Friday, August 29, 2008

If you take the job, Tom Selleck will be your best friend

Right now Chuck and I are interviewing nannies to replace Oven Girl. Oven Girl gave us one week’s notice (she had to go back to school and forgot the start date??), so we’ve been scrambling. I found a great site that put me in touch with local nannies and, quite frankly, it’s been a lifesaver (no, they’re not paying me to write that…although they certainly could…hint, hint). We’ve narrowed it down to one woman and, depending on how our kiddies mesh, she’ll be the lucky lady. (She is lucky, dammit!)

In the meantime, my mother has been doing overtime at our house. And of course, having someone—especially your mother—in your house four days in a row means she is privy to aspects of your household you’d rather not get into.

Especially at work.

Like: “Your bed repair guy just left. Guess you and Charles really did a number on the brackets. Snicker, snicker. He said the screws were all loose.”

(I could lie and say we broke our bed in multiple fits of animalistic passion but, sadly, the only thing we’ve done too much is move the bed around the room.)

Or: “There’s a strange jar of green gel in the fridge. Is it…some kind of…lubricant?”

(It’s chile verde sauce. Our friends made it and left in our fridge. It’s been in there for a few, um, months and it’s solidified. If someone can tell us what to do with chile verde sauce, we’d be happy to liberate it from the jar.)

Even better: “Junior really likes to hump his stuffed toys. He must be imitating someone!”

(As far as I know, the only pumping action Junior has witnessed is canine love on “The Dog Whisperer.” Could he have watched the “Young and the Restless” with Oven Girl? I don’t doubt it.)

The best: “I didn’t know Charles had leopard print underwear!”

(I have to own up to this. We bought it when we were in Paris. It’s European, so that makes it okay. Chuck, the next time Linda does laundry, I promise I’ll make sure it’s M.I.A.)

After this week, I find myself wishing I could ask our potential nanny the questions that are really on my mind. Like, does she promise not to buy my husband a piggy bank in the shape of a sperm as a hint that she’d like us to procreate again? Does she promise not to rub her hands through my husband’s bountiful chest hair at the beach and tell him he takes her back to her “Magnum P.I.” days?

Most importantly, will she accept my family—and me—for the nutcase freaks we really are?

We come in peace, I promise.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Our first and only trip to the beach all summer

I had envisioned such a picturesque day. Lolling waves, the coo of gulls, blah blah. I did not expect Junior's minute vocal chords to let out such a piercing shriek as we tried to dip his feet in the sand. He screamed. Ditto for the salt water.

I guess it's better he didn't like it. If you can't already tell from the white glare, we don't exactly tan.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

This woman is not amused that your underwear is on the sidewalk

Last night, after we put Junior to bed, Chuck and I were sitting on the couch, enjoying the mulletfresh air through the open window, when we heard some people yelling.

We stepped outside just in time to see a woman (I use the term loosely) throwing her boyfriend’s clothes out the second story window. Apparently the degenerate wasn’t helping with the bills and she was tired of carrying his sorry ass.

You know what? Fine. Kick your loser boyfriend out. But don’t chuck his unmentionables on the sidewalk across the street from my house. We live down the street from a church! Nuns walk on those sidewalks and really, nuns should not have to step over people’s underwear. I actually think there might be something in the Bible about that.

Yes, here it is, page 112: “Thy sisterly nuns shalt not be made to hoppeth over soiled loinly briefs in horrible hick towns.”



After witnessing the neighbor's debauchery, I told Charles that all I needed was one sign and we were putting a "for sale" sign out front.

I believe in signs. I really do. Right before our wedding I was having cold feet (and hands, arms, nose hairs, etc.) and I asked for one sign that marrying Chuck was the right thing to do.

The next night I got stuck behind a truck pulling a boat on the highway and do you know what the name of the boat was?

“Mary Charles.”

I kid you not. (I got a good look at the name because I was, ehem, tailgating really badly.)

So today, after we did our little faucet-fixing dance, I reminded Chuck that I’d be on the lookout.

And lo and behold at 2:30 p.m. I got a call at work from Brink's. The motion alarm in the basement was going off. Was I home? No. Was anyone home? No, Junior was at Grandma’s (probably taking his first steps). The Brink's guy said he’d call the police.

