Sunday, March 29, 2009

On-line solutions. Part II. *With special instructions!

Back to the craigslist thing . . .

When I realized Hubby was having some fun with me by searching for new wife candidates, I figured I'd help out by narrowing down the prospects.

One thing we figured out right away is that women don't post photos of themselves in these ads nearly as often as men do.

I scrolled down the list of hopefuls. Hubby blurted, "Hey wait, click on that one--there's a picture!"

"Nope," I firmly responded.

"But why?" he sounded so dejected.

"Because she's only 28! You don't get to have anyone under 30."

He was speechless at my dictatorial command. heh heh

Quickly bored by the lack of interesting nominees, I changed the search parameters a bit.

Which is to say, I started checking out the guys.

Know what's interesting about men who post personal ads on craigslist? They also post photos. Lots of photos. Many of them post photos of their best features. Or what they consider to be their best features . . .

And so, in the interest of public service, I offer:

How *Not* To Photograph Your Naughty Bits.
A Tutorial For Men

If you are a man placing a men-seeking-women ad on craigslist and you insist on posting an up-close-and-personal shot of your manly parts, here are a few simple rules of thumb.

  1. Do not take the picture of yourself while in the bathroom. There are many, many reasons for this rule, chief among them is that if you're closed in your bathroom to take a picture, one imagines that you aren't alone in the house. Otherwise, why the need for privacy? And if you're not alone in the house, what kind of dog are you posting a personal ad on craigslist?
  2. If, for whatever reason, you must shut yourself in the bathroom to take a photo of your Soldier of Love, crop the photo so that the viewer cannot see your pants and underwear around your ankles. Nothing says "classy guy" like seeing pants and underwear shrouding your ankles while you take naked pictures of yourself. In the bathroom. Seriously.
  3. Again, if a natural disaster forces you to stage a photo shoot of your junk in the bathroom, in the name of all that is right and good, do not sit on the toilet. Images of toilets do not arouse women. Just no.
  4. And if you're smart enough not to sit on the toilet while arranging the perfect Still Life of Meatballs and Sausage, do not in anywise capture the toilet in the photo. It bears repeating images of toilets do not arouse women. Just no.
  5. That photo that you have of your ex performing lasciviously? DO NOT POST THIS PHOTO WITH YOUR 'HELP WANTED' AD. Seems like it should go without saying, doesn't it? But I'm saying . . .
  6. No matter how good or bad your picture is, use spellcheck before posting. If you're already going to put yourself out there as the kind of guy who thinks uploading portraits of Peter The Great is an appropriate way to lure the love of your life, don't make the mistake of also appearing stoopid. To wit:

"not looking for eney drama"

"i need some people too chat with"

"my spelling it suck's sometimes and my gramer needs work too" [Okay, at least this guy knows and admits his limitations.]

And one final note, guys: It's not just lonely women looking for life partners who are perusing craigslist ads. There are also husbands and wives who are sitting at their computers, scrolling through the scores of ads and giggling their faces off at what you all think are seriously suave attempts to beguile the woman of your dreams. You might want to think it through a bit.

I'm just sayin' . . .

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Craptastic!

I had planned on finishing up my story about hubby and his far reaching search for a new wife.

But I have a craptastic headache.

And I'm going to bed early.

So that I can rise and shine first thing in the morning and visit my dentist.

Maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll be constipated too.

later . . .

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

On-line solutions. Part I.

"I HATE BEING MARRIED!" I quietly opined.

"Oh?" he asked. With a raised eyebrow. And something else in his expression that I couldn't quite place. "Is that some sort of threat?"

"No," exasperation oozing all around my tone of voice. "A threat would have been 'If you don't stop doing that, I'll leave you.' I wasn't threatening. I was stating fact."

An hour later I sat down at the computer to check my e-mail.

"Hey--you didn't lose my place, did you?" Hubby wanted to know. Or, Hubby accused . . .

"No. I never mess with your craigslist searches. I always open a new window."

In fact, I never pay any attention whatsoever to his craigslist searches. They bore me. Car parts and motorcycles and all sorts of other odds and ends that he buys cheap, fixes and sells for a profit.

But something made me look this time.

To my surprise, Hubby's craigslist search wasn't automotive related at all. It was 'women seeking men.'

