stairs, only to come home and realize that he missed the game that I neglected to DVR for him.

The Lesson?

Just because I don’t work outside the house does not mean that I am not contributing to the household.

Lesson Learned.

The End.


Friday is not starting out so good in our house.  I am sick, complete with fever, chills and bitchiness. I have the Bitch Flu. Watch out, it’s contagious.

I tossed and turned all night, couldn’t get comfortable, couldn’t breathe through one side of my nose….what is up with that anyway? There’s nothing more annoying than trying to sleep with air whistling through the clogged nostril. Pretty soon, I’m trying to whistle out a little tune and just when I almost have it down, that nostril clears and the other one clogs. I digress….

Static Baby, appropriately nicknamed for the fabulously fun Static Cling-On stage that he is going through right now, is cutting teeth. Stupid teeth. Those better be some gorgeous pearly white’s that require no maintenance on my part. I’m expecting self cleaning, self polishing and self repairing for all the trouble they have caused in this house recently. Static Baby was awake 4 times last night, wanting to nurse. I nursed, I Orajel’d and I Tylenol’d him. Then I rocked, I swayed, I sang. Soon that turned into begging and pleading. Just as I was about to bring out the big guns, drinking and hiding, Matt offered to take over for a little while. Thanx evah so much for yoor generous offah sir, which conveniently came right around 6am. Where the hell was he for the past 5 hours? Oh yeah, that’s right…asleep.

I got 43 minutes of sleep before I had to get back up to get the others ready for school. 43 minutes was not nearly enough. Now not only do I have The Bitch Flu, I also am sleep deprived. Buckle your seat belt, this could get ugly. When I finally stumbled downstairs, bleary eyed and in need of caffeine, Matt was all a’fluster. There was no coffee made. This is Matt’s job in the morning. He makes the coffee. He’s made the coffee every single morning since the day we got married. Mainly cuz he hates the way I make coffee. But that’s beside the point. I’m still a little fuzzy on the sequence of events but from what I can piece together it all went awry when Cam made pee pee on the bathroom floor beside the toilet instead of in it. Matt was just starting to make the coffee when he heard the tell tale ‘uh oh’ that sends every parent a runnin‘. He encountered a mini version of The Bathroom of Doom. He had to hustle to clean it up before the pee river ran underneath Stella and Frank. He cleaned it up and went back to making the coffee. He was quickly interrupted by Ty yelling that the other toilet was clogged. I do not understand how an 8 year old boy can manage to clog up a toilet every single time he has to go number two, or drop the kids off at the pool as Matt likes to say. S’rsly. What does this kid eat that makes the toilet say ‘hell no’ every single time?! That cannot be normal. Matt strongly encouraged him to start saving the “kids” to drop off at the pool at school from now on. Anyhoo, when Ty yelled about the toilet clog, Matt got startled and dropped the bag of coffee. All over the floor. All of it. On the floor.

This was about the time that I stumbled down the stairs. First thing I saw was the coffee all over the floor. My coffee. I stopped. I gasped. I screeched. ‘My precious.’

Matt was totally alarmed at the amount of Gollum in my tone. Rightfully so.

All of a sudden, he had to rush off to work in a great hurry. Damn him. I stared longingly at the coffee maker for a moment. Then I got down on my hands and knees and scooped up the spilled coffee. Oh yes I did. I am not ashamed. As I stood savoring the smell of the brewing coffee, I remembered. The toilet. The clogged toilet. Matt left me with a clogged toilet. 20 minutes, 100 plunges and 5000 naughty words later, the toilet is still clogged and the plunger is broken.

Matt will pay for this.

He. will. pay.