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View Full Version : Uh, "Yes Dear, No Dear, Whatever You Say, Dear."



VegasGeorge
11-29-2014, 04:57 PM
Does this happen to you? Every time I sit down to play a tune, my wife comes into the room and starts asking me questions. Or else she calls out to me from the other room. I know she doesn't object to my playing or singing. She often asks me to play and sing. I think when she hears me, it triggers something in her mind to the effect of, "He isn't doing anything important, so now's my opportunity to get his attention." It's very frustrating. I don't know how many times I've started the same tune over, and over again, just to be interrupted each time. Argh! :wallbash:

Rllink
11-29-2014, 05:08 PM
Nope, it doesn't happen to me. My wife works from home, but she has an office, and she is very focused on her work. She usually starts working at 9 or 10 in the morning, unless she has a yoga class, then she starts when she gets home from that. I pretty much entertain myself and try not to bother her while she is working. We usually have lunch together at 1 in the afternoon. She winds down around 4 in the afternoon, but even then, she doesn't have much to say. She also works one or two evenings a week for a couple of hours. I have that time to myself as well, but I usually watch TV in the evenings.

itsme
11-29-2014, 05:21 PM
Last year we were visiting relatives out of town. I was playing uke on the front porch. I was asked to come into the kitchen and play while they were prepping dinner.

I no sooner started to play than the blender and other noises started happening.

Some people don't understand the concentration it takes to be able to play and chew gum at the same time.

Phuufme
11-29-2014, 05:33 PM
Our band started that way, then we asked our wives to join the band. :D

Now she is playing a ukulele bass as well.

Brian1
11-29-2014, 05:45 PM
Does this happen to you? Every time I sit down to play a tune, my wife comes into the room and starts asking me questions. Or else she calls out to me from the other room. I know she doesn't object to my playing or singing. She often asks me to play and sing. I think when she hears me, it triggers something in her mind to the effect of, "He isn't doing anything important, so now's my opportunity to get his attention." It's very frustrating. I don't know how many times I've started the same tune over, and over again, just to be interrupted each time. Argh! :wallbash:

I know this situation very well. I have a close friend who used to complain that when ever he started practicing his hobby (not the ukulele something else) his wife would say "Since you are not doing anything could you..." and follow that with, something like "mow the lawn, take out the garbage" or anything else from a laundry list of honey-dos.

I was actually able to solve the problem, and fortunately his wife had a good sense of humor about it. I bought him a hat and had the words "I AM doing something" embroidered on in it. Now depending on the wife's personality this could either solve the problem or cause a bigger one. But he tells me he never really had to put on the hat, he just had to show it to her once.

(true story)

Edit: now that I think back about it maybe he isn't allowed to complain to friends about her anymore ???

ksiegel
11-29-2014, 05:56 PM
Does this happen to you? Every time I sit down to play a tune, my wife comes into the room and starts asking me questions. Or else she calls out to me from the other room. I know she doesn't object to my playing or singing. She often asks me to play and sing. I think when she hears me, it triggers something in her mind to the effect of, "He isn't doing anything important, so now's my opportunity to get his attention." It's very frustrating. I don't know how many times I've started the same tune over, and over again, just to be interrupted each time. Argh! :wallbash:

To the best of my knowledge, I've never met your wife, so no, this never happens to me.


(g)



-Kurt

Rllink
11-29-2014, 06:00 PM
I know this situation very well. I have a close friend who used to complain that when ever he started practicing (not the ukulele something else) his wife would say "Since you are not doing anything could you..." and follow that with, something like "mow the lawn, take out the garbage" or anything else from a laundry list of honey-dos.

My wife doesn't have a list of honey-dos. I'm smart enough to know what needs to be done without her telling me. I'm pretty good at figuring out if the lawn needs mowing or the garbage needs taken out all by myself.

kohanmike
11-29-2014, 08:58 PM
No, no wife so no interruptions, other than the TV and the computer and the phone, and text messages, and...

Fred Ukestone
11-30-2014, 12:17 AM
Do you have a headphone jack on your ukulele? Otherwise it might be time to introduce the wife to lawn bowls.

PhilUSAFRet
11-30-2014, 03:13 AM
I do know that the success of any marriage depends on how well you can say "yes dear" without sounding sarcastic.

wickedwahine11
11-30-2014, 04:16 AM
No, it never happens with my spouse, who is usually off reading a book or doing woodworking projects when I am playing. But when I travel, I often bring my ukulele and will go off into a corner of the airport/hotel/ship, etc. and play it. I would say at least 10% of the time people come up and ask questions, from "is that a ukulele," to "can you play me 'Tiny Bubbles,'" etc. Now I just stop playing when they approach -- just as well, I'm too shy to play for an audience anyway, hence the corner. But it is frustrating as heck, because, nope, I actually cannot play and carry on a conversation at the same time.

