Sunday, February 28, 2010

It Must Be my Mediterranean Skin

It was a slow day at Jacques Penney. That’s what I called JC Penney when I worked there when I was a teenager. I said it with a heavy faux French accent. We were all standing around, me and a few women I worked with who were also bored. These were older women. They had husbands and kids. They worked for Jacques on nights and weekends for extra money.

“Ugh, my skin is peeling from this sunburn,” one of them women scratched her shoulder blades against a display. I joked about taking one of the hands off a mannequin so scratching would be easier.

She looked me up and down. It was summer. I was 17 and tan. “You don’t burn, do you?”

“Nope,” I smiled back at her. “I think about the sun and I get tan.” Then I paused, looked up and to the right, as if deep in thought. Then I showed her my arm, “See, it’s already more tan.”

“Well, you’re Polish. You have that Mediterranean skin,” she replied, thoughtfully.

I conjured a map of Europe in my head. The summer before I had vacationed in Germany, Poland and Italy with my family. It took a long time to drive to Rome from Krakow, Poland.

Pop quiz, Internet! Do you know why it took a long time to drive from Krakow to Poland?

It’s because Poland is nowhere damn near the Mediterranean Sea, my friends.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hijacking Greta

The other day I read in the Providence Journal about an old lady who received a phone call from her grandson. The grandson lived in Florida, and she hadn’t talked to him in awhile. He calls her up and said “Grandma, I’m in Canada and I got arrested. I need $2,000 to post bail.” The grandma told him that she’d call his parents, and he was all like “NO! They can’t ever find out, they’ll be so mad at me. Can we please keep this between us?” She wired the grandson some money to some location in Canada and then called him back on his cell to tell him that she’d wired the money.

Then her worst nightmare came true. The grandson said “What are you talking about? I’m not in Canada. I’m having lunch with my co-workers in Florida…” She’d been taken for a $2,000 ride, and of course that money’s gone.

Then just yesterday I got an email from my friend Greta. Apparently she was in the UK, been mugged at gunpoint, and needed some money so she could settle up with the hotel and fly home that night. She promised to pay me back when she got home.

The problem? Greta was not in the UK. Greta lives in Florida. Even though I don’t talk to Greta every day, I knew that she was not on a “last minute vacation to London.” Luckily I knew enough not to wire Greta the $2,500 she’d asked for. (Where the hell did she stay that she needs $2,500 to “settle the hotel bill” and how much caviar did she get from room service??)

Greta’s email account had been hacked. Her facebook page had been hacked too. The hacker posed as her and chatted to her friends online trying to get them to send money. Her friends knew that Greta was not in the UK. One even said “I am texting with Greta right now. You are not Greta. I just saw her this morning.” The hacker then disconnected from the chat and retreated. Greta’s friends know better, and have not given the hacker a dime.

Internet, if you get an email or a phone call about a friend of yours that is in trouble please verify it before you act. One little phone call to the grandson’s cell phone would have saved the grandma $2,000.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Boobie Dry Cleaner

The way she leaned against the counter, it pushed her boobs into display even more. That’s the thing I never liked about going into that dry cleaner, was this young woman behind the counter. She was pretty enough, but she shoved her big ol hooters up and out of her shirt on display. I wonder if she ever had the chance to know what eye contact looked like.

I went to that dry cleaner every other week while I had the dive shop. It was on the way, and was the last one nearby that I hadn’t yet boycotted for some ridiculous reason. I did that a lot back then. I had a mental list of the dry cleaners I didn’t want to ever set foot in again, and now I cannot remember the reason for any of them. Over the time I’d been going to the “Boobie Dry Cleaner,” as I’d begun calling it, I became friendly with Kayla, the one with the boobs.

I went in one night on my way home from the shop. Kayla didn’t smile. Her boobs stood at attention, but she didn’t smile like she usually did.

“Hey, how are you?” I asked.

“My boyfriend and I just broke up,” she sighed.

