I’d Prefer It If You Didn’t Whistle


whistlingWe’re a hot mess here at the hovel.

First, in one of my famous “Adventures in Forgetfulness”, I took the garbage for a brief jaunt into the laundry room — that I had to pass the trash bins on the way to my ultimate destination did not in any way jar my memory is a bit unnerving, but not altogether out of the ordinary.

My husband, in behavior one more often encounters when dealing with adolescents is STILL sleeping — it is noon here on the eastern seaboard. NOON! It’s probably NOT passive-aggressive, not deliberately anyway, but it FEELS passive-aggressive to me — because he knows that I want to install the new desk in the office area before I go to work today. It’s not a big job, but there’s a step up into my living/dining/office area and I can’t move the desk myself for fear of breaking the glass that it is topped with. UGH!

And I REALLY, REALLY want to throw the old desk away tonight. Owing to the large garbage collection pick-up schedule we must adhere to in our little burg, if it doesn’t go out tonight it will have to wait until Wednesday night. I would rather not be tripping over it until then. Although it just now occurred to me that with tomorrow being Memorial Day there it’s likely there’s no large trash pick-up anyway. DOUBLE UGH! You know what? I don’t care. I’m putting it out anyway. Maybe someone in need of a desk will pass by, throw it in their vehicle, and give it a good home.

Someone in my building, I don’t know who, has taken up whistling this morning. I cannot figure out who the hell it is, but it’s getting on my last nerve. I don’t mind the odd whistle here and there, but the enthusiasm with which this person is embracing his or her whistling borders on the compulsive. It’s like they are practicing for some sort of competitive whistling event. Or, maybe they’re just happy. Good for them. But they need to take it elsewhere. I’m not really in the mood.

It has crossed my mind to go outside and suggest that they might like to put some of that whistling energy to a better use — perhaps they’d like to help me to move a couple of desks. Or join me in shaking my husband awake. I’m not fussy, either one would make me happy — maybe I’d even start whistling.

Probably not, though. Because I cannot whistle a whit. My father is a big whistler. Once in a while my husband can be overheard whistling in the shower. (Maybe THAT’S why it takes him so long to get the hell out of there!) Neither my daughter nor I can whistle, though. Not even a little bit.

It strikes me that whistling is the sort of activity that conveys contentment, which is probably why I’ve never mastered it. I’m not what you’d call content — never have been.

I happen to think that’s a good thing.

In the wrong hands, contentedness can lead to things like stagnation and ennui — and by “the wrong hands” I do mean MY hands. I fear contentedness like Europeans feared malaria. While they got busy discovering quinine to combat that disease and, as a result, were able to embark upon things like the slave trade; I arm myself with whining and kvetching to forestall boredom. Really, who has the energy for CONQUERING new and distant lands? And keeping slaves? That’s just out of the question here in the Twenty-first Century.

No. I can’t get behind THAT sort of thing, though if anyone wants to bring back indentured servitude, I’m your girl. I have some experience in this area — having been a wife for almost twenty-five years and a parent for eighteen. I know a little something about indentured servitude. That’s right, I’m comparing being a wife and a mother to being an indentured servant — because they’re similar.

In many ways indentured servitude is preferable. Think about it. The average indentured servant served a seven-year term AND emerged from their apprenticeship with marketable skills — like blacksmithing or glassblowing, for example. Certainly marriage, at least in the contemporary developed world, is no longer a life sentence, parenthood sure is. While mothering teaches you many things that are certainly applicable to any business environment, I can’t imagine that a resume filled with such things would be taken with anything approaching seriousness.

There is, however, an exception — my job. Parenting and wifedom have prepared me well for my job. The skills are transferable. It goes without saying that serving food to the cranky, the overwrought, and the picayune in what would seem an effortless and timely manner are skills that are not only applicable, but, indeed, necessary in both my work life and my home life. Still, I wouldn’t mind learning how to shoe a horse or to blow a nice candlestick. I might even be given to engaging in a little whistling while I worked.

photo credit: whistling

32 thoughts on “I’d Prefer It If You Didn’t Whistle

  1. I never knew what picayune meant, so I had to look it up. Nice word; I’ll have to find a way of working it into my blog eftsoons and right speedily. I’ll give you credit, natch.
    Quinine also gave us tonic water. i know you don’t drink, but it’s hard to imagine vodka (or gin, the drink of Satan) without it.
    I suspect whistling while glassblowing is a recipe for disaster. Do let me know how it turns out.
    😉

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  2. shalilah2002 says:

    Thank you. Parenting and being a wife takes all of you. You have to have physical and mental energy. It’s a big job.

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  3. Leah Rubin says:

    Well, update your resume– you never know when this could come in handy. As for the memory thing– well, all I can say is, “Welcome to MY world.” Cheers!

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    • javaj240 says:

      I wonder how I could turn my knack for finding lost camisoles, headphones, and textbooks into marketable skills? LOL!

      Like

  4. I taught my dog to come to a whistle. Only problem is my whistle is very wimpy. Great post!

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  5. Good one! My daughter has really been on a kick lately trying to learn how to whistle. I told her, “It will come in time. Keep practicing. Everyone learns how to whistle at some point.” Oopsie!!!! I didn’t know there was people who didn’t know how to whistle!!!

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  6. Nice article! Love how you tie it all together in the end. And I agree with you about the whistling. We just had an electrician in my office who kept whistling the same small snippet of a song all day and I think it was a Christmas song. Ugh!

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  7. Ned's Blog says:

    So I suppose sending you the theme song to the Andy Griffith show is out of the question…

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    • javaj240 says:

      “The Andy Griffith Show” is my favorite “old” show (well, that AND Lucy), but I must admit that the beginning has always gotten on my nerves.

      Like

  8. Vanessa says:

    I love you. For serious, I finish reading your posts with the looniest smile on my face EVER. YOU ARE THE FUNNIEST.

    Also, I cannot whistle either. I had jaw surgery when I was fifteen and since then I cannot even get out a squeak.

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  9. My son whistles all the time. I find it endearing. But that’s because he’s my son.

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  10. Laura Beth says:

    One of my friends, in younger years, used to declare that the man who could teach her to whistle would become her husband.

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  11. “Adventures in Forgetfulness” and the trash bit cracked me up … I’ve done a few things like that recently and I just shake my head and hope it’s normal! And hey, whistlers need to reco’nize … it’s not the appropriate form of singing or something. If they’re thinking, “I’m all badass and content but I’m in public, so I better not sing Sanford & Son, I’ll just whistle it” … NO, NO, NOPE.

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    • javaj240 says:

      The forgetfulness thing has reached new heights recently — new heights. And I’ve just never had any patience for whistling. Never.

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  12. and do not forget – NEVER whistle around food!!!!

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    • javaj240 says:

      I was NEVER the one you had to admonish for whistling, Mom, NEVER! For making a big giant mess, YES, but for whistling, NOPE — NOT ME!

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  13. It really looks like you are whistling in the picture.

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  14. Rick says:

    I used to know a guy the whistled the Star Spangled Banner. It was impressive.

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  15. javaj240 says:

    You could creatively list that skill — something like, “the ability to separate the signal from the noise”, LOL!

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  16. Ginger Kay says:

    I can’t whistle, either. My daughter whistles for the dogs when she is bored. Inside the house. Louder when they ignore her, which they usually do. If not responding to annoying noises is a marketable skill, let me know where to apply.

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    • javaj240 says:

      You could creatively list that skill — something like, “the ability to separate the signal from the noise”, LOL!

      Like

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