Down Up Dick
11-30-2014, 04:42 AM
My wife doesn't have a list of honey-dos. I'm smart enough to know what needs to be done without her telling me. I'm pretty good at figuring out if the lawn needs mowing or the garbage needs taken out all by myself.

Yeah, about the same for me. My wife is probably glad to get away by herself without my almost constant whistling/singing or talking. I'm a noisy person, I guess, with a motormouth. Ahhh, well . . . :old:

Captain Simian
11-30-2014, 08:13 AM
Nope. The wife knows the difference when I'm just noodling and when I'm seriously trying to practice something.

Inksplosive AL
11-30-2014, 08:43 AM
My kitty comes running to sit on my lap. I think she likes thinking shes being serenaded the little queen that she is. She will get comfy and turn to face me and the instrument. Shes a talker as well and adds a meow in here and there frequently.

73505

Rllink
11-30-2014, 08:53 AM
Yeah, about the same for me. My wife is probably glad to get away by herself without my almost constant whistling/singing or talking. I'm a noisy person, I guess, with a motormouth. Ahhh, well . . . :old:My wife and I are both quiet. For years and years, we would go out after work on Wednesdays to a brew pub that has dollar pints, and we would sit there drinking beer and visiting. Now that we are both home all day, we will be here on Wednesdays and hardly say a word to each other, then at five-thirty we will go down to the pub, get our table, and talk our heads off. That is just funny when you think about it.

Down Up Dick
11-30-2014, 09:47 AM
I would like to do that too, but we don't go to bars anymore. California has really strict drunk driving laws, and it's just not worth driving around with beer breath. I drink at home now, but not much any more.

I'm a really outgoing person. I usta love to sit and chat over a drink. Life just isn't as much fun as it usta be--Ahhh well . . .

Set 'em up! :old:

Ukejenny
11-30-2014, 12:17 PM
My kids don't usually bother me when I'm playing ukulele, but if I play clarinet or flute, they feel the need to come into that room, walk around me and try to get me to make eye contact. It is almost like they are jealous.

My husband might also interrupt flute and clarinet, but I will get to the end of the phrase or whatever I may be doing before answering and asking him/them (the kids) to repeat the question. Then, my answer is always no, not now, but I'll see to it after I finish playing. Eventually they may figure it out.

I teach lessons from home and the kids are usually okay when I'm doing lessons. My youngest will sometimes start to be clingy... I nip it in the bud.

Nickie
12-01-2014, 11:17 AM
I thought the title of this thread was a lesson in how to speak to your wife.

IamNoMan
12-01-2014, 11:41 AM
It sounds like what we are really talking about here is interruptions, not anything spousal, gender, or even species related. I can't speak about pets, since our current menagerie ignores me. When someone interrupts me when I'm doing anything but cooking or driving, I stop and LISTEN to what they are saying. Frequently it is very obvious that I have terminated my activities to listen to them. People at least understand that what they are saying is important to me. It normally doesn't take too long for them to realize that my music is important to me and that I don't multi-task well. Interruptions have become less frequent.

IamNoMan
12-01-2014, 04:59 PM
Bill1 is right on all counts, but don't quit your day job.

bnolsen
12-01-2014, 05:05 PM
it doesn't seem to be an issue when i play ukulele. when i practice bass however...get the bass, strap it on, plug in the amp, power up the tuner pedal and the amp and tune it up, sit down on my stool, load up my play list on the computer and get my music book ready...then "honey can you...." that really irritates me. And its almost always something that's not urgent.

Fleapluckin_Flapper
12-02-2014, 04:22 AM
I had a mother who did that very thing up to the day she passed. Seemed to be in my case she had a resentment of my playing guitar (classical & fingerpicking acoustic)...and that's a story for another time. I do understand your frustration!
In your case however,you seriously need to come forward and tell her in a civil way what your playing time means to you,and unless the roof is caving in,you don't want to be disturbed. You need to draw a line in the sand and protect your creative time. Continuing to endure the constant interruptions is sending her the signal that your music doesn't mean very much to you & it's ok to interrupt multiple times. Your continual permitting of it is attracting........more continual permitting of being interrupted for all eternity. I would also like to recommend you getting a copy of Julia Camerons book "The Artists' Way" and start working with that. I have worked with other creatives with that book and would be glad to help you if you need some creative coaching or a sounding board.