Hubby is actively looking for my replacement.

And now I realize, that extra something in his expression that I hadn't been able to place was hope . . .

Oy.

to be continued . . .

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The subject I'm not very good with.

A couple days ago, LeShallowGal wrote a hilarious post outlining her son's idea of how a baby enters into the world. It brought back memories of when my kids had similar questions.

Long ago and far away, Number One Son was a little guy of 6 or so. This little guy was one of those kids who asked questions. Deeper questions than I was prepared to answer.

One day in the car he was quiet for a long time and then came the question from the back seat, "Mama? Is the world the back of God's hand?"

Wha?

On another occasion--without provocation--he suddenly asked, "Mama, how does a mama get a baby in her tummy?"

Not a quick thinker on my feet, I hearkened back to a conversation I once had with my hubby's cousin, Sunny.

Sunny is one of those people who is friendly and easy to talk to, but she's not exactly the brightest bulb in the chandelier. Or, a better way to put it is: she's really dumb.

She had told me about explaining the birds and bees to her child. Actually, "explaining" is a bit of a stretch.

"Jackson asked about how babies are made and I told him that the daddy gives the mommy a seed and the seed grows in the mommy's tummy and becomes a baby."

Evidently, Jackson is not exactly the brightest bulb in the chandelier either because he accepted his mother's interpretation without further thought or question.

So--back to me driving with little Number One Son in the back seat asking me how babies are made: I panicked and fell back on the story Sunny had given her kid.

"Well," I hesitantly started, "the daddy gives the mommy a seed and the seed grows in the mommy's tummy and becomes a baby?"

"Hmmmm . . . " he thought and thought.

Danger, Will Robinson!

"But how does the seed grow into a baby?"

"Ummm . . . " I mumbled out an explanation that really had no relation to my original statement.

"Is the seed the daddy gives the mommy like bird seed?"

"No, not exactly."

"Well, could birds eat the seed if they wanted to?"

AAAACCCCCKKKK!!!

A couple years later when Hubby and I could tell that our kids were on the verge of finding out the real scoop about babies from some of their friends, we decided we'd best give them the facts ourselves. And by 'ourselves', I mean that at the dinner table hubby did all the talking while I studied the food on my plate very intently.

Several years after that painful episode, I was talking with a friend during our kids' archery lessons. He was sharing his recent experience of the 'birds and bees . . . but not with birdseed' conversation with his son.

Inside my head I was smugly thinking "Ha! Too bad for you! I am so done with that phase of our lives! Best of luck!"

It only took a couple hours for me to realize that I had another child, Youngest, and I still had one facts-of-life conversation to go . . .

I totally rock as a mom.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

How to ruin the mood in one easy step. Part II.

This time it wasn't me. It was my usually sweet hubby.

Wishing to surprise him one night, I filled the bedroom with typical, cliche "romance." Rose petals on the bed, ice cold drinks and lots and lots of glowing candles.

Hubby walked into the room and without a moment's thought quipped, "Oh, are we practicing satanic worship tonight?"

Yeah. That's exactly what I was going for . . .

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

In which Country Mouse poisons her sweet Hubby . . .

I usually take my lunch to work in an insulated lunch cooler thingy. For example, last Thursday I brought sauteed green beans, roasted asparagus with tapenade and grapes all in their own cute little plastic dishes.

When I came home from work I put the cooler on the counter next to the fridge--like I always do. It wasn't until Monday morning--Monday morning!--when I was packing Monday's lunch that I opened the cooler and realized I hadn't cleaned out Thursday's cute plastic dishes with the leftovers. And, being lazy . . . and since the kitchen was already a mess . . . which isn't my job because my hands can't deal with it . . . and what's a few extra dishes to my darling hubby who already has a whole kitchen of dishes to do? . . . oh yeah, and I was askairt of opening those containers that had been sitting there since Thursday because, well, yuck . . . I just piled them on the counter and went my merry way.

Today, Tuesday for crying out loud, I came home from work and put my cooler on the counter next to the fridge . . . and next to Thursday's plastic dishes . . . which still hadn't been cleaned out . . . which I assumed was Hubby's silent protest . . . oh yes, and I didn't clean out the leftovers from my cooler today either . . . and I mentioned I'm lazy, right?

