Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Aggies sit down! part 2

My tooth still hurts and I am going to tell you about my root canal (to be), but first I have to get your opinions about standing at concerts. I have ignited a firestorm - well, maybe a lighter - at the Milwaukee paper online in the comments to the review of the Eric Clapton/Roger Daltrey concert SH and I attended last night.

The issue?

Does one sit or does one stand at a rock concert?

I am of the sitting school. I have paid good money, even for the lawn seats, for my admission and I do not want to stand for two and a half hours. I cannot believe that all the standers are standing voluntarily. It's either peer pressure or desperation - they want to see the band and the only way they can do so is to stand because everyone in front of them is standing.

It only takes a few standers to ruin a concert for everyone.

Other commenters on the review have said that only old people want to sit.


When Heather and I saw The Who our sophomore year of college, we sat on the floor of the Astrodome. I even fell asleep because I had stayed up the night before studying for my Psyc 201 final.

Which was no help, by the way. It took me a while to figure out that a roll meant that the class was easy to ace if you 1. attended class every session, 2. did the readings, and 3. did the homeworks. I thought a roll was a class where you did not have to go at all and could still get an A. That might be why I did better in my hard classes than in my easy ones. Physics? A. Differential equations? B+. Probability and statistics for non-science and engineering majors? C.*

Back to the standing issue. The concert last night was outdoors. We had lawn tickets because we did not want to pay double for the wooden seats only to have to stand anyhow. The lawn is sloped. If everyone sits, everyone can see.

But I have seen the standing even at nice, indoor venues. Places where I want to wear something besides my everyday outfit of gym clothes and tennies. Where I would like to show my husband and the world that I can be reasonable well groomed and attractive. Which includes high heels. Which means I really don't want to stand.

Yet everyone stood for The Gipsy Kings and for Tom Jones, not exactly the names to bring in the youths.

Do I surrender? Or stage a sit-in?

* In grad school, I got one of the highest As in the class in P&S. But by then, I had learned to treat school as a job: do the readings the night before, go to class,do the homework, repeat. So late smart.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Wisconsin 101: Summer = construction

Youse guys. I am having a hard time concentrating, what with the tragedy of losing the Kate Spade purse and then with the four guys jackhammering our driveway into smithereens. They are distracting in a few ways:

1. It is noisy. Noisy, noisy, noisy. We warned our neighbors, but I still feel bad for them. Fortunately, they are almost through after only four hours. But four hours of jackhammering could seem like four days of Marty Haugen music, which, for those non-Catholics, is a form of torture that the US Council of Bishops has inflicted on us via the Gather hymnal. Haugen isn't even Catholic. He is Lutheran. But the Lutherans don't sing his drivel. They just laugh up their sleeves at us, snickering as they think of Martin Luther and how he was treated, even though Luther was right. Every organization needs some internal cleansing occasionally. The Lutherans sing beautiful John Wesley and Martin Luther hymns; we Catholics sing Kumbayah drivel.


2. It is also distracting because do you know what jackhammering and lifting chunks of concrete does to the bare-shirted male physique? These guys don't have to go to the gym is all I am saying. Not that my SH isn't a total hottie - he is - but debugging microchip design software does not exercise the abs.

3. Laverne is in distress. Shirley is not, because she loves racket. The more noise, the better. If she could marry noise, she would. If we ever want to make her the happiest cat in the world, we will take her to the airport and onto the flight line so she can hear the planes taking off. Laverne, on the other hand, hates noise. She wants to hide but she wants to be safe with me so what to do? What to do? If she goes into the basement, she will be all alone and that's her most-hated thing. But if she stays with me, she has to hear the noise and noise is her second most-hated thing.

4. What do I do about lunch? I made lunch for the crew today because I had some sausage and cake I wanted to get rid of, but now it's gone. Do I give them the Good Meat and the Good (pretzel) Rolls tomorrow? Or tell them that lunch was a one-time thing and they are on their own? I don't want them leaving to take a long lunch - I want them here to finish the job tomorrow and Wednesday. I am thinking I pick up some hot dog buns and brats tomorrow and make a batch of brownies. The buns will be a letdown after the Good Rolls, but I don't think there is any such thing as a bad bratwurst in Wisconsin.


Do I buy the cute Kate Spade tangerine purse on eBay (16 minutes and counting until the end of the auction) or stick with the purse I got at TJMAxx today? SH pointed out that the Michael Kors purse (but not Michael Kors prices) is big enough to be an old lady early bird special purse, but I am tired of having to empty my bag to find what I want.

