An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Featured community question with yet another reason for couple’s therapy

Today’s featured question comes from user KA (yes, I know one of this member’s questions has been featured before, but I happened to read this one right after a certain encounter, and hell, this member asks great questions):

We’ll get to that certain encounter, but first, no matter what my mood, no matter if the chaos in our lives has reached levels that would deafen Coco, I always say, “I’m great! How are you?” Because no one really wants to hear about all my crap, and there is always the tiniest possibility that the mere act of articulating the word “great” can turn my mood around. Look at how gross I’ve become! Where is the woman who would have slugged a nun over the last bagel at a soup kitchen?

That woman is still here, but Marlo beat her up, threw her body into a closet and said she could come back out in about three years. Because that woman will be needed to deal with the tantrums that throw tiny bodies down the aisle with all the fruit roll-ups.

So. Encounter.

I got back from a workout today, grabbed my laptop and headed into the office. 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. Instead, he looked up and happily asked, “How you doin’?” Without the Jersey accent. That would merit divorce.

I think I made a noise, something like, “EmmmMMM.” Something definitely with a lilt at the end, to indicate a state of lilt. And then I immediately asked him, “How YOU doin’?”

Apparently, this was an entirely inappropriate response. Because suddenly I am being accused of performing the one act in the world that he despises most. What I did was way worse than grabbing that pen, you guys. Which means it was even worse than wrecking both of our cars AT THE SAME TIME.

That noise I made, that DELIBERATE UNANSWERING OF HIS QUESTION… why do I always have to ask him how he’s doing so quickly? Huh? HUH? HE ASKED ME FIRST. He HATES it when I do that, that… that caring about him and returning the courtesy!

I calmly sat down at my desk, opened my laptop and said, “Since you are allowed to ask me the following question without getting punched in the face, then I am going to assume that the same rule applies to me asking you: Have you taken your Prozac today?”

Winters are unusually hard on the Armstrongs.

  • 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.

  • xuxu

    Armstrong Posse:

    nothing brings a family
    together more than a gathering
    around the chamber pot.


  • SuzieQ77

    I feel your pain. My husband’s favorite questions concern stating the obvious. When he sees me in the bathtub, he asks, “taking a bath?” Or when I am in bed reading, he asks, “watcha doing, reading?” Why bother!

  • Vsuns1girl

    I think I will “just” text my wife and ask her how she is doing…

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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