Monday, July 30, 2012

Is this how men really think?

Jeff and I had friends over for dinner a few days ago and I gained the most amazing hilarious insight into Jeff's mind (still not quite sure what to make of it).  I'll use pseudonyms for our guests, for reasons that will be abundantly clear very shortly. Primarily nudity and humiliation.  I'll call them Jim & Pam.

Shortly after their arrival, I noticed that Pam seemed distraught and I asked her what had her so flustered.  Here's what happened next:

Pam:  Oh. My. God.  I went home at lunch today to check on the utility work going on in my front yard, and I found my son on the couch with a girl.  Naked!  Worse than naked.....NEKKID!!!  Boobs flying and everything.
LAB:  Holy shit.
Pam:  I know!  I don't know if I was more pissed that they were going at it or that they were on the couch and not one of the four bedrooms in our house that have actual doors that lock.
LAB:  Holy crap.
Pam:  I know!  I didn't know whether to yell at him or ask him if he needed condoms!
LAB:  Holy crap!

We both looked over at Jeff to get his response.  Here's what he said:

Jeff:  What kind of utility work are they doing in your yard?
Pam:  What?
LAB: What?!?!
Jeff:  What?
LAB:  Jesus Christ, Jeff.  This is so going in my blog.

Seriously, people.  That's the part of the conversation that Jeff latched onto.  Naked teenagers are much less interesting to him that an AT&T guy on a backhoe.  I'm at a loss.  May be he was embarrassed by the whole conversation and just wanted to change the subject.  Or at least I hope so.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Man Reasoning: Outflanked Yet Again

My beloved convertible is getting up there in years.  It's a 2000, but it's still in great shape so Jeff and I decided that we'd wait a year or so to replace it (until we hopefully have enough money in the "car fund" to pay cash for a new(er) car).  When we agreed on this plan, I made sure to note that if things started to go wrong with my car we would need to move up the schedule.  Enter things going wrong with my car.

Last week the "check engine" light came on, and we subsequently found out the in addition to a new radiator, there are a couple of other problems that need to be addressed.  Which I interpret as "put a band aid on that bitch and trade her in ASAP".

Jeff, on the other hand, thinks we should spend the money to fix it and keep it running for another year.  I hate this plan already.  Unfortunately, early in our marriage we agreed that all major purchases require "buy in" from both parties (and frankly, I don't want to open the door on "every man for himself" purchases at this point).  Results could be unpredictable.  So I'm going to have to convince him that it's a good idea to invest in a new car.  Best idea ever!

Here's just a small sample of our recent negotiations.  I don't know how I lost this one, but clearly my negotiation skills could use a little polishing.

LAB:  I think we should replace the Toyota.
Jeff:   I agree.  Next year.
LAB:  I meant now.
Jeff:  I'm aware of that.
LAB:  Why can't we?
Jeff:  Repeat after me:  No. Car. Payments.
LAB:  Can't we use what's in the car fund and cash out some investments to make up the difference?
Jeff:  Did you just say that out loud?  No.
LAB:  Why not?
Jeff:  Investments are for retirement.
LAB:  And major purchases.
Jeff:  Major purchases when we're retired.
LAB:  Let me take you back to February, when we cashed out some investments to buy you a new car.
Jeff:  That was different.
LAB:  Because?
Jeff:  I needed a new car.
LAB:  Exactly!
Jeff:  You don't need a new car.
LAB:  So it's OK to spend money on a new car for you, but not for me.
Jeff:  I needed a new car so we could give my old car to my son.
LAB:  So it's OK to spend money on a new car for you so you can hand down your old car, but not for me.
Jeff:  Exactly.
LAB:  So everyone in the family, including a 15-year-old kid with only a learner's permit, gets newer, nicer cars than I have.
Jeff:  That's just how it worked out.
LAB:  That sucks.
Jeff:  Oh, please.  You drive 18 miles round trip to work.  You're keeping the old car for another year.  At least.  Besides, you love your car.
LAB:  I'd love a new car more.
Jeff:  Don't you mean you'd love a new car more next year?
LAB:  Might I point out that you've bought five freaking cars since we bought my car?
Jeff:   You can try.
LAB:  *swears under breath*
Jeff:  "Project" cars don't count.
LAB:  Five cars.
Jeff:  It's not my fault you agreed to buying them.
LAB:  WHAT?!?!?!
Jeff:  What?
LAB:  I swear to God I want to smack you so hard right now that you'll have three tongues in your shoes.  This conversation isn't over.
Jeff:  We can have this conversation as many times as you want.  Until next year.

