My German Wife Somehow Equates Past Grieviances with the Making of a Sandwich

“German mayonnaise… you’ll never forget it.” — Photo by Renzelle Mae Abasolo – Subject to copyright — (

My wife has an old friend named Killjoy McBittertits. That’s not really her name, but I think it does a great job of summarizing my overall impression of her. You see, Killjoy is the kind of person who keeps track of every little good or service exchanged over the course of a friendship: the number of gifts given, the gallons of gas used, and even the number of cups of coffee shared. All of this information goes into the great empty pit where her heart should be, and fuses together into a lump of bitterness which can be thrown like a projectile weapon whenever someone pisses her off.

My wife somehow managed to anger this woman many years ago, and she has recounted the tale to me several times since. They were in Killjoy’s apartment, Killjoy was in her normal emotional state (simmering fury), and my wife decided to have a second cup of coffee. Since helping yourself to a friend’s coffee pot is obviously reason enough to eviscerate them emotionally, Killjoy decided to list off every single thing she had purchased over the course of their friendship — like she’d been keeping track of each perceived offense on a list hidden beneath her pillowcase, written in pig blood.

If there’s one thing my wife is not, it’s a freeloader. The insinuation makes her very mad. So when she told me this story — describing each insult and retort in detail — she spoke as if she were snapping back at Killjoy herself:

THE WIFE: “Sorry you feel that way, but don’t smear this on my bread!”*

*Translated from the German expression, “Schmier mir das nicht aufs Brot,” which figuratively means, “Quit bringing up the past.”




18 thoughts

  1. Man, I just stumbled onto your blog through a rather strange chain of internet pages, but I must say I love it! Diese Post hat mir die Seitenstiche gegeben, and not the bad type from your other post. I just moved to Germany (Allgau region) a month ago for a 6 month internship, and I’ll definitely be checking up on your blog from now on. Tschuss!


  2. I know people who are like Killjoy, but luckily not like Bittertits. This woman has the affinity for sucking the life and laughter out of any conversation. For example, you might be laughing about a recent camping trip to your favorite mountain forest. Everyone at the dinner table is choking up and trying to add another funny camping story. This woman will then interrupt to describe how camping, especially with dogs, is ruining the biodiversity of the area. And then she will quote some ridiculous statistics. Argh! I hate people like that. LIGHTEN UP! Erleichtern Sie oben! (Do they say that in Germany?)


  3. Speaking of funny phrases that German’s don’t use. The other night during the Germany v Ghana match I said, Das ist ein Nagelbeißer! And the table roared with laughter. “We have never heard of that! That is wonderful!” That’s me, spreading American idioms in German, one football game at a time.


  4. I love the expression “smear it on my bread”, even though I heard it is a somewhat “normal” expression in the German language. Still it sounds funny getting it served like this. LOL ;-)


  5. It means “don’t make that my problem”, or “don’t blame it on me” though, it’s nothing to do with bringing up the past (only indirectly, in getting on other people’s tits because your own life sucks)


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