Sitting at the computer, 6 feet away from the fridge, I was only half paying attention when hubby said, "You didn't finish all your lunch."

"Oh yeah--go ahead and polish it off," I answered. Distractedly . . .

Ten minutes later when he returned to the kitchen to take a second bite I made the effort of leaning my head 4 inches to the right to look at him while I asked a question when I noticed he was holding a piece of last Thursday's asparagus up and was just about to put it in his mouth.

"NOOOOOO!" I yelled, "that's so old!"

"How old?"

"Last Thursday."

"What?! You mean it's been sitting out on the counter going on a WEEK???"

"Ummm, yeah?"

"I thought it was a little slimier than usual."

The f***? Slimy? Slimier than usual? Bastard deserves the slow, painful death he is undoubtedly facing . . .

Sunday, March 15, 2009

my date with a young man

More shopping with Youngest on Friday afternoon.

He and I can't agree on clothing. I try to be laid back about it and allow him to dress the way he likes, but I have to draw the line occasionally.

And Heaven forbid that I like a piece of clothing and suggest he try it on. I am met with the sigh . . . the rolling of the eyes . . . the "Oh, Mom . . . " and the criticism. Always the criticism. With the implication that it should be so obvious even a mother could catch on . . . "It looks too 'Charlie Sheen' " is one of my favorites.

"It was easier when Dad and I bought my last pair of jeans," he wanly complained, "I tried them on, we both liked them, and we were done."

"But Youngest, they aren't a good looking pair of pants."

"They're comfortable!"

"Comfortable they may be, but they look slobby. And you shouldn't ever leave the house looking like a slob. For that matter, you shouldn't hang out inside the house looking like a slob."

"Well, some day when I have a house of my own I'm going to wear anything I want. As long as my wife lets me . . . "

After shopping, we had dinner out and generally had an enjoyable evening together. In the car on the way home the subject of girls came up--as it inevitably does with a 13 year old boy. After he let it slip that there's a girl he likes at church (and after the ensuing round of probing questions from me) I mentioned that it's best this girl doesn't know he likes her because he's a bit young for a girlfriend just yet.

"I don't want a girlfriend," he adamantly stated. "Girls mess with your head."

"Yeah--you saw what having a girlfriend did to your brother," I joshed.

He answered, "Oh, the humanity!"

Clothes. Girls. Oy.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I am a mother. Or--Why I Need A Very Long Vacation.

Near the home where I babysat when I was 14 there was a house with a sign that reflected the growth and change in their family. It read:
The Thompson Household
Population 6
5 4 3
2
Years later I would make the mistake of telling my two older kids, who were then in their early teens, that they would always be welcome to live in our home so long as they were either in school or gainfully employed.

I want a do-over.

I had no idea what I was saying.

No. Freaking. Idea.

Number One Son lived with us until, at 18 ½, he moved across the state for college. It was a good move and we enjoyed him when he came home for Christmas, spring break and summer vacation, but I was always relieved when he went back to school and our household routine went back to normal.
The P_____ Household
Population 5
4
Beautiful lived here until she was 18 and we had such fun together! By ‘we’ I mean she and I did. Her dad wasn’t so much in favor of the enabling mother/daughter relationship we cultivated.

For awhile, her then boyfriend stayed with us—at first only on the weekends and then insinuating himself into our family for weeks on end . . .
The P_____ Household
Population 4
5
She moved out for awhile in the midst of finding her independence. He left with her. Eventually, circumstances with her roommates became intolerable so she moved back in with us. And brought him back too . . .

Within a matter of weeks, Beautiful sent the boyfriend packing and we were back to our normal little household.
The P_____ Household
Population 5
3 5
4
Beautiful did a lot of growing and changing that year and by the time she was 20 she moved out again. This time for good. *sniff*
The P_____ Household
Population 4
3
Half a year later, she learned that she and her new fiancee' were expecting a baby! Fiancee' was out to sea for awhile during the weeks leading up to the baby’s birth, leaving me with the duty of being Beautiful’s birth coach (not so much duty as privilege—yay!!!)

