78: Hunky Magoo

78: Hunky Magoo

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Married Life!

Hunky Magoo

My wife says I never listen to her. At least I think that’s what she said.

~Author Unknown

Hunky Magoo is a fitting nickname for my husband. It’s unusual and so is he. I call him “H.M.” He likes to think it stands for “His Majesty.” H.M. sometimes gives the impression of being unfriendly, but deep down in his heart, he’s really anti-social.

Like all men, he has his little idiosyncrasies. For one thing, he’s a packrat. I haven’t been able to park my van in our three-car garage for ten years because it’s overflowing with all the junk he’s collected. He hangs onto everything he’s ever owned, including the wingtip shoes he bought for our wedding over thirty years ago. I can’t sneak them out of the house, because he routinely checks the garbage to see if I’ve thrown away any of his stuff. He thinks the groovy polyester leisure suit he wore in the seventies still has a few good years in it. I’ve even caught him wearing my cleaning rags.

Hunky’s the most handsome, thoughtful, charming husband in the universe — in his opinion. He brags that he can do the work of three men; and it’s true, if the three men are Larry, Moe, and Curly. He also brags about having a mind like a steel trap. I tell him he’s right about that, because nothing can penetrate it. I also tell him the trap must be stuck in the open position, because he keeps forgetting who’s the boss around here.

H.M.’s perspective is very different from mine. For instance, he doesn’t feel as strongly as I do about things like empty toilet paper rolls. Then there’s the issue of dirty underwear. He thinks it belongs on the bathroom floor.

He also has some odd ideas about home decorating. Once, we were to show our house to prospective buyers on a day I had to work. That left H.M. in charge of giving the tour. That morning, I ran through the house giving it a quick inspection. Everything looked good. I grabbed the dirty laundry from the bedroom, ran downstairs, and dropped it into the washer before going out the door.

When I came home that night, the couple was just leaving. I met them on the front porch, thanked them for coming, and went inside to ask how the showing went.

As I stepped through the door, I saw them. There, on the stairs leading up to our bedroom — on the third step to be exact — was my holey, white, cotton “Grandma” underwear.

At that moment, I can’t be sure, but I think I had a stroke. I could almost hear those ragged old bloomers screaming, “Nya, Nya! We’ve been here all day, right out in the open for all the world to see, and there wasn’t a darn thing you could do about it!”

I was mortified. After my stroke, I got up off the floor, turned to the husband, and groaned, “Please tell me these were not here when the couple walked through the house.”

“Yeah, they were,” he answered, with the same casual tone he would use to say, “Nice weather we’re having, huh?”

I felt a second stroke coming on. An volcano of anger was erupting in the pit of my stomach and felt as if it would shoot out my ears. Yet, I made a valiant attempt to control myself. I spoke as calmly as I could. “Tell me,” I said quietly. Then, a little louder, I asked, “Why would you leave them there?” Finally, I yelled, “Why didn’t you pick them up?”

Looking at me as if I were Quasimodo’s ugly cousin, he sighed and said, “I didn’t want to call attention to them, that’s why!”


~Marsha Mott Jordan

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