Friday, May 22, 2015

Chats du jour

You guys, I cannot stop watching this kittie cam.

Marriage 701, Lecture 123: The blinds

SH: Hey! You're not doing it right!

Me: Now what?

SH: The blinds.

Me: What about the blinds and really this is the first thing you want to talk about after being gone for ten days?

SH: I noticed them when we drove up to the house. When you have the blinds from both windows open

Me: yeah?

SH: They should be even.

Me: What?

SH: They should be even. At the bottom.

Me: You want perfect symmetry in the blinds?

SH: That's the right way to do it.

Me: Oh good grief.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Marriage 701, Lecture 542: Who moved my cheese - its?

You guys know the junk food rules, right?

Once the box is opened, it doesn't count.

As in, you don't open an intact box of CheezIts, which is an item that was never in your house before you got married because you never even went into those aisles in the store. You just bound yourself to the mast and stuck to the perimeter.

My mom will always ask me, "Why don't you have just a little bit of that ice cream/cake/whatever and put the rest away?"

To which I reply, "I am so grateful for the many good qualities I inherited from you, but apparently, discipline in portion control did not make it into my DNA."

SH says the same thing: "You just need to put stuff on a plate and that's what you eat."

Says the man who has been known to try to hide empty Dill Pickle Flavored Pringles cans in the trash only honey, I know all those tricks, so don't be all Mr Portion Control with me.

SH might think he is wise in his food choices, but his trim physique is due almost completely to DNA. His mom is 5'9" and usually about 119 lbs, a fact she has told me more than once after asking me what I weigh.

More than she does.

On a shorter body.

She seems pleased.

I am all, Whatever. Genes, lady. Genes. There is only so much a person can do with the genetic lottery.

I know my genes and they are begging me to store up resources for the big famine that is surely around the corner, for the harsh winter to come, for sustenance after the Cossacks take all of our potatoes. Eat now, for you might never get to eat again.

I have to inform my genes that the danger of running out of food at my house is very low, as SH loves the whole buying in bulk concept and is a little bit dangerous every time he goes to Costco. As long as a person can survive on crackers and steel cut oatmeal and cheese and bacon, we are set.

Before SH, I fought my genes harder and never ate yummy things like CheezIts. Then I got married and suddenly, there were things in my house - ice cream, chips, CheezIts - that had never been in my house before.

The first rule of CheezIts is you don't talk about CheezIts. The second rule is you don't open a new box. If you open a new box, then you are admitting you are powerless over CheezIts and that you will be eating of the CheezIts.

(The same rule applies to jars of Nutella, which is why I have three unopened jars of Nutella in my basement. Stop giving me Nutella as a present - I cannot open a jar of Nutella. It's like stepping on a crack. It is Not Done.)

But SH left an opened box of CheezIts in the basement two weeks ago when he left for an emergency visit to his mom and dad's to take care of things that 1. never should have happened and 2. they should have been prepared to deal with. I am not going to discuss that stuff here because it makes me too angry. I consider myself lucky that my mom is not a black hole of disorganization and emotional neediness.

He left the CheezIts and I was working out with Shelly on Gymbox and she was taking too long to load her weights and I was a wee bit hungry and I was right there, in the basement. All I had to do was go into the laundry room and look on the pantry shelves and there it was - an opened box of CheezIts.

I worked out with Shelly four times while SH was gone.

([60 minute workout] + CheezIts) * 4 = empty box of CheezIts.

SH got home and found the empty box in the recycling.

He shook his head sadly. "CheezIt eater!" he accused.

I hung my head in shame.

"Are you going to - " he paused "open a new box?"

No. I am never the box opener. But once he opens the box, I am the box finisher. Once again, my genes win.


