Marriage Strains?

There’s nothing like the sound of young love.

Well, except when I try to eavesdrop on my son and his girlfriend.  Then the sound of young love – “dub step” — is, well, not “moon/June/spoon”- inducing.

Back when John and I fell in love, well, things were different.  Music was wonderful, made to share.  And so I did.

About three months after John and I started dating, I made him a tape.  (For the youngin’s amongst us, it’s like a portable playlist that can be played on any appropriate device available in the prehistoric period in which your parents were, ummm, young.)  Yes, I made my love a cassette tape of my very favorite songs from that and every era.  It contained, among other songs, the following:

Juice Newton, The Sweetest Thing

Joni Mitchell, A Case of You

Bonnie Raitt:  Home

Linda Ronstadt:  Blue Bayou

It was too late when I learned that not only did John not love the songs I loved, he hated them.  Every single one of them.  Over the years, he has solidified his position.  For example, John has threatened to divorce me should I sing Blue Bayou within range of his supersonic ears, an approximate 5 square mile range.

Let me tell you this:  It is not an ideal situation for a critically acclaimed former singer to be banned from singing her favorite songs.  Especially when the ban includes those rare times when I am actually doing housework.  It has been a rather sticky issue for 26 years now.

I try to be accommodating because I am wonderful.  And because I have a huge repertoire of first verses of songs that will get stuck in John’s head for when he really pisses me off.  John has been accommodating by vacating the house immediately when I begin singing/playing/thinking about any of these songs.  Generally he is in search of a divorce lawyer.

But you know what?  Payback is hell.

You see, in the past, I’ve often told John that he needs to outlive me, because I don’t want to have to deal with all our financial issues.  Seriously —  I haven’t balanced a checkbook since we got married, and I don’t intend to start.

But now, after reading an article in today’s, I’m reconsidering my position on who gets to “go” first.  You see, I read that there is:

No rest for the dead with surround-sound coffin

Because now I can get John a specialty coffin complete with seriously impressive stereo speakers, hooked up to the latest iPod/music technology.  And I will get to choose the playlist.

I wonder if I can find that cassette.

Coffin speakers

I promise I will only need one.

Payback is, literally, hell.


Filed under Family, Health and Medicine, Humor, Mental Health, Music, Technology

89 responses to “Marriage Strains?

  1. That’s certainly one way to get the last word in a disagreement.


  2. And how much longer before there will be a subscription service at every cemetery, basically Sirius satellite with a pre-chosen station? Oof!
    Now, an afterlife fulla Manhattan Transfer, THAT I could look forward to! 😀


  3. I love those songs! My husband and I used to have our music that we’d wake up to- George Thorogood and Stevie Ray Vaughn- back when we first got together. If our music tastes didn’t have a seriously large overlap, I don’t think I could have married him. Luckily there is almost no music that I don’t like: older stuff, new stuff, classical, pop, jazz fusion, country, and some of the old, original rap. And my 10 yr. old son also loves a variety of music (thank goodness!).

    Can’t wait to see what songlist you come up with for the surround sound coffin!! Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door had better be on it. And Manhattan Transfer’s Operator.(love their harmonies)


  4. Surround-sound coffins? Your husband will be rocking and rolling in his grave.


  5. I totally get what you’re saying. When we drive somewhere together, I’m begging please, please, can we listen to something that was written in the last 10 years. Nope..Abba will live forever in our car.


  6. Miss Z

    Oh man, those surround sound coffins are kick-ass! Have you showed John what you plan to do yet? 😀


  7. I love you so much! You make me laugh hysterically!

    I will confess to having made my fair share of Love Song tapes, for vaious and sundry loves. I believe I included Juice Newton’s “The Sweetest Thing’ on more than one. The others I did not use. I like “Blue Bayou”, but, can’t say that I think of it as particularly romantic.

    I do, however, like the surround sound coffins… John had better watch out!


    • Awwww, shucks, John. What a nice thing to say.

      Everybody should make tapes for their significant others. In fact, perhaps I can establish an online dating service based on that concept.

      But my tape wasn’t only love songs — it was of my favorite songs. There were even a few men on the tape — Dylan (Lay Lady Lay) and Arlo Guthrie (City of New Orleans). So I wasn’t considering Blue Bayou a love song. Just a song I love.

      But yeah, I’m going to put one of these coffins on lay-a-way (I couldn’t resist the pun. Sorry!). John had better watch out. Or buy ear plugs.


