From One Abductee to Another
Ten posts into blogging and I came across a Tumblr that began, “Now that the blog is dead…” The writer wasn’t even trying to argue the point. She threw it out there as a cold hard fact. My friend George verified it. He works with computers so I believe him. He tweeted, “That’s why google got rid of the blog reader,” or whatever it’s called. I never used it.
I hope the Tumblr chick and George are just being dramatic. George doesn’t strike me as dramatic, but that “blog is dead” phrase .. maybe she was just trying to cleverly echo Nietsche. If the blog is truly dead, is anyone out there? Is everyone else on the ship dead and I’m trapped with an alien? I suddenly feel like Ripley, except I don’t think there’s an Alien.
Actually, I’m sure I’m trapped with an alien, three of them.
I’m serious. For the last half an hour (took a little break after the first two paragraphs) a tiny human has been demanding that I pretend his foot is a microphone and sing loudly into his toes while tickling him. He screams if I stop. Tell me that doesn’t sound like an alien! To verify this hypothesis (that my son is a lot like an alien) I did a google search for “typical alien.” Based on Wikipedia, general observation, and some drawings I found on the internet, I’ve concluded that we’ve simply mistaken our own babies for aliens. Here’s a comparison chart. Those degrees are coming in handy. Thanks Hubert Humphrey School of Public Policy!
|Disproportionaltely large head||Yes||Yes|
|Owns own spaceship||Toy ones (we think)||Yes|
|Can’t speak human language||Yes||Yes|
|Tiny nose||If Norwegian or in Disney cartoon||Typically has “nose slits”|
|Commonly hairless||Yes, especially if Norwegian||Yes|
|Wears diaper||Yes||Not that we know of|
Note the physical similarities between babies and aliens in these diagrams. I can’t read the writing on the top picture, but I think it was drawn by an actual abductee. Also, I noticed that the aliens in the featured image are wearing footie pajamas.
Clearly, people have simply mistaken babies for aliens. It’s the middle of the night, you’re tired, who’s to say if it’s your kid or an alien? Because I clearly don’t have enough to do, I looked up some info about abductees. Here are The Facts:
1. Most abductees are under forty and of reproductive age. Men with vasectomies are typically returned to their beds unharmed. Duh! You have to have kids to mistake them for aliens.
2. Most abductees have “psychic” personalities. Awesome! This is clearly why I haven’t gotten confused yet.
3. Abductees often experience “dual difference,” that is, they feel both alien and human at the same time. I relate to this one. What parent of young children doesn’t feel hungover and weird most of the time? Of course, I felt that way before too.
4. I’m going to go ahead and add sleep-deprived, shirt on backwards, stressed out, and probably having a fight with spouse to the list of abductee traits.
Clearly, we have just been mistaking our children for aliens. The only thing that throws me is the anal probing aspect. Sure, parenting is rough, but I wouldn’t describe it exactly that way. More of a titty twister/resume killer, I’d say.
Back to back to blogging. That’s where we started, if you can recall. Got a little off track there. Now that I’ve “lost” eight years of my life, I don’t know — how short do the soundbytes need to be these days? Have you already stopped reading? I’m reminded of that literary proverb: “writing should be like a short skirt, long enough to cover the important parts, but short enough to keep it interesting.” Does Tumblr hit that sweet spot, just below the asscheeks? But why isn’t it even spelled right? If you know, tell me what to do. What social media websites should I use to promote my book?
Until next Monday,
Paint the F***ing Garage Doors and Other Thoughts
I don’t come from a family of planners. When I got married ten years ago, I picked out dresses for me and the bridesmaids, and was like, “Yo, Mom and Dad, party at your house next July!” They were like, “Cool, we’ll be here.” Then we invited eighty people. That was it.
A week before the wedding we convened in South Dakota and each person involved started doing things he/she thought might be relevant to the wedding. My dad redid the master bathroom, cut down about 100 pine trees, and lined up a pig. My mom went shopping for a bird bath and some native plants at a cute store in town.
It went pretty well until we added relatives. Not all of them travel well. It was messy. Also, my brother-in-law, who generally does travel well, got hit by a Winenbago a couple weeks before the wedding. My dad, organized emergency plastic surgery in South Dakota, which turns out to be a great destination surgery center.
