Say You’re Sorry.

 

Did you know? When you are surrounded by other humans, there is often trouble.

It’s a rotten world.

Ok, that might be a bit of an overstep. I mean, we have wonderfulness, here in this world. We’ve got purple Spring flowers. We’ve got funny cat videos. We’ve got chocolate. We’ve got people who are kind and loving and generally peaceful.

But also? There’s rottenness. I’m sorry, but we all act rotten every once in a while. You know you do. Don’t argue.

The other day my husband came home late from work. Dinner had been served. The dishes cleaned. We had “moved on with our lives,” and he was not too happy about this. Also, I think he was hungry, so you know. That doesn’t make for a good behavior sometimes.

Anyhow, he came into the living room where I was participating in my nightly ritual of folding ten million clothing items, and asked, “Is there… food?” He tilted his head towards the kitchen. “In there?”

I smiled and said, “We already ate, but I’m sure there’s something.” And he responded with this gem:

“WHAT. LIKE AIR? ” And stomped off.

The husband. A master at the one-liner. I snapped a pair of underpants and felt my insides simmer.

Now, granted, usually I have leftovers. But tonight’s meal had BEEN leftovers and we had hoovered them. All that was left was a sad carrot stick and some… Air. So, perhaps I should have, as the Dutiful Wife, made him something. Yes. Totally,  I should have done that because that would have been the nice thing to do. I totally didn’t. I forgot because my brain gets wispy after 7 pm.

But also? The AIR comment was a bit uncalled for. Don’t you think? I mean… how rude.

Sorry-ness usually happens because two people are involved. Usually. It doesn’t occur all alone. I mean, rarely does a rude tree in the forest and everyone else around him heard it, because RUDE.

Ok, I don’t really know if that analogy works, but bear with me.

My POINT (thank goodness, I know) is that … Brian felt tired out. He came home late which means, work, you know. I think he goes into that building sometimes like it’s one of those Roman coloseums. Except no real lions or spears or death. That’s a plus.

But, I could have at least left him some applesauce. Everyone deserves applesauce after a hard day at the coloseum.

So, later the husband approached. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m grumpy.”

“Me too,” I responded, vaguely. This kind of answer is totally superior because it doesn’t really elucidate if I am SORRY or I am GRUMPY, therefore I have TOTALLY STILL HELD ONTO NOT HAVING TO APOLOGIZE.

And so therefore…

I WIN THIS ROUND. I TOTALLY WIN. I WIN AT BEING MARRIED!!!!

Ok, now that THAT’s out of the way, it’s possible I also muttered,
“I’m sorry too. I love you. Here’s some applesauce. And I put some cinnamon on it.”

AND WE ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER.

Until the next opportunity for saying “sorry” occured. Which was probably within a twenty minute time span. That’s how we roll.

Also, I must share with you this little preshusness:

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I found this in Blonde’s backpack. It seems his buddy had the HORRIBLE AUDACITY to correct my eight year old on cultural relevance. Therefore… I think there must have been an argument.

An eight year old version of an argument goes like this:

Blonde’s friend: Sate Patrc Say. YOU DON’T KNOW.

Blonde: Yes, I do.

See:

YOU. DON’T. KNOW.

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I know. It’s totally got you on the edge of your seat, doesn’t it? This could be a script for The Good Wife, I tell you.

So… Blonde’s friend wrote him a little apology note. Which is adorable.

We can learn a lot from the eight year olds. They get mad, about holidays mainly, I think, and then they are over it.

I’ve watched my six year old go through all five stages of grief about some horrible thing his brother did to him in thirty seconds. Seriously, you could feel the wind off of those stages. He whipped through them. It was awe inspiring.

But perhaps… this just sums it up best.

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The End.

TBT: I Got Your Polar Vortex Right Here

I Got Your Polar Vortex Right Here

This is the polar vortex. Is it just me, or does it seem to be giving us a saucy gesture? Maybe it's just me.

Is it just me, or does it look like Mr. Polar Vortex is giving us a saucy gesture? Maybe it’s just me.

It’s 6 pm. I am trying to make dinner, keep the cat out of my laundry (laundry is his enemy, and he must vanquish it), and head up the Toddler Peace Summit Summer 2014.  I quit the Summit after 5 minutes.  I’m not smart enough.  I started pretending that I was from Chechnya and needed a translator and nobody could find one.  That was kinda fun.

