May 31, 2008
My mother and I took a trip through the baby section today, and it's slim pickin's for a girl, especially if you don't want her to look like a tramp. Yes, even baby clothes are following this trend. I noted the following sayings on girl clothes 3-6 months today:
Princess With Attitude
Yes, that's right: Bling Bling. On a shirt covered in diamonds and dollar signs. I mean, why don't we just go ahead and buy her the Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset and be done with it?
Ugh. I'm so having a girl.
She will wear baseballs and puppies for the first year. With one of those scrunchie bands around her head so people can tell she's a girl.
May 20, 2008
But I watched the finale of House, and what was the deal with the extremely conspicuous Obama bumper sticker on the hospital bathroom wall? How out of place and jarring was that? I mean, come on with the agenda.
Things a Man Should Never Do in the Company of a Woman
Reveal how much your car cost.
-- In my husband's case, it would be how little his car cost, since he prides himself in small car payments. And also how low the mileage is: we have a six-year-old car with 45,000 miles on it.
Clean your gun.
-- Not even. This is hot. You should definitely do this in front of me.
Polish high school trophies (which you still have displayed).
-- OK, this one is lame. But how many people are doing this? Oh wait, hang on, I fall into this category. I still proudly display an award I received when I ran high school track because it was an award for the person who put out the most effort despite being handicapped by a natural inability to run fast. I worked my tail off on that track to be good, and I had no God-given talent to rely on. That award is important to me. If my husband had something like that, you can darn well believe that I'd let him keep it and polish it whenever he wanted to.
Refer to your mother as your best friend.
-- Isn't it a good thing for a guy to love his mother?
-- My husband doesn't do this really, but sometimes he does quote rap songs as if he's quoting Mark Twain or Socrates, and it is hilarious when he does it.
Check out our assistant/roommate/the baby-sitter.
-- The last time my husband came home from Iraq, he had spent 13 months without seeing a woman. (He was on an all-male combat arms FOB.) He stared like crazy when he got home, not out of disrespect for me but because it was such a novelty. It didn't bother me in the least.
Question our footwear.
-- I've had my husband question my footwear. You know, when I was wearing inappropriate footwear. He's no dummy; he knows that cute little sandals are gonna hurt like hell after lots of walking.
Blow-dry your hair.
-- High and tight. No need for this one. I think my dad blow dries his hair in the winter sometimes. I dare anyone to say my dad isn't manly enough.
Tip less than 20 percent.
-- My husband is fine in this department. I'm the one who's Mr. Pink.
-- His Cartman and Slingblade make me laugh.
Impressions of us.
-- So does his impression of me. I sound an awful lot like Glenn Beck's wife, and it makes me crack up. Gosh, I wish I could hear him do it now.
Forget to carry cash.
-- What a dumb addition to this list.
Flip it, flop it, swing it around, tug on it, adjust it, scratch it, or do anything that will remind us that it's just a goofy appendage and not a mystical source of pleasure and satisfaction.
-- He doesn't have one. He has an old PS2 and old games from 2002, because he made a pimp decision.
Boot and rally.
-- I have no idea what this means.
ScreamÂ—at the dog, at the guy who just stole your parking spot, at Bill Belichick. Because, no matter how much Belichick deserves it (cheater!), when we hear you raise your voice, we have an idea of what we're in for.
-- My husband does have a tendency to shout at the TV, but I'm getting used to it. And if that's his only fault, then I can live with it.
Talk about former exploits. Ever.
-- Not a problem in our house.
Use the words bitch, slut, tramp, or whore, unless referring to another man.
-- He uses them when they're approproately funny. Sometimes about women. Deal with it.
Tell us you're going to kiss us. (Just get on with it!)
-- Had to throw in something cutesy there, right? Just to offset all the carping, bitchy other things you put in the rest of the list.
I thought I'd try, in Rachel Lucas fashion, to come up with a list of things women shouldn't do in front of men. But the whole concept is just dumb. Let men be men and women be women. If you like hanging out together, then you like the whole package. Why on earth do you want to be with a man who is reprogrammed to act like a woman? There is not a thing I can think of that my husband can't do in front of me, farting included. And there is not a thing he can say to his buddies that he can't say in front of me. Because I love him and I love everything about him. He doesn't need to hide part of his personality so I will stay with him.