During the height of the family drama, my best friend and I (Hi Wendy!) were standing in the driveway while my mom reached her peak pre-wedding insanity level, if you don’t count the bird bath shopping. I don’t know who she was talking to, but she started yelling, “Paint the f***ing garage doors.” Wendy and I looked at each other, saved our laughter for later, and painted the f***ing garage doors. My mom made herself a drink. Incidentally, the garage doors were up during the entire reception. My mom claims no memory of this moment (Hi, Mom!).
When the wedding day arrived we still didn’t have things like BBQ sauce, food other than a whole roasted pig sitting in the garage, and probably a bunch of other stuff. No sweat, though. My cousin Thien made hundreds of spring rolls and a vat of avocado corn salad. My other cousins, aged eight to thirteen, worked the bar. My dad got one of his patients to do the ceremony. The poor man agreed to it while hooked up to an EEG machine. Imagine electrodes. (That was actually a month prior, but I had to mention it.)
I’m hoping this is how my book release turns out because I don’t know what I’m doing. Book publishers don’t spend a lot of time or money promoting books. They just shoot your book out of a cannon and yell “Boom!” once on Twitter so I’m promoting, a.k.a. Facebooking during baby’s nap time. To wit, I started an author Facebook account. That’s where I plan to do all my book promotion. Be prepared my twenty-eight new friends! Most of you are authors, so we’ll just spam each other. Sounds effective, I think! Either that, or it’ll be like I have two of the same Facebook accounts. Facebook keeps sending me messages, “Sorry, we got confused.” Me too, Facebook!
I also started a street team. If you are imagining me walking down the street snapping my fingers with a gang slowly filling in behind me until we break into a choreographed dance, you’d be close. It’s basically that, except it’s a Facebook group. A lot of authors these days have street teams. My team is called Chick Lit Anonymous and we are nineteen strong so far, if you don’t count the authors who are counted twice. I bet Jennifer Weiner wishes she thought of that name! By the way, if you’re reading, we’d love to have you, Jennifer! You tweeted me once. At “CLA” we hang out and take Buzzfeed quizzes. I hope the members will write reviews for my book when it comes out. I also hope none of them lose their real jobs for Facebooking. The street team will have a tab on the web site soon.
In the meantime, I keep asking my husband to keep an eye on the kids while I work. He doesn’t look convinced and I have to admit, it does look a lot like I’m Facebooking. Am I working? Am I not working? Who’s to say. I might just be painting garage doors. At least I’m having fun. Also, some of my cousins are almost old enough to make me a drink legally!
P.s.: I’m sorry Wendy, Paula, and Gina. I really did think you would be able to wear those pink dresses more than once. In hindsight, I bet you didn’t.
It’s a Wrap! Mother’s Day 2015 is OVER!
For Mother’s Day, I decided to take the middle child to Cinderella. I’m trying to spend more quality time with her alone. It remains to be seen if there is enough of me to go around for all the kids. So far the answer seems to be no.
Anywho, Cinderella. Shortly before we left, Daphne put on her best dress, blue with pink hearts and super fabulous. I purchased it from FabKids for $4.99 without realizing that FabKids is a monthly subscription service exactly like Columbia House (Hello everyone from the 90’s!). After paying $60 a month since December, Daphne wore a $360 dress to Cinderella today. By the way, Wendy Mullins, I bought one for Sammie, too. It’s been on my dresser since December. She’s probably outgrown it.
More essential to the story is this: last week Daphne took a flying leap off the new swings and removed a chunk of her big toe. No big deal, but shortly before we left for Cinderella she asked her dad to cut a “chunk of skin” off her toe. I chose to ignore that while I put on lipstick.
There we were at Cinderella, snuggled into a for-handicapped-individuals-only chair (the theater was full), eating popcorn and having fun. The movie is fairytale heaven (for white people). It’s a live action version of People’s Beautiful Most People issue in period costume.
Halfway through the visual nirvana that is Cinderella, Daphne claimed to have outgrown her shoes. She took off one shoe and examined her toe. What began as mild foot complaints — “Mama, my foot is buzzing” — escalated to things like:
“Mom, it feels like there’s a beetle in my toe.”
“Mom, my shoes don’t fit.”
