Things I Do To Mildly Irritate Thomas

I have the sweetest, most patient, steady husband in the world. Anybody who’s known T for five minutes knows he’s a kind, easy-to-talk-to guy. Anybody who’s known him for ten minutes knows he thinks Ron Burgandy is the definition of hilarious. Twenty minutes, and you know he’d gladly give you the shirt off his back if you need it.

He’s a keeper. But I wasn’t always convinced.

We had a rocky start. We met in college, at the first rehearsal for an auditioned choir. I was a freshman. He was a senior. I recognized him, because he’d actually come to my high school to sing with a traveling group the previous year. I thought he was cute. And he was a baritone. Who doesn’t love a deep, rumbling voice?

Our first conversation went something like this:

Him: Hi, I’m Thomas, President of Chorale.

Me: Hi, I’m-

Him: Turns away to talk to some pretty brunette with too much eye makeup and perfume that makes me want to gag.

It was at that moment that it became my life’s mission to mildly irritate him.

Somewhere between that first meeting (which he SWEARS he doesn’t remember) and the end of that school year, he’d decided he wanted to marry me. Somehow, between the end of that school year and the start of the next semester, he’d managed to get me on board with his cockamamie plan of permanent monogamy. No small feat; I’m a giant commitment-phobe.

Now, over twelve years later, he’s still my favorite and my best. We’ve had highs and lows, just like everybody else, but I can honestly say, through it all:

I love him. (Feel free to enter a sweet sigh of your own here. I just did.)

Here’s the thing, though: that love hasn’t changed my life’s mission. I’m still out to mildly irritate him. Examples:

*I have a giant wad of unnecessary things on my key ring. T lives in perpetual fear that my starter-majiggy-thing will be jacked up by the extra weight. We have an ongoing war. I leave my keys in the ignition; he takes them out and puts the significantly lighter, single spare in. It’s an ugly war, and I’m not sure who’s going to win.

*Sometimes I’ll buy single ply toilet paper for his bathroom. Just for funsies.

*I don’t wear socks. My feet get cold. I complain about my cold feet. He says, “Wear socks,” in this voice that I know means, You’re trying to mildly irritate me and it’s WORKING.

*I’ll press my ΓΌber-cold, sock-less feet against him in bed to warm them up. “Wear socks,” he repeats, a little louder this time.

*I pretend to be inept when it comes to my iPhone. “Honey, can you update my phone?” “Hey, T, how do you make the camera zoom in?” He’s fully aware I’m pretending. But, sweet guy that he is, he helps me anyway.

*I organize the icons on my iPhone according to color. This drives him totally crazy when he’s trying to help me use the thing.

*I’ll leave Nickel Creek’s Lighthouse Tale blaring in my car when I know he’ll be the next to drive it. Chris Thile’s sweet tenor voice grates the hubster’s nerves like no other.

Clearly, I’m an evil genius. And I’m addicted to this game because I still get giddy when he cocks an eyebrow at me, telling me I’m towing the line of his patience. Besides, I know deep down, he thinks my hijinks are super-adorable. Right, T? Right?

Now it’s your turn to ‘fess up, dearest readers! Surely I’m not the only one out there who enjoys pestering their loved ones. I want to hear your stories (and maybe get some fresh ideas in the process!)


32 thoughts on “Things I Do To Mildly Irritate Thomas

  1. Jessica O'Neal says:

    Hahaha, I loved this! My husband and I pester each other all the time, too (though, I have to admit, he’s better at it than I am). Most of the time the things I do that mildly irritate Eddie are unintentional, so I don’t know that I have any ideas to offer. Hmm…I’ll have to think about it. Thank you for sharing this story, Myndi. πŸ˜€

  2. Liz Rutschman says:

    Love this post. As for Kyle and I…..since he’s a neat freak,, sometimes I leave things out of order to drive him nuts (and to loosen him up). He thinks I am not observant, so I “pretend” that I don’t notice various things: like when he cuts his hair, when my car needs an oil change, when he has no clean underwear left, etc. Then I act all surprised when he mentions it. Of course, sometimes I really AM surprised….but that’s besides the point. We’ve gotten to where we love each other despite our flaws. The best kind of relationship is one where you can be yourself….annoying habits and all.

  3. timlobrien says:

    Evil genius, indeed!
    My wife and I battle over the dishwasher. When she does this dishes she has no clue how to properly load the thing. Normally, anything plastic goes on the top rack, right? Don’t want to melt the mother-in-law’s gift of tupperware. Not my wife. She has melted so many of the kids plastic water bottles that I’m afraid the bottom of the dishwasher is going to be colored gatorade green forever. Anyway, she does this crap knowing that I will follow behind and rearrange everything. It has now gotten to the point that I wash all the dishes after every meal. I think the two of you share in the same evilness.

