Grati’s Husband/Spouse/Partner Owner’s Manual, 4/11/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #164)

As I think I’ve mentioned–about a hundred times–I am a very happily married woman of over 22 years.  We will be together as a couple for 24 years come June 2012.  I say this by way of providing my pseudo credentials–in the relationship department. Again, I’m no expert.  And as I’ve also clearly noted previously, for my first time at bat I got extremely lucky in my wonderful hubby.

But here is the thing.  Husbands/Spouses/Partners don’t come with an owner’s manual [(1) right] like appliances and computers do.  Heck!  Computers even give you step by step instructions for how to set them up and when and where to connect cables.   Husbands/Spouses/Partners?   Not so much.  Ha!

So what follows are my random thoughts, observations, and insights that I’ve gleaned over the last 24 years of being in a committed, monogamous, and romantically vibrant relationship.  This is not a conclusive list and I may return to this topic in the future.

 1.  Love happens at any age–yours or theirs.  In fact, there is a delightfully sweet newly married couple in their 80’s in our parish and they are a great example of love and tenderness with each other.  And when I met my future hubby, the term “cougar” had not yet been invented.  But I have heard the younger man and slightly older woman dynamic praised to the skies by others–possibly because men our age are usually trying to date younger women.  Anyway, the general consensus that I have heard–and this is not scientific, nor supported with evidence–is that a younger man can keep up with an older woman’s highly romantically charged sensual energy.  Well, I’m hotsy totsy most of the time–I joke that my hubby lucked out in that regard.  Me, too!  Ha!  My hubby got the sexy rather than the grumpy wife.  So, if the relationship feels good–and you are both consenting adults–go for it.

Were I still on the market–and I’m not–Grati’s personal take on thinking like a cougar is:

If a man is young enough for me to have potentially gestated him, I’m not interested.  So men in their twenties–such as actor Aidan Turner–are out, nice t
hough they may be [(2) right].

On the other hand, my hubby is 10 months younger than I am.  So I d
o seem to prefer slightly younger men.  Therefore, I intend to be open minded because mature men in their forties–such as actor Richard Armitage–are quite nice  [(3) left].  Purrrrrrrr!


2.   I am a short gal (5 ft 2.5 inches tall) and my hubby is a tall guy (6 ft 4 inches tall)–not unlike the Vicar Geraldine and her sweetheart Harry [(4) right].  So when I was asked by my hair stylist how that works for the two of us, I/Grati simply replied with aplomb:

Well, everyone is the same height lying down.  *wink*

3.  Grati’s relationship advice about issues where you and your hubby/spouse/partner disagree:

Successful relationships are not about compromise.  Successful relationships are about consensus building–in other words, getting your husband/spouse/partner to think like you do, and making them think it was their idea.  Snap!
4.  Grati’s take on not so Mr. Fix-it husbands:

$450 later, I have convinced my hubby that he is not a plumber–after he broke the shower pipe using his considerable strength to try to twist a fitting, that turned out to be welded on–nor an electrician and carpenter for that matter.  Ha!  And let me tell you, he was using the biggest wrench that I had ever seen [(5) right].  It’s a wonder that the wrench didn’t require a “TOID”card–tool owner’s ID.   Though, I’m still trying to get my hubby to pull his pants up when he bends down.  I enjoy the view, but others might not.  Ha!

5.  Another clothing related issue is that my husband sometimes wears–and has worn–threadbare under pants that only have a passing acquaintance with something resembling fabric, were it not for me buying him new underwear and throwing out his old underwear.  And as to him matching his clothes or colors?  Forget about it.  Metrosexual [(6)] he is not, bless him poor dear.  Ha!

Seriously, I’m a big fan of the Garanimals [(7)] children’s clothing line at Sears ago.  Perhaps they should start a line of adult aged clothing with matching tags for tops and bottoms–you matched a lion top to a lion bottom and the color and patterns matched without a kid having to think about it.  So the adult based line could have guy related symbols–rather than animals.  So for my hubby, the matching symbol clothing tags for tops and bottoms would need to be bicycle related–such as spoked wheels, derailleurs (I have no idea what they are, he just mentions them  a lot), handlebars, bicycle frames, gears, spandex, etc.  They could also have a line of tools matching symbol clothing tags, other sports, or cars, etc.

6.  Grati’s take on spousal/partner territories in one’s own home:

Women might ‘nest’ with decorating our homes comfortably and cozily, but men need their man cave [(8) and right]–a place to call their own.   Our unfinished basement is that for my hubby.  Down there, he keeps his exercise equipment, old cameras and photo developing equipment, and his overflow books and CD’s, etc.  My belief is that if I don’t have to look at the clutter in that man cave space every day, then I don’t care what he does with that space.  Thankfully, we only had one serious tornado storm last year necessitating me heading down to the basement for protection.  Of course, my hubby first had to clear a path for me to walk through. Ha!

7.  Bottom line about making life and love work with our husbands/spouses/partners?  Realizing that life is made sweeter by having our loved one in our lives–and appreciating them accordingly.