** Wait. I checked. I lie. I have opened the Nutella. I had forgotten. I had opened it when I took the jar to work for a potluck. Almost nobody took any. I remember every now and then that it is there, open, and stick my finger in it, although with as cold as it has been, a finger is not the optimal method of removing product. But the two-pound jar remains sealed.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Wisconsin 101: We are not late and we fight not to be early

Speaking of Germans, here's what it was like Saturday evening after my friend Danette and I finished our walk.

Danette, after I tell her the German story from work: You know there are a lot of Germans in Milwaukee.

Me: I know! I am one!

Danette: Me, too! But I fight it! I go into a festival and hear German music and it's like it is speaking to something deep in me. (She pulls her shoulders back and stands up straighter.)

Me: It makes you want to invade a small country!

Danette: Yes! That's why I have to fight it. Anyhow - they used to give a lot of tickets for jaywalking here.

Me: Jaywalking?

Danette: Because it's against the rules.

Me: Oh. Right.

Danette: You can't have people breaking the rules!

Me: No. You can't.

Danette: I have that tendency - I am a rule follower. I have to fight it. But it's hard!

Me: I know.

Danette: So I made myself wait until 6:30 to leave my house tonight.

Me: When it was 6:32 and you weren't here, I started to worry that something might be wrong.

Danette: I forced myself to sit down and read a paragraph of my book so I wouldn't be early.

Me: This is Wisconsin. People here show up early.

Friday, May 15, 2015

The working life with engineers: German engineers

So I don't want to be too negative here because 1. I do not think it is wise to complain about one's co-workers online unless you are deeply anonymous, 2. I really like everyone I work with, and 3. wait - there is no three.

But.

There are certain truths universally acknowledged and one of them is that there are cultural differences between cultures and German culture and American culture are not the same.

Let me give you a non-work example. SH and I were in Munich, waiting to cross a road. We didn't have the light, but there was no traffic at all. So we thought independently and crossed anyhow.

As soon as we stepped off the curb, a little old German man started to scold us. I do not speak German, but I know exactly what he was saying - he was telling us WE WERE BREAKING THE RULES and YOU CANNOT BREAK THE RULES!

My conclusions?

1. Americans look at the rule, evaluate the situation, decide if applying the rule makes sense, and make a decision. Sometimes, the rule does not make sense, in which case the rule can be ignored.

2. Germans say, "But that's the rule!" If there is authority to which one should submit, one submits. One does not question.

That little analysis is based on my personal vacation experiences in Germany and DISCLAIMER HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MY WORK SITUATION!

Ahem.

So I was a little frustrated with a situation with a 1. German 2. engineer.

(Read: "But this is the rule and this is the logic so this is the outcome!")

I stomped away from my desk, grabbing my wallet so I could get a diet Coke. There was nobody else in the hall - it was only about 7:30 (this is Wisconsin - we get up early here). My boss and co-workers had not arrived so I had nobody to vent to, not that I would vent too much, as this might veer into the realm of "gossip about co-workers to other co-workers, including bosses," which is not usually a good idea.

At work, I have discovered - for me - it is best to leave out super-personal conversations ("my in-laws are drunks," "does this dress make my butt look big?" - although in the ladies' room one day, with one of the few other women at work, I made some comment and she, a Serbian from Bosnia, reassured me, "Is OK! Men like big butts!") and gossip about co-workers or the company. That means no, "Can you believe those jerks in Accounts?" and no, "Man the CEO's secretary is a beeyotch!" (Neither of those is true. They are completely made-up examples.)

With men/engineers, it is probably best just to stick to the facts, ma'am.

But I had to vent.

I saw this guy - someone I have never seen before and have not met. He ended up right next to me, so I did the only thing I could do, which was turn to him and say, "GERMANS!!!!!!!!"

"What?" he said.

"Germans! Honestly! Now I understand how they could start and almost win but then lose two world wars. They are so stubborn and they will persist but they have no imagination for when conditions change!"

He laughed and put his arm around my shoulder. "Be careful! My last name is [something super German that I don't remember, not that I would write it here anyhow]."

