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Archive for the ‘Marriage’ Category

Why I love my husband

Because this is how he reminds me to pick up bread and milk:

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Serial matrimony

It’s official. My father-in-law is getting married.

Again.

Nathan broke the news the other night. Apparently we aren’t the only ones who learned something from the second marriage. FIL and the wife-to-be want the family to attend the wedding this time. So instead of getting married in a parking lot in Ann Arbor (FIL and Terrie got married during half time at a U of M game), they have wisely decided to involve more than just their tight circle of friends.

They have unwisely decided Autumn would make the perfect little flower girl. More power to them, I say. I have no doubt she’ll adore whatever dress they pick out for her, but I can’t wait to see what happens the first time someone tries to touch her hair. Won’t that be fun?

Mommy will be amused.

Also? Autumn + audience = trouble. Shenanigans will ensue.

I’m going to put on my serious hat for a moment and say I have mixed feelings about this marriage. I am happy for my FIL because obviously the guy cannot survive on his own. We have vowed to be nice and not keep our distance for months at a time like we did when he was married to Terrie. We’re actually amused at how quickly he’s moved on. Again.

But I guess that’s also the problem. This marriage has become a punchline. Everyone I’ve talked to about it has busted a gut because it’s just. so. funny. that my FIL would be marrying again so quickly.

At least he’ll have waited six months this time. Last time he only waited four.

It’s hard for me to take the relationship seriously when my FIL chooses marriage over dating. It seems like just another social activity to him. He could be widowed a hundred times over and he would always wind up living with a new woman within two months of the last one’s death.

And really, why get married? Shouldn’t two people past the age of 60 be able to fool around without feeling obligated to stand in front of an official and bind themselves together for eternity?

Obviously I’m making these statements never having lost a spouse, so I don’t know for sure what I would do if I were widowed. I think I know myself well enough to know I’d be okay on my own. I do know I’d be a wreck for a long while. I’d be a single mom with a headstrong daughter and I’d be lonely as hell. If I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing with my kid now, I can’t imagine doing it all alone, but even then I also can’t imagine getting married again just to have someone take care of me.

Engagement Ring
Creative Commons License photo credit: dareppi

I’ll let you in on a little secret; my marriage to Nathan is his third. He was married and divorced twice by the time he was 25. I jokingly say he married the other two women because he hadn’t met me yet, but it’s true. They were completely wrong for him and he never should have married them in the first place. I didn’t know either of them but I know they were wrong for him because he’s completely right for me.

Nathan reaches out when I draw back. He bites his tongue when I speak out of turn. He’s judgmental when I am neutral and we both indulge in a shameful level of geekery we seldom come across in others.

So my standards are high and I don’t anticipate ever lowering them. And when I tell people our marriage is Nathan’s third, I never say it’s my first because that implies there’s more than one in the cards for me. But honestly, I think I’ve found the one and only man in the world willing to put up with my shit.

And I intend to keep him.

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1:00 am- The storms roll in.

1: 15- I hear Autumn call for me from across the hall. I’m not able to make out what she is saying, but I know whatever it is means she’s going to wind up in bed with us.

1: 18-As Autumn finds her spot between us, I try to make myself comfortable on the few centimeters of mattress I’m allotted.

1:20-A little voice speaks up to address me.

“Can you please stop that,” she says.

“Stop what?” I ask.

“Breathing.”

1:30- I move to her bed.

Sleeping in Autumn’s bed during a storm is an eye-opening experience. Literally. The window shade does little to keep the lightning at bay and her bed is pushed up against the south wall that faces outside. As the more violent claps of thunder shake the house, I can feel her bed shake along with it. It’s no wonder the kid prefers to sleep sandwiched between two large adults.

2:15-The power shuts off for about five seconds. I get up, go back into my room and reset my alarm clock. I return to Autumn’s bed taking my iPod Touch with me.

2: 25-I check Twitter. No one I know seems to be available, though Janice from Five Minutes for Mom is chatting with several people. I send out a general message:

stormtweet

2:27-I check my e-mail and head back to Twitter. No replies, though Janice is still on. She seems to be a bit of a night owl.

2:30-I issue a general complaint about the storm on Facebook and spend the next ten minutes alternating between Facebook and Twitter, hoping to find someone willing to bitch about the weather with me.

