Category Archives: Relationships
Jon Stewart has been flirting with me, and I’m not really sure how to handle the whole situation.
I mean, I love him, but, you know, not that way.
I mean I could love him that way under the right circumstances, like if my husband told me he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, and it turned out he was really shacking up with Jon Stewart’s wife in Argentina.
But that would never happen. Probably. I’m pretty sure. Because my husband would rather walk a golf course than hike a trail, and I would be kind of suspicious if he said he was playing golf and he didn’t come back for a few days. Mostly because he can’t last more than 3 hours on a course without deciding that he completely despises the game and should never play again.
But back to the Stewart thing, you are probably wondering how I know about his not-so-secret crush. My answer is, “Well, women just know these things.” And that is true. We are amazingly attuned to men who are attracted to us. I totally knew, for example, when my dry-cleaner had a crush on me, even though it took him 18 months to inform me of this. And with him, there were really only two clues: 1.) he always had my form filled out before I even walked in the door, and Dos.) he kept giving me random discounts when no one else was there.
It was so obvious.
My two clues with Jon Stewart are: 1.) his recent hysterical interview with David Sedaris, who just happens to be my favorite author, and whose book I had just ordered on Amazon the same exact day he appeared on the Daily Show, and Dos.) his completely random attack on my sworn enemy, Donald Trump, who would completely justify someone’s use of “toupee-dar“.
I mean, for those two events to happen on his show within the span of one week is just way too much of a coincidence.
And then he announced that John Oliver will begin guest hosting on June 10th, and that just makes everything as clear as the unflavored Knox gelatin mixed with warm water that I paint on my daughter’s hair when she has to do a synchronized swimming performance.
Because June 10th is exactly when my vacation starts. And if Jon Stewart is not going to be hosting his show, just where exactly do you think he is going to be?
I was reading the Sunday paper and came across this quote in an article about the recent spate of parenting books written by inept moms, “There wasn’t this acceptance about being this sort of less-than-perfect mother, but all of a sudden it feels like that is becoming the norm, rather than the exception.” This was spoken by Jill Smokler of scarymommy.com.
Well, that explains what I’ve been doing wrong. I need to stop talking about what I’m doing wrong, and start talking about what I’m doing right because there are far too many other people who are talking about what they are doing wrong, and they are doing it far better than I am. The wrong, I mean. Well, and the talking.
So, from now on I pledge to stand out from the pack and tell you all of the things that I am doing right as a mom. Starting today.
1.) My daughter has eaten hamburgers three days in a row.
Why is this right? Well, I am so glad you asked. Even though I would think it should be obvious. It’s right because my daughter has eaten three days in a row. Duh. Plus, she loves lettuce and cheese on her hamburger. So, there you have it – all 10 food groups in one meal. Three times. Two more and I will have Food Bingo.
2.) I bought my daughter a dress for her 5th grade graduation while we were shopping for clothes for me on Mother’s Day.
Why is this right? This is another no-brainer. We made one trip to the mall, and now I don’t have to make another trip to the mall until August. Possibly even September if I can find a post on Pinterest on how to transform a yellow lacy dress into a backpack.
3.) Oh. My. God. That is the best idea. Ever. I am going to quit my job and support my daughter by making Graduation Dress Backpacks.
Why is this right? Because my daughter will see how important it is to pursue your passion in life instead of saving up for retirement.
And then, she will be happy to support me in my twilight years (although I may have to explain that this is a different kind of “Twilight”) as she pursues her lifelong passion to teach bulldogs synchronized swimming.
And then we will bond even more.
Technically, I didn’t bring you the terrorists. I just called attention to them. Well, I tried to call attention to them. As far as I can tell, the F organizations (FBI and FDA) have made absolutely no attempt to thwart the terrorists’ blatant attempt to slowly sabotage our population by putting memory-erasing additives in increasingly gluten free food. Of course, they could be making efforts that I don’t know about – or that I’ve conveniently forgotten.
In the meantime, the terrorists have infiltrated the dry cleaning business. How do I know this? My keen powers of observation tell me so.
I was recently at the cleaners, and got a bit nosy about one what of the employees was doing behind the counter.
“What is she doing?” I subtly asked the person dropping my clothes into a bag.
“Her? Oh, she’s just ironing a bar code onto those pants. You know, so we can make sure they don’t get lost.” She said this kind of nervously. And who can blame her for being nervous when being interrogated by the intrepid Mrs. Cap’n Firepants?
Before I could ask any more penetrating questions, the terrorist/dry cleaner employee shoved my claim ticket into my hand, and beckoned the next customer.
And then it hit me.
“Oh. My. God.” I thought. I raced home and dashed into my closet. Sure enough, all of my recently drycleaned clothing had bar codes in them.
So much for my keen powers of observation.
“I’ve been violated and I didn’t even know it!” I whispered to my bar-code free pajama pants.