The one I got is like this only orange and without all that fussiness on the handles. Of course, I would get rid of the logo. Tacky, tacky, tacky. Plus it hits things when you swing the purse around.

I bid up to what the Kors purse cost, but I was outbid, even at the last second. Literally. But I had the last laugh - the reserve wasn't met.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 924: Oscar and Felix

1. SH has not changed since we started dating. I knew what I was getting into. I mean, he vacuumed the pollen off the sunflowers. (That was back when he bought me flowers. Of course, now he supports me completely so I can have a life of lazy luxury - spas, diamonds, housekeeper, cook, gardener and lunch with the ladies, so I am doing OK.)

2. It could be worse. He could be a slob.

SH vacuums the coffee grounds out of the coffee machine. He claims that I am sloppy when I empty the used grounds. He is wrong, of course, but it is a small thing to let him think he is superior in this aspect of our relationship. Plus, I get a super-clean coffee maker.

Wisconsin 101: Of course they have a fish fry #90

And tacos. This is the new Milwaukee.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 330: You are not the grocery boss of me

If I am ever charged with punching SH while we are at the grocery store, no jury will convict me once they have heard the evidence. Indeed, they might line up to give him a slap or two themselves.

First, there is the most obnoxious part about shopping with him: he has to look at every single item in the category to make sure he has the Right One. Sure, he makes an exception for cold cereal once he has decided on the brand and kind, which happens after he has spent an hour at the breakfast table looking through all the coupons and plotting his coupon strategy - today was double coupon day at Pick 'N Save, for example - but for any fresh item, like peaches, eggs or milk, there will be no rest until he has evaluated each one. What if we got milk that wasn't as fresh as the carton in the back? Oh no! What does it matter that the milk is fine at home? It's the principle of the thing, people. The principle.

How to decide? How to decide? One must look at every single mango, obviously.

What if we left the Best Peach on the display and someone else got it instead? Oh, the sorrow of knowing that the Best Peach could have been yours and through the want of a little more attention and effort, it was not. That is a tragedy nobody wants, not just because we all want the Best Peach but also because we don't want someone else to get it. It is not enough for us to succeed, but others must fail. The beauty of competition.

The second (main) part about shopping with SH that I don't like is that he is a Sample Exposer. I tried the sausage pizza sample from the sample lady standing at the intersection of the freezer case and the processed dairy foods like yogurt and individual cheese slices, which are foods for people who 1. like to convince themselves they are eating healthfully by consuming mass production yogurt made with a ton of sugar and/or 2. are too lazy to slice their own darn cheese, which is right up there with the people who buy cooked bacon because you know, bacon is so hard to make.

The pizza was pretty good, so after SH and I were reunited at the feminine hygiene aisle where we compared prices using the coupon for the brand name and just getting the store brand, which is something you are not embarrassed about doing with a guy once you are past the age of 40, because as my friend Heather pointed out in college, when she was not embarrassed at all about it, "We are not statues, you know," I steered us past the pizza sample lady again so I could get more.

There are some people who think you should eat only one sample per vendor. Those people are too fancy for me. I have made entire meals by cruising the samples at Costco and at Whole Foods. Central Market in Austin was great in my post-Peace Corps unemployment. I could always count on the tortilla samples, wheat, jalapeno and plain, to tide me over for a while. How am I supposed to make a frozen pizza decision based on just one sample? Plus there was both sausage and pepperoni. Technically, that would be two samples.

We went to the pizza lady. I reached for the sample with the pepperoni, but SH got to it first. "Hey!" I said.

"You've already had a sample," he answered.

The sample lady glared at me. Well, maybe she just kept cutting pizza.

"I cannot believe you outed me!" I hissed.

He shrugged. "You're not supposed to have more than one."

"You are not the sample boss!" I told him. "This is none of your business!"

"Yeah, but it was funny," he laughed.

"No, it wasn't. You can sleep on the couch tonight."

He laughed harder and called me a Double Pizza Sampler. He thinks I am joking.

I am not.

Marriage 201, Lecture 491: Razor burn

SH: It's OK if I don't shave, isn't it? I have to shave tomorrow [before he goes to Summerfest and the Tom Petty concert].

Me: No! I don't want to kiss you and be scratched.

SH: But then I'll have to shave twice in 24 hours.

