Virtually real- Virtuellement vraie

Micheline Harvey: Virtual Assistant, real person/Adjointe Virtuelle, mais tout à fait vraie

But why do I always have to make the bed? November 4, 2012

Hubby seems to have an aversion to a nicely made bed. Either that or he thinks that magic little cleaning and bed making fairies come after he awakes and make up the bed.

He never makes the bed. Not even when he gets up after me. Not even when he banishes me to the guest room because I have a cold and am coughing. By the way, he snores loudly and often. On a regular basis, he wakes me up several times per night and it takes me awhile to get back to sleep. I have never banished him to the guest room. Just saying…

I’ve confronted him about making the bed, at least once in awhile to give me a break. He insists that he has already turned down the bed so his job is done. The thing is, I turn down the bed often, and I don’t consider this a job. You have to take off the pillows and pull down the blankets to get into the bed! But he says that if he turns down the bed, then he shouldn’t have to make it.

This week, he banished me to the guest room because I caught his horrible man-cold and was having coughing fits.

Every single morning, all week long, I ended up making the guest bed AND our bed.

I don’t think it even occurred to him that this was wrong. Not to mention lazy.

So, why do I always have to make the bed?


I am woman, I am waterproof October 1, 2012

This could also be entitled “motorcycling in the rain”. I have always said that most women are tougher, stronger, can handle more discomfort, pain with less complaining than most men. I mean, face it, if this weren’t the case, the human race would probably die off if we had to rely on men to go through pregnancy and delivery.

But I digress. This past weekend, I had a meeting in the Gatineau/Ottawa area. The weather forecast seemed nice, although this can change quite suddenly (as we learned), so I decided to be a trooper and offered that we ride the motorcycle to our destination where hubby has a good biker buddy, so they could ride all day Saturday during my meeting, hang out in the evening and we’d ride back on Sunday.

It’s a good 5 hour ride + because you have to stop to get gas, stretch your legs, eat, etc.

The first challenge was to manage to get everything I needed in terms of clothing, shoes, makeup, and a dressier jacket and so on, for my meeting to fit into the small top case. But I managed. Go me! Second challenge was to get over the embarrassment of removing the helmet with the dreaded helmet hair to enter restaurants and other public places during the ride (as in anywhere anybody can actually see me). I eventually got over the urge to hide under a rock and just ran my fingers through my crazy flat hair or put my sunglasses in my head like a headband. Go me again! The ride to get there went quite well. The weather was nice, not too cold, very sunny and dry.

The ride back was much different. After about 75 km of cloudy conditions, the rain came down for the entire rest of the ride. Over 400 km of soaking, wet, cold rain and high winds. Thank goodness for waterproof clothing, but my gloves were not waterproof, nor were my boots. Also, you don’t exactly have windshield wipers on a motorcycle helmet. Not to mention the noise of that wind. It’s similar to having two cheap kitchen fans on HIGH on either side of your head for hours. Not to mention the water coming up off the other cars and trucks on the road and splashing us. Because, face it, there were not very many motorcycles on the road. I think we saw about four, and only one in the rainy conditions. The other three we met right out of Gatineau, when it was just cloudy.

Inside my helmet, I kept thinking “I want to be home. I want to be dry. I want to get off this damn thing and take a hot bath and for everything to be quiet.” But I sat there, on the back, and kept saying that I was ok because, hey, I had wet hands and feet and too much noise in my ears, but I’ve been through worse. Also, at least I didn’t have to drive the damn thing in those conditions. Go hubby!

When we arrived home, I turned my gloves upside down and at least one full glass of water poured out. My boots are still drying.

Hubby complained more than I did.

Women are superheroes.

Hubby told me that many women would have insisted that he drop them off at a bus terminal to ride home warm and dry.

Riding on a motorcycle for almost 500 km in the pouring rain. Check.

I know, I must sound like I have a very weird bucket list. But I don’t, situations just turn out that way.


In which my husband drops his bike September 4, 2012

This Labour Day holiday, I went on a motorcycle ride with my husband and a couple we know. The plan was to ride for a little over an hour, stop for lunch in a pretty village, hang out and then ride back.

First stop for gas, I get off the bike. Hubby and I have a routine. He puts his bike stand down and tells me when he’s ready for me to climb back on to the bike. Why? I’m not sure, because I’m fairly small and lightweight, and I’ve seen riders remain in control of their bikes while large passengers got on and off. But I digress…

So, he fills the bike up, gets back on and I wait for his signal to embark. Then he kicks the stand up. I don’t move, waiting for his signal. Perhaps he wants to move out of the way and for me to get on a bit further past the gas tanks?

Then I watch, almost as if things are in slow motion, as he bends his bike sideways. I don’t understand why he’s doing this. I’m about to ask him what he’s doing when I realize that his bike is falling and he can’t hold it up. He hops off, and wedges his foot between the ground and the bike, his leg against it. This bike weighs several hundreds of pounds. This is not what you’re supposed to do to keep a bike from falling.