Sure, they say it’s to make sure my ten dollar blouse doesn’t end up in the hands of a serial dry cleaning thief. But I know better.
The terrorists are tracking my clothing.
That way, when I finally kick the bucket as a result of their food poisoning plot, and my husband gives away my clothes to someone, and the new someone brings them in to be cleaned, and the terrorist/dry cleaner sees that someone else used to own those pants, and they call my house to let me know that my pants have been filched, and my husband lets them know that the pants are no longer mine because I am deceased due to forgetting that I’m not supposed to walk in front of cars going 65 miles an hour (and he assures the terrorist/dry cleaner that those are not the actual pants I was wearing when I met my demise), the terrorist/dry cleaner will be satisfied that the food poisoning plot is working just as planned and report this encouraging progress to the Head Honcho Terrorist with a cryptic tweet, like, “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants wears control top panty hose.”
My husband seems to think this is a bit “of a reach”. Coincidentally, he uses a different dry cleaner. Who does not put bar codes in his pants.
So, clearly, I am sleeping with the enemy.
The plot thickens.
My husband, the Long Suffering Cap’n Firepants, and I (the Just as Long and Sometimes Even More Suffering Mrs. Cap’n Firepants) had a bit of a tiff last night. I won’t go into details. Suffice it to say that he thought there was a miscommunication even though I had clearly communicated, and that him apologizing for misunderstanding my communication is not really an apology because it obviously implies that I was at fault for not clearly communicating. And I think we can all agree that I am a fabulous communicator.
But I am not a very good prognosticator.
I was at school today, and the secretary called on the intercom to see if I could send someone to the office to pick up a package. I didn’t have students at the time, so I told her I would send one as soon as they returned.
Of course, I forgot.
“Mrs. Cap’n Firepants, can you send someone down to the office now?” Obviously the secretary really wanted me to come get that package. I wondered what it was. I hadn’t ordered anything. Then I realized what was happening.
“Cap’n Firepants sent me flowers to apologize, and the secretary is really eager to brighten my day,” I thought. “He is so forgiven!” I immediately drafted a student to pick up my special delivery. I couldn’t wait to see my surprise.
The door opened.
“What is it?” I asked expectantly, as soon as the student entered. I couldn’t see what was in his hands because I was on the other side of the room.
“Balls,” he said.
I apparently couldn’t hear what he said because I was on the other side of the room.
“Eyeballs,” he said, as he approached me.
And then I remembered. I had ordered something. Sheep eyeballs for my 3rd graders to dissect.
The students cheered with excitement as I dejectedly looked down at the jar that the secretary had been so eager to get off her desk. The jar of a dozen eyeballs that was supposed to be a dozen roses. The jar of eyeballs that I forgot I had ordered – my forgetfulness obviously due to the trauma of being falsely accused of mis-communicating. The jar of eyeballs that used to belong to sheep that had now become the worst Un-apology ever.
He is so not forgiven.
*Sigh* Mattresses. Yep. Again. In addition to the Boomerang Mattress in our master bedroom, we also bought two new ones for two full-sized, antique beds in the guest bedroom. Mattresses wholeheartedly approved by my husband, Cap’n Firepants. ALL of our mattresses this summer have been approved by Cap’n “Goldilocks” Firepants. I am hereby BANNING Cap’n Firepants from any more mattress approving.
Last night, Dimples (9) had a friend over. They slept in the guest bedroom so they could each have a bed. I think you know where this is going…
Dimples: Mom, can we do what we used to do in the old days (one month ago) when I have friends over? You know, sleep in my room, and pull out the twin-sized mattress under my bed?
Me: What’s wrong with the brand new mattresses we just had delivered? With the bedding that I just washed and put on? And the beds that are side by side so you can talk to each other and not worry about stepping on someone’s face in the middle of the night?
Dimples: Those mattresses are not comfortable. They are way too hard.
Would you forgive me, Loyal Readers, if I launched into a tirade about these mattresses that her father chose (and she also, at one point approved), about 9-year-olds and 40-year-olds being too darn picky, and about my plans to go live with Grandma at the Independent/Assisted Living home where I could have my own twin bed and mattress, 3 meals a day that I don’t have to prepare, and I won’t have to face the same 2 mattress delivery men when they are called to our house for the 5th time this summer?!!!!!
I don’t know if you have been following along with our Mattress Saga, but our house has seen more mattresses lately than a prostitute sees in a week. After I finally convinced my husband to return our current back-breaking mattress, which was a replacement for the smelly mattress, which was a replacement for our ten-year-old mattress with a sinkhole in the middle, and the salesperson committed himself to hijacking Santa’s sleigh and flying around the world to pick it up for us, we finally had a tentative date for what we hoped would be the last mattress of the summer.
The mattress delivery men called my husband to tell him that they were on their way, and would be arriving at the house in 30 minutes.
