Tag Archives: marriage

Relationship Status: Survived a Trip to IKEA

My wife and I recently celebrated 12 years of marriage.  I know to some that is a long time and to others we are still relatively new at this.  Here is the thing though, I think 12 calendar years is probably equivalent to at least 20-25 IKEA years.  What I mean  is that this 12 year accomplishment  deserves your applause because during that time we probably made at least 20 trips to IKEA.  IKEA is like the Swedish Wal-Mart where healthy loving relationships go to die.

Tools? We don't need no stinking tools!

Tools? We don’t need no stinking tools!

I guess one of the good things about IKEA is that the golf pencil and little paper tape measure are free, especially since the marriage counseling is going to be so expensive. I mean, if they would let you take a plate of those delicious horse meat meatballs into the showroom I would go there by myself on a Saturday just to watch couples melt down in public.  I am pretty sure that any husband can agree that the 4 words that can strike fear into even the bravest of souls when spoken in an IKEA are “what do you think?’  WHAT DO I THINK?? EJECT, EJECT, SAVE YOURSELVES I’M DEAD ALREADY.  What I think is that after 20 seconds in that place we are all drunk on sleek design and functionality and that intoxication will soon wear off when we realize no number of multi-tool organizational shelving units will make the inside of our house look like the showroom there.  Of course that isn’t what I said.  What I said was, I think it is great, I think everything in here is great.  I think if we get this dining room desk /storage unit with hidden drawers and special built-in lights that take light bulbs that cannot be purchased anywhere else on the planet it will probably solve most of our problems.  Que meltdown.

At IKEA this is like finding Super Mario's secret warp zone to world 8-1.

At IKEA this is like finding Super Mario’s secret warp zone to world 8-1.

Those Swedes think of everything though, because it is hard to look all pissed when you are storming off pushing a cart with 4 swivel wheels and you have to Tokyo drift around the corner to avoid knocking over a display of 4000 glass tea light holders.  The also know that any little argument can easily fade away when you turn the corner and both marvel at the 200 square foot living space.  Suddenly you want to trade your big house in the suburbs for a broom closet because how cool is all of this stuff?

I need to be honest though, while it is possible that IKEA can present some unique relationship challenges, they do have some cool stuff; no Viking helmets but cool stuff none the less.  We have some of their cool stuff in our house and most of the time the joy of new furniture is enough to quell the in store disputes and bring everyone back to a happy place before the put together meltdown occurs.

I think we all know about the put together meltdown.  I am a pretty handy guy I fix stuff and know my way around a tool box but that really doesn’t matter when it comes to Swedish engineering.  There is no piece of IKEA furniture in our house that wasn’t halfway assembled then taken apart and reassembled because I had something upside down or backwards or inside out. You would think that the only  problem with that would be the increased amount of time to complete the build and the addition of a few 4 letter words to your kid’s vocabulary but the real problem is this:

Once she learned the new curse words it was time to let her take over.

Once she learned the new curse words it was time to let her take over.

Furniture from IKEA is not designed to be taken apart and put back together.  With the re-screwing or allen wrenching or whatever you call it of each bolt with that multi-tool the structural integrity is compromised.  So basically after a 6 pack of beer, 2 cut knuckles, a kid wondering what that word meant and a bucket of tears (mine not there’s) you wind up with a bedside table that is capable of holding an alarm clock and a pencil and anything heavier than that causes the legs to wobble.

They say that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and I think that this can be applied to relationships for sure.  Arguing in IKEA can be pretty weak but getting home and lounging on your new futon/file cabinet/spice rack is totally sweet.


They Don’t Just Get Bigger, They Get Smarter Too.

Sweet

Innocent 

image via Precious Moments

As is chronicled in this blog (that as of Sept. 6 has now been cluttering up a corner of the internet for an entire year), I have some ladies in my life.  Three of them residing inside our humble abode (maybe more but its hard to tell with fish).  There is not a place in my house that I can go where I am not within arm’s reach of at least 3 ponytail holders.  That being said, they all seem to vanish when we needed to be out the door five minutes ago.  I wouldn’t trade being the only Y chromosome in  this house for the world but it can present some interesting challenges.  The hair and shoe wars have already begun and sometimes I can get caught in the cross-fire.  It isn’t that I don’t want to help.  I have offered to do the girl’s hair on a number of occasions but my beautiful wife prefers that they not look like hobo children.