“Oh no! How long have you been together?” I asked. She told me it had been a few weeks. I tried to smile sympathetically, but couldn’t seem to muster one up for a 20 year old girl who had broken up with her weeks-long boyfriend.

She went on to tell me that she had such a great time with him. He was older; I gathered that he was at least in his thirties or maybe forties. He took her to all the “right” clubs. He bought her jewelry. And now she’d need to find another guy to do all those things for her. It was catastrophic.

I couldn’t resist. I asked her why she needed all that in her life. What was so great about going to the “right” clubs if she couldn’t get along with the guy who brought her there? She looked at me with a puzzled look on her face.

“The way I see it,” I paused to choose my words carefully. “If you really like a guy then it doesn’t matter where you guys go together. No matter where you go, it will always be fun.”

She considered for a moment while I told her about the dates that Todd and I had been on when we were first together. He was 20, I was 23. We were flat broke and our idea of a date was cooking dinner together in my apartment. There was a supermarket a few blocks away. We’d walk there and spend Saturday afternoon wandering the aisles, picking out the ingredients and laughing. He really knew how to make me laugh, too. I have a very vivid memory of him speaking French to a cantaloupe. I have no idea what he said to it, but it was funny as hell as he tapped the top of it and held it to his ear. It’s those memories that make me smile still, 13 years later.

Kayla raised her eyebrows at me incredulously. “And you married him after that?”

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Maybe I Did Have a Weird Childhood

Even though I have four siblings, I spent a lot of time on my own as a child. My brothers are 4 and 8 years older than me, and my sisters are 5 and 14 years older than me. While the age difference is nothing right now, when we were kids, it was a great divide that screamed “You and I have nothing in common!” There were no kids my age in the neighborhood, which contributed to my not-really-an-only-child-but-kinda-an-only-child life back then.

When I was 4 years old, my oldest sister was graduating high school and heading off to college, while my brother Kaz—4 years older than me—was entering the 3rd grade and playing on the “Major League” little league team. I was barely hitting the ball off the tee. (See above, great divide.)

Throughout my childhood we played endless hours of wiffle ball in the summer, and of course Kaz and the boy next door could hit the ball way further than I could. They would round the bases while I scrambled to field the ball and try to tag them out. The games that my siblings played were all too old for me, and I constantly lacked the skill to compete. I was the little sister that tagged along, yipping at the heels of my older siblings. My choices were yipping or staying home. Staying home meant helping Mom with the cleaning or ironing, and who wants to do that?

Then someone, I don’t know who, took pity on me and bought me a set of jacks. I remember the plastic molded jacks were in a plastic-y drawstring bag with a rubber ball. There were no instructions with the game, and I had no idea how to play jacks. I studied the contents of the set with a scientific fascination. The jacks certainly looked interesting. Why were some prongs rounded while the others were pointy? I didn’t know. I twisted them around in my fingertips, and then tried to spin one of the jacks on its end on the surface of the coffee table. I was disappointed that they wouldn’t spin the way a coin would spin. It would have been cool to see how many I could get spinning at the same time. No dice. I couldn’t stack them on top of each other like blocks, or lean them against each other like I would when building a house of cards.

I lined up the jacks end to end on the length of the coffee table and examined them. They didn’t look like they would be that much fun to play with as they uselessly tilted on their axis; I couldn’t get them to balance so that they looked like plus signs. I left them on the table and bounced the rubber ball against the picture window. I left a perfect round smudge on the glass. I wiped it off with the curtain, so Mom wouldn’t see it and then turned my attention back to the jacks in formation on the coffee table.

“What the heck am I supposed to do with these things?” I puzzled. There was no Internet, so it’s not like I could anonymously look it up and learn. I didn’t want to ask anyone how to play for fear of looking stupid. Even I knew that everyone knew how to play jacks. Well, everyone except for me. Was it some sort of childhood instinct that I lacked?