Me: I don't care if you shave tomorrow.

SH: But I can't go to Summerfest without shaving.

Me: So it's important to shave to be around a big crowd of drunk people but not important to shave for me?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 734: No orange flavor allowed

Me: Neighbor Regina, would you like some chard? I have a ton of it that I just picked from my garden.

Regina: I've never had it.

Beer goes with brats.

Me: SH doesn't like it. He doesn't like anything with that orange flavor, like beets or sweet potatoes.

Regina: Oh, I don't like those either. I probably wouldn't like chard.

Back at the ranch:

SH: Where are you going?

Me: To give some chard to Pat and Ed.

SH: Good. I don't like it.

Me: Whatever.

Back home again, stir frying the chard. Usually, I would do it in bacon grease, but I had some oil leftover in the pan from making falafels (frozen! I am not that much of a cook) for lunch. I threw in some soy sauce because all I have is Good Salt and the grains are too big for everyday cooking. I really need to get some Morton's.

SH: You're eating?

Me: Yes.

SH: Let me try. [pause] Oh. That's not as bad as I remembered.

He goes outside to turn the brats** on the grill and returns.

SH: Let me have some more.

Me: Fine.

SH: That is oddly good. I was thinking about it outside.

He is now eating a serving of chard.

*Because everyone keeps bacon grease, right? You're not pouring it into the trash? That is WASTEFUL and we are of the Tribe of We Who Do Not Waste, plus bacon grease is fabulous for frying almost everything in and, apparently, for using as the fat in chocolate cupcakes and chocolate frosting. Oh, those cupcakes were good.

** My uncle Larry's fabulous venison bratwurst.

My teefs

The other big health problem I have is my teeth. They have betrayed me so many times and in so many ways, even though I have never treated them with anything less than reverence. Even when I was in grad school and had no dental insurance (of course I had health insurance. Of course! I was a responsible adult responsible for my own expenses), I still paid for a cleaning and exam once a year.

I took this photo in Peru, but you get the idea.

When I was riding the overnight bus across Bolivia and we stopped at the Bolivian equivalent of a truck stop in the middle of the high plains where there was no water to flush the toilets which was fine I suppose because they were just holes in the ground but then there was no water to wash one's hands, which does not matter as long as one does not pee on one's hands, I used my precious bottle of water to brush my teeth. I flossed, too, despite the stares of the Quechua women (in their full skirts with many petticoats and their bowler hats and a place behind the apron for tucking money, potatoes, or babies).

When I was in college, my back right penultimate molar cracked and broke. Apparently, dreaming that one's teeth are falling out of one's mouth has some Jungian meaning, but to me, it's just a nightmare that I have lived. That tooth eventually needed to be pulled, after causing me years of trouble. But guess what? After a tooth has caused you as much pain as that one did, pulling it was a relief.

My dentist* recommended pulling it two days before I was going to France with the Belgian boyfriend (and then moving from Miami to Cedar Rapids). He wouldn't do it - said I couldn't get on a plane right after an extraction - so he gave me painkillers to last me through the trip. Only I used them up early so Belgian guy and I spent a morning wandering Vaison-la-Romaine looking for a dentist, any dentist, to pull the darn tooth and I didn't even care if he used Novocaine because anything had to be better than the red hot poker that was throbbing in my mouth.

I had it pulled when I got home. Then I had to have the implant installed. I had just moved to Memphis. The dentist would not let me drive home after the implant stuff because I would be sedated for the procedure. I had been in town a month. I knew nobody except work people and how do you ask someone at work to take off a morning to drive you home? The only people I really knew (to the extent you can know anyone after a month) were my boss, the VP, and I saw him about once a week, and. Hmm. Nobody.

They wouldn't let me take a taxi. It had to be someone I knew who would take me home, walk me up the stairs to my apartment, and put me in bed.

My landlady, who was a very nice woman, pitched in. She picked me up, got my prescription for vicodin, which makes me throw up, especially if I take it on an empty stomach,** filled at Walgreen's, took me home, and gave me a package of frozen peas to put on my jaw.

By the time I had the follow-up implant work done six months later, I had other friends to transport me. Another six months later, I had a new tooth so I no longer looked like a poor Eastern European woman every time I smiled.

Now the ultimate back molar. It, too, has gone bad. I need a root canal.

More about that later.