Down Up Dick
12-02-2014, 05:04 AM
My wife seldom interrupts me when I'm playing. I think she's glad to be rid of me for a while even though she can still hear me. When she's quilting or reading, she's in her own peaceful little world. If anybody bothers anybody, it's me bothering her. Ahhh well . . .

Too much peace and quiet is bad for one. :old:

RAB11
12-02-2014, 05:19 AM
I'll quite happily be talked at or to when I'm playing uke, and when I'm doing something like learning a new song or recording a Seasons video, I try and pick my moments so I know I won't be disturbed. What gets me is when I'm reading something, be it a news article, book, or post on a forum, all my attention is focussed on that. Quite often that's when my other half feels the need to tell me something, varying from drastically important to waffle about how her day went even though we tend to text each other through the day anyway. I often don't realise I'm being spoken to until she stops talking at which point I have to remind her that I zone out when I'm reading and she'll have to repeat it all.

Much as I love her, being with her, and spending time with her, 'me time' is still something I hold very dear.

Ramart
12-02-2014, 09:53 AM
In my extensive life experience, women (not all of 'em but more so than any other gender) seem to have a tendency to feel they're in competition with ambient music, especially if it's at a volume they might deem "loud." Consider how many times in your life you've heard someone say, "Please turn that music down" or "Too loud!" or "Lower the volume!", etc. How many times was that person a woman?

I'm not one of those chauvinistic knuckle-draggers who thinks all members of the fairer sex are "attention whores," but I have observed a disproportionate number of women seeming to feel threatened by the sound of music, particularly recorded/broadcast music played at live-performance volumes. Background music is usually OK but a home or car hi-fi system cranked up to concert hall realism? Not so OK. (Come to think of it, audiophiles who invest in high-end playback gear tend to be male, no?)

Maybe this gender-based tendency, if it's not just a perverse illusion on my part, extends to the socially competitive sounds a guy makes when he starts playing his uke or whatever in mixed company.

Any well-schooled cultural anthropologists care to rebut or concur with my armchair theory?

Brian1
12-02-2014, 10:08 AM
In my extensive life experience, women (not all of 'em but more so than any other gender) seem to have a tendency to feel they're in competition with ambient music, especially if it's at a volume they might deem "loud." Consider how many times in your life you've heard someone say, "Please turn that music down" or "Too loud!" or "Lower the volume!", etc. How many times was that person a woman?

I'm not one of those chauvinistic knuckle-draggers who thinks all members of the fairer sex are "attention whores," but I have observed a disproportionate number of women seeming to feel threatened by the sound of music, particularly recorded/broadcast music played at live-performance volumes. Background music is usually OK but a home or car hi-fi system cranked up to concert hall realism? Not so OK. (Come to think of it, audiophiles who invest in high-end playback gear tend to be male, no?)

Maybe this gender-based tendency, if it's not just a perverse illusion on my part, extends to the socially competitive sounds a guy makes when he starts playing his uke or whatever in mixed company.

Any well-schooled cultural anthropologists care to rebut or concur with my armchair theory?

Your hypothesis, has no tested supporting data. The first step in a peer review process would be to ask the question: If given any activity such as playing the ukulele or playing solitaire would have the same effect? Next one must rule out that a man sitting around the house for an hour of either activity may or may not be prone to being asked for help around the house sometime in that hour. Another flaw would be to assume that women are the only ones doing this without testing them under the same conditions are they for example asked "where are my keys" while reading a book ?

Ramart
12-02-2014, 10:14 AM
Your hypothesis, has no tested supporting data. The first step in a peer review process would be to ask the question: If given any activity such as playing the ukulele or playing solitaire would have the same effect? Next one must rule out that a man sitting around the house for an hour of either activity may or may not be prone to being asked for help around the house sometime in that hour. Another flaw would be to assume that women are the only ones doing this without testing them under the same conditions are they for example asked "where are my keys" while reading a book ?

But the OP's premise was that the wife seemed to make her honey-do requests most noticeably when he began playing ukulele. Little doubt they ask each other "where are my keys?", etc., more or less equally at other, nonmusical times.

IamNoMan
12-02-2014, 10:16 AM
Ramart, you may be onto something here. I do not like gender stereotypes at all, but my wife Susan is a tremendous multi-tasker. I am not. When there is ambient background music it really disrupts her concentration. My playing or singing is not usually a problem here but ambient music seems to be. I usually like to have ambient music playing if only to drown out the ringing in my ears from Tinnitus.

Brian1
12-02-2014, 10:19 AM
But the OP's premise was that the wife seemed to make her honey-do requests most noticeably when he began playing ukulele. Little doubt they ask each other "where are my keys?", etc., more or less equally at other, nonmusical times.