He's perfect just the way he is.
First of all, part of being a grown up is realizing what you like and not buying something more expensive just so you can look cool. My husband doesn't have to drink with the label out, so he buys what he likes or he buys what's on sale. And he takes the money he saved that way and invests it in his retirement fund. That is definitely one thing a grown man should have.
Second of all, time and time again blind taste tests show that people don't know their favorite beer from a hole in the ground.
One quote from that Slate taste test says it all:
In addition to saying which beers they preferred, the tasters were asked to estimate whether the beers were expensive or not--in effect, to judge whether other people would like and be impressed by the beers. One taster perfectly understood the intention of this measure when he said, in comments about Beer B (Heineken), "I don't like it, but I bet it's what the snobs buy."
And doing something just because you think it's socially acceptable or because you think others will regard you highly for it, that is not at all something a grown man should do.
A grown man is comfortable in his own skin. He will drink Pabst in public.
May 15, 2008
You know, I'm glad my husband has a job that he puts ahead of his family. Because my happiness is not the most important freaking thing on this planet. He doesn't live to make my life perfect; he tries to do a job that's bigger than him, bigger than us. And I am proud of that, I respect that. And I would never dream of emasculating him by saying I can't understand "what he's become," that I can't believe he forgot Timmy's basketball game, that I can't believe that he somehow thinks ridding the streets of evil is better than being home at a decent hour every night.
Seriously, this is what movie wives do. They destroy their husbands because they want their husbands to put them first, above everything else.
I will never forget the post that Joan wrote at SpouseBUZZ about TV husbands promising to make it up to their wives. My husband doesn't have to make anything up to me; it's reward enough to see him do a job he loves well and to make an impact on this world. And yeah, that may mean he misses Timmy's freaking basketball game from time to time. Get over it.
You know, I was stressed out today. I cried a lot and I wished someone was here in the house to hold my hand and tell me that everything was going to be OK. But not once during the entire day did I feel upset that my husband was in Iraq instead of here. Not once. His job is more important than my crying stints. We signed up for selfless service, and by golly I take that seriously. I would never dream of making him feel bad for not being home on a day I needed him.
But apparently TV wives sing a different tune.
I hate TV wives. Except Zoe Washburne, she was cool.
May 14, 2008
I am reminded of that frustration today.
If you remember my saying so, I love crappy action movies. Our Blockbuster queue is filled with them now that my husband is gone. So I watched First Blood the other night (the first Rambo movie, to rubes like me who didn't know it wasn't actually called Rambo.) That movie is freaking weird. Why are some Oregon cops harrassing a guy who just wanted to eat in the local diner, to the point where they're all getting killed over it? Whatever, Stallone is hot.
So I returned the movie and was all set to watch First Blood II tonight.
Now imagine me saying "Weak. Lame." in my best Cartman voice: They mailed me another copy of the first movie.
I wanted Cambodia, not Oregon again.
May 13, 2008
And then I learned that other wives had gotten enormous honkin' diamonds and Saabs.
Until today, I had never heard of a "push present," which apparently is a new trend. Husbands are supposed to waste money on wives when they deliver a baby, in addition to the money they waste on ridiculous old Valentine's Day. And I have a feeling that it probably goes down a lot like other people's Surviving Deployment presents did; nothing like blowing a huge wad of cash right when you need it most in life. I would think it was sweet if my husband got something for the baby or a little thing for me. But I sure ain't countin' on it. And I know for a fact that he would not buy expensive jewelery and I wouldn't want him to.
I don't think it's weird to get your spouse a gift; in fact, I've already got something in mind for my husband. But it's not a requirement, for heaven's sake.
My "push present" will probably be an increase in my life insurance policy.
May 10, 2008
May 09, 2008
My husband fights this war. He risks his life every day. We have both made sacrifices for it. And to hear them say that itÂ’s Â“a waste of time,Â” that it Â“will never make a difference,Â” that Â“we should call the whole thing offÂ” Â— well, if thatÂ’s true, IÂ’m not sure IÂ’ll get out of bed tomorrow morning. There has to be a reason that our family Â— and thousands of others Â— are enduring this.