They may be getting older and bigger, but they are still my little girls and dad’s have a way of seeing past the tantrum and fall sucker to their innocent requests.  It’s not that I always want to play the “good cop” but often it is the only role left.  Sadly, that isn’t because my wife likes to play “bad cop” but rather because I am predictable and my past performances of being a push over are already becoming evident.

I’m not saying I let the women in my house manipulate me, it’s just that most of the time, the women in my house manipulate me.  The sad thing is, right now they are too young to even mask their intentions.  I see right through them and still cave in.  For example, last week, our soon to be two-year old came up to me at bedtime and said “daddy, I lay in your big bed so you can snuggle me?”  I knew it was bed time, I knew the importance of her sleeping in her bed.  I also knew that one day I would wish with all my heart for her to say something like that, so I folded like a cheap suit and into my bed we went.

That is just one example of many and I feel bad for the future dudes in their lives.  Sorry guys, I was helpless against it too.  The thing is, the innocence in what they want and the smiles I can create with simple wish granting will probably be gone soon.  So for now, within reason, daddy caves in and most of the time when he does, it is totally sweet.

 

Weak

Diabolical 

I shouldn’t have to site this, but it’s Obi Wan from Star Wars. Duh.

I know what you were thinking reading that first part.  This guy is setting a bad precedent.  Discipline can be a slippery slope and if he can’t say no to them now, it will only get worse and their requests will only turn more demanding.  Don’t go and call child services just yet, I say no plenty.  The words no, and be careful, are probably spoken by me more often than any other, even if they do fall on deaf ears from time to time.

Most of the time the requests of my little angels are innocent and pure of heart but I can already sense a twinge of diabolical in each of them.  The little one knows how to tilt her head and give me that cutie pie face when all she really wants are fruit snacks, and the oldest knows how to say daaaady with just the right tone and inflection to get my attention before asking me to turn on the Disney channel.

I love my wife and my two daughters more than you can probably imagine but I recognize they outnumber me and it is important that a situation never arises where sides are chosen.  I can see them getting smarter.  I know that they pay attention and pick up on things that I may not even notice.  I am not suggesting that as women they are pre-wired to be resourceful and use highly developed tactics of manipulation to get the things that they want.  I am saying that from time to time I have been fooled and in hindsight realized that they knew exactly what they were doing and it was scary smart.  I know that it isn’t three against one and my wife recognizes it more often than I do and works to put a stop to it.  Without her, I may be in trouble.  She notices the subtlety that I am too obtuse to recognize.  She is the master.  In fact, that is worrisome in its own right.  If my girls are paying close enough attention, they will probably, one day, be able to execute ninja moves like the one that took place in my house this week:

Beautiful Wife: I was thinking we should have Thanksgiving at our house this year.  It has been a while and everyone had such a good time.  My mom still talks about that turkey you made.

Me: OK

(3 days later)

Beautiful Wife: We need a new dining room table.

Did anyone get the number of that bus that just hit me?  It was as if she waved her hand across my eyes and Jedi mind tricked me saying “these are not the droids you’re looking for.”  I’m not saying she is Yoda (because she hates short jokes) but you have to recognize skill when you see it.  I couldn’t be happier or more blessed to share my life with these three amazing women (and possibly above average fish).  I love them more than words but when you recognize that you’ve been Jedi mid tricked and the innocence has turned diabolical, it’s totally weak.

 

 

Note

I was skeptical when I wrote my first post over a year ago if I would be able to maintain something like this.  It has been an enjoying way to tap into a creative side that I let sit covered for too long.  This was my wife’s idea and I love her for seeing things in me that I don’t always see myself.  I have a pretty ordinary life when looked at from the outside but getting the pleasure of being in it with my 3 beautiful girls is as extraordinary as it gets from my vantage point. 

I truly appreciate you all that take time out of your day to wander by and read.  The posts may not be coming quite as consistently lately but I assure you that I am still around and have no plans of going anywhere.  Thank you all for helping make the last 12 months an awakening of sorts for me, you are the best.

-Simon


Life in The Last Minute

Sweet

Being Sucked in Until The Credits Roll 

How sweet is that moment when you get your last kid to bed and the last toy either cleaned up or kicked to the corner?  The great nightly sigh of relief that I sometimes feel should be accompanied by a roaring crowd or at least a steady golf clap for another one in the books, another job well done.  We love our kids but that nightly respite from activity is a calmness worth basking in.