PS SH had not had his teeth checked in 20 years when I met him. He has one cavity, I think? No crowns. No teeth breaking out of his head. And he DOES NOT FLOSS. Unfair.

* Who also waited until that moment, after I had been his patient for two years, to tell me that he and his mother, who ran his office (this was Miami - he was Cuban), thought I might like his brother. Yes. Two days before I was moving out of Miami. A little late for a blind date.

** My doctor says that's good - means I won't become an addict. I am disappointed because I wanted to try getting high.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 901: Five servings

SH: Would you cut up a pear for me?

Me: Can't you do it?

SH: No! You always do it for me.

Me: Oh for pete's sake. Regardez and learn [as I cut the darn pear].

SH: Why do I need to know how to cut a pear?

Me: What if I die?

SH: I won't eat fruit.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pain in the neck. Or the head.

I get headaches.* My doctor, who is Phi Beta Kappa, etc, etc, says they are migraines, but I don't become debilitated and have to spend the day in a darkened room, although if I had a book, I suppose I wouldn't mind. I think they are merely someone trying to drive a railroad spike through my right eye. Is that a migraine? Or just an inconvenience? Is this a tomayto, tomahto moment?

Whatever. My doc is smarter and better educated than I (but I bet I had a lot more fun in college), so I will let her call my headaches what she wants as long as she stops them.

Unfortunately, she has not been able to stop them. I have tried topamax, which is this great drug that removes all desire to eat from my being. I lost about ten pounds on topamax the first time I took it, which was when I lived in Memphis. It wasn't that I didn't have an appetite, it was that the very thought of eating disgusted me.

If you know me in real life, you know that this never happens to me. Nothing puts me off my feed. Nothing.

But it was when I was climbing the stairs from the 8th to the 10th floor at work back in the days when I was still employed and a valid, taxpaying citizen as opposed to the gold-digger that I am now, doing nothing more than watching "Mad Men" and then cleaning the trash can and cutting the grass in my spare time, that I realized that I was feeling quite dizzy.

Whence the dizziness? I asked myself. I always take the stairs because I have no physical problems that would require me to take the elevator and healthy people who do not take stairs are pure-D lazy if you ask me.

Then I realized that all I had eaten since the night before was three sprigs of asparagus. I had brought a nutritionally complete lunch, but had to stop eating after that little bit of veg.

But. I was wearing clothes I hadn't worn in years. The thin jeans! And I could see - yes, this is true - my abs. Not the washboard part, but the part on the sides. That has never in my life happened, not even when I was in high school and going to swim practice every day, although my lack of ab-ness might have had something to do with the fact that my friend Julie P and I stopped at the bowling alley for ice cream every day on our way home from practice.

Anyhow. The topamax did not stop my headaches, not even when I tried it again recently. It also did not help me lose any weight, but that might be because SH and I eat pretty well and it takes a will of iron to stay away from the Kopps Midnight Chocolate Cake in the freezer, which goes from being frozen solid to perfectly mushy in just 45 seconds half power in the microwave.

Then my doc suggested I try depakote.

Here's the deal.

If there's a side effect, I will get it.

Guess what the main side effect of depakote is?

Weight gain.

I had almost decided I was willing to put up with the weight gain or at least watch what I eat if the drug stopped my headaches.

Which it did not.

But then my hair started to fall out.

Every time I touched it, ten strands would cling to my fingers. When I washed, I saw clump after clump of hair wash down the drain.


I cannot stand.

I can buy new clothes, but I can't get new hair.

Now I am going to try another drug. This one might make me suicidal, but if I die, I will die thin and with good hair.

* Or "headaitch," as Fr Joe, the Vietnamese priest who did our premarital counseling, calls it. "If wife have headaitch, husband should not say, 'Why you no get aspirin?' Husband should say, 'Oh! You have headaitch! I get aspirin for you.'"

Monday, June 21, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 33: Dancing shoes

I love to dance. When I was in college, I had a fake ID not so I could drink but so I could get into dance halls. I have been drunk twice in my life. Both times were after college. Unfortunately. One time involved co-workers. Even more unfortunate. My friend Anita points out that's why you get all that stupid stuff out of your system in college instead of knitting while your roommates do tequila shots: who needs the VP to see you plastered?

But my point is that drinking is not my thing.

Dancing is. I can two step, schottische, waltz, salsa and polka with the best of them. Well, maybe with the medium of them. Or the slightly below average of them.

OK. I'm not that good, but if I'm with someone else who can dance, I'm not too shabby. And I have fun.

