A tale of woe

I was so close.

Last night I took a ride on an emotional roller coaster. I hate roller coasters, emotional or otherwise, so you can imagine that I did not have the time of my life.

It all started with my husband, as rides on emotional roller coasters often do. He sat down on the couch and turned on the television. It was not sports. That was the first clue that something unusual was about to happen.

Then he reached for the remote that changes the set-up from TV to whatever it’s called when you can stream shows from Netflix/Hulu/etc. right to your television. Clearly, I’m not well-versed in this technology, but I knew enough to know that something amazing was about to happen.

You see, my husband does not enjoy watching television shows. He prefers movies. There’s only one show he’s ever actually watched with me and liked, and it was “The Handmaid’s Tale,” based on Margaret Atwood’s book of the same name. It was at that moment that it occurred to me that he was going to tune into the first episode of “The Handmaid’s Tale” SEASON 2. I knew that it was being released like any minute but totally forgot about it until that very second and I cannot even express to you how incredibly stoked I was that this was going to happen momentarily. I was so happy I started screaming, prompting my kid to scream down from his bedroom, “What’s wrong? Are you crying?!?”

“Oh no,” I replied, “Everything is finally so, so right!!”

So we’re sitting there, the anticipation of the new season pretty much killing me, when all of a sudden my husband says, “Uh oh.” Terrified, I asked what was going on. Did the internet go out? Was the house on fire, making us evacuate and delay our viewing? What?!? He replied that the new season was not going to be released for two more days.

Do you know what it’s like to achieve nirvana and then suddenly plummet down to the deepest depths of despair in two seconds flat? I do. Because that was me.

And if things weren’t bad enough, he asked me the one question that made me hit rock bottom (I already thought I was at rock bottom, but he inexplicably was able to bring me further down). This is what he asked me: “Do you want to watch a pack break instead?”

For those of you who don’t know what a pack break is, I envy you. Sometimes I think back to the days when I didn’t know what a pack break was, and I actually weep. A pack break is a type of YouTube video in which a person records him or herself on video opening baseball card packs. Then this person discuss the cards they’ve received AT LENGTH, including what number it is in the sequence of production, the condition of the card, etc. I imagine if there is a hell, it’s a never-ending loop of pack breaks being broadcast on 50 different computer screens simultaneously, and I am forced to sit in a chair in the middle of them all.

I mean, to go from watching the first episode of a new season of “The Handmaid’s Tale” to watching a pack break was JUST TOO MUCH TO BEAR. I became despondent. Irritable. Irate. And that was just in the first 60 seconds after the suggestion.

We ended up watching the first episode of “Jessica Jones,” so the evening wasn’t a total loss. It was good. No “Handmaid’s Tale,” but what is, am I right?

I think I’ll take today to recover from having experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows all within a five-minute period because, honestly, it’s taken a lot out of me. Let this be a lesson to you: Research when your favorite shows are dropping so this doesn’t happen to you. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

Image from The Stranger.

Read it and weep

I’ve been in denial for a while now about something that, at first, I thought was no big deal. But things have escalated quickly. And they say the first step in fixing a problem is admitting that there is a problem.

So fine. I’ll just put it out there in black and white. Damn it, I don’t want to admit this, but I need freaking reading glasses.

Ugh. Just the worst.

I guess it was about a year ago when I noticed something had…shifted. I would look at the back of DVD covers to see how long a particular movie was, but I couldn’t quite make out the numbers next to the minutes. I’d move the DVD closer and then further away and then closer to my face once again, but even when I squinted, I couldn’t read it clearly. I laughed it off.

“Oh, who can even read these DVD covers anyway? The type is so tiny!” which was then followed by an overly enthusiastic, hysterical laugh, and by “hysterical” I don’t mean funny; I mean characterized by actual hysteria.

