• commspro

    My neighbor — a guy in his late 60s — has tried to turn the answer to this question into an art form: “Perfect, only not quite.” “Well, the itching has stopped.” Etcetera. We now make it a point not to ask our neighbor how he’s doing.

    My husband, on the other hand, will always answer positively, even though he’s an insomniac who seldom gets more than four hours of sleep on any given night. It used to be annoying, but now I find it pleasant, and even rather infectious. If he can be cheery despite no sleep, I can be less grumpy about my headache.

  • dewwshane

    Seriously, how YOU doin’???

    And thank you for publishing these little (and big) gripes. I wanted to comment on the car crashing/pen debate, but don’t see the leave a comment option…does it close after 400?

    Anyways, I thought my SO was bad about placing blame on me when he clearly is 100% at fault. Arguments tend to go in the direction of, “Well, if I’d never met you in the first place, I would never have ____.” Uh huh. Now I see how you letting the dog escape because you left the garage door open while I innocently read in the living room is entirely my bad.

    Nothing frustrates me more than taking an already unpleasant situation and compounding the suck by laying blame where it doesn’t belong.

    Clearly, I’m on team Heather!

  • strawberrygoldie

    My friend, Autumn, was interviewed by a Charlotte, NC TV station today.

    See, we are in the throes of a blizzard here in Banner Elk, NC.

    We have seen THE GROUND, as in the earth that lies below us, for a total of five days since Christmas.

    So, when Autumn was chirpily asked about her feelings towards this “snow event,” she eloquently replied:

    “All this snow can suck it.”

    God, I wish they would have put that on the air.

    Anywho, that pretty much sums up how we feel about winter. It can suck it.

    And this quote?

    “I thought Jon would be listening to his headphones or busily reading a response from a conservative friend on Facebook that would require every molecule of his body to process without taking a bat to his monitor.”

    YAH. Jon, I feel this way EVERY DAMN DAY.

    I will now skitter off and drink copious amounts of red wine. Because work looks like a big, fat NO GO in the morning.




  • Lilian – Mama in Translation

    Go call the therapist, Jon, but don’t ever forget your Prozac again… ;-)

  • kodi_jo

    I think winters are hard on everyone.

  • apostate

    Don’t worry, Heather. It’s February so we only have about 3 to 4 more months of winter.
    Then a week later, it will be so blazing miserably hot that all I will be able to do is keep telling myself that at least my underwear has less coverage than some people I know. At least I have THAT going for me.

    Ah, Utard. Where we turn on our heaters in the morning and the A/C 3 hours later.

  • shereen

    Polly Pockets are awesome!
    The end.

  • spaceranger

    Here’s what I have to say about *the encounter*. In my marriage there have been a few times where my husband asks me how I am at a time when I’ve been not-great and it sort of pisses me off a little bit that he asked (even though his intentions are good [though his delivery seems not-eloquent and annoying--and maybe on the verge of patronizing, but maybe not--it's hard to tell]), anyway, in response I’ve not-exactly answered him and then without long enough of a pause after his question asked how he was with a tiny bit of annoyance/impatience/aggression, but there’s such a tiny bit of those not-nice things in my question that his man-brain that doesn’t read emotions well can’t quite be sure it’s there (even though he’s pretty sure he felt it), so he’s not sure how to respond without looking like he’s crazy because he knows I can say “sheesh, I just asked how you were, just like you did”. And then, for us, things got sort of not-nice after those kind of encounters. All that to say, I’m totally convinced that in a marriage asking “How are you?” can’t automatically be assumed to be a totally innocent question, from either the husband or the wife.

    Navigating marriage is hard.

    But totally worth it.

    For us anyway.

  • Figtron

    Dude…we are ALL having a hard winter. Even those of us who don’t have winter are having a hard winter.

    Jon just needs to be smacked around a little bit…get the ole juices flowing.

    While you are giving him your best pimp slap backhand, remind him not to ask you a question if he doesn’t want the answer.

    Jon, nothing but love…promise.

  • Trish

    You guys are awesome. How YOU doin?

  • WanderingOne

    St. John’s Wort is about the only thing getting me through this winter, so I definitely hear you on that front.

  • southerngirl

    This snowbound winter is slowly driving us all mad.

    Don’t get really worried until you go into the office and sneak a peek at Jon’s laptop and the only thing on the screen is line after line of “All work and no play makes Jon a dull boy.”

