Let’s play ‘The Marriage Umpire!’

Coming this Sunday to NBC is a new show from Jerry Seinfeld called “The Marriage Ref.” (The show will normally air on Thursdays, but it’s a sneak preview at 10:30 p.m. this Sunday.)

The general gist of the show is that couples present their cases for something that is annoying the other one in their marriage– such as flossing your teeth in bed or having a dead pet dog stuffed in the house. A panel of celebrity judges joke about the dispute and then help decide who is right. The comedian host Tom Papa will actually make the final decision but from the commercial the focus seems to be on the panel of celebrities.

This concept isn’t actually that new to us here on the MOMania blog because for the last 5 years you guys have been playing the role of marriage ref for me and sometimes for other community members.

It is a fantastic feeling to have a third-party — and this case hundreds of people — saying you are right! (And sometimes wrong but at least you know you’re really wrong and your husband is not just crazy.)

To get us in the mood for Seinfeld’s “The Marriage Ref,” I thought it would fun to play a game we’ll call “The Marriage Umpire.”

So I’m thinking you can guys can email me your disputes. I’m afraid if you post the topic directly to the blog then they’ll be debated today and we’ll have no game show.

So email me you dispute to be discussed. We’ll pick the best ones and then debate them on the blog later this week, and then you guys can decide THE WINNER! You can email me at ajcmomania@gmail.com

102 comments Add your comment

catlady

February 23rd, 2010
7:09 am

Does looking at the mess count as taking care of the mess? That is, does intent follow the look? Kind of the Jimmy Carter “lusting after her in my heart” question.

Does changing the oil 4x per year count the same as cooking and cleaning 365x per year? What’s the math on this one? (I mean, if you pay the oil change people $100 per year, does that equal the salary it would take to pay a housekeeper and cook?) Is there extra credit if it is hot (oil changing) or one or more children are vomiting everywhere (housekeeping)?

Dave

February 23rd, 2010
7:31 am

catlady – don’t forget to factor in his salary as landscaper!

motherjanegoose

February 23rd, 2010
7:31 am

catlady….LOL. I am off on two business trips and unable to keep up with things this week…shucks.
Y’all have fun!

motherjanegoose

February 23rd, 2010
7:37 am

@ Dave…how much do you pay a “landscaper” ( here) who gives the shrubs a MAJOR crewcut in the spring so that he will not have to mess with them again all season?

How much is a warm balanced meal sitting on the table worth: shopper, dietician ( sp?) cook, server, and clean up.

Does the end result factor in? A frozen pizza in the oven or say what we had last night:
baked chicken, noodles,carrots, broccoli, fruit salad and garlic bread. I am just thinking out loud here before I finish packing.

Jeff

February 23rd, 2010
7:39 am

Cool, Theresa. This sounds fun!

Oh, and his salary as therapist in trying to figure out your emotional issues! Sorry, couldn’t help it.

Jeff

February 23rd, 2010
7:46 am

Montherjane, you forgot to mention bringing home the bacon (business trip) and frying it up in the pan. Travel safe.

Dave

February 23rd, 2010
8:03 am

Jeff – his therapist cost would be HUGE!!!!

motherjanegoose

February 23rd, 2010
8:20 am

Quick question….Dave are you the same one whose job is so demanding that you cannot get off for a parent teacher conference and your wife is a stay at home Mom? If so, this gives me ( perhaps only me) some perspective.

Not on the plane yet….thanks Jeff for recognizing that I am making a financial contribution too…as is catlady and numerous others on this blog…in the past and in the present.

Here we go again...

February 23rd, 2010
8:30 am

…all the mom’s (whether SAHM or working mom) trying to say that their jobs at home, unpaid as they are, are the only ones that count. Dang, catlady, you already drove at least one husband away (yeah, we know, he was no good, blah, blah, friggin’ blah) – sorry if you gals got stuck with guys with whom you like to complain (especially motherjanegoose), yet you must admit that YOU made the choice – so STFU and quichyerbitchin! I am sure your fellas think they got a raw deal, too!

FCM

February 23rd, 2010
8:43 am

“It is a fantastic feeling to have a third-party — and this case hundreds of people — saying you are right! (And sometimes wrong but at least you know you’re really wrong and your husband is not just crazy.)”

So we are here to validate and vendicate you? ;) (Just kidding).

I will say that spouting off about the ex-spouse (here) cost less than therapy and oddly, it has been helpful. When I wish he and the fiancee well, I mean it these days.

