Friday, April 18, 2014

Marriage 601, Lecture 231: No white before Memorial Day

SH: I have several clothing rules I hope never to violate.

Me: Um-hmmm. [I am reading my book and am not very interested in hearing clothing philosophy from a man who freaks out if I wear his Rice sweatshirt - "Because it's SPECIAL!*" and - and whose closet consists of almost nothing but blue shirts. Plus I want to read my book. "Big Girl Panties," if you want to know. Total brain candy and fun and a nice break from the book about Americans who have been wrongly convicted of capital crimes.]

SH: I don't ever wear plain white shirts.

Me: Um-hmm. [Because it is very important for me to know this.]

SH: I don't like them. Unless it's a tuxedo shirt. That doesn't count as a plain white shirt.

[No, I don't get it either. A tuxedo shirt is a white shirt - perhaps not as plain as a buttondown, but fits the category of white, which in SH's taxonomy, seems to be the more egregious fashion violation. However, I do not understand his taxonomies at all - so many forbidden foods for so many reasons but not really a logical structure to the scheme. No peanut butter because of the texture, but tendon and tripe are OK?]

Me: Um-hmm.

SH: And no plain-colored ties. They are incredibly popular but I hate them.

Me: OK. Whatever.







* Although he has a certain point about the sweatshirt. My claim is that I, too, went to this college so I have the right to wear the sweatshirt. His point is that most Rice paraphernalia is so unattractive - they cannot seem to get a nice typeface - that a nice-looking sweatshirt is a rarity to be treasured.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Marriage 601, Lecture 875: For worse and worse

SH: You're not doing it right.

Me: What do you mean?

SH: I'm sick. You're supposed to be sympathetic.

Me: I am sympathetic.

SH: You're not acting sympathetic.

Me: What is "acting" sympathetic?

SH: Doing whatever I want.

Me: Which is?

SH: Making me soup.

Me: There is posole in the freezer.

SH: That's not soup! It's all chicken and hominy! It has CHUNKS!

Me: What else?

SH: You're supposed to comfort me, not watch a movie in the basement.

Me: I did pat you  on the head and say "poor bunny" and I sang "soft kitty" to you.

SH: You're not doing it right.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Marriage 601, Lecture 765: Man sick is different from woman sick

Let's evaluate two scenarios, shall we?

Scenario 1
A woman has her gums sliced open and a piece of tissue from the roof of her mouth sewn into the gum. Both the roof of her mouth and her gums are sutured. She is not sedated during this procedure, although she did take two valium.

Valium does nothing for her.

The dentist did give her Novocain.

Before the surgery, she got up, had a conference call with Mexico, ran three miles, went to the library to pick up a DVD, made the bed, washed the dishes, and did some work email.

At 10:15, her husband drove her to the dentist.

At 12:20, when the procedure was finished, she took the bus home. Not a big deal, as valium has no apparent impact on her.

She got home, did more dishes, made herself a bowl of yogurt and strawberries, which was hard to eat because you know, the Novocain.

She had a conference call with Brazil.

She took a vicodin.

She answered more emails and worked on a white paper. She prepared her breakfast and lunch for the next day at work, prepared her clothes, put away some winter clothes, and folded some laundry.

She took another vicodin three hours after the first one because she wanted to be sure to stay ahead of the pain. She continued to work. After an hour, she felt nauseated. Two minutes later, she ran to the bathroom and threw up her yogurt and strawberries and the piece of goat cheese tart she had later in the afternoon.

As she was vomiting, she thought, Hmmm, I really need to clean this toilet around the hinges. So after she flushed a few times and brushed her teeth and rinsed out her mouth, she got out the toilet cleaner and cleaned the toilet. She also wiped down the sink while she was at it.

Then she returned to work. She still felt nauseated, but what is one to do? One must work and one must get things done.

Scenario 2
A man flies to California for the weekend to see friends and collect wine. His wife does not begrudge him the trip. She is happy for him to see his friends because it makes him happy. He stays up way too late every night, including the night before the trip, because he has been known to be a slight procrastinator. But no worries. He is who he is.

He returns on Sunday. On Tuesday, he starts to sniffle. Then he starts to complain. He is getting a cold! How can this happen!

