Saturday, April 25, 2009

Here with Heidi (figuratively) OR Keeping Kenny Away (literally)

So Heidi left with the kids for the week to head to the fun and sun of oceanfront property. Again, I’m not joining them for beach fun and sun due to work and school commitments. No, no—I will not accept your pity because sometimes it’s nice to work until 8pm and not feel that nagging sense of needing to get home to spend time with your family. It makes it easy when your family doesn’t want to spend time with you.

I’m going to let you in on some little gems from living with Heidi day-to-day. I know Heidi is trying to run a family show on this blog, but she’s not here anymore. If this blog post were a TV show, it would have a rating of HYTGTBE for “Hell yes there’s going to be expletives!” and PKRSC for “Possible Kenny Rogers sexual content” and OSYWC for “Obama says ‘Yes we can!’ ”. If you are offended by expletives, talk of possible sexual conduct, or Obama, then go to Hell!

Let’s discuss Kenny Rogers......although I know that Heidi loves me dearly because I’m such a wonderful husband, I also know that Kenny Rogers is the only man that Heidi would leave me for. In fact, every day when I arrive home from work, I put my keys in the lock in the front door and try to jiggle the keys just enough for fair warning to produce the, “Hey, I’ve got my key in the lock and I’m coming inside in a split second so Heidi if you are in here in the heat of passion with Kenny you better cover up or run away naked” noise. You can imagine my relief when I walk in and find Heidi sitting alone, reading quietly, on the couch, without Kenny—no passion, no infidelity, no home wrecking. Upon finding Heidi not in the heat of passion with Kenny, I can immediately wipe away the moist beads of sweat forming on my brow with relief and thank God for another successful day keeping Kenny away.

Let’s discuss the, “It’s upstairs”……..Come on Heidi! We’ve been married long enough that if you don’t know where something is located, then just say it. I’m certain that every misplaced child or possession that we own is not upstairs. I bought this crap for the first couple of years but now I know that you are just feeding me a line. For the sake of all that is holy and dear, if you’ve lost something, then just say it. Let us practice—“It’s lost!” There—that wasn’t too bad was it? One more time now, all together—“My wedding ring is lost!” See that wasn’t too difficult was it? One last time because good things come in threes (like the trinity or the Back to the Future trilogy or the number of dollars in our checking account)—“My cell phone is lost!” I feel better already, don’t you?

And last but certainly not least by any statistically significant measure (gotta love the p-value. Wait, maybe it’s the f-value? Both maybe?……I was never very good at statistics anyway)…

Let’s discuss you Piles…..oops! Sorry Heidi—I let your little secret slip!!! I know that this might be a little embarrassing for you, and not the best forum to reveal this little secret, but I figure that there might be others who are suffering with the same issues. It’s not easy to discuss such a private matter in public, but it’s not right to have to suffer with hemorrhoids alone either. I’m not talking about hemorrhoids people, but the little piles of stuff or junk or garbage or clothes or kids that Heidi loves to leave lying around the house. In fact, I’ve spent the better part of this morning de-piling. Much like Preparation H Cream sooths real rhoids, I am the balm for Heidi’s piles. I don’t know how all these little landmines pop up but it is really starting to make me uncomfortable and sweaty….I don’t want to talk about it anymore.

Despite these little (and by little I mean major) idiosyncrasies, I’m still here with Heidi. In fact, we recently celebrated our nine-year wedding anniversary. What did we do to celebrate you ask? Olive Garden? The Cheesecake Factory? Oh, no—much too romantic and clearly not expensive enough considering the $3 in our checking account. To celebrate properly I sat at home, alone, on the couch, in my underwear, watching PBS. Where was Heidi you ask? Heidi had class that night and was on campus until late. She did however bring me home a new 3-piece set of anniversary luggage! Who knew that the nine-year anniversary is the luggage anniversary? I can’t wait for the thirteenth-year anniversary when I’ll get new tires on my car! Oh, wait—the new-tires-on-car anniversary is actually the first-year anniversary—sorry Heidi! However, I digress……

Despite these little (and by little I mean major) character flaws, I still love Heidi. After nine years of marriage it is clear to me, now more than ever before, that I love Heidi because of these character traits. They are not simply endearing quirks but represent who Heidi is—and I love who Heidi is. As our lives become more and more connected and intertwined, I can’t think of anyone who I would rather be with (go to Hell Kenny!). Heidi is a strong, dynamic, and intelligent woman who has much to offer those around her and especially me. I have been fortunate to participate in her kindness, grace, humor, and lack of humility when it comes to her profession—I think you’re the best damn teacher as well Heidi! You don’t have to keep telling me—I agree with you! Heidi, I don’t care that you twice tried to break my neck a week ago—first by sitting on me and wrenching my head back—and then by karate chopping my windpipe when I wasn’t looking. I’m still here loving you, vacuuming around your piles, and waiting for your return from the beach. Please don’t let our children drown in the ocean.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Going, going, gone

Sorry for the blog neglect, but get used it, because I'm leaving town for like two weeks.