As the months went by, I noticed that here and there I was having trouble seeing things up close. I couldn’t take a photograph and see what I was snapping on the screen clearly. I’d be in a restaurant and have difficulty reading the menu. And if there was dim mood lighting, forget about it. I joked about/seriously considered placing a magnifying glass by all the DVDs so I could read the print on the backs with ease.

I want to be clear about this though–I wear contacts for distance and have for 20 years. When I’m not wearing my contacts, I can see perfectly well up close (even though I can’t see three feet in front of me). It’s only when I’m wearing my contacts that I have trouble seeing nearby things.

I reasoned that the problem lie in my contact lenses. I convinced myself pretty adamantly that this was in fact the case. Until one day, my husband came along and ruined everything:

Me: “I really think I need a new prescription. These contacts are preventing me from seeing up close.”

My husband: “It has nothing to do with your contacts.”

Me: “What are you talking about? Of course it does. I see fine up close when I’m not wearing them.”

My husband: “Your eyes can’t accommodate anymore.”

Me: “Say what now?”

My husband: “Your eyes can’t accommodate. They can’t adjust quickly from distance to up close anymore.”

Me: “Oh yeah? Well, why is it just happening now? I’ve never had that problem before.”

My husband: “Because it happens as you age. You just need reading glasses.”

Me: *eye twitching*

Dreams: shattered. Delusions of grandeur: well, un-delusioned. How could this be? How am I old enough to need reading glasses?!? Who is that blurry person staring back at me in the mirror? I don’t even know anymore.

What would living with reading glasses even look like? How do you access your readers throughout the day without having them on your person at all times? I’m not going to carry them around in my hand or my purse and have to rifle through that all the time. That must be why people hang their readers on chains from their necks. Like librarians. And now apparently me. I totally get that now. It’s a nifty solution.

I know what you’re going to say. Just wear bifocals. That way you can see up close and far away at all times. Yeah, well, screw you. I’m not wearing bifocals.

So maybe one of these days while I’m at CVS picking up a few things, I might peruse the reading glasses at the end of the aisle. I’m not saying I’m going to BUY a pair, but maybe just see what’s up. I mean, plenty of twenty-year-olds wear readers. Right? RIGHT?!?

 

 

 

 

 

Sleep tight. Or not.

 

I have a feeling that this post is going to spark an online battle of the sexes, but you gotta crack a few eggs to make an omelet, am I right? And I am cracking. Real bad.

Yesterday was clean sheets day. I really like clean sheets day. I mean, I don’t love taking all the sheets off the beds, washing them, and remaking the beds, but I like going to sleep in a bed with sheets that have been freshly laundered.

What are my husband’s feelings about clean sheets day? He has none, as far as I know. That’s because I don’t think he ever actually realizes that it is clean sheets day since he’s not directly involved in any of the steps that make such a glorious day happen.

Until last night. At about 11 pm it was time to go to sleep, but as I walked into my bedroom, I realized that although I had laundered all the sheets, I hadn’t yet made up the bed. So as tired as I was, I took one for the team and not only put the sheets on the bed, but layered the appropriate blankets, pillows, etc. I was SO tired, though, that I did everything except sliding my husband’s pillow into the clean pillowcase. I just kind of threw the empty pillowcase on his side of the bed and settled in for the night.

I was feeling a little guilty that I didn’t complete the final step of clean sheets day, but that feeling was obliterated right quick once he came to bed. Why? Because instead of simply sliding his pillow into the clean pillowcase, he threw the pillowcase on the floor and made a conscious decision to SLEEP WITH NO PILLOW.

What madness is this?!? I was so confused. I couldn’t stay silent:

Me: “Aren’t you going to put the pillowcase on your pillow?”

Him: “No.”

Me: “What are you talking about? You’re not going to sleep with a pillow just because you don’t want to put the pillowcase on?”

Him: “Yup.”

Me: “WHAT?!? You’d rather be uncomfortable all night than take two seconds to put the pillowcase on??”

Him: “That is correct.”

Me: (stewing) “Well, I’m not going to put the pillowcase on. That’s ridiculous. So you’re going to have to sleep the entire week without a pillow.”