“This is not a good time,” he said firmly into the phone, and hung up on them.
Well, not exactly.
“This is not a good time. I’m taking my mother to the emergency room,” he said. Which was true. But I still put my head in my hand, and rolled my eyes back in their sockets, figuring he had permanently alienated the only men who might be able to rescue us from the Killer Mattress before our 100 day warranty runs out.
Fortunately, my mother-in-law was only in the hospital for a day. Then, she was able to come stay with us for two days in our guest bedroom. On one of the other beds with a brand new mattress. Yes, we have a mattress-collecting obsessive compulsive disorder.
I called the Manly Mattress Men, and rescheduled our delivery.
They called yesterday to announce their imminent arrival. I answered the phone. Quickly. Before Cap’n Firepants could ruin the whole thing. Again.
They came with our mattress. The brand that we originally got, and then exchanged because it smelled like the shower in a high school boys’ locker room. This one did not smell like mildew.
It smelled like foam. Exactly how it was supposed to smell.
So, we have exchanged our Killer Mattress for one that has off-gases that will probably give us cancer, killing us in 15 years instead of within the next 15 days.
So, quick recap – One of my guy friends picked up my future husband, Cap’n Firepants, in a bar, the Cap’n doesn’t find the Barry Manilow song Copacabana even mildly heart-wrenching, and he decided to ask me out on our first date so he could shut me up.
For our first date, the Cap’n and I went to see the Jodie Foster movie, Contact. Well, first we went to dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack. Back then, Joe’s was a new place in town, the first restaurant in what would later become an enormous shopping complex built in a former quarry. I don’t think I ate crabs, but I liked the alliteration in the post title. Plus, Cap’n Firepants told me I shouldn’t put that word because it has other connotations, but anyone who thinks that I am that sort of girl really doesn’t know me. So, sue me.
The Cap’n was pretty quiet during our dinner. This, I have come to learn, is one of his simultaneously endearing and exasperating character traits. But I talked enough for the two of us. No one has ever accused me of being too quiet, unfortunately.
After dinner and the movie, the Cap’n drove me back to the duplex where I lived.
Fairly certain that he was not a serial killer, though my judgement has been known to be questionable, I invited the Cap’n into my duplex for a drink.
When we entered, my dog – a chow/german shepherd mix – immediately lunged for the Cap’n's throat in what can only be described as an attempt to eviscerate him on the spot.
I quickly pulled the dog off before skin was broken and blood shed, and I attempted to persuade the Cap’n that I could somehow control this Beast from Hell. But my tight grip on the dog’s collar did not seem to quell the canine’s desire to tear out the Cap’n's throat. Wisely, the Cap’n decided that this would be a good time to call it a night.
I closed the door, threw myself on the sofa, and wept as my dog licked my hair, assuring me that he would never let another nasty male enter our household again. I was pretty certain that my relationship with Cap’n Firepants and pretty much anyone of the opposite sex would not be happening. Ever.
The next day, the Cap’n sent me roses.
In the ensuing weeks and months, he was able to win not only my heart, but the Hellhound’s heart as well.
Little did the Cap’n know that was ill preparation for the monster who would be the ultimate test of our love for each other about 13 years later – Wonderbutt.
12 years ago, I married Cap’n Izzy Firepants in a beautiful ceremony on his pirate ship, attended by about 100 of our closest loved ones.
About 15 years ago, I met Cap’n Firepants when we were introduced by a friend. At least, that is the way I usually tell the story. At our wedding ceremony, his First Mate, during the toast, decided to give a few more details about the way we met:
“Mistresses and Marauders, today we toast the wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Cap’n Firepants. I must admit, I never thought this day would come. When Izzy called me, and told me he had picked up a girl at a bar, I almost fell out of my crow’s nest. When he told me he was dating this girl, I -”
Well, I don’t really remember the rest of the toast. Sitting at the Head Table, and watching all of the eyebrows go up, all I could think of was that the Cap’n's First Mate needed to walk off a plank – about 40 stories high, and in dry dock.
The truth is actually a combination of both stories. We were introduced by a friend. And we did happen to be at a bar at the time. Here is what really happened:
My fellow teacher and his girlfriend were determined to find me a new boyfriend that night. I had recently broken up with someone who was a bit volatile, so my fellow teacher said, “We’re going to find you a nice guy tonight.”
I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but it’s a bit difficult sometimes to determine if a perfect stranger is a nice guy. My friend, however, being a guy, felt that he was a good judge of male character.
As we relaxed at a table outside, my friend spotted a few people, who I immediately nixed – based on the fact that they were obviously trolling for women. Then, my friend’s eyes landed on Cap’n Firepants.
“Look at him, sitting with those other guys over there. He looks like a nice guy.”
