Tag Archives: Husband

Ice, Ice Baby (AKA- Introverted Dog People)

I used to consider myself an introvert until I met my husband and started having conversations like the one we had last week.

We were driving to our very first Back-To-School night because Brontë is starting Kindergarten. It’s a milestone, so I was pretty excited.

But my husband seemed out of sorts. He kept braking the car, worrying about getting there on time (even though we were waaaay ahead of schedule) and kept ranting about how the church we live next to really, really needs to do a better job of trimming their hedges…

John: And WHY do they let people leave free sofas on the corner!? That just looks TACKY. Like our neighborhood is one GIANT GARAGE SALE.

Me: Umm… are you alright? is there something wrong?

John: I just WANT TO BE THERE ON TIME.

Me: We’re going to be sitting in this car for half an hour. We live 5 minutes away from the school.

John: I don’t even know WHO’S GOING TO BE THERE.

Me: Probably teachers and parents. Possibly the principal.

John: Yeah, look…

Me: What?

John: I’m… (sighs) just an introvert getting ready to go do this big, stupid extrovert thing and there’s going to be ALL THESE PARENTS and stuff.

Me (confused): Are you scared?

John: Not scared, I just don’t know what’s about to happen. I hope nothing bad is about to happen and there’s all these people

Me: What could possibly happen? Like, one of these people is gonna pull out a gun and start robbing us? A bomb could go off? Someone hauls off and punches you in the face?

John: NO. There could be… ICEBREAKERS. I really, really don’t want an ICEBREAKER to happen.

Me (incredulous): Is this the kind of thing where you’re nervous but secretly like it?

John: I DON’T WANT TO HAVE TO TELL A STRANGER ABOUT MY FIRST CONCERT OR SEE WHO CAN BUILD A TOWER OUT OF POPSICLE STICKS.

Me (in hysterics): I have to Facebook this. Do you mind?

John (assuming I simply can’t envision this catastrophe occurring): You just GO AHEAD because I’ve ACTUALLY HAD TO DO THOSE THINGS. At WORK. They grab a bunch of introverted tech geeks and make them…

Me: Build stuff?

John: TALK TO PEOPLE.

penguins.jpgSpoiler: There didn’t end up being any icebreaker activities because they were too busy trying to make people volunteer for stuff (another frightening scenario I hadn’t foreseen).

But I did end up Facebooking the conversation and was surprised by how much moral support my husband received. Many people talked about how they’d rather just keep working than attend meetings with forced interaction and some went as far as calling extroverts “complete social tyrants.”

Is this a thing? Do people really hate icebreakers this much?

(Psh, and they say dog people are extroverted compared to cat people. That clearly doesn’t apply to everyone.)

 

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Girl Farts and Water Faucets

According to a mic.com survey recently covered by Glamour and Women’s Health, most people start farting around their significant others sometime between two and six months of dating. About ten percent let it rip from the start.

Reading this reminded me of something a guy friend posted on Facebook. He had seen a female coworker walk into the bathroom with a newspaper and couldn’t get over the shock. Apparently, it was the most horrifying, unfeminine behavior he had ever witnessed.

I couldn’t help but respond: “You know women have to use the bathroom too, right? We have working bodies just like you.”

“Sure, sure,” he said. “But I picture them floating above toilets with yards of fluffy dresses, totally unconnected from what’s happening below. The newspaper makes it all too real.”

“If it makes you feel any better,” I told him, “Sometimes I used to take a book into the bathroom at work when I didn’t even have to go. I just wanted a break.”

It did make him feel better, which was hilarious since he was hardly some teenage boy living in dreamland. He’d been married to his high school sweetheart for fifteen years… how could he still be so touchy?

But then, who was I to talk? I was so shy when my husband and I were first dating that I’d turn the water on whenever I had to go number one. I didn’t want him hearing my pee sounds.

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When women hold in farts

And if I needed to do anything more elaborate, I’d make him take his dog for a walk: “Your Rottweiler just told me she needs to go for a walk around the neighborhood.”

John, bless him, would actually do it. He’d grab the leash with a big smirk on his face because he knew exactly what was going in but found it cute that I went to such lengths to maintain the princess illusion.

He had no such hangups, transitioning into open-farting and walking around in ratty shorts early on. He’d pop one and I’d scowl at him and he’d tell me it was just because  he felt comfortable around me now.