I flew home, half-pissed that we might have been robbed again and yet half-happy that this might mean we had a one-way ticket out of Mulletville.

Sadly, they didn’t send the hot Italian cop. Instead, a squat, hairy man in a too-small uniform walked around the outside of the house with me, checking the basement windows. Everything looked fine. He looked annoyed. We went inside and checked the basement door. It was still locked. He told me to stand back (which would have been pretty hot if he’d been the Italian guy), then he opened the door.

Two enormous fluffs of fur ran screeching past his feet.

Those good-for-nothing fat cats had sneaked into the basement this morning when Charles turned off the circuit breaker for the oven (remember it caught on fire?—he's finally fixing it) and chose not to move until after we’d left for work (they were probably exhausted from all those stairs).

Despite my profuse apologies, the officer was not amused.

Well you know what Officer Odoriferous? I am not amused that I hoped my house was hamburglered again so we’d get to move. And I bet those sweet little nuns weren’t amused they had to kick some deadbeat’s boxers aside to get from their cars to the church door.

There is a serious lack of amusement in this town and I’ve had it.

Send in the clowns. The contortionists. The zebras. Now.

Even the farm animals think it's a good idea

I think the thing I love the most about having a child is the indirect conversations you get to have. It's a good way to say stuff without, you know, saying stuff.

Take this morning, for example.

Me, to Junior: "Uh oh, looks like the faucet's still leaking…What does the faucet say? Drip, drop, drip, drop. And the cow?"

Chuck, to Junior: "Didn't Daddy already tell Mommy he needed to buy a new part?"

"Moo! The cow says, moo! Maybe if Daddy went to Home Depot yesterday instead of playing video games he could have fixed the faucet."

"Maybe some nights after work Daddy needs to blow up make believe tanks."

"And what does the horse do? Clip, clop, clip, clop. Right, Sweetie! That rhymes with 'drip, drop.' Great job!"

"Maybe Daddy didn't feel like going to Home Depot."

"Maybe Mommy will pull a MacGyver and fix the faucet herself with a tampon and paper clip."

(Nothing expedites home repair projects faster than the I'll-do-it-myself tactic.)

"I'll stop at Home Depot on the way home tonight. Will that make Mommy happy?"

See, I'm really glad we had that conversation.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

When everyone else is fat and slow, why buck the trend?

At the ripe age of one year, one month and one day Junior has discovered that his body can be used for locomotion. He has actually crawled! It's not a fierce crawl; it kind of reminds me of how a tired, geriatric mermaid might look dragging herself across a beach. But it's a crawl.

I think it may be the cats' fault. I mean, if you were on all fours and looking to other four-legged creatures for inspiration and said inspiration moved three inches at 0.000005 miles an hour, then lay down due to fatigue, I guess you'd think that's how things are supposed to work.

The best part? Charles and I saw it first! I feel vindicated (somewhat).

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Boom, boo, boo-hoo

After my previous post about how emotionally stable women are, I’m just going to come out and say it: I cried at work.

I don’t know why some days are harder than others. I got to spend almost a whole day with Junior yesterday thanks to a flexible schedule. We went to the park and he practiced walking while holding my hands. After watching a three-year-old slam repeatedly into one of the swings (what are little boys on?), he even mimicked the hellion by saying, "Boom!" (Actually, it was more like "boo" but I understood my little future Mensa member.)

When my mom, Linda, arrived to babysit this morning, I couldn’t wait to share the news.

“Junior learned a new word! Boom!”

Her face contorted into a weird half-smile, half-pucker, like she had painful gas but was trying to laugh through the pain.

“I…um…was…using that word when I watched him Monday. When I dropped a toy on the floor I said, ‘boom’ and he laughed. He was trying to say it but he couldn’t quite—”


“—He was trying to say it Monday but he couldn’t get it. So it’s new. Honest.”

We stood there, me holding Junior, like some kind of Midwestern showdown, without the tumbleweed or guns.

Then, Junior delivered a painful blow. He looked from me to Linda and—gasp—reached out to Linda.

She stepped back and pretended to pick lint from her shirt. Sneaky Linda. Teaching my son words and getting him to fall for her! The nerve!