Last night, after a long day at work with the kids down and the wife lost in her Kindle, I nestled into the friendly confines of my couch’s butt groove and took part in America’s true past time, channel surfing.  Flipping between the NBA playoffs and anything else that struck my fancy, I stumbled upon an old movie called U.S Marshals.  It is the kind of movie that is right in my wheelhouse of enjoyment and from the minute I heard Tommy Lee Jones say things like “zoom in on the man by the door” and “Ok, put it on the big screen and clean up the image”, I knew what I was doing with the next 45 minutes.  I never get to say stuff like “hold him on the line while we triangulate the cell tower and pinpoint his location”  in my line of work and getting to say that stuff is rad.

I enjoyed finishing the movie and thought about how awesome it is when you come across an old movie that you like.  When you catch it in the middle it doesn’t seem like such a time investment and the serendipitous nature of your discovery is rewarding.  There are some movies that I know  that no matter what point in the story it is in, I will be locked in until the credits.  My sure things are The Empire Strikes Back, You’ve Got Mail, and any action espionage flick that has a lot of courier font being typed up on the screen saying stuff like ” Langley, 15:00 hours.”  I have probably seen the last 10 minutes of You’ve Got Mail a hundred times.  I am waiting for the day my daughter asks “Why didn’t Kathleen Kelly just track Joe Fox’s IP address and then find him on Facebook or something?”  Wasn’t the innocent technology naiveté of the 90′s comfy?

There is no doubt about it, when you have a bit of free time and your channel flips to Luke landing in the Dagobah System, it is totally sweet.

Weak

Why Do Today What You Can Put Off Until The Excruciating Last Second? 

The Problem with letting myself get absorbed into the thrilling plot twists of a movie like “Sharktopus” is that more often than not, my free time is really just a byproduct of my own laziness and denial.  I have a tendency to push responsibility to the back burner sometimes in the name of enjoyment and gratification.

When I was a sophomore in high school, I once started a science fair project during third period of the day that it was due.  In college I would often pull all nighters or sometimes even decide I wanted to sleep and set my alarm for 3:30 in the morning to get up and start writing a paper that was due in 5 hours.  I guess some people base jump or rock climb, but for me, the most intense adrenaline boosts seem to come when a deadline is on the horizon and rapidly approaching.

I get that this isn’t the best way to operate and the longer you wait to complete a task increases the odds for failure.  I am not sure if I missed a page in the “being a grownup” handbook but the whole concept of getting something done early so you don’t have to stress about it has never really taken hold.  I can absolutely see the benefits of doing stuff early but I think that I have convinced myself that the stress and sometimes panic fuels me to create my best work.  (That sounds like even more of a cop-out now that I have written it.)

I need to improve in that area of my life and my first step is probably addressing my general organizational skills which sadly, still look pretty much like the bottom of my tenth grade locker.

Writing this blog has been fun and I would love to continue by trying to think of more almost funny material or recycle old jokes that I haven’t put here yet but I have a huge proposal that I have known about for a month and it really needs to be finished by the close of business today.  Guess it is time to get started.  The last-minute may be exciting but waiting that long all of the time is totally weak.


Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Sweet

Racing the GPS 

image via garmin.com

The dashboard GPS has to be one of the greatest inventions ever.  I mean it is right up there with air conditioning and the baconator.  For one thing, if you have a GPS you never have to listen to your wife nag  suggest you stop and ask a stranger for directions (which might as well be the same as getting out of the car wearing a shirt that says: I am only 75% of the man you are).  This little device, though often frustrating , brings a certain calming quality to our marriage when I decide to take a short cut and dare veer off of the digital pink line of safety.  Sure, sometimes we follow our digital mate precisely and put an unhealthy amount of trust into it as we wind up cursing under our breath and turning around in vacant lots or wishing we were still on the paved road but all in all, it is pretty dang awesome.