@ Here we go agai: I have no desire to be back with him, he made choices that put us (the kids and I) through hell, I was indeed “stuck’ dealing with all of it. You know what, I am a better woman for it. I know that I can make it on my own if I have too. That does not stop me from wanting to find someone (like the Jeff who had Valentine with his daughter) to spend the remainder of my life with, I will bring more to the table in this marriage.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

February 23rd, 2010
8:44 am

this can be any topic — such as leaving the seat up, watching too much Olympics, buying only organic, anything that irritates you — it doesn’t have to be earth shattering — just annoying.

RJ

February 23rd, 2010
8:45 am

In my experience, men tend to want it all. My husband expected me to clean the house, cook dinner, and work! I stated expected because I finally had enough. It took much too long for me to come to this conclusion because I was doing what I’d seen my mother do. I explained that I needed him to do his fair share. He needs to help clean the house. He should wash a load of laundry. Also, when I work late please drive to Publix and at least get a rotisserie chicken instead of leaving dinner to the kids. They’ll choose a frozen pizza every time. McDonald’s is even worse. He should help with projects and not leave them to me because I’m a teacher. Heck, I’m a music teacher! I don’t know any more about doing a science project than he does!

Also, men need to understand that cutting the grass is seasonal work. I don’t get a day off. Now he has begun helping with the laundry. He’ll wash a load, now we have to work on folding and putting away. As I explained, the more he helps, the more energy I have for late night activities.

Today's women

February 23rd, 2010
8:49 am

I work 40-50 hours a week as a manager of a financial firm. My wife has one of our kids in school every day except Friday, from 9-1pm, the other one in school Mon and Weds from 9-1pm. When I get home there is no dinner, only a messy house that I have to clean up. Her excuse is the kids are so hard to watch and they do not give her any time to clean or make dinner. Also when I get home she needs me to take over watching the kids to help give her a break. She sleeps in every weekend, and when I ask her to do certain things like clean up your own mess, we get into horrible fights. Alot of her friends are the same way!!! These same women will not miss the batchelor, or any other reality show that they are pretending to live in. My mother had 8 kids, and my father worked. House was always clean and dinner made. I can skip the dinner if she can just keep the house clean, am I crazy????

Jesse's Girl

February 23rd, 2010
8:57 am

Lets go ahead and clear the page for me and Jesse right now……its lengthy…funny as hell…but lengthy:)

Joel Edge

February 23rd, 2010
9:08 am

What’s annoying is the idea of this show. Celebrities making snide comments about the the flyover people. That’s original. They do it anyway, might as well make a show about it.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

February 23rd, 2010
9:10 am

JG — email it to me — you’re always soo good!! I’ve got one good one emailed to me so far — we may start this afternoon — this lady is getting married on Friday so we need to settle her dispute before then — pressure is on!!!

Yeah, RJ...

February 23rd, 2010
9:13 am

…men are the only ones who “want it all” – and in a man’s world, they learn early that life’s a beatch, then you marry one, and then you die…that is really having it all!!!!!

Becky

February 23rd, 2010
9:14 am

@RJ..My ex was the same way..His logic was that he made more money than me, therefore I needed to do everything inside the house..He paid someone to do all of the outdoor chores..He said that is what his Mother did, so I should do it..Well, guess what, my Mother didnt do things that way..

@Today’s Women..Don’t know what to tell you except put your foot down and tell her that something has to change..I would love to have that much time each day to clean and cook..No, I’m not the best housekeeper in the world, but I do keep a decent looking house..If I had that much time each day, my husband would get a 3-4 course meal every day..I love to cook..Good luck..

motherjanegoose

February 23rd, 2010
9:16 am

@ RJ, I’m in your world:
It took much too long for me to come to this conclusion because I was doing what I’d seen my mother do.

@ Today’s women….I have NO idea what kind of women you know.

I own my own business and tend to majority of the things inside the house: shopping, cleaning, cooking, laundry.. My husband knows more about fixing the vaccuum than using it inside this house…what is a mop for anyway…can you say paper towels? He CAN fix most anything!

I have my own credit cards and pay my own bills.

I do not watch much TV, do not have time. I purchased all food ( on my dime) and left a list with dinner options while I am gone until Sunday. There are pork chops defrosting now.

I am thinking husbands like you would appreciate someone who carries their own load while bringing home a paycheck. Other husbands would have a melt down if they were the sole income and came home to your life.

Why does this seem to be a continual problem? Can it be fixed?

