Category Archives: Marriage
“Umm. Shouldn’t you be getting ready for work?”
This is never a good way to start the day. If anyone ever has the bright idea of inventing an alarm clock with this spine-tingling statement as its wake up call, rest assured that you will never rest assured again.
However, I will kiss the person who invents an alarm clock that intuitively sets itself when you fall into bed late at night or screams like a banshee when you make any attempt to shut it off in your sleep.
The middle of my day was actually not that bad considering how it started. Surprisingly.
But, apparently my Libran consciousness cannot abide by imbalance. So, I decided to end the day just as spectacularly as I began it by spilling a venti mocha all over the table at Starbucks. The table on which my iPad and iPhone both rested.
Don’t worry, though. I have my priorities. I snatched both devices out of the chocolate ocean and yelled for life-saving equipment. (Paper towels) I had to yell because not one of the other customers leapt to my aid which, sadly, has been my consistent experience with witnesses to every single one of my life-long string of disasters.
I think the electronics may have miraculously survived. My iPad case and my dry-clean only skirt did not fare so well, unfortunately.
To some people, this set of unfortunate occurrences might appear to be minor inconveniences. To me, they are clearly a message.
My husband is one lucky guy.
Who else gets to start his morning with a crazed woman leaping out of bed spouting expletives and end his day with that lovely lady returning home to repeat the same eloquent speech?
I just hope he appreciates his good fortune.
I must admit when I started blogging that I never would have predicted the paths that would lead to my site…
So, you know how you’re looking for your wedding rings in your dog’s poop pen, and you’re thinking, “Gosh, I hope I find them!” But then you’re also thinking, “Gosh, I hope I don’t.” Not only because of the grossness factor, but also because finding them in there means that you were dumb enough to set them down somewhere that your bulldog, Wonderbutt, would eat them, which means you are losing it even more than usual, and also because of the medical implications it might have for Wonderbutt after ingesting a solitaire cut diamond ring which could technically etch glass so probably did not slide through his intestines without causing some kind of damage that would require you to finance the yacht your veterinarian has had his eye on ever since you brought Wonderbutt in for his first checkup.
And then you think how you can blame your husband for the loss of such rings by saying, “Well, this wouldn’t have happened if you would hire a maid like I asked – or at least invest in a water softener.” Because you wouldn’t have to take off your rings so often if you didn’t have to spend all of your time cleaning the toilet with Lime Away. And then you remember that you’ve been meaning to Google Lime Away to see if it damages rings or just makes them look cleaner, too.
While in the midst of the Lime Away Google, you get somewhat sidetracked, and learn that Miley Cyrus recently suffered from a bad case of twerking, which, of course, compels you to learn what twerking is in case you need to add it to one of your Pathophobic Pinterest boards and then you wonder how you have gone this long without noticing that twerking is a thing, but it is not a disease or even a symptom of one. And, speaking of being oblivious about stuff, you wonder how long it would take your husband to notice you aren’t wearing the rings because it’s already been three days and he hasn’t said anything. And you resolve to make this into a psychological experiment as well as a metaphor for your marriage. But then you blurt it out during dinner that you can’t find them because you suck at keeping secrets and, besides, your husband is the Finder in the family – as long as the thing you are trying to find is not a place on a map.
And he gets worried, and you remind him of all of the other things you’ve lost that eventually turned up and even the things other people have lost that eventually turned up – like the wedding band that was wrapped around a carrot. And that does not really comfort him for some reason. Mostly because he has been trying to grow carrots in your backyard ever since you moved into this house, and the squirrels keep eating them.
And because your husband is not really full of sympathy, you seek comfort in typing your frustrations into a blog post on your computer, and you glance down at the floor when you can’t think of anythingelse2say.
And. You. See. Your. Rings.
And you pick them up and do the best twerking exhibition ever – with only Wonderbutt there to appreciate your rhythmic perfection.
And he doesn’t.
In the true spirit of my lapsed Catholicism, I declared yesterday to be a “Whole Day of No Obligation“. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this particular holiday, I think it’s high time you get with the program. You probably won’t go to Hell if you foolishly disregard it, but you might as well be in Hell for all of the enjoyment you’re probably getting out of life.
WDNO’s are not on any calendar – yet – so you can just announce your own. However, now that I’ve celebrated more than a few, I think you might be wise to consider my advice before you institute your own WDNO willy-nilly.
