When You Can’t Really Say No-

Text from the Husband on discussing vacation plans:

Husband: Can we stop by nephew’s camp?  It’s on way- maybe a quick lunch?

Me:

It is not your imagination.  There really is nothing typed.  Because I didn’t respond.  Because this isn’t really “asking” me something. this is telling me something.  This is telling me something the Husband knows I don’t want to do, but really, how bad a person am I if I say no?

So before you hand me a verdict on “guilty”- lets really look at my case:

  1. I am a strong believer in yearly family vacation (it is one thing my parents did that I thought was a great experience)
  2. Family trip does not need to be long, expensive or exotic
  3. Family trip includes only members of the immediate family.
  4. We have a rule that unless a trip is done to specifically see a friend or family member, we do not visit anyone.  We came up with this rule while prepping for a trip to California and realized that we had more friends/family there than we had days on the trip.  To have seen everyone would have been unrealistic, and we didn’t want to choose one person over another.
  5. We are not a spontaneous lot- we’re those irksome planner types.  I have a pretty solid idea of what we will be doing on each day of the trip.
  6. This trip involves multiple destinations.  When planning out the trip, I have taken into consideration driving distances and scheduled activities.
  7. On the day we are driving to destination D (supposedly near the camp) we will have been on a college tour that morning.  I know we will not be in the vicinity of the camp till past lunch.
  8. The camp is not really “on the way”- it is at least an hour west from the road we need to be on- putting us way off schedule by about 4 hours (if you can’t tell- I don’t like to be off schedule)
  9. My nephews are 8 and 12.  They are at a camp that they love.  When we do see them in real life, it is from behind there cell phones because in the real world- apps rule relatives drool.  Seriously, do they really want to leave, I don’t know swimming and fun, to spend an hour with Uncle Dufus and Aunt Sarcasm?  When they never actually talk to us anyway?
  10. On the day we leave destination D, we are heading to Destination E, and shockingly, another college visit- which has a scheduled time.  It is not logical to try and visit them.
  11. I know the Husband does not really care about visiting the boys.  I know it is his sister goading him- guilting him into not “caring about the family” (but wait- there are at least 15 blogs in that relationship- so I’m stopping at that)
  12. I have literally been planning this trip for 4 months.  (I don’t mean every day- I mean in general)- why was this question posed 3 days before departure?

As of right now- I don’t know what we’re doing.  I don’t like that the Husband has put me in this position, and I have told him that. (People in relationships – think about what you are asking of your partner, and always tell your partner when you are annoyed and what you are annoyed at- this is relationship 101)

So: What’s the verdict?

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A Tale of Two Temperatures: A play in one act

The Setting: Booth in a deli in New York City, 2017

The Players: Mother in Law, Waiter, Son, Daughter in Law

Waiter approaches table, notepad in hand:

Waiter:  Can I get you something to drink?

Mother in Law:  Do you have diet black cherry soda?

Waiter:  Yes.

Mother in Law: In the can?

Waiter: Yes

Mother:  Is the can cold?

Waiter: Yes

Mother in Law: Very cold?  Because I don’t like ice.  I don’t want the soda to be made cold because of ice.  I only want it if its a very cold can.

Waiter:  Yes.  Very cold can.

Waiter begins to walk away

Mother in Law: And make sure you bring me a cup of ice.

Waiter returns with soda, ice, and complimentary bowls of cole slaw and pickles, and quickly leaves.

  Mother in law touches all six pickles in bowl.  Takes one and bites it.

Mother in Law: Blah.  These pickles are warm.  Who serves warm pickles.  Pickles are supposed to be cold.

Son: They always serve them like that.

Mother in law picks up pickle and hands it to son

Mother in law:  That is NOT how a pickle is supposed to feel.

In what seems like 3 hours, but in reality is only 5 minutes, waiter returns with plate of stuffed derma

Mother in law:  Can you bring us a bowl of cold pickles.  Cold.  Like from the refrigerator.  Cold.

Waiter takes bowl of apparently ill tempered pickles.

Mother in Law:  Is the derma hot?  Derma has to be hot.

