Just a little friendly hate mail

When I first started my column, I learned quickly that I don’t have to take personal criticism personally. I have a great editor at the Standard who regularly reminds me that it’s my job to stir the pot, even if it means that sometimes I get mixed in there with the beans.

For those of you who read yesterday’s post about motorcycles, I had to share this totally awesome letter I received today from a reader (one of the many outraged cycle lovers who took the time to write back). To my regular blogging friends, you know I get desperate for material sometimes, and let’s all be honest and admit that my motorcycle-crazed article was probably the best sample of this you’ll see. I had a deadline, and it was such a fun piece to write. The end.

And for those of you who are privy to the in’s and out’s of my marriage (which would be most of you, if you’ve been around long enough), I hope you find this as good of a read as I did. It also made me think back, have I remembered to remind you all how much I adore my man lately? In case you missed the memo, I’m more whipped than a naughty two-year-old who missed her nap. I love him, he loves me, and that is the only reason I don’t want him to die. Come on, we all know I could take care of myself.

(And for what it’s worth, once that garage door goes up at the end of the day, he doesn’t last thirty seconds without getting mauled by my pregnant self, and I regularly make him late for work because I think it’s hot when he puts on his gun. There, I said it.)

Here it is:


I read your article several times. My gut sank as I read it. You missed one of the greatest relationship building opportunities of your mariage. What came through lound and clear:

1. Your main interest in your relationship with your husband is financial.
– If he becomes sick he can count on you hitting the road.
2. There is a certain amount of work you rely on him to do. He’d better be up to it.
3. Your fears are more important than his feelings.

There was a way better way to aproach this. When asked why you objected to a motorcycle simply reply:

1. You love him and would be lost with out him if he were injured or killed.
2. That you would be constantly worried that he would be injured or worse.
3. That your children love him and would be devistated if he was injured or killed.

Do you feel the difference. At this point it may be too late to send this most important message of love. Thanks for the reminder of why I kiss my wife each time I leave the house or she does. Nobody has a guarantee of life beyond this present moment, and so I kiss her so that if it is out last, she will remember  that I love her with all my heart. Countless people process oxygen into carbon dioxide but are not truly alive, because they live in fear rather than passion.

I drive a small motorcycle when I can. I know it is a dangerous thing even though I only ride in town. I just love sticking it to the man (I can ride on $5 of gas every 2 weeks at 70+ MPG).  I ware my helmet and live by three rules to be as safe as possible. #1 Nobody can see me. #2 If they could see me they would go out of their way to kill me. #3 I am 1 accident away from never riding again. This is because I love my wife and want to grow very old with her. I draw the line at 2 lane highway ridding. 4 lanes? No way, the risk is just too great for me. It’s a personal thing.

Here is some good news for you if you still are worried about your financial future. Lawyers are your best friend. I’m not sure which would be more lucritive a dead or vege hubby in court. You can sue for all the wages he would have ever earned. PLUS you get SSI for being a widow or having a vege hubby and 75% of that amount for each child under 16 until they reach 16 year of age. Dang he might be worth more dead than alive to you, if that is truly your overriding concern. I doubt it though. I think it was just a missed opportunity to build the relationship you both really want.

If at some point you look back and ask where your relationship broke down. It was probabably when your fear was stronger than love.

Name Withheld

For what it’s worth, my “fears” haven’t kept my man from pursuing his dreams, dreams which include comforting things like drug busts (this week, actually) and bullet proof vests. Also, we could throw in a few years specializing in counter-terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and routine seminars on things like “How To Not Die in a Gun Fight” (that’s what he was doing in Florida last month). And yes, he always gets a hug, a kiss, and a slap on the butt when he goes out to get the bad guys.

So yeah, if I want to preserve a little of him for our family by asking him to hold off on things like motorcycle riding, I think I’ve earned that.

So thank you, dear reader, for taking the time to write to me. I had no idea my marriage was in such dire straits due to the stringent restraints I keep on the man; I’ll have to find a way to remedy it.