SH does not know how to dance. It's not his fault. He has never been taught. None of his athletic ability, of which he has plenty, was nurtured as a child. He wasn't put into any organized sports. No Little League. No basketball. No soccer. No swimming. Nothing. No sports. It's a darn shame, because he has a lot of athletic ability, but that's all I'll say about his childhood.

My parents had us on swim team and in soccer. They both coached. My mom ran Brownies and Cub Scouts. My dad was the adult sponsor for Sea Scouts. My parents were very involved in those sorts of things.

Just saying.

Anyhow. He is turning out to be a very good tennis player and I know he would be a good dancer, although he, until now, has been unconvinced that dancing would be for him.

We have been trying to take dance lessons for two years. SH has made a good faith effort, but fate has slapped us every time we have tried to take salsa lessons. A teacher who does not speak English. Not a beginning class. A class canceled because the teachers just had to go to a contest in Chicago, even though we had registered for the class three months before. Canceled because of swine flu. Canceled because not enough people showed up.

He has tried. He claims these failures are all a sign from God that he is not supposed to dance.

He is wrong.

We went to Polish Fest on Sunday. There were not one but two polka bands playing. I tried to convince SH to dance with me.

He would not.

I told him I would teach him, but he did not want to dance in front of strangers. I couldn't even convince him to go behind the stage where nobody could see us.

Then, on our way out, we stumbled across five old ladies and men standing in the middle of a group of people shuffling around in a circle.

It was the Wisconsin Polka Boosters, teaching people to polka. I begged. I pleaded. I started dancing by myself.

I finally got SH to join me. The 80 year old man in the center of the group called out encouragingly after he explained each step: "Youse are generally doing pretty nice today!" He broke each step down into its smallest components. He came over to help but didn't make us feel stupid. Funny how some people don't like to be criticized when they can't master something at first try.

I know, I know. Most people really like to be criticized and mocked, especially in front of others. It is a technique used by certain people I will not name. But SH? Not so much. He is a control freak who likes to present a certain image in public and guess what? So am I. The polka teacher was gentle and encouraging and neither of us felt like idiots.

The best part is that SH by George I think he got it! I kept telling him that we could stop, he had made a fair try, but he was determined to master the various twistings and turnings. I might turn him into a dancer after all.*

* Part of his motivation is that dancing is an activity that would keep me out late. Just hanging out in a smoky, noisy bar is not enough to attract me, much to SH's dismay. But now we might be able to negotiate.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wisconsin 101: Polish Fest vs Summerfest

What you find at Polish Fest that you don't find at Summerfest.

Nuns (and anyone else using a walker).

Old ladies in native costume.

Chess tournaments.

The Polka Police.

And polka lessons, about which I will write more later, but let me just say that SH is a trouper and I knew he could dance if he just had the right teachers.

And the food. Pierogi, potato, cheese, and meat versions, stuffed cabbage, sausage, potato pancakes with applesauce, kolaszcki. Etc, etc, etc. Although this stuff might be available at Summerfest. This is Wisconsin and food is one of the most important things here. Got to build up that Milwaukee Roll for the long, cold winter ahead, you know.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 402: Quality control

Me: It's a pain in the neck to shop with you because you take so long. You look at every single item before you'll make a decision.

SH: That's not true.

Me: Yes it is. You look at all the milk.

SH: No, I just look at a representative sampling.

Me: That doesn't work. I learned in grad school that you have to do zero testing or 100% testing because you can never be sure of getting the right N.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The meaning of life

I don't care that these shoes do not match anything in my wardrobe. I will find some way to wear them. They were only two beer units,* so it's not like they were a ton of money.

Kim my San Francisco friend might have talked me away from them. I don't know. When we were shopping last week, she gently persuaded me not to get the tacky, sparkly items with beads, fringe and sequins. And the pictures of cats. And leopard prints.

She's a good friend that way. There is always the ungapatcheyed side of me dying to get out. I have to squash it in.

* Lindy, you were right about Elite Repeat. Wow!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 443: The couple that hikes together fights

As an antidote to yesterday's totally disgusting post, I am going to put up a pretty picture of the Point Bonita Lighthouse in San Francisco. SH and I "hiked" there this weekend. As in, there were old women in flip flops walking the half mile from the parking to the lighthouse.

That is my kind of hiking.

