gettin’ stabby wit it

When my husband and I first got married, we had a serious case of The Poors.

Honestly? We didn’t mind all that much. After all, a lot of newlyweds come down with The Poors. Especially newlyweds who’ve had to max out their credit cards in order to pay for all their own wedding festivities and honeymoon travel. Newlyweds still paying down thousands upon thousands of dollars in student loans, car loans, and loans from The Bank of Dad. Newlyweds enjoying a combined household income that most people would very generously describe as “Aw. Bless.”

You know. Newlyweds like us.

It wasn’t the best of times, I’ll admit, but neither was it the worst of times. We were young. We were in love. We were in a constant state of naked-times. We had more important things to do with our time than sit around bumming out about our financial situation. So we just learned to do more with less.

What? We were busy doing a lot of this. Don’t judge.

One of the ways we cut down on expenses was to upcycle furniture that was destined for the landfill. Which is why, about a month after we got hitched, my husband showed up at our apartment with an old table that was sturdy and functional, but in desperate need of some tender loving care. His intent was to sand it, paint it, seal it, and then use it as a desk in his home office.

“Fine,” I said.

“Sounds good,” I said.

“Go for it,” I said.

“This will in no way be a humongous disaster,” I said.

And I didn’t give it another thought.

My husband started renovating the table on a warm Friday evening. The process took three full days, but when it was finally finished on late Sunday afternoon, I had to admit that all of the effort had been worth it. I was summoned to the back patio, where I pronounced the table glorious.

The glorious table. Which we still have. See if you can find it under all of my husband’s shit.

After about five minutes of praising my husband and his glorious table, I returned to where I prefer to spend my balmy Sunday evenings – inside. However, in an unusual nod to my arch-nemesis The Outdoors, I decided to live a little and open all of the windows. Which is why, about an hour later, I heard with crystal clarity every single word of the filth that suddenly began pouring from my husband’s mouth.

Delightful turns of phrase such as “GOD FUCKING DAMN IT!” and “SON OF A BITCH!” began floating in through my bedroom window, along with several obscenities of a decidedly more international flavor. And since long profane rants are not normal behavior for my husband, I became a little concerned about what I was hearing.

Still, I wasn’t truly and seriously alarmed until I heard the gigantic CLUNK. And the THUNK THUNK.

And the CHUNK.

I didn’t know for certain, but it sure sounded a lot like someone was flinging a table all over the back patio with a surprising amount of force. I jumped out of bed and ran outside to assess the situation, and there in front of me was a tableau I will never forget. The glorious table had been up-ended in the corner of the patio, and my husband, sweaty and shirtless, was standing next to it with a look in his eyes that I can only describe as “CUH-RAZY.” The expression on his face was one of unequivocal rage.

It was almost as if he had a… RAGE FACE. I’ll show myself out.

At first I didn’t understand exactly what I was seeing, primarily because it was starting to get dark, and also because the table was lying on its side, way off in a shadowy corner of the patio. But once my eyes adjusted and my brain processed the scene in front of me, I realized that the paint on the table had started to peel and bubble. And I’m not talking about a bubble here, a bubble there – I’m talking about a massive amount of huge, swollen, fuck-you-and-all-your-hard-work-because-there-is-absolutely-no-fixing-this-shit bubbles.

“What happened?” I gasped.

“I sealed it,” spat my husband.

“With what? Hydrochloric acid?”

He ignored this, pushing past me and making his way into the house. I followed.

“What are you going to do?” I asked.

“I don’t know. Do we have an axe?” He was in the kitchen now, squatting in front of the cabinet beneath the sink and rummaging through its contents.

“Uh, no.”

“What about a hatchet?”


He didn’t respond. He just kept on scrabbling around underneath the sink.

It turned out that my husband had used a spray sealant that didn’t play well with the kind of paint he’d used on the table. Rather than acting as a sealant, it had acted as a solvent, and almost as soon as he’d finished spraying it on the table, the paint had started to bubble and crack. All of the sanding and painting he had done over the course of the weekend was instantly ruined.