“A little too comfortable,” I’d grumble.

girlfartsMy friend Steph thought I was crazy. One evening she took my hand and sat me down, looked deep into my eyes and had a serious talk with me about bodily function acceptance.

“You have needs too,” she said. “You have to pee and fart like everybody else and there’s no call for this amount of shame.”

“I know,” I said. “I just think contorting your body while grunting out farts all the time isn’t good for romance.”

She rolled her eyes but needn’t have worried, because pregnancy would be a game changer. Beyond throwing up left and right, you reach a stage during pregnancy where you have to pee every ten minutes, very urgently and often with little warning. There just isn’t enough time for elaborate preparations, so the faucet-starting subterfuge had to quit.

But that wasn’t all.

I remember distinctly the moment it happened. I was nine months pregnant and John and I were standing in the garage when I felt a fart coming on….

I clenched my butt-cheeks as per normal, but began to panic as I realized it wasn’t going to cut it this time. I felt the tingle of a thousand air bubbles straining my lower intestines as my butt cheeks valiantly struggled to hold back the dam…

But it was no good. I had a ten pound bowling ball collapsing my intestines and realized this fart was about to happen, like it or not.

I tried to let it out slowly, hoping it would pass quietly and inconspicuously , but it began audibly rumbling from the gates. It started with a balloon squeal, then as my muscles faltered, it crescendoed into a growling roar.

It was the longest, most horrible fart I ever farted, beating any night alone after cauliflower and beer. I don’t know if it was the pregnancy hormones or if the baby was farting simultaneously, but the thing just kept on going and going, amplified by garage acoustics.

Echoing throughout the garage, I may as well have had a microphone by my butt, and there was no point in pretending anymore. I started nervously laughing in horrified embarrassment and each flex of my stomach muscles popped the fart noise out louder until it sounded like the fart was laughing too.

I swear this thing lasted at least a minute and a half. It was such a ridiculous fart that you wouldn’t think it was real if you saw it on a slapstick comedy. “That’s just stupid,” you’d think.”No authentic farts could possibly go on for that long. Some special effects guy needs to back off the whoopee cushion.”

Well, pregnancy farts do. Somewhere halfway through mine, my husband John broke into hysterics. His delicate wife who wouldn’t even pee without the faucet on was now farting right in front of him like the champion frat boy of alpha epsilon omega. By the time it was over, John was grabbing his stomach and rolling on the ground with tears pouring out.

The weird thing is, I think the Great Fart made John happy. It meant we were really a couple and could finally let down our guard. He was now the guy I trusted enough to fart around, and once you’ve farted like that, there’s just no going back. The princess illusion is over.

Thank god for that.

Not so for my four-year-old, however, who sees no conflict between farting and princessery. She’ll happily run around in elaborate princess dresses and rip farts whenever she feels like it. She’ll giggle while telling us “my butt said ‘thurp'” before going back to her tea party like she’s the fairy unicorn sorceress of Glitterland.

I’m glad she can fart in peace.

 

 

How To Avoid Movie Fights With Your Spouse

My husband and I try to have a date night every week, which we think is important after kids. So most Fridays, John and I drop the little ones off at their grandparents’ house for the evening before going out to dinner and a movie.

Problem is, like many couples, we have really different tastes in movies. He loves superhero, horror, and action flicks, whereas I’m a fan of indie flicks, girl comedies, and painfully slow, dialogue-heavy foreign films. Early on, these differences led to more than a little bad-and-forth sniping.

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My husband’s movies

But we found a simple solution: we just trade off. He picks one week and I pick the next, unless we really want to see something that looks like it might leave the theaters soon (in which case, the other person gets to pick for the next two weeks).

This method saved us from constant bickering and has a few other great advantages:

 

  • We see a broader range of films than we otherwise might

Someone once said “a camel is a horse designed by a committee,” and while this may be unfair to camels, they make a fair point.

When you have to reconcile competing goals to please everyone, it waters down your choices. Since we don’t both have to like the movie, we don’t have to stick to “safe” genres.

  • We get to see what we really want

Since the tradeoff started happening, there’s been a fairly predictable schedule of chick flicks one week, then dick flicks the next.

But no one’s complaining. I may not always be in the mood to watch sarcastic renegades blow stuff up, but I’ll try to rally because I know that next week, my husband will sit through two hours of people giving each other quiet, longing looks without any fuss.

Plus, sometimes you can play the odds in your favor. Movies like Ex Machina and Inception were swing votes (either one us us might pick them), so you can gamble by picking whatever other film you wanted to see.