Son:  Ma, there’s steam coming off it.

Mother in Law:  Fine.  If you’re sure it’s hot enough.

After another eternity seeming 5 minutes, waiter returns with corned beef, pastrami and hopefully cold pickles.  He places food and sprints from table, clearly shattering the table to kitchen speed record

Mother in law touches all the pickles.  But doesn’t take any.

Mother in law: Cold pickles.  But is the pastrami warm?  You know how I like my pastrami warm.

Mother in law rises to use rest room.  Waiter chooses that moment to bus table, taking with him a touched but uneaten bowl of cold pickles.

The End

 

 

 

 

Screwed….

It’s been an eventful 12 hours for me.  The Husband got home from the Dominican Republic last night at about 9.  My daughter got home about the same time from her pre-community service mani/pedi.  Things from husbands trip are literally all over the house.   Daughters things are also in disarray as she finished up packing for her trip.  Her trip which required me to wake up at 2:15.  AM. Because we had to be at the airport at 4.  AM.  And since this is the city that never sleeps, you must give yourself an hour to drive 15 miles.  (FYI- we reached JFK from Manhattan in a record 22 minutes.  Then spent 45 minutes searching for caffeine and tried to bribe retail doughnut establishment into opening early but stale cough drop and forever stamp not enticing enough)  But anyway.  I’m tired and cranky and house is a mess and there is a bag of moldy laundry fresh from Caribbean.

Now look at my featured image.  See that screw?  That lonely screw that looks like its missing its friends?  I found that under the dining room table.  Obviously I looked under the table- but no screws were missing.  I looked under the chairs, turned them over, but alas- everything was intact.   So where does the screw belong?  Who knows.  You see, we share our abode with a cat.  A cat who sees things on the ground and bats them around.  So the screw could literally belong to any piece of furniture in the house.  From any room. I’ve been wandering around my small, sparsely furnished apartment in search of the hole where this screw belongs.  And I can’t find it.

But never fear.  I have a strong premonition that tonight, we will find out where the screw resides.  You see, my Mother in law is coming over tonight- visiting from Florida.  I’m sure she will sit on, or put something on, whatever this screw belongs to.

Please tune in tomorrow for the continuation……

Dear Husband….

The Husband has spent the past few days in the Caribbean, celebrating the 50th birthdays of four of his friends.  I’m going to allow you a rare glimpse into our personal lives by sharing our email correspondence.

TO: Husband

FROM: Wife

Hi!  Hope you are having a great time.  It has not been same around here without you.

Going to sleep was different- it was funny sleeping under the covers- I missed playing tug of war with them in middle of night.  I think I figured out your secret though….after you pull them you roll on top of them so I can’t possibly dislodge you….But the jig is up- expect a better comforter grabbing competitor when you get back!!!! LOL

It was also odd not to be wakened by your sexy voice, asking…”Are you eating breakfast?  What’s for breakfast?  Do we have bananas?”  And as you’re eating breakfast, the age old question…”What’s for lunch?  And have you thought about what you’re ordering for dinner tonight?  Maybe we should pull up the menu so we can plan a food strategy….”  And speaking of food- the dog actually ate all her food….she never does that when you’re around……

It was lonely when I was doing a face mask and a hair mask.  No one entered the bathroom saying…”Ooh- what’s that brown stuff on your face?  Does that stuff really work on your hair?  Is this really relaxing for you?  Have you thought about breakfast tomorrow?”  I needed to turn up the music to drown out my sorrow….

TTYL

TO:  Wife

FROM: Husband

All good.  Went snorkeling today.  I wasn’t allowed to dive for some reason.   Food is awesome.  All inclusive and they always have a food spot open.  Amazing. Oh well.  BTW- did I pack underwear?  FYI- Told you that you can’t survive without me.

TO: Husband

FROM: Wife

Did you check outside pocket of suitcase?

TO: Wife

FROM: Husband

Got it.  Thanks.  I’ll be home soon!  Miss me?

 

 

It All Started with Playboy

Spoiler alert.  This is not about porn, nor is it written in the style that I refer to as humor-  In rare form- I am actually seeking input.  

