Category Archives: Marriage

Valentine’s Day – SPOILER ALERT From A Grumpy Non-Romantic

Valentine’s Day – SPOILER ALERT From A Grumpy Non-Romantic

I am not a Valentine’s Day type of gal. It’s never mattered what my relationship status has been. I just have never gotten into it.

I see it like I see New Year’s Eve – it’s amateur night.

But, in honor of St. Valentine (who most people think was made up by Geoffrey Chaucer who I love so maybe it all makes sense after all) I will throw a giant bucket of cold water on the event everyone is hoping will happen tonight.

Yep, I’m all sour grapes. Turn back now.

With the constant deluge of “leaked” celebrity sex tapes, I think we may all be under the misguided idea that we are looking pretty hot and sexy ourselves during “the sex.”

I hate to burst any bubbles, but most of the time these celebrities are fully aware they are being taped so they are adjusting their responses accordingly, able to look seductive and well-coiffed even at the peak of the experience.

They are THESPIANS after all, with many having completed the all-important Porn Method Acting 101 class.

The rest of us, however, look like we either stubbed our toe or ate a lemon when we reach the top of the mountain. But we don’t know it and we don’t particularly care because NO ONE IS LOOKING.

It’s in our DNA to close our eyes because otherwise the human race would cease to exist. It’s hard to get that picture out of one’s head once it’s there.

Let’s face it, real people sex, while lot’s of fun, can be kind of ugly to look at since, despite what may be happening in your head at the time, we are not professionals.

Exhibit A:

What we think we look like.

What we think we look like.

 

The terrible reality.

The terrible reality.

So, Godspeed, my romantic darlings. Buy those giant hearts full of chocolate and the red roses, wear that super tight dress to dinner and, for the sake of humankind, keep those eyes closed!

[Creative disclaimer: In reality, I am a hopeless romantic. Hell, Love Actually is my favorite movie! But hopeful and happy is just not as funny as bitter and grumpy.] 

The Gays Will Rule The World

The Gays Will Rule The World

The Revolution will be choreographed.

Even this soon in my “career” as a “blogger” I have already pissed off several factions in this, the United States of Lack of Sense of Humor and Sarcasm. I figure there is no point in my stopping now.

So, I’ve been thinking about this lately and have come to this conclusion: The Gays are taking over the world. And, I for one, am happy to follow as I do think the world could use a serious make over, a few throw pillows and a fake tan.

Let me just name a few of the biggest power brokers in the coup d’état we are currently embroiled in.

  • Anderson Cooper, who, shocked absolutely NO ONE when he came out.
  • Ryan Seacrest – He has GOT to be gay. I don’t care what anyone says. No straight guy is that pressed and thin.
  • Ellen AND Portia –  A two-headed, well-coiffed Gaystrom (Gaynado? Gayquake? Gaynomi?) to be reckoned with.
  • John Travolta – Yeah, whatever Kelly Preston. Your gig is up, John. The rest of us do not get massages the way you, apparently, think we do.
  • Tom Cruise – No comment necessary.
  • The dude who does Glee.

As an aside: I hate Glee. I do and I am not ashamed to say it out loud. I’ll yell it from the rooftops – Glee is like an annoying yeast infection. By the way, I know the dude’s name is Ryan Murphy but the fact that I know that just annoys me further.

Lord knows I don’t want to piss off my girls. But you all know that I am not a gay man, even though there are times when I wish I were, so just step off bitches!

See, I’d make an AWESOME Gay Man.

So, back to my point….if I actually have one, which is almost always in question on these things.

White heterosexual Protestant/Catholic/Episcopalians are in deep shit. I feel sorry for them, really. Their time as the ruling class may be in jeopardy.

Plain old white males gave way to white males of a Mormon persuasion, which led to bigwig Jewish movie moguls, which ended up with big wig (literally) Gays.

I made out with a whole bunch of you before you saw the light at the bottom of the closet door. And, I always knew you were picturing Ricky Martin. But, you guys have such soft lips I went along with it anyway. And, by the way, still up for a good mashing session if you want. You all smell like a mix of spa robes and coconut oil. Yum.

Recently, I noticed another area in which they are clearly superior.

We all know the Jewish goodbye and have been victims of it. There should be some hotline you can call to get them out of the house in a timely manner. I’ve gone for an hour trying to disengage but they keep remembering new and fascinating details about the story they had been telling you for the past hour. Like the color of shirt they were wearing at the time and that they chose the asparagus over the broccolini at dinner and that was a mistake because the asparagus had this cream sauce with too much pepper and…stab me in the head.