  4. Lisa Hall-Wilson says:

    Muahahaha – I also have cold feet and never wear socks. He’s so warm – I don’t see what the big deal is. It drives me insane that he’s content to live out of a laundry basket – or worse, the dryer. So, I helpfully dump all his clean laundry on his side of the bed so it greets him when he comes to bed (I used to fold it, but the contest has degenerated over time) After 14 years, he just does his own now. See – evil plan is working.
    thanks for the laugh on a Monday morning.


  5. Karen McFarland says:

    Here’s the thing. And I tell my husband this all the time. I was a really sweet person before I married into the McFarland clan. But if you’ve ever spent much time around Irish men, Katie bar the doors. They’re all rascals! And if you can’t beat em, join em I say. It’s self preservation.

    But then I also believe that this does require an inborn natural skill. Lol!!!

  6. Debra Kristi says:

    Scott and I irritate each other all the time. But I must be careful because the German temper is not one to tamper with. πŸ™‚ But maybe I’m the one getting played and I need to learn from some of you guys, that way I’m not the one doing everything around here. Huh.

  7. alicamckennajohnson says:

    I love this! I do stuff like this too. I poke at hubby, or purposefully stand in the way while he’s doing something, and when he asks if I need something at the store in a tone of voice that says not only do I want something but it’s something I probably shouldn’t eat, then make him work to get it out of me.

    • Myndi stray sock away from insanity. says:

      Oh, I LOVE making him guess what I want to eat. It usually goes something like this:

      Him: What do you want to eat?
      Me: I don’t know. What do you want?
      Him: How about (fill in the blank).
      Me: Nah…..*heavy sigh*

      This gets repeated until I finally break down and tell him I wanted the first thing he suggested. Not very nice, but lots of fun. πŸ™‚

  8. lynnkelleyauthor says:

    What a fun post! I have fun on April Fool’s Day. Now that we’re older and grumpier, we don’t have to do things on purpose to mildly irritate the other one. It’s funny because old habits are hard to break, I guess. He has a thing about not closing cupboard doors and closet doors all the way. Same thing with drawers. Drives me nuts. But it drives him nuts when I don’t use the twist tie or plastic thingie to close the bread bag or seal other things up tight. Haha! Stupid little things!

  9. Pat O'Dea Rosen says:

    My husband’s an early riser, and I hate mornings. Despite my slug tendencies, I often beg him to wake me up at five or five-thirty because I’ve got so much to do. He’s always skeptical. “Are you really going to get up at five?” I’m always sincere in my conviction that, yes, I am going to get up. Poor guy. When he awakens me, I’m surprised and hurt that he didn’t let me sleep.

    • Myndi stray sock away from insanity. says:

      PAT! I totally do that, too! It’s never intentional, but I’m the worst morning person on the planet. I always see the value of waking up early, but can never actually manage. It seems like it’d be easier if he’d wake me up, but it’s not. It’s a fast way to give him a case of the grumpies, so I stopped asking. πŸ™‚

  10. Paige Kellerman says:

    Oh the tales I could tell. I’ve been torturing Husband since we started dating. A few years ago, he took me to a baseball game, and I spent two hours asking when halftime was. I think I convinced him I was the biggest idiot in the universe, but he proposed anyway.

    I also love to steal his side of the bed, occasionally, and pretend I don’t remember he always sleeps on that side. I think when I say, “I just want to try it out”, his head gets fairly close to exploding… Your post brings up some lovely memories for me. ..:)

  11. Shannon Esposito says:

    So funny! My hubby actually is the purposeful irritater (word?) in our relationship. He knows all my buttons and mashes them frequently…until he gets “the look” then he finally leaves me alone, laughing. One of our twin boys is learning how to irritate his brother like this…and his brother is learning how to give “the look”

  12. Sheila Seabrook says:

    Oh my, there are so many ways I can get under my husband’s skin. He’s an easy target. Let’s see … sometimes I just grab the TV controls and flip channels really quickly. Drives him batty. I can literally feel his irritation come at me in waves, even though he doesn’t say a word. πŸ™‚

    Great post, Myndi, and I love everyone’s responses!

  13. August McLaughlin says:

    Too adorable, Myndi. I love that you found a keeper husband who adores you… and that you keep the playfulness going! My ultra-early Christmas fervor is pretty loud and in my loved ones’ faces… Not *trying* to be irritating, but I’m sure it is. πŸ˜‰

  14. Jennette Marie Powell says:

    When putting away laundry, I put his favorite T shirt on the very bottom! I aso mute the TV – or better, turn it off – as soon as he steps out, even if it’s just to go to the bathroom. Oh and I love to tell people about stupid things he’s done. Fun post!

  15. LivB says:

    I don’t get it. How is it funny to irritate people? Isn’t there enough negativity floating around without deliberately inviting it to come in for a landing?

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