Saturday, May 24, 2008

Something You'd Think I'd Already Know

Last night, Hubs called and asked if I'd like to meet him for dinner. Let's see, get out of cooking dinner, get out of washing dishes (assuming Hubs remembers his credit card) and most importantly, get out of the HOUSE? My friends, this is not an offer I am ever likely to refuse.

Since I wasn't quite finished with some errands and Hubs had just left the office, we agreed that Hubs would go get a table and I'd meet him there.

Sounds simple enough, right?

As I was driving to meet him, Hubs sent me a message, "Seated. Give them your name, they'll show you where I am."

So I approached the hostess and told her, "Hi, I'm meeting my husband here; he's already been seated."

Very business-like she picked up her list and asked briskly, "Okay, do you know your husband's name?"


Not sure I'd heard her correctly I inquired, "Excuse me?"

"Do you know your husband's name?" She tapped her pen on the list, impatience clearly setting in. And why not? I'd be irked, too, if confronted with someone who was unaware of her spouse's name. Well maybe not irked but I would certainly be inclined to snicker.

Still, I am nothing if not helpful and polite. Apologetically I admitted, "No. No, I don't know my husband's name. I've been meaning to ask but..."

At this point a nice server man stepped up and asked, "Miss, (and the judge awards 2 bonus points for going with "Miss" as opposed to "Ma'am"!) may I ask YOUR name, please?"

"Why, certainly! That I know!" I gave him my name and he kindly took me to meet Hubs.

On our way to the table, the server grinned and said, "Would you like me to introduce you to your husband?"

"Only if he's cute."

"I'm sure you'll think so. He looks like he's the kind who tips well, too."

And as it turned out Hubs was both. Plus he DID remember his credit card. While he had it out, I sneaked a peek at his name. You know, just in case this question comes up again. I want to be prepared.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Deeply Philosophical Conversation About the Pope

Hubs, Son and I were watching coverage of the Pope's visit to the White House. We watched as the Pope greeted President Bush and they walked along the red carpet. Suddenly Hubs announces, "He's wearing red shoes!"


"I think so, run it back. Wait...yes. Yes, he's wearing red shoes."

"Red. Interesting."

"Yeah, I wonder why he'd wear red shoes. Not that there's anything wrong with red, I just wonder if it's symbolic or something."

"Well it's obvious, isn't it?"

"Not really."

"Well, if there are problems with the airlines, he can click his heels and chant 'There's no place like Rome, there's no place like Rome."

"Ah. It makes total sense!"


It's at times like these that I worry about us.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


With surgery scheduled for Tuesday morning, Hubs and I knew we had to execute our prank on Son early in the day. The night before, my partner in marriage and crime accompanied me to our secret headquarters (read: IHOP). Hubs busily poured syrup on his waffles while I called the meeting to order.

“So, what should we aim for? Trouble with a teacher? Extra homework?”

“Nah, that’s too…blah.”

I thought about events of the past week and it hit me. “Got it! When you were a young boy on the brink of the teen years, what was the most horrifying prospect you could possibly imagine?”

“Having my friends find out I have parents?”

“I thought that was currently your worst fear.”

“It is.”

“Right. Okay then. And what’s more embarrassing than parents’ existence?”

“Parents in the context of kissing, dancing, baby pictures, home movies, underwear or pajamas.”


April 1, 2008

Hubs is in position, outside Son’s bedroom door. He calls the land line from his cell phone. There is no caller ID on the phone downstairs, so we don’t worry about covering our tracks. Hubs lets it ring three times before hanging up; enough rings for Son to register that it’s ringing, too few for Son to get to the phone in time to answer it. Moments later, we hear Son moving around in his room. This is my signal to ring the front doorbell. I press the bell, quietly close the door, and slip up the stairs. Then I run down the stairs making as much noise as I can, throw the door open and exclaim cheerily, “Good morning! I’m not sure if he’s awake yet, but come sit down and I’ll go get him!”

Hubs waits two or three beats then pounds on Son’s door. “Son? Mrs. Neighbor’s pipes burst during the night and the kids in the church youth group are going over to help.” I arrive at Son’s bedroom just as he opens the door and gets a look at my morning attire. I have taken pains with my appearance and am looking glamorous in mismatched socks, faded pajamas (from two different sets), and the remnants of the previous day’s mascara under my eyes. Not that Son looks much better; he’s getting ready to shower and is wearing a towel and a milk mustache left over from an apparent midnight kitchen raid.