And now it’s an adult instinct I lack. If I understand it correctly, you’re supposed to bounce the ball and see how many jacks you can pick up before the ball hits the table again, right? Where’s the fun in that?? Who thought of that? I’ll bet it was someone who wanted to make cleaning up the toys a game, so the kids would tidy up after themselves. I can picture some misguided and frazzled mom, “OK, kids, I am going to bounce this ball. Let’s see how many things you can pick up before it lands…. Ready??? GO!!!”

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Friday, February 19, 2010


The red heart-shaped box of chocolates called to me from the kitchen counter. I can smell them all the way from my spot on the end of the couch. I saw Beej eat one of them earlier, before she and Todd turned off the kitchen lights and headed out to the hot tub. She smiled while she chewed on the caramel; I know that caramels are her favorite. Todd’s favorite is dark chocolate cherry cordials. I like them both the same. But then, I never met a bite of people food I didn’t like. I am Labrador, the garbage disposal of the canine world.

Sometimes just the smell of people food is good enough. When Todd and Beej cook, I like to hang out on the kitchen floor. They patiently step over me as they retrieve cooking implements from this drawer or that cabinet. If I am lucky they’ll drop something; on the rare occasion that I don’t notice, Beej will tap her toe near it so I know where I can score a bite.

The competition on the kitchen floor is stiff with my brother Nemo hanging around. Nemo is a beagle, and has the second most powerful nose in our world. His nose directs him to fallen morsels before mine can recognize it. I tend to watch where things fall, while he sniffs them out. If I direct my attention elsewhere for a moment he’ll swoop in and score. His nose is so powerful I swear he can smell a burger grilling on the other side of Narragansett Bay on a summer evening. I prefer to focus on the more attainable food items on the counter where he can’t reach. He can fantasize about distant grilling burgers all he wants; I tend to lean toward the tangible and immediate.

I sat on the kitchen floor and let the blissful smell of the chocolates prey on my senses. I lie down on the kitchen floor and allow the saliva to moisten my front paws. The memory of the flavor of chocolate is fresh in my mind. Not long ago I scored a pan of brownies. Before that I had secured half a box of cherry cordials. And then the voice in the back of my mind starts to chant.




I squirm under my desire to taste chocolate once again. I pace on the kitchen floor, trying to silence the chanting. But it only gets louder.





I bark, in an effort to silence the voice. Then I press my nose into the trash can to rid my nose of the smell of chocolate. Beej just took the trash out before she and Todd went outside. The bag is empty, I think. I need to be sure. Maybe there’s something in there that will stop the chanting.

The aluminum trash bin topples over on its side. I wedge my nose under the lid and tug the bag out with my teeth. I firmly grip it and shake my head back and forth. It’s empty, except for a few small items they must have thrown in there. A tag from a shirt she bought at Old Navy, bah! A paper towel with some pancake scraps on it, score! The chanting is silenced to a whisper, until I realize that there’s nothing else in the bag. Then it starts up again even louder and more urgently this time.





My front paws slide on the surface of the counter, my nose inches toward the shiny red cardboard heart. Beej had slid it to the center of the counter, where she’d hoped it would be out of my reach. I swat at it with my front paw until it’s at the edge of the counter. I step down and move closer to the edge, and then use my front paws to swat again. It inches closer and closer to the edge with each swat. I know that I can bat my paw just one more time and the chocolates will fall to the floor.

The bamboo plant in the ceramic pot crashes to the floor. I rescue the cardboard box from the puddle before it gets soggy. I carry it over to my bed and work the lid off the top. Nemo beelines to the bed and tries to snag a bit of my treasure. I cover the box with my front legs and snarl until he retreats. He circles the bed waiting for me to let my guard down; not likely, brother.

The chocolate melts on my tongue and I am deliriously happy. The room spins a bit as I delight in the smooth and sweet flavor. I chew slightly on the caramel until it’s soft enough to coat the inside of my mouth. Nemo leans in to take a whiff; I let him have a piece too.

