Saturday, February 16, 2008

My Competition

One of the benefits of living in the middle of nowhere is that you seldom have to worry about competing for the affection of your spouse.

You don’t really have to worry about your husband running off with the neighbor’s wife when she lives two miles away and happens to be his mother.

However, it didn’t take me long to figure out that other women weren’t going to be my primary source of competition for my spouse’s attention. Soon after we were married, I realized that my competition had dark brown eyes, shiny hair, a gentle disposition, and a desire to always please the master of the house.

There was simply no way that I could compete with the object of my husband’s affection, even if it was a Border collie mutt.


The whole affair started out innocently enough. The two of them would spend most of the day together, and the hours just seemed to get longer and longer. They would come into the house and share their supper together, talking about the day they had spent side by side.

I began to envy my husband’s canine companion. It seemed that he was receiving much more attention than I was, and I began to see other warning signs as well.

When I walked to the pickup to accompany my spouse, the dog leapt out in front of me and secured the seat next to my husband for himself. I spent the trip wedged against the passenger door while the dog snuggled up to my husband and licked his face. Every now and then, he would turn toward me with a smug look upon his smiling face and wag his tail, causing clouds of dust to rise up into my face and make me sneeze.

There were other signs of trouble as well. Occasionally, the dog had to stay at the house while my husband worked in the field. When the master returned at the end of the day, both the dog and I would greet him at the door. At first, I received the warmest greeting, but the canine companion soon began to receive the most enthusiastic hello. The two of them would smile, embrace, and engage in a round of rough-and-tumble play while I stood at the door watching the display of affection.

They soon began to flaunt their relationship in front of me. At the dinner table, the dog would sit next to my husband and was often treated to the prime cuts of meat that I had prepared for my spouse. Once the dog’s access to the house was limited to the porch, but he had soon weaseled his way into the living room. Eventually, he even began spending an occasional night at the side of his master next to the bed.

I have tried to rationalize my jealousy. What threat is really posed by a 40-pound mutt who eats rotten roadkill and rolls in manure? What kind of intellectual stimulation can he really provide when the highlight of his day is sneaking scraps out of the cat dish?

This line of thought began to bother me, though. A critter with horrendous breath and half the dirt in the county lurking within his fur was actually winning the competition for my spouse’s affection.

Perhaps I could pick up a few pointers from the dog. I guess everyone could be reminded to always greet your loved ones with enthusiasm and don’t withhold your feelings of affection.


I think I’ll stop short of imitating his personal hygiene habits, though.


Mum-me said...

What a laugh! But the idea of enthusiastically greeting your husband at the end of a long day is certainly a good one. I was visiting a friend recently, and her husband happened to come home early. My four little girls became so excited. They jumped and down and squealed, with delight in their voices, "Tom's home, Tom's home!" Tom looked extremely pleased with all the attention and, when they were finished mauling him with affection, he turned to me and said "Wow! Can you bring your girls around every afternoon - that greeting was worth a day at work." Needless to say my friend got the hint and now takes the time to greet her husband more warmly at the end of the day.

Anonymous said...

Erin.. Your point is? Later DT, Buddy and Pappy

debby said...

Too funny.

I'm 50. Not nearly flexible enough to lick my own fanny. I'll be sticking to my shower in the morning as well.

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