I told her I had to go and handed her my cretin child. Then I got in my car and had a nice long cry. I don’t expect to be there for every one of Junior’s firsts but…but…


At work, the shrine I have to Junior by my desk just made it worse. Every time I looked at his fat, smiling face I got all teary and goofy. I can’t help it: I am in love.

At least the office building I work in is under construction and I can blame my blotchy face and red eyes and runny nose on asbestos particles.

And there are all those catchy stuff-envelopes-from-home jobs...right?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Not only do I suck at undressing, my crotch needs more veggies

There you have it. Women were meant to suffer.

I really must thank my dad for bringing over those old Life magazines. They make me giddy.

If you can't read the type above, the ad says there are three ordeals of womanhood. One is passing from girlhood to womanhood (I'll give them that—being told you have grown "mosquito bites" and having Aunt Flo arrive was not exactly the best part of middle school, kissing boys was).

The second ordeal is preparing for motherhood. Preparing, huh? I guess motherhood itself is pure shits and giggles.

The third ordeal is approaching middle age, i.e. menopause (I'm going to say that, at 33, I've got a bit of time before that brick drops).

The ad lists these ordeals as "functional disorders."

Exfuckingcuse me? Menstruation and pregnancy and menopause are functional disorders? The last time I checked they were biological functions.

Anyway, an enterprising woman named Lydia Pinkham (I think she looks more like a Harriet Horlick or Gladys Girth personally) came up with a neat vegetable compound that cured women's ailments (the ad describes the ailments as "nervousness, irritability, and being almost impossible to live with").

The ad goes on to say that women "owe it to their husband and children" and themselves to try the compound.

Now that just outright pisses me off. I am so fricken tired of hearing about how women are a) emotionally instable and b) how that alleged instability is a drain on everyone around them. So what if we have moments of weepiness or irrationality or anger. So the frick what.

Can't we all just get over it?

It's good to feel. It's called being alive.

And do you see the last line? The one that says, "One woman tells another how to go 'smiling through' " with the damn compound.

Hi, if something is enjoyable we don't smile through it. We actually smile. And laugh. And want to do it again.

Women's quality of life was the issue not their three damn ordeals.

According to Wikipedia, descendants of this veggie goop are still available today. Seeing how I've successfully weathered two of my womanly ordeals already, I'm going to pass on ordering some.

(But shoot, now I'm curious as hell. It has Unicorn Root for Pete's sake! Maybe I'll grow a horn and disappear to a magical land of rainbows and leprechauns!)

Monday, August 18, 2008

So I guess I've been undressing incorrectly for um, like, 10 years

My dad is such a great guy. Yesterday, before we took Junior out for breakfast, he handed me a stack of Life magazines from 1936 and told me there were some articles I should probably have now that I'm an old, married bag (his words, not mine).

He was kidding, of course. Heh, heh. Good ole pops.

I leafed through one of the magazines and stumbled upon this lovely number. It so carefully demonstrates the finer points of how to undress in an attractive, wifely way. Instructions are courtesy of the Allen Gilbert School of Undressing.

Excuse me? School of Undressing? How about School of Nut Kicking?

According to Mr. Gilbert, the "business of taking off stockings is virtually an art in itself." The slow, titillating rolling down of said stockings accomplishes two things: it excites the man (duh) and prevents him from having to see any unsightly runs.

The article goes on to say that such “good bedroom manners” are essential to married happiness once the honeymoon is over.

Sigh. I like this set of instructions much better.

I think, in fact, that I've actually fallen asleep with my nightgown knotted around my head, like the woman on the left. Minus the heels. And stockings.

But the grimace? Hell yeeeeeees.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

This is my last bathroom post ever!

I’m so embarrassed.

My friend, Anna, bought us tickets to the Bob Dylan concert at Foxwoods casino Friday night. It was supposed to be Ladies Night II. If you remember, I was thwarted Ladies Night I by Junior when he coated me with his dinner and Pink eye while Charles was off at battle.

Ladies Night II was not supposed to involve puke.

Yet there I was, a mere 20 minutes into the concert, hunched over in the bathroom, making an origami cup out of the those lovely toilet seat liners for my…upset stomach (I may have been intoxicated but I wasn’t going to hug someone else’s toilet, even though it was about 50 times cleaner than my own and yes, I can fold paper into cups).

See, this is what happens when party girls go mother.