It just won’t be with a motorbike.


  1. I love the comments from those who know me so well when I write! I can see that you do, too. Aren’t we lucky? LOL!!!

  2. That is a very friendly hate mail. Really. Someone concerned. It’s just too bad that people think that when you write something a)you are always being completely serious and b) that’s all there is to the story.

    Still, a very interesting letter. I hope it’s not too late to build the relationship you’ve nearly destroyed back up. 🙂

    • annie valentine says:

      I actually sent the guy a really, really nice reply–before I got mad.

  3. Hate mail is so fun!

    Anyhow, I read your column . . . . . I have a little “hate” mail for you too.

    (think . . . . . . . grain of salt . . . . . . grain of salt . . . . . 🙂 . . . . . .tongue in cheek . . . . tongue in cheek)

    As a parent of adult children, why the heck would you think the parents would want to be saddled with an adult-vegie-child????? ROFL!!! Think about it!

    • annie valentine says:

      I never said his parents agreed to the plan, but they did think he should get a bike. I thought it was fitting that they all end up on the same team.

  4. Wow, you weren’t joking! I’m glad he wares a helmet though.

  5. Oh, and I feel privileged that I actually made it on your Reader.

  6. Ooh, I love when my husband puts on his gun as well. Yum!! He likes to ogle motorcycles and I think if he ever asks to buy one I’ll refer him to your awesome article.

  7. You’re way ahead of me, I won’t even let my husband buy a gun. Yep, it’s all fear and no passion over here, baby.
    (And just remember, no one is ever completely understood all of the time. Probably even this guy writing the letter, I don’t think I completely understand what he is getting at either…)

  8. I’m not sure the man got the grain of salt that your column comes with. :o) Of course you articulated your worries and your love to your husband. But you don’t write that stuff because it might be kinda boring. Who wants to read about the wife who says exactly the right thing every time and wouldn’t DREAM of being a bit sarcastic?

    That said, he wasn’t really mean and brought up good points.

    • annie valentine says:

      It might not sound mean to you, but until you’re on the other end of a personal attack with very little factual basis, a person might not understand why this kind of blatant misconception would be hard to take. For the record, it is.

  9. You pot-stirrer.

  10. It’s a turn on for me when people write hate mail… or tell me what is wrong with me… how nice of them to care!

    Ha… I love that you write in a way that makes people FEEL something though… I do commend you for that.

    Jesus says you owe me something 😉

  11. hahahaha … i am now and forever will be a fan of yours. you make me laugh. have a wonderful time slapping his butt and making him late to work. as wifes and moms you are right you have earned that. this is the first post i have read but from the sounds of it you love your hubs!!

  12. My father-in-law’s reply to my husband wanting to get a motorcycle, “A helmet only gives you a greater chance of having an open casket funeral.” Needless to say, my hubby’s still motorcycless and will continue to be for as long as I’m around!

  13. Two Words Hater: SPELL CHECK

  14. So, I missed the article on motorcycles and had to read it 🙂 The comments on your article were interesting. I feel like it does not matter how often I look in my blind spots and check for a safe lane change, sometimes motorcycles are hard to see. That does not mean I am an idiot driver or not paying attention. All black? – we call those invisible bikers – not smart!

    I have to say this hate mail is nicely written. I agree with all the previous comments.

    – You write an article in a newspaper. Who wants to read boring articles? You show your perspective being a Wife and Mother and the impact of losing a husband would make on your family – if you just said that you would miss him terribly, there is no excitement in that.

    – You are sarcastic – L.O.V.E. it!

    – Dave Ramsay has his own place at your dinner table (as well as mine) – that does not mean your life and marriage is consumed by finances.

    – Want to save on gas? Buy a Prius!

    Keep the articles coming hot mamma!