The heart-shaped box is empty; I lie on my back basking in the afterglow and sigh contentedly. Then I hear the footsteps. Then I hear their voices as they approach the back door. They are talking and laughing; they had a nice time soaking in the hot tub. Frantic, I run upstairs into the guest bedroom. I flatten myself against the far side of the bed in the shadows.

“Oh no!” Beej moans. “Griffen! What the hell? BAD DOG GRIFFEN!”

“Where is he?” Todd asks.

“I don’t know, but he’s dead meat,” Beej says. “Shit! The chocolates that Spencer got me for Valentine’s Day! He ate them. Goddam it! I only got to eat one of them!”

Todd found me. I honestly thought that he wouldn’t think to look there. I listened as he called to me from downstairs, and then as he came up the stairs and walked into our bedroom. He grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and pulled me up. I resisted and tried to let my weight hold me down against the carpet. Todd is strong when he’s mad.

Ashamed I carefully entered the kitchen. Beej had righted the trash can and she was cleaning up the bamboo’s broken pot. Todd rolled up a newspaper and swatted me on the nose.

“BAD DOG, GRIFFEN! BAD BOY!” he yelled as he swatted.

I wish I could say “I know. I know I am a bad dog. I couldn’t help myself.” I left the kitchen as soon as I could and tucked my tail between my legs to protect myself. I stood by the bottom of the stairs and listened to them talk about me.

“He’s 8 now. It’s ridiculous that we can’t leave him for half a fucking hour in here, you know?” Beej complained.

“I know. I just think that his little brain just shuts off when there’s something on the counter that he wants,” Todd explained. He caught my eye, “Look at him, he looks so sad.”

“Good. He should be,” Beej replied. I listened as they finished cleaning up the mess. Todd sat on the bottom step and scratched my hips. I hung my head until Beej walked in. I looked up at her expectantly.

“Pet him, he’s so sad,” Todd pleaded.

“No. I will not reward his bad behavior,” Beej replied. “He will learn that his behavior is unacceptable if his pack shuns him.”

“Beej, he’s not thinking about the consequences when there’s chocolate on the counter. He’s not going to remember being shunned the next time he gets tempted.”

“Well, too bad. I don’t want to pet him right now. I am mad at him. He’s a bad dog,” she pointed at me and emphasized the words “bad” and “dog.” I bowed my head. Then she stormed up the stairs and went to the bathroom sink to wash her face. I stood in the doorway and watched her while she ignored me, and then she went to bed without saying goodnight.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Happy Birthday to One Crazy Bastard

Ladies and gentlemen of the Internet, today is a day unlike any other. On this very day, on some undisclosed year probably long long ago, our friend the Taoist Biker vroomed his way into the world. Please join me in wishing dear TB a happy birthday.

Sto lat,* TB! I hope you have an awesome day.

*Sto lat (stuh lot) is the Polish equivalent of Happy Birthday. It quite literally translates to “100 years.” Which means that I wish you’d live 100 years.


Monday, February 15, 2010

You Know Who I Feel Bad For?

Women with facial hair, that’s who.

I cannot think of anything more unfortunate for a woman, in terms of physical appearance, than facial hair. There’s no way to hide it. Even if a woman shaves it, it’ll eventually come back as stubble. Waxing is even worse, because the hair has to be a certain length for it to take to waxing.

I was at lunch with my fellow jurors at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) cafeteria when I happened to spot a young woman’s misfortune. She was in line in front of me and dressed in 80’s splendor… fuchsia pants tucked into big floppy socks. A worn pair of Keds on her feet. Her shirt was a wild swirling mishmash of color and checkerboard patterns that just screamed “I was sewn in 1985.” A zillion bobby pins held her hair from the right side of her head and swept it over the top of her head so that it cascaded down by her left ear.

But it was her chin that caught my attention. It was noon and she was already sporting more than a five o’clock shadow on her cheeks, jaw and chin. When she turned to face me, I saw it on her upper lip as well. The stubble was thick. It was obvious that she’d had to shave it at one point and desperately needed to again.

