Monday, April 12, 2010

Stain Devil

When you are married to a Ph.D. who holds a prestigious teaching position and is internationally renowned in his field — and is actually very smart, besides — you can't help having certain expectations.

Here's an example. Your Ph.D. is clearing the table after dinner, and a serving utensil slips from the plate he's carrying. It makes a long, greasy trail across his shirt before slithering to floor.

The first time this happens, you would probably chalk it up to an accident. Klutziness is among your own strongest traits, after all. You'd take the shirt from the Ph.D. and attack it over a couple of days with Carbona Stain Stain Devil #5 (Fat & Cooking Oil), eventually get the stain out, and live happily ever.

But say this happens almost every night when the Ph.D. is clearing the table with you. Say it keeps happening to the same old shirt you've been seeing too much of — because you are perpetually dousing it with your Carbona Stain Devil #5 and poking at it with your finger (as directed) to get the grease out? Say it happens as often as three or four nights in a row? And you find that your stain-removal efforts are complicated because your cat, Possum, likes to nap in the sink?

Do you lose your cool, become upset, and threaten the Ph.D. with the loss of that particular shirt?

No. You take deep breaths and go attack the damn shirt again. Why? Because you yourself do not have a Ph.D. and you don't know any better!!! You are entitled to grumble and make noise about this. About how you had had expectations that your husband was adequately skilled at the dish-toting. And now you need to lower them.

I suppose it's possible that being able to safely carry a spatula six yards is incompatible with high academic achievement. Don't ask me.

Next: what if the Ph.D. guiltily hides his shirts in the washer, inside-out, because he (rightly) fears your discovery of his newest grease stains? You have blithely washed them, dried them, and turned them right-side out, only to discover you've just baked in the stains. What do you do?


And then take out the Carbona again. You can also forbid the Ph.D. to carry plates and utensils on the same trip. Or just serve easy things like sandwiches for dinner. Or remember to be grateful that this is the worst of your problems these days.

Good luck with that.

1 comment:

  1. I think it might be time to consider some sort of large bib, perhaps fashioned out of a tarp or dropcloth. The more embarrassing, the better.


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