Thursday, April 22, 2010


Today's topic: What irritating things does your spouse teach your kids that you find annoying, OR, what irritating things do you teach your kids that your spouse finds annoying.

That's a lot of irritating and annoying!

I thought about pointing the finger. About the way the kitchen counters never manage to stay clean, especially after meals or snack time. How nothing ever gets put away where it belongs. Or how the salt shaker is never where it should be but is rather always found in the living room or on my wife's desk. (I'm a 5S sort of guy, and find clutter . . . irritating and annoying.)

Yeah, I thought about going there, but then I remembered that I'm not supposed to use the internets to talk smack about my wife. So I won't go there.


Instead, I'll tell you about Joe.

Back in the day, Joe was a client of mine at a day program for individuals with developmental disabilities. His specific diagnosis is not important. For the purpose of this post, I'll just tell you that Joe had a thing for chickens. There was never a topic of discussion so interesting that it couldn't be livened up with a little bit of chicken. We'd be sitting at a table, sorting hangers from a local department store by size or working on some other program-specific task, chatting about the weather or music, and while everyone else chimed in with their individual thoughts or opinions, Joe would inevitably, regardless of the topic or circumstance, shout out . . .


And we'd usually laugh it up, obviously reinforcing his behavior. Bad idea, I know. But you had to be there. Sometimes he'd start low, saying it softly, with a mischievous grin . . .


We'd ignore it as best as possible and try to steer him back to the task at hand. But then he'd just get louder. And add a dash of inflection . . .


It was the word and the sound at the same time. An onomatopoeia of sorts. And because it was so damn catchy, someone would repeat it. And then he'd get really loud . . .


And that usually did it. We'd do our own unique version of The Chicken Dance, he'd laugh hard, we'd laugh harder, and the day was ruined. It didn't take long for "chicken" to become the automated response offered by the staff to any mundane inquiry:

Boss: "So, what are your plans for the weekend?"
Me: "chicken"

Boss: "Why were you late this morning?"
Me: "chick-KUN?!"

Boss: "Say, could yo-"

You get the point. And it spread beyond the front door of the facility. Everywhere were opportunities to use the word CHICKEN!

Then I had kids. And the fun really started! Remember all those songs you learned as a wee one? None were sacred . . .

"Twinkle, twinkle, little - CHICKEN!" "Row, row, row your - CHICKEN!" "All I want for Christmas is my two front - CHICKEN!"

And classic books for children?

"One fish, two fish, red fish, blue - CHICKEN!" Charlotte was, of course, a web-spinning - CHICKEN! George was a very curious - CHICKEN! And that very hungry caterpillar always managed to eat - CHICKEN!

The real fun is coming up with words that rhyme with - CHICKEN! (I'll let you offer yours in the comments . . . )

Needless to say, the game was really afoot when the kids got older and could impose CHICKEN! upon any conversation on their own.

Why is this so annoying? Honestly, I don't know. It makes many of the things my wife enjoys exponentially more entertaining. Take Josh Groban, for instance:

"You raise me up, so I can stand on - CHICKEN!"

Or Daughtry:

"I'm staring out into the night, trying to hide the - CHICKEN!"

Or Taylor Swift:

"You're on the phone with your - CHICKEN!"

See? Not irritating at all . . .



tysdaddy said...

Those comments about my wife? In the beginning? She approved those, by the way. And for the record, the list of things she does that are annoying is far shorter than any such list she'd draft in regards to my foibles. Trust me . . .

One word that obviously rhymes with CHICKEN that gets some mileage is FLICKIN'. But using it usually disintegrates things toward yucky humor, so I try not to go there either . . .

SciFi Dad said...

"I'm not supposed to use the internets to talk smack about my wife"


I hope she doesn't read today's post then.

(Also: flickin', lickin', singin'... the rhyming options are endless if you're willing to use colloquialisms.)

Anonymous said...

@SciFi: Great minds, my friend . . .

