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Posts Tagged ‘Marriage’

Why I love my husband

Because this is how he reminds me to pick up bread and milk:

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Serial matrimony

It’s official. My father-in-law is getting married.

Again.

Nathan broke the news the other night. Apparently we aren’t the only ones who learned something from the second marriage. FIL and the wife-to-be want the family to attend the wedding this time. So instead of getting married in a parking lot in Ann Arbor (FIL and Terrie got married during half time at a U of M game), they have wisely decided to involve more than just their tight circle of friends.

They have unwisely decided Autumn would make the perfect little flower girl. More power to them, I say. I have no doubt she’ll adore whatever dress they pick out for her, but I can’t wait to see what happens the first time someone tries to touch her hair. Won’t that be fun?

Mommy will be amused.

Also? Autumn + audience = trouble. Shenanigans will ensue.

I’m going to put on my serious hat for a moment and say I have mixed feelings about this marriage. I am happy for my FIL because obviously the guy cannot survive on his own. We have vowed to be nice and not keep our distance for months at a time like we did when he was married to Terrie. We’re actually amused at how quickly he’s moved on. Again.

But I guess that’s also the problem. This marriage has become a punchline. Everyone I’ve talked to about it has busted a gut because it’s just. so. funny. that my FIL would be marrying again so quickly.

At least he’ll have waited six months this time. Last time he only waited four.

It’s hard for me to take the relationship seriously when my FIL chooses marriage over dating. It seems like just another social activity to him. He could be widowed a hundred times over and he would always wind up living with a new woman within two months of the last one’s death.

And really, why get married? Shouldn’t two people past the age of 60 be able to fool around without feeling obligated to stand in front of an official and bind themselves together for eternity?

Obviously I’m making these statements never having lost a spouse, so I don’t know for sure what I would do if I were widowed. I think I know myself well enough to know I’d be okay on my own. I do know I’d be a wreck for a long while. I’d be a single mom with a headstrong daughter and I’d be lonely as hell. If I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing with my kid now, I can’t imagine doing it all alone, but even then I also can’t imagine getting married again just to have someone take care of me.

Engagement Ring
Creative Commons License photo credit: dareppi

I’ll let you in on a little secret; my marriage to Nathan is his third. He was married and divorced twice by the time he was 25. I jokingly say he married the other two women because he hadn’t met me yet, but it’s true. They were completely wrong for him and he never should have married them in the first place. I didn’t know either of them but I know they were wrong for him because he’s completely right for me.

Nathan reaches out when I draw back. He bites his tongue when I speak out of turn. He’s judgmental when I am neutral and we both indulge in a shameful level of geekery we seldom come across in others.

So my standards are high and I don’t anticipate ever lowering them. And when I tell people our marriage is Nathan’s third, I never say it’s my first because that implies there’s more than one in the cards for me. But honestly, I think I’ve found the one and only man in the world willing to put up with my shit.

And I intend to keep him.

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1:00 am– The storms roll in.

1: 15– I hear Autumn call for me from across the hall. I’m not able to make out what she is saying, but I know whatever it is means she’s going to wind up in bed with us.

1: 18-As Autumn finds her spot between us, I try to make myself comfortable on the few centimeters of mattress I’m allotted.

1:20-A little voice speaks up to address me.

“Can you please stop that,” she says.

“Stop what?” I ask.

“Breathing.”

1:30– I move to her bed.

Sleeping in Autumn’s bed during a storm is an eye-opening experience. Literally. The window shade does little to keep the lightning at bay and her bed is pushed up against the south wall that faces outside. As the more violent claps of thunder shake the house, I can feel her bed shake along with it. It’s no wonder the kid prefers to sleep sandwiched between two large adults.

2:15-The power shuts off for about five seconds. I get up, go back into my room and reset my alarm clock. I return to Autumn’s bed taking my iPod Touch with me.

2: 25-I check Twitter. No one I know seems to be available, though Janice from Five Minutes for Mom is chatting with several people. I send out a general message:

stormtweet

2:27-I check my e-mail and head back to Twitter. No replies, though Janice is still on. She seems to be a bit of a night owl.

2:30-I issue a general complaint about the storm on Facebook and spend the next ten minutes alternating between Facebook and Twitter, hoping to find someone willing to bitch about the weather with me.

2:40-Nathan appears and scares the hell out of me.

“Who else did you think it would be?” he asks.

“I don’t know,” I say, “I just didn’t expect a half-naked man to show up in the doorway like that.”

2:43-After spending a few minutes discussing the position of Autumn’s bed and the suck-fest taking place outside, Nathan goes back to bed but not before I tell him his alarm clock needs to be reset.

I manage to sleep sometime between 3:00 and 5:00

5:15-I hear Autumn ask Nathan where Mommy is. She is satisfied enough with his answer to not confirm my whereabouts.

6:00-My alarm beeps and I ask Nathan to shut it off. He does not want to reach over Autumn to hit the snooze button and opts to get out of bed and shut the thing off completely.

6:31-I manage to get out of bed without the aid of my five-minute snooze setting.

