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.
What If I Was Competing in the International Extreme Ironing Tournament? Would That Have Made It Okay?
Quick pop quiz. Your 10-year old daughter qualifies for Nationals in her chosen sport, let’s say Chess Boxing. (Yes, that’s really a sport.) And she has to travel to another state to compete. Do you let her go?
Well, of course. She’s been preparing for this Chess Boxing tournament for three years. Duh.
Oh wait. Second question. Do you go with her, even though there will be four other adults accompanying the team of 6 girl, uh, Chess Boxers?
Are you her father or her mother?
This is important. Think carefully.
I don’t care what you answered. You’re wrong. Especially if you’re her mother. Because whatever mothers do, they are wrong. According to the experts – other mothers.
If you are her mother, for example, and you have an important professional conference to attend that you’ve been trying to get financing for the last 24 months and it happens to overlap the Chess Boxing Extravaganza and your husband volunteers to accompany your daughter so she does not have to travel on her own with 5 other girls and 4 adults, and you can then participate in the conference for which you paid a nonrefundable registration fee, then you are, apparently, someone “who hates kids.”
Now, if you are her father, and you opted to go with your potential Chess Boxing Champion, and are stuck on a trip with 6 girls between the ages of 10 and 12, and four women, for 5 very long days, then it takes you about 5 minutes into the trip to realize you are also very wrong. Fortunately, you are the only one who realizes this fact, and the rest of the population on this planet canonizes you and declares you the “Best, Most Patient Man to Walk the Earth Since Gandhi Passed.” When you get home, there is a ticker-tape parade in your honor and a National Holiday is named after you – “The Man Who Went With His Daughter to Her Competition Because Her Mother Was Too Selfish Day.”
Of course, you could have each made different decisions, resulting in the mother “doing her duty” and resenting that she will not have another opportunity to attend the conference for at least 4 more years, and the father going about his daily life while attempting to console your bulldog, Wonderbutt, for the five days of your absence.
But I guarantee that no one will crown the mom to be “Best, Most Patient Woman to Walk the Earth Since Mother Teresa.”
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is:
A.) Don’t get your daughter involved in Chess Boxing; Giant Pumpkin Kayaking is much safer
2.) I swear I don’t hate kids,
8.) I love my husband, and
5.) Congratulations to the Same-Sex Marriage Proponents in the USA on today’s victories, maybe now we can
D.) Work on Same Expectations for Parents No Matter What Your Gender and
III.) Cutting Moms Some Slack. Or slacks. But don’t make her iron them.
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.
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…
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.
No one else you know has acquired as many mattresses as we have in the last three months. No one. Unless you know someone who is building a new hotel or fairytale castle or something.
First, we got the smelly mattress.
Which we replaced with the killer mattress.
Then we prematurely inherited 2 sets of Very Old Mattresses along with their antique beds.
So, we decided we should probably replace the Very Old Mattresses. Because, according to the mattress commercials we will either be suffocated by dust mites or get fat if we use them.
Then, I decided to replace the killer mattress.
“Hello. Yes, remember me? We bought a mattress from you, and then it smelled, and then you gave us a different model. And then it tried to paralyze my husband.”
“Oh. That’s too bad.”
“So, we want the first mattress back. But we don’t want that one back. Because it smelled. But can you get us another one that is the same model, but doesn’t smell?”
“Well, that model has been discontinued. But I’ll see what I can do.”
Four hours later…
“Well, it turns out there are only 3 of those mattresses left in the whole United States. And one of them is in Austin. But Austin does not transfer to the San Antonio store. So, here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to a meeting in Austin next week. I’ll put the mattress in my big truck, and bring it to San Marcos. San Marcos will transfer it to our warehouse in San Antonio, and then our guys can deliver it to you.”
“Wow. That’s really great! And it’s not the one we returned, right?”
So, I call Cap’n Firepants to deliver the great news.
“…and, he’s going to fly it in from a private island off the coast of South America, and carry it on his back to San Antonio, and then a chariot pulled by 100 armadillos will bring it to our house,” I slightly exaggerated. “Isn’t that great?” I ask.
“You liked that mattress, right? It was just the smell we couldn’t handle.”
“It was… okay.”
“I’m going to kill you.”