Category Archives: mr b

Driving Me Crazy

Standard

Driving with my husband can be described in two words: “Absolutely” and “Terrifying.” Or, actually, I should probably clarify that – what I am referring to is riding with my husband while he is driving. Because “driving with my husband” could refer to the times when I am driving and he is in the car. That isn’t terrifying at all. That is nice, since if I am driving, we are most likely on our way to a vacation, since he is completely incapable to staying awake while driving to vacation.

I don’t know why driving to vacation is so exhausting for him, but I suppose it has to do with a few different things: 1) the length of the drive – we generally go somewhere at takes 7-12 hours and his attention span is not that great (as evidenced by my houseful of unfinished projects and his penchant for daily afternoon short power naps, which are neither short or powerful), 2) the fact that we often drive at night, because I am crazy and I want my vacation to start as early as possible, rather than spend half of my first day driving rather than enjoying my vacation (by enjoying my vacation, I mean drinking and pounding advil while my kids loudly harass me to to take them down to the beach/spend $783 to get into an amusement park/go shopping (???)/fight over who gets what room because that bathroom has yellow and yellow is my favorite color and HE ALWAYS GETS WHAT HE WANTS!!!!. (you can see why I’d be anxious to get that started, cant you?), and 3) I have an ego-stroking hypnosis routine I use on him while we pack the car & start the drive with him at the wheel, so I can get him out from behind the wheel as soon as possible, because have I mentioned how terrifying his driving is?

Why is his driving so terrifying, you ask? OK, fine, you didn’t ask, but I’m going to tell you anyway. There are multiple reasons:

1. His goal in life, as far as I can tell, is to get from Point A to Point B without using his brakes. It doesn’t matter if Point A is 10 feet or 10 billion miles from Point B – he wants to get there without braking. This results in him not hitting the brakes until he is 100% certain that the light is not going to change to green and that the giant backup of cars in front of him is not going to miraculously clear out of his way before he closes the 20 feet between us, thus slamming them on at the last minute and scaring the poop out of me. Even an 8 year old knows this is terrifying – Recently, The Girl – after one of the many near-whiplash, gasping in fear moments, piped up from the backseat: “Should we let Mom drive?” Yes, honey, we should.

2. He drives like he is on a tour. When that man gets behind the wheel, suddenly his surroundings are beautiful and he can’t take his eyes off them – houses, cars, businesses, trees, people standing in their front yards, the sky, stray dogs, road kill, rocks, yard flamingos, you name it – he wants to look at it all. What isn’t at all interesting to him and not worth looking at while he is driving? The road.

3. He fancies himself a comedian: He likes to joke and make faces and act goofy and dance around. Unfortunately, as he dances and goofs off, his entire body goes goofy with him. So while he shimmies to the right, so does the car. To the left? Yep – so does the car. I know firsthand that this is not a good idea – I once wrecked a car that way. Also – he’s not particularly funny in the car – though it may be that I can’t appreciate the humor through my terror.

4. Suddenly eye-contact is important to him. The same man who in the house, will barely look up from his phone or computer or hockey game when the kids and I try to get his attention, suddenly becomes Stuart Smiley when he is behind the wheel – turning to talk to me, or turning around to talk to the kids in the back seat.

5. Outside the car I’m lucky if I can get him to do one thing. Inside the car, he’s suddenly the world champion multi-tasker – he’s driving and trying to find a cd somewhere in the car and adjusting things and looking for his phone charger.

6. His shortcuts. If you are ever in the car with my husband and he says the word “shortcut,” be prepared to settle in for the long haul, because his shortcuts are never, ever actually short.

7. He doesn’t use the windshield wipers or high beams when he should. We can be barreling down a curvy, unlit road in the dead of night when there is no moonlight in the pouring rain (all the while trying not to use his brakes), and he won’t turn on the high beams or wipers until I beg him to (because if I can’t see, I know damned well he can’t either).

8. He gets furious when the person behind him is tailgating him (as do I), but he has no problem climbing up the ass of the person in front of him. I suspect this has less to do with his opinion of how fast the person in front is traveling and more to do with the aforementioned refusal to use his brakes.

