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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The more things change, the more they stay the same

In light of all the yelling, we got this phone system with handsets that allow you to intercom between rooms.

Via intercom:

Me: Honey, what are you doing?

Him: Making myself some lunch...

Me: Can you make me a sandwich too?

Him: How did you know I was making a sandwich?

Me: I can see you from the family room. It's only 15 feet away.

Him: I knew I would regret these phones.

3 minutes later....

Me: (seeing he is just watching the game in the kitchen, and not making my sandwich) Where do we stand on the sandwich?

Him: (drops head in defeat and exhales loudly) (does not respond)

Me: (Yelling to him without using the intercom) What are you doing in there?

Him: Just waiting for it to come around full circle.

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Bank

You will need the following information to form an opinion:

I do not go to the bank. I have not stepped foot inside our bank since we moved in together in December 2003. I do not balance a checkbook or physically write bills. I do not go to the ATM machine. When I need money, I simply ask my husband for it. When I get my check, I hand it over to him. And I have a general idea of how much money we have at any given time. Do you see what I am saying?

I'm saying, I don't want to know how he makes the sausage, I just want to eat it.(That may have been a bad analogy).

On Friday, I got paid. On Saturday morning we were getting up early to get a home pregnancy test (this is a long story, but I am not pregnant). My husband told me that on the way, he wanted to stop and deposit my paycheck in the bank. Said check was on our entryway table. We both looked at it and discussed the check in detail because it was the first check to reflect my yearly raise. Then we got our respective things together, and drove to the bank.

When we got into the bank, the following conversation took place in the presence of two bank tellers, and a girl scout selling cookies. I am assuming the girl scout was approximately 9 years old.

(in front of the teller window)

Me: (Staring blankly at him)

Him: (Staring blankly at me)

Teller: Can I help you?

Him: Do you have the check?

Me: No. (still with the blank look)

Him: You didn't bring the check?

Me: No. Did you?

Him: No. You had it.

Me: No, I just pointed to it, I never picked it up.

Teller: Do you live far?

Both of us: (blank stares) No.

Him: Let's go get it.

Me: Alright. Do you want some girl scout cookies first?

Him: I am going to stay and get girl scout cookies, as punishment, you should walk home and get the check.

Me: You are scaring this little Girl Scout.

I was just along for the ride. I have no responsibility for bringing that check. The bank is not my gig...I'm was just there for the cookies.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Silence of the Lambs

I avoid going down into our basement at all costs. It is dark and damp down there and generally very "Silence of the Lambs." I swear one time I was down there and I heard someone say "it rubs the lotion..."

Our laundry is in said basement. My husband (for a myriad of reasons, the least of which is my irrational fear of the basement) does the laundry. Last night he went down there to switch the loads and after several minutes of loud banging and crashes, I called down to him.


Him: (silence, banging stops, no response).

Another woman would likely have become worried and gotten up out of her Pottery Barn leather club chair, muted American Idol, and ventured down into the basement to see if he was okay. I just shrugged and unmuted the TV as the banging resumed.

How could I be so callous, some would ask. Those people would be idiots. My husband was fine. He just hates when I yell inside the house. According to my husband, every time I have even the slightest thing to say to him (such as "are you okay?) I should walk up 2 or 3 flights of stairs and politely inquire in person. So when I yell, he simply refuses to respond. Yes, Yes...I know it is extremely annoying.

So when he comes upstairs:

Me: Don't ignore me, it's rude

Him: It's rude to yell

Me: There are going to be times when I yell

Him: Then there are going to be times when I don't respond

Me: Unacceptable

Him: I agree

Me: (explode into a ball of firey frustration and need to control murderous impulses)

Now, no one is saying it isn't rude to carry on a conversation yelling between rooms. OF COURSE I KNOW THAT IS RUDE! That is not what I am talking about. I am talking about simply calling out to someone in another part of the house for a quick one sentence exchange. Does he not understand this? THE FRUSTRATION!

Me: We will have to agree to disagree.

