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The Hubs' Memory

Tonight the Hubs told me I reminded him of Dorothy Parker.

"Who is that?" I asked. "Didn't they make a movie about her starring Halle Berry?"

"No.  That was Dorothy Dandridge."

"OK, then I don't know who Dorothy Parker was."

"Are you serious?  Weren't you an English major in college?" the Hubs asked incredulously.

"Yeah, but I don't remember studying her."

"But when we were dating you told me how much you liked her writing.  I took you to the Algonquin Hotel so you could see where she lived and wrote."

"I have no idea what you're talking about," I said.  "I don't know that hotel at all."

"What are you talking about, Jen? We went to the hotel and we walked around the lobby and we talked about how much you admired her writing. That's when I realized how similar you were to her."

"OK, I'm going to stop you right there, because you are not talking about me and this is not going to go well for you if you keep talking."

You see the Hubs had a girlfriend before me. We'll call her Elaine. I've never met Elaine, but I've heard quite a bit about her. Every now and again the Hubs will start to reminisce about a wonderful, romantic, thoughtful date that he planned for me and it will take me twenty minutes to convince him that wasn't me on the date with him.

Yup. That was Elaine.

The Hubs and Elaine went to the Algonquin Hotel because Elaine is a fan of Dorothy Parker. (I just caught up on her tonight and I have to say I'm a fan now too. So there, Elaine.)

Elaine went ice skating in Central Park on a beautiful, cold, and starry night. (All the time we lived in New York City the Hubs never took me ice skating in Central Park because he was positive we'd already done that and we didn't "need to do it twice.")

Elaine drove to Vermont with the Hubs to look at the fall foliage. (I've never been to Vermont.)

I know there are more, but these are the ones I can think of tonight.

I've never even seen the outside of this place, let alone the inside.

After arguing with me for a good fifteen minutes and me Googling pictures of the Algonquin Hotel to reassure myself that I've never been there, the Hubs FINALLY said, "You know what? I think you're right. It was Elaine I took there."

"Nice, asshole."

"Hey! You shouldn't be mad. You should look at this way: I can't even remember anyone else after I met you. I just assume I did all these wonderful things with you."

Nice try, Hubs.

My new anthology I JUST WANT TO BE ALONE is out and available everywhere!!! (OK, just at these places, but still, there are several places where you can get it.) I recommend getting one for yourself and one for your friend who doesn't "read blogs" because otherwise she'll never know about this book. 

Photo:  dorothyparkernyc.com

35 comments:

  1. Hah, oh my, but you have to admit that the way he tried to get away with it was kinda cute! :)

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  2. That is hilarious awful:) This means you deserve some amazing shopping trip. Or at least Starbucks coffee and one of those HUGE rice crispie treats.

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  3. Oy! I can so relate! My ex-husband [tho, don't worry, this is FAR from the reason he is "ex"] would do something similar. But since he believed marriage is meant to put a stop to romantic, or any, dating, his amnesia was with food & drink. One day, he proudly brought me almost a metric ton of red licorice, because "I know how much you like it." I'd never touched the stuff, EVER! If it ain't chocolate, I don't want to give it the calories! [At least it wasn't black licorice...] Another time, as a bigger splurge, he presented me grandiosely with a big bottle of Midori [bright green melon liqueur- blech! Only peach schnapps would have been less appetizing!], because he "knew" it was my favorite liqueur. No, that would be Chambord or Frangelico, or Ameretto, or... But, Midori? (A) I'd never tasted the stuff before in my life, nor, frankly, ever heard of it; (2) once I did taste the stuff he brought home, I was seriously underwhelmed, if not gagged. But, my mama and Miss Manners always taught me that the proper response to a gift one didn't like or could never use is still "Thank you." So, the bright green bottle languished in our fridge through 3 moves! In retrospect, I kind of wish I'd done as you did, just so I could track which former girlfriend it was who liked red licorice or Midori. But he had a short fuse [there's more the reason for the "ex"], so I didn't push it.

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  4. Oh, hell no. That is your queue to say something like, "Yeah, remember that time you took me to Tiffany's and bought those earrings? And afterwards we had 2-hour sex and you gave me the most mind-blowing orgasm of my life? That's when I knew you were the one.."
    "Oh, wait.. nevermind. That was Phillipe.." "My old boyfriend." :D

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    1. But I totally second your idea!!

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    2. I wish I'd used that on my ex-boyfriend! I'm pretty sure he cheated on me during our wasted 5 years, and he always confused me with other girls. Hopefully I'm smart enough to catch on these days.

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  5. My husband has done EXACTLY the same thing!

    He was married before me and his then wife went with him to the mountains for his grandmother's funeral. She refused to go to the funeral itself, and instead opted to stay in the hotel room for the whole thing. I have had it thrown back in my face on more than one occasion how insensitive "I" was for not going with him.

    I'm not sure which is worse; being mistaken for the first wife in a good memory or being mistaken for the first wife in a bad one. Does he really think out of the two of us that "I" am the biggest bitch? :-/

    New follower! Love this blog!

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  6. When I get mad at my boyfriend, I automatically want to call him by my ex-husband's name. I haven't slipped yet.

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  7. Jen this is perhaps the best Hubs story ever! I have an advantage knowing him in real life but I can actually see him in my mind arguing with you and being certain he is right. I actually give him a lot of credit for admitting it was Elaine because I know being wrong is hard for Hubs.

