Ask Dr. Mike - Relationships, Transmissions, and a High-Pitched "Yee, Hee"

Dr. Mike is an advice columnist whose main qualification for dispensing life-changing wisdom is his Ph.D. in Soap Opera Appreciation from the University of Tim Online (all major credit cards accepted).

Here is what fell out of this week's mail bag:

Dear Dr. Mike,

Why, I ought to rip your arm off and beat you with the bloody stump.

I don't know what to do about my marriage. My husband came home last night and seemed very preoccupied. When I tried to cheer him up by suggesting that we go out to dinner at his favorite restaurant, Casey's, he just shrugged and grabbed the car keys.

He barely spoke through dinner, and when I asked him what was wrong, he just said, "Nothing." He had a beer before dinner, and another one after meal arrived. On the way home I tried everything I could think of to cheer him up, but it was as if he was on another planet. If he answered me at all, it was only to grunt, "yes" or, "no."

A Guideline for Snowbirds

As we Michiganonians look forward to spring and dig out from Snowpocalypse II, we are all getting those charming phone calls from our friends vacationing in Florida. You know the ones; "I'm on the third tee - what are you up to? Your armpits it snow? Oh, sorry to hear it..." Here is a column I wrote a while back, dealing with this exact subject. It now lives in my book, What I've Learned So Far... Part I: Bikes, Docks & Slush Nuggets.

First published March 11, 2005

Two kinds of people live in Michigan in the winter. There are those who manage to go South and get warm for a while, who we’ll call “Snowbirds,” and there are those who don’t, who we’ll call “Depressed.” I don’t count people who go to Hawaii, which is clearly not “South.” These people are in a third category, and we’ll call them “Arrogant Pampered Jerks.” I’d really rather not talk about them. 

Now if you’ve lived around here for any length of time, you’ve probably found yourself in one category or the other depending on the year – some winters you get a little time in the sun, and some winters you don’t. When I don’t, I try not to begrudge the luckier folks, because I figure sooner or later my turn might come around again, and I don’t want to find myself getting all begrudged.

So I was as gracious as I could manage last week when my friend called me from Florida, just as I got home from work. “Hey man,” I said, cheerfully stomping the ice out of the treads of my sneakers, “How’s the Sunny South?”

“It rained for over an hour today. Can you believe it?”

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that,” I replied, sympathetically shaking the snow out of my jacket and hair. “Well, at least it’s warm down there.”

“Warm! It barely got to seventy-five degrees today!”

Installing Darth Vader

In my last column I talked about our quest to buy a new dishwasher. In case you missed it, I was totally convinced when our adventure started that I knew exactly what I wanted - a futuristic study in stainless steel kitchen tech. Luckily, my wife was kind enough to explain that I was a complete idiot.


The whole episode turned out pretty well, though. We ended up finding just what we needed, and I inexplicably lucked out, ending up with a really super-cool black monolith of a dishwasher I call "Darth Vader."


When we bought Darth, the sales woman offered to have her store's experts install him in our kitchen for an additional $85. Since I already had a dishwasher the same size as the one we were buying, I thought to myself, "How hard can it be? Unhook the water, power, and drain from the old one, then hook 'em up to the new one. An hour at the most. $85? For that? Pah!" 


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