The Odd Couple


In the new movie Funny People, Adam Sandler is at a friend’s house for Thanksgiving when he walks out on the patio and interrupts an intense argument between buddies.

Now it’s starting to feel like Thanksgiving,” he quips.

That feeling — of being surrounded by people who alternately bring you the greatest joy and most exacerbating irritation — is known universally as, well, family.

I mention this because one of my favorite people in the whole wide world — my husband — can drive me batty.

During the first couple of weeks of marriage, I was rushing around, readying for work, when I placed my toothbrush and toothpaste on the sink counter. I walked away to fetch an old tshirt to throw over my blouse. When I returned, the toothpaste and toothbrush had been neatly placed back into the medicine cabinet. Before. I. Even. Used. It.

Given that one of my degrees is in literature, the ominous soundtracks of foreshadowing should of instantly cued in my ears. But those pesky lovestruck stars twirling around my head distracted me. Sigh.

There were other signs. His clothes, arranged by type, then by color, were perfectly aligned in the closet. When we folded laundry, his pile resembled a giant stack of neatly placed dominos to my Leaning Tower of Pisa. His office desk was stark, save for a few key items, lovingly placed at 90-degree angles. He typed iteneraries for our out-of-town guests.

Just for the record, I am no Oscar Madison. I keep my house and work areas neat and tidy, but I am not — how do you say it? — a detail person.

As a result, I often gloss over the little things, like leaving those tiny plastic tags on my clothes. For years. And so what if my entire family is deathly afraid of the abyss that is my purse? I also have self-diagnosed myself with Freethrow-itis — a serious disease that causes me to miss the trashcan by miles when I’m throwing light items, like gum wrappers and tissues.

That particular ailment also prevents me from picking said items up off the floor. Bless my heart.

Not a problem. My husband, for more than 20 years now, took care of it. Of course, what I once thought was cute, started getting on my nerves. To wit: 

• There was the time he objected to the Colonial-style G.I. Joe outfits I purchased on clearance for the kids because the dolls were World War II soldiers. (“They can’t carry bayonets,” he insisted.)

• After I shove all the cups and plates in the dishwasher, he sneaks into the kitchen and rearranges them.

• He instituted a recycling system in our house, complete with a family workshop (which, by the way, the teenagers LOVED) and now inspects the trash every night for any flagrant violations.

Last weekend, though, he pushed me over the edge. I was born with Beverage Container Dispose-ism, which forces me to have several drinks (a mug of coffee, a Diet Coke) at various levels of consumption strewn around the house. But sometimes I come back for them.

So last weekend, ready to workout, I went searching for my blue Powerade Zero, which I knew, for a fact, had 75 percent drink left in it. (Let it be noted here that I don’t like plain water. And this was my LAST Powerade Zero.)

“I drank it,” my husband said, rather smugly, I might add. “You never finish them.”

By Bill Loytty

By Bill Loytty - / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

It’s possible I pitched a fit. Just a little, tiny age-appropriate one. Until my daughter discovered a new container of Powerade Zero tucked behind the kitchen island.

A few days later, I had cracked open another Powerade Zero in anticipation of a gym class, took a sip and placed it on the counter.

I turned my back for a moment, and swung around to catch my husband guzzling it down. “You were done with this weren’t you?” he asked.

Just as my blood pressure spiked, he stepped away from the counter to reveal my beverage still sitting there, where I left it. He had opened a new one.

I have had several fantasies about how to hurt him. But the truth is this: He always makes me laugh. And he is, indeed, the ying to my yang. I would have it no other way.

We are the perfect match.

~ by Donna J. Tuttle on August 5, 2009.

14 Responses to “The Odd Couple”

  1. HA! I will never look at Powerade Zero (or you two) the same! Cute post!

  2. He has closet space?!???!!!

  3. Adorable post! Your husband is lucky you’re a tolerant woman…

  4. Actually, Amber, it seems to me that HE is the victim here!

  5. Not that I’m taking up for David here, but it’s a lot worse when you’re both a yang, and there’s no neatnik ying to keep things in balance. That’s the way it is in our house. And we’re raising two yangy type slobs to boot.

  6. I really enjoyed your post. Family life would be better for a lot of us if we appreciated how the differences between us actually make us better as individuals and as a unit. You captured the value of this in such a clever and enjoyable way. Oh by the way, your husband sounds awesome. Wish my kids had a dean that was so sharp and together.

  7. OMG. Must be something in the water at Trinity. My husband suffers from the same order disorder. Unfortunately not something the rest of us have. Makes him crazy.

  8. I’m honored that you used one of my photos, but I’d appreciate it if you’d include a link to the photo as requested on Flickr. Here’s the photo’s URL:

  9. Very funny! I especially needed a good laugh and distraction today. Glad to hear you’ve got perfect harmony in your life!

  10. This is great. I always think of you as a “business” writer, and it’s nice to see your human style. Well done.

  11. I JUST read this (I know… I’m an awful social media friend… ) But in my defense I did have the page up on my tabs just waiting, and waiting… to be read. And now that I did I’m so glad I did 🙂

    So, as it turns out… I AM Dean Tuttle (no, I probably will never stop calling him that). If you don’t believe me, ask my best friend Pam. Incidentally, back when Facebook was created (2004. Looong time) and some of us college kids thought it’d be hilarious to change out marital statuses and marry our best friends… I married Pam, virtually. Anyhow, we lived together for four years and I was her Dean Tuttle.

    So, in Dean Tuttle’s defense…

    – Finish your drinks please. Admit it, half of the time you probably never come back to them because they’re at room temperature by the time you remember they’ve been out sitting and that’s gross.

    – Work on your basketball skills and make those trash cans!

    – If you fold your clothes as soon as you’re done washing and drying them you’ll have to iron them a lot less. Also… they’re called hangers. The floor is for our feet to walk on.


    But you know what? We forgive you. Because on our worst days you feel the sudden urge to prepare a bowl of chips and delicious queso to greet us back home. And even though we don’t want to eat that because it’s fattening… we do. And you are the best. No wait… DA BEST.

  12. I appreciate the reminder to enjoy the yin-ness and yang-ness that certainly describes my marriage, too. In Myers-Briggs terms, I’m ISFJ and he’s ENTP. Lots of translation required. But it’s good to wear the other glasses sometimes.

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