  15. Pattyann says:

    You go girl! Sometimes I wonder why people get so upset when we put our foot down about certain choices! We did not have a gun in the house for years (until the kids got older). It is not because I don’t trust my husband. It is because I don’t trust other people. Same goes for the murder cycle. I trust him just fine. It is all the road hogs on the road out there that I don’t trust to keep him safe. We live in a world where people in the cars think they own the entire road. Having been on plenty of accidents, I would have to say that all of them except one were NOT the motorcyclist fault!!!

  16. Hmmm….

    I’ve often said that many of us would rather be understood than loved. Every time I say it, I get static. And yet, speaking for myself, I have a much harder time dealing with someone who criticizes me because they’ve misunderstood me, than accepting that they get me just fine and still have decided I’m not their cup o’ tea.

    For that matter, when I get comments on my blog that say, “DeNae, I totally loved it when you said…” and then it’s clear they didn’t get it at ALL, I have a hard time not being a teensy bit bugged.

    I, for one, prefer understanding. And if you understand me AND love me, too, well then, that’s a relationship worth treasuring.

  17. Camille says:

    Wow….many motorcyclers are angry over at the Standard. What I find most interesting is how some defend how responsible they are. Just today I was in Bear Lake when two motorcycle men and their hot mamas passed me while oncoming traffic was closing the gap on them pretty fast….it really was a close call…but I guess they didn’t like being behind a mini van going the speed limit……AND there has been more than one time I have witnessed idiot bullet bike riders weaving in and out of traffic.
    I know everyone needs to be more careful on the road….but give me a break with the whole your vehicle (wait I meant “cages”) are at fault….

  18. annie, sista!

    glad to know someone out there dislikes the idea of motorcycles & husbands, as i do. they don’t mix, at least not well….at least not when thinking long-term. =)

    heck yeah, you have a right to be concerned about losing the breadwinner to an injury, vegetation, or death. heck yes you do! if you have that right with military service, or public service/law enforcement, then you have that right anytime a risky situation may occur or activity takes place.

    we’re women, mothers, wives, best friends. that’s what we do is be concerned for our loved ones’ best interests. so, name withheld, you can chill. you can kiss your wife on the forehead regularly (that’s a good thing, keep at it. she appreciates it.) and keep sticking it to the man with your motorcycle…and we, wives, are gonna go right on worrying about the vitality of EACH member of our family when the head of our household may be at risk….or even MORE at risk than usual. and to top that off, we will continue to voice our opinions when these husbands of ours consider further increasing the risk factor by buying a motorcycle.

    annie, i think my worry-o-meter has ridden a similar rollercoaster to yours in my marriage. husband is a disabled vet. served his country for 11 years and is now fighting through a muck of stuff trying to medically retire. it’s not pretty. none of it has been, and every step has been flanked with worry. i feel almost worried-out. i can’t take another reason to fear for him or his life or our family’s. it’s too much to ask. so, that’s one reason i’m against him getting a motorcycle.

    another reason? well, my hubby’s dad went BMW crazy a few years back. not be out-done, shortly thereafter, hubster’s uncle picked up a BMW crotchrocket as well. apparently the bug had bit the whole gosh-darned family, cause next thing we knew my bro-in-law had himself the bigger & badder model (only he was too cool for the BMW). then my father-in-law needed ANOTHER one, so he picked up a BMW cruiser.

    guess who doesn’t have one? yep, hubster.
    guess why? yep, me.
    guess who hasn’t been injured or mamed or come close to it? yep, hubster.
    guess who’s NOT divorced now or separated or had an affair on their wife?
    yep, hubster (and my father-in-law).

    i know, not just motorcycle owners have affairs or have their marriages blow-up. funny thing is, many of the recent crop of failed marriages in our community seems to come hand-in-hand with new motorcycle ownership for some reason. and it’s on the rise! yikes. i even had a past co-worker who’s husband did the same to her. got all motorcycle-crazy, then motorcycle chick-crazy. and they ultimately divorced. it’s an epidemic, i tell ya!

    i mean, really. do they think if they have a motorcycle, suddenly they’re sexier or edgier? like jesse james? untouchable? above the rules? therefore are entitled to trashy liaisons? really?! it’s sad. safe doesn’t cut it, huh? too bad. seems like a whole ton of mid-life crises gone awry.