Then, “Mom, it feels like there’s an alarm clock in my toe.”
“Mom, the side of my foot hurts now.”
“Mom, the alarm clock in my toe is going off.”
I flashed back to the “Dad, can you cut my skin off?” moment. I figured there was a small chance her toe was about to fall off.
While Cinderella twirled with the prince, we went to an exit and looked at her toe under the glow of the emergency exit sign. It looked fine, but Daphne, who was in obvious distress, demanded we go home.
I kid you not, at the exact moment that Cinderella ran from the ball, Daphne ran from the theater wearing just one shoe and her fabulous gown.
Halfway home her foot got better. Turns out, her foot just fell asleep, probably because we were sharing a chair, snuggly but cramped. It’s the first time it ever happened to her. We’re going to try Cinderella again when it hits the cheap theaters.
A side note on Cinderella: That movie is so much more deeply laden with falsehoods than I remember. Everyone knows that a prince isn’t the answer to all your problems, but there’s an even bigger trick. In my experience (10 years of marriage and 3 kids), the whole scullery maid aspect of Cinderella, doesn’t occur until after marrying “the prince” (don’t tell Harley I put that in quotes) and having a bunch of kids. Also, let’s take a look at the “stepsisters” situation. They are demanding, ungrateful, have trendy names, and wear tutus all the time. Wake up bitches: They aren’t your stepsisters. They are your children. Cinderella should come with a surgeon general’s warning: May lead to a $25,000 wedding* followed by a never-ending vacuuming, a mountain of dishes, and a permanent eye twitch.
So says the writer of romance novels. On that note, Happy Mother’s Day!
Love and kisses,
*average cost of a US wedding according to, costofwedding.com. How’s that for a source!?
Oh My God, Another Birthday.
Harley, my husband, has a birthday on Wednesday. This sort of slipped my mind until I went to a birthday party last night, which turned out to be for him, at least partially. Shopping for him is a nightmare. Last year, I decided to let him pick out his own rain jacket because he likes shopping. Bad idea. REI only sells jackets that require chemical spray to remain waterproof, whereas he prefers an intrinsically waterproof garment. Same story at every other sports store in the metro, which we visited with a one-month old baby and two kids. There was as much crying, nursing, and general misbehavior as you might expect. Finally, he found a hot, sweaty rubber tent in stoplight yellow at Fleet Farm, basically the same outfit you’ve seen on The Deadliest Catch. When we finally found it, we walked away, even though it only cost $15. Instead, he started wearing a jacket my friend Amy (Hi Amy!) left at our house approximately four years ago. It’s too small for him and no longer waterproof.
At any rate, I’m putting off birthday shopping and writing at a coffee shop near the house. I’m wearing an overly dramatic hat and trying to own it. I left Harley at home with the kids because I don’t think a person can work while watching three kids. As I packed up my computer bag, sunglasses, wallet, and hat, Harley packed his almost identical work supplies (except he’s wearing a ball cap) to “watch” the kids in the backyard. As I left, he called, “See you at the ER!” because he knew what I was thinking. I’m not sure if I’m paralyzed by responsibility or he’s too casual. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
I didn’t realize I would be so into parenting. I imagined having kids as a much saner, neater process. Needless to say, parenting hit me full force, stripping me of quite a few goals (I had intended to use all of those degrees). Some days I feel like a quasi-Betty Draper (minus the wardrobe, frosty demeanor, and John Hamm, who’s more fun at the office anyway). Being Betty Draper is a privilege. I’ve gotten to spend the majority of my time with my kids. But also, holy shit — if anyone thinks Betty Draper is an unsympathetic bitch, they haven’t tried spending 24/7 with small kids with a spouse who arrives just before bedtime. I’m living in an insane asylum, a really fun one, but I’m also just a few ticks away from shooting songbirds in my nightie. And I still need to find a birthday present.
I recently read Bad Feminist. Roxane Gay writes about feminism in terms of popular culture from the perspective of a fun chick I relate to. I can’t recommend it enough. However, I think she is missing a big section. She covers race, gender & sexuality, and politics, but there’s nothing about motherhood or caregiving. We spend so much time talking about reproductive freedom, which is great, but don’t talk enough about what happens to those of us who choose to reproduce, not to mention other types of caregiving. With FMLA what it is, childcare costs what they are, and the availability of family friendly work (and not just lip service family friendly), parenting can easily turn into a one-woman job. Not to mention, I didn’t realize how much I would love my babies. I barely trust Harley. That’s how I turned into Betty Draper with latent feminist tendencies. I think there are a lot of us.
