To The Bench

The Old Days

Flashback to August of 2001. My fiancé and I are trying to decide which towels we should register for. There were those with stripes, those with patterns, those with multiple colors, and those plain ones that were extra thick.

What did I think my excited bride wanted to know. Well, I had told her twenty minutes prior that I preferred the plain ones that were extra thick. However, now I did not care.  I fell to my knees and shrieked, “If you love me, you’ll pick a towel, and we will leave.”

My enthusiasm for selecting household items for our registery had been nearly as high as my fiancé’s when we began at Macys six hours prior. However, now here in Bed Bath and Beyond, I was spent and simply wanted my day to end.

The Shopper

So, my wife makes the decisions regarding our household items. However, I do play a role.

Let me explain. Let’s say we need new sheets.

My wife will scour the internet. She is a sight to see when she does this. While she stares at the screen, she does not blink and her brow is furrowed. She is in her element, and it is best not to interrupt her. Believe me when I tell you: Don’t Interrupt! I speak from experience. Anyway, she painstainkingly reviews details of each potential purchase with much of her focus being on product reviews.  She will find a few options and then email them to me for my opinion.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Then I will offer my opinion. Sometimes she will select the item I favored and other times she won’t. I question her about this, but she always has a reason for her selection whether I agree with it or not.

Ultimately, I like my wife’s taste, so I normally go with the flow.

The Latest Household Item

“A what?” I had my wife repeat the latest household item that she felt we needed.

“A bench.” Is that sports related? I was very excited but not quite clear why we needed a bench. Was she taking the timeout thing a little too literally?

“No, no, no” she explained, “a bench goes in a mud room.”

“A mud room? What’s a mud room?”

“You know? When you first come into a house?”

“Oh. But we don’t have a mud room.”

“You don’t need a mud room to have a bench. The bench is to put stuff on.”

“Like a table?”

“No,” she laughed. She looked at me as if I were a Neanderthal. “I’ll just send you some and you can see them. Don’t worry about it.”


Well, we went through the process described above, and I rejected them. I still did not see the need. My wife was not deterred. She ordered a bench. A few days later when nothing came, I asked her about it. “Oh no,” she told me, “I canceled that.” The need for the bunch, seemingly canceled as well. Well, it came up again a few months later but still no purchase.  For nearly a year, my wife has been going through phases where she was and was not convinced we needed a bench.

Finally, she ordered a bench, put it together, and it now stands in our entranceway.

And I hate it! For many reasons. It looks like a television stand. It is another thing to put stuff on (I believe in closets and like things put in them and out of site). And I am afraid I will be in a rush one day and trip it over ala Dick Van Dyke going over the ottoman (click below).

I told my wife how I feel. She doesn’t care. “Get used to it,” were her instructions. I grumbled and the bench stays. Maybe, I should have dropped to my knees and shrieked, “If you love me, you’ll send it back.” Nah, at this point, she may pick the household item. Damn I’ve been sent to the bench!

35 thoughts on “To The Bench

  1. Good morning,

    I L-O-V-E it! This is just the article I needed to start my day. I hate shopping but I finally fell in love with it through the Internet. Now, when I want to buy anything, I comb the net and find it. Then I send my husband out to pick it up, provided that I cannot order it.
    Get used to it sounds like what I say to my husband. He has now moved into the mode of not saying anything because he knows it falls on deaf ears. He tells our friends, yes, I live at Patti’s house. I have to correct him all the time when he says that.

    The crowning end of the article is the Dick Van Dyke Show’s beginning. That was one of my favorite shows, along with The Danny Thomas Show, Jack Benny, and I Love Lucy. I used to love to see him flip over that stool that was always in his way.

    So yes, I am laughing. It is nice to come into my office on an early Friday morning and receive such a great laugh. I will write much better today because of it.

    Great job.


    • Cool. I am touched and thrilled it affected you so much. Feel free to mention it to others. Hey word of mouth is the best advertising.
      Nice of you to let your husband live in your hosue.
      I also enjoyed the show alot.

  2. LOL Larry… love it! Although I’m of the female persuasion, I feel your pain as I’m not much of a shopper either. I find what I need and I’m done! As for a bench.. I was given one for a mud room I had built, and it sits in storage waiting to be given to someone else that may want it!

    • Glad it made you laugh – one of my goals. I start to feel pyhsically sick when my wife wants to drag me to Bed Bath and Beyond. Now, I use the excuse I will just stay in the car with the kids.
      I should have had you preview the post – you could of sent me the bench.

  3. That’s really nice that your wife consults you on things! I think my husband would think there was something seriously wrong with me if I asked him what kind of sheets he wanted plus he would be very confused about the different options. As for the bench I would probably consult him on that (maybe) and I think he would definitely nix it. That’s why I generally don’t consult him on anything house related! Sometimes he gets a say on what we will have for dinner and that keeps him pretty happy!

    • You are a little generaly over there – Ms. Napoleon. Well, if it works for you guys – so be it.
      He’d be right to nix the bench.

  4. I went through a “bench” stage a few years ago. I bought a bench with a lid that opened in the hope that my children would place their backpacks inside. It would also serve the purpose of allowing you to sit on it while tying your shoes etc… The bench was placed in my living room. But it was not long before I moved it from the doorway to another place, and then another until it was sent down into the basement. Eventually we sold it at a garage sale for $3. The backpacks never really seemed to go in there….. I now have a big basket at the front door. It holds shoes…of course there are lots of shoes that sit next to it too….

    • Sara has the same though – use it for the boys bookbags. That is not what I want to see when I first walk in the house. I could see our bench ending up with shoes as well. However, I’d refer the $3.

