The Second Marriage Dimension.

“Why did you change lanes?”

My wife doesn’t like my driving, and I don’t like hers. I thought that we had established this long ago and had an unspoken agreement that we would suffer our dislike for each other’s driving in silence. She had broken the code of silence.

“You know we have to turn left right up there don’t you? You are not in the right lane to turn left,” she added with no sign of stopping her lane change protest.

This is the point at which our marriage reality splits into two separate dimensions. There is the normal dimension, which we are all used to, where I switch back to the lane that my wife feels is more suitable for turning left. But there is also another dimension that is ruled more by thought and impulse. Every marriage has this second dimension.

In the alternate marriage dimension, I continue driving in the lane I had switched into, and my wife continues to express her dissatisfaction for my lane choice. I reached over and grabbed her nose and turn it slightly to the left. This changes the channel so that her voice is suddenly turned into music, and her mouth was a speaker. I continued driving and nodding my head to the beat of Led Zeppelin’s Good Times, Bad Times emanating from my wifePod player. I reach back over and pull down slightly on her right ear, increasing the bass level of the music. Once the song ended, her voice returned and picked up right where she had left off in her protest. Without a word, I reached up to the dashboard and hit the eject button. Instantly, a panel slid open in the roof of the car, and my wife, seat and all, was rocketed skyward towards an unknown interstellar destination.

Not everyone is aware of this second marriage dimension, but we all utilize it. After dinner last night, I set my plate in the sink without scraping the remaining dinner scraps into the garbage. When I turned back from the sink, I came face to face with my wife . . . the same wife who has made it abundantly clear that all food scraps are to be scraped into the garbage before dishes are set in the sink. She looked at me, and then at the plate in the sink with food on it. She frowned.

Once again, reality was parted and two separate dimensions began unfolding simultaneously.

In the normal reality, I quickly turned back around and grabbed my dish to scrape its contents into the garbage. But in the alternate dimension, I didn’t have time to correct my mis-step. My wife’s frown was actually a result of her charging up her plasma vaporizer weapon located just behind both of her eyes. With a strobe-like flash and whooshing sound, a beam shot from her eye sockets and struck me squarely in the chest. Instantly, the atoms that made up my body were separated from each other and scattered to the wind, leaving a pile of clothing on the floor where I had just been standing. My wife whistled cheerfully as she scraped the food from my plate into the garbage and fanned away the puff of smoke that my de-atomized body had left hanging in the air.

Fortunately, we all experience our marriages and relationships in the first dimension. If it were the second alternate dimension that was our marriage reality, there would be very few marriages left intact. Divorcees, widows and widowers would be the commonplace as the result of spouses being silenced, paralyzed, vaporized, flung out of moving vehicles in ejection seats, and many other forms of spousal impulse justice.

In the second dimension, I never got to hear the funny comment she made about lady whose wild hair matched the hair of the dog she was walking down the sidewalk. Her mouth was loudly playing Led Zeppelin music right up until she was ejected from the vehicle.

In the second dimension, my wife and I didn’t end up sitting together on the couch eating our favorite ice cream and watching an awesome movie together that evening. I had been vaporized shortly after dinner for my food covered plate transgression.

In the first marriage dimension, there are second chances and I’m sorry’s. There are happy endings and long lives spent together. The next time your mind instantly transports your spouse to the epicenter of an active volcano for saying you spend too much time watching football, just remember, somewhere in another marriage dimension, you are about to spend the rest of your life alone.


This story was originally published on Sweatpants and Coffee



A Question.

So if aliens were to take over a persons brain . . . Does that person know that their brain has been taken over? Or would they just suddenly wake up one day and find that their hat fit a little tighter and it seemed like maybe they could read the thoughts of their cat?

. . . No not me. . I’m asking for a friend. . .

Children are made in a Convenient Size.

When God was at his drafting table deciding how the universe would work, it was pretty clever of him to make children start out small and grow up to be larger. I can only imagine the challenges to a parent if children were born huge and then grew down to be small.

I mean, can you imagine trying to change an NFL lineman’s diaper if he didn’t want it changed? Or better yet, trying to enforce a “time out” on him? You’d be lucky to escape with all your limbs intact. And I imagine if that same NFL lineman wanted you to play dolls with him? You would not have much choice in the matter. Either play with dolls or have your shoulders dislocated and your ears ripped off.

And if children were big and we were small, it would be us adults who needed to be strapped into a car seat, and have to sit on a stack of telephone books during the family Christmas dinner, not the child.