Awaiting the baby (uggghhh, all those sleepless nights of counting contractions . . . ) Beautiful spent a lot of time at our house. And for the first week or so after the baby was born and Baby Daddy was still away from home, Beautiful and her sweet little Lily stayed with us—three cheers for being a grammy and getting to see the baby EVERY DAY!!!
The P_____ Household
Population 3
4
4 + 1 tiny one
Finally, Beautiful was ready to go back to her own house (and took her baby with her : ( and Baby Daddy came home. Leaving us with
The Sad, Quiet, Lonely P_____ Household
Population whatever . . . .
Grammy Misses The Baby!!!!
And now? Now, Number One Son has graduated from college and has taken a job close to home before moving away for grad school. Why, you ask, would he live at home instead of proceeding directly to grad school????? I am asking the same question. And I’ll be damned if I can get an acceptable answer. And who in her right mind said that all this moving in and moving out of grown children was an okay thing? Someone who truly, truly did. not. know.

Not only is Number One back in the fold for the part of the week when he’s not living at his girlfriend’s house, but occasionally he brings the girlfriend here for several days in a row and I just can’t keep track anymore . . .
Oh yeah--and I almost forgot (Lord only knows how I could have almost forgotten) our dear friend Randy, who is once again picking himself up and dusting himself off, stayed with us for most of the last year. But has now moved out. To a house 2/10 of a mile away from ours. Literally. But he still visits us every. blessed. day.
The P_____ Household
Population 3 4
5
4
4 ½???
6???
Mama had to get a job at a bustling pharmacy just to get some peace and quiet.

The moral of the story:

Be very careful what you promise people when you have not an idea in your head what all those promises really add up to or you too might find yourself working at a bustling pharmacy just so you can clear your head . . .

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's a small world. Maybe a leeeeeetle too small . . .

Number One Son is a nuclear engineer. He's decided to spend a couple years working at the local Navy base in the field of nuclear engineering before pursuing grad school. Right now he is facing a lot of training at the base before he begins the actual task of engineering--nuclearly.

He came home today and told me that one of his training instructors knows Hubby and me. Instructor went to high school with my brother, was acquainted with me, and met Hubby through me.

This description could fit any number of friends my brother and I had in school.

"I think his name might be Rick or something like that?" Number One helpfully added.

Still not enough information for me to narrow it down much. But then he tacked on this detail: "Oh yeah," Number One remembered, "he mentioned that until a couple years ago, our families used to exchange Christmas cards."

Ohhhhhh. That guy.

None other than my high school sweetheart, Eric.

I dated Eric off and on (mostly on) starting when I was still in junior high (okay, we weren't "dating" at that time so much as we were going steady) until I met my sweet hubby after I finished high school. That's practically a marriage in teenager terms.

Eric's family moved back to Connecticut a week after he graduated and from there Eric joined the Navy. During his time in boot camp, I met and got engaged to Hubby. But, lonely for his roots, Eric had kept up contact with my parents and brother a bit, even after I married someone who wasn't him.

Twenty years later, Eric retired from the Navy and, with his wife and son, moved back to western Washington where he took a job at the Navy base. I had no idea what that job was until today during the conversation with Number One Son.

What a coincidence that after all the years of traveling around the world--and with all the choices of jobs he could have had--he ended up standing in the same room with my grown son as an instructor.

Hubby, having been present during this whole conversation, made some snide remark about Eric. I think that's the required reaction for a husband when the subject of his wife's ex comes up--no matter how far in the past it lies.

After Hubby poked some gentle fun at me, I said that Eric was a nice guy and generally a good person. Number One agreed that he seems like he's nice guy.

And I didn't mention it to Number One, but I silently thanked Eric for having been tactful and gentlemanly in the way he said he knew Number One's parents and went to school with Number One's uncle. He could so easily have stated things differently to Number One. Like,

"Yeah, I know your dad. And I never thought he was good enough for your mom."

Or,

"When I was already feeling the most vulnerable, your mother broke my heart."

Or,

"Your mom is Kristin? Yeah, I tapped that."

Sunday, March 8, 2009

WOLVERINES!*

*A shout out to Jenny the Blogess. Which has precisely nothing to do with this post.

We came up with a new only-funny-when-you're-drinking game!

Saturday night Hubby and I were invited to hang out at a local bar by Number One Son and his girlfriend, Delight.

There was an enthusiastic, crowd pleasing band and the place was packed. Feeling all sloshy from my traditional 1/2 of a drink, I leaned over to Hubby and asked, "So what do you think the band members do for day jobs?"