You can tell that he’s freaking out. He holds the bike to keep it from hitting the ground and manages to let it down softly, still with his leg wedged between the ground and the bike. The guy on the other bike yells at him that this is not the way to do it and to get his leg out from under there.

I ask if I should help. No response from hubby, so I make sure my legs and feet are clear if he lets go, but I grab onto the back part of the bike, plant myself squarely and put my 120 pounds into pushing it back up.

The bike, of course, does not budge. Hubby is just frozen there. Finally, the other biker gets off his ride, slides between hubby and me, signals me to let go once he has a good grip and they both push the bike back up and put the stand on.

Hubby promptly backs right into me as he inspects his precious bike for any ding, scratch, chip or possible dent. There is nothing wrong with his bike, it did not hit the ground at all, it was supported by his leg, my weight and no doubt his crazy adrenalin rush, as well as by his friend who arrived just in time.

Everyone tells him that his bike is fine. And still, he stands there, panicked, dazed, inspecting every inch of the bike.

He never once asks me if I’m okay, did the bike fall on me, did I hurt myself trying to hold it up. He doesn’t apologize for backing into me.

The other girl tells him that he’s an idiot and she would have let the stupid bike drop to the ground. He could have broken his leg doing what he did!

And she’s right. It’s a bike, dude. Not a living, breathing, human being. And not your wife.

Men. Ugh.


Deux hommes et un moteur… August 25, 2012

Jeudi dernier, je retournais à la maison avec mon mari après une longue journée de travail chez un client. Je portais trois sacs, une canette de boisson gazeuse, le courrier et deux publi-sacs. Nous marchions vers la porte et je n’avais pas un seul doigt de libre pour chercher au fond de mon grand sac à main et trouver mes clés.

Pas de problème, mon cher mari, moins encombré, pourra me déverrouiller la porte.

Sauf que notre voisin est dehors, dans notre entrée mitoyenne, et il regarde sous le capot de sa voiture, deux contenants à la main.

Tout à coup, cher mari me laisse en plan, chargée comme un mulet, les mains pleines devant la porte barrée et va retrouver le voisin, se plonge le nez sous le capot et m’ignore totalement, m’obligeant à laisser tomber mes sacs, déposer la canette sur le perron et chercher ma clé pour entrer chez moi.

Aucun des deux hommes ne vient m’aider, prendre mes sacs ou m’aider à trouver ma clé.

Soupir… la galanterie n’existe plus !


My Vacation/His Vacation August 5, 2012

Long before summer, he decided that he was taking one third of our entire vacation time, always chosen so that we’re together, by me, in function of his restrictive period, the only time he can take his vacation, late July-early August, to go on a week-long motorcycle trip with three of his buddies.

So we had to make our plans around this. Make our reservations outside their chosen week. I went along with it, and did not complain.

His days would consist in riding in the 30 + degree Celcius summer heat, wearing full gear that vaguely resembles a snowsuit, a black snowsuit. And doing this for hours and hours, and miles and miles, only stopping to eat, pee, gas up and sleep. No visiting, no touristy activities, no days at the beach, just riding.

My days during this same time period would consist in a day trip with a girlfriend in her convertible to discover a quaint waterfront village on the South shore, eat fresh bakery prepared sandwiches on a picturesque front street lined with pretty, well preserved, colourful Victorian homes, a couples of hours at an outdoor spa, cold beer and nachos on a trendy terrace.

My days would start with sleeping in until 9:30, having my coffee on my little bistro table in the yard, writing for a half hour or so and getting the latest news and gossip from friends and family on my social media sites, swimming in my pool, lounging on my patio in the sun, getting tan, listening to Latin music and reading a good book. Taking long walks, spending days with my daughter, going to the movies, watching movies at home, seeing friends who stop by on their way to family vacations, eating whenever I feel like it, enjoying a tidy house (that stays that way!), taking funny pictures and putting them up on Facebook.

He would text me around 9 pm, exhausted, overheated from a roadside motel with no AC, and fall asleep mid-sentence, only to start the same riding, riding, riding in the heat the next day. I’d stay up late and watch The Devil Wears Prada on dvd, or another classic chick flick and drink a glass of chilled red wine with my feet up on the ottoman.

Who had the better week?


The Helmet Dilemma/Le Cas du Casque July 2, 2009

Filed under: The Guy Chronicles/Les chroniques du mec — matamich @ 3:53 pm
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Have you ever seen a grown man babysit a washing machine? I have. Recently my husband was fretting over the fact that the foam insert in his Quad helmet was rather smelly. He sweats, gets dusty and dirty and I suppose this protective insert just soaks up all the perspiration, hair products (yes, my husband uses hair products, doesn’t yours?) and whatnot. So, he asked me how he could wash it. I suggested that he first look at the instructions and either wash it by hand or put it in the washing machine in the delicate cycle with cold water.

He obviously did not trust me on this but he was also quite adamant about washing his helmet insert because, despite the fact that it was already 11 PM on a Tuesday night, he started the machine up. This was very surprising to me, since he is usually in bed by then and it was also against my better judgment, as the washing machine is quite loud and vibrates through the townhouse walls.