Him: It seems so

Me: I will call you until you answer

Him: I think you underestimate the bounds of my silence

Me: I think you underestimate my ability to yell

Him: Human Kind could not begin to estimate the bounds of your vocal ability. It is scientifically impossible to measure.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Goiter

Not withstanding the baby post from a few weeks back, my husband and I are starting to plan for the day where we will pass on our clearly superior genetic makeup to the next generation. In short, we are planning on having a baby sometime in the near future.
In an amazing turnaround that has surprised the very forces of the universe and upset Karma itself, we broke from our usual fly by the seat of your pants tradition and actually decided to try and stay ahead of the curve on this one. Which means, I made a doctor's appointment in early January to make sure all systems were a go and I was physically healthy and ready to weild the awesome power of creating life. We decided to do a little preliminary preparation. Something about vitamins and not drinking...I'm not sure. I'm not sure because my doctor went compeletly batshit and decided to run all these crazy tests on me because of the excess poundage I have been sporting in the last few months. So we never actually got to the "we're getting ready to have a baby" talk. It went like this:

I walked into the doctor's office and the nurse weighed me. Apparently I have gained over 30 lbs in a little over 3 months. Ummm...yeah. Did I mention that I am five feet tall, and 30 lbs on my frame essentially means I roll from place to place now? Then I talk to the doctor:

Doctor: Didn't you think that this weight gain was not normal? Didn't you notice anything?
Me: Not really, I...
Doctor: Didn't your husband notice?
Me: (thinking if I could have possibly heard him right?) WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?
Doctor: Ummmmm....(moving to another topic)

If he didn't cut me off I would have told him that I had noticed I gained weight, but I chalked it up to the newlywed weight gain people talk about. And I was concerned, but I just figured I start running and dieting after the holidays were over...Now let me say that my doctor is actually very nice. Clearly he made a mistake, and he was actually apologetic. And given my complete change in appearance, the question was fairly warranted. But I digress....
So he starts the examination and as he does he tells me it is likely my thyroid. Very common, not a big deal, easily correctable, no need to get upset...yadda yadda yadda...and by the way, I think you have a GOITER, so we're going to need to get an ultrasound of that to rule out anything dangerous like cancer.
Now what is important to know about me is that when I am stressed, I mean really stressed and scared, I manifest this by talking very fast, giggling uncontrollably and making stupid jokes. So I start on my nervous speil "A goiter? My great aunt Myrtle had a goiter" "I can't wait to tell my husband, a goiter is so attractive, I'm going to seduce him with my goiter tonight"...and on and on.
Approximately 3 minutes after telling me I have a goiter, this jackass takes my blood pressure and it is sky high. He expresses concern, and I reply "Dude, you just told me I have a goiter, do you think that it could be a wacked reading?" He agrees. Then he tells me that he felt that my heart rate was too high and wanted to give me an EKG. RIGHT THEN AND THERE.
So I am officially freaking out at this point. I had gone to the appointment by myself before work, just a casual doctor's visit to get some prenatal vitamins. Now I'm hooked up to an EKG and this guy wants me to go across the street to the hospital for an ultrasound immediately following my appointment. Oh, and by the way, we want to do some blood work before you leave too...
So I continue with my self effacing jokes and panicky fast talk. They do the EKG, they take the blood, and now he is telling me where to go for the ultrasound.

Doctor: Just go in the left entrance and up to the 4th floor....
Me: You know what? I can't. I can't go do this now. I need to talk to my husband. I need to talk to him before I do this. I can't do it now. Do I have to do this right now? I mean, I can't do this without at least telling my husband. He has no idea this is going on right now. I need to talk to him. Just let me talk to my husband tonight and I will call you back tomorrow, okay?
Doctor: I am concerned about the Goiter...
Me: Okay, stop saying Goiter. Stop calling it that. I am 30 years old. I do not have a Goiter. I mean, a Goiter? Please! My neighbor's 100 year old grandmother has a goiter. I do not have a goiter. Stop saying that.
Doctor: Okaaaaay....
Me: I just need a day here. This is all moving a little fast. I need to talk to my husband before I just up and get an ultrasound.
Doctor: Alright. You seem nervous. Why don't you tell me when the soonest you can do this will be, and we will set it up. Why don't we do it that way. It isn't invasive...
Me: Next Wednesday, I can do it next Wednesday before work(my mom was flying in that night and staying until Tuesday morning).