1. Decide on the date of your WDNO at least two days ahead of time. A spontaneous WDNO may sound like a great idea – until you realize at 10 AM that your annual gynecological appointment was scheduled for that day and it will be another 6 months before they can fit you in and you will be charged $100 for not canceling your appointment 24 hours in advance.
2. Announce the date of your WDNO to all family and friends who may be involved. Again, this should be done ahead of time. This will allow them to prepare for your emotional absence on that date. Clearly explain that, while they may be able to see you as you lounge around the house doing whatever you want, they will not be allowed to request any service from you. Nothing. They will be completely on their own for 24 hours.
3. Delegate chores. Or not. It’s kind of fun to watch everyone come to the sudden realization that you are actually not going to put the wet clothes that were left in the washing machine the night before into the dryer so that they will be ready for the party that you are not going to drive them to at 3:00.
4. DO NOT FALL FOR ANY ATTEMPTS TO FOOL YOU INTO DOING SOMETHING OUT OF OBLIGATION!!!! If so, your WDNO is considered forfeited and you must start all over again on another day. This includes, but is not exclusive to: killing cockroaches that suddenly fall on your ten year old daughter in the shower, opening pickle jars, getting off the couch and unlocking the door for your husband who claims he forgot his key, and cleaning poop off of your dog’s foot so it does not get all over the house.
5. Once you have had one or two successful WDNO’s, the rest of the family is bound to think this is a good idea. Obviously, (especially if you have pets or infants), not everyone can celebrate a WDNO on the same day. Not so obviously, however, they should not be celebrated on simultaneous days. Here is why: if your child/spouse celebrates WDNO the day before you, you will spend your own WDNO steaming because there are things you must command your child to do, but you cannot because that would be doing something you feel obligated to do. However, if your child/spouse celebrates the day after you do, you will be so rejuvenated that you will want to get a lot done and you will have no one to order around to do it for you.
What should you do on a Whole Day of No Obligation? Whatever you want, but are not required to do. I read books, play on my computer, sleep an unspeakable number of hours, and read books again.
My bulldog, Wonderbutt, is completely on board with the sleeping part of the agenda. In fact, you could probably consult any household pet for the best way to spend a Whole Day of No Obligation. They have thousands of years of practice.
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.
After 43 years, I realized that my refusal to garden and my near boycott of cooking have absolutely nothing to do with my gross inability to perform these tasks. It’s because I like to be efficiently productive, and neither of these chores fits my requirements.
Basically, according to my calculations, Work Worthy of Me needs to fit the following formula: time spent working<time spent enjoying.
Now, I think you can see where this is going.
Let’s start with cooking.
I do not understand the need to slave in the hot kitchen for two hours to create a food item, or even a meal, that people will spend 45 minutes, tops, on appreciating. (Except for my daughter, who drags out every meal for two hours. Even then, though, the formula does not work. Because time spent working must be LESS THAN time spent enjoying. Not LESS THAN OR EQUAL TO. Even though I was going to put that, but I couldn’t figure out how to do that with my keyboard. Oops, I just figured it out. ≤ Too Late.)
Now, the gardening thing is a bit trickier. Let’s take annuals first. First of all, this a dumb categorization. Annual means “once a year” – implying that it happens repeatedly. For example, I have to annually ask Cap’n Firepants if annuals are the ones that keep coming up or the ones you have to replant.
So, let’s say you take an hour to plant some annuals that will last about three weeks. Technically, that would seem to fall nicely into my formula. But, here’s the problem. Of those three weeks, I will probably spend 1 minute/day noticing how pretty those annuals are. Hmm. So multiply by 21, carry the 3, subtract the 50, and – wow, that’s a whole 21 minutes I spent enjoying those flowers. Trigger big ole annoying buzzer sound here. Annuals – you’re outta here.
Perennials don’t work either. It would take nearly 3 years of repeating themselves for three weeks a year to earn their Time Spent Enjoying Minutes. And nothing lives 3 years in our yard. Between armadillos, Texas droughts, and a bulldog named Wonderbutt who tramples anything in his path, cacti are about the only thing that are sturdy enough to withstand nature and the Firepants Family. And I do not enjoy cacti. So, there’s that.
In conclusion, it is fortunate that I married Cap’n Firepants. Because he does not like math, and can both cook and garden. So, I should probably revise my formula a bit.
time I spent working < time I spent enjoying
time Cap’n Firepants spent working = time I spend enjoying
Cap’n Firepants + Mrs. Cap’n Firepants = A well-fed couple with a beautiful yard and a perfectly calculated annual tax return
We’re perfect for each other.
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.