If the stars align, maybe Rhett will guest post again. Because that was awesome, wasn't it?

Monday, April 13, 2009

On Romance

For Julie, with whom I go way back. We taught at PG High School together, she in a urine-smelling trailer, and me in a hallway that reeked of guano. She always makes me laugh.

Julie had three choices for a topical blog and her choices were: On Romance, On Lost (the TV show), and On the OctoMom. On Lost (the TV show), I have to say the title perfectly describes how I feel when I watch. I only started watching halfway through this season, and I don't get anything that's going on, but yet I'm still strangely fascinated by it. So, I'm not that qualified to discuss. On the OctoMom, I've stayed out of this melee (surprising when you consider the kind of power I yield to change the situation, I know). Should she have had eight babies? No, probably not. But she did. Is she crazy? Yes, probably. But I'll leave the judgement call to the authorities.

So that brings me to the topic that I chose to really address: ROMANCE!

You might wonder about my qualifications, and I have to say, I understand your concerns. But you guys, you must have forgotten that I'm one of the founders of the Tingling Touches club. So I'm totally over-qualified.

Here's the thing about romance. There are all sorts of definitions, and when I talk about romance (in italics) I'm talking about what I consider a (basically false) idea that a man has to treat a woman in a ridiculous way to show how much he loves her. Historically, this has taken several forms:

1. Kissing every stone step the woman walks on directly after verbally reprimanding her so that she flees in tears (The Scarlet Pimpernel).

2. Don't get me started on Wuthering Heights
. That's all I'm going to say about that.

3. Also, if you are really romantic (historically), you might want to act like you totally hate the girl and her family, while secretly falling in love with her. And hey, make sure that disdain shows when you propose against your better sense (Pride and Prejudice).

Then there's the modern romance literature, by which of course, I mean this:

In this genre, a romantic man seems to generally be moody, mysterious, and has a strong tendency to walk around with no shirt (or worse) on. But in the end? All those rude comments he made? All the times that he seemed to snub the heroine? They actually were demonstrations of love. He had to act that way so that he didn't crush her in his arms. And those times that he did crush her in his arms? Weakness, for which he is sorry. Because he should stay away from her because she has a bright future ahead of her/has lost her memory/deserves someone better than him/has gonorrhea. I'm just kidding about that last one. I just threw it in for Rhett, who's fascinated by STDs.

My point here is this: Romance, in italics, is ridiculous.

Because for me, the real romance of our marriage occurs when things are tough. It occurs when we choose to support each other when we don't really want to. It occurred when Rhett took such tender care of me after the birth of my babies. It occurs when he calls me from work to see how I'm doing. It occurs when we forgive each other for the stupid things we do when it would be easier to stay mad.

So, romance? Eh, not so much. But real romance? I'm such a fan.

Oh, who am I kidding? I love me a romantic story as much as the next person. But let's pretend I'm not that shallow, okay?

Friday, April 10, 2009

My Newest, Cleverest, Interactive Idea

So, here's what I'm thinking. I'm thinking it's time for you to be a little more interactive with the content of this blog.

So, you know my ongoing series of topical blogs? What? You didn't know I had an ongoing series of topical blogs? Well, actually neither did I, but then I noticed that when I'm lazy I just title a blog "On _________," and it's turned out pretty awesome. For example, this series includes On Chickens, On Rain, and of course the previous post, On Barbie.

Maybe it's not exactly awesome, but it's all I've got, people. So here's what I'm thinking: in the comment section give me your top three choices for the next "On ______" blog that I should write. I plan on doing a bunch of these, because really, have you seen my life? Not exactly rich writing material these days.

Here's what you'll get in return: I will visit your blog and comment! (I know I'm not so good at that lately) And I will write honestly about my opinion/experience with your topic and I'll link to you at the beginning/end of the post. So make 'em good, okay? The prizes available here rival any giveaway I've seen anywhere. Right?