2:40-Nathan appears and scares the hell out of me.

“Who else did you think it would be?” he asks.

“I don’t know,” I say, “I just didn’t expect a half-naked man to show up in the doorway like that.”

2:43-After spending a few minutes discussing the position of Autumn’s bed and the suck-fest taking place outside, Nathan goes back to bed but not before I tell him his alarm clock needs to be reset.

I manage to sleep sometime between 3:00 and 5:00

5:15-I hear Autumn ask Nathan where Mommy is. She is satisfied enough with his answer to not confirm my whereabouts.

6:00-My alarm beeps and I ask Nathan to shut it off. He does not want to reach over Autumn to hit the snooze button and opts to get out of bed and shut the thing off completely.

6:31-I manage to get out of bed without the aid of my five-minute snooze setting.

7:10-After taking a shower, eating breakfast and picking out Autumn’s outfit for the day, I return to my bedroom to wake my husband. “You might want to get up,” I say.

The next 25 minutes are stress-laden as the entire household tries to operate on very little sleep. I bark at Autumn as she dawdles and Nathan is full of resentment because I reset my alarm and not his. Of course he has forgotten that I told him I did not reset his alarm clock when he was conscious enough to do so himself AND that he could have reset his clock when he got up to shut off my alarm. My blood boils at being accused of not taking responsibly for a grown man’s inability to wake his own ass up and I begin yelling at him in front of Autumn. It does not get much better from this point on.

8:00- I arrive at Autumn’s school at the exact moment I should be sitting at my desk. I issue more impatient commands as she slowly gets out of the car and walks into the building. I start to believe children are hard-wired to move slower at times when it is crucial to use speed and wonder if there may be any scientific basis to my theory. The physics involved in parenting do not seem to favor parents at all.

8:05-I sit down at my desk and start complaining about the weather and my husband to my neighbor across the aisle who has had a much more pleasant evening than I.

9:05-Nathan calls to apologize. I accept and issue my own apology. Now all we have to do is make it right with the kid. This will probably include ice cream after dinner, Wii Bowling, multiple readings of The Three Little Pigs and a whole heaping helping of “I’m sorry.”

Conclusion 1: As always, I need to find more productive ways to handle stress.

Conclusion 2: Thunderstorms can suck it as can those who enjoy them.

Conclusion 3: Tomorrow will be better.

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Misfortune teller

Last week we happened across the trailer for Roland Emmerich’s new disaster flick 2012.  It looked pretty snazzy with its end-of-the-world special effects, but it also looked too familiar.  We’ve seen the world end before.  Deep Impact. Independence Day. The Day After Tomorrow. Knowing.  We’ve been subjected to so many of these films over the years that it’s becoming hard to tell them apart.  Look at it this way; if you have to distinguish one asteroid movie from another by describing it as “the one with Billy Bob Thornton” as opposed to “the one with Bruce Willis” you can bet the genre has been saturated with shots of Manhattan being obliterated by a massive tidal wave.

But 2012 is supposedly different because it’s based on an actual prophecy and at the end of the trailer an ominous line of copy asks you to “FIND OUT THE TRUTH-Search: 2012.”  So that’s what Nathan did and he found out that this whole 2012 hullabaloo is based on a theory that the world is going to come to an end when the Mayan calendar runs out at 11:11 am on December 21st, 2012.

Nathan became very excited when he read this.

“Heather, didn’t I tell you I’ve been seeing 11:11 all over the place?  Every time I’ve looked at a clock lately it’s been 11:11.”

He did indeed tell me that, but I wasn’t about to start believing his coincidental glances at the clock were actually prophetic nudges about the disaster to come.

Nathan, however, was hooked and he started digging deeper.  Apparently there are all sorts of end-of-days prophecies that suggest we might be in for it within the next few years.  I’m refusing to bite because we went through this whole thing ten years ago when everyone thought the world was going to stop working at the onset of Y2K.

But Nathan wasn’t about to give up, and last night as I was getting into bed he pointed toward the TV.  “Look,” he said.

I looked.  And I shrugged.  “What am I looking at?” I asked.

“The clock on the DVD player.  It says 11:11.”