Enough of that. Next week I’ll write about the root canal I’m delaying because it costs more than a used piano. Will I have a new piano, an abcessed tooth, or both? It’s too soon to call.
Until next Monday!
Saving the World, One Birthday at a Time
If you haven’t ever hosted a child’s birthday party, you might not realize that it’s basically an episode of 24 minus the national security plot line. Who could keep track of what Kiefer Sutherland was doing anyway? Not me. My middle child, Daphne’s, birthday is this coming Tuesday, but we hosted a party for her on Saturday. She played a terrorist and I played Kiefer Sutherland. Later, we ate cake.
Going with my 24 theme, here’s the cast:
Me. I even sort of look like Kiefer.:
If you’re wondering why you weren’t invited, it’s because I didn’t invite anyone who wasn’t loitering on our lawn already (Hello, Keenans!). I was trying to keep it low key. “Low key” meant we started the party at 4 a.m. when Daphne climbed into bed with me. “Of course you can cuddle, but you need to go back to sleep,” I said. I followed this up with, “Stop touching your brother. He’s sleeping,” about three hundred times, to which Daphne replied, “Oh, I thought that was you. That’s my brother?” (She knew.) Then, we got up.
Cut to 6:00 a.m. House looks like it normally does, sort of like I hosted a frat party two nights ago and only sort of cleaned up. Daphne says, “Mom, maybe you should clean AND DECORATE the house.” Then, she and her siblings get out inflatable pool toys to use in the living room.
One of the major subplots of this birthday party happened to be a swing set. Harley, my husband, started building it on the morning of the party. He would dispute this, but he doesn’t read my blog. Just looking at him, I wouldn’t have been able to tell he was working. For at least two hours he disappeared. Both before and after this lost time (do all men do this?) he asked the same question, “Sam, have you seen that Menards bag with brackets in it?” I responded, “You mean the one in the garage?” Him: “None of the Menards BAGS (note the plural) in the garage have brackets.” So he went to Menards. He needed some chain anyway. Note: If you round up, we live in a 1,200 square foot house. We use 350 square feet of this to store products from Menards, many of them in their original packaging.
I don’t remember enough about 24 to recall the usual episode structure. Still, I do remember that at the end of each episode the president is still alive and Keifer Sutherland is still freaked out. Both were true of Daphne’s birthday party. (Keep in mind that I am still playing Kiefer Sutherland.)
Until Next Monday,
P.S. Thanks for bringing donuts, Amelia and Ryan! If you are still reading and wonder who Amelia is, she has a blog of her own filled with fashion advice. Also, thanks to the rest of Wagenknechts and Keenans for christening the swing set.
P.P.S.: For those of you still reading, here is photographic evidence of The Party:
The piñata, made by my older daughter. Note the adorable girl casually waiting to smash it to pieces.
During the party. This is what a real child party looks like when the adults have abdicated control and added Airheads candy.
The aftermath. From all appearances, I might as well have had thirty drunken college students over, but no, they’re just some adorable little girls.
Update on my Activities
About half an hour ago I tried brushing my teeth. I gave up because the toothbrush I have been tentatively thinking of as my own was suspiciously wet. Normally, I’d ignore that but everyone is super phlegmy this week. I’m not going to go so far as to say we’re sick, but … here’s a haiku to describe our symptoms. Read it in Mike Myer’s voice and imagine a bass player plucking in the background. If you have one at hand, put on a beret.
Some snot. Some spitting.
Silas – he puked on the bed.
Where did my coffee cup go?
At any rate, I gave up on brushing my teeth. Then I gave up on a shower. Then I gave up on coffee. Before we had three kids a lot of people said things like, “It’s no harder than two!” Let me tell you, those people are full of shit. There’s really no point counting the children anymore. We went from two to a swarm. Sometimes all you can do is try to protect your head and wait for the fire department (who I’ve only called once on purpose).