I can say this for a couple of reasons – one is that I know and love many of God’s chosen people who know how I feel about this and second, most people think I’m Jewish.

I also would make an AWESOME Jew.

By comparison, parting with a Gay Man means many air kisses, a promise for brunch and then they vaporize in a cloud of expensive cologne because there are other fabulous events they need to get to that you will NOT be invited to.

Won’t it be an amazing day when we no longer have sexual preference as an adjective to describe people? What ever will we do as a society? We seem to need something to tag people with. How about “The world is run by people with Big Ears.”

I hope so because me and my large lobes will freakin’ rule!!

Ode to a Brave Husband

Ode to a Brave Husband

Look Mama!
I bagged me a keeper!

This week’s blog is all about my lovely husband “Jim” (I still don’t believe that’s his real name). Today  we celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary.

And since I couldn’t find what the appropriate gift was on the list for a 17th, I’m going to give the gift of words.

For anyone who knows me, maintaining that level of consistency for that long without just wandering off is a rather large feat.

And, anyone who knows me will also agree to the super-human accomplishment by “Jim” for having lived with me every freakin’ day…for 6,205 days…148,920 hours…8,935,200 minutes. Not that the poor man is counting or anything.

I only hope the three goats, basket of root vegetables and the plot of dirt he got from my village elders was enough to make up for it all.

So, I thought, given his obvious insatiable thirst for pain and discomfort, maybe he deserved a little shout out on this, the anniversary of his decline into madness.

We’ve traveled the world together, had the mad rollercoaster that is twins, moved too many times to count, fart and pee in front of each other. What story would be a good one to really capture the essence that is “us”?

The one that comes to mind is the Incident of the Bee in the Bathtub. So that is the one I’ll tell, as a tribute.

(The knocking-himself-out-on-a-ceiling-fan story will have to wait for his birthday.)

By the way, this story does nothing but paint us both as complete morons.

Back before we went down the slippery slope (covered with rusty razor blades) of parenthood, we used to do monthly getaways to quaint bed and breakfasts all around the Puget Sound.

On this occasion we headed to Victoria for our romantic getaway, staying at a lovely Victorian B&B across from a bucolic, grassy park.

We checked in and, as childless people tend to do, we decided to take a bath in the middle of the day! We were that filthy.

The large Jacuzzi tub was positioned right next to the bed, in a large bay window that overlooked the park across the street.

Once you are sitting inside the tub, you could not be seen from outside. But, you sort of had to slide in on your stomach to avoid showing the world your kibbles and bits. And so we slid like Army grunts into our soapy haven without detection from the outside world.

Once in the tub, we noticed there was a lovely wedding happening in the park so we soaked and watched all the hazy loveliness of new love blossoming across the street as we sipped champagne.

As we relaxed, we both started to hear a loud buzzing noise and noticed we were beginning to be dive bombed by a very large and annoyed wasp. We swatted it away and thought for a minute he had found something else to occupy his time. But, it would seem he was just getting started.

Over the next hours (OK, it was probably 90 seconds) we were terrorized relentlessly by this little asshole. I don’t know what we did to piss him off so much, I believe wasps by their very nature are just pissed off, but he went after us with a vengeance as if we had killed his family and burned down his dry cleaning business.

(Cue The Benny Hill Show theme music….now!)

Our swatting and flailing grew to a fevered pitch. There was water splashing all over the place, we were slipping and sliding all over, hopping and dancing around trying to get the damned thing to stop terrorizing us.

Finally the water must have gotten it because we saw it floating in the suds as we stared at it, panting from the exertion.

As we high-fived each other on our exceptional wasp survival skills we realized that we were standing, buck naked (or is it butt naked…I’ve never known), in front of the window for all the gentle citizenry of Canada to see.

This of course, is humiliation enough. But we also realized that there were quite a few people at that wedding who were no longer paying attention to the exchanging of vows happening in front of them.

We both waved to them and slowly sank back into the tub, where, “Jim” was stung by the dead bee anyway.

So, Happy Anniversary, “Jim”! You are a brave fighter of bees, a tolerable scrabble player, fair armchair electrician, and a man with the cohones to be married to me. Well done!

And perhaps, some day you will reveal your true identity.

Sexual Delusions in Portland – Who Wouldn’t Want to Tap This?

Sexual Delusions in Portland – Who Wouldn’t Want to Tap This?

Back when I was super cool and lived in Portland, Oregon, Jim and I used to go out to tons of music venues to mix with the tattooed, pierced and alternative Portland element.

We were in a limbo of wanting to be those people and yet ensure our kids didn’t grow up to be them.

