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.*



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 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.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The clothes, the mind - sheesh

Didn't I already post about the clothes not fitting?

You guys can use this as one of those comparison exercises, like the cartoons or photos with two versions with slight changes between the two.

Shaking my head. Losing my mind.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The working life: The clothes, again

So boring to talk about weight and diets. I don't want to hear about anyone else's weight or anyone else's diet and I am pretty sure they do not want to hear about mine.

But I have to tell you guys this story anyhow.

But even before that, I have to ask are there any women who do not think about their weight one way or another? Either too  much or not enough or it's not in the right place?

What I have not been able to figure out since I got married is why it is still an issue for me, as I am married to a man who tells me all the time that I look good to him and he likes the way I look.

If my husband likes how I look, then why am I worried?

Who else am I trying to attract?

Even if he dropped dead tomorrow, I would not remarry. He is the only one I want to be married to. Otherwise, I would rather live alone.

So why do I care if I lose those last ten pounds? My husband doesn't. I am not in the market for other men. I see hardly any women at work.

I don't get it.

And I don't want to lose ten pounds enough to you know, eat less.

So there it is.

However, the other day, I noticed that the black skirt that I wear to work three times a week and have been wearing to work for three times a week since November was looser.

That is exciting!

I noticed early in the morning. Then I kept going in the ladies' room to lift my sweater and check.




Maybe my diet of post-Valentine's Day sale Jordan almonds was working after all!

I went to the ladies again to look.

Felt so good to have a loose waistband.

It was good and loose until I got home.

I took off my sweater.

I took off my shoes.

I took off my skirt.

And I took off - my tights.

My tights.

My regular black tights. Because it was not below zero.

Not my fleece. lined. tights.

Fleece. Lined. Tights.


What is the impact of removing a 1/16" layer of fleece from the equation?

Apparently, it is the equivalent of removing ten pounds of flesh from the body.

Oh well.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Travel tales: Memphis toast


I went to Memphis to see my Memphis friends. I had a meetup at a Cooper Young coffee shop on Saturday morning and several friends showed up. I had never been to this coffee shop  before - I did not discover the joys of coffee until I moved to Milwaukee - of course, I had never been so cold before I moved to Milwaukee, either. But even if I had discovered the joys of coffee (ie, coffee-flavored chocolate milk) before I left Memphis, I could not have afforded to drink it at coffee shops, as I was unemployed my last three years in Memphis.

But this was the coffee shop where my friend Leigh, whom I met when we started the local chapter of returned Peace Corps volunteers specifically as a way to meet men and it worked for the third in our trio, Megan (Kenya), who met her husband (Chad) that way, met her husband. Leigh did not find an RPCV husband and neither did I. Leigh picked hers up at the coffee shop and it has all worked out very well. I, of course, found mine - a used model - at a college reunion.

So Leigh and I went to the coffee shop to hang out with other Memphis friends. We didn't eat breakfast before we went, thinking we would get some there.

They had toast on the menu.

I have never ordered an entire plate of toast.

I mean, I have never ordered a slice of toast as its own menu item. I have heard of this phenomenon - apparently, it is Done in San Francisco. 

And after thinking about it, I thought, Well sure. Why not charge $2 for a few slices of cheese toast? It is not inexpensive to bake nice bread or pastry or cake. I have baked and if you want good bakery, you have to use good ingredients and adding cheese to anything drives up the production costs a lot.

I thought, Why not be all left-coasty and order some toast? It has to be really good bread if they are charging that much for toast!

So I did.

And a few minutes later, the very sincere and probably an indy singer/songwriter waiter brought a plate with two very small, very thin, very unadorned pieces of toast to the table.

He set the plate in front of me, smiled, and left.

I looked at the toast.

I looked at Leigh.

I thought, Well, it's my own dumb fault for not asking more questions when I placed my order. I just assumed it would be thick slices of very cheesy toast. I just assumed and you know what happens when you assume.