JJ

February 23rd, 2010
9:22 am

Well my neighbor doesn’t work. Her husband goes off every day to work. She stays home, watches soaps, goes to The Derby, and is usually drunk by the time he gets home. She will not go get a job, won’t even look for one. They are on the verge of getting evicted, yet she makes no attempt to get a job and help out. They are two months behind on their rent, but there’s pently of money for booze and cigarettes for her. And a friend of her’s is staying with them. She’s on disability. Can’t work, but can drink all day long, abuse prescription drugs and smoke cigs, and party all day long, but can’t seem to work. She is constantly bragging that she only pays $37/month rent, and $19 for a cell phone. I said, yea, guess who’s paying for the remainder of that? ME!!!!!! By going to work every day, having close to $1,500 in taxes taken out of my paycheck a month, so these two losers can stay home all day long and party.

GeoffDawg

February 23rd, 2010
9:24 am

Don’t forget to factor in live-in security guard and pest control specialist. Unless next time you want to be the one to track down that spider or investigate the strange noise.

Ben E. Jett

February 23rd, 2010
9:30 am

I think I could have used a Ref. in my first several years of marriage. We were both immature and used to getting our way. Many of our spats would end in a stalmate then over time add and grow into bigger problems. A third party could have very well proven useful. Oh well, live and learn I guess. One of my personal hundles was ridding myself of the mindset called “King of the castle.” Now I make up the bed every morning, do most of the vacuuming and often clean the bathrooms and other household chores. I don’t say that because I’m keeping score but because one day a light went off and I decided to get off my ass and do my part. My wife means alot to me and my only regret is it took too many years of marriage before I saw the light.We’ve been married 27 years now and it’s all been worth it.

motherjanegoose

February 23rd, 2010
9:35 am

Pest control is my job here….my husband cannot stand bugs and goes nuts when he sees anything creepy and crawly….I will add it to my list :) as I grew up on the farm and we even had SNAKES ( I laughed at the discussion yesterday).

JJ

February 23rd, 2010
9:44 am

EVERYTHING is my job. I do it all. I work 40 outside my home hours a week. At home, I am the cook, the maid, the landscaper, the laundry person, etc. I don’t have a spouse to complain about.

Ya’ll should be very thankful for what you have. Because this side isn’t very fun, doing it all by yourself. I would give my right arm to have the security some of you people have. I would love to have an extra income and a warm body in bed with me at night (that isn’t a dog or a cat) LOL.

Walk a mile in my shoes, and you would appreciate everything you have!!!!! So he doesn’t do the laundry………pick your battles.

Ben E. Jett

February 23rd, 2010
9:47 am

Good job JJ. We take too much for granted. Lets get off our high horse before it’s too late.

You go, JJ...

February 23rd, 2010
9:51 am

…but be careful what you wish for…you’ve been down that lane once already!!!!!

JJ

February 23rd, 2010
9:57 am

Don’t I know that!!!! I think that’s why I’ve remained single all these years.

New Stepmom

February 23rd, 2010
10:02 am

Man I need to hug and kiss my husband. We had a hard time the first few months of marriage where I worked full time and did everything in the house and it did get old. We had a come to Jesus and he did a lot better. Fast forward 6 months and I get pregnant, get put on bedrest and can do almost nothing for myself or my family and it will be that way until May. Man has he stepped up to the plate. Part of the time he was unemployed and that helped with time, but he interviewed and prepared for interviews like a full time job and still got grocery shopping done, laundry done (I can sit in bed and fold it), helped with meals etc, etc, etc. I think he now understands what I was doing on top of a 40 hour work week. I hate being on bedrest, because I feel like I am doing nothing for my family (The hubs tells me I am growing a new person and that is the best contribution, but I still feel lazy).

We are planning for me to stay at home and do project work along the way. I cannot imagine becoming a soap opera watching, bon bon eating princess because I live here too and cannot stand an out of order house and I do all of our finances, so I know what our goals are and eating out every night will mess up the financial goals we have set. @Today’s Women, you have a real gripe and need to get it worked out.

Theresa, great topic. Right now, I feel very fortunate and do not have any major gripes. The worst thing the hubs does is not sort his clothes appropriately when he puts them in the laundry sorter/hamper. I can live with that, because he lives with my quirks. If he had a stuffed dog (like on the show) we would have real issues!

TechMom

February 23rd, 2010
10:02 am

Not sure it’s worth complaining about my pet peeves; if he doesn’t care enough about what bugs me when it’s just me and him, then someone else telling him what bugs me isn’t going to change anything. I can’t see this show settling anything. It’s just going to stir the pot; give the person who ‘won’ the upper hand and make the person who ‘lost’ bitter. Maybe if it is something trivial like keeping a stuffed pet but most of the issues I think we have (and based on the comments, other people have as well) aren’t going to be solved in 10 minutes. The issue isn’t just putting the laundry away that I just washed and folded or helping the kid with his project, it’s taking responsibility to do the things that NO ONE really wants to do but still has to get done AND not keeping count of who does that more often or who has done their ‘fair share’. It’s never going to be fair or equal (and yes, I have to remind myself of that every day).