SH wants to take me on these 11-mile forced marches over hills with only one sausage, two rolls and an almond croissant to fortify us.* I don't like to work that hard and I don't like to be that far away from food.

He's all, "But look how beautiful this is! Wouldn't you rather do this than go to the gym?"

And I'm all, "Nope. I go to the gym for an hour and get it over with and then the fun (=lazy) part of my day starts. I don't know when this is going to end and I might be dead before we get back to the car. Plus there are no bathrooms out here which is not a problem for you but it is for me, even if we had brought toilet paper, WHICH WE DID NOT,** so I have to deal with holding it when I need to pee or [use your imagination here and keep in mind that even though I am allergic to poison ivy,*** I cannot identify it]."

* Never leave the chocolate croissant in the car. Never. You will regret it.

** What do you do with your TP? You can't leave it there, so yeah. You bring it back with you. No thanks. I spent two years in the Peace Corps and then ten weeks traveling back to the US over land, carrying my own TP everywhere I went. I am DONE with those days.

*** Oh yes I am. Because of that discovery, I also know that steroids make it impossible for me to sit still for more than a few minutes and that they also make my jeans tighter in two days.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Household hint #475

I learned something important today and I want to share it with you, even though it is gross, gross, gross, because I wouldn't want any of you to be in this situation.

You know how when you clean the cat box and scoop the poop into the newspaper plastic bag? That part is fine.

But when you put the bag outside the back door to take to the trash later, lay it gently on the ground.

Do not toss it.

Because if you toss it, the bag will tear. Not enough that the poop falls out and requires a new bag but just enough that there is a way for water to leak into the bag when it rains and sneaks into your trashcan through the broken lid* and to turn the poop into sludge that escapes the bag and coats the bottom of the trash can.

I just went out to clean it up,** with my hands covered in plastic bags, and it's not just poop, it is poop mixed with cat hair. So I guess the real moral of the story is that when you empty your vacuum cleaner or furminate your cat outside by the trash can, you still have to put the hair in a bag or else it will stick to the bottom of the trash can. Oh how I love being staff to a pair of cats.

I have told SH that I have completely earned my status as a gold-digger for at least the next year just by doing this task. I already cut the grass, clean the house, wash the clothes, do the shopping, clean the cat box and cook. When Season One of Glee arrives, I am going to sit on the basement sofa with a carton of Kopps Frozen Custard and watch the whole thing while the house falls to shambles around me.

* That the previous owner of the house, who also never covered his food in the microwave, which is missing the plastic sheet that overlays the screen inside of the door and protects the window from getting food spattered on it, so you have a filthy microwave window that you cannot clean, broke.

** The trash guys get twice as much beer this summer as they did last year. That wasn't a big enough tip to deal with kitty litter, etc, in the summer. I don't care how much they're paid.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 509: Boundaries

SH: Wait. You let someone pierce your bellybutton but now you won't let me put my finger in it?

Me: Yep.

SH: How come?

Me: That was before I was married.

SH: But that's more intimacy than you let me have.

Me: So?

SH: Any boundaries you let someone else breach before we got married should not apply to me.

Me: Wrong.

SH: I should be able to do anything anyone did to you before we were married.

Me: Nope.

SH: But that's logical!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 932: Early bird special

SH: What's this?

Me: It's a little jam I got at the hotel.

SH: If you're like this now, what are you going to be like as an old lady?

Me: I'm going to need a much bigger purse.

Marriage 201, Lecture 209: The proper care and feeding of chocolate

SH: What are you doing?

Me: Picking the [chocolate] chips out [of the brownies that our friend Kathy made for SH].

SH: That's not normal.

Me: You have no idea what's normal. It could be perfectly common.

SH: Why don't you just eat the whole brownie?

Me: I just want the chocolate chips.

SH: Then why don't you get some chocolate chips? There's a bag open in the basement.

Me: I want chocolate chips surrounded by brownie.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 398: The you want me to die batteries

SH: Using rechargable batteries is The Right Thing To Do.

Me: They don't work. I won't compromise function for misguided principle.

Random father and baby picnicking in the park.

SH: But when you compromise function for misguisded principle, you get to feel superior.

Me: I already feel superior.

SH: It's a false sense. You're not a liberal.