9. At the risk of sounding like my mother when I was a teen driver (“Both hands on the wheel, Gina!”), the man never has more than one hand on the wheel. I will admit that my hands are not always at 10 and 2, but most of the time, they are both somewhere on the damned thing. Not only are his not both on the wheel, his left hand will be sagging over the top of the wheel, while his right hand is as far from the wheel as it can get – under his leg, in his pocket, searching for a cd between the seats, reaching into the back seat to do something goofy for the kids. It doesn’t matter if the roads are wet or snowy, or if we’re driving a winding, switchback, narrow road through the mountains – ONE HAND ONLY!

And my own personal favorite:

10. He thinks that lane markers are merely suggestions.

So is it any wonder that I would prefer the less terrifying option of being the driver? Notice I didn’t say “less peaceful” option, since when he is riding, he generally falls asleep and starts snoring. And his snoring? EPIC. The only reason he survives these in-car snorestravaganzas is that I wont take my eyes off the road long enough to find a pillow and my hands off the wheel to shove it over his face.

Sadly, on the long drive home from a family visit this weekend, I discovered a new downside to him being the driver: The angle of one’s (fat, middle-aged) reflection in the side view mirror. It prompted me to consider putting and ad in the classifieds (perhaps the trade/swap section):

Wanted: One neck. Willing to trade several chins.

If only his driving would shave off pounds instead of years. I’d let him drive all the time, lane-markers be damned.

Advertisements

Women vs Men: The Stress Edition

Standard

This morning I was stressed because:

Despite me having woken him up TWICE already, the boy was still sleeping 15 minutes later. I started worrying about him being late and missing the bus and not eating and I yelled.

This morning mr b was stressed because:

I yelled & disturbed him

This morning I was stressed because:

I discovered a stealth pile of dog poo in a most inopportune place. I was already dealing with the sleeping boy and now this. I swore loudly.

This morning mr b was stressed because:

I was being loud

This morning I was stressed because:

I hadn’t finished filling out the girl’s fundraiser papers, and I was running out of time because I was dealing with the aforementioned sleeping boy and dog poo. I had to ask for help.

This morning mr b was stressed because:

I asked him for help.

This morning I was stressed because:

Despite the fact that it has been burned out for a week, the light in my closet room was not yet fixed (because I can’t do it myself) and I couldn’t find the clothes I was looking for. On top of the sleeping boy, the dog poo and the forms.

This morning mr b was stressed because:

I asked him to fix it for the 8th day in a row

This morning I was stressed because:

After dealing with the forms and the poo and the boy and the burned out light, I still needed to found my clothes, but the flashlight wasn’t in the house, but in mr b’s van. And I needed it.

This morning mr b was stressed because:

He had to go out to his van to get me the flashlight.

This morning I was stressed because:

I left the house late after finally resolving the boy, the poo, the forms, the light, and finding the clothes, knowing I would be even later because I needed gas since mr b used my car a couple of times this week and I didn’t have time to stop on the way home last night because the girl had practice & I was rushing home to pick her up and get her fed & changed & dropped off, and then picked up & wait the fundraiser is due when and the dog needs a bath and oh great drop-bys from not one but TWO relatives and how is it 11:00 already, dammit? And now I was going to be even later which sucks because I have to leave early today to rush home and deal with dinner & picking up kids and getting the girl to practice and making it to the boy’s open house on time. And as I left the house, I heard mr b say, “What a morning!”

It all comes back to the Responsibility [[]]

This time I really mean it!

Standard

You know – every time I post a new entry, I think to myself, “See – that was easy! I am going to blog every single day from now on!” And I totally mean it at that moment. And that night, something will happen that makes me think, :I should blog about that! Or that! Or that! (or any of the million things that go on in my life every day). But then the next day rolls around and I am tired, or cranky, or crazy-busy and I think, “OK – I couldn’t do it today, but I will blog tomorrow for sure. And the tomorrow rolls around and either a) I am as tired/cranky/busy as I was the day before, b) I can’t remember the million things I wanted to talk about, or c) I remember them, but suddenly they seem uninteresting and stupid.