We would attempt to go undercover, hiding our suburban, parental underbelly but we missed the whole “ink” craze so our consistently flesh colored flesh made us stick out like Amish at a car show.

We began to compromise a bit because we couldn’t find babysitters who would stay until 3AM and, let’s face it, we were just too tired.

Enter Aimee Mann. I do love her. She has that mix of catchy tunes and pissed off lyrics that make you feel like you are retaining some sort of edge. She does say fuck so there is some street cred there.

So, we went to see her perform at one of the groovy, divey spots PDX is known for.

We took our seats and struck up a conversation with the nice couple next to us. He was all sorts of Portland middle-aged cool sporting a shaved head and a soul patch and she had a veritable kaleidoscope of colors streaked through her hair.

They were very chatty and we talked about all the liberal politics we wanted.

By the way, it is illegal to not be liberal in Portland. Go look it up. They put you in a re-training camp if they catch you at the city border.

This keeps the citizenry safe to have deep political conversations in line at the grocery store without fear of debate.

The night was off to a great start. Except for this one weird thing.

Jim and I both got this decidedly weird vibe. It was nothing anyone said but we both just had this feeling that they were a little too into us….in a kind of pervy way.

I have no idea where this came from. If you know us, you know we are not normally the types to go around with delusions of our sex appeal.

Maybe we’ve seen The Ice Storm too many times. Or maybe they were super high.

We were both oddly suspicious of this perfectly nice, if not overly friendly couple and assumed they were trolling for a wife swap/swinger situation.

Keep in mind that this has NEVER actually happened to us before.

Once the lights dimmed and Aimee was introduced, we settled into the concert and for 90 minutes or so forgot about our vortex of sexuality.

After the concert ended, our new friends/lovers said they would like to get together some time for a meal. Jim and I shot a nervous look to each other.

Is “meal” like a secret term similar to tapping your foot three times on an airport bathroom stall to indicate you are open to a BJ?

The man handed me his business card and said to give him a call to set up something. I took it and slid it into my pocket. We said our goodbyes and off into the rainy night we went.

They did seem a little dodgy about what they did for a living, as tends to be the case with Portlandians in general, and there was an odd symbol with very little explanation on the card.

We were intrigued so proceeded to Google stalk them.

A few searches later we came up with what the symbol was….

It turned out they were Freemasons.

See, we clearly get our information about how the world works from movies because all I could think of was The Da Vinci Code.

Why was it a “secret society” and what exactly were the “rituals”? Did they have a room in their split level suburban house that was dedicated to afore mentioned rituals?  Were they looking to take down the Catholic Church? Did they wear hooded robes and chant?

And, more importantly, were Freemasons swingers?

Sadly, we never found out. Day to day life swallowed us up and we never got to do a wife swap with the Freemasons (who has the time, really?) and to this day we are still sketchy on what Freemasons even are. Which I suppose is the point of it being a “secret” and all.

We also are relieved and yet a little disappointed that we are not, as suspected, utterly irresistible to anyone but ourselves. So rest easy, for you are all safe from our vortex of sexuality.

At least for now….

My Big Fat Greek Crisis

My Big Fat Greek Crisis

I don’t want to get all high and mighty, but I will. I predicted the whole Greek economic crisis years ago. That’s right, a liberal arts geek who went to an agricultural college in rural Oregon saw it the moment I stepped on an Olympic Air flight to Crete.

Before I launch into this I will let you know that my darling husband who goes by the name of “Jim” will most likely dispute some or all of my impressions and memories of these events. I, however, dispute his dispute so suck on that!

We were in Athens on our way to Crete to meet up with a bunch of very odd, ragtag people who also thought an REI Adventure Vacation sounded like a really cool thing to do. (More on those details and the idiosyncratic behaviors observed another time.)

We’d been travelling for about 15 hours by the time we lined up (and I use “lined up” in a totally sarcastic way) at the Athens airport to get on the last leg of our trip.

If any of you have been to a Greek airport you know that my entire argument about queuing up and zippering in crowds as being the very foundation of a civilized society simply does not apply here. Without it, it’s anarchy – which is exactly what the Athens airport is.

For being the supposed seat of civilization, its subjects are decidedly uncivilized in a crowd.

There was a literal sea of small, old, babushka-wearing grandmothers, who all bore an uncanny similarity to Larry Bud Melman. As good, order-loving Americans, we allowed these women to cut in front of us in line.

That’s what you do when you are polite and don’t want to be perceived as ugly Americans from Texas (sorry Texans but that’s how we feel about you….if you could just lower your volume a tish….).