Does that sound super bossy, or what? Well, now you know how Rhett feels.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

On Barbie

Most people think I would be opposed to letting my daughter have a Barbie (because apparently, in this blog I come across as a raving-borderline-bra-burning-feminist). But, I'm not opposed to my daughter having a Barbie, because you know me. I look at all this stuff as just another opportunity to have deep, meaningful conversations about society's unrealistic expectations for women and their bodies.

Veevs has actually never asked for a Barbie. When we went to the store to pick out her toy that she "earned" for completing her good girl sticker chart, I held my breath as we went down the Barbie aisle. She paused for a minute in front of Pediatrician-who-apparently-practices-medicine-on-the-beach-because-look-at-that-killer-tan-Barbie.

"You can pick that if you want." I said off-handedly. Because secretly, I was only glad it wasn't Cheerleader-who-got-a-boob-job-in-high-school-Barbie.

She picked Littlest Pet Shop Hamster Wheel of Death instead.

But you guys, I have great memories of playing Barbie. And sure, my Barbie was a little bit slutty, passing out her phone number to random men on the street and going on three dates a night with different men. For someone who did this every night, she didn't have a very good grasp on logistics. She got caught every time. See, sluttiness doesn't pay off. Even then I knew it.

I had two Barbie-playing phases. When I was little, I played Barbie with my older sisters, Ginnie and Heather. Back then my Barbie was a secretary named Linda by profession, and she liked to go to the disco and do fantastic splits.

But then when I got a little older (okay, thirteen) I was playing Barbies with my two younger brothers, Dan and Josh (and while I can't imagine them having any problem whatsoever with my outting their Barbie habit in this forum, maybe I should apologize in advance?), and my two younger sisters, Lindsey and Courtney. It was during this time that my Barbie, now named Trixie, became such a slut.

But compared to everyone else, my Barbie was living the conservative Christian lifestyle. My brother Dan commandeered the old Barbie-sized GI Joe (remember those?), who would accost the girl Barbies constantly. He was always drunk, and he always thought every girl Barbie wanted to be with him. Trixie hated how he would always follow her around when she went jogging.

Josh, on the other hand, created Deedee. She was an old Barbie whose glam hair had been cut off into a flat top. She wore Rocker Ken's jumpsuit with an elastic around the waist to accentuate her tiny waist. She had an annoying desire to move in with Trixie. Also, she tried to steal Trixie's boyfriends, and if you think that's appropriate Barbie behavior, then you've obviously played Barbies before. Deedee was a stalker, and worse! she always tried to borrow all of the other Barbies' outfits. If you did loan her a dress, she would find some way to make it tacky. We all hated Deedee.

See? Why wouldn't I want my daughter to play with Barbies? I can't imagine there's anything unhealthy in that kind of creative play, can you? Guess who's getting a Barbie for Christmas!

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Loveliest Thing

I don't cry very often anymore. I mean, sure, I was a passionate, moody, stormy adolescent and I cried all the time as a teenager. Usually when I cried then, I did it in the bathroom looking at myself sadly in the mirror, because the tears really made my eyes pop. I believe I thought I actually was prettier when I was crying than any other way, which is probably good, since a good 70% of my adolescence was probably spent crying in the bathroom. Nothing like a little self-esteem!

But these days, I just don't see much to cry about. My laundry pile will still be just as big whether I cry about it or not. My dishes still have to be done whether I cry about it or not. I just don't have the energy to give to a good cry.

But today I went and took my kids to McDonald's because our McDonald's has kids' meals for a dollar on Monday nights, and hey, why not? (Don't mention childhood obesity, or the inhumane slaughtering of cattle or anything, please)

The line around the McDonald's was forever long, you have to circle around and then come at it from the right angle. A lady pulled in from the other direction and I let her in ahead of me, which was no big deal, because our McDonald's is an assembly line and they move us through fast.

So I order my kids' meals and pull forward to the first window and hold out my card to pay.

"I don't need that," the guy says, "The lady in front of you just paid for you. She said to thank you for letting her in."

And just like that, I was in tears. How simply lovely.

I felt kinder all day.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Talk About Overwhelming

Wow. You guys really hate Kid Rock.

I understand, really I do. That's why I called him "strangely attractive".

I imagine it's the same feeling that Julia Roberts had about Lyle Lovett.

Except, of course, I would never actually marry Kid Rock.

But that's mostly out of respect to my soulmate, Pammy.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Can You Settle This for Me?

Rhett and I have a small disagreement.

I find Kid Rock strangely attractive.

Rhett thinks I'm crazy.

With whom do you side?