The good life

Have you ever had one of those days where your friend Kim who married your friend from grad school Luke and you're so happy she did because now you have another cool person in your life picks you up from the train station in downtown San Francisco where you see the two old African ladies in their beautiful dresses and turbans and the young guy with the mohawk made of tiny little ponytails so he doesn't have to put glue in his hair and takes you to a little Mexican place in the Mission District for lunch and then to the Good Consignment stores where the used clothes prices are higher than some of the new clothes prices you are used to seeing and you tell the girl who is not sure about the teal Spanish heels with the multiple straps across the top of the foot, never worn, $300 originally and now $50 that if she doesn't buy them, you will, and sadly, she buys them, and then you find a couple of things that you think, Well, maybe, but you don't love them even though they are on super sale for $10 and $15, which, as SH points out, is only two and three in beer units so just buy them already, but then you find It?

The Coat. The One Thing You Can't Live Without and Will Regret to the Day You Die if you don't buy it?

I did.

I found it. It was a great price. It will make me happy every time I wear it for its own sake and because it will remind me of my friends.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 731: World goods, thee endow, etc, etc

At the hotel, where I realize I have forgotten a razor.

Me: Do you have a razor I can use?

SH: Do you think we should be sharing a razor?

Me: Is there something you need to tell me?

SH: I have a spare.

Me: Fine. Give it to me.

SH: But it's new!

Me: Then give me the old one.*

SH: But I'm not done with it!

Me: So what? Use the new one.

SH: I wasn't ready to start the new one.

Me: The total number of shaves does not change between us, you know.**

* This, by the way, is often our razor strategy at home. Legs don't need the same fine sharpness that faces do.

** Although now that I think about it, we are not optimizing total razor use if he doesn't use his razor as much as possible. I need to think about how to set up this formula.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 50: True love

This is what true love looks like:

Four visits to the Hilton executive lounge in less than 10 hours to get food to take back to the room under the watchful eye of the sweet Indian lady who runs the place. After the last visit, I assured her that the three chicken quesadillas, two brownies, one cookie and slice of white cake weren't for me but for my husband. I don't care if she thinks the cauliflower, grapes and red pepper slices are for me, which they were.

She assured me that she does not think about what people are taking and that I should have whatever I want, which is concierge code for, "Yeah. Right. Your husband. Whatever, lady."

I love SH enough to be humiliated.

Glamor Don'ts

I know I am a What Not To Wear Before, even on the best of days, but there are certain fashion mistakes that are obvious to anyone who spends time in an airport.

1. If it's cold enough for socks, it's too cold for Tevas.

2. If it's formal enough for a blazer, it's too formal for Tevas. Tevas are not the basic black of the shoe world. They do not go with everything, contrary to what you, middle aged businessman with the little gray ponytail flopping on your balding head, have been told. They do not make you look hip. Neither does the hair.

3. Some women have the thighs to wear a miniskirt. Some do not. That is all on that subject.

4. It costs $25 to check a bag and you get one carryon. You're really going to bring your pillow from home? (Not fashion, but notable.)

5. The Sikh with the pink turban and pink shirt should really get together with the cute blonde Mennonite young woman in the pink dress. Diversity yet harmony.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 390: Mr Fashion

SH: You're using mismatched earplugs? That's esthetically undesirable.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 44: Wheels 2

As we are driving to the airport.

SH: Notice how the car handles differently with the new wheels?

SH took me on a forced 11-mile march to this place a few years ago. We could have driven there.

Me: Yes. It's rougher.

SH: But the wheels look great.

Me: Now you get it. That's how I am about shoes. Form over function.

SH: But I like how it handles.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 44: Wheels

SH, who got back last night after being gone since Thursday and leaves again today for a week, as I leave for the gym, tenderly, as he kisses and looks past me: Don't hurt my new wheels.*

* That he bought on Thursday.

Marriage 201, Lecture 486: Leave the driving to us

SH: If you had come with me,* I could have gotten some work done on the way back.

Me: How?

SH: I could have worked while you drove.

Me: Ha. Like that would happen.

SH: What?

Me: When have I ever driven that car when you've been in it?

SH: It could work.

Me: Yeah. Right.

* On his drive to Indianapolis to see his high-school friend.

Stuck! Stuck!

Here was my dilemma. I was at the new consignment shop by our house, the one where I took some clothes last month despite my long-time vow of, "I will never be so badly off that I have to sell my old clothes rather than give them to Goodwill" because I realized that the sale price would be higher than the tax deduction and I'm just greedy like that, so sorry, people in the third world to whom Goodwill would have shipped my perfectly good but just a wee bit tight skirts and overcharged you yet destroyed the local market. You'll just have to buy local and support your friends and neighbors who make clothes. It's better for your community.