You are right that is when he NOTICED but that does not mean it is the only time it happens it is only the time when it seems to have an increased annoyance to him we must also test if playing the ukulele makes men more irritable ;)

Ramart
12-02-2014, 10:29 AM
You are right that is when he NOTICED but that does not mean it is the only time it happens it is only the time when it seems to have an increased annoyance to him we must also test if playing the ukulele makes men more irritable ;)

I suppose test data would be interesting to read (if such results were actually obtainable), but I'm comfortable with my subjective, observational conclusions.

But, yeah, you're so right that he might only feel put upon because he'd just settled in to a picking-and-strumming session when the intrusive requests often seem to arise. However, the notion that uke playing might make men more irritable seems more than a bit far-fetched.:)

gardens_guitar
12-02-2014, 10:58 AM
Background music is usually OK but a home or car hi-fi system cranked up to concert hall realism?

I'm a guy and I don't like any loud music. It is one of the several reasons I don't go to most concerts. Jazz concerts seem to be played at a decent volume. Lucky, my wife and I agree on the volume thing. There are restaurants we will not frequent because the background noise is too loud. We both think this has gotten worse over time.

My brother-in-law is on of the LOUD lovers and it has damaged his hearing. I will not get in the car with him unless I get control of the volume knob. If he plays it at a level where he can hear it, my ears hurt. If I play it at my volume, he can't hear it.

FWIW- when I go shooting I wear a set of ear plugs with ear muffs over them.

Roselynne
12-02-2014, 08:15 PM
Nope. Mid-note interruptions are not just a wife/woman thing. Not gonna go into how I know this, but believe me ... I know!

Mattyukaholic
12-02-2014, 10:17 PM
In all seriousness, it's a real problem for me. My friends and family still see it as a selfish thing when I'm playing ukulele rather than paying them attention. It's really frustrating because ukulele teaching brings in about a third of my income and is incredibly important for us. Unfortunately my family and friends don't seem to understand that lessons take time to prepare. I'm sure they think I just turn up and play, despite the fact I teach structured courses from beginners to advanced.

The comments that really make me want to scream are most often 'sorry, I wouldn't bother you if you were working, but you're just playing uke' kind of thing. My father in law will often go further with things like 'put that silly toy down and make us a cup of tea.' That silly toy paid for that cup of tea!

I've explained until I'm blue in the face how important my ukulele time and lesson prep is but it still happens all the time. I think sometimes it comes down to the prejudice about the ukulele not being a proper instrument in some people's eyes. I bet if I were playing piano it would be different.

I often wonder what they would think if I turned up at their workplace and asked them to make me a cup of tea!

Thanks for listening! I think I needed to get that off my chest!!

phil hague
12-02-2014, 11:52 PM
I don't now what you guys are complaining about. My wife plays Piano Accordion. Try competeing with that!

Rllink
12-03-2014, 03:29 AM
In all seriousness, it's a real problem for me. My friends and family still see it as a selfish thing when I'm playing ukulele rather than paying them attention. It's really frustrating because ukulele teaching brings in about a third of my income and is incredibly important for us. Unfortunately my family and friends don't seem to understand that lessons take time to prepare. I'm sure they think I just turn up and play, despite the fact I teach structured courses from beginners to advanced.

The comments that really make me want to scream are most often 'sorry, I wouldn't bother you if you were working, but you're just playing uke' kind of thing. My father in law will often go further with things like 'put that silly toy down and make us a cup of tea.' That silly toy paid for that cup of tea!

I've explained until I'm blue in the face how important my ukulele time and lesson prep is but it still happens all the time. I think sometimes it comes down to the prejudice about the ukulele not being a proper instrument in some people's eyes. I bet if I were playing piano it would be different.

I often wonder what they would think if I turned up at their workplace and asked them to make me a cup of tea!

Thanks for listening! I think I needed to get that off my chest!!Very disturbing interpersonal relationships going on here I think. Do you live with your Father-in-law? I see my Father-in-law on Sunday mornings, and that is about it. He certainly isn't around enough to interrupt my ukulele playing. Anyway, might I suggest that you tell your Father-in-law, in a nice but firm voice, that you are busy and he can make his own cup of tea. Perhaps that will be enough for him to get the hint. If not, you can ask him to leave while you play your uke. I am not trying to be flippant about this. There is no reason to put up with that kind of behavior. He is trying to establish dominance over you. He is being a bully. You need to take a stand, or it will only get worse. Sorry, but I read your post hand had to get that off my chest.