I glanced at the clock radio next to my side of the bed.  “Mine says 11:08.”

He shook his head.  “I’m telling you…”

“You’re telling me what?” I insisted, “That the world is going to end in three years?  I don’t want to talk about this.”  Seriously, it’s starting to feel like I’m married to Fox Mulder.

He sighed.  “It would suck to only have three years left.  We’d never get to see our new trees mature.”

Right.  Let’s worry about the trees missing out on a full life.

I do believe in some things.  I believe the human race is in jeopardy.  We are slowly killing our planet and I have no doubt that some day we will no longer have the resources to sustain life.  I do not, however, believe that the world is going to end because some lazy Mayans decided they didn’t need to plan that far into the future.

But if it is true?  I know exactly where I’ll be at 11:11 am on December 21st, 2012.  I’m going to be sitting at my desk at work.

Now that’s the part of the prophecy that scares the hell out of me.

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Squeeze squeeze me

Nathan and I have completely different sleeping habits.  I am a very fitful sleeper.  I wake at the slightest sound and am constantly tossing and turning to alleviate tingling from the carpal tunnel in my hands.  My husband, on the other hand, can fall asleep within two minutes of his head hitting the pillow and is comatose until I jab him in the back once his alarm starts buzzing in the morning.

For several years Nathan had a life-threatening snoring problem.  I say life-threatening because it had become so bad that I wanted to kill him.  We would go to bed together, turn off the lights and just as I was about to drift off it would start, always a deep throaty buzz that would turn into an earth shaking rumble the deeper into sleep he got.  I’m not kidding you.  He was a freaking freight train.

The situation finally came to a head the summer I was pregnant.  The snoring became so loud and so obnoxious that I couldn’t sleep with him anymore.  I was a fat, uncomfortable pregnant woman who was fed up and kicked my husband out of the bed.  For most of my last trimester he slept on the couch.  I felt like a mean bitch for going to bed alone every night, though Nathan was happy to sleep on the couch as long as I didn’t wake up a mean bitch.  Keeping the pregnant woman happy was top priority.

Shortly after Autumn was born Nathan finally scheduled an overnight stay at a sleep clinic.  They found his snoring just as hideous as I did and prescribed him a CPAP machine.  Apparently he suffered from sleep apnea and the machine allowed him a better night’s sleep, which in turn allowed me a better night’s sleep.  Well, as much sleep as a breast-feeding mother of an infant can get.

So now we’ve conqured the snoring problem.  Nathan doesn’t even need the CPAP anymore because he has lost some weight and the snoring only recurs when he has a cold.  However, another problem has crept up in its wake and I’m not at all sure how to make it stop.

Please tell me if this scenario sounds familiar.  You’re in bed with your significant other in the always comfortable spoon position.  The room is cold so you’re as close as can be and he (or she) has his (or her) hand resting on your hips.  You’re about to drift off or have just drifted off when you’re yanked back to consciousness with a squeeze.  It’s not a huge squeeze, just a quick handful of whatever fleshy bits are available, but it keeps you up because it won’t stop.  Squeeze. Squeeze.  Squeeze.  Over and over until you have no choice to brush the hand away and/or abandon the spoon entirely.

Last night it wasn’t so much a squeeze as light pressing of the fingers, almost like he was playing a piano, but it happens nearly every time his arm is around me.  I honestly don’t think there’s a treatment for this.  I wish there were because I’d really like to be able to fall asleep with my husband’s arm around me.  I’m guessing as long as he’s a male, the subconscious queues triggering the squeezes aren’t going to abate any time soon.

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Today Nathan and I celebrate eleven years of marriage. I could bemoan the fact that he has left me behind for the day to golf with his dad and his dad’s drinking buddies, but since tomorrow is Father’s Day I’ll celebrate the man and some of the reasons I love him.

1. He used to guard nuclear missiles at an Air Force base in Montana and looked hot in the one picture I’ve seen of him in his dress blues.

2. The world “tomorrow” is not in his vocabulary. Seriously. He will not use the word. If it’s Thursday and we’re talking about what we’re doing the next day, he’ll refer to our plans on “Friday.” I’ll reply with, “You mean tomorrow?” because the world “tommorow’ exists for a reason and how am I supposed to know if his mind is 24 hours into the future or a week? He really gets tired of me pressing that point. I’d drop it if he’d just start talking like a normal person. How about we start working on that TOMORROW?

