Wednesday, April 13, 2016

My Erma entry

Probably either "Clean the gutters" or "the house needs painting"

If there's one thing you can say about me, it's that I can be persistent. (Never mind those other things right now...) I have entered the Erma Bombeck Writing contest the last three times it's been held and each time I have failed to win, place or show. But I have my own blog, don't I? Without further ado, I submit to you my 2016 entry...

Honey Do
You know how ancient cave paintings are assumed to be some meaningful representation of Neanderthal life? A symbolic, historic creation, most likely illustrated by a caveman elder or chief?  I don’t believe it. I think the artists behind all those drawings were cave women. And I think those drawings are the first Honey-Do lists.

That’s right, the age-old Honey-Do List. As in, “Honey, do this. Honey, do that.” That stick figure chasing a wolf? It’s not hunting--this clearly translates as, “Take the dog out.” Images of boar and mastodon etched in stone supposedly for “hunting magic”? Nope. “Pick up dinner on the way home.” And I’m pretty sure the human figures depicted balancing large red discs in their hands is Neanderthal for “Put the dishes away.”

The Honey-Do list placement has to be strategic. (It’s probably why they first appeared on the walls.) If my list isn’t positioned prominently on the fridge, the things I need my husband to do rarely get crossed off. Unless the season changes . . . no sense installing screens in December. Make it too obvious, say, taped to the rear view mirror in the car and you’re being obnoxious. Leave it helpfully on the counter next to the birthday card he has to sign for his mother and it wasn’t noticeable enough: He would have checked the list, but he couldn’t find it.

Even everyday tasks require supervision. On one day alone I returned the kitchen scissors to the knife block after my husband used them to cut duct tape; vacuumed up tortilla chip crumbs from in front of the couch where he sits to check his email; replenished the ice tray after he filled his water bottle; retrieved his hat from the bathroom and returned it to the “hat and glove” basket--purchased specifically for keeping track of hats and gloves, and signed and mailed the aforementioned birthday card. He went off to get a haircut with barely a backward glance at the chaos left in his wake. Was he raised in a cave?

Then there are the days my husband doesn’t seem to need a list at all. One night, he picked up take-out from my favorite Thai restaurant (which I ordered), took the dog out for a walk in the cold winter evening (after I found the leash), and put the dishes away (once I washed them). Afterward, as he “watched” the 11 o’clock news, I covered him with a blanket and joined him on the couch. “Thanks, honey,” he mumbled sleepily, reaching for my hand, “I love you.”
He can get to the rest of the list later.


  1. Thank you for sharing this with us via Women Writers!

  2. You're welcome! Thanks for saying so :)

  3. If he leaves doors open and chairs pulled away from tables and never returned, then your husband and mine must be cousins. Tee hee hee.