Looking back, I made several crucial mistakes. First, my pre-game was off. I should have eaten more than Fig Newtons for dinner. I should not have drunk whiskey and beer, nor should I have slugged down a cup of cheap, warm vodka before the concert and chased it with a Corona. At the time I was so grateful to bartender Troy for doubling our shots but whilst retching into my origami cup I kept recollecting the shot.

Again and again and again.

Second, my game itself was off. Why? Because I have no game.

As much as I loved the comfort of my personal bathroom stall (if you haven’t been to the MGM Grand at Foxwoods, their bathrooms are fabulous), I worried about how I would get from the stall to my bathtub, which is all I wanted.

So I started drunk dialing. I called Anna, who wanted to know where the hell I had disappeared to. She offered to come to the bathroom to assist me but I had no idea where I was (the bathrooms are designed like conch shells around a circle; well, in my drunken state that’s what it seemed like anyway).

I called Charles. While listening to me puke he offered to call the casino’s ER people. But the thought of being removed from the bathroom via stretcher was way too embarrassing. I told him I’d crawl out to the concierge and get a cab.

Which I was able to do a mere 30 minutes later. I have to commend the concierge people. I don’t know if it was because I stunk or because I was carrying a natty clump of toilet paper liners, but that’s the fastest I’ve ever gotten a cab.

My driver was squat and Polish. His English was terrible so, in my drunken brilliance, I though it’d be easier for him to understand me if I made my English terrible.

“Too much drink. Drive slow. Get sick.”

He rolled down the windows on my side of the cab and floored it.

Every few minutes I’d get a wave of nausea and say, “Stop. Get sick.”

He’d slam on the brakes and pull over and we’d sit there.

“Sorry. No get sick.”

He’d floor it again and we’d make it another few miles and then, “Stop. Get sick. Sorry.”

Again, he’d slam on the brakes and pull over and we’d sit there.

“Sorry. No get sick.”

When we finally got to my house after that miserable cocktease of a ride I tossed him the money and slithered away into the night. It was 11:30 p.m. I’d been out of the house for exactly four hours.

On the bright side, I won $40 on the nickel slots. Just enough to pay for the cab ride home.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

If the bathroom's a rockin...

I’ve wanted to blog about this topic for so very long, but I know it’s wrong. So very wrong. And yet so very right. It’s…it’s…Junior’s babysitter.

It sounded so good in theory. I was going back to work and needed someone a few days a week, here and there, when Charles couldn’t work from home and my mother, Linda, couldn’t be here. When my younger brother, Ted, mentioned that his girlfriend, Holly, was looking for a part time nannying job I thought perfect.

Holly was the ideal person: flexible (schedule-wise, obviously I could give two shits about her muscle tone), sunny, and reliable. Best of all, we knew her. Sort of. They’d only been dating six months but she was better than some psycho on craigslist, right?



She’s so lazy I want to pull out my hair. I’ve popped home after a meeting to find her sacked out on the couch while Junior is napping. Not just napping, but under the blankets, dead-to-the-world napping. For almost $15 an hour! The only things she was missing were her eye mask and aromatherapy oils. For almost $15 an hour! She doesn’t wash dishes. She doesn’t fold laundry. What she does, best as I can tell, is carry Junior around the house for seven hours a day. Which means when I get home and try to make dinner he doesn’t want to play in his Exersaucer. He wants to be held, nonstop.

Which brings me to today.

Holly couldn’t be here first thing in the morning so Ted said he’d come up and fill in. I had reservations. My brother is 25—a young 25. When he walked in the door and I handed him my child, he said, "I hope he doesn’t poo."

Reluctantly, I headed off to work only to have Ted call me an hour later and ask which direction the diaper tape should be facing.

“Towards his belly.”

“Both pieces of tape?”

Oh Lordie.

He told me not to worry: Holly was on her way.

Well, well, Holly. Looks like Ted never did figure out how that diaper worked, did he? Looks like Junior unleashed his bladder fury on his bed sheets, which you neglected to change. And not only did you leave his sheets in a pee-stained shamble, you left his two stuffed buddies lounging around in the wet mess. Come on, those are his buddies.

But you wouldn’t know that you, would you? Nope, you decided not to give Junior his afternoon nap, which means he was a monster pain in the ass when I got home from work. Have I mentioned that that’s the only time of day I get to spend quality time with my son? When I get home from work?