I think that my favorite thing about our GPS is that on long drives it gives me a clear competitive objective.  When I am driving and using the GPS, all of the goals in my life boil down to one thing.  Beating the arrival time on the GPS.  It is almost embarrassing how much joy I derive from beating the GPS.  I say almost because the amount of awesome clearly outweighs any shame.  One of the great things about racing the GPS is that it re calibrates as you go so if you gain a minute, it will adjust giving you instant gratification.  I went on two separate business road trips this week and am happy to say that I beat the GPS each time.  There are a couple of ways that you can beat the GPS like catching green lights or light traffic, but the best way to win is by speeding.  I drive a lot, so as a byproduct I speed a lot.  I don’t mean driving reckless like a maniac but my cruise control is most comfortable at least 8 mph above the posted limit.  I don’t know why it is, but anytime I cross back into my home state I feel a sense of relief like the state troopers here will welcome me home as a favorite son and overlook my GPS racing.  This is stupid for several reasons, mostly because  I really only seem to get tickets in Georgia.

Driving can often be a long mundane tiring task, but beating the GPS can make it totally sweet.

 

Weak

If Only I had a Portable Infrared Sauna 

image via consumertraveler.com

Have you ever heard of a plane crashing because of an iphone?  Maybe missing the runway and landing in a river because of a Kindle?  No?  Funny, me either.  I know that in my house we have computers and cell phones and regular cordless phones and baby monitors all running at the same time with nary a glitch or disruption.  So here is the thing. I don’t think that safety has anything to do with the reason that we have to turn off all electronics before take-off and landing on a plane.  I think the real reason is Sky Mall.  Unless you bring your own material, the seat in front of you really only contains 2 pieces of reading material (assuming you don’t need to read the barf bag or evacuation instructions)  some boring airline magazine that really is just about restaurants in cities you aren’t on your way to, or Sky Mall.

Sky Mall has comandeered my attention more than once below 10,000 feet.  In fact, had I not read about it only a day before Mother’s Day, my wife may have been the proud owner of one of these:

Sit back and just say ahhhhh to in-home relaxation. Portable Infrared Sauna $399.99
image via Sky Mall

Something about flipping through Sky Mall makes me feel like I am severely lacking in iphone accessories, meerkat lawn statues, and pet car-seats.  Has anyone actually ordered anything from Sky Mall?  Perhaps a plush mini staircase for your little dog to climb up to your bed, or maybe packets of the first ever protein supplemented ketchup? I mean surely you are all getting your credit cards out to order one of these:

The Traveler’s Bed Bug Thwarting Sleeping Cocoon. $79.99
image via Sky Mall

You know, thanks to 20/20 and 60 minutes, that one may actually be a good idea.  I am sure there are folks out there that needed a bunion regulator or a generic Snuggie, I just doubt that Sky Mall is their retail destination.  Have you ever met anyone that works for Sky Mall?  Tell me that wouldn’t be the best job ever, getting to decide what makes it into the Christmas edition?  That actually may be my dream job.  I want to be in charge of all of the vendor’s submissions and test products in order to deem them worthy of mile high status.

Until then, I will continue to ask every flight attendant possible if they have ever seen one of these on an actual flight:

This person is able to sleep comfortably in any Seat! Can you say the same? Probably not, unless you have SkyRest. $29.95
image via Sky Mall

It looks like that guy is taking a restful snooze, but my guess would be that he passed out from exhaustion and light headedness after the 20 minutes it took to blow that thing up.  So far zero accounts of seeing one of these in person by any flight attendant I have ever asked.  I don’t know how much longer Sky Mall will be paying the airlines in order to gain a captive audience at the start and end of each flight, but until then I will participate in the flipping ritual and wonder if I need a hot dog toaster or one of those butler statue toilet paper holders.

It is funny to joke about after the fact but when you have to bring your chair to its upright position and lock your tray tables, the prospect of looking through a Sky Mall for the next 15 minutes is totally weak.

 


Mr. Sandman Bring Me a Dream

I don’t think this classifies as sweet or weak but it was definitely weird.

Remember Me?

Doogie Howser sings Bring Me a Dream Season 4 Episode 10 (Vinnie deals with insomnia) You should click this.

I was in a city, Denver I think, and I was walking down the street with some time to spare before meeting the rest of my group at dinner.  I walked across the street and into a shop and started looking at clothes when I realized there was a particular theme to this clothing.  Kermit the Frog.  The shop had every item of clothing imaginable from formal wear to socks and underwear and they all had something to do with Kermit the Frog.  At the time this didn’t seem the slightest bit strange and I flipped through a rack of plaid green shorts as my attention was drawn to an old familiar voice.

