Your own husband, obviously. It’s not nearly as much sport baiting your BFF’s bloke. I should mention that smug marrieds don’t have a monopoly on annoying, so all of the following apply equally to partners, live-in boyfriends, same-sex couples, etc.
It was comedian Rita Rudner who first said “I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.”
Rudner may have said it in the 1990s, but driving each other nuts has been part of the pact since time immemorial. I’m surprised it doesn’t feature more often in marriage vows. Bottom line is, if you’re not annoying your OH, you’re doing it all wrong.
Here are 7 ways to do it right.
1 When he’s ill, tell him it’s psychosomatic. You can use this in multiple situations, eg something is bleeding or about to drop off, or it’s the dreaded Man Flu. Just make sure he’s unaware of research showing that high testosterone levels weaken the immune system (in other words, flu may really be more severe in men).
2 There’s something far worse than man flu. Baldness. It’s a fear that goes back to Samson. All you have to do is glance at his bonce and say, “Don’t worry, dear. You can always wear a hat.” Careful, though. This one is irreversible. Even if he has a full mane of hair, you’ve planted a seed of doubt. After that, every time someone mentions hair or heads, a nervous hand will creep up to his scalp to check.
3 Be insufferably pedantic. “It’s not my fourth glass of wine. It’s exactly the same one I started out with.” Note that it’s more effective if you can say it without slurring your speech. Or falling over.
4 Move his stuff, like keys, the remote control or his favourite shoes. You’re not going to put them where they don’t belong. They’ll be in the right places for you. Just the wrong ones for him. When he eventually finds whatever he’s looking for, he’ll give a sigh of relief and say “It’s always in the last place you look.” Well, of course it is, you tut with a superior look (see 3).
5 Let the cat into his side of the wardrobe. For best effect, it should be a long-haired breed, but any cat will do. Even a kitten can totally customize clothes within minutes. When he pulls out the trousers and announces that they’re ruined, completely ruined, FFS, you can, for additional impact, say you had no idea they still fitted him.
6 No list of strategies for annoying would be complete without bringing a mother-in-law into it. So tell him your mother is coming to stay. For extra shock value, try “My mother’s coming to live with us.” Caution: about 30% of people with heart attacks die before they reach hospital.
7 Here’s the coup de grace, the ultimate weapon: blog about him. That’ll do it.