A friend of mine received a subscription to Playboy.  It was addressed to Mrs. John Doe.  She jokingly told my friends and me about this and we had a good laugh.

Except I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this.  And not as a joke.

Wisdom and insight are the two most valuable things that come along with wonky eyesight and achy joints.  I think of myself as someone who is fairly intuitive- I get a feeling, and I’m usually right.  I believe this gift (and curse) comes from watching many years of Columbo and Monk.  And for the past few months, by internal radar has been pinging.  Something about this subscription seems off (apart from the obvious).

Why did she receive a fully paid subscription?

A joke?  She is very mannerly and ladylike.  If this was a joke, it would be especially cruel given the type of persona she exhibits.

A free magazine subscription?  While I’ve received Good Housekeeping for free, I can’t imagine Playboy being a” just wait, there’s more” addition to something once purchased.

A mistake? Well- someone paid for it.  That requires a credit card.

Her husband ordered it? Perhaps.  But who pays for porn anymore?  Isn’t that why the internet was invented?  Free porn?

And the way the subscription was addressed: Mrs. John Doe– that’s the part that was irking me.

Why did the address label say this?

So of course, being the trusting soul that I am, I came to the conclusion:

Her husband is having an affair.  Probably long term.  He told the affairee that he would leave his wife once their youngest went off to college.  September came, and he stayed with his wife.  The subscription started in December.  This is her way of letting the wife know that something is amiss.

And yes.  I have been struggling with this since December.  I am basing everything on a feeling.  So yes, part of me is a bit obsessive and crazy (a big part)….but still…..

And to answer the next question swirling around in your head- do I trust the husband? And my answer is no.  I’ve always wondered if he had a roving eye.  But to be fair, she is my best friend from college, and though we communicate several times a week, I don’t see them that often.  I’m just basing this on a feeling- the fact that he fits a profile in my head of a guy who would cheat.

I have not told my friend these suspicions.  Obviously- I have absolutely no proof.  I could be wrong (though that happens so rarely).  And yet…….

So does one’s spidey sense get stronger with age?  It there something beyond madness to my thinking?  Am I crazy? (I mean about this one specific thing- we don’t have to do an entire personality profile)  Or do I just need another hobby?

The Tale of a Husband Packing- a play in 1 act

The Setting:  A living room in NYC

The Players: A Husband and Wife (for this performance, played by me and the Husband)

The Premise:  Husband is packing for a weekend jaunt with his posse, four of whom turn 50 this year.

H: Which suitcase should I use?  Medium or small?

W:  Small

H: But the stuff doesn’t fit in the small.

W: OK.  Use the medium.

H: How much underwear should I bring?

W: One for every day plus an emergency pair.  

H: Should I bring linen pants?

W: Are there any restaurants with dress code?

H: How would I know? (husband is cluelessly throwing clothes into suitcase-in hope that wife will take pity on him and help)

H: Do you know where my dive card is?

W: Is it in your dive bag?

H:  Why would my dive card be in my dive bag?

W: OK.  Check your ski bag.

H: Not funny.  I can’t scuba without my dive card.

(Wife stands up, looks in pocket of dive bag.  Amazingly finds dive card, log book and 15$ Belize currency)

W: Voila.

(Husband is holding mask and breathing tube, looking at them quizzically.)

H:  Do you know how to connect the tube to the mask?

(wife takes the apparatus from husband)

W: Is your insurance paid up?

H: What?

(wife correctly puts mask thing together)

W: Nothing.  Here you go.

H: Cool.  I didn’t realize you had to take that piece out and slide it in there.  How did you know that?

(husband continues to throw random sporting things in suitcase)

H: Should I pack my inhaler or carry on?

W: I think you should carry on.  You know, if you have trouble breathing while you’re mid air and all.

(husband is browsing through box of travel size toiletries)

H: What’s the difference between facial moisturizer and facial cleanser?

W: You have two masters degrees, right?

H: What?

W: You clean your face with cleanser, and moisturize with moisturizer.

H: Do I use moisturizer?

W: Bring it in case you get sun or wind burn.

H: So I use it after the cleanser?