Hubs will be coming home from work soon.  He will be thrilled to be home, let me tell you.  It’s because it’s so peaceful here.  So… calm.  I’ll be greeting him with a big red-lipsticked smoocharooni, a martini, and a lovely pot roast.

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Hi dear. Make one wrong comment about the empty saucepan and I will strangle you with my apron. And this wallpaper is driving me crazy.

 

 

 

Well.  Nix the martini.  Sometimes I hand him a glass of water.  It even has ice in it.

And really, not so peaceful here.  Wanna know why? Because Toddler Peace Summit 2014 has taken to the streets.  There’s loud protesting and currently the toddlers have taken the cat hostage and they are all working on their Manifesto.

 

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All of this makes Momsie rather… tense.  The toddlers, being toddlers, have absolutely no clue what “tense” is.  That’s their job.  In fact, I think it’s part of their Cluelessness Manifesto.  Momsie is tense = WE MUST AMP UP THE TODDLERNESS!!!!

And because of this ampage, a terrible, terrible thing happened.  I burnt my biscuits.  My precious, my preshus lovely fluffy little biscuits.  So ready to be smooshed with butter and honey, now huddled on the baking pan like sad hockey pucks.

And I. Had. HAD ENOUGH.

It is precisely at this time that the husband comes sauntering in.  You guessed it.  He is toast. Just like the biscuits.

Transcript of Following Conversation:

Me: ANGER AND RESENTMENT-LADEN SILENCE

Hubs:  Hi!  How are you?

Me: ANGER AND RESENTMENT-LADEN SILENCE.

Hubs: Hey boys! (Boys start freaking out because evidently Daddy walking in the house is like Moses just dropped by to say “Heeeey.”)

Me:   I’m fine.  (Holy cow.  Cue scary music here.)

Hubs: Wow.  Ok.  Really?  Your face is all twitchy. Why are you sitting on the floor turning that light on and off?  Wait, isn’t this a scene from Fatal Attraction?  Can I eat my dinner first?

Me: I burnt the biscuits.

Hubs:  Ohhhhh?  (He then tilts his head to the side just like a Labrador Retriever.)

Me:  I burnt. Them.

Hubs:  Why?

 

Let’s take a bit of a break here.

Really, he is in engineer, so asking “Why?” is not his fault.  It’s not.  That’s part of his job.  Or so he tells me.  I kind of think he must just trot around at work yapping, “Why, WHY?” at everyone within reach.  I wish he would just get it out of his system at work so he would NOT utter it at home. Really, he should know better by now.  When one has dealt with the toddler mosh pit of my day, when one burns the absolute best part of dinner (the rest of dinner was beige and warm, that’s it),

YOU DON’T EVER, EVER ASK, “WHY?”

Here’s what you say instead:

Hubs:  Oh my dear.  Clearly you need a break.  Here’s five thousand dollars.

So it just kept going, this conversation.  If the hubs knew what was best, he woulda hightailed it upstairs to free the cat and find some chocolate. But no.

Hubs:  Are you mad at me?  You’re mad, aren’t you.  Why are you mad at me?

Me:  No.  I’m not mad.  I’m just tired.  (‘Tired” is code for = so mad.  So, so mad.)

Hubs:  Because really, this is a teachable moment!

Me: Ok. Now I’m actually mad at you.

 

I think it’s best to stop here, to remind all you newly married folks,  that conversations like this really do happen when you’ve been married for a while.  For reals.  I do remember once at our premarital counseling (where hubs and the pastor talked BASEBALL for the majority of the time) that we did all come up with at least one tenet about How to Stay Married for a Really Long Time:

We should communicate a lot.

I KNOW, right?  Pretty brilliant.  I am pretty sure no one ever thought of this idea about marriage before.  I should write a book.

At any rate, the rest of the evening was a bit chilly, but by tooth brushing time I had stopped quoting lines from Fatal Attraction.  After all, when you’re married to an engineer, it is likely your darling husband takes literally everything, um, literally.  Thus, “I’m not going to be IGNORED, Dan!” carries little weight when your hubs’ name isn’t actually Dan.

 

 

 

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*Throw Back Thursday: This is code for “I don’t have brainage for new material today. Recycling is good!”

This is Marriage.

Long while back I had a friend who told me to read the book Tuesdays with Morrie. It’s a really sweet, sentimental book.

I know. I have really no idea why she suggested it for me.

Anyhow, the premise is this: If you spend time with someone, on a daily basis, you should really, you know, get to know them. Because people are generally awesome. They have stories to tell and lives that are lived, and we should realize how precious time is with them.