“Hey what’s the hold-up? Your friends are waiting.”

“Oh right. April Fool’s!” Son shouts, looking extremely pleased with himself.

“Huh? What are you talking about? Look, all I know is the youth leader called and a few minutes later your friends showed up. Didn’t you hear the phone ring or the door bell? You’ve got to get moving!”

“But…’s April Fool’s day. I know what you’re trying to do.”

“Listen, Kid, I'm getting ready to take your mother to the hospital, for heaven’s sake. Do you really think I’m about to just hang around and play games with you this morning?"

"Yeah," I add. "Hello? I am having surgery in an hour. I don’t have time to goof around. So put some clothes on and get upstairs. NOW.”

“People? Upstairs?” Son’s bravado falters a little bit. He glances at me again, before moving on to do a head-to-toe survey of his father. Garbed in worn sweatpants and an undershirt, Hubs runs his fingers through a hairstyle that looks as if it could only have been achieved with the help of a tube of styling gel and a blender. Son looks back and forth at us while Hubs heightens the effect of Early Morning Chic by scratching and belching a couple of times. I wrap my arms around Hubs and kiss him noisily on the cheek. Horror begins to spread across Son’s features.

Sensing victory, Hubs pushes forward. Yawning and stretching again he points out, “Dude, seriously, if I were you I’d get it in gear and put some clothes on before those girls see you.”

“Girls?” It comes out as more of a squeak than an actual word. “Upstairs? And you answered the door like that?”

“Don’t be ridiculous. Your mother answered the door.” Oddly, Son doesn’t seem comforted by this assurance.

“What? This is what I'm wearing to the hospital. They’re just going to make me put on a hospital gown anyway, and besides they said no cosmetics or hairspray.” Hubs and I head upstairs. “Honey, since I’m ready to go, I’ll go talk to Son’s friends while we wait.”

A few minutes later, the top of Son’s suspiciously well-groomed head appears around the door. He peers carefully around, inspecting the room closely before concluding that it is indeed teen-girl-free.

“I knew you were kidding,” he boasts. “I knew it was just an April Fool’s joke. I knew you wouldn’t let anyone see you dressed like that.”

“Of course you did. That’s why you went from wearing nothing but a towel to being fully dressed and groomed in less than five minutes.”

“Whatever. I’m going to get you guys for this.”

I’m not worried. The phrase “I will chaperone your next school dance” will give us the upper hand for years to come.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Most Wonderful Day of the Year

I'm off to have surgery in an hour. Seriously. This puts a huge crimp in my usual plans for celebrating the holiday.


We totally got Son this morning. So the day's not a total loss!

Details to come!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Conspicuously Invisible

It all started when Son wandered in and casually announced that he was going to go take a shower. Voluntarily. With soap and water and everything. Naturally, my response was to immediately go look for the phone book. As I was looking up the number of a good mental health professional, and wondering if my allergy meds were responsible for this obvious hallucination, it hit me; Son has been spending a LOT of time lately on his bike cruising the neighborhood. He has suddenly stopped feigning illness every school day, stopped claiming that the school bus is nothing more than Hell's taxi cab, and last week I caught him looking in a mirror. On purpose.
This could mean only one thing. I just wondered if he'd volunteer the information or if I'd have to probe for the girl's name. Fortunately, Son was feeling talkative.
"Mom, you have no idea how hard it is to notice someone without them noticing you're noticing."
"Is there someone in particular you're trying to notice, unnoticed?"
Heavy sigh. "Yeah. I was trying to take her picture with my cell phone but I think she saw me."
The horror. Son went on to lament with disgust the difficulties of taking good pictures while pretending to nonchalantly make a phone call. Then he said, "You have no idea, Mom. You had it so much easier when you were a kid."
"I did?"
"Yeah, you could take pictures all you wanted and no one would ever know." I pondered that a moment, wondering how on earth he thought pulling out a camera, waiting for the flash to be ready, and snapping the picture was in any way inconspicuous. I gave up.
"What makes you think no one could tell we were taking pictures?"
"Oh, they could tell you were taking pictures, but with that hood over your head no one would be able to tell it was you."
That's what he thinks. Protecting my identity was next to impossible once I set my hair on fire with the flash.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tagged. A Meme. (Does it rhyme with 'Amen'?)