But fortunately for us, children come in a small, convenient size, which makes them easier to manage. So when you tell a child “come here . . . come here . . . come here . . . come here . . . come here,” you can then provide them with some assistance in “coming here,” when words don’t seem to be working.

Due to their miniature size, a parent can assist children with lots of things like, “come here,” “stay there,” “sit down,” “stand up,” “stop hitting grandma with a wiffle ball bat,” and many other simple tasks that we need them to perform.

You can even assist them in cleaning their entire messy room by employing what I call “the chop stick method.” This method is where (after repeatedly telling them to clean their room, and the child repeatedly refusing) you grasp them by their little arms, and use them like chop sticks to pick up objects and put them away. I’m not sure that this method actually helps the child become any more obedient, but it seems to give the parent some satisfaction.

However, if you choose to use “the chop stick method,” you need to be careful that older siblings don’t see, and end up performing a perversion of it known as “Why are you hitting yourself? Stop hitting yourself.”

I guess if I had any complaints about the whole kids being small thing, it would be that I think they should remain small until they move out. My daughter Hannah is 17 now, and seems to be getting stronger and stronger. The age of 17 is a time in the raising of some children where it would be nice if they were still small . . . . really small . . . . . I’m talking ‘put them in a coffee can with holes poked in the lid’ small.

Time Management.

When you read the title of this little article, you might have thought, “Oh, some advice on time management. This should be good!”


There is no advice happening here when it comes to time management. There are so many more things that I need and want to do than I can possibly get done in one life time. It makes my head spin.

I work a full time job that sometimes requires overtime. I have a wife who I love and want to take out on “date nights”. I have two girls who I want to spend time with. I have a lawn that needs mowing and a two cars that need fixing. Our house needs cleaning and remodeling. I like writing and blogging. I like cartooning and drawing. I love being outdoors and fishing and laying in hammocks. I am a social person who values time with friends. I put a high value on volunteering my time for things I consider to be worthwhile causes.

“So how on earth do I manage to do all that?” you might ask.

“You must be a master at time management,” you might say.

The answer is simple. I don’t. I don’t do any of it.

My wife and I spend time together on the couch each evening taking turns snoring while the TV lights up the room and makes noise. It’s rare that both of us are still awake by 9:00.

I see my daughters coming and going sometimes. I manage enough effort to hope that they haven’t dropped out of school or started working at a meth lab. Sometimes I reach my arm up to hand them the money that they ask for, and I’m to tired to argue about in my after work coma state . . . . . . I’m pretty sure one of them was humming Cats in the Cradle the other night as they walked past my lifeless body.

My lawn gets mowed when it becomes so overgrown that it is embarrassing to be seen standing on it . . . . or worse yet, no one can even see me standing on it.

My cars will never get fixed.

The house is a monument to clutter. Remodeling is a ridiculous notion. Over the years I have learned that starting a remodeling project means that I will rip up the floor tile, tear out the sink, and apply spackle to spots on the wall . . . . and then abandon the project for two years . . . . . or possibly forever.

The last thing I’ve done that could be considered “volunteer work” was to chase down a piece of paper that had blown out of my neighbors garbage and put it back in the garbage can . . . . . and to be truthful, I only did it because it looked like a check stub and I wanted to know how much money an accountant makes . . . . . now that I think of it, I’m pretty sure I threw it back on the ground when I realized it wasn’t a check stub.

So my answer to trying to manage my time and get my gigantis “to do” list completed is . . . . . do nothing. I sit idle and wallow in self-pity over not possibly having enough time to get it all done, and never end up accomplishing anything, not even the things like fishing and cartooning that I actually enjoy doing. I disgust myself.

What disgusts me even more is you time management Savants. Your houses are perfect. Cars get serviced before they break down. Your houses and lawns look like home magazine covers. You volunteer for the school, the church, and you host scrapbooking clubs at your houses where delicious and visually appealing hors d’oeuvres are served on plates and napkins that match your living room décor. And you still have time left over to golf, have barbecues, and watch Dancing with the Stars.

You sicken me. Even more than I sicken myself.

But I know that I will eventually get fed up with myself and have a burst of energy. I’ll manage to half-ass my way through a few items on the list, sit down with a sigh, a beer, and a warm feeling for having gotten something done, and slowly return to my state of depression over all the things that are still left on the list.

How Does That Make You Feel?

A book that was popular several years back seemed to think that many of the problems that can arise between a husband and wife, were caused by men and women coming from different planets. In fact the very title of the book stated it clearly, Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus. I admit that I didn’t actually read the book (because I don’t like to read things), but the title of the book pretty much said it all.

