Dishes that are Full Bodied and Easy to Manage.

Out of dishwasher soap, and the store is a seven minute winter drive in a car that won’t even heat to above freezing in that amount of time . . . so don’t even give me the “just go buy more.”

My only option is trying to figure out the best alternative . . .

Gas? . . . No.

Bleach? . . . Maybe.

Shampoo? . . . It can’t be poison, or you wouldn’t scrub it into your brain coverings. It says it has vitamins . . . Vitamins are good. Plus, if it does the same thing to dishes as it does to hair, my dishes will be intensely moisturized and easier to manage.

Just have to be very careful on the amount used so I don’t repeat the “liquid hand-washing dish soap volcanic eruption of ’09”.

I like to improve people’s lives . . . Even TV bad guys lives.

On TV, there is always that one good guy “expert” who can explain how to disarm a Bomb over the phone by telling you what color wires to cut.

Now if I was a TV bad guy, I probably wouldn’t follow any type of specific color code for my bomb wires. Or I might even get tricky and use a black wire where the red one is supposed to be. That would make any bomb manual wiring diagram inaccurate, and thus, making the TV good guy expert not such an expert

I feel compelled to explain this to the TV bad guys so there evil plans aren’t so easily foiled . . . Thus, improving their skills as bad guys, and thus, improving the quality of their TV lives.

The Chaos of Home Organization.

My wife is an organizer. It’s in her DNA. At least once a month, everything in our house must be violently uprooted from its happy home, and relocated to a new home and new neighbors.

Being that we live in a fairly small house with limited closet and storage space, many of the objects in our house must coexist with other objects that are of a different species, such as the silverware/matches/battery drawer or the crackers/bread/canned soup/mitten and hat cupboard.

This all works out fine until one day when you open what you thought was the silverware/matches/battery drawer only to find that it has now become the pen/pencil/can opener/socks without a match drawer. And the silverware, matches and batteries are not only moved to a new and mysterious location, but they have also been separated and given new roommates.

So now, the batteries live in the battery/Christmas decoration/antiquated VCR plastic tub in the basement, and the silverware shares a home with the numerous phone chargers that no longer fit any of the phones that we own, in the silverware/obsolete phone charger/air freshener drawer, located in the buffet in our dining room. The matches are now living in a decorative vase that sits on the windowsill in our kitchen. I have yet to unravel the mystery of what far away Gulag the crackers, bread, canned soup, mittens and hats have been sent.

Now I’ll admit that I’m not an organizer, so maybe I just don’t understand the logic that goes behind these new location assignments. But I just can’t see the reasoning in deciding to do something like condensing the three overloaded cupboards we have in the kitchen into two, and turning the third into a palatial palace for the iced tea maker and tea bags that we use once a year. An entire cupboard with nothing in it but an ice tea maker!  It was as if she was somehow compelled to create a shrine dedicated to the worship of cold-brewed summer beverage makers. Meanwhile, the rest of our dishes and kitchen appliances are enduring inhumane overcrowded conditions in the other two cupboards.

It’s not just the complete loss of knowing where everything is relocated to, or my failure to see the logic in the organization that bothers me, either. The lack of any kind of warning that a re-organization has taken place can cause grief as well.

One particular morning, I was painfully unaware that the day before, my wife had determined that all my clothes needed to be switched from my side of the dresser to her side, and her clothes now lived on what used to be my side.

Since I wake up an hour before my wife needs to, I usually get dressed in the dark, so as not to wake her. It wasn’t until I actually got to work that I realized when I had reached into what I thought was MY drawer to grab a work shirt, I was actually grabbing and putting on a hot pink t-shirt of hers that said “SEXY LADY” in very sparkly letters across the chest . . . this is not something that the guys you work with will soon let you forget about. I can’t imagine the abuse I would have received if they had seen the pair of flower print panties that fate had determined I would be wearing that day.

 

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The Un-Manly Art of Decorating.

How, in our culture, has it become accepted that the wife is the decorator of the house? Why is it such a crime for me to hang my Pink Floyd “Wish You Were Here” poster in the living room? What’s wrong with white walls? How many candles are too many in a given room? These are some of the questions that have been plaguing me since my wedding day.

Before my wife moved into my apartment and ruined everything, I had a cool living room. The Pink Floyd poster was the centerpiece on the wall, flanked by a battle-ax and a samurai sword that I had gotten awesome deals on at the flea market. On my coffee table sat a stuffed armadillo, and in the corner stood a one-armed mannequin dressed in a tan suede tuxedo and a Viking’s helmet. The refrigerator stood next to the couch, giving me easy access to the beer crisper drawer without needing to stand up and walk into the kitchen.