I looked up and I saw an old friend that I hadn’t seen since high school walking up to me to show me the leather biker jacket he was purchasing.  It should have been odd to see him so far from home but we began talking like old friends and commenting on the jacket and how instead of a leather strap at the top of the zipper it had a green bow tie.  I noticed a girl behind him obviously flirting with him and commenting on his selection as well.  I also recognized her from high school but he acted like he didn’t even know her.  I should have realized that something strange was going on but didn’t find anything odd until I turned around to look at the shorts again and they were gone.  Everything was gone.  I saw two sales people both vaguely familiar rapidly removing the racks of merchandise into some sort of closet.  The room was suddenly empty and I was alone.  I couldn’t find a door to leave and a woman that once again I recognized pointed to a side door and told me I could exit there as it was the last door unlocked.

I walked out of the building thinking it was a bit strange but not unsettled in the slightest.  It was almost time to meet my friends and kids and I had a long walk ahead of me.  To my surprise a guy pulled up in an older red pickup truck.  It was a friend that I haven’t seen in close to ten years.  Again, we had gone to high school together.  I got in his truck and realized that he was part of the group of friends I was there with.  He told me that the group had changed plans and we were meeting at a different restaurant.  He said it was closer and really good and we started heading in that direction.  I fiddled with my cell phone and then looked down and saw my bare feet.  What the Hell?  Where had my shoes gone?  I had them on just a……I suddenly realized I had no idea how long I had been barefoot but was certain that I had left wearing shoes.

My friend said it was no problem and we would swing back by our hotel so I could put on another pair.  We pulled into the parking garage in the basement of the hotel and then suddenly I was in my room;  on my knees in a closet trying to find two shoes that matched.  There must have been a hundred shoes in a pile and the task wasn’t easy.

The door to the hotel opened and the room was flooded with people.  Some close friends that I see all the time, others friends from long ago that I haven’t seen in years.  None of that seemed strange.  My wife walked in with our oldest daughter and two other little girls who I recognized but I don’t remember who they were.  My daughter was crying.  My wife was glowing and telling me about a place she had found in the city that had all of these free games you could play that were very challenging but had great prizes if you won.  She had been there for a long time and my daughter was upset because the games were too hard for kids.

I guess I found a pair of shoes because the next thing I remember we were all walking into a restaurant.  It was open air in the middle of town and was a Mexican place I am pretty sure.  The waitress arrived and began taking drink orders, she talked to us all like she knew us because she did.  We had all gone to school with her years ago.  It didn’t seem the least bit odd that we had all shown up together in her restaurant.  There was a sudden rustle and I realized my wife had just gotten out of bed.  I peered at my phone and it said 5:44.  I had overslept.

This morning at 4:30 my wife’s alarm went off.  She said her clock said 5:30 but the TV said 4:30 and she asked me to check my phone to make sure of the right time.  It was 4:30 and we both drifted back off into dreamland.  In what seemed like about 3 minutes I was getting out of bed and rubbing my eyes.  What in the world kind of dream was that?  I walked into the bathroom and my wife was brushing her teeth.  We both commented on how fast the past hour had gone by and I told her that I think when a half-dozen people you knew in high school show up in a dream, it may be time to stop reading Facebook right before bed.


I Hope This Gas Station Sells Roses

Sweet

Free Kittens

Parenting is a pretty amazing adventure.  I have been a dad for almost 6 years now and somewhere along the trail of Cheerios, runny noses, and snuggle sandwiches I think I have managed to learn a few things.  I have a friend that is preparing to become a father.  He asked me, the other day, if I had any advice.  This is what I told him:

  • A sleeping baby that is starting to wake up is like an eclipse.  Whatever you do, do not look directly at it.
  • At some point you will be taking a shirt off your toddler and it will get stuck around their head because you forgot to unbutton the back.  For a split second you will consider yanking it the rest of the way.  You won’t because you aren’t a monster but you will question your value as a human being for even considering it.
  • One day your kid will learn to read.  Start working on your response to the “Free Kittens” sign now.
  • When your baby is in that “don’t you dare put me down” stage, the most fun way to cut up a frozen waffle is with a meat cleaver.
  • Realize now that anything your child brings with them to play with in the car has a 78% chance of never being seen again.  Ever.
  • When out alone with your baby in public you will think it is hilarious to ask another mom what flavor of Power Aid 9 month olds like the best when in front of a vending machine.  Your wife will not find this as funny but you should do it any way.
  • Unless you go all out with glitter and a poster board card, it is best not to mention that you sent a birthday message into the Sprout network.    The only fruit you will have to show for your labor is diminished DVR capacity and disappointment.