Due to the books popularity, I assume that many people just accept this theory. Again, I didn’t read it, and I am not aware of it being made into a movie yet, but blaming our marriage problems on different alien ancestry seems a bit absurd to me. I would think the author would at least wait until science had indeed proven that we were planted here by an alien race before making such claims. But even if science had proven this, it seems highly unlikely that two separate alien species from two separate planets would have decided to deposit beings on the same planet, and that the two beings would end up getting married.

So, feeling troubled by the book’s conclusions, I decided to spend a great deal of time thinking and researching on the topic of marriage. Well, actually I did more thinking than research because I don’t like reading things. But my conclusions to all this thinking and researching is what I consider to be the root cause of nearly all marital problems.

“WHAT IS IT?” you ask, “TELL ME!” you say.

The answer is really quite simple. I’m surprised that no one has figured it out before . . .

The problem with most marriages is that women have more feelings than men.

This answer came to me after years of consideration . . . well, that and my wife constantly asking me how I “feel” about different things.

For the longest time, I really wasn’t picking up on the whole feelings thing. If a child was in trouble at school or got a bad report card, the inevitable question would be asked, “How do you feel about this?”

For a lack of a better answer, or even understanding the question, I would say something like, “hungry,” or “itchy.” But answers like these never seemed to satisfy her thirst for discussing how I feel. For me, trouble at school, or a bad report card meant grounded for a year . . . end of story . . . now let’s see what’s on TV.

It was as if she was expecting that in every little situation that occurred, I should be experiencing feelings of the same magnitude as watching a troublesome episode of Star Trek, or finding out that we were out of ketchup or something. I began to think that maybe I ought to be feeling more. Or maybe I do, but I just didn’t recognize what feelings felt like.

Now that I had identified that this preoccupation with feelings and emotions, and my lack of having an adequate amount, were a large part of what’s wrong with our marriage, I began to take steps to resolve the problem.

The natural solution was to simply tell my wife not to be so emotional over things, but this didn’t seem to work out as well as I had hoped. More often than not, it resulted in her getting even more emotional. At one point, after telling her she was over-reacting to my accidentally setting her hair on fire with my home-made, gasoline powered hornet annihilator she even threw a jar of green olives at me, leaving me with quite a goose egg on the forehead. This left me with the conclusion that the only other option was to roll with it, and try to come up with better answers for the question of how I feel about things.

My first attempt at this new approach was after a rather long and loud argument about my keeping a container of live leeches (for fishing) hidden in the lettuce drawer of the refrigerator after she had previously asked me not to. As the argument dragged on, she told me that she thought that my keeping them hidden in the fridge was deceitful and disrespectful of her wishes . . . and then she asked, “How does that make you feel?”

Trying to appease her thirst for emotion, I answered as honestly as I could by saying, “Regretful”.

Her eyebrows rose a little as if I was on the right track, but the her silence made me think that I still needed to squeeze a little more honesty and emotion out of my brain. So I added, “I’m regretful that I didn’t hide them behind my gallon sized jar of hot sauce where you would have been less likely to find them.”

Instantly her eyebrows crashed down into a frown and she gnashed her teeth, leading me to conclude that her current state of feeling was “murderous”. Luckily for me, the Styrofoam container of leeches was much less painful than a jar of olives when hurled against my forehead.

I realized that my best attempts at expressing my feelings were falling a bit short, so as a further effort to restore harmony to our marriage, I began to look up words in the dictionary to describe how different situations made me feel.

Our auto insurance premium going up made me feel . . . . . . agonized.

My daughter giving us attitude over cleaning her room made me feel . . . begrudged and rancid.

Hurting my wife’s feelings made me feel . . . precarious, nauseated, and fractured.

After a little practice with some flash cards I had made, I began to give some of my new words as answers to the inevitable interrogation over how I was feeling. Some of the odd looks that my wife shot me after these answers, told me that they may not always be what she was looking for, but she seemed to give me credit for the effort. Our marriage has gotten a bit smoother since my expressing my feeling words.

I think I’m on the right path, but I still get stumped by the whole emotions thing sometimes. The other day my wife stated that, “I just feel like bursting out in tears and I don’t know why!”

To which I replied, “Should I call an ambulance?” . . . . . . . . this was not the correct response.

Advice from Dad.

Sometimes we hold ourselves back because of what other people might think of us. I want my daughters to be confident in themselves so I always give them this little snippet of advice:

Never let the fear of looking stupid prevent you from doing something you want to do.

Just make sure that if you do end up looking stupid, you are the first one laughing!