So anyway…Hi! Here’s what’s been going on lately:

1. We brought the puppy home! Yay! We went through several (hundred) names before we finally settled on Charley. It suits him. He’s really cute and sweet and lovable and a big pain in the ass. I totally forgot about the getting up at all hours to take them out and the incessant whining. The whining/crying/screaming as if being murdered was the worst part, but luckily, he has grown out of that (thanks to my twitter friends for reassuring me on that). He still gets up to pee in the night, but it’s down to once. Still – interrupted sleep = me being even more forgetful and spacey than normal. Good times. Behold the cuteness:

2. Halloween! We went to the annual party that my niece Scabs throws. It’s my favorite party of the year. Mainly because we are an evil bunch who use Halloween as an opportunity to torment and ridicule each other. If you have ever done something embarrassing – it will be used against you on Halloween. One year, we all dressed as Scabs. One year (the year of the punching the crackwhore story), someone came as Drunken Poolrat Gina and someone else came as Beaten Down Crackwhore. This year, I went as Scabs. Now, it may seem repetitive, since we went as Scabs before, but this time around, I went as Scabs looking how she did when she earned her nickname. See – many moons ago, Scabs worked at a bar and she invited mr b and I to the bar’s Halloween party. Well, she had been drinking all day and by the time we got there, she was sitting at the bar, dressed as a clown, makeup smeared, cigarette dangling from her mouth and she croaked at us, “Where in the HELL have you been?” So from then on, She became Scabs, the Chain-Smoking, Hard-Drinking, Pissed-Off Clown. Thus:

Scabs (with a scary Nanny McPhee in the background):

Blind Ref:

Flapper (when she told her firends she was going to be a flapper, they all asked, “Who’s Flapper?”)

You’re fired!

Snooki was there, too:

3. Football season is over! I repeat – football season is over! Finally a break from the constant cheer and band practices, games on both Friday and Saturday/Sunday, and driving all over creation to get to them! All season, I couldn’t wait for this moment. And yet – don’t tell anyone I said this, but I think I’m a little sad about it.

4. And speaking of football, our high school is getting a new stadium, and the last game in the current (70+ year old) one was a big event, with players from the very first game, alumni parties and former cheerleaders and band members on the field to participate. I joined up with the alumni majorettes and expected that we would be doing a simple salute to SSB & alma mater. Imagine my surprise when I got to practice before the game to discover we had an entire routine to learn. It was insane, but fun. And the boys won, meaning we won the very first and very last games in the stadium. Unfortunately, I put mr b in charge of taking photos, so I ended up with 65 shots of the fireworks and the backs of the heads of the people in front of him, but no really good shots of my super twirling skills. Sigh.

The closest thing to an action shot that mr b got – note the lack of zooming and the partial head in the foreground:

The boy and me on the field together. I love that he wasn’t embarrassed that his mom was twirling.

5. Unrelated to anything else I have been talking about, I left my checkbook on the table yesterday morning, after writing one for the kids’ school photos, only to come home last night to discover that the girl had written herself a check for $1000.

6. Finally – go here and help the kids.

Private Public

Standard

Mr b called me something last night that got under my skin a little. No, not a bitch, or a nag, or crazy, or OhMyGodWomanDoYouEverShutUp, or any of the other many things I could be called. Instead, he called me “private.”

My first thought was Me? Private? HAHAHAHA! I mean, I am a blogger! If there is one thing that – by definition – bloggers are not, it’s private. We write about our lives and out kids and our families and friends and then put it out there on the internet for seventy hundred million people to see. I have a facebook page and a twitter account and about a million photos on flickr that pretty much anyone and every can see. I’m not private!

But then I started thinking about it and well, maybe he’s right.

The conversation started because I mentioned that the boy wanted to friend me on facebook and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. Not because I don’t’ want to be friends with him, but because – and I know this will come as a HUGE shock to you – I have a potty mouth. I know!! You all thought I was a delicate flower, right? I have gotten friend requests from a few of the younger family member and have largely ignored them (other than some of the older teens, since they already know how I am) because of this – I don’t want to have to censor myself on facebook. I already censor myself at work, and in many social situations, and at scout and band booster meetings, and cheer practice – I don’t want to do it on facebook, too, dammit! Fuck! (see what I mean?)