So I end up leaving in a whirlwind rush like the Road Runner. And then immediatlely upon leaving and getting out into the air, I, Newlywifed, who made a huge deal about having to talk to her husband about this, who insisted on speaking with her soul mate/life partner/man of my dreams/co borrower on the mortgage/reason for living, about this crazy diagnosis....dug through my purse frantically for my cell phone....

And called my sister in law, the nurse.

Friday, January 20, 2006

GOD BLESS MY HUSBAND...Oh, and the US of A too...

Does anyone know where I can pick up a medal? A first place ribbon? Something that denotes accomplishment and reward? Something that says "YOU ARE A ROCKSTAR HERO?"

Because my husband deserves something.

My parents have been in town. And by "in town", I mean in our guest room. Let me say up front that we love my parents. That my parents are great, we miss them alot, and are genuinely happy when they visit. Here's the problem. They came separately on two consecutive weekends.

No, my parents are not divorced, and have been married for over 35 years. Circumstances dictated that they couldn't both make it on the same weekend, and we wanted to see them both, and they wanted to see TWO CONSECUTIVE WEEKENDS PEOPLE!!!

Yes. My mom was here from Thursday through Monday, and my dad came 4 days later on Friday and stayed until Tuesday. That's a whole lotta parents.

Like I have said before, when you get married, you become part of the fabric of another family. And each family has it's own way of doing things. Things which you may never understand, no having grown up with them.

For example. My husband's parents are extremely respectful of personal space. They have a key to our place, and would never think to just stop without calling first. And when they are over, they don't help themselves in our house without asking first. If my MIL wants a glass of wine, she asks me for it.

Cut to my mother. She arrived on Thursday night, and I told her we were going to work on Friday and to make herself comfortable. I said we would leave the car for her and give her directions to various places she may need to go (coffee shop, bookstore etc.). At 7:30 am the next morning, my husband was looking out our bedroom window as we were getting ready to go to work and saw our car pulling out of the driveway. SHE TOOK THE CAR WITHOUT TELLING US WHILE WE WERE STILL HOME! Never suspecting that she may leave the house at 7:30 am, I had left my briefcase in the backseat of the car. I needed that brief case! WHAT THE?

When we got home from work she gave me a few telephone messages. THE WOMAN ANSWERED OUR PHONE. When I asked why, she actually looked at me like "what do you mean why? It was ringing". It would never occur to her to not have answered the phone. She actually said, "I thought it might be for me". WHAT THE?

Moving on to my dad...Ok, he doesn't really over step his boundaries at all, he doesn't even like to give his opinion when asked really. But my dad owns a construction company. He builds skyscrapers in Boston. The man knows how to build things. So he put in a window seat under our dining room window. It is beautiful. I love it. And here is where the aforementioned medal for my husband comes in.

My husband is the opposite of my dad. He has never handled a power tool in his life. So when my dad comes with all of his crazy professional grade nail guns, table saws, jigsaws, and auto lazer levels, my husband would prefer to stay out of the way of harm. The funny part is, my dad would prefer that my husband did stay out of harm (and his) way so that he could move quicker. But my dad loves my husband, and thinks that my husband wants to learn. And my husband loves my dad, so thinks that my dad wants to teach. So my dad is patient and explains everything along the way and my husband lives in fear of his life for the length of the project.

My dad also "lets" or "forces" depending on whose viewpoint you are looking at it from, my husband to use all the power tools. I ran around like crazy all weekend (between cleaning up from whatever meal I had just prepared) trying to interject "be did you tell him that saw will kick back on him when he turns it on?" or "Dad, did you show him how to switch the safety on the nail gun so he doesn't shoot himself?" and "Dad, explain to him about the electrical circuit before you let him stick the pliers into the socket"...

While I sat thinking that my husband deserved a medal for just surviving my parents, it occurred to me that it is quite a miraculous event that I survived my parents. After all, I had to learn to use the table saw when I was eight.

*note: The night my dad left, after handling all manner of deadly power tools, my husband sliced his finger badly on a steak knife while washing the dishes. What are the chances. I mean, COME ON!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Pre Cana

Before we were allowed to get married in the Catholic Church, we had to go through Pre Cana, which I believe is latin for "completely useless and irrelevant torture session directed by couples who share way too much information." You could go every week for six weeks or for a single weekend, all weekend. We elected to do the weekend.