Or as Glee sang it rather colloquially (and please pardon the vulgar slang in the song title, but it fits), “My Life Would Suck Without You (Full Performance) (Official Music Video)” a video by GleeFullPerformances [(9) below]:

Nota Bene:  Coming Soon!   A companion essay, “Wife/Spouse/Partner Owner’s Manual”.


1)       Husband/Spouse/Partner Owner’s Manual graphic created by Grati; man in tool belt graphic was found at MSOffice Clip Art Images at

2)       Twenty something Aidan Turner image was found at prettypetitepoppy.blogspot at

3)        Now forty something Richard Armitage image was from Sky 1’s Chris Ryan’s Strike Back in 2010, Series 1, Episode 1 (pix 248) and was found at

4)       This is my favorite image of the Vicar Geraldine Granger (as portrayed by the oh so petite Dawn French, so she must be standing on a box here) and her love interest Harry Kennedy (as portrayed by the wonderfully tall Richard Armitage) from the BBC’s Vicar of Dibley:  A Wholly Holy Happy Ending two episode series in 2006, from the Promos portraits (pix 7) was found at

5)       Wrench graphic was found at MSOffice Clip Art Images at

6)       The  Urban Dictionary’s definition of Metrosexual is found at; though my hubby doesn’t have sartorial splendor, he is quite erudite with regard to books, music, etc.  Snap!

7)       Garanimals Children’s Clothing Line info was found at

8)       A man cave in my hubby’s sense involves a place that only he inhabits where he can work on his bicycle projects, lift weights, etc.  The Urban Dictionary’s definition of man cave is found at; lamentably for my hubby, he does not have a big screen tv, beer cooler (he doesn’t drink anyway), nor a pool table in his man cave; the picture of a man in a cave is just for fun and found at MSOffice Clip Art Images at

9)       “My Life Would Suck Without You (Full Performance) (Official Music Video)” a video by GleeFullPerformances found at



About Gratiana Lovelace

Gratiana Lovelace is my nom de plume for my creative writing and blogging. I write romantic stories in different sub genres. The stories just tumble out of me. My resurgence in creative writing occurred when I viewed the BBC miniseries of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North & South in February 2010. The exquisitely talented British actor portraying the male lead John Thornton in North & South--Richard Crispin Armitage--became my unofficial muse. I have written over 50 script stories about love--some are fan fiction, but most are original stories--that I am just beginning to share with others on private writer sites, and here on my blog. And as you know, my blog here is also relatively new--since August 2011. But, I'm having fun and I hope you enjoy reading my blog essays and my stories. Cheers! Grati ;-> upd 12/18/11
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25 Responses to Grati’s Husband/Spouse/Partner Owner’s Manual, 4/11/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #164)

  1. A scary case in point, Dear Readers,
    As I was finishing this blog post and hit “schedule”, I smelled smoke in our house. I tracked down the source to our clothes dryer that my hubby had running drying clothes. I don’t know if the small fire was because he had overfilled the dryer (his thought), or if the 19 year old dryer is past its useful life. But my staying up late to finish this blog post probably just saved our lives. We unplugged the dryer and are airing out the house now. I’m staying up for a little while longer to monitor it.
    Grateful Cheers! Grati


    • FYI to anyone else who reads this. Here’s an update:

      The Fire Department just left and said we were okay. Since it is a gas clothes dryer, I wanted to make sure we weren’t going to blow up as well. Ha! It looks like the “fire” was confined to the dryer heating coils. But we don’t know if they are merely singed or toast. Ha! So, I’ll be talking to appliance repair guys and sales people tomorrow. Bummer! But, it’s better than the alternative.
      Cheers! Grati ;->


  2. bccmee says:

    Your “Garanimals” idea is very funny!

    As for your almost-fire, I’m so glad you’re both okay. Good luck with getting repairs done now that you can focus on that. It’s scary to think of the possible outcome and I hope the airing out goes well so you can breath easily.


    • Thanks for kind note, Bccmee!
      I’m glad you like the adult Garanimals notion. Ha!
      The Fire Department just left and said we were okay. Since it is a gas clothes dryer, I wanted to make sure we weren’t going to blow up as well. Ha! It looks like the “fire” was confined to the dryer heating coils. But we don’t know if they are merely singed or toast. Ha! So, I’ll be talking to appliance repair guys and sales people tomorrow. Bummer! But, it’s better than the alternative.
      Cheers! Grati ;->


  3. Fabi says:

    Good morning Grati,
    Moral of the story: blogging is good for your health!
    Thank God you smelled the smoke and the fire in the dryer didn’t have major consequences.
    My washing machine is 17 years old (like my daughter) and I’m aware that at any time it will let me
    down. I have spared money to buy a new when the disaster comes.
    I liked so much the manual. Looking forward to Wife’s. :)


  4. Good morning Grati! I´m glad to learn you are ok.Fire is a terrible thing and we must be alert to any signal.Fortunately you realized the smell in time,thanks to the Blog. In certain way, RA helped you in this grave moment. I hope everything goes well from this day forward. Hugs!


