Marriage and My Wife

I’m frustrated that I don’t understand whether I honestly enjoy the ABC show, The Bachelorette, or detest it so much that I watch out of spite. I know that last night, I texted my wife, “BACHELORETTE TONIGHT! :)” from downstairs — capitals, exclamation marks, emoticons and all — like a thirteen year-old girl, giddy to tell her friends that she woke up to find a litter of kittens in her sock drawer. “KITTIES IN MY SOCK DRAWER! :-)” So, apparently, I like the show. I don’t want to, but I do. You win ABC, now what do you want me to buy? Continue…

Contrary to most couples’ experiences, having kids has alleviated many of my wife’s frustrations about me. My clamminess, sensitivity to heat and near endless need for sleep were viewed by Lindsay as annoying complaints that could be cured easily by wearing shorts and sandals. But now that we have two small boys, each of whom  break into a cold sweat and need a nap whenever it’s over 85 degrees, she admits (and is even pleasantly surprised) that she didn’t marry a wimp. Instead, she married a strong, determined and principled man who’s simply hard-wired to be a fussy little bitch when it’s hot out. Continue…

In the midst of one of her “I’m going to fix everything right now!” moments, my wife taped a hand-written list to the wall displaying the five television channels Silas can watch in the morning.

photoYou can see it was made in frustration. Any patiently considered, modern channel guide would have been created on a computer and printed-out, not scrawled by an angry fist. She was so fed up that the bottom isn’t even adhered to the wall, causing the paper to flap-about when struck by a gust from the air conditioner. It’s my wife’s not-so-subtle way of expressing her frustrations with the complexities of technology. Continue…

Sometimes I entertain my kids by taking them to Best Buy. When they’re busy climbing inside refrigerators, I have a few moments to stare blankly at TVs while waving my hand through the blade-less Dyson fan hoping to open a Stargate. I’m there to survive, not to be awesome.

That’s why I was surprised when a 20-something Rihanna-esque employee looked at me coyly and said, “I like your style.” I only managed to squeak out a timid, “Thanks,” before briskly walking away as if the high school quarterback had told me he liked my Hello Kitty lunchbox.

I pay attention to what I wear. Continue…

Holy shit, DO NOT break a glass in my house. You’d get less of a reaction from my wife if you set yourself on fire. Yesterday, I dropped a small ceramic ramekin (I am not ashamed of knowing what a ramekin is) which broke into a few pieces on the kitchen counter. Lindsay dashed into the room as if she’d heard  a pregnant woman was trying to move a chair, or my father was poised to drop an orange peel into the garbage disposal.

It’s not that she’s particularly attached to this specific ramekin. In fact, she suffers from an undiagnosed psychological disorder that causes her intense mental discomfort if she touches unglazed pottery (a hundred times worse than fingernails on a chalkboard, she says.) That should have made the ramekin’s demise a nonevent,  but unfortunately, her manic fear of broken glass trumps her aversion to kiln-fired clay. Continue…

Fortunately, Lindsay and I are usually obsessed with separate things. I’ll be on a vision quest to boost our wifi signal while she compulsively searches the internet for symptoms of feline dehydration. Separate, but equal. It’s just safer that way. When our obsessions converge, like they did recently over 90′s rock posters, we enter a frightening state of mutual hypnosis. The children were screaming for food as their mom and dad swatted them away while huddled around a laptop arguing over which Built to Spill poster was cooler.

During the mid to late 90′s, Lindsay owned a rock club in Seattle called The Breakroom. Continue…

My wife’s suspicion of technology has expanded to include GPS. It’s in her DNA; my mother in law recently emailed us an article about people getting dumber because of navigation systems. To paraphrase: maps are great and anything with a battery is full of demonic trickery aimed at turning humans against nature, truth, family, spirit and wholesomeness.

Their public skepticism of technology  is a smokescreen used to distract family and friends from the indefensible reality that they trust themselves more than a computer.

That’s the principal difference between my wife and me, and it’s the foundation of why our marriage works. Continue…

While the kids were in the basement arguing over the ownership of a foam sword, Lindsay approached me in the kitchen.

“Sometime this week I want to sit with you alone in the dark and …”

“This already sounds terrible.” I interrupted.

Normally, I wouldn’t summarily dismiss a beautiful woman suggesting we spend time alone in the dark, but in this circumstance it was justified, as I knew something ridiculously mystical was coming next.

“We should see if over these past 13 years we’ve become more psychically connected. We’ll put our foreheads together, I’ll think of a number between one and ten, I’ll say it over and over again in my head, and see if you can guess it.”

Clearly, I was faced with a difficult decision here. Continue…

Men patronize women by complimenting them on their ability to give birth. Give me a vagina and a uterus filled with a baby that’s ready to party, and I know I could push it out. It wouldn’t be pretty; I’d definitely cry, scream and call a nurse the c-word,  but I’d pull it off.

Don’t get mad. I’m going somewhere with this.

What I could never do is be pregnant for more than a week. I know some women “love being pregnant,” but I’m pretty sure they’re full of shit. Real women, for whom pregnancy feels like a choppy ride on a rowboat, want those Gaia mothers to eat their tempeh wraps and shut it. Continue…

Five years ago, I could shower whenever I wanted. Nothing was stopping me from turning the dial to that bullshit “massage” setting and standing under its annoyingly weak pulse for an hour at 2pm on a Saturday.

It’s much better now that our boys are older, but when one of them was 2 and the other an infant, taking a shower was an event that had to be scheduled and announced. Specifics about its length, and the inclusion of other bathroom activities had to be communicated. “Would now be an OK time to take a shower?” is something my wife and I asked each other almost every other day. Continue…