He whines. He had a flu shot! How could this happen! Oh no! Oh no! HE DOES NOT HAVE TIME TO BE SICK!

He sits on the bed with his computer, next to his wife who has had parts of her body cut out that day and who has thrown up and has little red dots around her eyes because when she throws up, she breaks blood vessels in her face.

He asks the wife to get him some tissues. She does. She returns to bed with her book.

He asks her to peel him some tangerines.

He asks her to warm some goat cheese tart.

He tells her he wants sympathy.

She tells him that she has managed to go through everything she experienced today without whining and without asking for sympathy or help.

He tells her that colds are worse for men.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The working life: What to do with the legs in Wisconsin in April, the cruelest month?

The pantyhose dilemma strikes again. My friends in the south roll their eyes. Nobody wears hose anymore! they tell me.

If I lived in a place where there was no snow, I would not be wearing hose, either.

But here, it is not a fashion statement. It is a survival statement. That is, I like to wear dresses and skirts to work but I don't like to be cold.

But CF what are you doing in Wisconsin if you don't like to be cold?

Ah. Good question. I am here because SH tricked me and now I am stuck. Stuuuuuuck. I love my SH - don't get me wrong - just because I tease at him here doesn't mean I don't think he is a total hottie and my true love - but I have to admit that the very thin silver lining to the cloud of his death would be that I could move away from here, which I would do in about two seconds, once I had figured out a way to get the cats south.

But SH is alive, which is good, and I am here and I must deal with the as-is world instead of the to-be world that SH is always rhapsodizing about. And the as-is world includes cold and snow.

I discovered fleece-lined tights earlier this year. They are not pretty. They are black and they are warm and that is their big selling point. But they are still not warm enough to walk to the bus stop in seven below with a wind chill making it even colder, which is why I wore sweatpants over the fleece-lined tights and then removed them once I got to work. One day, I wore the sweatpants under a dress that I bought at consignment - a fitted dress with fur cuffs and neck. It is a very fitted dress and when I stepped up to the bus I heard a noise and knew it was the dress tearing in the back because the addition of fleece-lined tights and sweatpants to the bulk that is already me was just an inch too much.

It has been over three months of black fleece-lined tights. I am tired of having black legs. I am tired of having fleece-lined legs. Adding bulk to a body is not a strategy for looking good, at least  not for me, as I have plenty of my own bulk thank you very much.

It has been three months of black bulky legs and we are in April and it is no longer winter. It is time to get out of winter clothes.

But it is still cold here.

Bare legs are not an option.

I don't want black legs any more.

So I went to TJMaxx to find some plain old regular pantyhose. The pantyhose section is very small these days. There used to be dozens of packages from many brands. Now there are like seven packages and the hose have sparkles in them.

I do not need nor do I want little gold sparklies in my pantyhose. I am not four years old and I am not a stripper. I am not a hooker. No sparklies.

I went to Walgreen's. Oh man.

Walgreen's is where you go for your cheap, tacky hose and for your $18 hose.

I am not spending $18 on pantyhose. Who can afford that kind of money for an item you wear once, maybe twice if you are lucky? That is four in beer units and five and a half in latte units.

Then I went online, to eBay, my retailer of choice.

Did you know there is a market for used pantyhose?

I shudder.

Even the brand-new hose were not what I wanted.

Back to TJMaxx. They had restocked. No sparklies. My size. The color was called "barely there."

Apparently, "barely there" is five shades darker than my not too fair skin. It was hard to tell in the light at TJMaxx, which is not known for its high-end merchandising.

I wore the barely theres today, walked into the ladies', looked at myself in the mirror, and discovered that it looked like my legs had been trapped in a tanning machine while the rest of me stayed in the shade with 100 SPF slathered on me.

Back to TJMaxx with the remaining five pairs, all unopened.

And back to the laundry room to wash my one single pair of pantyhose that matches my skin color. They have a run in them, but if anyone notices, I look down, gasp, and say, "Oh crap! That must have just happened!"

Praying for warm weather soon so I can have bare legs.





Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Marriage 601, Lecture 721: My boss became a millionaire and all I got was this lousy mug, or, How did I marry a hoarder?

Me: We need to throw that coffee cup away.

SH: What? No! Why?

Me: Because it leaks. That crack down the side has finally opened. I don't think it can be fixed.

SH: No!