We will never know if we made the right decision, but I can say that it pushed me to the emotional brink of where no human should have to go. I can only imagine that the Marine Corps toture resistance training includes a weekend for all soldiers to endure this. Because, by God, if you can endure Pre Cana, you can endure almost anything.

In defense of Pre Cana, we were predisposed to misery. I was in the throes of the flu and a 103 degree fever. My husband was just getting over it. I don't remember the last time I was that sick. More importantly, we waited too long to sign up so were attending the last class offered before our wedding date...over 2 hours away from where we lived, in hicksville. We planned to just white knuckle our way through...just live through it...How bad could it be right?

Oh. My. God. (no pun intended).

First, we left right from work. We were told that if you were late, you may not receive credit, and we needed to get credit, so we drove down there at break neck speeds, defying all laws of traffic, safety and common decency. We raced into the High School Gymnasium still dressed in our work suits, to join the cast of Deliverance who were apparently taking the class with us. Silence befell the room as they all turned to look at the "big city couple". Not to mention that at 29 and 32, we were the oldest couple there in a noticeable way.

Super. Great First Impression.

We settled into our seats, and I unpacked my Halls cough drops, DayQuill, Kleenex, orange juice and various other cold medications...then I promptly started crying and clinging to my husband. I had a fever, I wasn't feeling well, and I am not good in situations where I don't know another soul but am expected to interact with them on a personal level. My husband, after a long week at work, and equally stressed out over the likeness the other couples had to the cast of Deliverance, was not particularly comforting at that point. Things were about to get worse....

We were told up front how this would all go down. There were four married couples running this workshop and each would give a presentation on a topic relevant to marraige. Following each presentation, the men and women would split up and each person would sit alone and fill out a worksheet relating to the presentation topic. You would then find your partner go through the form with him or her. Then we would go to discussion groups, made up of 5 couples each, to talk in greater detail about the topic.

Over My Dead Body.

So the first married couple goes. Their topic is communication in conflict. Fine. We listen as they divulge to a room of 100 engaged strangers their most intimate conflicts and the way they choose to handle them through communication. Apparently Tim is insecure over Pam making more money. Also, Pam is extremely fat, which if you ask me, is part of Tim's problem. Pam doesn't like that Tim's sex drive has faded after the kids. Which I feel bolsters my 'Pam's weight' theory even futher.

I don't like that Pam is telling me anything about Tim's sex drive. But how do I communicate this in a Christian way?

Finally the madness stops, my ears cease to bleed, and we break up into separate rooms. This means that I have to unglue myself from my husband in my needy, fever induced haze. I am not ok with this but he simply prys me loose and walks away. While I would die rather than be separated in this situation, he appears not to want to pick this battle with the organizers. Fine. I slump off to a classroom and fill out the form. If by filling out the form you mean writing 'I hate Pre Cana' over and over.

Here is where it gets freaky. Stay with me people. We get back together, and my husband attempts to console me from my obvious state of trauma...but less than 5 minutes later, we are off to our 'discussion group'. Here is our group:

Couple #1 is in their very early 20's and has been dating for a scant 2 years. When asked if there are any boundaries they have set when communicating during an argument, she informs us that they have a rule prohibiting her from throwing things at his head. Not a rule prohibiting her from throwing, she is allowed to throw things, I mean COME ON, a girl's gotta express herself! She just can't throw things at his head. Also, during the workshop on Children, she starts crying for no apparent reason and runs from the room. They never return...I wonder silently if they still get credit (I can cry just as easily as the next guy if that's what it takes).

Couple #2 is large. I mean tall and just big in general. They too are in their early 20's. They grew up living next door to eachother their entire lives. He has loved her since she was 5. This would make a great movie with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Sadly these two look more like Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold and it is creepy rather than sweet. Later he will yell out "hell yeah" when asked if sex is a main priority in a marital relationship.

Couple #3 is actually closer to our age at 26 and 27. We actually like couple #3 until in a later discussion group, he tells everyone that his family is dysfunctional, he was abused by his parents and fears having children of his own. He stops short of telling us that he cries during sex, but barely. Following this way too personal revelation, we get trapped sitting with them during an extremely awkward lunch break.