I know. It’s really sweet. And very true. And so, I was thinking just this morning how I have this other person who is like HERE like, A LOT and when, really, was the last time I sat down with him and just dug deep into his soul and got to “know” him?

It’s the husband. I’m talking about the husband. FYI. In case you were wondering if I had lost my mind and was talking about Steve the Cat. Or my sons. I do know my sons, but honestly? Deep conversation with my sons doesn’t happen too often because children.

So today! I am posting another installment in my series called:

THIS IS MARRIAGE.

So, here’s how we talk:

Exhibit One: We are persistent about calcium.

 

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Exhibit two: We do not freak out about scary stuff. In fact, we don’t freak out at all, we just blithely respond like it’s no big deal, leaving SOME OF US TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH KILLER EVIL STINGER THINGS.

There’s no resentment here. None at all.

 

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Exhibit Three: We go the extra mile.

 

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Exhibit Four: We get real. We even use saucy language.

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Exhibit Five: We quote scripture at each other. And by that I mean, HE sends me all these really uplifting, wonderful, LONGGGGGGG texts the bible all OVER the place. And I respond with my favorite verse. Because it’s short.

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Note how he completely ignores my snark and just keeps right on being SO HELPFUL AND SPIRITUAL. AWESOME.

 

Exhibit Six: We are very very honest. And we understand each other’s needs. Mine are usually about food.

 

 

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Exhibit seven: We are always willing to help out. Like when the husband needs to get a refill on a prescription we are more than happy to send pix.  And we are patient.

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And more pix…

 

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Exhibit Eight: We like to enjoy the little things. Like our kid. Dressed like a bat.

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Exhibit Eight:  We are straight up, no snark, here for each other. Even when autocorrect fails. We pray. Especially when we are far away, at Whole Women’s Weekend, dealing with a lot of stuff, and really really just needing an “I love you.”
I always get the “I love you.”

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This is marriage.

BOOM. 🙂

 

My Marriage Rocks. The Non-Throwing Kind. Because: Humor.

The only way to survive marriage is to laugh a lot.

When you are shackled to another person for the rest of your life, all sorts of laughter counts. For example laughing at ones self is always a good start. That’s all self-deprecating and so, therefore, it makes you look like a good person, and so, marriagable.

But also: there’s the better kind: when you can laugh at HIM.

I so prefer the second option because, well, it’s just so much easier.

Also, you can just, like, laugh at other stuff a lot. This happens with us. We are so deeply wedged into marital bliss that we just wander around the house laughing our arses off at any old thing. Just paid three insurance bills that seemed about equal with the national debt? HILARIOUS.

Did you drop your coffee filter thingie on the floor again at six am, thus covering you, the floor, and cat paws with expensive, caffeinated dirt? I’M HOLDING MY SIDES, STOP IT!!!

Did your four-year old master the art of the nonsensical drop and wail about something so minute and weird you cannot fix or even, really talk him down from today? I SHOULD MAKE A YOUTUBES! LOL!!

Did you get both boys up an hour EARLY because Daylight Savings?

Oh, heck no. Well, some things are just not funny.

Anyhow.

My marriage, it seems, is pretty laughable.

No, wait, that sounded bad. What I MEAN is:

We laugh at each other, and ourselves, a LOT.

Last night we had to go to a big, hoity toity dinner thing for Tall Blonde’s work. I do so love these things. Wanna know why? I shall make a list:

1. I really don’t love them I was being sarcastic.

I had to wear real clothes. And high heels. “Real clothes” means a dress, and good Lord, who thought up THAT nonsense? A DRESS? It’s been a while.

Sigh. When one stays home with two boys, writes from home, AND teaches an online class, one starts to think of “professional wardrobe” rather creatively. So, in essence, I put on the dress, and the heels, and then kinda felt like this:

Does this bowl make me look fat?
Does this bowl make me look fat?

At this point in the game, I was weak. And so, what I attempted next in marital relations is not recommended. It was a foolish move, I realize, and also highly risky.

I spotted the husband in the hall, and I said,

“Honey? Do I look all right?”

I know. I KNOW. This is the Red Wedding of questions. (If you don’t know what I mean about The Red Wedding, GOOD. You DON’T WANNA KNOW.)

What happened next is not for the faint of heart:

The husband looked at me and SHRUGGED.