Me: But it's useless!

SH: I want to keep it.

Me: Why?

SH: Because it's a souvenir from when I worked at [Silicon Valley startup #2,641 that didn't make any of its employees rich]

Me: Ah. That's a good reason.

He can put it with his employee manual from when he worked at Apple over 20 years ago, the phone bills from 1997 when he was still married to his ex, and those expired coupons for Culver's.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Marriage 601, Lecture 732: Fred and Ginger

Me: Today, this guy at the gym told me I look good in orange.

SH: He was hitting on you!

Me: Yep. I still got it.

SH: I guess you do.

Me: He had already asked if I would be his ballroom dance partner.

SH: But they don't have dance at the Y at lunch.

Me: No. In the evenings. I had told him that my husband hates dancing and won't take classes with me.

SH: Wait. He asked you to be his dance partner at night?

Me: Yes. So? That's how dancing works.

SH: But you can't do that!

Me: Of course I can. You have a nighttime wife. I can have a nighttime husband.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Marriage 601, Lecture 756: The List

SH: Why did you watch a movie about Christmas when it's April?

Me: Because it has Idris Elba in it.

SH: What, is he on your list?

Me: Yes.

SH: You think he's a hottie?

Me: Yes.

SH: So if he shows up at the front door?

Me: He would be there with Kate Winslet. So it works out for both of us.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Chats du jour: Will winter never end?

It only took Laverne a minute to decide she didn't want to be outside after all.







PS This series of photos is from February.

PPS But it still feels like winter.



Tuesday, April 01, 2014

BIO A three-hour tour

Marsha, who runs the BIO thingy, wrote this:

You're going on a cruise (or any vacation, but a cruise kinda limits choices if you leave something at home),

What 10 items you cannot leave home without.

And, yes, one of them should be an outfit, or all 10 of them can be outfits.


This is tough because I hate being on a boat. I had enough of it in high school when I was in Sea Scouts. My dad also had a small sailboat at that time. The Sea Scouts boat was a 76' double-masted schooner and was a thing of beauty. Unfortunately, it sank years ago - it had a ferrocement hull and the cement cracked and water got into the underpinnings made of iron and as you know, unpainted iron and salt water do not mix so kerplunk.

I had a lot of being on a boat and to me, it's one of the most boring things I can think of because you are trapped with other people and I am an introvert and although I like other people, I want to be able to escape from them.

If you are on a boat and around other people, I am pretty sure it is considered rude to take out your book and read. Indeed, there was a letter to Miss Manners about this very issue recently in the Washington Post. Someone complained about her friend who whips out a book even if there is a group of them waiting for the opera to start.

I read that and thought, "Cool! I should totally take a book with me the next time SH and I go to the Milwaukee Rep!" Because is there any torture greater than waiting for something to happen when you have nothing to read?

People think it's rude. I think it's self preservation. One of the main reasons I like taking the bus to work is because I have all that extra time to read. I am confined (which I don't like) but cannot clean the bathroom or do my work so I can read without guilt.

However. Let's say that SH and I won a cruise. I would hope we would have won it with some of our friends, because having friends along would make it more bearable. But hear me, my friends! I will plan to be reading my book a lot of the time and not being social! If we could sit next to each other and read our books together, that would be like the best thing of all.

Wait. No. If we could sit next to each other and read our books while someone else brings us food and chocolate martinis and lattes. That would really be the best thing of all.

So SH and I and our friends are on a cruise where the ship is big enough that I can escape when I need to. What do I take?

1. Marsha said at least one outfit. You will definitely have to see what she writes about, because she does clothes. Me, not so much. I am happy if I make it through the day without toilet paper hanging off the back of my shoe.

But an outfit. If I knew nobody would see me, sweatpants and a t-shirt. If I have to appear in public and look nice, then my light wool red dress that wraps under the bodice and gives me an amazing shape.

The rest of the wardrobe would be jeans and t-shirts.

2. A hat and sunblock. There is a lovely woman at my gym. She is in her late 30s. Fabulous shape - super lean and fit and a six pack, even though she has had three children. Nice, nice woman.

I think she sits in a tanning bed. I want to tell her that she is doing it wrong - that she works out so hard and then bakes her skin to turn it into leather? What are you thinking? I want to yell. Do you know how awful your skin will look in ten years?