Luckily, one of my children is planning a trip to Hawaii. Daphne decided to celebrate her birthday there after I rhapsodized about a Crowdcut deal (4 days and 3 nights in Kauai for $499!). Yesterday, while we were at Menards on University (note how far we are from Hawaii), she picked up a package of Cheetos that she plans to open on a Hawaiian beach on her birthday.
Those are the moments that give me hope. I may have no toothbrush and $55 worth of library fines for lost Scooby Doo books, but someday I could be eating Cheetos on a beach with my kids.
Because people ask, I’m going to update you on my writing. Last week I finished the first draft of a manuscript. It’s totally unreadable, but I’m psyched because it’s down on paper and I kind of like it. Even though I was aiming for a darkly comic mystery, it came out as a chick lit thriller. There is no such genre so I’ll probably have to publish it on this website after a lengthy search for an actual press. Stay tuned!
Also, I’m starting another round of edits on Ruby (still no release date) and I’ll begin work on a spec book. This will commence when the publisher mails me the necessary stuff. A brief note on time in the publishing world: If you’ve seen Interstellar, the publisher is like Matthew McConaughey and I am like his daughter. Or something. Anyway, they’ll probably get it to me before I’m dead. Also, if you aren’t sure what a spec book is, it’s where the editor gives me the plot and I write the book. If it comes out as a chick lit thriller, she will probably murder me.
The spec book might sound like a creative compromise (category romance with a pre-fab plot), but I’m excited to write it because: a) it’s a writing job and b) it sounds fun. Plus, it’s probably good to practice left-handed behaviors (like sticking to a plot). That’s a phrase I stole from my mom who stole it from her professor/friend, Moy Fook Gum. Category romance probably wasn’t at the top of his mind when he said that, but I think he could roll with it. Another one of her college professors, Cheng Khee Chee (I went to class with her a lot) said, “What’s wrong with pretty picture?” So, there you have it, I’m using my mom’s college degree to justify my career as a small time smut peddler. I bet she didn’t see that coming.
Until next Monday!
No Plot. Some Discussion of Toilets.
A few years back, my husband and I spent months shopping for a water saving toilet. It was when they first came out (I think) and it cost as much as a small car. We probably used my student loan money to purchase it and are still paying it off, but I digress. After buying our toilet from a boutique toilet shop in a trendy Minneapolis neighborhood that is now closed because no one in their right mind would ever shop there, Harley installed it most of the way. (You’ll know what I mean if you ever visit.) Then, he went into the backyard and squirted the hose into the air on jet setting for approximately three hours. (The dog liked to chase hose water.)
In more recent news, I went to a writing conference this weekend. (Do you like that transition!?)
Oops, one more thing about the toilet. I’ve noticed that places like IKEA and Costco always have water saving toilets. I’m seriously skeptical that anyone reads the directions. I would put good money on the fact that most customers flush in the direction that indicates that they’ve just taken a giant number two instead of using the water-saving “I’m just flushing pee” function. Just a guess. And really, every time someone does that, it’s a vote to colonize Mars after we’ve trashed the Earth. Don’t worry, though, I’m not going to stage a protest outside of any public toilets. I’m too busy writing chick lit. It’s a healthy distraction.
As for the writing conference, which I attended on Saturday, here are the highs and lows.
High #1: Dinner with the We Need Diverse Books panel at the Dancing Genesha (which has a Groupon going on, by the way). I got to meet Renee Ahdieh, someone I know from Twitter. I did some really horrible vlogs for her once upon a time and she still invited me out. That’s the kind of person she is. Her book, The Wrath and the Dawn, is coming out next month and it will probably be the next Hunger Games. You might as well buy it now so that you know what the rest of the world is talking about. My online friend, Kristy Shen, was also there. She and her husband Bryce wrote an adorable middle grade novel, Little Miss Evil. I just read the first page to my 8 year old and she officially requested a copy.
High #2: I went to a panel about literary novels with my friend Cristina. The literary folks were super nice, so nice that I totally wanted to go to a BBQ with them after and eat ribs even though I’m trying to eat less meat. Then, during the Q & A after the panel, a guy implied — he didn’t even come out and say it, he only implied in a complimentary sort of way — that the authors on the panel had plots in their books. Holy hell, was that ever the wrong thing to say! Those people were completely insulted by the plot accusation, which was so funny. It made me miss Frasier. Anyway, next time I see them, I’m not going to admit to any plots.