  • Sometimes you love something you never expected to

scandinavianfilm
My movies

I’ve ended up loving may of my husband’s movie picks, even after being sure I’d hate them. The Iron Man series, for example, and Guardians of the Galaxy, were so much fun that I respected the entire superhero genre more after seeing them.

John was crazy about Life of Pi and Phoenix, both movies he admitted he would’ve never watched if left to his own devices.

Plus, it’s easier to have an open mind about seeing new films when you didn’t throw a fit about seeing them in the first place, because it doesn’t mean admitting you were wrong.

Stepping outside your comfort zone can be a great thing. You get a new perspective. It shakes things up.

And I’m not saying we never get bored or make mild threats (“I swear if you force me to watch The Gift, I will MAKE YOU WATCH ‘THE PERFECT GUY’ THE VERY NEXT WEEK!”), but arguments are minimal.

But sometimes you discover a hidden gem.

This week was Deadpool, so I’m thinking The Maltese Falcon may be on the agenda.

 

 

 

My Husband’s Rebuttal to My Comic Book Article

zombie husband“So I read that article you wrote about me on your blog yesterday,” my husband John said, as he walked in the door from work.

“You read my blog?” I was pleasantly surprised.

“Yeah, I did. I thought maybe I was in the wrong place for a minute, since it was all about zombies and The Walking Dead, but I read it.”

I smiled as he continued.

“I thought it was good. Very funny. But I disagreed with the way you characterized me in the article and almost wrote a rebuttal in the comments section.”

“You totally should have done that,” I told him. “Actually, tell me what you disagreed with and I’ll write a followup article about it that can be your rebuttal. I’ll write the “wife version” and “husband version” of the same argument!”

“I don’t think I was nearly as militant as you made me come off,” John said. “But I’ll need to look at the transcript to point out exactly what happened differently.”

No problem. I was thinking a husband and wife version of an argument could be absolutely hysterical. In my version, he could be farting and mansplaining and turning down the thermostat. In his, I’m slapping him with a frying pan for breathing and talking in that shrill pretend-lady Monty Python voice.

I wanted to get this gold mine down on paper while it was still fresh. So as John was getting ready to go to bed, I reminded him to please pull up the blog article so he could tell me exactly how he remembered things differently.

For those of you who haven’t read the post, here is the transcript:

Me: My friend George was telling me about The Walking Dead comic books. He said that in the comic books, Andrea is more likable and Merle and Daryl don’t exist.

John: Really? That’s interesting.

Me: He said the comics are really good though. I’d like to get them so I can check them out.

John (looking very stern): Now, you understand that comic books are an investment, right? You can’t go leaving them around your bathroom like your lady magazines.

Me: Lady magazines?

John (very seriously): Yes, your lady magazines and your lady books. You just plop them on the back of your toilet and next to the bathtub.

Me: I also have mystery novels in there.

John (sighing): Well, it’s unacceptable to treat comic books this way. Comic books are investment pieces that need to be kept in dust jackets. You have to be careful when you turn the pages and you can’t go setting your coffee cups on them. Understand?

Me: Yeah “dad,” I hear what you’re saying. You don’t want me to jack up the comic books like I do all my lady mags.

John: Or set your coffee cups down on them.

Me: Because comic books are mature investments for serious grown-ups.

John: Exactly.

Me: If we get a Michonne action figure, can I take her out of the box and play with her?

John: You need to be serious about this.

Me: Yes, because this is a very serious discussion about the importance of comic book integrity.

passive voiceAnd here is a transcript of the discussion we had tonight, where John corrects how he came off in my version.

Me: So how do you think things happened differently? What do you disagree with?

John: Well, here’s one. You said I was “looking very stern.” I don’t think I looked very stern at the time.

Me: No? How do you believe you looked?

John: I believed I looked… “caring.” I cared deeply about the mutual investment we were considering. Loving, even.

Me: Okay, you believe you “looked caring.” What else?

John (continuing to read): A lot of this seems totally verbatim. It’s kinda scary, actually.

Me: You should be afraid. Women, especially wives, are very good at remembering exactly what you said during an argument.

John: This feels shorter than the actual discussion.

Me: I may have edited for clarity, but I think I kept the gist of everything important we said.

John: No, you left stuff out.

Me: What did I leave out?

John: You left out the part where I explained that comic books should be kept in dust jackets because they increase in monetary value over a period of time, and that keeping them in good condition is vital to maintaining their monetary value as a mutual investment.