I told him that anything I didn’t cover in that list he could probably find in a book because that is where they put advice from people truly qualified to give it.  Being a parent is the best and passing along some pearls of wisdom you have picked up along the way is totally sweet.

Weak

The Last Minute Valentine 

Via Wikipedia

I wanted to go ahead and toss a friendly reminder out there to my fellow husbands.  Valentine’s Day is next week.  Now, when you are executing your poorly thought out romance action plan on the way home from work next week, don’t say I didn’t warn you.  If you do find yourself scrambling  at the last-minute, remember there is no time to launch an elaborate gesture of love and romance to your significant other.  Keep it simple.  Here are a few of my hopes for the last-minute valentine.

  • I Hope the gas station sells roses.
  • And not the kind that turn out to be rolled up red panties.  (Unless you are into gas station underwear.  If so, go nuts)
  • I hope you finish your heart-felt message in her card before the light turns green.
  • I hope you think of enough things to write in the card that you can draw a little arrow at the bottom signaling to the next page. ( I know as a dude when you see that little arrow you just think “great, more reading” but trust me, women love it.)
  •  I hope you remember that this isn’t your nephew’s graduation and putting a check for $20 inside the card won’t cut it.
  • I hope you remember to figure something out for dinner.  Don’t even try to find a last-minute babysitter and take her to a restaurant, that’s a suicide mission pal.  Just bring something home (from a place that doesn’t have a drive through).
  • I hope you aren’t one of those dudes with glazed over eyes standing in front of a mile long display in a card shop.  If you are, just get one of those long skinny cards (girls love those).
  • I hope you don’t, in an effort to save time, just grab a birthday card and scribble out the word birthday and write Valentine’s above it (girls don’t love those).
  • I hope you remember to tell her you love her and mean it.
  •  I hope she gives you a few chocolates free of the exploratory thumb poke on the bottom.

You don’t have to start planning now but just remember it is coming.  It may be a holiday manufactured by florists and card companies but she deserves to know you love her everyday, especially on Valentine’s Day.

It is hard to use the steering wheel as a writing surface for a Valentine’s Day card and waiting until the last-minute is totally weak.


So This is How Thomas Edison Must Have Felt.

Sweet

Kitchen Serendipity 

Some days just seem to drain you.  After a long day at work the gauntlet of preparing dinner, giving baths, helping with home work, and trying to spend quality time together as a family can sometimes be intimidating.  From time to time on days like that we have a “whatever” dinner.  This is where someone eats leftovers, someone eats cereal, someone has a sandwich, and someone wanders through the cabinets and refrigerator on a culinary scavenger hunt.  That last person is usually me.

Most of the time I put together something quick and easy and on rare occasion, even fairly tasty.  Sometimes I will get in a little over my head and can tell that the vision I had for the meal is falling apart.  That is when I rely on my basic guy instinct and apply a little culinary duct tape.  Bacon.  If something is going south in the kitchen, bacon can usually fix it.  Wrap it in bacon, sprinkle bacon bits on it, or in extreme cases just toss whatever you were making and enjoy a plate of bacon.

Every now and then I have a moment where it all comes together and I don’t even have to rely on the duct tape of food.  A few weeks ago I went to make a sandwich and realized we were out of a very key ingredient.  If I had poured a bowl of cereal and we were out of milk it would have been time to back up and punt because there are no real options there.  On this occasion, however, the peanut butter had already been applied and when  there was no jelly I decided to go for it on 4th and long.  I usually would have just had a peanut butter sandwich and forgone any other ingredients but on this night I was driven by creative inspiration.  What I did next is fairly amazing.  In fact you may want to sit down and buckle up for this because it has the potential to blow your mind and rock the culinary world.   Once I tasted my creation I realized how Edison must have felt or at the very least the guy who invented the Sham-Wow.

PEANUT BUTTER AND RAINBOW SPRINKLES SANDWICH

You are welcome.

Totally Sweet.

Weak

Would you care for a some anxiety with that? 

