He Just Doesn’t Get My Problem

He Just Doesn't Get My Problem

As we age, we seem to become more difficult to buy presents for, and I am no exception. My family started buying me Swarovski do-dads years ago. I have a nice little sparkly collection these days. Among those sparkly things are ornaments. Big ornaments, small ornaments, I’ve received them all. Some are from Lenox, some are from Waterford, but most of the sparkly ornaments have been from Swarovski.

While I will hang the large Swarovski ornaments on our big tree, I have never had any desire to hang the small ornaments ones on our Christmas tree. Not only would they look a bit lost (out tree is 9′ tall), but I have always worried about not removing them all when taking apart the tree, and breaking one or more.

I decided long ago I wanted a stationary “tree” to hang these beautiful ornaments on. I wanted to set it up in the living room, and leave it out year-round as decor. In my head I “knew” what I wanted – tree-ish, but not too tree-ish.

After 5 years of looking ALL over the United States – seriously, I hunted through through countless Christmas stores in 30+ states – I found the perfect tree stand for my Swarovski ornaments 3 miles from the house a few weeks ago.

Figures, right!?

So, the day after I brought the “tree” home, I went up to my office and got a box of Swarovski ornaments to hang on the tree. I know there are a few more small Swarovski ornaments packed away in Christmas stuff, but that box contained the bulk of what I have.

After I hung the ornaments on the tree, I was pretty pleased with my purchase. I can see the vision of what will be.

I told Hubby, “Well there are enough ornaments on there to not look ridiculous, but I probably need 10 more for it to look decent.”

His response?

“You know sweetheart, you should go start a gofundme….”

Somehow, I don’t think he is taking my plight seriously.

He Just Doesn't Get My Problem

That’s my new “tree”. Whaddya think? At least 10 more ornaments, right!?

• For more of the Crap My Hubby Says/Does series on Ann’s Entitled Life, click here.

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Gnomebody Knows the Troubles I’ve Seen…

Gnomebody Knows the Troubles I've Seen...

My mother had made us some ceramic pieces for the garden a few years back. One set consists of few small gnomes on a “wood stump”, and we keep the set in one of the corners of the yard. Hubby noticed a foot had broken off one of the gnomes, so he brought the broken ceramic garden gnome inside the house to repair.

I was typing on my computer, and looked up to see what hubby was doing. Turns out he was sitting at the kitchen table trying to Gorilla Glue the broken gnome foot. On top of the kitchen table!

The Gorilla Glue was uncapped ON THE KITCHEN TABLE, no newspaper, napkin or placement underneath. This is our kitchen table: the keyhole trestle table #599.

As hubby turned over the broken garden gnome in his hand he muttered, “Wow the ants are really all over this.”

I immediately asked (ok shrieked), “You brought an ant inside?”

He replied, “I am looking right at THEM. Oh wait, they may not be ants…”

I yelled at him, “TAKE THAT OUTSIDE!”

He goes out with the gnome in one hand and the Gorilla Glue in his other hand muttering, “Last time I do you a favor.”

A few minutes later he came back inside after finishing the repair singing, “Crab-a-licious, crab-a-licious, crab-a-licious.”

Gnomebody Knows the Troubles I've Seen...

I will say though, he did fix the gnome.

Gnomebody Knows the Troubles I've Seen...

And now the little gnome is back among the other little garden gnomes…

Hubby does have a workbench. I wish he’d learn to use it. This wasn’t the first time he’s used our kitchen table for a repair: stupid Hubby tricks.

• For more of the Crap My Hubby Says/Does series on Ann’s Entitled Life, click here.

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The French DO Speak English!

The French DO Speak English!

Ah France. The French have a reputation for loving all things French, and resisting English/American entering their language. I can’t say I blame them really; it is a good thing to love your country and your country’s heritage, and want to keep that heritage strong and pure.

The French also have a reputation for being unwilling to speak the English language to English-speaking travelers, even when the French citizen is fluent in English.

Hubby, however, discovered the secret to breaking through that barrier.

As I mentioned before, Hubby speaks French. Hubby’s mom and his brother’s first language was French. His mother has lived in America for over 50 years, and been an American citizen for 40 years, yet her French accent is still so heavy, I have a difficult time understanding her over the phone.

Her family in France has a difficult time understanding her too. She now speaks Franclish and slips between the two languages easily, sometimes in the same sentence. Her brother will remind her to speak French as she is pretty unaware of the co-mingling.

Hubby’s brother’s first language was French. Hubby always said his brother had a beautiful accent. I couldn’t tell as I don’t speak French, and wouldn’t be able to tell a Parisian accent from an American-French accent. But I believe Hubby that his brother’s accent was beautiful (his brother passed away two years ago). Hubby’s brother came to the United States when he was 3 years old. His American accent was pure Chicago. Yet, he still maintained a beautiful French accent.

Hubby’s first language was English, and English was what was spoken in his home growing up. His mother’s and brother’s first language may have been French, but his father’s first language was Italian (his father also spoke French, English and Arabic). The common language was English, and they lived in the United States, so they learned… English. Hubby does say that when he was a kid, his mom would speak to him in French, and he would respond in English.

Hubby says he speaks French with a harder, American accent. It isn’t as hard as Quebec, but it is nevertheless not the smoother Parisian accent.

A month or so before we went to France, Hubby started chatting with his aunt about the arrangements for our visit. Hubby was thrilled to speak to her so often as he said, “It comes back to me the more French I speak.”

When we went to Italy, positively everyone spoke English. There was truly no one we encountered that didn’t speak at least some English, or at least understand what we were saying in English.

We knew that would change as we entered France.

So, as we boarded the train to Paris in Switzerland, Hubby mentally made the transition. When the train attendant came by and said, “English or French”, Hubby responded, “Oui!”.

To which the attendant immediately responded, “English it is!”


This happened again and again throughout France. Someone would start speaking to us in French, and the second Hubby responded in kind, the other person would immediately switch to English.

I laughed my way through France.

I have to give Hubby credit though, he kept plugging away at it. His accent did smooth out a bit toward the end (either that, or because so few of his cousins understood English, they were forced to speak to him in French), and he did add words to his vocabulary.

So now that you know the secret, learn a few words in French (try Rosetta Stone) and your accent with be so bad, it will force the French to switch to English.

Or at least that is my theory. And I am sticking to it.

• For more of the Crap My Hubby Says/Does series on Ann’s Entitled Life, click here.

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