I looked back at the toast. I sighed. Maybe it tasted better than it looked. But it sure didn't look like three-cheese toast. It just looked like - toast.

I took a bite.

Not very cheesy.

I put it back down.

Leigh looked at me. "Is something wrong with your toast?"

"I thought there would be more of it. And I was expecting - you know - cheese."

"When I had it before, it had a ton of cheese," she said. "Let me take it back for you."

"No!" I said. I didn't want to make a scene. It was just toast.

She insisted.

I should tell you about Leigh.

She is about 5'1" and weighs barely 100. She is blonde and petite and she smiles and has an Alabama drawl and has no fear* and people underestimate her to their peril.

The waiter returned with something - I don't remember what.

Leigh smiled. "Hey!" she said.

The waiter smiled back. They never can help themselves. She is very attractive.

"Hey! My friend is visiting Memphis and I want her to have a good time and have good memories. I told her this toast was so good because I've had it before and it was super cheesy but I don't know what happened! Look! No cheese!" 

She held the plate to the waiter's face. He looked confused.

"So what I'm wondering is could you maybe take this back and give her some cheese on her toast? I mean, because that's what she thought she was getting and I want her to like it."

Poor kid. He was probably about 22 and had no idea what had hit him.

"Um OK," he said, taking the plate.

Leigh smiled. "Thank you so much! You are so nice!"

He returned in four minutes with two slices of toast drowning in cheese. I couldn't even finish them, it was so much food.

This is why it's so fun to hang out with Leigh.

* She was hit by a car that ran a red light. When she got out of her car to talk to the other driver, she discovered two very big, very tough-looking women. Leigh asked for the driver's insurance information and was told the driver had no insurance. "But that's illegal!" she huffed. Another driver, who had stopped upon witnessing the accident, pulled Leigh away, saying, "Honey, let's just let the police sort it out, OK?"


Friday, April 10, 2015

Marriage 701, Lecture 134: I should have married the Maytag repairman

Oh! I told you I would tell you the story of the Great Plumbing Fight of Fifteen.

This one was totally not my fault.

I did not start this. I did not cause any of the problems. I did not accelerate, enhance, or otherwise magnify the problems.

First, though, let me say how happy I am that SH can fix things. The ability to fix things at home or on a car are essential. Sure, if you are really rich, you can pay someone else to do it for you, but then you are at their mercy and you never know if you are being overcharged. If you are super rich, then you have a house manager who handles everything for you and you don't care, I suppose, if you pay $200 or $300 for a faucet repair, but for the rest of us, $100 is not just pocket change and calling a repairman involves taking time off from work and waiting and being stressed about how much it's going to cost, etc, etc.

So I am grateful that SH can fix things. He can do minor things on the car - big things have to go to the shop just because there is no way for him to get to the water pump or whatever on this car - and around the house. It is a good thing.


When someone decides to do a minor plumbing repair at 6:00 p.m. on a Saturday night, there is the possibility that it will not end well.

There is always the possibility that things can go very wrong and it's too late to get to the neighborhood hardware store for the part needed and who wants to drive all the way out to a big box store at 9 p.m. and insanity.

I was downstairs, watching a movie and minding my own business. I had already asked SH not to start on the repair - "Please just do this kind of thing while I'm at work," I asked. "I just don't want to be around."

Selfish, I know, but when he is doing repairs, he always wants me involved and I do not want to be involved. I do not want to stand there and be the person he can get mad to because the parts are stuck.

I was watching the movie and came upstairs to check the chocolate drawer after 90 minutes, thinking it would be safe to re-enter the kitchen, only it wasn't. He wasn't done. He was cranky because one of the parts had gotten stuck inside another part and they weren't separating no matter what he did. I said why not just buy a new part but that is not acceptable to an engineer - the most important thing is to solve the problem cleverly, with the engineer winning, not to just Solve The Problem, which is all the English major cares about. Solve the problem with the least effort and least amount of time and there. Problem solved. Who cares if it's not elegant? Not the English major who has moved on with her life and does not care if the problem is laughing at her.