(husband puts toiletry bag in suitcase.  struggles with closing suitcase)

H: I hate the zipper on this suitcase.  It’s in such an awkward spot.

W: I promise you- all suitcases have zippers in pretty much the same way 

(wife effortlessly zips suitcase)

H: Have you seen my headphones?

W: Gym bag?

Husband is finally packed- suitcase, tennis racket and tote by front door.

H: How are you going to survive without me?

THE END

 

 

Love is Easy- Marriage is Hard

Today is my anniversary.  Sixteen years ago the husband and I stood under a flower strewn gazebo in a non-descript hotel in Vegas and exchanged vows.  And what a ride it has been.  This is not my first rodeo- I was previously married- but that obviously didn’t end well, so here’s some things I have garnered from my life experiences.  These are totally my opinions – not researched or scientific by any means.  And this is really not advice- it’s my thought and musings on the subject of marriage.

1) All marriage’s are different.  Do not judge anyone else’s union.  (To be clear, I am not talking about marriages that are marred by any kind of abuse- that is a subject I am not qualified, nor wish, to discuss) Every marriage is made up of two distinct individuals- how they choose to merge the two halves is entirely their business.  Do not judge. Do not give unsolicited advice.

2) Remember- you are married to an individual before all else.  Yes- there are always outside influences, but make sure you consider what is best for you and your spouse. (My friends Mother has been hinting that she wants to move in with my friend and her husband.  She loves her Mother, but knows there is no way her 28 year marriage could survive that)

3) When making decisions, compromise is always a good path to follow.  But sometimes, one person has to have their choice, even is their partner doesn’t entirely agree.  If no one ever gets exactly what they want, both people are going to be continually dissatisfied.  How do you think your life plays out if you feel like you compromised on every decision?

4) Choose your battles.  Is it really worth arguing about a duvet cover?  Stick to the things that are truly important to you.

5) It’s OK to go to bed angry.  Yes- I said it.  All fights can’t be fixed with an 11pm deadline.  Sometimes you need to think about something.  Sometimes you need to cool off.

6) Life is not tit for tat.  Things are not always fair.  I don’t mean that each half shouldn’t pull their weight in a relationship. Both partners must assume responsibility for all aspects are their lives- but sometimes one person has to take the lead.  If you’re tallying up hours worked, how strong is your relationship anyway?  Is that how you want to spend your time- “Hey- you only unloaded the dishwasher twice last week.  You owe me 1 1/2 unloads.

7) If you’re angry, consider taking a time out.  Five minutes in the corner could stop you from saying things you will regret the moment they come out.

8) Being a parent is stressful and hard.  Having children will not save a marriage in trouble.

9) Money is nice, and one needs it for basic survival- but just because you have money doesn’t insure happiness or a successful marriage.  It will insure a long and complicated divorce though.

10) Don’t compare your spouse to anyone else.  Ever.

11) In-laws.  I could write a book.  They are harder and more stressful than children.

As to my anniversary, the Husband and I will be going out to dinner.  Not something fancy- we will be getting cheeseburgers at a place I’ve wanted to try.  I think cheeseburgers are the best thing ever invented, and my goal is to try as many as possible over the course of my life.  This is romantic to me.  This  is special.  To me and the husband.  Others would disagree.

We will not be exchanging gifts.  I don’t need jewelry or an expensive trinket to mark the day.  I would rather allocate the funds to experiences- things that we can do throughout the year.  Instead of a pricey piece of jewelry, I would rather go to the theater, or take a couples cooking class, or do something that creates a memory.  Memories are more important to me.

It’s nice to highlight a special day.  But you need to create other special days in your married life.  Since our last anniversary, I remember our trying Sri Lankan food for the first time, and loving it.  I remember concert and plays.    Painting class and wine tasting.  Backgammon games and dart games.  Walks around Manhattan looking for wave sculptures.  Staring at sunsets.  And all sorts of other things.  Because being married means trying to make every day count- giving it your all.  Because being married takes work.  Because loving someone is easy- but living with them every single day, taking the good and the bad is hard.  And anything worthwhile is hard.