    Jeff moved to Kansas City initially because of a girl named Stephanie. He and Stephanie had a bad break up almost a year before I met him. Our first dinner (in a big group) we were introduced by a mutual friend who said that we both had the worst break up stories he had heard lately so our first real conversation was me telling him about my crappy ex-boyfriend and him doing the same. You know how misery loves company? That was us. He never confused Stephanie and I but that was because she was a real BITCH!

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  8. That's funny. My ex-hubs used to do this shit all the time. He finally started to understand how pissed it made me when I began introducing him to people as my FIRST husband.

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  9. I had an ex-boyfriend buy me flowers with tons of calla lillies in them once because he knew those were my favorite flower and I was having a bad day. Nope - my favorite flower is roses. Calla lillies were his ex's favorite flower. Didn't make my day any better - especially since they still worked together.

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  10. I don't know which is worse, the hubs mistaking you for his ex girlfriend, or a mother-in-law who used to constantly compare me to the ex girlfriend.

    Several years ago, on Christmas Eve, she took it upon herself to put the ex girlfriends framed 8 x 10 photo (that was in a box buried in the basement, yes she was nosy and would dig through our stuff every visit) on my mantle. She then announced to all of our guest that "This should have been my daughter-in-law, this should have been the mother of my grandchildren". Yep, I kicked her out of our house the next morning. Put her butt on a plane back to Texas.

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    1. Wow. You win. Hands down.

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    2. UNbelievable!!!! Please consider adding a framed photograph of Helen Mirren to your mantle - "the grandmother my children should have had"...Judi Dench would be cool too - then invite your mother-in-law back real soon-like...

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  11. He would be a bad smell in the backyard...

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  12. Ha ha ha ha. You have to admit his reason for the memory lapses is pretty clever though!

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  13. i actually used to do the same thing. i'm getting divorced now...

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  14. I feel your pain, Jen. My husband was married for seven years before we started dating. He apparently was with his starter wife for three years before that. So all together 10 years. In the beginning of our relationship I put up with his insecurities that came out of that marriage. I put up with him talking about her. I figured ten years was a long time and it would take time to get over it. Now he's been with me for 16 years and he STILL brings her up! Not as often, to be sure, but I expect zero at this point.

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  15. my husband (I'm a 3rd wife) is always confusing our kids (3) toddler stories with ....those other kids (2+2) baby and toddler stories. I've spent 30+ years saying "my next husband will...." that usually gets him back

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  16. MY ex-husband called me by the name of his ex-gf during make-up relations after an argument over her doing something that he kept saying I had done. Worse than that... the ex-gf was dead and he was "involved" in her death.
    My current husband is a ditz but has not made this mistake yet.

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  17. MY ex-husband called me by the name of his ex-gf during make-up relations after an argument over her doing something that he kept saying I had done. Worse than that... the ex-gf was dead and he was "involved" in her death.
    My current husband is a ditz but has not made this mistake yet.

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  18. Why don't they ever trust us when we tell them they need to shut up? Whyyyyyyyy?

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  19. Wow, that would seriously piss me off. I'm surprised he didn't listen to you the first time! (ha. as if men do that.) I did like his defense though.

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  20. that was funny. Good recovery... well almost.

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  21. That is soooo my life. Some of these outings were him with another guy. Also, my husband swears we haven't had sex in 6 months all the damn time. (Granted, it is not that frequent b/c oranges are sooo messy) The last time though, I told him to remember the date.

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  22. When my husband and I were dating, he used to occasionally call me by his ex's name (both our names start with an S).

    I got annoyed so the next time he picked me up, I was wearing a "My name is ______" sticker. We both got a good laugh about it, and he still brings it up (~15 years later)!

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  23. I have done this to my husband on many occassions. "Remember that time we went there. It was such a good time!" *awkward look from the hubs* "Oh, well maybe that wasn't you. But we should go do that. It was fun!" Good thing men don't get as upset when you confuse them with an ex! If he did it to me, he would NEVER hear the end of it :)

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  24. My fiance does this to me ALL-THE-TIME.

    Him: "Oh, I love that restaurant."

    Me: "Really? I've never been."

    Him: "Yes you have - we went there for date-night and then went to the movies."

    Me: "Nope. Wasn't me."

    Him: "Yes it was - remember - it was freezing and we had to park really far away so I gave you a piggy-back-ride to the car...??"

    Me: "Still not me." Him: "C'mon - you remember - we kept feeding each other bites of dessert and the waitstaff was cracking up..."

    Me: "Stop talking immediately."

    Tool.

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  25. My hubby does this and his response is always the same corny sit your hubs feeds you lol. I'm glad to see I am not the only one :)

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  26. thankfully my husband's ex was an alcoholic and they were hardly speaking that last year let alone making great memories....so, pretty much anything I do far surpasses.

    Still, IF he did this, I am pretty sure any Judge would acquit.

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  27. It's ironic that the photo of Karen's book "I heart my little a-holes" is right next to the comment box I'm typing in right now. I'm sure you still heart your little a-hole...but after that convo, you better get some damn flowers! Or chocolate. Yeah, chocolate is much better.

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  28. Well, I know nothing about..."Elaine", but I'll say this: Dorothy Parker would have LOVED you!

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  29. Too funny. I have to say your husband came up with a good answer to explain his faux pas. My husband managed to edit out his ex-wife from every conversation we've ever had - anything he did in the past he says "I" went here or there, not "we." But ironically, his first wife's name was.... Elaine.

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