  • Ellen Crimi-Trent

    I got the “why are you such a bitch today” from my husband as we were driving to see Avatar on Sat night. I replied…”humm lets see, could it be that my business is tanking in this economy and I am working my ass off daily only to find out that yet another deal fell through, or could it be that I am sick of you and the boys making the house a mess, and thinking its no big deal to pick up all those thousand of Legos that make me crazy? Or could it be that I am miserable because we are running out of money and I am worried that we have to hit our retirement and then the next thing to go is our house while all you worry about is freakin’ playdates for the damn kids!!”

    yes folks thats right I married “mr. mom” which most of my family and friends think is great but for me..its pure torture.. what ever happened to the man that I married?? he is now like the mom and I am now like the man! I joke all the time to friends that we will not get divorced over money or sex it will be playdates! I can’t stand them because they encroach on my work day since I work at home and there is nothing worse than trying to create designs with screaming kids around!

    Okay so sorry for the rant but i get it ..you like me just want to be left alone and when you work at home w/ the husband there like I have also you just don’t want him to talk to you… you just want to be!!

    I stay up late at night to work just so I can be ALONE for once during the day!

  • Badger

    My boy does that. It drives me INSANE.

  • val0552

    I love this topic because hubby and I are polar opposites on the subject. I try to avoid asking anyone but DH this question because I feel uncomfortable when asked (yet always seem to reply “well. How are you?”. But DH has an entirely different outlook on life (courtesy the recovery from stage 4 cancer in his early 20′s and the freaking fact that he has never been depressed a day in his life – I didn’t even realize that was possible until we met) my hubby always responds to that question, honestly, with “living the dream.”. People are often taken aback or think he is being sarcastic but no, he really feels as if every breath is a gift. God I wish I could feel that way too!

    Totally off topic we both love Dooce, in fact, we are addicted!

  • kellyfaboo

    Now, Jon has had a bad week and is obviously cranky because of the car door incident and the fact the Internet thinks he needs to work on his driving skills.

    When he gets all cranky you need to get your baby voice on, ruffle his hair and say, “Oh, is Snookems having a bad day?”

  • minxlj

    Thank you for posting this and the ‘taking sides’ post – it doesn’t make me feel so bad that my partner and I have been arguing over THE stupidest things! We all get that way sometimes and you need to know that actually, you’re not going mad and you’re not unreasonable ;) It’s been a long hard winter here too.

    You guys are both fantastic though, so I can imagine you laughing over all this already. And I totally want to see the repair guy’s face when you tell him why Jon took out the car and the door ;)


  • KristywithaK

    Marriage…more fun than a game of Parcheesi.

  • Mompsy.com

    Hmmmm. Perhaps, instead of answering with the offending grunt/non-answer, you should have written out the words “fine” on a piece of paper. Using THE PEN from the car.

    Or perhaps he wouldn’t have seen the humor in that either?


    Break open the wine and Prozac, Heather, winter’s still here for a while. :)

  • JustLinda

    I’m pretty sure that when a husband says “How you doin’?” the only acceptable response is “I’m feeling a little twitchy – I haven’t given oral to you in – how long’s it been? Let’s right that wrong right here, right now.”

    If you go with that response next time, you’ll be fine.

    But fair warning – he might expect some follow-through.

    Perhaps, then, you could revert back to the “I’m GREAT!” response. That seems easiest.

  • ErikaMSN

    And Penelope Trunk says you never write about your fights..

  • Sister Slick

    Yep, Jon is upset about the car/pen fiasco and is now dumping his unused emotions on his nearest and dearest. Typical testosterone response when they screw up this big (sorry Jon)!

  • LuckyMama

    So should I be filing for divorce if my husband’s Facebook status yesterday was “How YOU doin’???”

    And I know he was writing it in his best Joey accent in mind.


    Punching someone in the face may BE the only appropriate answer to the question How are you. That should become a new custom, actually. It can be attributed to you and everything, like the word Dooced.

  • jon

    My lawyer is going to have a field day.

  • Amy G

    Oh my God, I think ANY time my husband and I survive the loooooonnnnnnngggggg Wisconsin winters alive and intact it’s a miracle. By this point, it’s like “The Shining.” Sheesh.

    Hang in there – we feel your pain!!

  • Caro

    In July, after almost 18 years of marriage, 3 children and a lifetime’s battle with anxiety and depression I did the undoable : I left. That would make a great question : Are women judged more harshly when they decide to leave their marriage? Anyways, after 7 months (and a couple thousand bucks of rent,) we have decided to give it another shot.

    Life à deux : what a trip.

    Thanks for being so honest and funny.

    Oh and yes Marlo is the cutest baby in the world. A thousand years of wisdom and benevolence in those awesome blues eyes…

  • Lisa Vedder

    sounds like someone has his period and i dont mean heather. or leta (thank “god”)

  • Butterfly

    ooooh… I might need to side with Jon on this one. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who answer questions with questions.