Him: “Ok.”

Me: *twitching*

This morning I made the bed but left his pillowcase-less pillow on the floor, with the pillowcase lying ON TOP of it.

I feel like I am revisiting the door sticker incident of 2013. But this time, I’m not giving in. I can do this. I CAN DO THIS. I can make the bed every morning without his pillow in its proper spot. I can just leave it on the floor with the pillowcase draped on top of it and it won’t bother me. Mark my words, IT WILL NOT BOTHER ME.

Ladies, I’m sure you’re with me. Gentleman, if you are like my husband, I don’t understand you.

 

I’m going to go scream into a pillow now

 

The events of today have just about killed me. I am in such a state that I don’t know what to do with myself, so I’m going to rage blog and hope that by the time I’m done, I will no longer feel the need to destroy something.

My husband and I cleaned out our basement a week ago and decided to sell a bunch of things that we no longer needed, i.e. DVD player, old speakers, other components, etc. He put them on eBay and they sold. His part was done. My nightmare was just beginning.

Today was the day I had to send out six different boxes full of stuff. Some of the components needed brand new boxes, some had been stored in the original boxes but needed to be wrapped up in plain brown paper before they were mailed, others needed to be bubble wrapped and sealed up, you get the idea.

My day began bright and early at 9 am at Target, where I bought packing tape rolls, bubble wrap, plain brown paper for mailing, among some other things. Target didn’t have a big enough box for one of the items, so I hit the UPS store and spent even more money.

Two of the six packages were in my car. I went to the post office and mailed them. The third component we were selling was still in my car, unboxed and un-bubble-wrapped; I didn’t want to go home, box it all up, and go back to the post office, so I tried to tape up the new GIANT box and pack up the component in the back seat of my car. That didn’t work out too well. There wasn’t enough room. So after throwing out a few f-bombs, I went inside the post office and got it all done in there. Fine.

After lunch I wrapped up and boxed the other three items. It took FOREVER. I’m not even exaggerating. I had to shove the boxes full of bubble wrap, wrap them up with plain brown paper, cut down boxes to fit around the items more securely, I can’t even tell you how annoying this was. One hour later, I was done.

I had to get the boxes into the car. Did I mention they were like 50 lbs each? I pushed and I pulled and I managed to get them all in my trunk even though by this point my back was screaming at me and asking me WTF I thought I was doing lifting all this crap by myself.

I arrived at the post office. I went inside to ask for a cart. They provided one. I wheeled it out to my car, with some difficulty since the cart was at least 100 years old, and started to load the three giant boxes inside it. They wouldn’t all fit securely, but I was NOT making another trip for this, so I made it work. I had to wheel the stupid cart all the way to the side of the building where the sidewalk ramp was. I got stuck numerous of times. I ran over my foot with the wheel twice. One of the packages started to fall and I caught it in midair. I was swearing very loudly. The cart wheel got caught three times in sidewalk cracks and it almost killed me.

I finally got up to the door and this guy, who was talking on his phone via an earpiece, walked into the building a few feet ahead of me. He let the door close behind him. Yes, THIS MOTHERF*CKER DID NOT HOLD THE DOOR FOR ME. I was so enraged that I literally screamed out, “THANKS, DUDE!” sarcastically and waved at him.

A nice elderly lady witnessed the whole thing. I told her how rude the man was. She held open the door for me. She was nice.

I went to wait in line inside behind rude dude and texted my husband. I wrote things like, “I am seriously about to cry and then murder this asshole who slammed the door in my face,” as well as, “This is my second trip to the post office and I will need corrective surgery on my back when this is all said and done and I hope that YOU’RE HAPPY.”

And then rude guy gets off his phone call and has the AUDACITY to turn to me and say, “I was wondering how you were going to get all those boxes in here.”

WHAT. THE. F*CK.

I turned to him, flexed my bicep, and said, “I DID IT WITH OLD-FASHIONED MUSCLE.” Then I pounded his face.