Yesterday someone called to say goodbye to my husband before he left, not knowing that he'd been bumped forward. And in the conversation, this person asked if my husband thinks that being in Iraq is worth it, if his job means anything, and if he thinks we should've gone there in the first place. How do you answer that question 1) politely and 2) succinctly? And then what do you do when that person says, "Well, I don't think it was the right idea in the first place"?
All I could answer was that my husband reads countless books, articles, and blogs about the Middle East. He's no robot blindly following Bush's orders. And he will do the best job he can with the brain he's been given so that he does make a difference down there.
You know, I've heard the saying that the soldier is the most anti-war person because he actually sees what war is, but I don't think I ever want label myself as anti-war. To me, that's like being anti-pollution or anti-cancer; it's a meaningless term. (I've written about this before.) There is war in this world we live in, like it or not, and sometimes you have to fight it. And if that time comes to my family, then that makes me pro-war. Do I think this time in Iraq has been perfect or easy? No way. But I don't have a crystal ball that can tell me what the world would've looked like if we hadn't gone to Iraq five years ago. It's possible the world might've been worse off. So you fight the war you're in with all you've got and don't waste time thinking about what might have been in some alternate dimension.
So please don't ask our military families to discuss that alternate dimension. It's pointless and off-putting.
May 03, 2008
Mothers-to-be who skip breakfast and eat less are more likely to give birth to girls, while moms who consume more calories and a wider range of nutrients Â— including, specifically, those from breakfast cereal Â— are more likely to deliver sons.
Wait wait wait. If we want a boy, I have to eat more? Done and done. And I eat breakfast cereal every single day. Sweet, we're golden.
Yeah, um, Tessa brings up the logical question here: Don't males carry the deciding chromosomes? Still, it's an interesting correlation. And if I were any good at conceiving at all, I would give it a try, but we're just gonna have to take what we can get.
Now excuse me while I go eat my breakfast cereal.
May 02, 2008
Let me guess...they're retarded?
The 28-year-old New York resident has a master's degree from a prestigious university, a successful career in photography, stamps in her passport from around the globe and, until recently, personal finances that were out of control.
"[Her accountant] wrote me a letter that said, 'You've got to get your life together! Most of these bills aren't even open.' It was a really humbling thing," Wallace says. "But the next time, all my receipts were on a spreadsheet. No one had ever taught me to make a budget or balance a checkbook."
You're kidding me with this, right? No one ever taught me this either. Actually, that's not true: I think I remember having to balance a fake checkbook sometime around middle school for a math class assignment.
But for real, you have a Masters degree and it never occurred to you that you should keep track of your money? Like maybe use Excel or something, the easiest thing in the world. It does the math for you! I'm sure you're also, like, a total math-ophobe. Like numbers and stuff, ick. Who can do that?
"We're in a generation that was kind of shielded from a lot of financial responsibilities," says Wong. "Twenty years ago, when you were in college you didn't have a credit card, and (now) all of a sudden we had to take on debt to go to college. Then we get out of college and we have to have that handbag and an iPod," she says. "It is so easy to take on debt."
OMG, you did not just say that.
Many of these attitudes are evident in our relationships with our parents. Not for nothing have we been labeled the "boomerang generation": We may not all be living in our parents' wood-paneled basements, but a recent Pew survey found that 68% of baby boomers with kids are supporting an adult child financially.
Yep, I know several of them. And on the other end of the spectrum, you have people like me and my husband who, three years after we got married, sent our parents money for all the things we owed them for over the years. The laptop that I swore to my dad I would help pay for when I was in college, yep, never did. So I paid him back three years after I had passed the laptop on to my brother. Because he's my father and not some money tree. Once I realized the true value of money, I realized how much I'd asked of my parents over the years. And I paid them back.
Because I'm a grown-up, and grown-ups don't whine if they can't afford an iPod and they don't take advantage of other grown-ups, even if they happen to be mommy and daddy.
Why do we seem to get article after article these days about why 20 and 30 year olds can't seem to get their shit together? Quit making excuses for them like they weren't taught this in school or it's predatory lenders' fault. No one made her buy the handbag. When I was in college, I had a credit card with a $10,000 limit. I never put a dime on it. It was for emergencies only, and I knew the freaking definition of an emergency. It sure isn't Needing An iPod.
And no one had to teach me that! My parents didn't have to sit down and tell me what I could or could not put on a credit card. It's common freaking sense to not spend money you don't have.
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