Have you ever tried to spend quality time with an octopus on a bad LSD trip? Mmmm, that’s how special my night with Junior was.

As if all that isn’t bad enough, Holly made herself some pizza for lunch and left the plastic cutting board in the oven. Guess who decided to bake muffins tonight? Me. And guess who preheated the oven to 400 degrees without checking if anything was in the oven? That’d be me.

Chuck had to whip out the fire extinguisher after we realized the cutting board was on fire.

Are we having fun yet?

It was only 6 p.m. and my plate overunneth. Between the deadbeat babysitter, the overtired, urine scented child who only wanted to be held, and the husband who was pumped up because he actually got to use the fire extinguisher, I needed something.

Some might have turned to alcohol, chocolate, a racy novel.

Oh no, I handed Junior to Chuck and went ape shit on the bathroom.

I'm not exaggerating. I went nuts.

I got on my knees and scrubbed and bleached and sprayed and Pledged and slapped. When I was done I went after the grout with a toothpick. After that I got an old toothbrush and scrubbed the bejesus out of the fixtures.

I combed the damn bath mat. Then I French braided it.

Maybe it was all the fumes but when I finally collapsed on the cool tile I felt like a new woman.

A new woman who needs to find a new babysitter.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Do they make blog Massengill?

Sometimes when I think about my blog I feel…not so fresh.

Like at night, when I’m lying in bed thinking about things I want to blog about and I imagine millions of other people lying in bed—or showering or flossing—all doing the same thing. It seems so hokey. Divulging your intimate, personal details in the hopes that someone—anyone—will leave you a comment or find what you write to be meaningful or relevant. Click clacking away hour after hour, day after day.

For what?

Charles tells me that the blog will be a nice log of Junior’s beginnings. Of our lives. (I think he just likes reading about himself.)

But it’s eerie, isn’t it, how overly conscious you become of your life when you’re micro-analyzing it all for your blog? Sometimes I feel like a peeping tom—peeping myself. Sometimes I feel like shouting at myself, “Go away I want to cuddle on the couch with Junior and not obsess about how to translate this sweet, innocent moment into words so someone can read about it on my blog!”

Yet I keep coming back. Here I am right now.

Did you know that there are there are more than 175,000 new blogs created every day? That there are 112.8 million blogs? I didn't just pull that out of my ass; I found it here.

Having a blog is now as cliché as wanting to be a writer.

When I recently told some of my friends I have a blog I actually felt a little…ashamed. Dirty. I think I would have preferred to have told them I own a Celine CD. Or that my husband likes to dress up in Medieval tunics.

Oops. Sorry, honey.

For a minute or 12 I thought of stopping all the blog madness. I wasn’t going to read any more blogs or post any more blogs and for fuck’s sake I was going to stop the widget acquiring madness. I mean, I now belong to so many blog networking sites I’ve mistakenly tried to befriend myself.

Hmmm, whose this new chick? Look at that cool avatar. And she’s even a fellow Mullet-monger. Married…to…someone…named…Charles. “Will you be my…” Oh wait. Oh. It’s me.

And then I read Dto3’s blog about musical enemas and I thought hell no. If I hadn’t squeezed out a kid and started a blog I never would have stumbled upon his crappy post (that's a good thing: it's funny as hell).

I like the people I've "met." I get warm and fuzzy when I think about them. So I don't know their real names or if they use deodorant or if they recycle. I don't know those things about my neighbors and they're right next door. Letting their shrubs grow into my driveway.

So that's that. Phew. Poo.

(If you happen to wander over to check out Dto3 and you have a delicate stomach you might want to skip the last few paragraphs…I’m just sayin’).

Monday, August 11, 2008

Touché, Viking

Oh, Junior. You and your sticky, germ encrusted mouth! Why, oh why, do those wet, sloppy kisses have to be so tantalizing? Why couldn't I have said no instead of letting you slime me countless times when you were sick?

The crusty nostrils should have deterred me. The morning hacking. The projectile Spaghettios.

But no, I leaned in for every one of those gooey slobberings, didn't I?

"More!" I shouted. "Coat me with your mucus you mucilaginous hunk!"

Thanks for the head cold. The raspy throat that makes me sound like a prank caller. The dry cough. The nausea.

