Eric Ahrendt Writer


Posted on March 5, 2013 by

Your family has its rules, we have ours. I doubt that ours are any quirkier than yours, but I’ll let you be the judge of that. Here are the rules at our house.

Rule Number 1Rule 1—Don’t use the same peanut butter for the dog and for yourself. Nicky gets a treat of peanut butter in the morning, which he licks out of a red rubber toy. In theory, you’re not supposed to use the same knife and same peanut butter to slather the inside of the grubby toy that you use on your toast … which I was doing until my wife, Elaine, made this rule.

Rule Number 2Rule 2—Do not throw anything away. That’s Elaine’s rule, and it occasionally leads to conflict because my rule is “Throw everything away.” She’ll look for something, then ask me, in a hoping-she’s-wrong-but-knowing-from-experience-she’s-not tone, if I threw away the avocado/collander/bicycle/wedding dress she’s looking for. I almost always have; it’s like an instinct. I guess I’d be willing to compromise on a rule that says “Throw almost everything away.” I don’t want to be unfair.

Rule Number 3Rule 3—Do not leave Eric’s side for a second. This is Nicky’s rule. (I know Elaine would follow it, too, if I asked her.) Nicky is sweet and guileless and all that, but it would be nice if he weren’t permanently attached to me by a two-foot cord. It’s like having a really clingy girlfriend. Still, as an example of someone who makes a rule and follows it with single-minded determination, he’s an example to the rest of us.

Rule Number 4Rule 4—No eating or drinking in Eric’s car. This is my rule, but I’m the only one who follows it. Elaine and the kids get into my car with what looks to me like a picnic lunch and proceed to consume the whole thing, dropping crumbs and spilling dark liquids, as we drive to wherever. I could get even by spilling stuff in my son’s car, but no one would notice.

Rule Number 5Rule 5—Dinner is at 6:30. This rule has been in force for probably 15 years, but do people respect it? As if! I’ll be home, dinner will be ready, I’ll be pacing in the kitchen, and Elaine will call as late as 6:35 to tell me she won’t be home until 6:45 or 7. What do I do? Eat, of course; and that’s OK with her because she knows that when I get hungry I get crabby, or crabbier, as the case may be.

Rule Number 6Rule 6—Buy fruit in season. This could only be Elaine’s rule, because I’m barely aware that fruits even have seasons, which I prove all the time by buying strawberries in winter and Texas grapefruit in summer. My reasoning is: If it’s in the store, it’s in season.

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Most of these posts are my opinions and observations about marcom writing; others are about somewhat-related subjects I felt were post-worthy. I'm just hoping none of my current clients leave me after reading these.


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