"Oh, my last name is [also German]. But I have enough Norwegian and Slovak in me to temper it!"

He laughed again. "I know. I work with the German guys on my widget project. It is - challenging. But be careful! My brother got fired over something like that. He is a mechanical engineer and was working for a German company that made widgets. They wanted to move some production to the US and just wanted to use the same production drawings. My brother tried and tried to tell them that they couldn't use those drawings.* The Germans kept insisting. My brother finally said, 'I can see why you guys lost two world wars!' They escorted him out of the building right then."





* I do not know why. I am assuming a mechanical engineer would not protest unless there were legitimate reasons.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Chats du jour: Finding the 4



It did not occur to me to take a photo until I had already replaced half the missing keys. This is a photo of what a keyboard almost looks like after Shirley has sat on it.

I sent a photo to SH, who is out of town. We agreed that we thought this behavior had stopped years ago. I don't know why, after four years of not sitting on the keyboard, that Shirley suddenly thought, "Oh look! A keyboard! I like sitting on keyboards!"

But I should have known. I turned around one day to find her sitting on my work computer. None of the keys came off because they are solid, not snapon, but she managed to press some combination of numerals and letters that made any keystroke not register in an email or web address but instead open a new page.

I was working. I needed to work. I did not need to open more pages.

Fortunately, SH was at home and not taking care of his failing-to-plan for old age and poor health parents, so he was able to identify and resolve the problem.

My advice, in addition to marrying a rich orphan, is to marry an engineer. They can fix things. It is a good thing indeed to have a husband who can repair leaky pipes and flat tires and replace faucets and thermostats and auto parts. Paying for that sort of work can become quite expensive. Marry someone who can fix things (and of course, learn how to fix things yourself - I can replace a broken window pane and replace the set screw in an attic fan and repair a running toilet, etc.)

I should have known that Shirley was losing her keyboard sobriety and been more careful, but I was not.

SH was gone and I returned home from work to find my keyboard halfway destroyed.

I reassembled it only to discover that there was no '4' key.

Where on earthy was the '4?'

SH called me. "Did you find the '4?'" he asked.

Nope, I answered.

But I did have a solution so not a problem! A few years ago, a cup of coffee was spilled onto my keyboard. Guess what? Coffee is not good for keyboards. Even when you place the keyboard upside down over the sink before you dash out of the house to catch the bus for work, it's not enough. Eleven hours of draining into the sink is not enough.

Fortunately, we had a spare keyboard so I just switched them out and that was that. I thought about throwing the old keyboard,  but then thought, It might be good for parts.

And here I was, two years later, needing parts. I found the damaged keyboard right where I had left it in the attic, pried off the '4' key, and popped it onto the current keyboard.

There. Problem solved.

SH was not mollified. "What if Shirley ate it? What if Laverne ate it?" He was panicked.

I was sanguine.

"You need to search for it! You need to find it!"

"It will turn up," I said. "Or not. But I am pretty sure that Shirley, who chews each piece of kibble 70 times, did not eat it. I am pretty sure that Laverne, for whom I have to cut cherry tomatoes up into tiny little pieces, did not eat it. I am not concerned and I am not going to excavate under the stove and the fridge."

It has been two weeks. Neither cat is dead. I rest my case.



Friday, May 08, 2015

Marriage 701, Lecture 324: Step one assign blame

Me: I had to drink my leftover diet Dr Pepper from lunch yesterday and I had to buy a diet Coke at work today. I am weary.

SH: Why?

Me: I didn't turn the light out until 10:30, which is later than I would like but not unusual.

SH: But I wasn't even home!

Me: I know.

SH: So it'd not my fault.

Me: Wait. Where did I say anything about it being your fault?

SH: Any time something undesirable happens, the first thing to do is to assign blame. Wait! Where are you going?

Me: I have to write this down.