This?  Will not stand.  I'm not sure how I'm going to go about it, but I'm getting a new(er) car.  Time to bring out the big guns, people.  If I can find them.

Monday, July 16, 2012

LAB vs. The Adult Novelty Store

Fair warning to members of my family:  You may not want to read this.  Govern yourself accordingly.

My family has a pretty strong independence gene.  There aren’t many places that I’m not willing to go by myself and I certainly don’t ever cancel plans just because I can’t find someone to accompany me.   If I want to see a movie or go out to eat and Jeff’s at work and my pals are booked up, I don’t have a problem going on my own. 

But there’s one place I just can’t bring myself to enter alone:  The Adult Novelty Store.  It's my kryptonite.  Until last weekend.

I needed to pick up some “prizes” *ahem* for an upcoming shindig, and I was having trouble finding someone to go with me.  I don’t know why I hesitated to go alone, but I guess maybe I was worried about what kind of people go to the porn store.  People like me, apparently.  My previous Adult Store experience was at a store in Charlotte, NC that catered to strippers women.  I was with my best pal and it was a completely non-threatening experience because we had just finished a liquid lunch.  No such luck in Atlanta.

But time was running short, I wasn’t anywhere near Charlotte, and the bachelorette party was coming up quickly.  Sometimes you need to pick up a pair of fuzzy pink handcuffs and a giant dong on a schedule.  I recommend the “Showstopper”.

I was out running errands last Saturday and I figured it was as good a time as any to make my dirty purchases.  I headed to a certain establishment in Suwanee. Don’t act like you don’t know exactly where it is. 

My first problem was parking.  There were a lot of trucks parked in the lot.  A lot a lot.  Which made me more nervous because it meant that not only were there a lot of people in the store, but they were most likely men.

I’m not generally indecisive, but I had a hell of a time picking a spot.  I circled the lot three times and finally parked as far away from all the other cars as possible.  I have no idea why.  Just in case one of the trucks tried to molest my car.  Not exactly a confident start to my endeavor, but I was “all in” at this point.

I started the long walk from my parking spot in Tennessee and entered the building.  Everyone inside stopped their shady shopping and looked at me. Nothing attracts attention at the Adult Store like a 40-ish woman in a babydoll dress and a pair of sensible sandals.  They were Clarks.  

I may have mentioned this before, but when I’m uncomfortable I yawn.  A lot.  I started poking around the store pun intended and yawning uncontrollably.  I immediately caught the concerned attention of a sales clerk.  When a guy with waist-length dreadlocks, full sleeve tattoos and nipple piercings asks you if you’re OK, you know you’re in trouble.

I said I was fine, but then I accidentally backed into a display rack and I swear to God I yawned so big it probably looked like I needed to lay down on the floor for a nap.  At this point the other customers were much more interested in my next move than they were in the merchandise.

I gathered my wits about me and went about making my selections, studiously avoiding any areas labeled “clamps” and “fetish”.  I definitely needed backup and about 10 cocktails for those.

Eventually I had everything I needed and I headed to checkout.