Nope. SH had to spend another 30 minutes trying to get the pieces apart, which he did eventually but then he accidentally put some things in backwards and they got stuck again and the solution was for the hot water to come out of the cold tap and the cold water to come out of the hot side and I said I DON'T CARE I LIVING IN LATIN AMERICA FOR FIVE YEARS AND "C" WAS ALWAYS THE HOT SIDE THERE BECAUSE "C" EQUALS "CALIENTE."

But SH did not like that and then water started to leak and he asked me to get rags so I brought the rag bucket up from the basement and put it on the floor and he got all pissy because the bucket had SOME DUST ON IT and he had JUST VACUUMED THE KITCHEN and I just rolled my eyes and said, "Yeah, like I can't pick up dust off the floor?" and I did but by then he was super cranky and that's when I thought, "Sheesh. So that's why you pay a plumber $300 - because he will GO AWAY." And that's when I totally got Charlie Sheen.

Sometimes I think marriage is not the bed of roses I was promised.

SH brought a new faucet home from Costco last night. He is going to replace the one we have. I don't care. I do not spend a lot of time worrying about faucets. As long as water is not leaking and as long as I can get water when I want it, I am fine. SH has far higher faucet standards. He brought a new faucet set home but has promised he will not install it until I am at work. He better wait or I might have to divorce him.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Marriage 701, Lecture 231: Missing the big picture

SH: Do you want me to stick these two soaps [one sandalwood, one olive oil, both high up on a new soap dish on the shower wall so Laverne cannot hunt and eat them] together or keep them separate?

Me: I guess you can stick them together.

SH: Where did this soap come from?

Me: The sandalwood?

SH: Is that the new one?

Me: It is the one that is very fragrant.

SH: Yes! I like it.

Me: We got that last summer in that bargain bin at the artists' shop in Bayfield.

SH: I like it a lot.

Me: It's not my favorite.

SH: You don't like it?

Me: That's not my favorite fragrance.

SH: I like it a lot.

Me: OK. Good. Then I will use the olive oil soap and you may use the sandalwood.

SH: So don't stick them together?

Me: I guess not.

SH: Because they are the same size and shape, so I was going to stick them together.

Marriage 701, Lecture 453: If the Hunt brothers try to corner the liquid soap market, we will be millionaires


SH stopped at Costco on his way home from Madison. SH shopping on his own is a little bit dangerous. He loves to get a deal and he knows his prices, but I ask you -  for how many years in advance does one need to buy toothbrushes?

Right now, he is four years ahead of the toothbrush curve.

SH loves to have stuff. He comes by it honest - his parents are borderline hoarders.

However, that is the exact reason he should be extra vigilant. He does not want to become them. (In so many ways - he also does not want to become a drunken jerk like his dad. I swear SH must be adopted because that is the only logical explanation for how he is the product of his parents.)

Anyhow - it takes eternal vigilance to prevent hoarding. Apparently, I am the Cerberus in this household, standing at the back door, arms splayed, preventing more junk from coming into the house.

Oh - did I not mention?

SH  does not hoard nice stuff. He hoards cheap stuff. Cheap stuff from Costco. I don't care how much per hour Costco employees make, that does not impose upon me an obligation to buy enough supplies for a Mormon or a survivalist basement.

He came home. Started unloading the car.

The first thing I saw was the four-pack of toilet cleaner.


We do not have a big toilet problem in our house.

And we certainly do not have a toilet problem of the sort where we need a toilet cleaner that kills influenza germs.

Unless people are now transmitting influenza via toilet seats? Or is this a product designed for people who drink from their toilets? I don't know. I am confused. I do not understand why a toilet cleaner needs to kill a germ that is transmitted by coughing and sneezing.