Now, right here is when you have a crucial decision. You can:

1. Kill him.

2. Kill him in your head, because jail is bad.

3. Not speak to him for the rest of the night. When he finally catches on, tell him, “I’m fine.”

4. Withhold sexual relations until 2021 but offer no explanation.

5. Some willy nilly combination of 2-4.

6. Laugh it off.

I opted for #6. Actually, I did one better. First, I marched right over to him and poked him. “This,” I stared him down, all steely eyed and Clint Eastwoody, “This, punk, is when YOU say: ‘Yes, darling! You look ravishing. Absolutely perfect. And THIN. Did I also mention, smart? You, my sweet petal, are perfection.’ “

(NOTE: Students! Quote marks INSIDE quote marks! Grammar moment!!!! Squee!!!)

And then, I flounced away laughing maniacally. Flouncing, I found, only works so well when you are wearing four inch heels, so then I twisted my ankle and sort of gripped the wall for a minute, but then recovered and clomped away.

Erm. Like this:

AND IF THAT’S NOT FUNNY, I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS.

 

By the way: the marriage is still intact. Tall Blonde has made a serious mental note about the shrugging. As the night progressed, he would whisper sweet nothings to me like, “You are beautiful. I love you. Here, you can have my ice cream. And, really, you’re hot. Can I get you more ice cream?”

Marriage. It’s all about communication, humor, and grovelling paired with caramel gelato.

Finding-love-quote

The Dreaded Think, Pair, Share

 

Linking up with Heading Home today for Five Minute Friday.

Today’s word:

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When I was in the classroom, I used to inflict my students with this activity:

“Ok, folks, I would like for you to read the following paragraph, and then (wait for it…) Let’s do a Think, Pair, Share!”

The children would groan. Well, they were too kind to groan out loud. No, they would stuff those groans inside and then slump over with silent, overflowing groaning in mime, as they read and prepared themselves to share.

Think, Pair, Share had good intentions, ya’ll. It really did. The concept was solid – think over something, share your thoughts with another, this allows you to Stop, Collaborate, and Listen, which only then leads us to start nodding our heads along with Vanilla Ice’s horrible riff on Queen, and from there?

Oh, I don’t know. I have totally lost my train of thought here. Probably too much sharing, in that I just revealed to you that I do have the lyrics to “Ice, Ice Baby” still in my head, packed in with too much coffee this morning.

Anyhow.

Think, Pair, Share. It’s not the Thinking or the Pairing that was the issue. It was trying to come up with something somewhat intelligent and inspiring to SAY. Forced SAYING of things does not go well. I, of course, was looking for depth, insight, that moment of zen when a student says, “I feel that Scout had a deep sense of reverence for her father all throughout the book, but it wasn’t until his final speech at the courtroom that she was able to realize it.” Instead, I get this: “I don’t get this book. I read the whole thing. We’re in the last chapter. When is someone gonna kill the mockingbird?” *

I am sharing all this with you to tell you this:

I am not really into sharing. I do like to talk, a lot, about myself. It’s my favorite subject, really. I love to chatter on, witty and all, about my sons trying out their wrestling moves on Steve the Cat.

But sharing is hard. Sharing means vulnerability. Sharing means… I might show someone that I’m not large, in charge, and totally in control. Because, really? I am so not in control. Of anything.

And when I had kids? This takes this sharing thing OFF the CHARTS. Because, if you don’t learn to talk and lean on your girlfriends a bit, after a day of being surrounded by little mouth breathers who have made it their mission in life to MISS the toilet seat as artistically as possible, you will lose your mind. And then, there won’t be any mind to share at all.

Just a tired out, blob of a mom.

When Blonde was first born, I morphed into that blobby mom. I don’t really know how or why… (well, I do know some of it – I was totally post partumming all over the place, and was also looking into the abyss of a very real addiction to alcohol, so it’s NO wonder I got a bit wonky)… and I got so isolated and alone that I actually started to feel like I wanted it that way.

One time, I saw a neighbor friend coming up the front walk, and I so did not want to TALK to anyone, that I actually dropped to the ground to avoid her seeing me through our wide picture window. I know. Nutball. (No, I will NOT divulge who the neighbor friend was. And YES, I will agree, my behavior was a bit silly. But, I’m SHARING, here. Don’t judge. Or, judge, but just don’t message me about it.)

As I was lying there on my carpet, staring at all the mating dust bunnies under my couch, I wondered, “Hm. This is a bit over the top, even for you. Perhaps, you have issues?”