Here’s the thing about checkout at the Adult Store:  If you’re buying anything that requires batteries *ahem* once more, they have to test the item to make sure it works before they ring it up.  I knew this going in, but it still doesn’t make the experience any less excruciating.  I waited until the female cashier was nearby, got out my wallet and hustled to the register.  She tested the items in an efficient manner and I figured I was home free.  Until she started with the questions:  Do you need batteries?  NopeHow about lube?  Oh Dear God, please stop.  I recommend water based.  Jesus, just stop.  All of the men in the DVD section (gross!!!) were huddled at the end of an aisle where they could observe.  My brain was screaming: Just. Let. Me. Pay.

I tried to create a diversion.  When I’m uncomfortable, I get all “Jokes McJokey”.  I can’t help it.  Moronic unfunny jokes come out of my mouth before I can stop them.  So I said to the cashier “You guys are open 24 hours?  What kind of person stops by here at 7 a.m.?  Do they wake up and say "Know what would be great right now?  An Egg McMuffin and a purple dildo".  Heyyyoo!  Ba dum dum. She didn’t even bother with a courtesy laugh.

I don't know what kind of shady customers shop at the porn store people like me, but I had to show my ID and sign two copies of the credit card receipt.  I guess to confirm that I really am a dirty, nasty girl *raises hand*.  With my transaction completed, I got the hell out of there and swore I'd never volunteer to shop for a bachelorette party again.

So I survived my first solo venture to the Adult Novelty Store unscathed for the most part.  I am woman, people.  Hear me roar!  While I haul ass out of the parking lot as quickly as possible.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Booze Battle

I celebrated my 44th birthday today with a visit to a dermatologist.  Because I know how to live.  They were playing Guns N Roses in the lobby, so it wasn’t all that bad.  I’ve been seeing the same doctor for several years and she knows me pretty well.  I told her about a few concerns I had and she said “I find that when dealing with you, it’s best not to worry about how something happened but just to make a plan of attack and deal with it.”  I gave her Jeff’s phone number so she could provide this wisdom to him for future use.

In other Jeff news, what the hell happens to men after too many years of marriage that makes them totally helpless in the kitchen?  I know for a fact that Jeff can cook.  When we were dating, he could make a Blackened Chicken Alfredo that was so good you’d want to slap your Grandma. Mine slapped back. Fifteen years later, and he’s paralyzed by that tricky step between the kitchen sink and the dishwasher. I keep telling him there's no wrong way.  This is a guy who can pretty much repair anything that has moving parts.  Can rebuild a truck by hand from the frame up.  Can confidently converse in three languages.  Can spend 15 years in a row with me and not require medication or professional counseling.  But he can’t find the flipping salt shaker?  I blame myself.  Obviously I’ve over-spoiled him.

He doesn’t even attempt anything in the kitchen anymore without using me as a Sous Chef.  “LAB, where’s this….LAB where’s that…”  Seriously.  It’s all in the kitchen, pal.  That's where we keep it. Just look around. 

I’ve been trying to train him to have more kitchen independence.  Or retrain him.  Whatever.

He was making martinis last week and I decided it was the perfect time to make my point:

Jeff:  LAB, where are the martini glasses?
LAB: *sigh* In the liquor cabinet.  Where we keep glasses.
Jeff:   Where’s the Sweet & Sour?
LAB:  The fridge. Where we keep items that require refrigeration.
Jeff:   Do we have any more flavored vodka?
LAB:  Did you really just ask me that?
Jeff:   But I’m looking for the Absolut Kurant.
LAB:  I’m looking for a man who isn’t blind.
Jeff:   What?
LAB:  What?
Jeff:   I’m just asking where it is.
LAB: Would you just make the freaking drinks and leave me alone?
Jeff:  Sounds like somebody isn’t thirsty.

Obviously he won this round.  Withholding my martini is a knockout punch in this battle. My Kung Fu is not strong where liquor is concerned.  I should have known better.  I'll redouble my efforts next time he's making a bowl of cereal.  Baby steps, people.