I tried not to stare. But of course I stared. I looked at anything I possibly could to keep my eyes off her beard. I read and re-read the menu on the wall. I watched the short order cooks grill up a few quesadillas. I talked to my fellow jurors about the case we’d heard that morning. We’re always careful never to speak in specifics when we go to lunch together. We, obviously, never mention names or places that would reveal anything about the case. The case we’d heard that morning was pretty juicy, but I couldn’t get my mind off this poor young girl with her beard.

Was she ashamed of it? Did she get made fun of? Obviously she’d been stared at; I am living proof of that. I’ll bet anything that the kids in her high school had some sort of name for her. I cringed at the idea that this poor girl probably got called “Hairy Cousin It” or something equally awful. Was it hard for her to get dates?

I don’t think I will ever freak out about a zit ever again.

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Unsetting the Sun

I gunned the engine on Todd’s car, racing to the peak of the Newport Bridge. The sun had just set, but I hoped that the gained altitude at the top of the bridge we’d see just a sliver of the newly set sun over the horizon.

“You did it!” Todd cheered from the passenger seat. “You’ve just unset the sun.” I clapped for a second then replaced my hands at 10 and 2 on the wheel.

It was a perfect ending to a perfect day. We’ve just celebrated our 12th Valentine’s Day together. We were drowsy from the weight of the Mexican food in our bellies and from the day’s activities.

The day started off with a fresh batch of heart shaped pancakes I’d made. We ate them in bed and let the dogs have whatever we couldn’t finish. Valentine’s Day is a family affair in our house, after all.

Before we knew it we were in the car and crossing over Narragansett Bay on the Newport Bridge. We arrived at the horse barn were soon we saddled onto our horses and headed for a ride on Third Beach.

It was a wonderful ride, but I’ve discovered that I really don’t like it when horses trot. It’s bouncy and jarring. It’s hurty where my butt repeatedly slammed into the saddle. Galloping, however, is great. The horse gets into a smoother rhythm that doesn’t send me bluntly bobbing up and down on the hard leather saddle.
Todd had a much better time on this ride than he did on the one on South Padre Island on our honeymoon. The last horse left in the barn was a young stallion that had been broken for about five minutes. Long story short, his horse pestered another horse into kicking him square in the chest. The force of the kick sent Todd’s horse, with Todd on the back, sprawling sideways on the beach. From there the ride went downhill.

Today, however, Todd and his horse—Jenny—were the best of friends. She listened to his commands, she did not ever send them ass over teakettle. He rode in front of me while I watched from behind. I watched him move up and down in his saddle while trotting and listened to him talk to Jenny and remind her that she’s a “good girl.”

He looked over his shoulder at me with a big smile on his face, and I could tell that my Valentine was having a wonderful ride.

This is quite possibly the best picture of Todd I've ever taken.  Happy Valentine's Day, Love.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hemmed In

With the exception of the hair salon I’ve gone to for the last 8 years, I haven’t been a consistent consumer of services. I don’t always go to the same supermarket, and go for the one that’s the most convenient. I haven’t used the same dry cleaner consistently, except for the last year or so when I’ve managed to find one that comes to my house to take the dirty clothes away and bring clean ones back a few days later. I don’t often get things like massages, manicures and pedicures—but when I do, I don’t go to the same place all the time.

But I will most definitely keep going to the tailor I discovered recently. I haven’t consistently used a tailor, and have walked around with my pants either too short or too long. My recent discovery of the tailor will not only ensure that my pants are the correct length, but will also provide me with excellent blog fodder.

I went back to the tailor last week. I had bought a pair of cargo pants on clearance, but of course they were too long. (My legs are too long for the “regular” length women’s pants, but too short for the “long” length. Don’t even get me started as to why women’s clothing manufacturers don’t size their pants by the inch, like men’s clothing manufacturers do. This is something I will never ever understand.) These cargo pants fit me just right. They make my legs look long and slender. The cargo pockets on the outsides of my thighs aren’t too bulky, either. The only thing I don’t like about these pants are the front pockets, so in addition to getting them hemmed I’ve asked the tailor to sew the pockets shut.