I learned to get out. To see people. To talk a bit. And then, it took me about FIVE years to get sort of comfortable with the concept of sharing. REALLY sharing.

I’m still working on it.

But if we don’t learn to lean on each other, and share the load? Then, we’re all alone, stuck with a big stick, and no one to help us carry it.

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“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
― Mother Teresa

* This is a true story. My student was an avid hunter. He was not an avid reader. The ONLY thing that kept him engaged in this classic was the hoped for hunting scene and that oh-so suspenseful demise of the mockingbird. Poor kid.

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Conversations with Toddlers. Or: Who Really Needs Alcohol Anymore When You Get to Listen to These Two All Day?

In the car. Red and Blonde are discussing their day.

Red starts:

Well, once I got pushted down.

Weally? Who?

Me.

No. (Long pause. There was a possibility that Momsie turned left and Blonde, the litigious one, didn’t hear the blinker, so the POLICE WERE GOING TO COME AND GET ME MOMMAH, DA BLINKER!) But then:

No. Who pushted you down? (Amazing, really, that we still we able to stay with the pushing. Usually the blinker deal would have blown all possibility for details right outta there, and we would have moved on to a Momsie Has Failed theme.)

Jason. He pushted me and I went FELLING through da air.

Yep.

Landed fwat on mt back.

Yep.

Yep. But, it was a bouncy house, so you know. I bounced.

YOU WERE AT A BOUNCY HOUSE? WITH JASON?

Who’s Jason?

 

It is remarkable that I remembered all of this to tell you. Sometimes I try to write it down while driving but then, I might have forgotten a blinker and then I would have ended up on an episode of Cops.

You’re welcome. You may now go on about your day.

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Yes, dear.

Linking up today with Heading Home today for Five Minute Fridays!

Today’s theme:

 

DEAR.

 

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It’s our second week of marriage. Brian and I are still in that blissfully unaware state of unfettered love and devotion that is honeymooning all over the place.

I am still in bed – the summer is still lulling about and I don’t have to go to work because I’m a teacher. I yawn. I stretch. I might unpack today. Or go to the bookstore. Or go for a run.

Life is good.

Brian, however, is getting ready to leave for his job. He’s in khaki pants and is wearing aftershave and an air of professionalism. He is pouring coffee. I am slipping back into sleep.

Then, he asks, “You want some coffee?” I don’t hear him because I’m cocooned in my blankets and lethargy. Brian, persistent, asks again, “Would you like some coffee?”

*snore*

“DEAR WOULD YOU LIKE SOME COFFEE?”

I have been rattled out of my blissful dreams and blink. Someone is yelling at me and it’s seven a.m. This is new.

Oh! Marriage. I blink again.

Brian, really really interested in making sure I get some caffeine, now bellows, “COFFEE? YOU WANT?”

And, I, annoyed, bellow back:

“YES. OK! ALL RIGHT! JEEZ. PUT SOME SUGAR IN IT BECAUSE I LIKE IT SWEEEEET!” This last part was a bit of a screech, like a grumpy macaw was in the bedroom, placing her order.

It is important to note here that when he brought it to me, I didn’t look very sweet. I looked all crumpled, and sleepy, and ticked.

Oh, marriage.

I take a sip and wrinkle my delicate nose. “This doesn’t have creamer. I like creamer in my coffee.”

Brian blinks.

At this point he has a crucial decision. He can tell me to put the coffee where the sun don’t shine, which would be all sorts of painful but probably rather deserved,

Or he can go for option B. Niceness.

Because, marriage.

He picks B and answers with a phrase I hear quite a lot in our years together:

“Yes, dear.”

As I sat back and waited for my coffee (which, when handed to me the second time was paired with a huge grin and so much creamer it was, um, just white), I wondered at it. I was being petulant and demanding, and I got a totally unexpected response. Quiet kindness.

This was rather new.

We tell each other, “Yes, dear” all the time. We say it when it’s hard, or when we are smiling, or when we are aflame with anger. We even say it when it’s drippy with sarcasm. But we still say it. And it always does the trick.

“Yes, dear” works. Why? Because we’re simple folk. We like to be reminded, even when annoyed or distracted or just plain mad, that we are precious to each other. That we chose each other.

That we hold each other, dear.

He is my darling, after all. And I am his. Even though he knows to maybe not talk to me too much in the morning before coffee.

Because, marriage.

Ephesians 4:31-32, ya’ll. It’s a good one.

 

 A-happy-marriage