If it had not been for the eight toothbrushes, the six packages of dental floss, and the four bottles of toilet bowl cleaner (I will say in SH's defense that even though he is a quasi-hoarder and a hoarder of cheap stuff, he at least is not like his parents in that he does not hoard brass, ceramic, and paper mache' frogs. He does not hoard anything decorative, except for the ceramic cats and those are in his office, or anything that needs to be dusted. He at least hoards mostly useful stuff - and stuff that has broken and he might repair "some day."), I might not have gotten so upset at the gallon of liquid soap.


1. I hate generic liquid soap.
2. I kind of hate all liquid soap.
3. I really do not want two 64-oz containers of liquid soap hogging up real estate in the bathroom closet.

(SH: But we have room for it!
Me: Just because there is space does not mean we need to fill it!
SH: But there is room!
Me: There is nothing wrong with empty space! You were raised by wolves!)

4. Two years ago, when SH brought 64 oz of liquid soap home, I expressed my dismay: "I thought we were finally going to use this stuff up and I could get something nice!" (No, I do not feel like I can go to The Body Shop to get Good Soap when we have soap at home.)
5. SH did not remember that I did not want more liquid soap.

So I yelled and asked why he insisted on buying all this cheap crap and bringing it into our home and does he want us not to be able to have room to walk for all the junk in our house and WHY WON'T HE STOP BUYING STUFF?

And he told me I was being cranky and I said yes I was and it was my turn as I get cranky publicly about once a year and he is cranky ALL THE TIME and he said yeah well you don't have to deal with my parents if you did you would be cranky ALL THE TIME TOO and I had to concede that point because he is absolutely right: his parents are a nightmare.

Those of you who think SH and I must be doing something to cause his parents to be jerks - I am actually happy for you because that means you have never lived the situation of awful relatives in your lives. I had no idea before I met SH how bad it could be. I hope you get to keep thinking I exaggerate and that I must have done something to make them hate me so much because that means you don't have to deal with people like his parents.

So I yelled some more and he said THEY ONLY COST FOUR DOLLARS! and I said I DON'T CARE I HATE HAVING CHEAP CRAP IN MY HOUSE! and he said FINE I WILL TAKE THEM BACK! and I said OK.

And he said, "You're being cranky!"

And he has continued to marvel in that fact that I, the person who does not like to fight, picked a fight and yelled and I pointed out that if he had just not brought a GALLON of liquid soap into the house, I would not have been forced to yell. And that he is cranky all the time so just be quiet.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Marriage 701, Lecture 932: A rose is a rose, continued

I said I would finish the story I started the other day. It's actually a very short story.

So there was this plumbing drama (which merits its own story). In the midst of it, SH asked me to hand him a pair of scissors.

I handed him the scissors in the drawer nearest to me, the silverware drawer.

SH: Those aren't scissors!

Me: Yes they are.

SH: No! These are shears! I want scissors!

I rolled my eyes, got up, and retrieved the other scissors, which live in the junk drawer, for him.

SH: These are scissors.

Me: Uh huh.

SH: Those were shears you gave me!

Me: So what?

SH: Well we need to have a clear understanding of the difference.

Me: You have what you want, right?

SH: Yes, but--

Me: So stop talking.

SH: But you didn't do it right!

Me: I don't care.

SH: But they are clearly different!

Me: I do not want to talk about this. There is nothing to talk about.

SH: Except that when I asked for scissors, you gave me shears!

Me: Stop. Talking.

SH: You're just trying to shut down the discussion!

Me: You are absolutely correct. There is no reason to discuss this because YOU HAVE WHAT YOU WANT.

SH: But you didn't do it right!

Me: You will never get laid again. Shut up.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Marriage 701, Lecture 875: A rose is a rose

During the plumbing drama that I will describe for you later (the drama that started after I had watched the first half of the movie Elmer Gantry, of which the first ten minutes was better than the entire first half of the opera that my friend Mary Jo invited me to and that we left after halftime because it was so awful - I was sitting there thinking, "I hate this it is so boring I cannot stand it but my friend invited me and she wants to do it so I will keep my mouth shut and think about what to plan in the garden and what I am going to cook  next weekend when SH is gone and not around to get all stressed that the kitchen is being used but hello the gravy does not just come" and I was not the one who brought it up at halftime but Mary Jo did - I asked her what she thought and she said she did not like it at all and she had seen the movie and the opera was so slow and I chimed in and said And the music isn't even good! and she said In the movie Elmer Gantry is so charismatic and I don't see that at all here and I said Then let's get out of here so we did. We left. In the middle of the opera. We hated it that much.