Couple #4. I have saved the best for last. Couple #4 is as out of place as we are, but in the opposite direction. They are straight outta Compton yo. She is wearing a velour track suit a la Kevin Federline, and he is wearing a Rock-a-wear track suit. She is at leat 400lbs, and he is a buck twenty five soaking wet with bricks in each hand. They have two kids already and just want to make it legal before the third arrives. Why they felt the need to come to Pre Cana is beyond me, but I respect it. Good for them showing up to a class where people specifically advise couples not to have premarital sex, not to live the way they do. They held their heads high, and were unapologetic. I actually dug them.

Then he referred to marital intimacy as "tappin' that ass". I still respected them coming though. Way to stand up to the man.

Then there was us. I have mentioned before that I am uncomfortable talking about intimate details in front of other people. I am prudish, and there are definitely things I don't think it's right to share with others. My thoughts on intimacy in the marrital relationship and our personal philosophy on children, or our private conflict as a couple are not something I would talk about to my friends, let alone complete strangers.

So I did the only thing I could think of. I insisted that my husband and I not speak in these discussion groups. That's right, when the moderator of our group was going from couple to couple asking each discussion question, I told my husband not to make eye contact and just wait him out...he would surely get the hint and move on to the next couple.

The first discussion group went fine. The moderator got the hint and moved on fairly quickly. The second group required me to give the moderator a slight head shake, but she moved on relatively painlessly.

Then the there was the third group where I was locked in a battle of wills with this crotchety old guy moderator. We just locked eyes and stared at eachother. Clearly he didn't know who he was dealing with. I was not going to blink. I would not be bullied or embarrassed into answering a highly personal question. We literally sat looking at eachother in silence for over 60 seconds. I was attempting to communicate to him that hell would freeze over before I told a group of strangers the manner in which my parents showed love to me as a child. Just when he was about to move on...

My husband broke. He hadn't been comfortable with my approach all day. he was weary of not participating in the groups to begin with. He doesn't like conflict and didn't want to rock the Pre Cana boat from the beginning. But I was adamant, and there was no telling what I would do in my state of fever induced delirium, so he went along. Until the last discussion group.

All of a sudden I heard him say "her parents are very affectionate, my parents are less outwardly affectionate." As quickly as he had started, he was done and we were on to the next couple.

I sat there, mouth agape, face burning from the fever and embarrassment...I could feel the anger rise like a wave from my feet up to my cheeks. I think steam may have actually come out of my ears. I could feel everyone's eyes on me, nervous, surprised looks. I did not look at my husband. I just stared at the moderator, daring him to smirk. Even he looked concerned for my husband.

I have felt God's presence clearly on two occassions in my life. One was in that room, when right at the moment I dared make eye contact with my husband the bell rang, signifying the completion of the last discussion group and therefore the completion of Pre Cana. That bell rang out pure and clear and in that instant, I do believe my fever peaked and I was simply too tired and sick to kill him.

I was deathly ill in bed for two days after that, and he took care of me...My anger faded, replaced with love. Lucky for him, God sent him a Mirical at just the right time.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Baby Steps

Our Neice in Her Christmas PJ's, given to her by her favorite aunt and uncle

I suppose it is the plight of every newly married couple to listen to constant rumblings of "when are you going to have kids?" or whispers of "do you think she is pregnant?" when your relatives think you are out of earshot. For years we heard "when are you getting married?"...It seems as soon as I got married, the families collectively said "NEXT!" Barely a congratulations on the way out of the Church before the baby questions started. Sheesh!

Therefore, it was no surprise when one of my husband's cousins said to me on Christmas that on the ride over, she and her husband told eachother that they thought we were going to make a "big annonuncement" tonight re: BABY.

Cousin: So are you making the big announcement?

Me: Well we were going to announce that we were pregnant tonight, but we didn't feel right about it. I mean, isn't it kind of tacky to announce that you're pregnant before you actually conceive?

You should have seen the faces. Well worth the drive over.