But it’s all gone now. There is not a shred of my original manly flair left in our current house. Every object decorating our living room falls into one of three categories: flower-plant, candle, or huge word. (The huge words are hung or painted on the wall and say things like “LOVE” or “FAMILY” or some cheesy saying that no self-respecting man would ever utter.)

The walls have been painted a baby poop yellowish-brown, except for the brilliant red “accent” wall, which makes my head hurt and my ears ring when I look at it for too long.

As for the plant category, my wife is constantly bringing home some new potted plant that will only end up being the latest victim of her sadistic need to slowly torture and eventually kill houseplants. They start out well. For at least the first month of them taking up residence in our home, the new plant will be pampered. It will receive a daily watering and even fertilizer to feast on. But then as things get busy and other plants are introduced into the decorating scheme, the once pampered potted houseplant will begin to whither, droop, and inevitably die a slow and horrible death.

There are candles placed everywhere in our home. They are on every shelf, on top of every surface; some even have a small shelf dedicated entirely to the particular candle’s own existence. There are so many candles that if you actually light them all at the same time, it raises the air temperature a full six degrees. And if the rise in temperature weren’t bad enough, each candle has its own smell. When mixed all together, they produce the effect of a horrible three-way collision between a truck hauling fruit, another hauling flowers, and a third hauling spices. It can be overwhelming.

As for the huge-word category, it is probably my least favorite element of our décor. It would be one thing if the huge words spelled out the lyrics of a Led Zeppelin song or a knock-knock joke or something. Instead, they always say something like “HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS” or “LOVE SPOKEN HERE.”

Once, in an attempt to introduce some sort of coolness into our decorations, I had my wife talked into allowing me to paint the phrase “LIVE LONG AND PROSPER” on our living room wall, which satisfied the huge-word-decorating criteria. But just as I was beginning to paint the letters that I had sketched out in pencil, my older daughter entered the room and blurted out, “Hey, isn’t that what the pointy-ear guy on Star Trek always says?”

My shoulders slumped in disappointment.

With a look of disapproval from my wife, my idea to sneak a little coolness into our lives was shot down.

I have since given up attempting to introduce coolness into hour home.

But the living room is not the only space that my wife has invaded and taken over with her brand of decorating. She has had her way with the bathroom as well. It’s been painted a light-purple color, and she has hung mirrors everywhere to make the small space look bigger. Mirrors in the bathroom are fine for the vanity, but why do I need one hanging where I can see myself sitting on the toilet? And not just one angle—I can view myself sitting from the front or side view—I never really realized what funny faces I make when I’m pooping. There is also a small mirror hanging over the back of the toilet that provides a near perfect image of my manly parts when standing in front of the toilet to relieve myself. A floral-print shower curtain now hangs where my Star Wars shower curtain once hung.

She has basically taken over the entire house. Like a virus, the candles, plant material, huge words, and mirrors have spread into every room. All I have left is my shed. It’s where my Pink Floyd poster now hangs and my armadillo resides. It’s where I go and sit to grieve over losing my man-inspired decorating themes.

It would seem that I have no say left when it comes to our choice in home fashion, but at least I still have my shed. If she ever gets the crazy idea to decorate my shed, I’ll burn it to the ground! I’d rather see it ablaze than defiled with the candles, plants, and huge words of cheesiness.

The Unspoken Language of Love

Learning to interpret the unspoken communication in a marriage is one of the most valuable tools a husband can have in the pursuit of harmony. While all wives have their own versions of this language, here are some examples of my wife’s wordless vocabulary.

Raised eyebrow  . . . . I’m not quite sure yet, but I suspect you are about to do or say something that will make me think you are an idiot.

“Huff”  . . . You are an idiot.

“Sigh”  . . . I disagree, but it’s not worth the time to argue about it.

“Huff, sigh”  . . . You are an idiot, but you already know that, so it is not worth my time to say it again.

“Chuckle”  . . . I told you that you were an idiot, but you wouldn’t listen.

“Groan”  . . . Please don’t try to fix the washing machine with spare car parts for the fourth time this week, let’s just buy a new one.

“Groan, sigh”  . . . I wish you wouldn’t try to fix the washing machine with spare car parts, but I know you are going to no matter what I say.

“Huff, groan, sigh, smile”  . . . You are an idiot for trying to fix things that are beyond your capabilities, and I can do nothing to stop you when you are on a do-it-yourself mission, but that is partly why I love you.

 

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