(Charles, my nasal passages just check mated your kidney. Ha!)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Jaws really liked Cheerios and maple syrup

Yesterday we took Junior to the Mystic Arts festival. After perusing the various stands of artwork we’d never be able to afford we took Junior to get some lunch. We were knee deep in a impassioned debate about who would make a better shrink (Chuck* said he would because he would have the nut to say, “Suck it up!” to someone who was depressed—why, oh why, do I see his patients dropping off like flies?), when Chuck pointed at Junior.

“Do you see what he’s been doing?”

“No. What?”

Chuck handed Junior a Cheerio then leaned forward so Junior could feed it to him. But instead of smashing the gooey Cheerio into Chuck’s mouth like he normally does, Junior waited until Chuck’s lips were touching it and then crammed it into his own mouth. Then he laughed.


“The whole time we’ve been talking he’s been teasing me.” He gave me a pointed look. “That’s your gene.”

I love this part of being a new parent: knocking around whose gene pool is more undesirable, dissecting personality flaws, making corresponding pie charts.

“Yes, Chuck, my Uncle Winky was bi-polar and myopically challenged with dandruff but remember your cousin Buddy? The left-handed agoraphobic snaggle-tooth who kept rolled nickels in his oven?”**

This time, however, there’s no contest. I come from a long line of teasers (get your mind out of the gutter, I don’t mean that kind of teasing).

Take Gramps. When I was child, he used to butter and salt my arm and try to eat it. When he sat in my beach chair and broke it, he laughed when I cried. If he and my grandmother were babysitting he would sneak around the back of the house and put on a Halloween mask and throw himself against the sliding glass door and laugh while we screamed.

That’s my mom’s side. On my father’s side? Uncle Dave.

One very cold and very snowy January, Chuck and I spent a Thursday night at his house in Vermont so I could go on a job interview the next day (this is when Chuck and I were idealistic and thought we wanted to live in a log cabin and make our own maple syrup).

Before we went to bed (in separate rooms; we weren’t married yet), Chuck happened to mention he liked to winter camp—he was serious, it wasn’t a guise for being a Viking. Well, when we got up the next morning Chuck’s nose was bright red and his lips were blue.

Good ole Uncle Dave thought it’d be funny to recreate the winter camping experience for Chuck by turning off the heat in the room in which he’d been sleeping.

Poor Chuck was livid! “When I ca-ca-camp, I have wool s-s-s-socks, thermal b-b-b-blankets, an insulated sleeping bag.” (His teeth chattered something terrible.) “Your uncle g-g-g-gave me a c-c-c-cotton sheet. He left the w-w-w-window open. The one above the bed. I c-c-c-couldn’t r-r-r-reach it.”

Luckily, he regained feeling in his fingers and toes.

Unluckily, the gleam in Junior’s eye and sinister curls at the tips of his mouth point to one thing: He has discovered the delicious art of teasing. And it can be delicious. It took Chuck seven years to find out that I hadn’t really been bitten by a shark (I have a fabulous scar on my leg) and that was only because my stupid cousin outed me at a wedding. But oh, those years of trickery. Of listening to Chuck brag to his friends that his wife had survived an encounter with a sand shark (I’m not stupid—I’d never say it was a Great White).

Thank the starry Buddha’s butt Chuck is the one who would make a great shrink. Junior and I have years of free therapy to look forward to...on our very own couches.

*I find myself liking Chuck better than Charles. Chuck rhymes with words that are more interesting than Charles. It’s true, try it.

** Names have been changed to protect the family’s precarious reputation.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Do you like my new look?

I'm such an ass. Poor Chuck is on the way to the hospital to have his kidney stone removed (Junior and I offered to drive him but he declined). Apparently the stone is, um, too big to pass. Well, one of the five anyway.

When he gets home I'm going to give him a big, uncomplicated hug.

If he let's me.

But I'm prettier than the toilet!

When a friend of mine raved about "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" I had a nice hearty laugh. First, John Gray “Ph.D.” looks androgynous and sickly—the very antithesis of someone enjoying couplehood success. Second, I likened the book to the kind of fodder you’d find in Cosmo. You know, an article that promises a better relationship if only you, the woman, would greet your man at the door with a can of Ready Whip and your hottest friend…

You know what, though? The book is right on the money. How else to explain the great divide between the sexes than planetary dissimilitude?
Clearly we’re not speaking the same language. Clearly, Dr. Gray’s wisdom has been shuffled off the shelves and replaced with something less important, like “Beer Funneling for Dummies."