I was even more surprised to watch my husband stand beside the washer and open the lid every few seconds or so, basically babysitting the entire delicate cycle! Hmmm, I wonder if I could turn him on to house cleaning, perhaps if I put up some Quad posters on every wall.


Avez-vous déjà vu un homme adulte monter la garde auprès d’une machine à laver? Moi, oui. Récemment, mon mari était inquiet du fait que l’insertion en mousse de son casque de VTT émettait une odeur assez nauséabonde. Il a chaud quand il fait du VTT, il sue, il se salit, il est dans la poussière et je suppose que la mousse à l’intérieur du casque absorbe la sueur, les produits pour les cheveux (oui, mon mari utilise des produits pour les cheveux, pas le vôtre?) etc. Il m’a donc demandé comment il pourrait nettoyer cette insertion. Je lui ai d’abord suggéré de lire les instructions et puis de le laver à la main ou le mettre dans la machine à laver au cycle délicat et à l’eau froide.

Je crois qu’il n’avait pas tout à fait confiance en moi, mais il voulait à tout prix se débarrasser des mauvaises odeurs. Donc, malgré le fait qu’il était déjà 23 h un mardi soir, il a mis son casque dans la lessiveuse. J’étais très étonnée, car il est normalement déjà couché à cette heure là et puis je ne trouvais pas que c’était une bonne idée, car notre machine fait beaucoup de bruit et produit des vibrations qu’on peut ressentir à travers les murs de nos maisons en rangée.

J’étais encore plus étonnée quand j’ai vu mon mari, bien installé à côté de la lessiveuse, entrain de suivre le cycle de lavage en entier, ouvrant le couvercle à toutes les 30 secondes pour vérifier que tout se passait bien! Je me demande si je pourrais lui donner le même souci du ménage. Peut être en accrochant des affiches de VTT un peu partout sur les murs de la maison?


The Quad Obsession/Obsession de VTT June 7, 2009

Filed under: The Guy Chronicles/Les chroniques du mec — matamich @ 8:08 pm
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This could also be entitled “Tales of an ATV widow” because last year, out of the blue, my husband purchased a King Quad All Terrain Vehicle that cost nearly more than my car. I kid you not. I have no idea where this sudden obsession came from. Although he insists that he has always wanted one and has been passionate about them all his life, I had never before heard him mention these four wheeled machines or even witnessed him going out of his way to borrow or rent one or spend any time at all checking them out at RV shows or dealerships. You see, as far as I’m concerned, a lifelong passion is something that is a central part of your persona. Did ATVs like this even exist when he was a kid? I have no idea. Take me, for example. I have been passionate about reading all my life and if you question anyone, even from my past, they will tell you that I could and still can always be found with my nose buried in a book. So, there you have it. Almost every weekend I am a Quad widow for at least one day, sometimes more. He occasionally goes out in the evenings on his machine. He has spent a veritable fortune on special clothing, gloves, boots, helmets, rain gear, accessories, gadgets, a trailer, fuel, and travel to and from the ATV areas, repairs and what have you. He even has a whole new following, his Quad buddies that he did not even know before he bought the thing. And the best part: He has planned a Quad vacation for himself. None of this includes me because you see, first, it is not my style at all and second, the Quad does not have a passenger seat!


Je pourrais intituler ceci « La complainte d’une veuve de VTT » car l’an dernier, mon mari s’est procuré un véhicule tout terrain King Quad qui coûte presque plus cher que ma voiture. Je ne blague pas. J’ignore d’où est venue cette soudaine obsession. Même s’il insiste sur le fait qu’il a toujours voulu posséder un tel engin et qu’il est passionné des VTT depuis toujours, je ne l’ai jamais entendu parler de ces machines à 4 roues. Il n’en a jamais emprunté ou loué et je ne l’ai jamais vu passer des heures à les admirer aux salons de VR ou chez des concessionnaires. Voyez-vous, selon moi la passion d’une vie c’est quelque chose qui fait partie intégrante d’une personne. Est-ce que ces VTT existaient même quand il était petit? Je l’ignore. Moi, par exemple, j’ai toujours été passionnée par la lecture et si vous questionnez les gens qui m’ont toujours connue, ils vous affirmeront qu’on peut toujours me trouver le nez bien plongé dans un bouquin. Alors voilà, désormais presque toutes les fins de semaines, je suis une veuve de VTT pour au moins une journée, parfois deux. Il lui arrive aussi de partir sur son véhicule les soirs de semaine. Il a déjà dépensé une petite fortune en vêtements spécialisés, gants, bottes, casques, ensembles de pluie, accessoires, gadgets, remorque, essence, kilométrage pour se rendre aux sentiers et en revenir, etc. Il a même un nouvel entourage. Des amis de VTT qu’il ne connaissait pas avant de se procurer son engin. Et la meilleure: Il s’est planifié des vacances de VTT pendant l’été. Et moi, j’en suis virtuellement exclue. D’abord, ce n’est pas du tout mon style et de plus, ce VTT n’a même pas de siège de passager!