Smoking. Shoplifting. What kind of misspent youth did I have? I'm in the green shorts; my sister is to my left. Yes, I used to be a natural blonde.

Because I was getting rid of my old skirts, I needed something new (=bigger) to wear and even though I am a gold digger, I waste SH's money on things like the Good Shampoo, the Good Salt and the Good Coffee. Clothes? Used is fine with me, especially when I can get something I wouldn't have been able to afford otherwise. You guys know I am a cheap snob. It's not a contradiction at all.

I found three skirts, all made in India, which I have now come to realize is not the capital of high-quality zippers. I tried on the first two, but couldn't move the zippers at all. They were stuck. Bad zippers.

Then I tried on the third. The zipper came up.

But it wouldn't go down.

Well I can fix this. I used to sew almost all of my own clothes, which led to some fashion disasters like the green crinkle cloth sleeveless jumpsuit, but we will not speak of that here. (Yes, I did. When I was in high school. In college, I discovered retail, but I sewed several outfits for formal events for my friends and myself.)

I cautiously tugged at the zipper. No luck. It wouldn't move. It would be easier to work with if I removed the skirt. Oh. Well. That's an impossibility as my hips>waist. Back to gentle tugging. Then not so gentle. I got the slide to move, but only one side of the zipper came with it. Now I had a zipper that was unevenly distributed, which is a graph that would be great for wealth, intelligence and health as long as it were all on the right but does not work so well with closure devices.

I pulled up on the short side to try to force it to match the long one, but all that happened was the skirt tore.

Oh happy day. Destroying property that does not belong to me.

The good news was that I could finally remove the skirt.

But what do to with it? Sneak it back onto the rack? Buy it and replace the zipper, which I could do but man, it's a pain in the neck.

I debated. I debated longer than I should have. Shame on me.

But then I decided that I, who shoplifted three pieces of Double Bubble gum from the base convenience store when I was in third grade and felt so guilty about that the next day, I dropped 15 cents on the floor of the store to pay for the gum (which was more than it cost, now that I think about it, but maybe I was leaving interest and penalties), could not live with the telltale zipper and showed it to the clerk.

"I broke this," I told her. "How do you want me to pay for it?"

She looked. "It's been on the sale rack for a while," she said. "Maybe it was already broken." She put the skirt on the counter behind her. "Don't worry about it."

"Are you sure?" I asked.

She nodded. "Cheap zipper," she said. "Really. Don't worry."

Well. Sometimes it pays to do the Right Thing.

Photo by my mom, the Big Factotum

Friday, June 04, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 502: Checkmate

SH is in Indiana for his high-school friend Doug's annual party. I've been a couple of times, but as he and Doug have known each other for over 30 years, I am a bit of a third wheel. This is a nice chance for him to hang out with an old friend and not have to worry about entertaining me.

In the meantime, I am declaring war. Ants have invaded my vegetable garden. I wouldn't mind them if they would leave me alone, but they have started it. So really, they declared war and I am defending myself. Is it unreasonable for me to expect to be able to walk unmolested in my own garden, the one I dug up last year, 12 x 19' of good grass* converted by hand into dirt mixed with sand, peat moss, and manure?

I don't think so.

Property rights are important. These little Kelo jerks are getting in my way, swarming and biting every time I put foot inside the boundaries of the rabbit fence.**

There are home remedies - instant grits, sugar mixed with borax - but I am going straight to poison. They bring a knife, I bring a gun. I don't care about being Responsible. I just want them dead.

* The bad grass is in the front yard where everyone can see it.

** Speaking of obnoxious beasts that should be shot on sight.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 392: He who does not work shall not eat

SH: What do you want for supper?

Me: Let's grill those chicken breasts.

SH: How many?

Me: All of them [three pounds].

SH: But I'm leaving town tomorrow!

Me: I eat when you're gone, you know.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 647: Injustice

SH: I weighed myself and I'm only 168 [down from 179]!

Me: What?

SH: I've been exercising* and eating less.**

Me: I exercise more than you do. I do everything you do plus I go to the gym.***

SH: [shrugs as he pours himself a bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats]

Me: I hate you.

* Playing tennis. With me.

** Frozen custard every other night instead of every night, two beers instead of three.

*** And I am in the fat jeans, if you know what I mean.