But these are not the kinds of things you tell acquaintances. You can say it to your best friends, but not someone you have seen naked but whose name you do not know.

3. My biteguard. Just because SH thinks it's so sexy.

4. Emergency food, just in case the ship's kitchen runs out. Don't laugh. You never know. I should probably take water, too.

5. Ziplock bags, just in case there is too much food and I want to take some home.

Oh like you wouldn't. Like you have never walked past the bowl of little Nutellas in the Delta lounge and slipped a few into your purse because you never know when you might need some chocolate hazelnut spread.

6-10. Books. Because if this is supposed to be fun and relaxing, I want to relax. I want to wallow in reading. I want to observe other lives and stories without the messiness of being in them.

UPDATE: Wait. I need more clothes. I need style advice from Marsha and Lisa and Tish.This is why I like having friends who know things: they can help me. I do not have natural style sense. My sister got all of that, along with the bosom gene. She got the hair, makeup, smile, being photogenic, and clothes genes. I got - hmm. What did I get? I got naturally straight hair, which Jen thinks is desirable, as she blows out her naturally curly hair that ten years ago, women were paying $200 for.

10a. If SH's parents were anywhere around - not that I would ever ever go on vacation with them - then I would have to reserve space for valium. I would undergo extra oral surgery just to get a few valium to keep with me under that condition. And vicodin. I would save some of my prescription painkillers from the surgery - grit through the pain of having my gums cut open - and use it if needed. Not that vicodin has ever done anything for me other than slightly relieve post-oral-surgery pain. It doesn't do anything for migraines and it doesn't make me feel all "woooooooooo." But it might distract me.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Marriage 601, Lecture 875: Lift me up and pour me out

Our microwave has decided to work part time. This has added some spontaneity and stress to our lives, as we are quite reliant on the microwave, SH more than I, as until I met him (and when I was not at my mom and dad's house), I led a microwave-free life.

Before, if we wanted to heat something, we popped it into the microwave and voila! it was hot!

But now, it might get hot. Or it might not. One never knows. One might have to send the item back to the microwave.

SH is speculating that it might be a something issues, as in, the "on" button doesn't always connect. I mean, it sounds like the microwave is working, but perhaps there is some connection that isn't being made - the connection that actually leads to imparting heat (or, to be technical, activating the waves that agitate the item).

That might be the case. I don't know. I just want something that works. However, there are a lot of workarounds. Ie, from the school that is old, ie, our stove.

Yes, a stove works just fine for heating things, as does a toaster oven.

But SH - he wants more.

We have recently entered a new chapter in our coffee lives. I make my coffee with a cafetera, on the stove, and SH heats water in the microwave and pours it through a filter into a container just like the one David Lebovitz has here.

We started this new coffee approach because the coffee machine died.

What has happened to American industry that we can no longer make a machine that lasts longer than a few years?

We found a workaround. SH uses a pyrex container and my meat thermometer to heat the water. He has finally figured out that it takes the water nine minutes to heat to 200 degrees.

But yesterday, he heated the water and after nine minutes, it was not hot. It was not even lukewarm.

I had noticed the same thing the night before - I had heated some soup only it didn't get hot. I had to try it again.

The second time, the water got hot.

Now, on Day 2, the microwave still isn't working.

SH: I need to get one of those little water heater things.

Me: What?

SH: You know - the kind that plugs in. An electric kettle.

Me: But we have kettles. We have pots.

SH: I mean the electric kind.

Me: Why can't we just heat water in a pot on the stove?

SH: Because I have to control the pot!

Me: You can control the pots we have.

SH: But they don't have a spout! That would just be dumping!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Marriage 601, Lecture 763: Things you never thought about before you were married

1. I put one book on top of the other.




2. SH removes the top book and places it next to the bottom book.

3. I ask, "What are you doing?"

4. SH says, "What?"

5. I say, "Why did you move that book?"

6. SH says, "I don't know. Oh! Are these both to go back to the library?"

7. I say, "Yes." I say, "I do not put things the way I put them by accident."



8. SH puts the smaller book on top of the larger book. "There," he says with satisfaction, "that looks better."

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Marriage 601, Lecture 875: Stealth decorating

I was about to point out to SH that the two paintings we had hanging on opposite sides of the built-in china cabinet were not even with each other. I was going to point it out because it is esthetically unappealing and because the situation needs to be corrected.