William

February 23rd, 2010
10:06 am

She’s a two headed alien. Really! She’s a twin and her sign is Gemini. I don’t know who I am talking to half the time, that’s the beauty and the hell. She, very, very successful professional. Me, gave up my career to care for her elderly parents and the house. Our house keeper, “Hazel, reincarnated” tells me what to do. My life has stopped and I live for wife. No balance due to the fact that I am unemployed 60% of the time, but live a lavish lifestyle of international cruises, fancy dining, exotic cars and international travel. I need to tell my horrible story to the world so that others can be saved from the “Professional Woman with Two Heads”. Somebody please, help me! Oh, here she comes. Gotta go.

FCM

February 23rd, 2010
10:08 am

@ Today’s women Um sounds like a lazy woman too me. What was she like before you married her? Any ambition or just a bunch of talk?

@ JJ again AMEN sister. It would be nice to come home and put my head on a big strong shoulder and just breathe. I think for me it’s not that I “need” or “don’t need” a man in my life. I “want” one in my life and not to clean or do laundry. Not even for the second income (though I am not willing to get involved with a lazy lout who will not bring home a paycheck). I plain old everyday just want one in my life. You know what I mean? (I see Meryl Streep in Momma Mia saying that bit about waking up everyday thanking God she doesn’t have some middle aged man underfoo. And you know the whole time she is LYING her head off…then of course SOS queues.) I am not quite middle aged but I sure felt the sting in that one.

JJ

February 23rd, 2010
10:18 am

FCM – Amen sister!!!! I don’t NEED a man, I want a good responsible MAN who can take care of himself. Someone to talk to about my day (the dogs just don’t get it), someone to go on weekend car rides with (ok the dogs like this one….LOL), etc. A companion if you will.

A friend of mine had the best relationship…….they dated for years, and only saw each other on the weekends. And no he wasn’t married. She was raising a child by herself, so during the week, they each took care of their own business. But they were together every Friday through Sunday, and it worked for them.

RJ

February 23rd, 2010
10:27 am

I think it’s important to note that when you are in a relationship you’ve already come to the conclusion that you don’t “love” everything about that person. But once you become married and live with that person, ground rules should be set. Although my mother and mother in-law are about 21 years apart in age, they both did the same thing. Worked full time jobs, had 3 or more kids and did all of the household duties. I got tired of it and decided that my life isn’t a real life episode of Leave it to Beaver so he would need to do his fair share of “woman’s work”. With that being said, I’ve been in a relationship with the same man for all of my adult life. I love him and wouldn’t trade him for anything, but that doesn’t mean that I’ll let him have it all his way. I’m sure he has his complaints about me as well. It’s all about balance and compromise. At least he listened to me on some things. I know he won’t get it all right, but I have told him how much I appreciate him beginning to help out.

@Yeah, RJ, I can assure you that my husband wouldn’t refer to me as anything other than his wife. Sorry to hear your marriage isn’t working out. Mine is doing okay, even with all my gripes.

FCM

February 23rd, 2010
10:43 am

JJ a companion with um……lots of stamina….again to quote Momma Mia (ABBA really this time) “Slightly worn but dignified and not too old for sex”.

Jesse's Girl

February 23rd, 2010
10:50 am

Ok Theresa…I messaged you.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

February 23rd, 2010
10:52 am

got it — JG!

FCM

February 23rd, 2010
10:58 am

On the other hand I am only 40.

Jesse's Girl

February 23rd, 2010
11:10 am

I love me some Abba…..

julia

February 23rd, 2010
11:23 am

another reality show that I will not be watching.. It really should be hosted by Jerry Springer…. Why people put their crap on tv is way beyond me

Wayne

February 23rd, 2010
11:58 am

“Listen, honey, I have something to talk to you about. Sit down and we’ll have a nice heart to heart. Comfy? Good! I spoke to Jerry Springer and he said he’s got a show that we’ll be perfect for coming up in a couple of weeks… Whaddyathink? Should we do it?”

WTF? I can’t believe that people are that hard up that they have to go on a nationally televised show to ‘work out’ their problems. OMG. [shakes head]

Wayne

February 23rd, 2010
11:59 am

Sorry, not one to use the “F” word – at all, but this just gets my goat.