No, I didn’t punch him, but I wanted to.

Then he thought it was a good idea to continue the conversation and said, “You wouldn’t have wanted me to help you anyway. You don’t want me near you.”

Again, I refrained from breaking his nose. I gritted my teeth and asked, “Why is that?” He proceeded to tell me that he’s had the flu, has lost 15 lbs., had a flu shot, but got sick from traveling on airplanes. Like I was interested in his life story.

At this point, I’m done. I can’t even with him. He goes up to the counter, does his business, and then makes a point of saying goodbye to me before he walks out the door. I’m not sure what part of my body language, attitude, or spoken words encouraged him into thinking we had some kind of friendly relationship, but apparently that’s what he got from me.

I think that’s about it. I hope the rest of the day is better. I think I’ll go fill a bathtub full of ice cubes and get this swelling in my back to go down.

 

Taking a walk on the wild side

We’ve been getting our fitness on here at Casa Towbin lately. And by “fitness” I mean taking a leisurely walk a few days a week after a filling dinner of, say, pasta and bolognese sauce. But nonetheless, activity is happening. It’s usually just my husband and myself taking the walk, which is nice, but I’ve noticed something weird with him on these walks. Shocker.

(On our walk)

Me: You know, if The Handmaid’s Tale ever happens in real life, you BETTER become a commander and you BETTER take me up the rungs with you. That’s the only way I would survive in that kind of world. I’m not saying I’d in any way be happy living as the wife to a commander, but I just wouldn’t make it in a Red Center, and if those are my only options, then that’s what I would choose.

My husband: Uh huh. (munching on something)

Me: Are you eating something?

My husband: Yeah. Want one? (He presents a handful of jellybeans to me, seemingly appearing out of nowhere.)

Me: You’re eating jellybeans on our walk?

My husband: Sure. I always do.

Me: Where do you keep them?

My husband: In my pocket.

Me: You’re telling me you shove your pockets full of jellybeans and eat them on our walks?

My husband: Um, yeah. Do you want one? Here’s a cinnamon one. I know you like cinnamon.

Me: That’s not the point. (Me, taking the cinnamon one because duh.) We’re exercising and you really shouldn’t be counteracting that exercise by popping jellybeans one after the other.

My husband: I don’t care.

Me: You’re an odd duck.

The next day he didn’t even bother to hide his stash during our walk. He literally grabbed a box of Jujubees and ate them one by one over the course of 40 minutes (we went on an extra long walk that night, maybe because he was thinking Jujubees are higher in caloric value that jellybeans? I don’t know how his mind works, to tell you the truth).

So that’s how we do fitness over here. Yes, “we” because I always eat the cinnamon jellybeans from his stash. Ok, and the toasted marshmallow. And 17 other flavors.

Life is just a bowl of cherries

A man who is not my husband.

The other day I was riding in the car with my husband, who had grabbed a bowl of cherries to eat on the way. About 10 minutes into the drive, I noticed something weird. Or, should say, I noticed something NOT weird.

When my husband eats cherries in the car, he always disposes of the pits in this way: He rolls down his window, spits the pit out to the curb, and screams, “ALEX CHERRYSEED!” (As in, he’s like Jonny Appleseed, except instead of planting apple trees, he’s planting cherry trees. Mixed with his spit.)

That particular day I noticed he had not even ONCE screamed, “ALEX CHERRYSEED!” What followed:

Me: (looking in the bowl, still half-filled with cherries) Um, where are the pits?

Him: Huh?

Me: What are you doing with the cherry pits if you’re not spitting them out the window?

Him: (shrugs)

Me: Wait, are you SWALLOWING the pits?

Him: Maybe.

Me: What?!? You can’t do that!

Him: Yes, I can.

Me: No, you can’t!! You can’t eat cherry pits!

Him: Sure I can.

Me: I am definitely certain that NO YOU CANNOT and now you’re going to get really sick.

Him: Or maybe I’m just growing cherry trees inside me.