    • Thanks for your kind note, Tereza!
      I do feel blessed that everything turned out okay. We had a neighbor at our old house who had a dryer fire. So when I smelled smoke, that was the first place I looked. And maybe a little RA community angel was watching over me, too.
      Cheers! Grati ;->


  5. Snicker's Mom says:

    I am glad everyone/everything is safe! I bet that was very scary. Thankfully Aidan Turner is no where near young enough to be my child, so I will take him off your hands ;). Thanks Grati!


    • Giggles, Snicker’s Mom!
      Well, my hubby also tells me that I’m “smokin hot”–for him anyway. Ha! It was scary, but happily everything turned out fine. We decided not to try to repair the old dryer and are just buying a new one. Thank goodness for tax refunds. Ha!
      And as to Aidan Turner? He seems like a dear sweet young man–with attitude. So I will gleefully point him in your direction with my blessing. Ha!
      Cheers! Grati ;->


  6. Elaine says:

    ……rolling around on the couch giggling and my better half is totally puzzled. They’re in another universe, God bless ’em.


    • Giggles, Elaine!
      I’m glad the essay tickled your funny bone! Our hubbies, they are dear sweet, sexy, creatures aren’t they? We just can’t trust them with household appliances. Ha!
      I think the only tools my husband will be using in the future will pertain to our barbecue grill. Ha!
      Cheers! Grati ;->


  7. By the way, since the smoke went throught our house–but not in a sooty way–our clothes and towels smelled smokey, like a bonfire.

    It made me nostalgic for sitting around the campfire making somemores–chocolate bars, marshmellows, and graham crackers anyone! Ha!

    Cheers! Grati ;->


  8. jeanniegisborne says:

    I’m very happy you were blogging and smelled the smoke. Funny how it happened while you blogging about your hubs lack of DIY skills :-) My hubby, fortunately for me, is a very good DIY-er, however he does have a problem putting his shirts on right side out. LOL
    P.S. He overstuffs the dryer too :-)


    • Hi Jeannie,
      Me too! I’m like a canary in the coal mine my lungs are so sensitive. Ha! My hubby gardens well–vegetable plant wise for us to eat. Other than that? Not so much. Ha! But he’s my sweetheart.
      Cheers! Grati ;->


  9. fitzg says:

    So glad you smelled that smoke! We are regulated to have smoke alarms. I burnt the toast the other day. No alarm. Better get on a ladder and check batteries…(ladders and ceilings are tricky for one who is two inches shorter than you…(get the son to check. :D )

    Love the “Manual”. My husband was 14 months younger – did that make me a cougar? Can I claim cougar cred now?


    • Hi Fitzg!
      Me, too! Bill has already changed the batteries. And he’s 6ft 4 inches tall. So he just reached up to the ceiling above the dryer to do that–no ladder needed. Ha!

      Thanks for your nice note about “the manual”. Ha!

      Absolutely, you may claim “cougar credentials” if you wish! Cougars are sleek and beautiful. So, I say that is a good label. Ha!

      Cheers! Grati ;->


  10. Just a note to say hello to folks from the Phillipines, Australia, and New Zealand among others who visited my blog today. Welcome! Wishing you a lovely day.

    I’m tickled pink that people from over 100 countries around the world have visited my blog since February 2012 when WordPress started sharing those stats with us. Though I don’t know “who” you are–I’m not paying for those stats, Ha!–I would love for you to say hi via a relevant comment now and again.
    Cheers! Grati ;->

    P.S. To Graham & Marion, and BG in Oz, Goodday Mates!


  11. Dear Visitors,
    FYI. WordPress has great spam filters. So anyone trying to leave a comment from their “business” email or website gets moved to the spam folder automatically. So, if you really want to comment on my blog personally–not as a marketing ploy from your business site–you need to do so with a personal email, even if it is “your” nom de plume. Oh and anyone with a “vulgar” nom de plume is not getting through. Period. So, please clean up your acts.
    Cheers! “Aunt” Grati ;->


  12. phylly3 says:

    I know you and your hubby are “hot stuff” but having to get the fire department involved is taking it a bit far, don’t cha think? ;)
    Love your manual! As for the men’s clothing line how about “Garageables”? LOL!


    • Hi Phylly3,
      Thanks for your kind note.

      Giggles! I know. Ha! Nothing like having the fire department confirm our “hotness”. LOL!

      But seriously, my hubby is my sweetheart. And he and the dogs are the only things I would grab on my way out the door if we had to escape disaster again. Please god no. Ha! Because things are replaceable and people and pets aren’t.

      I’m glad that you like the manual. I love your clothing line name suggestion of “Garageables”! Ha! Another thought also came to my mind–the “Incorrigibles”. Ha!

      Cheers! Grati ;->


  13. Pingback: “Grati’s Wife/Spouse/Partner Owner’s Manual for Men”, 6/06/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #201) | Something About Love (A)

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