FCM

February 23rd, 2010
12:49 pm

There is a simple solution–don’t tune in. If the Neilsen’s show it as a flop it will get canceled. BUT of course the American populice will tune in amd make it the next must see (like J&K+8, Bachelor, or whatever).

Tiger needs me on his PR team

February 23rd, 2010
12:57 pm

I can’t believe the ratio of marital gripes vs. marital bliss in this blog. From just a 10,000 count, I think I’ve got it at 8 “my spouse sucks” vs. 1 “neutral” and 1 “I appreciate what I have”.

Based on this completely unscientific data mining….I predict the show is going to be a huge success.

FCM

February 23rd, 2010
12:58 pm

Let’s discuss Easter fashion for kids. I got the girls their dresses today. Now when I was married he would roll his eyes an say “do they really need a new dress?’ So I got one a very cute hot pink and white plaid sundress (cotton) with white bolero (knit) at Walmart. I agreed that 10+ the “cute” factor should give way to her emerging “grown” look. So I spent an hour or so scouting out the online versions of local stores. Totally cute dresses.

This got us talking at work. A good many dresses sport a crinoline look (poof) and pastel, pin tuck etc. Great for easter but not days later.

Others looked too “grown” for me. I mean what is with all the black evening gown type stuff for spring…these are still girls not teens or older!

So I found a dress I could live with–that she will probably like. I admit it is more “grown” (I think I saw a coctail dress like this a few years ago) than I would have first thought I would pick. It has 1.5″ wide sundress style straps, a chiffon flow pleated skirt, empire waist with rhinestones. She will wear this with a white lace bolero sweater. It is in coral, red and hot pink mix color. Which will look fab on her.

So again we discussed it at the office. They remember pastel, flowers, crinoline etc.

What today is a good fashion for young girl trying to bridge the gap? Just curious as you know in the end I will parent as I will parent. (The photos are going to be so good!)

Tiger needs me on his PR team

February 23rd, 2010
12:58 pm

whoops…I meant ” a 10,000 ft view count”

FCM

February 23rd, 2010
1:05 pm

@ Tiger…of course it is. Look at um…Springer, Divorce Court, etc…people lap this stuff up!

julia

February 23rd, 2010
1:05 pm

FCM, how tall is she and what size is she?? Dress Barn has some VERY cute dresses and some are rather conservative :) They do have a petite section :)

Tiger needs me on his PR team

February 23rd, 2010
1:07 pm

Yeah but this Springer for the thinking man….look at how much those folks are going to have in common with people in this blog alone!

New Stepmom

February 23rd, 2010
1:10 pm

@FCM…man that is tough. I have the same conflicts dressing my step daughter. I have found that winter clothes are MUCH easier to find for this age than spring/summer. I think what you got is great. I am VERY traditional and dressy for church and I want to find stuff for my step daughter that is traditional and dressy.

I got my step daughter (9yo at the time) a sundress last year that looked like a slightly younger version of something I might wear. It was polished cotton and had a less defined waist and instead of spaghetti straps or strapless for an adult it was tank style at the top. It did have crenoline, but I cut it out with no problem. When I showed her a couple of things I had that were similar, she loved it. I also got it big so she will be able to wear it this year too. So that is one way to go with the “crenoline” look and make it more appealing.

I find that Target has the best “tween” dress clothes. I have also found a line that is more expensive called Chez Ami (online and home parties). I can justify spending a little more for their clothes because they are extremely well made and I get stuff big enough for two seasons. Also, if you have 2 girls, they can be hand me downs.

Good luck and let me know if you have any helpful hints for dressing this aged girl.

FCM

February 23rd, 2010
1:11 pm

She is tiny! She is 54 inches and about the same in weight. Size 3 shoe though…huge feet on both my kids. :)

She is still in the 7-16 Girls range. I actually like the dress I got her. The comment was made “Your a nicer Momma than mine was! She always dressed in pastel, flowers, gloves and hats.” Even I was not made to wear that at 10. My dress that year (and yes I still remember it vividly because it was my first “grown” dress) was a pastel blue with hot color flower sprigs (tiny) all over it…A line skirt style, elastic at the natural waist, sundress (1-1.5″ strap) style with matching jacket. Kick pleat in the back. Man I thought I was the $hit…ROFL, wore it with a pair of wedge jute sandals. Candies were popular then too (even for girls) but my mom thought they would ruin my feet.

This dress has a whisper (chiffon) of being “adult” while having no shape what so ever (which is good because she doesn’t either).

We could also discuss if you can be 10 not having your cycle yet and still be PMS mode. I wanted to give her Midol or something for the mood swing this weekend.