These old ladies are an unstoppable force. They seem to work well in small groups, they ignore protocol, don’t take no for an answer and, in head-to-toe black, can go undetected at night like elderly, annoyed ninjas.

When we finally made it on the “plane” (again, sarcastically speaking) we took the first seats we saw. I really don’t think we had assigned seats – pretty sure this is like a metro bus that happens to fly. We sat for a few minutes observing the surrounding din of screaming Greeks, crying children and utter chaos erupt around us.

I SWEAR I heard chickens and saw some feathers come out of a crate a little grandmother was shoving violently in the overhead bin. “Jim” says I was hallucinating but again, I dispute that!

Someone came on with what looked like a bunch of band equipment that would not fit in the overhead. There was a loud argument between the band and the flight attendant until they all seemed to agree it was fine (and well within the Greek aviation safety limits) to just leave it in the aisle.

When it was time for takeoff, we started to buckle up only to find there were no real buckles – or, at least none that actually would secure you in a seat. Pretty sure this aircraft was some remnant from the Greco-Turkish war. I tied my two pieces of fabric around my middle and proceeded to break out in a sweat. This would be fear sweat on top of the temperature and humidity sweat already going on.

I feel I must state here that I seemed to be the only one concerned about any of this. It would appear that this was just another day on an Olympic Air flight for everyone else. This, combined with my lack of sleep, made for a very Twilight Zone vibe. The start of the plane engines sounded like the lawnmower we got off craigslist.

As the wheels lifted from the tarmac, the plane did a sharp bank to the left with literally inches of space between the wing and the asphalt. In fact, I will swear to this day that I not only could see specific pebbles on the runway as I looked out the window, but I saw some sparks come off the wing tip as it dragged along the ground.

Again, Jim disputes this but I say, who had the window seat, dude?

By some miracle of the gods, we ended up in Crete alive.

Listen, people, put the ouzo down and think about it. If you can’t queue up a simple line, you can’t balance a budget. Seat of civilization my ass.

Next time I’m going to Switzerland.

And On the Third Day – A Follow Up On Our Beloved Cable

And On the Third Day – A Follow Up On Our Beloved Cable

…and it was buried, and that it hath risen on the third day….

It’s a Cable-mas miracle! Despite all our efforts at simplifying our lives, some angel from Cox Communications called and took our entire bill down by half if we came back.

In the interest of full disclosure and defense of my innocence in this plot, I passed this information along to Jim. I put my most appealing, saucer-eyed look of longing on my face and he went for it. Chump!!!

I readily admit that I am a very weak person. I’m pretty sure that’s never been in question. I have no will power. I have nil power if you will.

Another act of austerity I recently embarked on was a good cleaning out of my closet. What do I need with three black cocktail dresses? Ask me the last time I went to a cocktail party. Hell, ask me the last time I took a shower in the morning or wore a shirt without coffee stains down the front while you’re at it.

I dragged two garbage bags full of clothes out to the garage to donate. The result is that we never got to the thrift store to drop them off so I slowly started to pick stuff out again. Basically, I dress in the garage now. One more step down the slippery slope of domestic ennui.

Soon I’ll be dumpster diving for dinner.

So the first couple of steps toward the Summer of Austerity had some cramping. This doesn’t mean other things aren’t on the chopping block.

Next up is the gardener. Yes, we had a gardener. DON’T JUDGE US!

Sorry Lino, we had a good run. No, don’t say a word, just walk away. I will remember our time together and think of you fondly.

Eulogy for My Beloved Cable

Eulogy for My Beloved Cable

I love TV. Not all TV. But, I happen to be one of those shallow, useless souls who believe that there is actually some really good shit on the ol’ boob tube these days.

I understand many people have much better things to do with their time like cure cancer, fix the economy, spend time with loved ones, blah, blah, blah. But all those things generally involve other people and sometimes, you just don’t want to do stuff for other people. At least I don’t.

And, just as an aside to those who have never really succumbed to the evil empire of television and pop culture: I take pleasure in making constant references you will never understand. And, I refuse to let you feel superior to me even though we both know you are and that you fill me with self-loathing. Hey, if you choose to spend time with your kids instead of Ryan Seacrest, well…..that’s just a choice you have to live with. I’m just saying, I sleep fine at night.

Jim and I recently decided that this summer would be “The Summer of Austerity” (and I will be printing team t-shirts and coffee mugs, undoubtedly making millions just to be an asshole and flip off the Summer of Austerity).

This will be an attempt to see how little money we could spend over the summer and still live to tell the tale come September. Along with this, we also decided we would go without Cable for the summer. And by “we” I mean Jim.