Lows of AWP: I bought too many books, which is a problem because we’re still paying off that toilet, as well as law school and some shoes I never wear.
Now that I’ve neatly circled back to the toilet discussion, I will leave you until next Monday.
P.S.: If you hated this blog post, I’d just like to go ahead and blame my mother now. In fact, I’ll preemptively blame her for all posts on this website.
Blogging and Vacuuming
This blog title reminds me of my parents’ answering machine message when I was in elementary school: “You’ve reached Brian and Mimi. We aren’t able to take your call because we’re either having sex or vacuuming.” That is apropos of nothing, but I thought I’d toss it in. It’d be sad to lose that beauty forever. Also, it might explain why I write romantic-ish novels. (Cozy mysteries with romantic subplots if you’re wondering. More another day on why I object to the term “cozy”.).
Anyway, regarding this blog. Back when my brother strong-armed his good friend, Alex, into making a website for me, I thought I would start blogging regularly and be a good author in every way. Needless to say, I’ve been a failure to date. Part of the trouble, not including months of procrastination and general inertia, is two feet tall and eating paper off the kitchen floor while I write this. I’m relieved it’s only paper. Hopefully, it’s not a receipt covered in BPA. Not going there, though. If I start thinking about BPA, we’ll never get anywhere. We’ll just move on and hope that no reproductive abnormalities arise as a consequence of this blog. For any reason.
Blogging, I’ve found, is sort of like vacuuming. I only do it if I know someone is going to come over. Because my website doesn’t have a doorbell, I’m just going to suck it up and blog. I’m going to do it on Mondays. Expect new entries then. As far topics, I’m not sure yet. I’ll try to avoid BPA because that’s depressing.
For today, I’m going to discuss The Highs and Lows of Spring Break. I will keep it short. Feel free to include your highs and lows in the comments. I’m sure we all have them.
The Highs: When my five year old dressed up like a vampire for Easter dinner. I would post a picture if my camera didn’t break. Another high: When my kids finished their science fair projects. (Science fair deserves its very own blog post. Maybe next Monday!)
The Lows: The first four days of break. This is also related to the five year old. I didn’t think middle child issues would affect her (five years between her and the baby). I was wrong. We could have a reality show called Extreme Middle Child, or even better Extreme Middle. See photographic evidence below.
This is a photo of her a few months before the brother arrived. Note her happy face.
Luckily, spring break ended well. We had a good time and I had a little taste of what is to come in summer. I think that is the point spring break. Going on a tropical vacation would have been even better, but at least I’m not scared of summer anymore.
And that is where I’ll leave you. Until Next Monday.
In Which I Reveal Brianna’s Cover
Two years ago I read a manuscript called Never Never by Brianna Shrum. I loved it. She flips the tale of Peter Pan right on its head and turns Hook into the hero. Never Never is darker, moodier, and more beautiful than Peter Pan, but just as magical.
And the cover is gorgeous!
Because Brianna has prepared a perfectly good blurb, I will now stop babbling about her book and let you read that:
James Hook is a child who only wants to grow up.
When he meets Peter Pan, a boy who loves to pretend and is intent on never becoming a man, James decides he could try being a child—at least briefly. James joins Peter Pan on a holiday to Neverland, a place of adventure created by children’s dreams, but Neverland is not for the faint of heart. Soon James finds himself longing for home, determined that he is destined to be a man. But Peter refuses to take him back, leaving James trapped in a world just beyond the one he loves. A world where children are to never grow up.
But grow up he does.
And thus begins the epic adventure of a Lost Boy and a Pirate.
This story isn’t about Peter Pan; it’s about the boy whose life he stole. It’s about a man in a world that hates men. It’s about the feared Captain James Hook and his passionate quest to kill the Pan, an impossible feat in a magical land where everyone loves Peter Pan.
For your convenience, here’s the Goodreads link. You should add it to your list. And, if you want to know more about Brianna, I happen to have her author bio. She is just as sweet as she sounds in the bio, by the way.