Case in point, Tuesday’s discord.

As I mentioned, Charles came home early from his Viking quest—but with organ issues. Despite the obvious pain on his face and the fact that he was hunched over, I wanted a giant bear hug from my husband and a genuine, “Oh honey, can you ever forgive me for going away?”

When I greeted him at the door I got neither. He raced past me and peed for about 45 minutes, all the while screaming in agony, then collapsed on the floor. He gave the porcelain bowl more face time.

Understandably, I was annoyed. He could hug the toilet, why couldn’t he hug me?

Bickering ensued, quite unnecessarily. I wanted a hug; he wanted one, too, but neither of us would do it first (this is what happens when two stubborn, first born children marry and one is overtired and the other has medical issues).

After giving the incident more thought and thumbing through Dr. Gray’s book, I’ve come up with the “what should have happened” scenario. Rest assured, I’ve been completely unbiased and fair.

#1 HE
Charles should have lifted himself off the bathroom floor and hugged me, even if said hug was merely an excuse to lean on me for support and whimper on my shoulder. I mean come on, if a haggard woman says she wants a hug, for fuck’s sake hug her. Do not—I repeat do not— say, “If you want a hug, all you have to do is hug me first.” That’s akin to a Pizza Hut telling a hungry person, “If you want pizza all you have to do is get in your car and drive to the restaurant.” There’s a reason someone invented delivery men. You have what we want. Just give it to us.

#2 SHE
Charles should have lifted himself off the bathroom floor and hugged me, even if said hug was merely an excuse to lean on me for support and whimper on my shoulder. After that I should have retrieved the heating pad for his side instead of throwing it down the stairs.

See how easy it is?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I've had it with his damn organs!

There are certain themes in every marriage. For one couple it might be deceit and betrayal (I’m so optimistic); for another, steamy sex and excessive personal lubricant (see, that’s better).

For me and Charles, it’s passive aggressiveness and ulterior-motive-disguised-as-altruism (on his part; on mine it’s undying devotion and servitude).

Do you want proof? Because I have it. Documented right here on this very blog (if you could see me and my blog right now, we’re cozied up on the chair and I’m petting it, nice kitty).

Exhibit 1: The nicest nerve
The very day I healed from a pinched nerve, Charles trumped me with a kidney stone that laid him up on the couch for three days.

Ruling: This guy is so passive aggressive his body is in cahoots with his brain!

Exhibit 2: The other woman was a bonbon
Charles brought home a glitter covered bonbon (which I later learned was the brainchild of a stripper-hah!) in the guise of a present, when in actuality the bonbon was proof that he had not spent the night with his head between Misty’s frosted jugs.

Ruling: You can look a gift bonbon in the mouth.

Tonight’s exhibit brilliantly illustrate both themes. It's so tidy, in fact, that it illustrates a freakish cross pollination of themes.

You see, I nicely asked Charles to shorten his encampment stay. I was so very tired from tending to Junior’s gooey eye, projectile puke, and fever. I needed help. I needed my man to gallop on back to me. Which he did. But when Charles finally arrived home tonight he fell into the foyer, woad (um, Celtic war paint) covering his wan, pale face and told me he was…useless.

And so, I present:

Exhibit 1: Charles’ kidney stone, part deux

Right now, he’s lying on the couch doubled over in pain. I had envisioned his homecoming a little differently. Like, backrubs for me. Dinner for me. Instead I brought him soup and even went back into the kitchen for crackers! (I didn’t crumple them up—I’m not that nice.)

Ruling: This guy is so passive aggressive his body is in cahoots with his brain! He wants to rest and recover from his trip, not tend to a sick child and tired wife.

Ruling: You can look a gift homecoming in the mouth. He didn’t come home early just to help me out; he came home to the creature comforts of his house, to modern medicine, to painkillers.

If you’re booing at me, know this: I’m not heartless. I’ve heard kidney stone pain is akin to labor (oops, I just fell out of my chair laughing). Ehem, where was I? Ah yes, my poor husband needs TL right now, not BL (Blog Lambasting) but I can’t help but find this all very, very amusing.