I put the pants on, behind the curtain that doesn’t close all the way. He chalked lines where the hems will go, and then we discussed the pockets. He examined the pockets and then he proceeded to jam his hands down the front of my pants so he could pin the pockets closed. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a strange man’s hands jammed down the front of my pants… I think the last time was when Todd and I started dating. I had assumed that when I’d gotten married there wouldn’t be any more strange men jamming their hands down the front of my pants. Boy was I wrong.

It was entirely innocent. The tailor was just doing his job, and there was no funny business. Still, it was an entirely unexpected thing to have happen to me. I mean, if I am going to have a strange man jam his hands down my pants I wish he’d been about 60 years younger and better looking. I also wish he didn’t have a ridiculously obvious toupee.

On Friday I picked up my freshly hemmed pockets sewn in cargo pants. The tailor had the TV behind the counter on. Last time he was watching a Jerry Springer wanna-be, this time he was watching a nature show on PBS. Two black bears were pouncing on each other and rolling around.

“I like these shows,” the tailor gestured to the TV. “You know that bears don’t eat meat?”

“Really? I thought they liked salmon,” I replied. The tailor paused for a minute, to consider whether bears eat salmon or not.

“Maybe you’re right,” he directed his attention to the TV, the bears were still rolling around together, “But I can’t tell.  They are fighting or making love?” He watched the screen intently, waiting for the distinction to become obvious.

“I’m not sure,” I laughed. Then I mentally scanned my closet for other articles of clothing in need of alterations.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What in the Hell is Going on in New Orleans?

CNN blared from the TV in the bedroom while I stood at the bathroom sink primping and preening. Todd calls my getting-ready-to-go-anywhere routine “primping and preening.” He says I take longer to get ready than anyone he knows. It’s not that I take a long time. It’s just that on some days I have a hard time being quick about it, and that’s what makes it seem like a long time. His idea of getting ready is rolling out of bed and standing under the shower for .5 seconds. Then he whips on some clothing and leaves; I have to go around with the extinguisher to put out the fire left behind in his footprints. And that, too, adds on to my getting-ready-to-go-anywhere routine. So, really the length of time it takes me to get ready is all Todd’s fault.

Todd’s been travelling quite a bit these last few weeks. To fill the house with noise in the morning I’ve had CNN on the bedroom TV. Normally I have it on the living room TV while I am eating breakfast and packing lunch in the kitchen. But now that he’s not still in bed while I am primping, I can put it on in the bedroom and turn it way up. He would probably get really annoyed with me if I did that while he was here.

On Monday morning the newscasters were talking about celebration in the streets of New Orleans. I paused and listened for a moment (which probably added onto the time it takes me to get ready in the morning) because I wanted to know what the residents of New Orleans were celebrating about. I set down the hairdryer I was just about to switch on and listened intently. The good folks in New Orleans have had a rough time of it in the last decade, and I smiled at the thought of them partying in the streets.

But then I thought about New Orleans and how they party in the streets every February. It’s too early for Mardi Gras, what the hell are they partying about now? Do they ever stop partying? And then I grew a bit annoyed at how these people party in the streets when the people of Providence cannot be bothered to have a citywide celebration like that. And what the hell is wrong with the people of Providence that they can’t have a big party like Mardi Gras?

I cut my mental rant short and listened some more and learned that New Orleans’s football team was in the Super bowl* and they won. Oh yeah, the Super Bowl was on Sunday. New Orleans has a football team? How did I not know that? And how has the Super Bowl eluded me once again? I really ought to pay more attention. And I tell myself that every single year and yet I never do.

*Spell check flagged the word “Superbowl.” When I right clicked on it, Microsoft Word suggested “Super bowl” or “Superb owl.” Maybe next year, with my increased awareness of this big football game, I’ll call it the “Superb Owl.”