Anyway, I made the decision that I would hold on to these years before he would die of embarrassment if I tried to “friend him” on facebook and let him in, but when he searched for me, my name didn’t come up. I mentioned that I might have my privacy settings set so people couldn’t find me, and mr b jokingly (mostly) (I think) said, “You and your privacy – you don’t want anyone reading your facebook, you have a blog I’m not allowed to read…Jeez!”

And he is right – one day last week when he was using my computer and I left facebook open, he teased that he was reading it and I jokingly (mostly) (I think) said, “I don’t want you reading it!” And when he recently started expressing interest in my blog, I jokingly (mostly) (I think) said “I don’t want you reading it!”

I felt a little bad each time, but brushed it off. But it – along with the latest proclamation of me being private – got me wondering: Why am I so secretive?

It’s not like I’m doing anything wrong – I’m not meeting guys or posting naked photos of myself (God help us all), or saying terrible things about him, so why wouldn’t I want him to read it? And I have come to the conclusion that the answer to that is the ever-logical “Because.” And that? Is no reason at all.

I think there are a few things that contribute to my being the way I am. For one – mr b has never had any interest in this stuff. So for the years that I have been blogging (and more recently “facebooking”), it has been mine. My own little escape – my thing that I didn’t have to share with anyone else. Anyone who is married and/or has children knows that it is hard to do or have anything that belongs only to you. I ask you – parents of young children – when was the last time you got to take a long, relaxing bath, or have a phone conversation, or read a book, or watch TV, or even go to the bathroom without someone interrupting you? Can’t recall? Exactly!

And then there is the way it has been approached. I would have been far less likely to bristle if mr b had said he wanted to sign up on facebook and add me as a friend. But sitting down and reading my page felt a little more intrusive.

But mainly, I think my “private” nature was something that I learned from years of dealing with my mom. I never had any privacy or control growing up. And before you go all parent on me and say that parents need to know what their kids are doing, blahlblahblah, I am not talking about normal parenting. I’m talking about a mother with a terrible suspicious streak and an assume-the-worst nature. She read my diary – not only did she read it, she blatantly broke the lock open and didn’t even try to hide it. And then pretended like nothing happened. She would open my mail. Not college acceptance letters and the like, but personal letters sent to me by my best friend in Florida. When we were 10 or 11! What could a ten year old girl in 1978 possibly have to say that she had any interest in? She went through my purse, read my notes, searched my room, listened in on my calls, and told me where to go and what to wear and what to eat and so on and so on and AAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!

I grew up longing for privacy, and the ability to make even the simplest decision for myself, and time alone, without someone looking over my shoulder. It trained me to hide things that needn’t be hidden, just for the sake of hiding them, rather than for any real (or scandalous, or interesting, or juicy) reason. It’s not that I have been trying to keep mr b out of that part of my life, it’s that I have spent a lifetime just trying to keep a part of my life to myself.

Every five minutes I go back and forth, thinking, “I’ll let him read it.” Then, “No – it’s fine like it is.” Then, “But there’s no reason not to!” Then, “It’s FINE!

Right now – at this moment – I don’t know what I will do. I want to open up a little more. And I decide I will. And then the thought of it actually takes my breath away a little.

But I’ll try. I’ll think about it and I’ll try. It took a lot of years to break me, I can’t be fixed overnight.

Fro Party

Standard

I met mr b at work. I was 21, finishing school, and needed something part-time to make ends meet. I saw an ad that a local restaurant was hiring and the next day I was officially a waitress. My first day of work, I learned that the staff generally hung out in the bar after work and had a few drinks (Or more. It turned out to be the shittiest and yet most fun place to work). I wasn’t planning on staying, since I didn’t really know anyone yet, but one of the waitresses, Kay, called me over. She was about 20 years older than me, and very sweet. I figured what the hell and decided to stay for a drink (or more). We did the same thing the next night. And the next. And we became friends really quickly.