As I have previously explained ad nauseum, this blog is a present for my husband. I intend to give it to him on our one year anniversary as a sort of keepsake of our first year of marraige. In keeping with that, I haven't told any of our friends or family about the blog. And therefore, I may state the following safely:

Yes, we will have children.
No, I'm not pregnant, just gained a little weight but thanks for asking, I will be in the bathroom crying for the next hour.
Of course we will let you know as soon as it happens.
No, we do not want to discuss our fertility with you.


See the thing is, I love babies. I can't wait to have one. And yes, Oprah has me concerned about the fact that I am already 30 and haven't achieved total world domination while winning mother of the year yet. (side note, does anyone else feel like Oprah is a little unrealistic with her expectations of the "every woman"? You know someone should tell Oprah that 'affordable luxuries' do not include $200 face cream) but I digress...

Of course we are going to have kids, and it will most likely be pretty soon. I just think you have to be pretty damn sure you are ready to go to a place where nothing you want or need really matters anymore. A place where it is all about someone else all of the time FOR THE NEXT 30 YEARS. And I am fairly certain we are there. But just to be sure, I think we should take a weeks vacation to Key West this winter, you know, just the two of will help us prpare don't you think?

And also, I am almost positive becoming a mother involves scrap booking in some way, a concept that we haven't quite mastered yet and one that, quite honestly, terrifies me:

Husband: Are we saving all these menu's, receipts, matchbooks, ticket stubs from the honeymoon for something?

Me: Yes, leave them in that bag, I am going to make a 'scrap book' of our honeymoon.

Husband: You're going to 'scrap book' it all? Weren't you going to do that with the bag full of stuff from our Nantucket Trip 4 years ago that is still sitting in the basement?

Me: I'll get to it later, for now, I'll just have to 'scrap bag'

Husband: You know, 'scrap bag' is really only one letter away from 'crap bag'

Thursday, January 05, 2006


When I first met my husband in school, he had this huge desk in his room. A desk an executive would have, not the ikea special all other students buy. And in that desk, he had his "files". They were extensive and they were organized. It was like he was the dean of students as opposed to just another kid trying to graduate. But he was organized and always could find what he needed, and when it came time to fill out the bar application, he was the only one who had all the necessary paperwork handy without having to call home to his parents 100 times asking them to send important life documents.

Fast forward to after graduation, when he moved into his own apartment. The files were packed in a box, and he just never got around to upacking them.

Now shoot to present, where for the last 2 years since we got engaged, the kid has basically thrown all our bills, paperwork, passports, and important information into what I have lovingly referred to as "shit pile". Yes, we have two rubbermaid bins filled to capacity with papers, in no particular order, not even neatly piled up. We have approximately 4 drawers in the house equally piled high with various receipts, invitations, ticket stubs, bills etc. I refer to these as the "shit drawers".

Any time that we are looking for something, I get angry and say "why don't you look in the shit piles?" The frustration over the disorganization is two-fold. First, no one likes to be that disorganized; and second, this was not what I had signed up for. I know how the other half lives, I've been to the other side and let me tell you, coming back has been hell. When I signed up, I thought I was getting a completely organized system of filing, not bins full of crap...

So after more than 2 years of saying that he was going to "do our filing" my husband organized the filing this weekend. And we are back to the man I fell in love with. Back to the age inappropriate executive desk system. Back to anal retentiveness regarding our files. And I regret every joke I ever made about his crazy files while we were in school. I now know their value. The value of a life lived in a systematically organized household. And I will never complain again.

Two things of note occurred during the organization process. First, my husband found my law school transcript, looked at me and said "it's your transcript, can I look at it?" Am I the only one that thinks once you are married, looking at your spouses' transcript is a given?

Second, I was looking through his first year of law school phone list, and saw the name of a girl I did not recognize. I asked who she was, and my husband replied "I don't remember." A few minutes later we were in the basement together and I headed upstairs first. I told him I wanted him to stay in the basement until he thought about who "Kristin Wurmuth" is, and then he could come up. Is it wrong to be upset over your husband's apparent calling another woman enough that it warrants putting her number on the phone list he made 7 years ago?

Incidentally, my old roommate did inform me that Kristin Wurmuth was in our class and I knew her during lawschool, so the crisis passed and I let my husband come up from the basement.