It seems I was tagged by Ronni to do this meme. (Question, where did that word come from, anyway? And how is it pronounced? Is it because it's about me, me? I have no idea.) Unlike most meme's this one appears to have no theme, no set questions, no rhyme and no reason. Just seven random facts about me, me.

1. When I was a child, I was absolutely terrified of the Pirates of the Carribean ride at Disney Land. This was not due to a fear of the Carribean, nor was it due to a fear of pirates; in fact I rather liked the idea of becoming a pirate when I grew up. I still may do just that. You never know. No, my fear has its roots in that time Dad told me to hold my breath when we went down the hills during the ride because we were, in fact, going under water. I nearly asphyxiated myself. When I asked Dad after the ride (and after I caught my breath) why we weren't wet, having spent all that time under water and all, he explained that in the Magic Kingdom they have magic water which dries immediately. I believed this wholeheartedly.

So, random fact number one: I am very gullible. Also, I'm afraid of boats and water. Coincidence? I think not. (Note: Mom only recently became aware of this little event in my life and was horrified to learn that my father had scared me like that. I knew I should have ridden next to her in that boat!)

2. I have a genetic abnormality that prevented me from having a full set of wisdom teeth. I had only one and was told if it hadn't come in by the time I turned 30 it never would. Naturally, six months before my 30th birthday, on New Year's Eve, I was in a dentist's office having an emergency extraction of my one little wisdom tooth.

3. No people in my life have ever brought me more joy, more exasperation, and more laughter than my husband and our son. Though my parents and brothers run a close second. I'm also quite fond of the Godiva Chocolate's people.

4. If you eat mayonnaise in my presence there is an excellent chance I will throw up on you. If you cut my sandwich with a knife that has been used to cut another sandwich that did have mayonaise, I will not be able to eat my own sandwich. I don't care what you say; you can't scrape it off, it IS that much (one mayonnaise molecule can infect an entire sandwich. It's true. It is too.) And though I concede that it may not actually kill me to taste it, I'm not taking any chances.

5. My mother believes I invented Velcro. Or at the very least, I identified the need for it. This is because as a child I refused to tie my shoes. Ever. (Also I could never quite manage to get the heels of my socks on my heels. They ended up on top of my feet every time. But that's a different issue.) One day in frustration, I apparently announced that when I grew up I was going to invent shoelaces that would just stick to themselves so I could just slap them together. So there you go. Velcro on kids' shoes. You're welcome.

6. I would sell off every possession I have before I would sell my books. I need books like I need to breathe.

7. I've never really understood the point of Barbie dolls. They don't do anything. Baby dolls could be strolled around the neighborhood, I could pretend to feed them and put them to bed. It made sense. All Barbie can do is change her clothes, ride around in her car and hang out with men without jobs. Not coincidentally, I've never understood the point of Britney Spears.

So now I guess I get to tag someone. I choose Abby, Lisa and Todd.

The Year in Review: Good News / Bad News

So, here we are. March. It's been a long year. To sum up:

Week one: Finding myself in need of Hubs' assistance, I call his cell phone. He doesn't answer, but thoughtfully, he sends a text message:

In a meeting.

I text back:

In a car accident.

Good news: Son is safe at home at the time and no one else is seriously hurt.

Bad news: I do get a concussion. Which brings us to:

Week two: Concussion from car accident + emerging from a hot bath + tile floor = Broken nose. Never have I looked more lovely. (Note to the people at work, the store, and at church: The question, "Did your husband beat you up?" is neither original nor funny. Nor likely, since the last time I saw Hubs make a fist he had his thumb tucked inside. Do you see his hand in a cast? DO YOU? I didn't think so.)

Good news: I can still breathe through my mouth!

Bad news: When I speak, I sound like the secret love-child of Darth Vader and Fran Drescher.

Week three: Surgery to reduce the nasal fracture.

Good news: Two days off work!

Bad news: Ever had your nose packed? Or worse, unpacked? Ouch. Still, TWO DAYS OFF WORK! Totally worth it.

Week four: As I drive Son to an appointment, a tire blows out.

Good news: We have Roadside Assistance and I somehow remembered my cell phone!

Bad news: Due to adverse weather conditions, we're told the wait will be eight hours. Eight hours. In the adverse weather conditions. Because it's January, in Utah, where we aren't the best drivers even during GREAT weather conditions. "Ice on the roads? Awesome! We should drive three times as fast, in as many different lanes as possible and see if we can achieve flight!" Huh. As I think about it, eight hours may be a somewhat optimistic estimate.