Is there a more nerve-racking experience in life than being with your significant other in the checkout line at the grocery store and realizing that you forgot something but deciding that there is time for one of you to run and get it before the last item in your cart crosses the scanner?  It is one of the quickest decisions ever made.  The time remaining for the rest of the items to be scanned is quickly estimated and then divided by the estimated time it will take me to find the tin foil and get it back to the register and then in a flash I am off.

When I am at the grocery store with my wife, I am like a passenger in a car.  Although we both arrive at the destination I have no clue how we got there.  I was too busy goofing around and looking out the window.  I know the foil is on an aisle with paper towels and garbage bags and other non-food items but where was it?  I remember seeing it but have no idea where.  The hour-long zig-zag march has disoriented me a bit, I am tired and hungry and know if I waste the time walking by every aisle I will never make it.  I am on the other side of the checkout lines now, back in the sea of cans and boxes and I look back to my wife for some kind of helpful signal.  I need her to hold up a sign that says aisle 12 but instead, the look I get is more of an emotional cocktail, 2 parts frustration, 1 part disdain, and 1 part anxiety.  I try to clear my head and scan the signs hanging from the ceiling.  Somehow an aisle with 1,400 different items is classified by a sign that lists six.

Suddenly as if a ray of light parted the heavens I see the words tin foil on the sign hanging for aisle 10.  I dart in that direction and find the foil.  Luckily it is at the end closest to the checkout lanes.  Unfortunately there are 72 different kinds of foil.  I want to text my wife for her guidance knowing that somehow even for a product as simple as foil I would pick the wrong kind.  I start to scan the different varieties but there is no time.  THERE IS NO TIME!

I grab the roll closest to me and it is as long as my leg.  I am sure I don’t remember having something like this in our house, probably wouldn’t even fit in our cabinet.  I grab the next closest roll and I go!  Feeling like Indiana Jones running from a giant boulder,  I weave my way through the crowded masses holding the foil high in the air.  I make eye contact with my wife for a split second before they roll away and see her folding the receipt and putting it in her purse.

Failure.

I knew that the seconds had been ticking down and I was out of time outs but I considered a Hail Mary and throwing the foil to her across 3 or 4 other checkout lanes.  While that would have been awesome and other husbands would have told of my heroics until it became legend, I restrained.  Instead I walked up to customer service where there was no line, put the foil and a five dollar bill on the counter and was next to my wife bag in hand before she made it to the automatic door.  Work smarter not harder.

Realizing you forgot something while in the checkout line is totally weak.


Young Enough to Remember Giving but Old Enough to Recieve

Sweet

Happy Birthday, I made you a card. 

It is an interesting place when you can still remember cutting construction paper and hunting for the right colored crayon to create a masterpiece for your parents but are holding one of those cards in your hands made just for you.

Today isn’t my birthday, but it is a day that I give thanks and celebrate the greatest gift I have ever been given.  She is the single best investment I have ever made and the current rate of return is off the charts.

My wife celebrates her birthday today and she is without doubt, hands down, the sweetest of the sweet.  She is an amazing mother to our little girls and the greatest wife a guy could ask for. When she isn’t taking care of them and our family, she is molding a classroom of 3rd graders into the men and women of tomorrow.  Her smile lights up a room and when she begins to laugh, there is no place on earth you would rather be than next to her.

She has long beautiful  mahogany hair and blue eyes that can stop traffic.  She is kind and thoughtful and her generosity knows no bounds.  She has the heart of a servant and always just seems to know what to do to make someone feel special. She is the total package.

Just when I think that she couldn’t be more amazing, I look in the mirror and I am reminded of her patience and compassion and dedication to continue to hang in there with me.  She didn’t have to say yes to that first date or any of the ones after that.  I am thankful that underneath all of those attributes, she also pulls for the underdog and loves a good fixer upper.

Today we give her home-made cards and wrapped up presents to celebrate her birth.  I hope she likes them because I will never be able to give her what she has given me.  Her decision to do this with me is the greatest gift there is.

Happy Birthday

No Weak Today, She Stands Alone.


A Major Award

The last 4 days have been pretty crazy.  This blog has only been up for a couple of weeks and somehow found its way to the “Freshly Pressed” page.  I have been overwhelmed with the number of people who have wasted a click to stop by and read and have been very humbled by the kind comments and encouragement.  I have said before that these posts are the only things that I have ever written that weren’t “due” or on the inside of a greeting card.  I write these just to write them and the fact that there are people who are interested in reading it is very surreal.