  5. I have to laugh at your description of the registry and then shopping with your wife! That’s too funny. I like the idea of a bench and in fact, scoured the antique malls for an old church pew (kinda like a bench) for my foyer (we don’t have mud rooms here). Alas, I settled on a great mission style table. That’s not the point, the point is, I hope you enjoy your bench. And I really hope that there is a camera on you should Van Dyke!

    • There is only so much cred you have here. I remember from your posts that you are a shopper – Ms. QVC. I don’t see me coming around on the bench.
      In terms of wanting to see me fall – you stinker! To be honest, I’d probably laugh at it too.

      • Okay – I’m a total shopper! BUT, I’m fast – I have a goal and I get to it. If i had to spend hours looking, I’d go insane. seriously, I’d be on the 5 o’clock news “Local Woman Strangles Herself With Bath Towels”

        And, you know you’d laugh!! I would help you up… after I finished laughing…

  6. Now that’s just funny …. and I’m with Kate on this about you falling. That would the follow up post called, “See I told you this would happen!” I’ve been going through an organizing phase where I’m throwing stuff out, not bringing more in. I’m sure you’re right on this one but I would let it go (or maybe kick it a few times and say ‘see that?’). Your wife will send that bench packing one day when she realizes it’s not helping, adding more to the clutter and like someone else said above, she’ll sell it for $3 at a garage sale.

    • Another cruel woman who wants to see me fall. I consider you and Kate blogging friends. It’s better you stay in cyber space.
      In all honesty, I would laugh too if I saw this happen to someone.
      I think you have seen the future wise sage.!

  7. Registering for our wedding was one of the happiest days of my whole life.

    Upon reflection, that’s sort of pitiful. But true!

    Eric doesn’t seem to remember it as fondly as I do; your experience may have been universal. 🙂

  8. Let me give you some insight here: she is looking for validation of her selection. The next time she asks you which sheets you like, you should ask her which sheets she likes. Those should then become the ones you like.

    I’m with you on the bench, though. Those things become a catch-all for coats and backpacks and such.

  9. Hahaha! Too rich, Larry! Such a good way to show the thought patterns of male and female. I am sorry, but the chuckle would escape from my lips too, if you did the Van Dyck. ( I think that Randy would have it in the middle of the field somewhere if he did it.)
    I do empathise with you in regards to shopping. I really do not like to spend much time carrousing through stores. One exception – flea markets and large thrift stores. One bad area I have to watch is the book section. I could build a complete library from zero to sixty in 5.2 if I were allowed. Randy does put his foot down for that. As there is only so much space, he wins here.
    Thank you for sending out this fantastic male persceptive, and making us laugh!

    • Another mean woman! Ahh, to be honest I would laugh too if I did the Van Dyck on the bench too.
      I used to love books and have so many here. Now, my buying of books is very select. I don’t really feel a need to own books. I am a big library person. Now, there are some books that I keep but they have to be really special to me or look good on the shelf.
      Anyway, I am glad the piece drew a laugh – always one of my goals.
      Thanks so much for your comments.

  10. So funny! Your wife and I are two of a kind! I have the same Internet shopping face and Mike and I have a similar buying process. I now have the Dick VanD theme song stuck in my head! Loved that show and your reference to it here!

  11. too funny! I consult hubby about these purchases but I get the last word and he knows it! 😉 I guess most wives are like this!
    I think that the day I will accept his decision instead of mine; he would think I have fever or there’s something really wrong with me! Hey, you might end up liking that bench one day! Maybe! 😉 or NOT! Hum! now, I want/need a bench 🙂

    • I don’t know if most wives are like this but my wife and you are at least two. She does take my opinion into consideration – generally. I think she was in a mood when she finally just decided to buy this. Ultimately, it’s not that big a deal. She’ll tire of it eventually.
      I say stay away from the bench.

  12. N. trusts my taste (when it comes to household items & ‘necessity things’ – although we always seem to argue a bit on the REAL necessity of something new) and I trust his fixing skills. He is practical, he doesn’t really care how something looks as long as it is working and he hates shopping, so I do all the shopping for him(including his clothes).
    Bummer that you hate the bench. Maybe you ll reconsider?

  13. Joyce got it right on both counts.
    I hope you don’t mind, but if you really dislike something, your wife should take that into consideratioin and not get it. You live there too and you have to see it all the time, just like she does. I’m sure she wouldn’t care for you to do the same (or do you, already?) Husbands shouldn’t be sent to the bench, if you ask me…which I know you didn’t. 😉

    • She didn’t how I felt about it till she bought it. I think she was in a mood and just decided to get it already.
      I appreciate your honesty, but I think in this case, I am not going to make a fuss over it. Pick your battles. Know what I mean?

  14. Haha! I can totally understand why you don’t feel like arguing. Shopping is boring.

    I guess if you have room for a bench, it can be useful. My parents first got one so that we’d have more space at the kitchen table – it can fit four people sitting, and chairs will only fit three.
    And, you can put stuff in it.
    Now it just sits in the entranceway so that people can use it as a dumping-ground.
    I HATE dumping-grounds.

    But maybe I would get a bench if I had six or seven kids, or I had two kids and tons of guests. We’ll see when we get there, right?

    • Right. If you decide to get one, feel free to contact me. I’d be happy to hand you ours. The intention of ours by the way is to be a dumping-ground.

  15. At least your wife consults you. Most women I know just buy what they want. Install it when their husbands aren’t home and then wait weeks for him to notice. That’s one thing I have enjoyed about being single. Mine is the only opinion that matters. Oh, yeah, and get used to the bench. Something tells me it’s there to stay. 🙂

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