And I agreed. Maybe it was the eyepatch. Or the parrot on his shoulder. But nothing happened. My “Come over here and introduce yourself” magnet did not appear to be working on nice guys who were pirates that night.
After five beers, my friend went inside to, uh, make room for more beer. At the inside bar, he passed Cap’n Firepants, and said, “The girl sitting with me is interested in you.”
Here, the stories diverge. No one seems to remember if Cap’n Firepants said, “Oh, the girl in the red dress?” or “Which girl?” And things could have gotten a bit hairy as we were sitting with two other women, one of which, as I’ve mentioned, was my friend’s girlfriend.
Regardless, Cap’n Firepants and one of his friends (not the loquacious First Mate) came to sit at our table. And my friend introduced us. So, technically, I’m not lying when I say that a friend introduced us. The facts that he was my friend, not the Cap’n's, and that he didn’t even know the Cap’n's name when he introduced us, and that we had all had a few alcoholic drinks, are trivial parts of the story with which I don’t usually feel the need to bore people.
So, we spent the rest of the evening chatting. Actually, the Cap’n's friend and I chatted. We had both lived in New Jersey and had both gone to Barry Manilow concerts when we were kids. It is very rare, in Texas, to find someone else who was subjected to Barry Manilow and agrees with you that New Jersey has some very nice parts that look nothing like the movie depictions of inner city gang war zones.
The Cap’n had very little to say during all of this. Which I erroneously attributed to the fact that he had no interest in a former Yankee who knows all of the words to “I Write the Songs”. And, yet, when we closed the bar down, he insisted on walking me to my car, and finally said the most important thing I had heard all night.
“Can I have your number?”
So, we went on a date the very next evening. And he almost died in a vicious attack. But that story is for tomorrow…
Quick summary for new readers: Cap’n Firepants is my husband, our bulldog, Wonderbutt, knows how to text, and we are currently sleeping on a killer mattress. No husbands or 82-year-old mother-in-laws were harmed in the creation of this blog post.
Firepants Household, Master Bedroom, 2 A.M.:
Cap’n Firepants – Are you awake?
Me – I better not be.
Cap’n Firepants – I got a text earlier and I just read it.
Me – O.K.
Cap’n Firepants – It’s from my mom.
Me – O.K.
Me, sitting up – Wait a second. What?
Cap’n Firepants – I know, weird, huh?
Me – What did it say?
Cap’n Firepants – Call you later.
Me – Huh?
The Senior Mrs. Cap’n Firepants does not text. Even more perplexing, her phone does not have texting capability. She prefers “dumb phones” – the less buttons, the better.
My first conclusion: WONDERBUTT HAS LEARNED HOW TO SEND PRANK TEXTS!
My second conclusion: We should text her back. Let’s text, “Later is so formal. Why don’t you Call Me Maybe?” Or, better yet, we could leave her a voicemail with the song on it.
Cap’n Firepants was not amused by either conclusion.
Third conclusion: Our mattress is conspiring with the cell phone to turn us against each other.
I got a blow-out at the hair salon the other day. Loved it. (Blow-out, dirty-minded people.)
So, I decided to replicate the procedure at home. 45 minutes later, I finished, and marched out into the living room to show my blown-out bombshell self to the family.
Cap’n Firepants smiled that “I love you so much, you sexy lady” smile and came up and kissed me.
“So, you decided to go with the frizzy look today?” he whispered in my ear.
And this is where I am going to give you the Secret to a Good Marriage – The Not Large Caucasian Exaggeration (the politically correct version of The Little White Lie).
Novices might think that Cap’n Firepants should never have said that my hair looked frizzy. BUT THAT WOULD BE WRONG.
Novices might think I should be mad at Cap’n Firepants for calling my hair frizzy. AND THAT WOULD BE RIGHT.
Novices might think I should tell Cap’n Firepants off for calling my hair frizzy. AND THAT WOULD BE RIGHT – BUT NOT RIGHT NOW.
“No, I’m not finished with it yet. Just heating up the flat iron,” I said, sweetly. (Not Large Caucasian Exaggeration – I was heating up, just not heating up the flat iron.)
Here’s why this carefully chosen Exaggeration was important: Because I like Cap’n Firepants telling me the truth so I don’t look like an idiot when I go out in public. And if I get hopping’ mad at Cap’n Firepants for telling me the truth, then he will stop telling me the truth. So, I act like I appreciate his candidness, and suck up my hurt feelings until later.
“For crying out loud, Cap’n Firepants, how many times do I have to ask you to STOP EATING ALL OF THE ICE CREAM? IS THIS YOUR WAY OF SAYING YOU WANT A DIVORCE?!!!”
This has two positive results – I get to finally release my anger about the frizzy hair comment, and he will buy more ice cream the next time he goes to the store.
It’s a win/win situation.
The Not Large Caucasian Exaggeration – no marriage can survive without it.