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‘Don’t Be a Hemorrhoid’

A Memoir Essay

And Other Terms of Endearment

Drinking Coffee at Starbucks on FAVPNG

My husband knows me like a book. Chapter and verse, inside, out.
He thinks he always knows my next move. In fact, he anticipates it. Well, did I mention that he’s good at playing Chess? He teaches it, as part of his high school’s extracurricular activities, and he plays with his buddies. Not just Chess, mind you, but something called Progressive Chess, which is more advanced and complicated, in my opinion. Google it later on, you’ll see what I mean. Anyway, we all know that making smart moves and anticipating your opponent’s maneuvers are all part of the strategy of the game.

Not that married life is a game of chess. No, not at all.

Getting back to me, though, I love him dearly. Sometimes, like a rose, sometimes like a tumbleweed. Sometimes, like garlic. I bet you can tell who’s the poet in the family.

Now, I want to preface this by saying, no couple on God’s green earth, can live together for as long as we have and not occasionally get on one another’s nerves. I’m a type A personality, when working or playing, highly competitive and I play to win. So does he.

Herein lies the difference between us — he knows how to let things roll off his back.

I have no idea where that stuff goes after it rolls off. In my case, not only does it not roll off, it picks up a piece of carry-on luggage to go with it. So, there you have it in nutshell.

If there is anything that I have learned after xx number of years of married life, it’s that there are certain places a wife should never take her husband along. Now, I’m not talking about Hooters for lunch. No, I’m talking about shopping for a dress at TJ Maxx. He might be semi- attentive as you are sifting through the sale racks to find your size, or he might be darting daggers your way, wondering what time you’ll be done, for lunch plans at Red Lobster or the Olive Garden. Notice, he did not mention Hooters.

At any rate, just in case you’re in the fitting room, desperate for a second opinion, you need to know what category of fashion advisor your husband falls into. Yes, he will be able to tell you if you look nice, or if the dress makes you look fat, but he knows that it might be a no- win situation for him. Every husband dreads the wife’s question: ‘does this make me look fat?’

So, we do have pet names for each other. Over the years, the names have been changed to protect the guilty. Things were all warm and cozy, when we were dating and he called me Blue Eyes and I called him Hey,You in my sexiest sing-song voice, since I was mimicking my mother ‘s wedding song, ‘Hey there, You with the Stars in your Eyes.’

I knew that, with the mere mention of a wedding song, most smart guys you’re dating would head for the hills. Not him, he stayed for dessert, and breakfast. That’s how I knew he was The One.

Fast-forward, years go by. There was a long litany of pet names, which I won’t bore you with, until April 29, 2010. Yes, I broke my own rule and made the mistake of letting him accompany me to TJ Maxx to buy that stupid dress. I could see shiny beads of sweat on his forehead and that petulant look of annoyance on his face, as if I had just made cauliflower for supper.

Then, the words flew out from his mouth, and they cut me, like the proverbial knife.

“Let’s get going,” he said, making circular motions with his hands, “you’re being a hemorrhoid today.”

I stopped dead in my tracks. Not believing my ears. Until I saw the side glances coming from the ladies shopping in the aisles. I could tell by their faces that they had heard it — and that’s when I knew there was nothing wrong with my hearing.

He took one look at my face and realized his mistake.

I watched him, noticing that he could not contain what he was feeling, his face getting red, his expression all contorted, twisted, as he tried to suppress a smile, or whatever you would call the corners of his mouth creeping upwards towards his eye balls.

Hemorrhoid, well, that’s a new one, I thought to myself.

I glared at him. He knows exactly what that look means, by now, and his demeanor changed. I know how his mind works. He was getting worried that I might toss some paprika into his meatloaf. Yes, the spice that he was allergic to. He had good reason to worry.

“Hey, buttercup,” he came over to whisper in my ear, “would it be ok with you if we break for lunch now and come back to this later?”

What was I supposed to say? You’ve seen that Snickers commercial that says, ‘You’re not yourself, when you’re hungry.’

He was right, in a way. It was time to break for lunch.

After all, he called me buttercup, one of my favorite flowers. A really sweet, old-fashioned term of endearment, when you come to think of it.

It wasn’t until we were seated at the Outback that I realized something. ‘You’re my little Buttercup, Chu-Chi face’, was a line from one of his favorite childhood movies, where the baron was singing love songs to his wife, while making repeated, hilarious, unsuccessful attempts to eliminate her.

Oh boy, just Google it later, you’ll see.

© Connie Song 2020

Inspired by: ‘My Husband Calls Me The IRS’ by Sara Taki

My Piece, ‘Don’t Be a Hemorrhoid and other terms of Endearment’ was inspired by an essay I absolutely loved reading, My Husband Calls Me The IRS, by Medium writer, Sara Taki. The link to read is posted below.

My Husband Calls Me The IRS

Writing Prompt Challenge: Nicknames & Terms of Endearment

They can be sweet or snarky; it’s totally up to you. Maybe you had nickname for the bully who beat up your brother after school, or one for your frenemy. Or for your college sweetheart, the jock who played football & cheated with your best friend. Make it warm & fuzzy; or write something to tickle a wicked sense of humor. Be creative. Or be authentic. Write a haiku, a poem, or an essay, a micro-short story. And don’t forget to hashtag a note on the bottom # # prompt: nicknames. Can’t wait to read your heart-warming nostalgic piece or have fun with it, as I did, when writing the light-hearted, sardonic hemorrhoids episode. Cheers…

Looking forward to reading more of everyone’s work on Medium.

Connie Song 2020


‘Don’t Be a Hemorrhoid’ was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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