My husband, unable to locate the hatchet we didn’t actually own, finally stood up from his crouching position in front of the sink. He looked around the kitchen with wild eyes, riotous hair, and a disconcertingly unhinged look on his face. And as his eyes lit upon the knife block, I realized what he was going to do.

“Don’t,” I cautioned him.

He just looked at me.

“Seriously,” I said. “Don’t.”

But it was too late. The decision had already been made.

My husband grabbed the largest knife we had – a gleaming 10-inch butcher knife – and made his way to the back patio with purpose and determination. I trailed behind, knowing that at this point there was nothing I could say or do, and when we got outside, my husband up-righted the offending table with what seemed like super-human strength.

And that’s when he stabbed it.


Also THIS may or may not have happened. (It did.)

Look. Unless you are in some sort of dive bar full of sketchy criminal types and you need to make the point that YOU ARE NOT TO BE MESSED WITH, there is absolutely NO acceptable reason to stab a table with a knife. None. And even if there were other acceptable reasons, I’m fairly sure “being pissed off that some shitty sealant messed up my paint job” would not be one of them. But my brand-new husband, normally one of the sweetest men on earth, had clearly left reason behind.

Fortunately, the act of stabbing the table with the butcher knife seemed to satisfy my husband’s urge to turn the whole thing into a pile of urine-soaked kindling, and in the dim light of the back patio he turned to me.

“Now I have to start all over,” he said sadly.

“Yes,” I agreed. “But not tonight.”

“Oh no,” he responded, his jaw set in an expression of grim resolve. “Tonight.”

He took the entire next day off of work to fix the wreckage he had caused, but not before staying up until three o’clock in the A.M. in an adrenaline-fueled attempt to strip down the ruined table. He used the electric sander until around midnight, when our neighbors started to complain, at which point he thoughtfully switched over to sandpaper blocks.

But not before kindly informing the neighbors that if they didn’t shut their fucking mouths he was going to come over there and sand their faces off.



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Photo credits:
“Tattooed Sailor”: Two sailors aboard the American battleship USS New Jersey in 1944. Date 12/1944. Source: Photographed by Fenno Jacobs. Department of Defense. Department of the Navy. Naval Photographic Center. This media is available in the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration, cataloged under the ARC Identifier 520883. This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code. — Modified

57 Replies to “gettin’ stabby wit it”

  1. If my husband had broken my 10″ chef’s knife stabbing it into the failed paint job of a Salvation Army store piece of furniture when we first got married, I think he’d have been allowed back in our bed sometime last week. (I’m very protective of my knives.) But this was hilarious.

  2. I loved this! Took me back to a lot of the fun projects I did when I was a new married and we had The Poors too. Sometimes I think when throwing money at things is an option, we miss out on some of the adventure! 🙂

    Stopping in from Bloppy Bloggers.

  3. If my husband had done that, I totally would have acted like you. However, realistically it would have been ME redoing and then subsequently flipping out over the table. I could see myself sanding until the wee hours of the morn just to show that table who’s boss.

  4. Oh my…maybe your case of The Poors was more upsetting to him than he realized. Does your husband have a strong accent? It’s fun to read his part of the dialogue in a Ricky Ricardo accent. Great rage face drawing and great post!

  5. this is how every single project goes at my house. Every. Single. One. My favorite part is when he yells “Chinese Cocksuckers!!” at the top of his lungs when trying to assemble something.

    and my husband is now in his fifties………… 😀

  6. Oh, I feel this SO MUCH. Every diy project my husband and I have attempted over the last 20 years has ended in much the same fashion—and there have been MANY. (Although I don’t think he’s ever actually stabbed a table. I find that part completely impressive!) I think that table HAD IT COMING!!!! –Lisa #TeamTableStabber

  7. I totally get angry at inanimate objects on a regular basis. Usually it is not a problem, just me acting crazy and illogical. One time, though, I got upset at the broom and snapped the metal handle off. As it snapped, it took a giant chunk of my finger pad off, a chunk that didn’t stop bleeding for three hours, requiring me dragging all three children to the doctor and then the orthopedic surgeon for a consultation. Good times!

    I loved the part of your husband getting angry at the neighbors. Now it’s even funnier imagining Puss n’ Boots yelling that he would sandpaper someone’s face off.