SH: You know it's true! Assigning blame, airing grievances. If you're not assigning blame, you're not doing it right.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Marriage 701, Lecture 236: Rearranging the deck chairs

SH: Guess what?

Me: What?

SH: I took some of the stuff out of this cupboard - I took out some of the clutter. Look!

Me: Good!

SH: See? I help.

Me: What did you do with it?

SH: What?

Me: What did you do with it?

SH: What?

Me: Where did you put the things you took out of the cupboard?

SH: I don't want to tell you.

Me: It doesn't count if you just move it somewhere else. [We are talking about dumb coffee cups he has never used since I met him.]

SH: But it's gone from the cupboard!

Friday, May 01, 2015

Marriage 701, Lecture 764: Kitchen opimization

Me: What are you doing?

SH: Putting away the beaters from the mixer.

Me: But why are you putting them there? [In the drawer in the island]

SH: Because that's where they fit best.

Me: Look at the utensils that are already there.

SH: Yes?

Me: Do you notice anything about them?

SH: Like what?

Me: Does any pattern strike you? Look at the other drawer [the one behind the island and next to the kitchen sink and hence, not so useful if you are working at the island, which is where I work].

SH: Nope.

Me: The stuff in the island drawer is stuff I use the most.

SH: So?

Me: How often do I use the hand mixer?

SH: I don't know.

Me: OK. How often do I make cakes?

SH: Not that often.*

Me: I have things organized by frequency of use.

SH: But the beaters fit better in the island drawer.

Me: But that's not the logical place to put them! I have the things I use all the time here!

SH: But I organize by what fits where.

Me: And I organize by pareto. 




* Sadly. Although for Easter, I made this ground walnut chocolate cake that used half of the ground walnuts in the freezer - I have been trying to use inventory - and then two pounds of chocolate, two cups of cream, and two sticks of butter that were not in inventory.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Marriage 701, Lecture 65: We are still vertical

SH is all midlife crisis-y because 1. he is in midlife and his midlife comes bearing crisis and 2. he is confronting his mortality, which I guess is really the definition of midlife crisis: the realization that you will die and that you are not getting younger and paths that were open to you when you were 20 are no longer open - that is, you are probably  not going to become a major-league baseball player at the age of 50 and you are not going to start a new career in physics and earn a Nobel prize and you are not going to take the world by storm.

He is really confronting his mortality and his body being - normal. He grayed very young, but has always had better than 20/20 vision and he went 20 years without visiting a dentist and the hygienist didn't even notice* and he has not had aches and pains, mostly because he is lucky but also because he has not been a big exerciser.

The issue that is driving him crazy? (Other than not having a major impact on political policy)?

He has had to get reading glasses.

For the past year, I have seen him do the tell-tale extending of the arm so he can read what is in his hand.

That is actually one of the few age-related ailments I do not have. Perhaps my cousin Becky the optometrist can chime in here, but if you are already nearsighted, maybe the going farsighted has to cancel out some of the nearsighted before it has an impact. All I know is that I don't need reading glasses for distance correction. I need them because I have astigmatism, but I can see things up close. At least, I can see them better than SH can.

For a year, he has been grumbling about not being able to see but has also been unwilling to do anything about it. I have suggested he go see our very cute young woman optometrist who in her early 30s, already runs her own business, which I find really impressive.

But he doesn't want to do that.

But he did.

And she laughed and told him he needed readers.

But he wouldn't get them from her.

So I said to just go to Walgreen's and try them on until he found something that worked.

But he didn't want to do that, either.

And then, last week, when he stopped at Costco and bought a gallon of liquid soap and four bottles of toilet bowl cleaner, he also picked up a three-pack of readers.

And he has been using them.

And it is making him crazy.

But he is still not desperate enough to take them out with him. So in restaurants, he is holding the menu out as far as he can and then trying to shine the light from his phone on it.

I am glad he is not taking them with him when we go out because you know he is going to want to put them in my purse. Maybe I should just get him one of those chains that go around the neck?