We talked about a lot of stuff – her kids, my school, her day job, my love life. Or lack thereof, I should say. I was feeling pretty jaded about guys at the time. Between the longish-term asshole who broke up with me when he was turning 21 so he could go out and fuck around, the too sweet, bad sex rebound guy, the jackass who just disappeared, and the ten-thousand idiots I was meeting in bars every week, I was ready to swear off men forever. I said as much to Kay and she said five words that changed the course of my life. She said, “You would love my brother.”

It turned out that he worked there part time, too, but he was on vacation. She spent the next week telling me all about him – how great he was – smart, good-looking, about how we had similar interests and tastes. I fell for him a little without even meeting him. In the meantime, she was calling him every night and telling him all about me.

I was anxious about his impending first day back on the job – excited, but nervous. And then, the night before he was due to come back, she said, “Oh, I finally remembered to bring you a picture!”

And then…

Oh GOD, and then she handed me a photo of him from 1978!

And even though I could clearly tell that it was an outdated photo, it wasn’t enough for me not to feel the horror at what I was seeing. Weird, tight pants. Giant lapels on the shirt. Huge afro. Tinted aviator glasses. PORN-STACHE!!!

I gave her something very similar to “Present Face” and said, “Uh…um…so…uh…WOW! He’s um…really cute!”

And then I thought about quitting immediately.

But I needed the job, so that was out. And eventually I decided that since I was pretty much striking out in the love department, that even with his stache/fro ensemble, he couldn’t be any worse than the flaming dickheads I’d been meeting and I figured I’d give him a chance. Obviously, he turned out not to be the freak that I was expecting and the rest is history.

The story is pretty famous among our family and friends and the photo is notorious. So for his 50th birthday party, I got a photo album that holds one photo per page and has a space for an inscription. And I found a giant, light brown afro. And I made porn-staches out of felt (buying them would have cost a fortune). And I took a photo of every single guest wearing them, and had them sign the book.

It was a blast.

Me:
DSC_0198

The kids:
emfro

boyfro

My 90 year old grandma:
DSC_0181

My 8 month old cousin:
DSC_0195

My insane friend in what is my favorite (though censored) photo:
CENSORED

Some of the many, many more:
DSC_0178
DSC_0182

DSC_0184

DSC_0189

DSC_0190

DSC_0191

DSC_0192

DSC_0171

DSC_0172

DSC_0170

DSC_0193

DSC_0196

DSC_0199

DSC_0200

DSC_0201

DSC_0204

DSC_0207

Monday…blech

Standard

I need a weekend to recover from my weekend. Not that it was particularly wild and crazy, unless you count shopping, cleaning and organizing as wild and crazy, that is.

Mr b was away this weekend – our awesome nephew Pap took him to Charlotte to see Widespread Panic and The Allman Brothers as a 50th birthday gift. He had a great time and quite enjoyed rubbing it in and sending me photos of Widespread Panic. It’s just not right. I drowned my sorrows in pomegranate mojitos. In his defense, he did come home with shirts for me and the kids, so I think I’ll keep him.

Friday, I dragged Hedge along on a shopping trip, since I had a giant list of things I needed to buy for the upcoming party. Not that hedge was super-excited about going to Hell-Mart or anything. I tricked her into going with the promise of a birthday dinner and gift. So we failed miserably at the shopping and ended up stuffing ourselves with food, mojitos and balls (!?!?) at Tusca. Because she is turning FORTY. FORTY FORTY FORTY! HEDGE IS FORTY! Ahem. Anyway, I wanted to get her something special for her big day, and I thought long and hard before I came up with the perfect, tear-jerking, sentimental gift. About 30 years ago, we started calling each other Hedgehog and Rooster. So I designed a t-shirt for her with this on it:

It brings a tear to your eye, doesn’t it? of course I got one for myself, too, because who wouldn’t want that?

