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Husband hankers for Heloise

By Tammy Keith

This article was published February 2, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.

My husband is obsessed with another woman.

Her name is Heloise, and he keeps telling me about her helpful hints.

He reads the questions out loud to me that people write in to her newspaper column.

I’m not sure when this obsession started.

Having been raised by the Queen of Clean herself, I can appreciate a good tip.

Anybody in my extended family with a stubborn stain on clothing takes it to my mother.

I saw a magazine article in which Heloise had been given some tough assignments, and her advice solved every problem. It was impressive. I even ripped out the page to save.

But, most of the letters my husband reads to me from her column are ridiculous.

“I find it entertaining and informative,” he said of her column.

“Listen to this,” he said last weekend. A woman wrote to Heloise that she had a good way to remember birthdays and anniversaries. When she bought a calendar each year, she went through and wrote each one on the dates so she wouldn’t forget.

That’s it.

My response was, “Wow. I think I’ll write in, ‘I’ve found a way to have fresh breath. When I get up in the morning, I brush my teeth. I do it again at night. The end.’”

Then, there was the mind-blowing tip from a reader about how to store your shampoo bottles upside down to get every drop out.

Oh, my, gosh. Cocoa the Chimp can figure that out.

I don’t think my husband’s ever read a reader’s tip to me that I’ve used, but Heloise has some good ones.

He saved one of her columns that had the little symbols that you see on clothing tags and explained what each one meant.

OK, I admitted, that could be helpful. I have stared at the little washer symbol with the 40 degrees on it and tried to ascertain what it meant.

The reader who wrote in and suggested keeping a magnifying glass in the laundry room had a point, but we just keep a pair of reading glasses handy.

Heloise doesn’t pay for these tips; people just want to feel helpful, I guess. Or, they are so proud of their wonderful ideas, they want to share them with the world.

As we left a restaurant last weekend, I pushed on the wrong side of the door, and it wouldn’t open.

My husband told me that he read in “Hints From Heloise” that on double doors, the one that has the deadbolt or locking mechanism has to be unlocked, so try it first.

“I figured that out a long time ago without Heloise,” he said.

That had never entered my mind. I just shove on whichever door I get to first.

Heloise, Heloise, Heloise.

A couple of years ago, I skipped a National Federation of Press Women conference. Heloise was one of the speakers. My husband was so disappointed when he found out that I missed meeting her.

You know what they say — men stray when they don’t get what they need at home.

I’m buying a gallon of vinegar and a box of baking soda, ripping up some old pantyhose I have and saving our coffee containers.

I could let my hair go gray and start my own column — “Tips From Tammy.”

I handed my husband back his laptop that I’d borrowed to write this. He saw where I’d been.

“Wait — Heloise has a website? I can watch her on video?”

I think I’ve lost him.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or


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