Week One: I get a phone call from the school. Son is fine, but he's bleeding quite a lot and can I please come and get him before the secretary passes out?

Good news: Mom works for a pediatrician and we can get right in to get Son's finger stitched back together.

Bad news: Son interprets "Keep the stitches dry" as "You never have to shower again!"

Week Two: Hubs and I are stranded in a blizzard. In the car. All night. (Upcoming entry on this event because, oh my gosh, you can't even believe how bizarre this night is.)

Good news: The road is closed and I can't go to work! Yay! Hubs and I are exhausted after being out all night and we need the time to sleep.

Bad news: The road is closed and the neighborhood kids can't go to school. They CAN, however, play outside in the snow! While screaming. Loudly. With the loud screaming screams. All. Day. Long.

Week Three: I find out at my follow-up visit that the surgery for the nasal fracture was unsuccessful. They'll have another crack at it in April.

Good news: More time off work!

Bad news: More packing. More unpacking. Oy.

Week Four: Parent Teacher Conference.

Good news: My sitting next to Son every day after school doing every assignment with him should result in his being nearly caught up!

Bad news: If Son didn't actually turn the assignments in? He didn't get credit for the work. WHO KNEW? Son is, of course SHOCKED by this development. You'd think someone might have warned him about this. Oh wait. Someone did. His teachers and his parents.


Week One:
After months of warning Son that the state of his toothpaste tube suggests that he either never brushes his teeth or has discovered the secret to self-replenishing dental hygeine products, we go to the dentist expecting dire results.

Good news: Somehow, Son has no cavities!

Bad news: Son now believes my other warnings about acne, dandruff and the downside of smelling like a mountain troll in a sauna are worthless.

Week Two: Hubs finally finds time to hang some pictures around the house.

Good news: I finally have some pictures hanging around the house!

Bad news: One of them is hanging over the hole he had to make in the wall to repair the pipe he drilled through.

So, yeah. 2008? So far so...well, let's not tempt fate.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Dating Disasters Redux

Okay, it's been awhile AND it's a re-run, but in light of our recent Valentine's Day disaster, I thought I'd re-run this one:

In my life, I have managed to get through certain situations with what has been, for me anyway, a surprising degree of poise and aplomb. I would like to include in these events my dating history. I could tell you of wonderful dates, where I was dazzling, charming and the embodiment of grace. I might tell tales of captivated young men who were so entranced by my charms that I never spent a Saturday night alone. I could probably do a reasonably convincing job, too, if any of it were true.

The sad reality though, is that I didn’t really date much in high school. And by "not much" I mean "not at all." I remember Prom night, which I spent with my best friend at a movie where we ingested embarrassingly large amounts of chocolate in an attempt to console ourselves. My dad was sweet about it all. He was convinced that my dateless status was a direct result of my intimidating beauty and above average intelligence. I would really like to believe that the young men in Utah had to settle for dating less spectacular girls, like those on the cheerleading squad, while suffering from afar with unrequited love for me. However the real answer was somewhat different. For those boys who actually seemed aware of my existence, I was just a "buddy." Just why any guy would seek my advice when it came to dating was mystifying to me. It seemed rather like asking Ozzy Osbourne for religious counsel. Nevertheless, I did my best to point my friends in the direction of the "nice" girls. I was the one they came to when they wanted to know how to approach their dream girl. I offered high fives when they successfully landed a date, and I gave comfort and sympathy when they were shot down. Still, I wished that someday I'd find a guy who might look at me and see more than a pal or "one of the guys."

After high school, things changed. I met boys who hadn't known me since I was six. I attended a university where there was a whole male population who hadn't been informed that my role in life was to be a buddy. I was still shy, so it wasn't quite the social whirl I had hoped it would be, but I still received a gratifying amount of attention. That's when I learned first hand about the dating disasters I'd only heard about. Little things like forgetting a date's name, or worse, having him forget mine. I got the night wrong, once and greeted my date at the door in pajamas and a ponytail. There was one date in particular though, that will always stand out in my mind as the absolute most disastrous date of all time.