Down Up Dick
12-03-2014, 04:43 AM
Yeah, Rllink, I couldn't agree more. A lot of the interruptees oughta tell the rude interrupters to just go away. Being nice is nice, but there should be a limit. Most people are stepped on because they allow it.

Don't let them rain on your parade! :old:

Mattyukaholic
12-03-2014, 08:05 AM
Very disturbing interpersonal relationships going on here I think. Do you live with your Father-in-law? I see my Father-in-law on Sunday mornings, and that is about it. He certainly isn't around enough to interrupt my ukulele playing. Anyway, might I suggest that you tell your Father-in-law, in a nice but firm voice, that you are busy and he can make his own cup of tea. Perhaps that will be enough for him to get the hint. If not, you can ask him to leave while you play your uke. I am not trying to be flippant about this. There is no reason to put up with that kind of behavior. He is trying to establish dominance over you. He is being a bully. You need to take a stand, or it will only get worse. Sorry, but I read your post hand had to get that off my chest.

No he doesn't live with us, it's more when he visits. He's a proper old fashioned Northener from England. It's pretty hard to change his behaviour!

Ramart
12-03-2014, 08:25 AM
I'm a guy and I don't like any loud music. It is one of the several reasons I don't go to most concerts...

By "concert hall realism" I meant, like, a piano recital or orchestral performance at Carnegie Hall, not a Metallica "concert" with megastacks of Marshall amps and overhyped arena PA.

But if someone's invested in good hi-fi reproduction gear at home, he doesn't always want Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach, for example, reduced to "background music" by the volume police(women).

Having said that, I heartily agree that way too much live music is unnecessarily over-amped (sometimes by musicians' egos), often when no amplification at all is needed. Like in a small coffee house or even in a hotel ballroom for, say, a wedding. Such unnecessary infliction of high decibels is one of my pet peeves, in fact, especially when the setting is one in which guests ought to be able to hear each other's conversation, i.e., a social setting versus a "performance."

Fleapluckin_Flapper
12-03-2014, 08:32 AM
Actually it's scientific and medically proven on the womens ears bit.....and that is this: A womans hearing range picks up more high frequencies than mens ears,meaning our ears are more sensitive to higher DB s and volume,which is why loud music is often asked to be turned down. When I played bass in rock bands I needed to wear musicians earplugs because the drums (Which I love) hurt my ears as did the ultra high notes of lead guitar. Mens ears pick up a wider range of lower frequencies.
As far as women interrupting practice time,please refer to my earlier post on this thread. I do believe many women don't take one playing/practicing seriously as they were probably raised in a similar environment of.......if it's music it's nothing important. Which isn't their fault,they simply need to understand that when you're practicing,it's serious study to you.

Roselynne
12-03-2014, 09:01 AM
I said I wouldn't go into this, but ... well, I'm a married woman, and I'm the one who gets interrupted! Often in mid-note. Naturally, my own take is that interruptions are more a non-player thing than a gender trait.

We do seem to have a mix of issues on this thread. Everything from sensitive ears, to the innocently oblivious (my house!), to outright bullying is represented. I do believe the widespread notion that Fleapluckin_Flapper mentioned -- "if it's music, it's nothing important" -- is behind most, if not all, of the above. That, too, is not a gender trait.

Inksplosive AL
12-03-2014, 09:13 AM
I lost a couple friends when I started tattooing in the beginning it was mostly 15-16 hour days I was being selfish working and learning a trade instead of getting high and goofing off. I have a much shorter list of real friends now. Family eh they always expect preferential treatment.


No he doesn't live with us, it's more when he visits. He's a proper old fashioned Northener from England. It's pretty hard to change his behaviour!

Laugh at him and tell him hes funny for thinking in today's world he shouldn't be making his own tea. Of course if hes a guest that makes you the host and then you do have responsibilities. I try to imagine myself seeing things from different perspectives. I would think practice time or lesson planning time should be taken to another quiet room perhaps where the FIL is not welcome. Or get it off your chest to him. What you said here to us said to him might make your relationship enjoyable. Or not.

Good Luck
~AL~

PS Drawing and tattooing are seen much the same by many as unimportant. I have been asked what my real job is before. I also deal with loud Aholes running in banging their hands on the counter yelling "Can I get tattooed right now"? The face is priceless when I stop tattooing and look them in the eye and say "NO you cannot get tattooed right now". ~hehe

Inksplosive AL
12-03-2014, 09:22 AM
Off topic humor:

Its also scientifically proven that women's legs have roughly 1/10th the nerve endings that a mans face does.

Ladies please do not sneak and use your mans razor to shave with we do know the difference.

~peace~