Me: (fuming, because this is NOT a joke and people are NOT meant to eat cherry pits even though I’m not sure why, and I just know he will not have to face any consequences for this behavior because isn’t that always the way)

Him: (eats another cherry; swallows the pit)

Me: What is wrong with you?!?

Him: (continues to eat more cherries and swallow their pits without commentary)

Me: You are one odd duck.

Image from: Rodale’s Organic Life

 

Conversation starters for one

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment it began, but I have come to the stunning conclusion that I am now a person who talks to themselves. I was in the Kroger parking lot earlier today, loading my reusable grocery bags into my car, when I grasped a particularly heavy bag and, as I tried to lift it up, the handle snapped completely off. I said, out loud, “Well, THAT’S not helpful.”

Who was I talking to? There was no one around, so I guess that would be myself.

It started to dawn on me that I do this several times during any given day. I forgot to mail a pile of letters that I was holding IN MY HAND as I drove right past the mailbox the other day, and I screamed out loud, to myself, “What the f*^$# is wrong with you?!?” Why do I speak to myself in the second person while I am by myself? No clue.

But, no, it doesn’t stop there. I also speak to other people when I am the only one in the room. My husband did the dishes after dinner last night, and as I opened the cabinet this morning to grab a skillet so I could make breakfast, I noticed he had precariously stacked the pots and pans he had cleaned on top of one another, WITH NO ORGANIZATIONAL PLAN IN MIND. I became so enraged I screamed, “Come on, dude! That’s not how you put these away! Get your head in THE GAME!”

My husband was not only NOT in the room, he wasn’t even in the house. He was at that moment 20 miles away at work.

Why am I doing this? I don’t know. Is it normal? I’m scared to ask.

Image from EyeOpening Info.

New Year, New You

I had this amazing idea during dinner yesterday. I’m not usually super into New Year’s resolutions, but I thought that maybe this year my husband, my kids and I could make New Year’s resolutions for EACH OTHER.

Within 10 minutes I discovered that this amazing idea was not, in fact, amazing but instead the exact opposite.

It all started out just fine. I was spitting out stellar New Year’s resolutions left and right for everyone. Less screen time! Better table manners! No more nail biting! It was amazing. It was like I had this superpower that would let me pinpoint EXACTLY what needed to be changed about a specific person and lay it out in no uncertain terms.

I saved myself for last. This is when I began to see the error of my ways. For some reason, I thought it might be hard for my family to come up with a New Year’s resolution for me. I don’t know why, because immediately all three of them started spouting off things that I could resolve to do:

  1. “Stop yelling so much.”
  2. “Pay more attention to me.”
  3. “Pay less attention to me.”
  4. “Publish a book.”
  5. “Be nicer.”
  6. “Stop our monthly check-ins where you ask me if I’m taking drugs.”
  7. “Don’t make us suffer because you are gluten and dairy free.”

To which I responded:

  1. I DON’T YELL! And anyway, if you want me to stop yelling, stop doing things that make me yell at you.
  2. Huh?
  3. Huh?!?
  4. That is out of my control. You have to tell me to change something I can control.
  5. SO. RUDE.
  6. Never.
  7. You’ve never eaten so well, ingrate.

What I’ve gathered from these suggestions is that: (a) I can’t take criticism, and (b) I basically need to change who I am as a person IN GENERAL. WTF?!? Like a simple, “Stop saying like so much” wouldn’t have sufficed?

I’m not going to lie. This cut me deep. Deeper than my #fingerbooboo, which, by the way, is on the mend. I have no feeling in the tip of my finger, but maybe that’s okay, because at least it’s numb to the events that occurred around last night’s dinner table.

Paris in the Scary Time

 

My husband thinks I’m super paranoid. There was this one time, though, when I was JUSTIFIABLY paranoid and I totally saved our lives. No exaggeration. I’m coming back from my lengthy blog sabbatical JUST to tell the specific story that follows, proving once and for all to my husband that I am not paranoid for no reason. I am, in fact, paranoid for extremely good reasons.