He and I laughingly took 30 seconds to come up with their backstories.

By that time, Number One and Delight had joined us so I said, "Take a look at the band. Try to figure out what they do 9 to 5 and we'll compare notes!"

The kids thought this sounded like fun. Of course, they were both kinda lit so pretty much anything sounded fun. : )

Putting their heads together to confer, they took this task far less casually than Hubby and I had.

[I'm so sorry there aren't close up photos of these guys!]



The Keyboardist (all the way to the left)

  • Number One and Delight said: He's a car salesman. Definitely a car salesman.
  • Hubby and I said: We didn't even see him--our view was blocked. Upon inspection, we agree with the kids. Salesman. But we added that on the side he's either a Cub Scout leader or a Pee Wee wrestling coach.

The Guitarist with the short, white, messy hair (2nd from right)

  • I said he's a CPA.
  • Number One determined that he sells retail--probably at a local music store. Frankly, Number One is probably guessing closer to the truth, but I like to believe the man combs that wild mop of hair, dons a three piece and advises folks about deductions . . .







The Singer (who must be in her late 40s but is in fantastic shape and has a kick-ass voice)


  • Hubby and I came up with nurse. Probably a surgery nurse.
  • Number One and Delight disagree with me and slightly with each other. Number One says she married well and her husband bought her a bead shop in the touristy part of town. Delight says there is no ownership involved, but she definitely sells beads at the little shop in town. Either way, those kids are very detailed with their make believe stories!

The Drummer

  • Number One and Delight couldn't see him from their vantage point so they passed on this one.
  • I said he's a stock analyst.
  • Hubby said he's a stalker. With an extensive comic book collection . . .

And finally, The Other Guitarist (all the way to the right--with the scraggly long hair--in the first photo)

  • Hubby and I say he lives in his mother's basement.
  • Number One and Delight say he's a bus driver for the local transit company.
  • Number One and Delight amended their original decision and say that The Other Guitarist With the Scraggly Long Hair is a bus driver for the local transit company who lives in his mother's basement.

Such is bonding with my grown children : )

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

skillz

I haz skillz.
Here, I demonstrate my
stick out tongue and blow teh bubblez
skillz:






I iz learning ta sit up so big!













Crunchez! Huzzah!












I can haz toes!







Givin' my mama the 411








I haz wicked sweet sleepy skillz:







Behold: Crawling Skillz






Monday, March 2, 2009

It might be the drugs talking . . .

Did anybody else suffer grandiose visions when they were children, or was that just me?

In the middle of my second grade year, my grandparents spontaneously took my brother and me to Disneyland.

One Sunday evening, Angel and Pop (those are my grandparents--don't ask) were at our house visiting. They started talking with my parents about the possibility of having us for the week of Easter Vacation and taking us to the Happiest Place on Earth.

As the conversation progressed, the decision was made that instead of waiting until Easter Vacation, we would leave the next morning. This is how, without any notice whatsoever, my brother and I found ourselves packing our bags in order to drive to sunny SoCal and meet Mickey and the gang--smack dab in the middle of the school year !

And here is where the delusions of grandeur come in: Somehow, I had it in my head that my lacking presence in the second grade would be so mourned that when I returned on the following Monday, there would be cheering and confetti and probably a party. I might even be lifted on shoulders and paraded around the room. I was, after all, the second smartest kid in the class, the most athletic girl and was friends with pretty much everybody. Or so I saw it : )

Today is Monday and I'm writing a blog post. I am not at work. I am too sick to do my job.

I have worked every single Monday in the last year and a half. And Mondays are tough. Mondays are challenging. The Monday Morning Assistant [me] juggles four major tasks (and a handful of lesser ones) all at once. And gracefully, if she can : ) When faced with what tasks to do and in which order on Monday mornings, I think of it as performing triage. Because what I do is just that important!

I'm pretty sure they're missing me--and my graceful juggling--terribly today. And hoping that I'm never sick again on a Monday morning. I imagine that whoever is working in my place today is a mess and is flustered and is wondering out loud, "How does she do all this? And so gracefully?"

Yeah. That's what my replacement is thinking.

And when I return on Wednesday, still a little pale and weak, but a team player to the end, there will be cheering and confetti and probably a party. I might even be lifted on shoulders and paraded around the room . . .