(He is still a hottie to me, readers or no.)





* Whereas I, who did not have dental insurance when I was in grad school, still went to the dentist for cleanings and checkups and just wrote a check because I treasure my teeth, who, on the Bolivian altiplano, when I was taking the overnight bus from Cochabamba to La Paz, used my precious bottled water to brush my teeth and who flossed in front of the very curious Aymara women who were wondering what this white chick was doing, who has flossed every single day for the past 25 years, have had a tooth literally (and I mean that literally) break apart in my mouth and fall out. I have had to have a tooth pulled and replaced. I have had, in the past year, five gum grafts (because of job changes and insurance timing, I was able to get that many done in a 12-month period), and will have two more this year, and only two this year, because that's all I will be able to fit into the insurance. I have had a root canal (which actually, is not as bad as they say - really! I have had headaches that hurt worse than a root canal - it's more uncomfortable than anything else).

Anyhow, my point is, I have always been super conscientious about my teeth and they have done nothing but betray me at every turn, whereas SH, who has completely ignored his dental health for almost his entire adult life, has teeth 40 times nicer looking than mine.

It is not fair.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Marriage 701, Lecture 874: A little rusty

After I have done another weights workout in the basement with Shelly from Gymbox.

SH: Maybe I should do some workouts with weights.

Me, cautiously hopeful: Maybe.

SH: I haven't done weights in years.

Me: Hmmmm.

SH: I liked the Nautilus machines.

Me: Free weights are harder.

SH: Yes. The Nautilus just guided you where you needed to go.

Me: Free weights give you a better workout.

SH: You just don't see Nautilus any more.

Me: You mean the brand?

SH: No. That kind of machine, I mean.

Me: What?

SH: Yes. You don't see them any more.

Me: Except, you know, at the gym.

SH: They still have them?

Me: Only at the Y. And at the workout room at work. And anywhere else people do gym stuff.

SH: Oh.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Marriage 701, Lecture 231: The Maytag man did come while I was gone

My faith in humanity and in SH has been restored.

I got home from work to find that SH had started and completed an entire plumbing project while I was gone.

Is there anything better than a home repair being done while you are not around to have to witness or be involved or watch your husband be cranky because you brought up the bucket of rags and THERE IS DUST ON THE BUCKET AND I JUST WASHED THE FLOOR?

Yes, SH is now washing the floors.

He does not do it right - ie, on his hands and knees with a rag. He does it with a Swiffer, which is stupidly expensive.

However, I would rather have someone else do a distasteful task the wrong way then do it the right way myself, so I am not unhappy.

About that. What is it about people who complain about how someone else does a task? If the outcome is the same, regardless of the method, and Wrong Method does not have negative repercussions (cost, property damage, takes ten times as long), why on earth do they care? Those people are not pleasant to be around - micromanagers. Don't like them. Would deliberately do it wrong if someone kept trying to dictate the method.

Anyhow. SH messaged me at noon that he was starting the faucet project. I worried. Would five hours be enough? Why hadn't he started earlier? Was this going to ruin my Friday afternoon anyhow?

SH blesshisheart is in the habit of doing the fun first and the chores later. As in, Saturday morning is for goofing off and late Sunday night is for chores.

I am of the chores first fun later school. How can you have fun if you know you have chores looming over you?

I don't care about his strategy when it does not have an impact on my life, but many times I have come home to find him vacuuming- or he does not start the vacuuming until I am home. I have pointed out to him that when I was the golddigger, I did all the housework while he was working so his off time would be pleasant and quiet and clean.

So we have that difference.

So I was worried that I would come home to Faucet Replacement Drama and my evening would be ruined, which would give me cause to sing The Song of Something Bad Happened, which is not usually my thing, as I believe in Just Getting On With It.*

But.

Nothing!

I walked in the door and it was done!

There was a new faucet and everything was clean and tidy and there was no drama.