Here’s the situation: A couple weeks ago my husband and I went on a super fun trip to London and Paris. One evening in Paris we decided to eat dinner at a restaurant near the Eiffel Tower. We took the subway there and came out near this little park. We needed to figure out which restaurant we should try, so my husband suggested we go sit on a bench in this park and figure it out.

Four things you should know about this park:

  1. I’m sure any tourist who wants to see the Eiffel Tower comes out of this very subway station next to this park.
  2. We arrived there at dusk.
  3. It was kind of deserted.
  4. Except for a group of 20-something-year-old men who were loitering.

Just before we went to sit down, I said to my husband, “There are a bunch of guys around here and it looks weird. I’ve got a bad feeling.”

His response: “Whatever. They’re just guys hanging out.” Which might have been followed by an eye roll.

I trailed behind him and we found a bench. We sat down and he pulled out his iPad, scrolling through, trying to figure out where we should go. While his attention is focused on the iPad, mine is on the five young men that are literally starting to circle our bench like sharks.

I say, “We need to leave right now.”

My husband became annoyed. I had to take the time to explain that these guys were getting closer to us and we needed to vacate the premises immediately (mind you they’re circling WHILE I’m making my case to him).

By some miracle he listens to me…but only walks as far as the edge of the park. He stands there with his back to the park and keeps scrolling through the restaurant descriptions. I tell him I think this is an equally bad idea. He tells me, in no uncertain terms: “I KNOW HOW NOT TO GET MUGGED, OKAY?”

Okay, dude.

I let him be, keeping watch. In less than a minute, this one particular guy from the park approaches him and stops TWO FEET BEHIND HIS BACK and stares at him.

In my head, I’m like, Enough of this bullshit. I scream at my husband, “LEAVE. NOW!”

And get this. He yells back, “I don’t want to start walking in a direction that’s going away from the restaurant. I need to know where I’m going!”

W. T. F.

I scream, this time louder, “WALK NOW!!!!” This time I motion for him to look behind him at the man who is FIVE SECONDS AWAY FROM JUMPING HIM AND STEALING EVERYTHING HE HAS ON HIM.

It FINALLY clicks and he wraps both hands around his iPad and trails behind me as I book it the hell away from this park. Once we’re across the street, I look back and see that a bunch of these guys have strategically placed themselves behind bushes every 15 feet or so, staring out onto the sidewalk at tourists strolling by, trying to figure out which ones are the biggest suckers.

I just have to say that this entire exchange between us took WAY too much of my energy. Did he want a freaking term paper on why we needed to run away from the scary men? I have no idea.

So I’m paranoid, huh? My freaking SUPERPOWER is paranoia. And I saved our asses. You’re welcome.

 

 

Death becomes her

If you’ve noticed, every post about my husband features a picture of a cat. I didn’t want to break with tradition.

I’ve developed a new habit. I didn’t mean to and it’s really not a good thing.

It all started a few weeks ago when my husband had the week off. We were driving around town together and for some reason every time we drove by a cemetery, he would hold his breath. I totally remember doing this WHEN I WAS 8 but forgot about it when I became, say, an adult.

He did this several times. And despite my better judgement, I started holding my breath too as we drove by. I don’t know why I did it. I suppose I was scared NOT to do it. What would be the worst that could happen? I have no idea. I don’t know why holding your breath as you pass by a cemetery is even a thing, but somehow I decided that just because he was doing it, I had to do it.

Fast forward a week later. My husband was back at work. I found myself driving by a cemetery and…I held my breath the whole time. To the point where I maybe might have gotten just slightly dizzy, which is a bad idea when you’re the driver.

I don’t know why I’m doing this. All I know is that I can’t stop.

And I KNOW, 100%, that my husband is so diabolical that this is exactly what he intended to happen. I can’t believe he played me like violin. Actually, I can. And now for the rest of my life I have to hold my breath when I drive by a cemetery.