My date was a guy named Eric. He was nice enough, I suppose, but I hadn’t been terribly interested in dating him. He was a great pal, but I had concerns about turning a friend into a date. Too often I had seen good friendships destroyed by the attempt to make them more. But I’m not completely heartless, so after declining a few times, I finally agreed to go out with him. We went to a movie at the drive-in theater. Eric parked his truck and situated the speaker on the window. The movie started and he scooted toward me. I, assuming that he simply needed more room, obligingly scooted closer to my door. I am nothing if not considerate. A few minutes later, Eric scooted again and, again, wanting to be thoughtful, I scooted too. When he scooted the third time, I was too close to the door to move any further, so I did the first thing that came to mind. I opened the door and stepped out of the truck. Once I was standing outside, it dawned on me what had happened, and I felt quite foolish, so I just stood there for a moment trying to decide what to do. Hoping to salvage the situation, I just smiled, leaned through the window and said, “Hey! There’s much more room out here! Why don’t you come on out?”

After the movie, we went for a walk along the shore of Utah Lake. In retrospect, I think it was supposed to be romantic. The gnats, mosquitoes and sand fleas really didn’t add much to the ambience he was looking for, however. We walked out onto the dock, since, presumably the moon looked different there then it did on shore. At about that point he attempted to put his arm around me. As I’ve said, my dating experience was limited. But I grew up with three brothers, so when I saw his arm swing toward me, I instinctively anticipated a blow. I ducked and accidentally knocked him off balance. I have to admit, he was very nice about his unplanned baptism in the lake. I was mortified. I was also trying very hard not to laugh. I finally managed to gain enough composure to suggest that he take me home so he could get to his apartment before hypothermia set in. Out of a mixed sense of guilt, compassion and hilarity I even told Eric that he didn’t need to walk me to my door. He insisted though and sloshed and squished his way out of the truck. He escorted me to the door, which I immediately began to unlock. At that point, it didn’t even occur to me that he’d try to kiss me. That explains why I was so startled when I turned back a little too quickly to tell him goodnight. Eric was 6’3” to my 5'7" so suddenly finding his face that close was completely unexpected. I’m sure he found it equally unexpected when my forehead collided with his nose. As he stood there trying to staunch the flow of blood from his nose, I helpfully handed him a tissue while I tried to think of something to say. Somehow “Let’s do this again sometime!” didn’t seem quite right.

When I returned from serving an LDS mission, I was a little apprehensive about dating again. It’s probably best that Michael approached slowly and cautiously. He blames this on the fact that he had also returned recently from serving a mission and was even more out of practice than I was. I agree that his dating technique really did need work. His method of asking me out was generally along the lines of "I have to see this play for a class and I don't want to go alone. Want to come along?" He also very smoothly let me know he was available by telling me about a girl he seemed to spend an awful lot of time with. Once again, I thought I was playing the role of dating advisor. Once I did realize we were dating, though, I managed to create opportunities for potential disaster. We had attended one event together that was interrupted by a man who took a hostage and threatened to detonate a bomb in the building. Fortunately, it ended well and other than causing a lasting fear of crowded auditoriums, it did make a good story.

"One day we can tell our children about this." I said. Michael looked at me oddly, and I realized I could have phrased my thoughts better. I felt my ears turn red and my face begin to burn as I stammered "Well I don't mean OUR children--I'm not saying that we'll have children TOGETHER." I thought that sounded a little rude, and rather than just changing the subject, I continued my plunge into the abyss of social humiliation. "Not that I don't WANT to have children with you..." Even worse. "Not that I'm saying I DO want to have children with you, I just..." I trailed off as I saw his shoulders shake with laughter. It's probably fortunate that he proposed not long after that. Had he waited any longer, I might have scared him away completely. On the other hand, I sometimes think he married me for sheer entertainment value.

The great thing was, we had been friends in the beginning, and he proved that not only is it possible to turn a best friend into something more, it's the best way to go.
To my great joy and delight, I learned that my best friend has made the best husband I could wish for. Romance is nice but the day to day living is much more fun when I can do it with someone who understands me so well. And I understand him. Most of the time anyway. He doesn't even mind the occasional accidental bloody nose. Not that he gets them often. I’m pleased to say that I have learned what it means when he scoots closer while we watch a movie. It definitely doesn't mean he wants more room. I know that when Mike scoots closer to me, it means that he’ll lean in very close, brush my hair back from my face, look deeply into my eyes and ask, “Do we have any popcorn?”