Then I thought - wait. If I say something to SH, there are these possibilities:

1. He will not agree that it is aesthetically unappealing and will want me to convince him he is wrong

SH is far less likely than I to roll his eyes at the "coexist" bumper stickers. He believes in tolerance and diversity for everyone except for him and me. For the two of us, unless we are of like mind, it is disaster. I don't care. I don't care if we don't agree on everything as long as we do things to live in harmony.

A few years ago, SH ran for public office. He was putting together some campaign literature and asked me to take a look at it. I did and made some editorial suggestions.

He disagreed with my comments.

I shrugged and returned to what I was doing. I am happy to coexist with someone who doesn't write the same way I do.

SH is not. His father was a college English professor. SH can write. The suggestions I made were about style, not absolute right or wrong.

SH wanted me to tell him why he was wrong and I was right. I told him it didn't matter and I didn't care and to do it his way if he wanted, but he said that I needed to convince him that he was wrong.

We had a fight about that. (Is that bad for me to admit that we fight? Do other couples fight? Are we abnormal? SH would say it's not fighting unless it's personal. I maintain that any discussion that includes disagreement and raises my stress level - I was reared in a low-drama home, unlike SH, who comes from High Drama with alcohol - is a fight.)

2. He will not agree that it is aesthetically unappealing and will want to convince me that I am wrong

This option will exhaust me. I do not want to be convinced I am wrong. I don't want to come over to the other side. Again, I am happy to say, "OK, we don't agree on that. Let's just not discuss it."

I don't know if those goes back to how were were raised, but I suspect alcohol again rears its ugly head. When you grow up with alcoholics, does it make you more argumentative? I didn't grow up with alcoholics. My parents didn't fight that much. I didn't like how they fought, though, and have tried very hard not to fall into that pattern in my life. If something bugs me, I bring it up right away. But if we can't come to agreement, I drop it.

SH doesn't want to drop it. He wants to convince me. I don't care what his position on early voting is or charter schools. He votes his way and I vote mine and I am happy. But he wants us to agree on Important Issues that really have nothing to do with our everyday lives and I don't see the need for it. 

3. He will agree that it is aesthetically unappealing and will want to control the timing of the changing of the height of one of the pictures, which means the pictures will remain unchanged for months until I can finally convince him could we please do this five minute task now?

I love my husband. I don't love having to work together on things. SH and I have very different work styles. I had a will when I was 25. I go to the dentist every year, even when I don't have dental insurance. I have my clothes laid out for a trip at least three days beforehand.

SH leaves things to the last minute.

Can you see how this might cause some challenges?

I don't think everything in the house should be a joint decision. Yes, getting a new roof - that's something we both should decide. But where a picture should be hung? That's a one-person decision. Committees do not have to be involved in everything.

(Part of my crankiness might be because at work, it seems that Everyone has to be involved in Everything. I do not need to be involved in making strategy decisions for other divisions. I do not need to be in four-hour meetings where we talk about The Future. I know what my objectives are: to increase revenue. Let me alone so I can do my job. I am done with group decisions right now.)

I decided it would be better not to mention anything to him about the pictures. Instead, I will wait until the next time he goes out of town and I will just change one of them by myself. The world will not come to an end if I do that. He will not notice the change and I will get what I want. We will all be happy.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Marriage 601, Lecture 125: Tie me up

SH: I really like this tie clip.

Me: Uh huh.

SH: Do you like it?

Me: No.

SH: Why not?

Me: I don't like tie clips.

SH: Why not?

Me: I just don't.

SH: Do you prefer a tie pin?

Me: Yes.

SH: But that puts a hole in the tie! And a tie chain lets the tie move too much! The tie clip is perfect.

Me: OK.

SH: Tie clips are better.

Me: Whatever. I don't care. You asked.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Marriage 601, Lecture 612: Maybe I should become an air-ian

Me: You keep saying we have enough food. But do you realize that even after you leave on Wednesday, I will still eat?

SH: Oh. I know that

Me: Then we do not have enough food.

SH: I have to admit that part of my thought process is that it's not necessary to have food around when I am not here.

Me: I do not live on rainbows, you know.