Me: And you believe that including this information would have made you come off as less militant?

John: Well, it shows more of my reasoning for helping you understand why comic books need to be taken care of. I was afraid that you would leave them everywhere and the kids would walk up and tear pages out of them and then they wouldn’t be worth as much. And coffee cups, I really didn’t want you setting your coffee mugs down on them.

Me: Okay, so if I include that information, you’ll be more comfortable with your portrayal?

John: Yes.

Done and done.

My Husband Lectures Me About Comic Books

redneckMy husband and I love watching  The Walking Dead together. He couldn’t be happier that I’ve finally gotten on board the zombie bandwagon, since he’s been an aficionado and self-proclaimed expert for years.

I used to think he was crazy every time we were walking down the street and he would point out why some random building would make a great (or terrible) base camp for the zombie apocalypse.

“WHOA, look at that!” he would say, all excited, “That place has no low windows, a roof outlet, and a big iron fence surrounding the place. That’s totally where we need to go after the zombie apocalypse hits!”

Umm, okay. I had no idea how a grown-ass man could spend so much time planning against monster attacks, but I figured he had enough other good qualities to keep around. Plus, he might come in handy if the zombie apocalypse hits.

He had hassled me into watching all kinds of zombie movies,  certain that with enough exposure, I would  understand his vigilance. I would occasionally humor him (because I want to watch stuff like Downton Abbey without resistance), but would be bored the entire time.

For one thing, monsters aren’t real, so I don’t understand devoting loads of mental energy and strategic planning on them. For another, monsters are scary and I end up having to sleep with the lights on.

For over a year, he kept nagging me to try The Walking Dead, but I was absolutely sure I wouldn’t like it. Finally one night, after we wrapped up Breaking Bad, I agreed to give it a go. It went down like this.

John: So now that Breaking Bad is over, you want to try Walking Dead?

Me: Umm. Didn’t we have some other show we were interested in seeing?

John: No, we’ve watched all the shows we wanted to see. You want to just try an episode or two?

Me (sighing deeply while rolling my eyes): Uh… FINE. But if I hate it, I don’t watch to have to watch the whole series.

I sat through a few episodes (despite my terrible attitude) and by the third, I was absolutely hooked. I LOVE this show.

Maybe it’s the great story development, maybe it’s the complex moral dilemmas, or maybe it’s the fact that TWD actually includes well-written, bad-ass female characters, but I found myself not only anxiously awaiting every next episode, but totally sucked into the whole zombie mythology.
shaneI would have long discussions with friends (sometimes involving ridiculously-long Facebook comment threads) where we would dissect all the choices and motivations of TWD characters. We shared quiz results about which WD character we’re supposed to be. We talked about how Rick should be planning better for the Governor’s imminent attack on the prison.

One time, we were discussing Andrea’s gaping character flaws when my buddy George told me how she was a much more sympathetic character in the original comic book series. He told me about a few changes they made in the television show (like the invention of Daryl and Merle) and recommended reading the comic books if I ever had the chance.

Hmm, that sounded like a great idea. I couldn’t get enough of The Walking Dead and this would open up a whole new dimension. So I told John that I wanted to get the comic books. The discussion went like this…

Me: My friend George was telling me about The Walking Dead comic books. He said that in the comic books, Andrea is more likable and Merle and Daryl don’t exist.

John: Really? That’s interesting.

Me: He said the comics are really good though. I’d like to get them so I can check them out.

John (looking very stern): Now, you understand that comic books are an investment, right? You can’t go leaving them around your bathroom like your lady magazines.

Me: Lady magazines?

John (very seriously): Yes, your lady magazines and your lady books. You just plop them on the back of your toilet and next to the bathtub.

Me: I also have mystery novels in there.

John (sighing): Well, it’s unacceptable to treat comic books this way. Comic books are investment pieces that need to be kept in dust jackets. You have to be careful when you turn the pages and you can’t go setting your coffee cups on them. Understand?

Me: Yeah “dad,” I hear what you’re saying. You don’t want me to jack up the comic books like I do all my lady mags.

John: Or set your coffee cups down on them.

Me: Because comic books are mature investments for serious grown-ups.

John: Exactly.

Me: If we get a Michonne action figure, can I take her out of the box and play with her?

John: You need to be serious about this.

Me: Yes, because this is a very serious discussion about the importance of comic book integrity.

My husband is actually lecturing me about messing up my toys.