(Jim is now interrupting my “creative process” by proclaiming that it’s not just about money but also about living a simpler, less cluttered life. Fair enough….that golf club bag sure makes a nice little home for that mouse family, doesn’t it? You are such an animal lover!)

And so, I ask that we take a moment of silence (and by “we” I mean you), bow our heads and remember the happy times and the joy Cable has brought to my life.

Oh, Cable, with your open arms and blind acceptance of all intellectual levels from comatose to barely functional. You teach me to embrace my laziness and stupidity with no judgment asking only in return that we eat Happy Meals and take Viagra. Preferably at the same time.

You’ve given me so many hours of enjoyment and escape. You’ve kept me out of the gutter by letting me watch people who are in it.

Cable, I bid you a teary adieu. Godspeed on your quest to find true love, singers who have the whole package and are not pitchy, and to teach us just how difficult it is to be a midget chocolatier with a hoarding problem….on crack….who is pregnant…..with quadruplets.

And now, dear friends, I ask for strength and fortitude in the Summer of Austerity. I will check in from the other side when I am allowed. Assuming we don’t decide “electricity” seems a bit over-indulgent.

Seacrest out.

Bartender, Make That A Double

Bartender, Make That A Double

Before you freak out, the answer it NO, I do not intend this to be a Mommy and Me, recipe-sharing, mother-on-anti-anxiety meds site. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…it’s just not how I roll. Except for maybe the meds.

But, in honor of my kids’ birthdays and the approach of Mother’s Day, I just figured I’d leave something behind that I could pull out to humiliate them when they are 16, something that I look forward to with an inordinate and unhealthy amount of glee.

I was late to the table on the whole kid thing. You see, my uterus was becoming a relic but emotionally I was still 25. I’ve always done everything around 5 years after everyone else does so am the definition of a late-bloomer. We needed to make the proverbial “shit or get off the pot” decision. So, we…shat.

We got pregnant startlingly fast, leaving us a bit breathless. Most people who know me, especially ex-boyfriends, would never put money on the fact that my uterus was actually a friendly, welcoming environment rather than desolate and somewhat rude.

So, after the initial shock over the reality of our decision, we started to settle into the idea. We should be comfortable with it any day now….

Who could have possibly guessed exactly how hospitable my uterus really was – my uterus turned out to be the Studio 54 of the reproductive world. Turns out I was popping eggs out like a radioactive chicken. And TWO of them took.

Out the window went my vision of backpacking through Thailand with one, small, low-maintenance kid and in came every horror flick I’ve ever seen about creepy twins.

Here are some interesting and horrible facts about the whole thing.

  • You can’t drink booze – or at least you’re not supposed to. And believe me, there are few times in life when you need a stiff drink more. Evidently, crack and meth are out too. Buzz kill.
  • It’s actually sort of amazing to see your body change and grow exactly in the manner it was intended to. It’s startling to watch and makes you believe in a grand design.
  • It’s intensely scary to go into labor and it is amazingly painful. Who could really help you understand this type of sensation? What could I compare it to so you’d have some line of reference? Have you ever been stabbed in the gut? Jabbed a fork into your eye? Not likely unless you are a very careless and scarred person.
  • You poop in the delivery room. I always thought it was an urban legend. I wouldn’t have apologized so intensely for my utter lack of manners had I known this. So, you poop – let it go – literally and emotionally.
  • It is awe-inspiring how much they cry those first three months or so and what sleep deprivation can do to an otherwise rational adult. It was like being in ‘Nam – I still want to dive under a table whenever I hear the slightest noise at 1:00am.
  • Don’t feel bad if you want to sell your sweet little bundle of joy on eBay. Anything to get the constant loop of crying baby out of your ears and the embedded smell of weird baby-crap and barf out of your nose cavity. Life simply becomes very uncivilized.
  • It’s kind of cool the first time they actually focus on your face or the first time they smile. Yes, it could be gas. Or, it could be they are glad to see you. I guess we don’t really know, but after thinking of selling them on eBay, you want to believe they are glad to see you. It helps their cause a bit.
  • I didn’t expect to like my kids this much. That probably sounds stupid, but it’s true.

So I now live in this bi-polar world of wanting to scream every time they ignore every word out of my mouth as if I were speaking in clicks and grunts but then I think how very weird and cool they are when they choose to dress as Gandhi for Halloween or how they can sing every word of a Cake song and this emotional ping pong is all within 30 seconds of each other and I know this is the worst run-on sentence in the history of run-on sentences.

I need a nap.