‘Lieutenant Dan! You got legs!’

  • Thursday, March 6, 2014

One day I’m going to write a book called “Things My Husband Says.” Chapters will be divided by topics, such as “Food,” “Wife’s Hair,” “Forrest Gump,” and “Best Friends” (which is not about me.)

Widdle tends to be quieter than yours truly. I seldom let a thought, feeling or opinion go unexpressed, which sometimes annoys even me. Widdle is a lot more self-contained. If he’s staring out a window and you ask him what he’s thinking and he says, “Nothing, really,” you can take him at his word.

Let’s start with the chapter about friends. Widdle actually has several best friends. In fact, he has more friends than anyone I’ve ever met. I often tell him, “When you die the church will be full,” to which he replies, “Thanks, Little Miss Sunshine.”

He likes to say, “To have a friend you have to be a friend,” which is wise. I admit I don’t have as many options as he does on a Friday night, but there are three people I could call if I needed bail in a hurry. Four, if you count my brother T-Bob, and I do.

My hair? Glad you asked. Widdle doesn’t like my hair. To be specific, he doesn’t like what I do with it, which is twist, tug and twirl random strands. “Keep your hands off your hair!” he says about 37 times a day. (Okay, I know tics can be annoying. But if he flips over hair twirling, he’s going to hate me biting my nails.)

As for food, I don’t eat beef or pork. Widdle has never met a steak or barbecued pig he doesn’t like. “Man was given dominion over the animals in the Bible, so we can eat them,” he says sagely. When I note that the Old Testament prohibited eating pork and shellfish, he points out that we are not Jewish.

“Forrest Gump” is Widdle’s favorite movie, and he quotes from it often. His favorite lines are, “Lieutenant Dan! You got legs!” and “Stupid is as stupid does,” which I never understood. (I prefer, “Me and Jen-nay went together like peas and carrots,” and “Sometimes I guess there’s just not enough rocks.” But I digress.)

Widdle also has a few sayings about alcohol. “There’s nothing worse than being sober around a bunch of drunks,” is a favorite. He also says, “No, you can’t have another because it makes you mean,” which I find hilarious, considering I blundered through life for 45 years before being told a second glass of wine turns me surly. But we have to pick our battles, so I smile (okay, smirk) and let it go.

Last week Widdle said something so profound, I actually wrote it down. We were talking about how to ask for what you want, which can be scary. Sailing down I-26, he opined, “A ‘no’ answer is better than no answer. “ It sounded like something the Dalai Lama would say, so I scribbled it down on the back of a sales receipt.

Widdle also says other important things regularly, things I like to hear, such as, “Let’s go to church,” “I love you,” or “You need to invite your brother to come visit.” My favorite might be “You sure are thin.” (He knows he can win any debate as long as he blurts, at some point, “You sure are thin.”)

In the end, I count my blessings: I’ve known men who communicate in grunts and hand signals. At least I have a husband who talks to me.

Julie R. Smith, who loves to quote Widdle’s wisdom, can be reached at widdleswife@aol.com.

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