Saturday, I went back out to finish the shopping, then came home for another mojito party. Rapunzel and Scabs came over to help me get some stuff done, which really meant “to help drink a half gallon of rum.” We did a fine job, if I do say so myself. Luckily, Scabs and I weren’t too hungover on Sunday to get as shitload of organizing and decorating done. The walls in the addition have been bare for over a year now, since I suck at decorating, so I put Scabs to work and she hung stuff and made it look way better than anything I would have done. The room looks a lot less empty and crappy now. She also kicked my ass into getting rid of a ton of stuff, which I needed.

I still have a ton of things to do and get, but I am a hell of a lot closer than I was last week. So, yay!

Oh, also – on Friday night, Hedge and I were getting off the expressway and I accidentally went through the e-z pass lane (even though I knew mr b had taken the ez-pass and I had cash in hand), and as I was sitting there like a jackass, trying to put money in while it kept spotting it back out, I noticed that a) it was the ez-pass lane, and b) the light was green. So I went through and hoped that I wouldn’t end up getting ticket. Anyway, this morning, I went through the pay lane, (since mr b didn’t give back the ez-pass) and before I even got to the pay basket, the light turned green and the bar went up. So clearly? I HAVE THE MAGIC! I called mr b to tell him:

RingRing

Him: I know, I know, I still have the ez-pass

Me: No – it happened again! It turned green and I didn’t even pay! I HAVE THE MAGIC!

Him: OK…so…is that all you called me for?

Me: Duh. You’d call me if you discovered you had the magic, wouldn’t you?

Him: Yeah, I guess so. So…congratulations? I gotta go.

Me: Fine. You’re just mad because you don’t have the magic.

Old Men and Red Pants and Pink What?

Standard

Boy, I suck at the blogging lately. And as usual, I will make my “busy, oh so busy” defense. But I really am.

I am in the process of trying to get the house and yard ready for a birthday party for mr b, which is easier said than done, given that a) we’re busy – duh, b) we live like big fat pigs and there is a TON of cleaning or organizing to do, and c) mr b is the king of 80% done projects, so there are a lot of unfinished projects around the house. So it’s been a delightful time for one and all in our household.

Notice how I didn’t mention mr b’s age. See, I was all ready to tell you but lately, I have been reading the blogs of some of my friends and they are also having birthday celebrations for people at or around mr b’s age. And those people are THEIR FATHERS!!!! OK, fine! He’s 50! And even though he robbed the cradle with me, I am close enough behind to feel it breathing on me. So if your mom or dad or grandma is 50, don’t tell me. Let me remain blissfully deluded that I am the same age as all of you and not enough older that I was in college when you were all watching Sesame Street. Kthx!!

*****************

I think I mentioned that the girl joined baton. She loves it, and I am glad. I joined when I was about her age, too (and actually – Lord – stayed with it through two years of college – Titan Twirler – woo!). Anyhoo, when the girls march in parades, there are “marching moms” that walk along the parade route with them. Not so much my bag – I’m content to sit on the curb and cheer and take photos, but I am willing if they need me. Or at least I was until this Friday’s homecoming parade (the new girls didn’t march), when I discovered that the “marching moms” have uniforms. Oh yes. They have nice little white golf-style shorts with the team logo on it. Not so bad, right? Until you look down and see that they also wear red pants. No – they aren’t even pants. They’re slacks. RED SLACKS. Which appeared to have an elastic waist. DANGER DANGER DANGER!!!!!

I’m sorry, but there is no way that this ass is going onto those pants. No, never, NOOOOOO. The woman who runs it is the same that was running it back in 1974 when I first joined and her style hasn’t changed since. I take that back – she updated her style when she was the high school majorette sponsor and she discovered headbands. Sequined headbands. Worn not like a cute hairband, but like a dorky sweatband. Sometimes with poufy things on them. She still loves those – they are part of the uniforms, from the little ones up to the high school. Of course, now that I think about it, I’d rather wear a sequined headband than red slacks, but the likelihood of me wearing either is somewhere between “Um…no” and “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…no.”

*****************

Finally, I need to share with you what I saw today. Prepare yourself because it’s a horrible crime against humanity. Are you ready?

Are you sure? Because it’s bad!

OK, then…

I KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!