  • lisdom

    communication is the best, isn’t it?

    that said: winters do suck. hang in there. buy a tanning bed. or bourbon.

  • HeckYes

    Oh yes, I know what this is like.

    My husband and I had an argument the other day over Bing. Or, I should say that Bing was the cause of me losing my shit. I just hate it so much! And here he was, across the country, calling me to tell me to look at this weird website he stumbled upon and I go all crazy ape shit on him because Bing has replaced Google on our home computer. He’s trying to calmly tell me to just relax, because he will fix it as soon as the KILLER STORM back east eases a little and he can actually fly home. Clearly he has more important things to worry about right now than BING. So after I exorcised the demon that had temporarily taken over my body I apologized, then I said I THINK I JUST NEED A VACATION. Winters do a number on me too, so I can totally relate to your encounter. Also, what is the name of your couple’s therapist?

  • annahj

    I hate Winter too. Not enough sun to run around outside in. As a solution for the Pen thing, I would just have two pens in the car.
    Anyways, eat some ice cream sandwiches? Both of you? It’s a proven Fix-all.

  • imaynotremember

    Oh Heather you are so witty, you crack me up! I am not married but if I was I could hear myself responding the same way you did to Jon when he scoffed at your answer! LOL I am a sarcastic person with a lot of wit behind the sarcasm and sometimes people take me way to seriously.

  • Thoughtfloss

    I get that question from my husband too: “Did you take your happy today?” He likes a sane wife, I try and give that to him when I can. Right now, he’s in sunny Florida and I’m freezing up here in NH. I think he’s getting his happy from the sun. Mine, these days, comes from a bottle. Thankfully, not a Vodka bottle.

  • Dbbdnns

    Sounds like many couples are just trying to get through the winter blah. I have counted this winter a success with only one major blow up, just sniping. Better than last year… And I have a policy on the how are you question. I say “fine” and no followup to all those acquaintance-type people that say it to you in public – it is a stupid question. They don’t actually care. No one wants to have a long conversation. Just answer them for real and watch the deer in the headlights look – OMG TMI! I know the secretary at my daughter’s school thinks I am rude – but I absolutely refuse to reply in an equally singsongy voice “and how are YOU?” My husband, on the other hand, actually wants to know when he asks – which is nice!

  • Ells

    But doesn’t that mean he gets to ask you if you’re on your period?! I hate that one. Especially when I am.

  • Sylvhar

    …Maybe don’t go to Britain, where the correct reponse(according to those stuffy etiquette types who write far more rules than they obey, I’d imagine) to “How do you do?” is “How do you do?” in return.

  • Zedda

    Oh my gosh! I thought my marriage was the only one that was like that. Winters are unruly on me and my husband as well. So far this winter, no fist fights, though. So, it can’t be all bad, right?

  • haleystewart

    on everyone….they are hard on everyone!

  • Norabloom

    I’ve gotta side with Jon on this one. I hate it when my husband doesn’t respond to something I ask or say. Guttural responses don’t count.

  • KerryElly

    Hilarious post. Good luck getting through the rest of winter. ;)

  • heymamas

    Oh that would soooo happen in my house. But a look of like “what are you doing?, why are you asking me that?” would probably be the actual response.

    Sadie at heyMamas

  • linuxchik

    i hate facebook.

  • waterbutterfly

    Alright, I will admit, I have the same issue as Jon when my fiance quickly returns the query right aafter I ask without heartily ansering the question himself. Don’t worry; I’m going to therapy for it.

    P.S. my Captcha is “hindu was” and my question is hindu was what?

  • CrashTestMommy

    So how was your workout?

  • merpeople_sing

    I was always told never to ask that question unless you want a real answer! And have time to listen.

  • table4five

    If anyone were to ask me “how you doin’” without saying it in their best Joey Tribbiani voice, I would be physically compelled to immediately reply “how YOU doin’?” It’s like the American Way.

    That being said, was Jon really looking for a complete recap of your trip to the gym, or was he just looking up from his laptop and saying something polite because you walked in the room? Should you have curtsied and replied “I’m well, good sir, thank you for asking”? Hmmph.

  • pinkpeonygirl

    My late father used to say when het met an acquantance: “And what’s new? No worries, lies or fresh gossip?”

    It’s actually in Flemish (Dutch dialect) and it rhymes too, but obviously the tone and what not gets lost in translation, but somehow I thought his question, always asked in a cheery voice, left room for any kind of answer. Be it sincere or just funny or a rant about any given subject.

    BTW, first comment here! Yay!

  • piflower

    ha! that’s funny, we would ask my mom ‘have you taken your estrogen?’

  • becaru

    Asking anyone if they’ve taken their Prozac is just a slap at them. I would not care for that.