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Ok @tysdaddy I want to clear up that telling things that are REAL in your relationship shouldn't necessarily be looked at as talking smack. The reason I started this site was so that there would be a place where people could come to talk about the Real issues of their relationships. So we can learn from each other and relate to one another.

Rose colored glasses all the time is NOT how a honest relationship is. Your wife, you, my husband are human and have flaws (notice I didn't say me ;) cause DUH I'm the exception! :) so naturally there is bad with the good. Although the things you mentioned that she approved of in my book makes her normal! Lol :)

Anyway--chicken used all.the.time like that would get annoying for sure! I'd only use it as an excuse to punch your arm, like any red car I'd scream CHICKEN while punching your arm as hard as I could.

Fun post :)

heelsnstocking said...

its got to be the annoying football chants that get my goat (or chicken) There's nothing like hearing the 6yrs old chant 'your just a fat spanish waiter' when he walks in the door!

other than that now having such an urge to say chicken, CHICKEN, CHICkun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for putting that in my head!

Anonymous said...

@Shelle: All very true. And trust me, the little smack I do talk is just the tip of the iceberg. But we've been doing this awhile, my wife and I, and there are some topics we just aren't willing to discuss with Joe Internet. In light of yesterdays post, I think that both of us trusting one another to leave some things at home is one key to a lasting relationship. If I ever do talk smack about my wife, it will be with her approval, and in such a way that it never belittles her or appears to be an attack. In fact, most of the things I mentioned in today's post are, as I said, or perhaps too-gently implied, are water under the bridge, and so they are fun to bring up occasionally, just to keep things sassy.



Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Belittling her or attacking her is not what I mean or would want either! Hey write how you want and what works for your relationship! :)

I just had to clarify that I want people to know that this site IS for the things that you feel you can't talk about on your personal site...and that can be done anonymously or openly...I just don't like how people have this idea that if they are honest and real that they are "talking smack". SO then they only present the happy love part and not the whole picture. The best thing about having a place where you can read that your struggles and irritation are normal for a marriage or relationship , that even the happiest couples go through it, and that it is something that can be worked on or worked through is that it helps you feel normal and also may help one feel that they are okay and on the right path? I don't know!

I obviously love how you write and portray your relationship I just wanted to clarify that!

Carry on and forget I said anything. CHICKEN! Not it! And no touch backs!

heelsnstocking said...


DCHY said...

Tysdaddy, you are a chicken for writing this chicken-related post for chicken reason. ;) I don't chicken out on a regular basis but then again I am known to chicken out on some other things. LOL As you can see, I am not chicken to over-chicken my comment. Hehe

SheSaid/HeSaid said...

I didn't take what you said about your spouse as smack. But if you could share that concept with my hubby - it would be appreciated.

I have a 60+ old mentally retarded uncle. My cousin and I spent our childhood growing up "with him". We were all clumped together - we raked leaves together, we picked cherries together, we picked veggies out of the garden together.

My uncle has a limited vocabulary. His favorite word is "MOMMA" - he'll call you that until he's blue in the face to get you to give in or get him what he wants.

The other thing he would do to be involved in the conversation would be to say "Whatchoo doin". As a kid I always thought of Arnold on Diff'rent Strokes. We'd always smile when he'd say it. Now, when I visit the family - he comes up to me and hugs me and says "Whatchoo doin". These days, I think of both Arnold and Joey Tribbiani when I hear my Uncle - and I smile!

How about merging the two "Whatchoo doin chick-KUN".


I have 6 chicken breasts thawing for dinner. I need help with what to make with them. I don't want a casserole though. What do you suggest.

Lucy said...

I haven't laughed this hard in such a long time! Yes, I'm sure it could get irritating, but part of the fun would be trying to incorporate it into so many different contexts :-)

I'm not familiar with Daughtry, but I laughed so hard at Josh Groban and Taylor Swift!

And at the end of the day, aren't these the types of memories that will keep you smiling when you're old, grey and senile?