  8. Oh my…..That’s great. Maybe you could get one now, toss him in and start the conditioning process. You’ll be singing around the house free as a bird before you know it. Just make sure he has some air in there.


  9. Revenge is sweet! I can’t believe he didn’t dig that mix tape.


  10. cooper

    Sing. Now.


    • I was just running errands and doing just that. I have greater tolerance for John’s intolerance since I learned it’s a real legitimate physical condition (hypersomnia) instead of just an ass-holic tendency!


  11. I love Linda Rondstadt. But Roy Orbison’s version too. My husband likes Roy. Good thing. Because otherwise we’d have to fight – Beatles vs Beach Boys. I’m sure you can guess which is which.


    • Well, they are both good versions, but Linda’s is better. Did you see her with the Muppets above in the comments? Definitely worth a listen/look.

      I was thinking of you and your husband and how he wants to make sure that the garage door closes the other day. My son had sneaked out with a garage door opener and kept re-opening the door after I had closed it. I didn’t know he was there. But I wanted to be sure to let you know that sometimes, those damn doors DO go back up …


  12. John-Paul

    A Case of You. One of my favourite songs. The first verse is why Joni Mitchell was one of the best lyricists: terribly sad and terribly funny at the same time.


    • I love that song, too, JP. Brilliant lyrics and a haunting tune. My husband doesn’t know what he’s missing.

      I read not long ago that they use Joni’s voice to test the quality of stereo equipment — because it is so clear and has such a range. I knew that decades ago!


  13. This post led to a highly creepy conversation with my husband, who’s an computer engineer and inventor. The in-coffin camera, as well as geocache embedding in the tombstone came up. I enjoyed this post, but I think it would be a bit much to thank you for it.


    • Well, Michelle, I guess I’m glad that you like the post. The other stuff would creep me out too. Especially geocaching — putting chips in tombstones is quite weird.

      But then I brought up the topic so I will take the heat.


      • Every time I read something bizarre (like the coffin playlist article), I’m usually appalled how I can immediately jump a few steps weirder in my head. It’s how I entertain myself, so you really can’t take the heat for that!


        • Keep away from “Oddly Enough” section then. I agree, weird is wildly entertaining. Look at all the likes on this post if you need confirmation.


  14. Ahhh….we have the same taste in music! We could be married except for one little thing…..


  15. I’m very excited to die now. I was worried about missing out on talk radio, and now that won’t be a problem.


  16. Haha! The first time my husband saw my CD collection, he asked “Is this a joke?” There were two or three CDs he liked in there. Luckily, I do like his taste in music, and he doesn’t mind me singing and playing my ukulele every day. …or maybe he just puts up with it since I do all the financial stuff.


    • It sounds like your husband was unusually honest in that first moment of musical bliss. How unusual!

      But it sounds like you made it work — it is always us going along with them, though, it seems. Funny how that works.


  17. Music is the REAL stressor in many marriages, I’m convinced of that! I used to play “Different Drum” over and over, singing along in my not so critically acclaimed voice…drove my husband crazy! He, on the other hand, listens to Celine Dion and John Denver. Need I say more? That God for headphones!


    • You’re right, Moms. We each drive each other crazy. At first that’s fun, but the humor does wear thin after a while, doesn’t it.

      Celine Dion is awful. John Denver I like, though. Usually anything that I can sing along with works for me. John Denver is the ultimate sing-along guy.


  18. This is so hilarious! I’m with John 100% on this one. My hubby likes Tracy Chapman, who is great if you’re about to slit your wrists, sort of like these 3 songs. I do however like those speakers and your diabolical plot to use them if necessary…hahahaha!
    I dated someone who felt the need to play a tape a former girlfriend made for him. It was Knights in White Satin playing and then her voice making weird comments. Do you know how long that song is? Sadly, I do!


    • Sometimes I wax nostalgic for those early days. And then I hear a story like yours and remember how I would have sat through something like that too at one point in my life. And I’m glad I am old and married. Oy.

      Knights in White Satin is a lovely song — on occasion, sans weird old girlfriend.

      But I have terrific taste in music. I like just about anything except Disco, Dub step and opera. Otherwise I either like it or tune it out. John doesn’t have that gift.


      • You know it sister! I couldn’t even think about the dating world today.
        You are blessed to have the ability to tune out, like my hubby. I, like John feel 5 miles away just isn’t far enough at times.


        • You have that curse too. Poor thing.