7:10-After taking a shower, eating breakfast and picking out Autumn’s outfit for the day, I return to my bedroom to wake my husband. “You might want to get up,” I say.

The next 25 minutes are stress-laden as the entire household tries to operate on very little sleep. I bark at Autumn as she dawdles and Nathan is full of resentment because I reset my alarm and not his. Of course he has forgotten that I told him I did not reset his alarm clock when he was conscious enough to do so himself AND that he could have reset his clock when he got up to shut off my alarm. My blood boils at being accused of not taking responsibly for a grown man’s inability to wake his own ass up and I begin yelling at him in front of Autumn. It does not get much better from this point on.

8:00– I arrive at Autumn’s school at the exact moment I should be sitting at my desk. I issue more impatient commands as she slowly gets out of the car and walks into the building. I start to believe children are hard-wired to move slower at times when it is crucial to use speed and wonder if there may be any scientific basis to my theory. The physics involved in parenting do not seem to favor parents at all.

8:05-I sit down at my desk and start complaining about the weather and my husband to my neighbor across the aisle who has had a much more pleasant evening than I.

9:05-Nathan calls to apologize. I accept and issue my own apology. Now all we have to do is make it right with the kid. This will probably include ice cream after dinner, Wii Bowling, multiple readings of The Three Little Pigs and a whole heaping helping of “I’m sorry.”

Conclusion 1: As always, I need to find more productive ways to handle stress.

Conclusion 2: Thunderstorms can suck it as can those who enjoy them.

Conclusion 3: Tomorrow will be better.

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Making memories

On a Sunday morning the year I was pregnant, Nathan and I were heading to his parents’ house in our old Chrysler Cirrus, a car that had automatic windows. Both of our windows were down a touch and Nathan reached to the console to raise his. Except he didn’t raise his window. He raised mine, trapping several fingers that were lazily dangling in the breeze.

The pain was excruciating and I screamed. Nathan freaked, lowered the window and pulled over to the side of the road. I was almost sure the fingers were broken and I alternated between sobs of pain and furiuous growls as I bitched out my husband for being so careless. After the pain subsided, we determined that the fingers weren’t broken and all was forgiven. It was an accident, after all.

And that was my very first Mother’s Day.

May yours be pain-free.

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Mafia metaphors

A couple of weeks ago I was recruited into several mafia families on Facebook. A bunch of family and friends extended invitations to join Mafia Wars and I’ve since been working my way through the ranks of the underground crime world.

The goals of Mafia Wars are pretty simple; make money and inflict as much pain as possible on rival family members. Those two activites go hand in hand and you’re usually doing one of them while in pursuit of the other. Since I haven’t been playing that long I have yet to build up my reserves of dirty money, but I am having a pretty good time picking fights and being a general menace to society.

Nathan is in my mafia family, though his approach to the game is different than mine. While I enjoy picking fights with the hope my targets have large sums of cash on hand (because the payout of a successful attack is higher if your rival has yet to go to the bank), Nathan remains a quiet mogul and only attacks if he is hit first. So far he has built up a good bit of wealth through performing high-paying jobs and building up his real estate portfolio. In other words, he’s not a punk like me.

As one would expect, our attitudes toward this game closely mirror our respective temperaments; I am the impulsive, confrontational ying to his mellow yang. I am the one to attack first and frequently while he only chooses to engage once he’s been pushed too far. Thankfully he has yet to order a hit on me.

In regards to the game, Nathan has advised me not to start so many fights if I don’t want to continue losing my shirt and/or being placed on someone’s hit list. In the short time I’ve been playing Mafia Wars, I’ve been rubbed out four times because I just don’t know when to walk away from a fight. Really, the parallels between real life and fantasy go on and on when you think about it.

These past couple of years have brought many unwelcome changes and I haven’t exactly handled them well. I really don’t know how I could have handled things better because, like Sonny Corleone, being a bit of a hothead is what I know. But we all know how that worked out for Sonny, am I right?

In an effort to learn how to better manage my temper (and prevent my grisly demise on the tollway), I’ve actually started looking to Nathan as my model of decorum. Granted, the man does consider flatulance a true art form, but as I mentioned earlier, he has excelled where I have failed and has also managed to become quite the rock star at work.

(I’ll let you in on a little secret though. Nathan has a hard time keeping it together when Autumn’s being a pain in the ass, but that’s beside the point because that girl could make the Dali Lama want to wring her neck at times).

I honestly never thought I’d be looking at my husband as a mentor. He’s been a lot of things for me over the years, but it always seemed as though I was the one who was teaching him. I was the one with the direction and the clear vision while he was the one who was just happy to go wherever life took him. Thankfully life brought him to me.

I really hope to learn a lot from the man because I still have that clear vision of who I want to be. She’s a calm, calculating matriarch whose every move is in the best interests of the family. She is confident and powerful and gains that power through intelligence and quiet observation. Instead of her heart ruling over her head, the two work in concert and she knows how and when to pick fights instead of investing so much time and energy in them all.