The price I have had to pay is that SH keeps admiring the new faucet. "I really like this new faucet," he says as he strokes it.

Which would be fine but he wants validation. "Isn't this a nice faucet? Don't you like it?"

So I have to agree but I guess that is a small price to pay for having a functioning faucet and not having to pay $$$ to a repairman.**



* SH, for the first time, has adopted this attitude. "I don't have time to assign blame. I have to deal with this situation." It started when I wanted to assign blame - his drunk father fell on his mother and hurt her knee. "Has your dad acknowledged his fault? Has he accepted blame?" SH's father's credo is Always Assign Blame and Criticize As Soon As Possible, so I was curious to see how his principles applied when he was the one At Fault.

SH said, "Yeah, I don't think he thinks this is his fault."

"Have you pointed it out to him?"

He sighed. "I have to deal with the situation. I don't have time."

Which makes me think that perhaps I need to be drunk and stupid so as to keep SH from dwelling on The Song of Something Bad Happened.

** Although that does make me think that perhaps the reason you pay a repairman is so he will go away and you do not have to discuss the wonderfulness of the work ad nauseum.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Marriage 701, Lecture 121: Gravy doesn't just come

SH was supposed to go to this political thingy at 7 at the library but he didn't even get into the shower until 6:40 because he didn't go running until 6:00 even though he has been at home all day on his sabbatical so you would think he would figure out this critical path and maybe address it but that is not how he works.

It is how I work, which is one of the reasons that although I love him, I will never remarry once he is dead because I hate waiting for other people who refuse to be on time.I would rather live alone. I really would.

Anyhow, I had planned for him to be gone by 6:30 because he had said he would just walk and it takes about ten  minutes to get there and then you want to find a place to sit and you want to talk to your political friends about politics because your wife does not want to talk about politics and indeed that was part of the deal of your sabbatical - that you would not try to talk to your wife about politics because SHE IS NOT INTERESTED.

I had planned for him to be gone by 6:45 at the latest and then I was going to make him a surprise chocolate cake. I made a pear tart and an apple cake last week but SH is right - they are not chocolate. In addition to wanting my husband to have the desserts he wants, I am also on an ambitious endeavor to use inventory, which means using up the ground llama and the Groupon Klement's sausage and the chocolate in the freezer downstairs.

And I like having chocolate around.

He went running and I put Shelly at Gymbox (great workouts, btw) on pause and greased the pan and cut the wax paper to put in the bottom of the pan and greased that too and then I measured the sugar and the flour and the cocoa powder. I hid it all in the oven, reminding myself NOT TO TURN THE OVEN ON UNTIL I REMOVED THE COCOA AND OTHER STUFF.

Then I finished my workout with Shelly which thrilled Shirley because she likes to help me by sitting on my belly or attacking my hair when I am on my back doing abs or triceps.

SH still wasn't back.

I sighed. I made my lunch to take to work.

He returned. Instead of getting straight into the shower, which is what I would have done if it were 6:30 and there were an event I wanted to attend that started at 7, he went upstairs to do I don't know what.

All I know is I could not start the cake.

And not because it is a special event that he cannot know about the cake until it is ready. But because SH thinks that food, ideally, would be prepared by leprechauns in the night. Leprechauns who either use no dishes or wash, dry, and put them away before SH ever has a chance to see them dirty.

SH's motto is, "The purpose of a kitchen is to be spotless at all times."

I knew if he knew I was planning to bake that he would freak out that there was going to be MESS and he had just WASHED THE FLOOR --

Oh yes. SH has decided that washing the floor is not that bad if he uses Swiffer.

"Why don't you just use a rag and get on your hands and knees?" I asked.

"Because---"

"Because you agree with Barbara Ehrenreich that washing the floor on one's hands and knees is a sign of oppression from the patriarchy?"

(Which makes me wonder what the floors look like in her house.)(Because on your hands and knees is how you get a floor clean is why.)

