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    Counting Anything But Sheep

    | Avon, NY, USA | Marriage & Partners

    (My husband stayed up late the night before last so he tells me to not let him stay up late tonight. Still later than usual, I declare it’s bedtime and we turn the light off.)

    Husband: *after no more than 5 seconds* “I can’t sleep.”

    Me: “You’re not even trying.”

    Husband: “I’m restless.”

    Me: “You just lied down. Give it a minute.”

    Husband: “…but I can’t sleep.”

    Me: “You need to wait.”

    Husband: “I’m stuck in that place where I am really tired but totally wired. Have you ever felt that?”

    Me: “Yes. I just made myself go to sleep. It works. Just wait.”

    Husband: “But I don’t want to sleep.”

    Me: “Want me to rub your back?”

    (I do this only as a last resort when I know he won’t be able to sleep, because so far it has always worked within 2 minutes to relax him enough to go to sleep.)

    Husband: *happily* “Sure!”

    (I start to rub his back. He kicks off all of the blankets.)

    Husband: “Mind if I crack open the window?”

    (I am usually cold at night, but want him to sleep. I agree. After he returns to bed…)

    Husband: “Mind if I turn on the fan?”

    Me: *sigh* “Sure.”

    Husband: “What?”

    Me: “You’re undoing all of my work rubbing your back. If you aren’t settled in 30 seconds, I’m rolling over and going to bed.”

    Husband: *snickers* “Okay.”

    (All seems well until…)

    Husband: “I have a question for you.”

    Me: “What?”

    Husband: “How many horses are there?”

    Me: “Like… in the world?”

    Husband: “Yeah. Like, kinds of horses.”

    Me: “Um…400?”

    Husband: “Are you making that up?”

    Me: “I’m guessing. Actually it’s probably closer to 300.”

    Husband: “How many different kinds of goats are there?”

    Me: *sigh* “I don’t know. 200.”

    Husband: “Are you making that up?”

    Me: “Yes. I am guessing.”

    Husband: “How many different kinds of cats are there?”

    Me: “Like, household breeds?”

    Husband: “Yes.”

    Me: “400.”

    Husband: “Are you making that up?”

    Me: “Does it matter?”

    Husband: “How many kind of ticks are there?”

    Me: *groans* “Is there more than one kind? No, you won’t let me go to bed until I answer you. 10.”

    Husband: “You’re making that up.”

    Me: “Yes. Now go to bed.”

    Husband: “But I’m not tired.”

    Me: “You’re still talking. Now be quiet and roll over.”

    Husband: *indignant* “I am not. You’re talking. I don’t know why you won’t just let me go to sleep.”

    (He is very ticklish, so I assault him with tickles.)

    Husband: “Okay, okay! I’m done.” *rolls over* “Don’t know why you wouldn’t just let me go to sleep.”

    Me: *sighs* “You were harassing me.”

    Husband: “I was not. I was asking you legitimate questions.”

    Me: “About the number of tick breeds in the world.”

    Husband: “But I wanted to know!”

    Me: “Why would I know that?!”

    Husband: *giggling*

    Me: “Go to sleep.”

    Husband: “But I’m not—”

    (I assault him with tickles again.)

    Husband: *laughing hysterically* “Okay, I’m sorry! I’ll stop!”

    Me: *imitating him earlier* “Why don’t you just go to sleep, baby? Why are you harassing me? Why can’t you just go to bed?”

    Husband: *almost crying from laughing* “Okay, okay, okay! I’m sorry! Stop! Please stop!”

    (I do.)

    Me: *with considerable venom* “Roll over.”

    Husband: *rolls over*

    (All is quiet for about thirty seconds.)

    Husband: “Just couldn’t let me go to sleep.”

    (I move stealthily to his side of the bed and get right next to his ear, whispering with the most malice I can summon.)

    Me: “If you do not go to sleep right now, I will tickle the s*** out of you and will not stop no matter how many times you ask me to.”

    Husband: “I’m totally ready to go to bed. Good night, dear!”

    (He wasn’t. It took another 20 minutes of alternating harassment and tickles. We were both quite tired in the morning.)

    Going Out With A Bean Counter

    | Laramie, WY, USA | Dating

    (My boyfriend and I are in the kitchen. He’s making bean soup and I’m tasting to see if it needs additional seasoning.)

    Boyfriend: “You know, [Grocery Store we don't shop at] has SIXTEEN bean soup mix.”

    Me: “And you like that better than this fifteen bean mix from [Grocery Store we do shop at]?”

    Boyfriend: “Yes! It’s so much better!”

    Me: “Why?”

    Boyfriend: “I don’t know but it is much better.”

    Me: “Do you even know which bean is missing in this soup?”

    Boyfriend: “Nah…”

    The Birth Of A New Name

    | Webster, NY, USA | Marriage & Partners

    (My husband and I are at a game night with friends from church. We are playing Battle of the Sexes and it is the boys’ turn to guess a girl-related question. The answer to the question is ‘pregnancy test.’)

    Friend #1: *reads the description*

    Husband: *immediately and loudly* “Birth sticks!”

    (The rest of us erupts into laughter.)

    Husband: “You know!” *getting less confident* “The thing… with the stick when you might be having a baby… You pee on it?”

    Friend #2: “Oh, you mean a pregnancy test?”

    Husband: “Yes! I just couldn’t think of what it was called.”

    Friend #1: *still laughing* “Final answer, boys?”

    All Boys: “Yes!”

    Friend #1: “Correct. Pregnancy test.”

    Me: “Henceforth, they shall be called ‘Birth sticks!’”

    (It took us all a while to cool down from that one. When we end up having children, I may just have to tell him “The birth stick was positive!” and see if he still remembers what that means.)

    Do Or Do Not, There Is No Cry

    | Boston, MA, USA | Marriage & Partners

    (We are cleaning the kitchen before bed.)

    Me: “We need to clean out the fridge before the weekend.”

    Partner: “Okay.” *he opens fridge and starts cleaning*

    Me: “I’m sorry; I didn’t mean you had to do it right now!”

    Partner: “Eh, I’m here; it needs cleaning. I might as well.”

    Me: “You know, that’s one of the most attractive things about you. I try really hard to make sure that I do things just because they need doing, too.”

    Partner: “Well, duh. Where did you THINK I learned it?”

    (I wandered off to the living room to sniffle to myself!)

    A Fine Set Of (Double) Standards

    | NY, USA | Dating

    (My boyfriend has often expressed his theory that when a woman says “It’s fine,” you know that it most definitely is NOT fine.)

    Me: “So, I want to have a joint birthday party with [Friend] but I have to wait until he gets home from his job in [Other Country]. Which means the first Saturday we can do it is your birthday.”

    Boyfriend: “You’re going to have a party, on my birthday, for other people’s birthdays?”

    Me: “Well, I was gonna say that it could be for you, too…”

    Boyfriend: “It would be all your friends, though.”

    Me: “So invite your friends, too.”

    Boyfriend: “But…”

    Me: “Look, do you want me to do it a different day? I can just do it a different day.”

    Boyfriend: *looking away* “No, it’s fine…”

    Me: “Did you just give me the girl ‘It’s fine’?”

    Boyfriend: “Oh, s***… I did, didn’t I?”


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