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Shortly after Christmas Nathan and I bought an Apple TV unit and installed a piece of software on it called Boxee. Boxee is sort of like a streaming video aggregator with a social media side. It’s really quite the nifty bit of software which, until fairly recently, included shows and movies from Hulu. Then Hulu’s partners took issue with how their content was being distributed through Boxee and made the Boxee developers pull them from their lineup. Yeah, I don’t get it either.

Being a social media junkie, I immediately linked Boxee to my Twitter and FriendFeed accounts so that both were broadcasting what we were watching through Boxee. This annoyed me because Twitter, especially, posted everything we watched. I kept the FriendFeed link intact but switched the Twitter feed to Nathan’s dormant Twitter account. He had used it briefly for work purposes to broadcast his whereabouts during the work day but lost interest in it after a few weeks.

I had forgotten that Nathan had also linked his Twitter feed to his Facebook account and as a result everything we were watching on Boxee was posting as Nathan’s Facebook status. I mentioned it to him a few times because people really don’t need to know this much about our viewing habits. But he was content with offering the folks at Boxee some free advertising and kept syncing his Twitter feed to Facebook.

Then one evening he logged into Facebook and saw this:

nathansfb

That’s right, people. My husband broadcast this as his status to every friend, family member, co-worker and former high school classmate on his friend list. And as you can see, not everyone appreciated being privy to that information.

There are a couple of lessons to be learned here. One is to always listen to your wife. Your wife is always right. Do not question the wife.

The other lesson is that your wife will laugh at you when you’ve done something dumb.

She’ll laugh and then she’ll blog about it.

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This morning Autumn woke at 4:30 am crying. I went in to check on her and found her with one leg sticking through the slats of her crib. I picked her up, soothed her and decided to nurse her as long as we were both up.

While we were in the rocking chair, Molly entered the room, sat in front of us and stared. I sighed. “Do you have to go potty?” I asked.

She shook as though a jolt of electricity had just passed through her, which is her way of saying, “Yes, Mom, I have to pee.”

I sighed again. “Go tell Daddy.”

Molly left the room only to return a couple of minutes later in the same state she was before.

“Go tell Daddy,” I said, this time a little louder so that Nathan might hear me through the nursery monitor and get his sorry ass out of bed to let his dog out.

Again she left and again she returned. By that time Autumn was done eating and I had her on the changing table. I was through playing this game. Why should Nathan be the only one in house getting some sleep?

“Nathan! Molly needs to go out!”

Let me explain that Nathan’s way of taking care of Molly is to invite her into bed with him so that she gets comfortable and forgets how much she has to pee. Of course I was wise to this and told Nathan I was coming right back to bed and that Molly was going to have to move out of my spot.

“I’ll let her out when you get back in bed,” he said.

So what happens when I return to bed? I kick Molly out of my spot and Nathan invites her back into the bed on his side.

Ok. I was getting a little steamed. “Aren’t you going to let her out?” I asked.

“She doesn’t need to pee,” he said. “She just wants to go out and play.”

I sat up, looked at the dog and asked, “Molly do you have to pee pee?” As soon as the words were out, she hopped back onto the floor. “See, she does have to go,” I said.

Nathan threw back the covers, and as he stormed out of the bedroom said, “You could let her out once in awhile, too, you know.”

Oh no he didn’t

“Excuse me?” I said. “Who gets up with your daughter and feeds her and gets her dressed EVERY SINGLE MORNING?” Not to mention I had just spent the last half hour nursing the girl with Molly doing the pee pee dance four feet in front of me. You know it’s pretty bad when the dog thinks the woman with the child attached to her chest is more reliable than the lump under the covers in the next room.

Nathan didn’t say a word to me when he returned. I tried to get back to sleep, but my mind couldn’t rest. I had decided to nurse Autumn knowing full well that I would be the one getting up with her at all times. I accepted that and Nathan, I thought, appreciated that as well. We’d be alternating feedings if she were getting formula and Nathan would be spending many early mornings sitting in that rocking chair instead of me. However, since I was nursing, his job was to take care of Molly in the morning. That had been our arrangement.

Later, at 5:45 am, Nathan’s alarm went off. “That thing better not keep going off for the next 45 minutes,” I said. Yeah, I was still pissed.

Nathan tried to apologize when he finally got up at quarter to seven, but by that time I was full into the silent treatment. He hates that. If it were me, I’d prefer the silent treatment to me yelling because I can get loud, but not Nathan. He must think he can better gauge his chances of survival by the tone and volume of my voice.

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry I said that,” he said. “I was tired. I haven’t been sleeping well.” I should probably add that Nathan has been sleeping with the aid of a CPAP machine in an effort to curb his snoring and sleep apnea. He has to wear a mask that makes him look like Darth Vader and it’s been hard for him to get used to.

I broke the silence by saying, “I think what you said calls for an apology with flowers.”

“Am I that far in the dog house?” he asked.

After that we sort of made up. I told him to forget the flowers because if I have to tell him to get me flowers then the sentiment is lost.

Of course the good thing about all of this is that I have one beauty of an entry for today. He really should know better than piss of a woman who likes to write.

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