His organs keeps trumping me. They’re sneaky little shits.

Sigh. Speaking of organs, my brain is starting to shut down due to lack of sleep.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Maybe now I can get some sleep

I've sent word via passenger pigeon to the Viking that Junior has pink eye and a fever (yes, I apologized to Linda for not causing Junior's ailments). Luckily his encampment received the note kindly and is sending the Viking home early.

Long live the king!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Remember when you were the one puking?

Dear New Life,

Why hello. It's 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night. My husband just called to tell me that everyone in his encampment loved the Viking banner I made. He's been drinking since 8 a.m. and told me seven times that he ate venison (deer) stew and that it'd be great if I learned how to make it. (Hello, you can't serve venison stew in a household that will soon experience Bambi: "Hey Junior, see that starry eyed doe? You've eaten her!")

My friends are on their way to the bar my brother bartends at, which means they'll drink for free all night. Which is why I drove down to my mother's house this morning: So I could go out with my friends and Linda could babysit Junior and I could feel like the old me again. The one who actually used to go out past 7:30 p.m.

Instead I'm sitting here like some Lifetime movie teenager who doesn't realize the full extent of her newfound mommyhood until all her pimply friends go to the prom but her.

But you already knew all this didn't you?

You knew that Junior would projectile vomit the dinner Linda so grossly overfed him (watermelon, chicken curry, Spaghettios, Cheerios, and a fruit bar), didn't you? You knew he would hurl with reckless abandon and that the entire contents of his stomach would spray my clothes and bare feet and get stuck in between my toes.

Oh, how you tickle me with your roadblocks.

I guess you also know that Linda has apologized for overfeeding Junior more times than Jodi Picoult has written a predictable, metaphor-blighted best seller (I bet she's having a great night) and that Charles has called ten times in the last hour to check on Junior (which is sweet but come on, he's an intoxicated Viking for fuck's sake).

You. You are an insidious girls-night-out-wrecker.

Thanks for the awesome Saturday night,

P.S. Why couldn't Junior have ralphed on Linda?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Behold the haggard housewife

This morning, when my mother arrived bright and bushy tailed to watch Junior for the day, she took one look at me and said, “Today you look like a tired working mother.”

Then she saw Charles’ medieval tunics on the couch (which is where he puts his dirty laundry, slovenly creature that he is) and said, “That Charles! I think it’s just great he has such a flair for adventure.” (If you didn’t already know, Charles is about to travel back in time to partake in a freak convention known as Pennsic.)

Hmmm. Let’s break this down, shall we?

It appears that:

a) I am haggard and a cliché

b) my husband has a real zest for life.

Now why the hell would that be? Could Charles’ colorful persona be attributed to the fact that he is about to embark on a weeklong excursion consisting of complete and utter debauchery? That for seven days he will be free to rise when he wants (or not rise at all), drink and be merry, and not be responsible for the ever-demanding bundle of joy that, up until now, we have co-parented?

And poor moi! Destined to spend my week as Junior’s solitary caregiver, dragging my stiff, aching bones from house to office, feeding and dressing Junior in a zombie daze, calling out for assistance—help, someone!—only to realize that my weakened vocal chords—and they will be weakened because I sing to Junior every chance I get, I’m that dedicated—are so fatigued I might as well be a mouse whispering into a wind tunnel.

Add to that the fact that our house was broken into one month ago and that even with the Fort Knox conditions—thank you Brink's—I still have a panic attack when I hear a strange noise. Fine, most often the noise is our hefty kitties trying to hoist their bellies off the floor as they climb over Junior’s toy collection but still…


If my mother weren’t such a loving caregiver—and a free one at that—I would have opened up a can of whoop ass on her.

I know she means well. I know my anger is more justifiably directed at Charles, who is leaving me to run the house, Junior, and myself (ragged).

But ultimately, yes, I am angry at myself for saying, “Sure, honey! Have a blast, we’ll be fine” when Charles asked if he could go in the first place.

If Linda thought I looked like a tired working mother today just wait until she sees me next week. (Is anyone else having flashbacks to Donna Summer's “She Works Hard For The Money?”)


  There's an election coming up. Maybe you've heard.  I really haven't broached politics on this blog, except for the time the k...