Sainted, but not perfect

May 6, 2011

By Pat Detmer

I’ve written here about my husband, The Sainted One. I told you what a great catch he was, and how he was anointed “Sainted” because I do not carry that moniker and can be a holy handful.

He loved the column. Others did, too. Our hairdresser said she wanted to frame the cartoon. Someone recognized him as we waited for our Valentine’s Day table at The Calcutta Grill and suggested that since he was ordained, he could renew their vows. And Dana Sullivan, cartoonist extraordinaire, said (and I quote verbatim): “I think anytime we can poke fun at Fred, we’ll have a better column.”

Hmm. And here I thought I’d been turning out pretty decent columns for years without poking fun at Fred.

But I get it. If votes were counted tomorrow, The Sainted One would win Mr. Newcastle Congeniality and I most likely would not. But let me tell you something: He is not perfect. Witness:

  • He cooks, but does not bake.
  • If asked to do anything on the home repair front that requires much more than hanging a picture, I will be able to find him by following a trail of blood.
  • He doesn’t know how to properly fill a dishwasher, but then I don’t know a man who does.
  • He insists upon opening food boxes on the wrong end, and if you look in our pantry, you’ll find that most of our boxed foods are wearing masking tape diapers.

  • He loses his cellphone earpiece constantly. When he can’t find one, he buys another. Then he finds the one he’s lost. The other day I came home and he was charging all of them. Every outlet on the second floor was in use, and lights were surging and dimming all over Newcastle.
  • He can’t understand why I insist that we do a quarterly garage cleaning. “It’s a garage!” he says, and he takes great glee in pointing out piles of detritus in other Newcastle garages that make it look like the owners are trying out for a “Hoarders” episode. “Look! Look!” he’ll cry. “And you complain about us?”
  • He loves baseball. I like the faster game of basketball. When we go to a baseball game, I take a book.
  • Periodically he falls in love with a piece of clothing, and I’m convinced that if that piece of clothing could animate itself, it might replace me. Ten years ago, it was a sweatshirt that became tattered with use. I did an Internet search to find an exact replacement, which we named “Son of Sweatshirt.” Now he’s into a series of sweatpants that he refers to as “Old Man Pants.” I learned long ago not to consign these to the garbage can. I think it might be grounds for divorce.

So do you see what I have to put up with? Sainted, yes. But perfect? Well … almost.

You can reach Pat Detmer — lucky Pat Detmer — at


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