    1. OMG. That sounds like a horror story nightmare bad time. It’s totally something I would have done to myself.

      Yes… he sounds just like Puss in Boots. It’s sexy yet disturbing.

  8. Your husband would get along well with my husband. My husband doesn’t even attempt these projects but just putting the crib together was enough, and it was good that he used up all the expletives in the world before my daughter was born.

  9. So yeah, I don’t do projects very often, but when the wife does have me do something, it ends much the same way, just with less violence and stabbing. That’s a bit of nutjob flip out there Mr. Husband! Nice work! Lol.

    1. And you know what’s weird is that my husband is the gentlest, sweetest, most chivalrous person I have ever met. Except when he’s stabbing tables and whatnot. Then he’s a psycho.

  10. Your husband wins the award for “Best Rage Against An Inanimate Object” however my husband does get honorable mention. We had this old desk that came with me from my parent’s house (in fact most of our furniture was of this nature, you know the Poors) and it was so beat up. The drawer that held pens and paper (and tons of crap) kept getting stuck. While on the phone with a potential employer (so maybe we could be not so poor) my husband went to open the drawer to get paper and a pen and the drawer of course stuck. He tried to get it open while maintaining his side of the conversation but it didn’t work. I ran over to help but it was too late. He was bright red and sweating. He handed me the phone (I wisely covered the mouthpiece, no mute button on this landline) and proceeded to rip the drawer out of the desk scattering the contents everywhere, yelling, I believe it was “Piece of Fucking Shit” and then threw the drawer down as hard as he could shattering it. Then kicked it, then stomped on it. Took a deep breath, picked up a pen, some paper and got back on the phone.

    1. But did he get the job?

      I know how it goes with secondhand furniture. Most of ours came from my in-laws and my mother-in-law’s parents. The rest came from neighbors’ garbage (you’d be amazed what people put on the curb for garbage pickup!), thrift stores, and garage sales. I think the only pieces of furniture we have that were bought new are an ottoman I got nearly a decade ago and a janky plastic dresser my mom bought me in high school. I had already met my husband but wasn’t dating him when I bought the ottoman, so it’s technically MINE, ALL MINE. The plastic dresser is mine, too, but I’d gladly throw it out if I had the money to get something nicer. (We kinda have the Poors again.)

  11. sarah, you know that bookshelf thingy that the DVDs are on? Well after days in the workshop, your father was going to scrap it because it was off by an eighth of an inch. There is a woodworking gene that makes the caveman come out

  12. I once destroyed a tea towel (with a very large kitchen knife) because I fucked up dinner. I guess at least I didn’t stab the dinner.

  13. The stabbing cannot have been satisfying. You’re a brave woman. I’d have made myself scarce.

    And, why is it when the sweet ones crack, they go all ape-shitzunami? If they could just let a little out at a time, I’m sure three days wasted on furniture refinishing would go over better.

    I’m kidding. Refinishing furniture makes me want to stab something too.

  14. I find it hilarious that the men folk always seem to get so angry at inanimate objects — as if that table (or wall, or non-working television, or plugged up kitchen sink pipes, or — my favorite — the egg HE dropped on the floor) have some sort of personal vendetta against them.

  15. Oh my gosh. I thought I had a temper! I’ve punched cabinet doors with stabby, painful rings and thrown all manner of things across the house when I’m mad, but never have I stabbed a table. (Yet.) That’s kind of amazing.

    I remember those days of newlywed bliss. My husband I were pretty broke during our first year of marriage, but we didn’t worry much until after our first anniversary. That was around the time we realized that if we didn’t find more substantial work, we might have to move in with my in-laws. I love my in-laws, but that sure did light a fire under our asses.

  16. Da-yum! I have a temper too. Used to be much worse. I used to turn tables over and stuff. (Not to be confused with that crazy bitch on Real Housewives of NJ.)

  17. Husbands get violent with projects like wives get angry with those stupid fuckin skinny jeans that keep shrinking and need to be cut into pieces but all I have is worthless child scissors that have never been used for the dumb ass kindergarten “creativity” promoting assignments.

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