And I say this as someone who used to have a subscription to the opera when I lived in Miami. My gorgeous gay friend Steve - on whom I had a massive crush  because I did not know he was gay and truly unattainable not just unattainable because he was Gregory Peck and I was - hmmm - I was the housekeeper on The Brady Bunch which I already knew but it's easier to control a crush on a gay man than on a straight man who is still completely out of your league - and I had the subscription together and we went to the opera. But it was good opera, like Carmen. Not crappy opera, like Elmer Gantry.)

Where was I?

The drama started after I had watched the first half of the movie -

SH and I had gone to Mary Jo's to pick it up.

"I watched it last night. It's not due until next Saturday," she said. "If you want to take it, that's fine."

So SH and I walked over to Mary Jo's to get it. Her husband invited us in, even though they were eating supper. I said, "Oh! You're eating! Just give us the movie and we'll go!" As Mary Jo looked for the DVD, I said to her husband, "Sit! Finish your food before it gets cold!"

But he remained standing.

I noticed the fridge had been moved to the living room and I commented on it.

"We're remodeling the kitchen," her husband said. "Come look!"

I looked over at their table, which contained their still-hot supper.  The husband walked to the kitchen, explaining the plans.

We followed. SH started asking questions. The husband started answering them. Mary Jo handed the movie to me.

The food was still on the table, getting cold.

"Come on!" I said to SH.

We walked to the door. The husband kept talking. SH kept talking. Mary Jo laughed as I held my hand up and wagged my thumb and fingers together in a Won't Stop Talking motion.

Mary Jo closed the door. I said, "They were in the middle of dinner!"

SH looked puzzled. "But the husband---!"

I laughed.

SH laughed. "It's a good thing you were with me! I didn't pick up on that at all! I would have kept talking!"

OK. I will finish the story later.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

The working life: The clothes fit even better

You guys, I was so excited at work the other day. My black skirt - the one I wear three times a week (remember the vow of No New Clothes for a Year Because I Work With Young Male Engineers So What's The Point? - that's why I wear the same skirt three times a week) felt loose.

I have been trying to work out harder than usual - I have been making myself do sprint intervals on the treadmill and have moved from 15 lb to 20 lb weights for a lot of things. I actually sweat while I work out now, which is not a usual occurance.

Maybe it was paying off.

Maybe I was not eating as much as I thought and maybe that Nutella popcorn, which looked so good in the recipe but did not turn out anything like the recipe promised - maybe my abstaining from most of the Nutella popcorn helped and I had lost some weight.

I spent the day tugging the skirt up and then going into the ladies' room to lift my sweater and see the skirt hitting lower on my hipline. Below the top of my tights, actually.

It was looser!

I was trimmer!

Victory, at last!

Those jeans that had been too tight last season?

They would now be my you know what.

I couldn't wait to get home to try on all of the clothes that had been too tight last season and had been busy shrinking in the upstairs closet.

I went into the ladies' again.

Lifted my sweater.

Noticed how the skirt lay so low on my hips, with the top of the tights above it.

And a nasty thought came to the front of my mind from the back of my mind, where I tried to push it back to.

That thought, which would not be squelched, was, "Wait. Something has changed. Are these the same tights you always wear?"

And the other part of my mind answered, "Nope. Today, for the first time in four months, you are not wearing fleece-lined tights to work. You are wearing regular black tights."

I tried to keep the rest of the thought from coming.

I couldn't.

It came.

"Fleece-lined tights take up a lot more room than regular tights. You are no trimmer than you were yesterday, so put the Jordan almonds down and back away slowly from the chocolate drawer."

Stupid fleece tights.