3. He has denied me almost nothing whereas I’ve denied him lots. Mostly sex.

4. He is not able to take as much of Autumn’s crap as I am. This really surprised me because I was almost sure I was going to be the more impatient parent. All I have to say to him is this; Dude, just wait until she’s a teenager.

5. When I tickle him, he has this really high-pitched goofy laugh that sounds just like those campy ghosts from the old “Scooby Doo” cartoons.

6. He can’t talk on the phone without pacing the room. I’ve never seen him just sit still and talk. If he’s on the phone, he’s on the move. I understand this is a quirk that drove his office mates crazy when he worked in tech support taking calls all day.

7. He’s a chatterbox and always has been. One of my favorite stories about him was one his parents told me about an incident from one of their family vacations. Nathan was being his usual loquacious self and driving everyone bonkers. After his numerous requests for Nathan to shut up were ignored, my father-in-law pulled over, yanked his eldest son out of the car and shoved him into the trunk. I’m not sure how long Nathan was back there, but it was long enough for him to eat an entire package of cookies.

8. He has a crush on Genevieve from Choo-Choo Soul.

9. He has to have chocolate following a sushi dinner. We only go out for a sushi twice a year now, but every time we have to stop at the market across the street from the restaurant and get some Ghiradelli squares afterwards.

10. He hates Neil Diamond, raisins, and won’t eat most egg rolls because he thinks they taste like soap. We’ve decided it’s probably the ginger that gives the egg rolls their “soapy” taste.

11. He’s the most patient man I’ve ever met. He’s my soul mate and I would be remiss if I didn’t include this fact in my list.

Happy anniversary, hon. I love you.

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Say what, now?

I got up and did some stuff today. Without crutches. I put the girl to bed and partially loaded the dishwasher. Of course this was all after several more hours of Wii and a backhanded comment from my husband about how he doesn’t have the luxury of sitting around all day doing nothing. Ouch. Generally he’s not an asshole, but he’s stressed and that comment cut to the quick. It’s not like I’m Peg Bundy sitting around all day watching TV and filing my nails. I’m recovering from surgery for crying out loud.

Of course he doesn’t want me to blog about this, and as I sat down at the computer he so much as told me I shouldn’t be blogging anymore. He doesn’t want the world to know that he’s human, that he says stuff he wishes he hadn’t and that he has a wife who does the same and who will damn well blog about this and other foolishness that goes on in their lives.

But still, I walked around the house without crutches and the world didn’t end. I didn’t fall on my face or undo the several hours of surgery that got me here, and if he rats me out to the doctor again I swear I’ll kick him in the groin. Then we’ll see who has trouble walking.

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The Tale of the Tossed Shoe

This was about eight or nine years ago. It was the summer of 1999 or 2000. I can’t remember which, but I do remember Nathan and I hadn’t been married very long.

We were due to attend the wedding of my former next-door neighbor. He was getting married in a nearby church and the reception was being held at the same place Nathan and I had ours. It has since been turned into a pub that charges for refills on sodas and no longer caters shindigs like ours.

We lived in the apartment back then, a two bedroom place on the second floor of a 12-unit complex. This has absolutely nothing to do with the story, but I’m just trying to paint a picture here.

Somehow we got into a huge fight just before we were due to leave for the ceremony. I don’t remember exactly what the fight was about, but it was a big’un. I think it might have had something to do with Nathan sleeping late, playing games on the computer and being unprepared to leave at the designated time. He was always getting on my case about never being ready so I gave him a dose of his own medicine.

We said some nasty things to each other and I told him I was going to leave with or without him. I went downstairs to where our car was parked in front of the building and started it up. About a minute later Nathan came hobbling out, fully dressed except for his socks and shoes which he held in his hands.

He got in the car and I took off without saying a word. Nathan struggled with his socks in the confines of our little car and tried to get me to say something. He may have apologized and I’m pretty sure I ignored him. That’s our usual M.O.

Nathan hates to be ignored. He hates the silent treatment more than anything, and as I’m driving down the street he’s begging me to talk about what just went down. When I didn’t respond, he held up his shoe and said, “Heather, so help me, if you don’t start talking to me I will throw this shoe out the window.”