Brianna Shrum lives in Colorado with her high-school-sweetheart-turned-husband, two boys, and two big, floppy hound dogs. She thinks chai tea is proof of magic in the world, and loves all things kissy, magical, and strange. She’d totally love to connect with you. You can find her saying ridiculous things on Twitter @briannashrum
Advice for the Lovelorn and Mild to Morbidly Curious (regarding Christmas presents)
My friend Carol and I have decided to start a romantic advice column. Actually, I decided to start one, which prompted Carol to re-answer the questions that I originally answer. It’s as if she thinks I give bad advice!? You can be the judge of that.
For the first column, no one has asked a question, so I’m going to pose one myself. Hopefully, I don’t have to do this all the time because it might get weird. I might overshare. Also, I’m not sure an advice column where I only speak to myself is exactly the promotional material my publisher was getting at. I think they wanted me to engage with other people. I’m sure someone will email me about it soon.
At any rate, here goes. Carol will expose all the holes in my logic on her site.
Dear Myself, What should I buy my husband for Christmas?
It would be weird to pretend that I don’t know my husband, so I’m going to take you along on my shopping journey virtually. My husband declined to make a Christmas list, so my first stop will be his Amazon wish list:
Pros of this gift: One-click ordering.
Cons: Husband might be a terrorist, not to mention he’s never going to use these things. If I buy him that $135 paint respirator, it will sit in a box on the kitchen floor and I’ll trip over it until I get sick of it and throw it in the back of some closet. Approximately three years from now when he decides to paint something, he’ll ask me where it is, but no one will be able to find it.
At this point, I talked to my friend Rosey and she suggested I think of categories of husbands, which she also suggested: Sporty Husband, Horny Husband, Bizweek Husband, Lazy Husband. She thinks it would be a good idea to think of presents for each category. I don’t think she realizes that I’m thinking specifically about a man who only wants a respirator and a Tyvec suit. She hasn’t met him. But she has a good point. It might be a good idea for me to think more abstractly about my spouse and our relationship. That’s probably good advice for everyone. If you want a takeaway message, there it is! If the details are gumming up your relationship, back away until they all blur into some sort impressionist masterpiece. I wish I had more time. I’d like to do a little picture of my husband in Monet’s style. I think some of my friends can do that sort of thing on their smart phones. Feel free to email me if you have some spare time and want to do a portrait of my husband in an impressionist style on your smart phone.
Abstract Husband Categories for Purposes of Shopping:
Sporty Husband: If I had a sporty husband, I’d probably buy him a helmet or a watch chocked full of sports gizmos like altimeters and barometers. I’m not married to sporty husband, so I’m going to leave this for my friends in Montana. I happened read Carol’s reply to this post. She has a very silly reply to me, something about “sports ball.” Carol, I warn you, is not sporty.
Horny Husband: This could be an opportunity to buy yourself something and pretend like it’s for your husband, such as sexy lingerie. I won’t be buying this. It’d just end up in the kids’ tutu box. Seriously. Last summer I came home to find my five-year old wearing my wedding night garb as a frilly apron for painting. My good friend Wendy purchased it for me from Victoria’s Secret. On a five-year old, it sort of looks like an Elsa dress. (Not a French maid costume, Carol!)
Lazy husband: An Xbox would be a great gift for Lazy Husband. Harley would love me to the ends of the earth if I bought him an Xbox, but then I’d have to divorce him when he started playing with it all the time, so no.
Bizweek Husband: I have lots of ideas here: a watch, a tie, shiny black shoes, cologne, an overcoat. Harley does the bizweek thing and he does need new shoes. Unfortunately, they cost even more than that respirator he wants.
However, I can eBay that shit.
My husband is getting shiny black shoes and maybe one of those Tyvec suits he seems so fond of.
If you would like some of my advice, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. It might take me a while because I don’t know how to access my email yet. Don’t worry, though. I’m seriously good at the advice part. If you would like Carol’s advice, email her and I will fix her questionable advice over here on my website. I’m pretty sure she has contact information on her site.
Note to Carol: Harley already tried on his used shoes and he LOVES them. I can’t wait to hear how Jeff loves his new spaghetti pot. Seriously, Carol has no room to criticize me — a spaghetti pot?! Jeff would probably prefer a Tyvec suit and a respirator.