"Because I just hate getting on my hands and knees."

So he would rather help the One Percenters who own stock in P&G get rich from overpriced cleaning aides than use a rag.

I have decided to turn a blind eye, much as the Occupy protesters who hate the rich but love Apple products manufactured by quasi-slaves in China turn a blind eye, because it is in my interests to turn a blind eye. If I force the issue, then I will be the one washing the floors and I do not want that to happen. I like coming home to a clean house that includes a clean floor.

Where was I?

He did not leave until 7:10! For an event that started at 7! How does that not make him insane? It makes me insane and I am not even the person going! I am the person staying home to bake a chocolate cake.

Which is now in the oven and smells divine.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Marriage 701, Lecture 761: The clothes really aren't fitting

Me, trying on summer dresses that have been upstairs all winter, deciding what goes to consignment and what stays here: Oh man. I think this one is too tight.

SH: Yes, but I really like that. It's pretty. It looks good on you.

Me: Kinda tight.

SH, running his hands up my sides: Yes, a little.

He steps back and looks again.

SH: But only a few pounds. I mean, you don't need to lose ten pounds for this to work. Maybe just three.

He steps back again, then approaches me and touches my sides again.

SH: Or --

Me: What?

SH: Don't they have those things?

Me: What things?

SH: You're just a little bumpy here - don't they have those things that can you know, smooth you out?

Me: Like a girdle?

SH: Yes! What about one of those?

Friday, April 17, 2015

The working life: Is bathing really necessary?

You guys, I used to freak out if I could not take a shower every day. During the three month training period for Peace Corps, the other volunteers and I took a lot of trips. We had a long weekend site visit with current volunteers, staying at their houses, and we took some weekend trips to the beach.

Peace Corps volunteers do not have fancy houses. They do not have guest rooms. They do not have fancy bathrooms. And in Chile, they did not have a lot of heat, which is actually something you need in Chile because Chile is the south of the equator weather version of California and when is the last time you heard someone complain about the heat in northern California?

It is a pain in the neck to use someone else's bathroom when that someone else is a Peace Corps volunteer who does not have a big supply of guest towels. Same thing when you are staying at a beach cottage. The towels. Where do the towels come from? Where does the heat come from?

The solution was easy for my PCV friends: if there is no heat and there are no towels, then there are no showers. Easy.

But I was appalled at the idea. Go a day without showering? Go a day without washing my hair? Well I never!

But I had to choose between being really cold and drying off with my jeans and not bathing.

I chose not bathing.

It was really, really hard. I felt disgusting and nasty, even though I don't think I have ever in my life sweated enough to be gross unless the sweat is because it is over 100 degrees and that was certainly not the situation in Chile.

It was hard but I did not die.

How I have grown since that time.

Now, I work from home for an entire week (if my boss is out of town, there is no reason for me to be in the office, as everyone else I work with is outside of Milwaukee) and do not bathe.

Do you know how much easier life is when you don't shower?

You gain all that time wasted in the shower and you don't have to be cold because your hair isn't dry and you don't have to use a hairdryer so you won't be cold because your  hair isn't dry and it doesn't matter! Your skin does not get super dry and hurt from dryness. Your hair gets a little funky but who cares? Especially if your husband is out of town and you are in contact with no other human beings, it does not matter!

It never mattered!

I have decided that my post-SH life goal - if he predeceases me - is to be a hermit.

That's right.

I want to live in my house and never leave and have things delivered to me but never talk to other people because really, it is not my favorite thing unless I really, really like you - otherwise, I would rather be reading a book - and almost never bathe.

I will stay in my house and read (my library will deliver books! although I could walk there and get my books and still not talk to anyone because they have machines where users can check out books themselves) and cook and hang out with the cats and sleep late and I will not take a shower every day. I will not take a shower every other day. I will maybe take a shower once a week. Maybe.