When I didn’t respond yet again, he rolled down the window and chucked the shoe out onto the street.

At that point I started talking. We were the only ones on the road at the time so I stopped the car and looked at him. “Are you out of your mind?”

I think he asked me to back up to retrieve the shoe, but being even more pissed and a bit dumbfounded, I refused. I do remember driving off and watching my husband in the rear view mirror as he walked back to pick up the shoe, limping along on one shoe and one stocking foot.

I attended the ceremony alone but we made up and went to the reception together later. This June we’ll be celebrating eleven happy years as husband and wife.

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Him: Are you going to go get the pizza?

Me: I don’t know, am I?

Him: Yes, you are.

Me: You place the order, then.

Him: Huh?

Me: You place the order.

Him: I don’t know if I can talk that long. I’m losing my voice.

Dude, if you can have this conversation with me about who’s going to get the pizza, you can ring them up and order one deluxe and one chicken club. I’m just saying.

Big baby.

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Nathan was in a crabby-ass mood this morning. He claims it was due to various aches and pains but I’m pretty sure it’s because it’s the end of the week, our groceries are low and I’ve put the kibosh on his use of his cafe card.

The cafe card is like a credit card of sorts for the various eateries where Nathan works. It’s used in lieu of cash and whatever purchases you make with it are deducted from your paycheck every week. It’s pretty handy and I suggested he get it because I imagined his purchases with the card would be easier to track than the multiple withdrawals of cash I noticed on our bank account statements.

I think he’s had the card for a few years now, and I’ve come to find it rather shocking how much he spends on food while at work. Most of the time he doesn’t want to hear my complaints, and up until he started a new job where he’s running from plant to plant all day, his purchases weren’t extremely exorbitant; twenty to thirty dollars for a two week period. Still more than what I spend on food stuffs at work but not enough to cause me to make plans to file Chapter 13.

The weekend before last it all came to a head when I decided to work on balancing the checkbook. When it came time for me to enter the stats for his most recent paycheck into our computer program, I scanned the miscellaneous deductions category and screamed, “Forty-seven dollars for food service?!” Now whenever I scream out a number like that to him he’s all in denial about how much he actually spent, and this time was no exception. “No way,” he said, but I handed him the copy of his pay stub and pointed out the glaring truth with a look that just dared him to explain this away.

“It’s mostly for breakfast,” he said. “We never have anything for me to eat.”

Huh. Last time I checked, eggs, bread, bacon and milk were all breakfast staples and all things we frequently have in the house. When I asked him how I managed to find things to make for breakfast every morning and he did not, he retorted with a question of his own.

“You make breakfast every morning, but why don’t you ever make me breakfast?”

Ah, so there’s the rub. It’s not that he didn’t want to eat what we had in the house, he didn’t want to have to make anything with what we had in the house. He wanted to be served, much like Autumn and I are every evening when he makes dinner, which was part of his argument. He’s the cook and just once in awhile he wants someone to cook for him, especially if it allows him a few more minutes of “me time” in the morning.

Our argument got kind of heated, with me explaining that I have enough trouble getting my own ass out the door on time every morning without having to worry about his breakfast and why doesn’t he just spend less time in front of his computer before work and more time in front of a frying pan?

The argument ended with his vow to cancel the card, especially since he learned he spent just over $100 with the cafe card for the month of August alone. The two of us together have been really bad with the food expenditures. We’re talking non-grocery items like breakfasts, lunches, snacks and any other meal when we’re too lazy to cook. From May to August we spent about a thousand dollars on stuff like that. That’s on top of our weekly grocery bill. No wonder we’re so broke sometimes.

So there he was this morning, cranky, hungry and spreading peanut butter over Aunt Millie’s light 5-grain bread. I wanted to take pity on him and say it would be ok to use the card today, but I imagined that would be akin to giving an alcoholic a bottle of vodka and suggesting one sip wouldn’t hurt. Before you know it we’d be citing “excessive use of cafe card” and “breakfast neglect” as reasons for our legal separation.

Ah well, maybe his mood will improve tomorrow. I usually do make him breakfast on the weekend.

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