          There are few things I can’t tune out — bad commercial jingles, for example, and a handful of songs that annoy me and then get stuck in my head. But I grew up next to the railroad and I-95 — I don’t hear what I don’t want to hear!


  19. The coffin with speakers idea is so brilliant and so naughty that it has me chuckling. I have no wish to disturb you, but should you carry out your threat, he might feel the need to vacate the coffin, and bring fresh meaning to the word “ghost”. This might severly impact on your ability to enjoy singing annoying songs during your widowhood


    • Ducks, you may have foiled my plan. Or maybe I will have him cremated and then put the ashes into the coffin with the speakers.

      I may have to rethink my whole diabolical plan, Ducks. Thanks a lot!


  20. Love the point about music of that era was shared … which seems to have been lost.

    My wife and I also have different tastes in music. She likes to sing, but can’t carry a tune in a wheelbarrow, bag, wheeled luggage, or any other carrying device.


    • That was part of getting to know someone, part of the fun. Do you like … Problem was, John’s answer was always “ummm, he/she/it is ok.” Oy.

      I don’t know whether to commiserate with you our with your wife. Most folks I know who have poor voices don’t have a clue. And so they continue.

      Me, I used to sing on stage in front of humans. I damaged my voice about 15 or so years ago, when my dog vanished after some deer and we spent hours calling “Charlie.” It’s never been the same. So I don’t sing as well or as often. John has never expressed how completely thankful he is to that dog.


  21. I personally love you choices. Your husband surely must have a tin ear.


    • I have pretty wide ranging tastes, but these four are among my favorites — particularly when I want to sing, which I must do in order to do any chores at all.

      John suffers from hypersosmia — the inability to tune sounds out. I was much less tolerant of it before I knew it was a real thing (I studied it at work). But it is still a major pain in the ass!

      Oh well. He doesn’t like to dance, either. And I’ve kept him for 26 years.


  22. Hi,
    Wow, now that is payback, I just love those speakers. 🙂


  23. Hahaha! Love those speakers!


    • They are to die for …

      Sorry, Sandee, but how could I resist? Your comment was stuck in the “pending” file. Hopefully now you’ll get right on the page.


  24. My husband is a fan of Disco. I am seriously not a Disco Dolly. I love most music but Disco. That is my equivalent of screetches on a chalk board. I feel you!


    • Don’t tell your husband about this idea, then Linda. Because listening to disco throughout eternity would, in truth, be hell. Listening to it ever again would be a close second~


  25. My husband tolerates certain music, like Gordon Lightfoot, for instance, but nothing at our house is forbidden. Sometimes I just need to hear certain songs, especially when I am painting a room or doing something I need to get myself psyched up to do. The kids teased me about my 70s music, but now they both have it on their computer iTunes program.


    • You trained your spouse better than I did, Naomi!

      John actually has something known as hypersosmia, where he cannot tune out sounds. Simply can’t. It is a terrible infliction on his wife.

      I play a lot of music we both like, so it usually works out. But you’re right, sometimes I just need to hear certain songs. I usually manage to confine it to when John’s out. But invariably the song he hates most will be playing as he walks through the door. It’s a gift he has.


  26. Well, if we can’t torment our spouses, who can we torment? And how nice to see that that torment can continue on in the afterlife. 🙂


    • It’s so true Carrie. There will be so many scores to even out by the time one of us goes (via natural causes, I promise you). But now I will have something to hold over him. A constant repertoire of these songs, with an occasional Steely Dan song thrown in would truly be John’s vision of Hell. And I can help!


  27. Of course, if he reads this post, he may work some sort of clause into his will.
    And while I’m a huge fan of all kinds of music, um…Linda Ronstadt?

    I feel very sorry for kids who don’t know what a mixtape is.


  28. Very, very funny!!

    I do all the banking at our house, and my husband does all the cooking…seems to have worked for us for 35 years! Ha! I’d like to give him the banking chore, but I don’t want checks to bounce…and then I’d have to take back the cooking…NAH!!

    Loved your post!


    • You know, I might consider doing some banking if John would cook on occasion. For example, I could withdraw funds! That would work for me!

      Glad you enjoyed it, Sage.


      • I would withdraw funds, too…if we ever had a REAL money left over each month after paying for our “extravagant” Ha! “usually pretty low-key” lifestyle!!

        Remember, men make a huge mess in the kitchen, and women are usually the ones who tend to believe it needs to be cleaned up!! Just sayin” Ha!!

        Good luck to us!!


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