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Why Is That?

“So, what do you do?” I overheard at a party.

“This is John, he’s a software engineer,” I heard at another party.

“So, you’re an attorney. What’s that like?” I overheard somewhere else.

Not many people ask me what I do for a living. And you know what? I really don’t mind that I don’t get asked. I wonder why people don’t often ask me that question. Is it that I don’t look like someone who is gainfully employed? No. It’s probably because whenever I am in a social setting I tend to talk about the things I like to do. I talk about the stupid things my dogs do. I talk about our sailing adventures and our diving adventures. Then I forget that I even have a job that I could be talking about, because I am having fun talking and hearing about vacations and listening to funny stories.

When Todd and I were at Kalahari, we stood in line at the boogie boarding ride. The line takes a long time because we have to wait for every single person ahead of us to take a turn navigating a boogie board on a perpetual wave. I struck up a conversation with the couple in line behind us. Then Todd asked me what they did for a living.

“I don’t know, I didn’t ask,” I replied. Then I thought about it some more. “You know, I don’t like asking people what they do for work. I’d rather ask what they like to do. That’s always more interesting anyway.” He shrugged and thought about it for a second and acknowledged I was right.

We rode the boogie board, and I managed to get up onto my knees before the force of the water sent me flying up to where the wave ends. The lifeguard greeted me with an outstretched towel in case my bathing suit ceased to cover up the goods. (Which I thought was great of them to do. At Schlitterbahn in South Padre Island, TX I involuntarily flashed my boobs at all of the people in line, and at all the people on the balcony of the café above. Good times.) We headed to the hot tub bar after boogie boarding. You have to enter the hot tub to belly up to the bar. Then the hot tub flows under the exterior wall of the building so that we could enjoy our drinks in the tub outdoors. A perfect situation, really.

We soaked and drank. As usual, I eavesdropped on the conversations around us. I listened to a man bitch about his job to his friend. Blah blah blah blah… I tuned out the conversation. Then they went inside after one of the men said to the other “You should just be a man about it and sleep with other women.” (What??) We took their place along the side of the tub and listened to other people talk about their jobs.

I asked Todd, “Why is it that we’re at the biggest indoor water park in the nation, sitting in an awesome hot tub on a Saturday night with these fabulous drinks in our hands listening to people talk about work? Isn’t there anything else for people to talk about?”

Is it that we’re overworked? Are so many of our waking moments spent working or worrying about work?

What do you think, Internet? Why do people talk about work so much?

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Monday, February 01, 2010

A Day in the Life

“Hooooooneeeey?” Todd called out from the shower.

I opened the bathroom door and called, “What?”

“Will you go to the store today and get me some more shampoo? I ran out,” he asked.

“What, you don’t know where the store is?”

“I got married so I wouldn’t have to do things like buy myself shampoo.”

Then I debated as to whether I want to try to force him to buy his own shampoo. Then find myself in CVS on the way home buying his shampoo because I cannot resist his Tractor Beam of Cooperation.

A few days later I returned home from work to find all the thermostats in the house registering a cool 53 degrees. I lit a fire, put the tea kettle on, and piled blankets on top of me after applying fleece clothing in multiple layers. I think I had on my ski pants, with four of his flannel shirts. But I did leave a flannel for him, because that’s just the kind of wife I am.

“Why is it so cold in here?” he asked. He had just removed his coat, then thought better of it and put it back on.

“The furnace isn’t working,” I grumbled.

“Did you call the oil company?”


“Why not?”

“Because you know how to fix everything. I thought you might want to look at it first.”

He looked at it, managed to get it to work for approximately 4 seconds before it turned off again. In that 4 seconds I applauded his skills and declared that he is “All that is man.” And then the furnace turned off, and I said “That’s OK. You’re still all that is man, but it’s still cold in the house too.”

He asked me to call the oil company to get a repair man to come out. I declined.

“I got married so I wouldn’t have to do things like deal with repair men.”