    so, i’m sorry to the world if i think motorcycles are unsafe, and the world disagrees. i’m sorry to the world if i want my husband to still be alive with me in 60 years, and the world disagrees. i’m sorry to the world if i want my daughter (& hopefully future children) to love & know their father, and the world disagrees. i’m sorry to the world if i want my marriage to stay intact and not be swallowed up by some EXTREMELY irresponsible activity such as motorcycles (which said irresponsibility ABSOLUTELY could spill over into our marriage since i do not share a passion for motorcycles like the cycle-bimbos of the world who don’t care if a man wears a ring, or has stated that he’s married with kids).

    the world can hate me for it, but i’m not a fan of motorcycles. i won’t become one. and i’m standing my ground for the sake of my family.

  19. Ha! to the comment above . . . . our neighbors across the street just recently went through a divorce (not our neighbors anymore . . . . . ) and the first thing he did was go get a motorcycle!!

  20. You are so brave to put yourself out there. I would cry and go to bed for a week if I got hate mail (any excuse right?) Loved the article. I feel the same way and would strike up the same contract. My husband would however be aloud to carry a gun. That. Is. Hawt!!

  21. “Countless people process oxygen into carbon dioxide but are not truly alive, because they live in fear rather than passion.”

    I just threw up in my mouth.

  22. I pity that guy. Sheesh. Like Lisa said, sure, he was genuinely concerned, but he made a whole bunch of assumptions about you as a person–and that’s just for starters.

    I’m in your camp with both feet.

    Long story/comment: The street I grew up on had a professional motorcyclist (PRO–as in, the best there is, the kind of person who gets PAID to race the death traps) and lived next door to an ER doctor.

    The motorcyclist was hit in traffic by an idiot driver. When he arrived in the ER, guess who was there? Yep–the next-door neighbor ER doc, who later reported that this poor guy had a “full oil change” meaning so many blood transfusions that all his blood had been replaced. I believe at the time, he held the record for the most transfusions for that hospital in a 24-hour period.

    And yes, he died. He was about to get engaged.

    The doctor, who’d seen more motorcycle injuries than anyone ever needs to thanks to his ER position, later said that if you want to get rid of a portion of the population, just give them all motorcycles. Eventually, they’ll get themselves killed.

    I decided right then–I was a preteen, I think–that my husband would never, EVER have a motorcycle. He had one as a teenager. Sold it before his mission, and wishes he hadn’t. I’ve calmly informed him that even if he hadn’t sold it, he wouldn’t own it today. Because I love him more than a stupid cycle.

  23. Hey Annie, have you ever read this from Elder Bednar’s recent talk “Things As They Really Are”?

    “For example, all of us can find enjoyment in a wide range of wholesome, entertaining, and engaging activities. But we diminish the importance of our bodies and jeopardize our physical well-being by going to unusual and dangerous extremes searching for an ever-greater and more exhilarating adrenaline “rush.” We may rationalize that surely nothing is wrong with such seemingly innocent exploits and adventures. However, putting at risk the very instrument God has given us to receive the learning experiences of mortality—merely to pursue a thrill or some supposed fun, to bolster ego, or to gain acceptance—truly minimizes the importance of our physical bodies.”

    Feel free to cut and paste it to the rest of your hate-mailers.

  24. WOW, that quote in the above comment is perfect! For the first few years of our marriage I was really nervous to let my husband go and ski. I had heard his friends tell me stories of how crazy he is on the slopes. They referred to his skiing as “go off the cliff first and find the landing later.” It totally freaked me out as I was sure his reckless teen skiing years could go without incident, but his reckless adult/parenting years just couldn’t. Now, however, it seems that he has a really good perspective on his mortality and responsibility to our family and is a much more cautious person. For us it just took some time for him to have this all sink in… and about 3 kids + a pregnancy for that to happen. LOL, but thank goodness!