I am very new to blogs in general and still learning my way around, but this week I am incredibly honored to accept “The Versatile Blogger Award”  from She Can’t Be Serious and Broke Wife, Big City.

Now this award sounds eerily similar to those chain emails you get because I am supposed to list seven things about me and then pass the award on to other blogs that I think are versatile.  I am not certain how I was deemed versatile since I have yet to write my post about how I spend summers entertaining street corners as  an ambidextrous oil painter and  opera singer.

As previously confessed, I am new to blogging  so I will need some time to peruse the internets before making my nominations but I wanted to express my gratitude in a timely fashion.

Thank you very much for reading and for passing the award along.  I am very grateful.

Oh yeah, here are seven things about me:

1. My desk at work and my desk at home still look like the inside of my 10th grade locker; I don’t know how organized people do it.
2. I fell out of a tree on Thanksgiving Day when I was 13 and fractured my pelvis, I shuffled around like an 90-year-old man for almost a month.
3. I really like saying Cheers, not just when I raise a glass but I think it is a great way to say goodbye.
4. I am pretty good at my job but there are parts that really bore me and I tend to slack on those. (I am writing this in my office).
5. I can’t imagine how much dumber I would be if not for the internet.
6. I own a guitar………I don’t play any instruments.
7. My wife read the entire Twilight series of books in like 4 days, now I have to compete with a fictional 17-year-old vampire.

 

P.S.  If you have any great blog suggestions that would be totally sweet.


Nothing Starts the Morning Like a Good Dose of Panic.

Sweet

Remembering to buy stamps 

There used to be a time that stamps were kind of staple in most houses with all of the bill paying and the letter writing and old-fashioned correspondence.  Now with email and online bill pay, the only time you need stamps are when you are sending Christmas cards or Birthday invitations.  Maybe it’s because we only buy them 3-4 times per year but we basically have to build in a one week “forgot to get stamps” buffer zone in our planning for mailing stuff.  It goes something like writing the word STAMPS on a note on the refrigerator, forgetting them and then circling the word a couple of times like that is going to ingrain the concept into our brains enough that stamps are all we think about.  Usually, there is no less than 3 times that we drive away from a grocery store and as we exit one of us exclaims ‘STAMPS!!”  We look at each other and shrug and then drive on knowing  hoping that soon one of us will triumph over forgetfulness and  get the chore done.  If I manage during that week to remember to pick up stamps somewhere, I usually present them to my wife followed by some silly touchdown celebration dance.  Finally remembering that thing that you keep forgetting is totally sweet.  Yesterday we got a bright orange envelope in the mail that we can put a check into (if we can find the checkbook that never gets used anymore) and the mail-person will take the money and leave stamps in our mailbox!  How are the most obvious ideas sometimes the most elusive?  This solves all of those stamp forgetting problems.  But I can see it now somewhere down the road written on note on the fridge circled three times “find orange stamp envelope!!”

Weak

Forgetting it is Trash Day 

Surely I am not the only one that has been in the kitchen at 6:00 A.M. with their eyes still half closed trying to figure out if the best way to wake up would be to just make a pot of coffee or get in a fight about whose turn it was to set the coffee pot timer.  Well it is at a moment like that still adjusting my eyes to the blaring kitchen light that I will hear a gentle rumbling down the block and instantly have a bolt of adrenaline course through my body and jolt me out of my haze.  Caffeine works great to wake you up but not near as much as the sudden panic that IT IS GARBAGE DAY!! and you forgot to put the can by the road. Instantly my mind sharpens and I have military type precision and focus.  I bound out of the house leaving modesty behind as I grab the can and make a dash for the curb in my pajamas. I see the truck coming down the street and realize I am going to make it in time.  My mind relaxes and I am victorious.  As my cat-like reflexes recoil and I breath in the sweet morning air I am wide awake and suddenly aware of a few things that didn’t garner my attention mid dash.  My feet are soaking wet from the dew, I really need to cut the grass, it is kind of chilly this morning, the fly on these boxers does not stay closed very good mid sprint and that is quite a draft, oh hey there are the neighbor’s kids walking to the bus stop.  That is one short-lived victory once you realize you are standing in your front yard in your underwear.  Why didn’t I just remember the night before?  Forgetting to take out the trash is totally weak.


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