No matter how smart you are, there is always something new to learn. Sometimes, it’s something trivial – like snails have teeth (I didn’t know that until today) – and sometimes, it’s something that could save your life, or simply keep you from eating something really gross.
Take my oldest son’s BFF – he knows a lot of facts about a lot of crazy things. For instance, he knows why beer makes a person fat – like the biochemical details, not just that it does. He knows that rats multiply so quickly that within eighteen months, two rats can turn into over a million furry little buggers. He also knows (for a fact) that Superman would kick the crap out of Batman should the two of them ever meet and decide to fight. I think every young adult male has a theory (or twenty) like this.
Yes, my son’s BFF – let’s call him Blustin (which is pretty close to his actual name, and no, it’s not Justin or Sustin) – would probably do very well on a show like Jeopardy or Family Feud. But like everybody else in the world, Blustin doesn’t know everything.
I had to laugh the other night. He was over, telling us about his “bad” experience at the sushi restaurant. He’d gone there with his girlfriend, and – typical guy trying to show off and be healthy – he ordered a plate of edamame beans.
“They were terrible,” he said. “All stringy and gross. I ate a few, and then stuffed the rest in my pocket. You know how they are at sushi places when you order stuff and don’t eat it.” This, just after he’d showed us a Youtube video about singing dogs.
“What do you mean stringy?” I asked. “Are you sure you were eating edamame?” If memory serves me correctly – and I was just eating some last week – “stringy” is not really a word I’d use to describe them. “Boring”, “bean-like”, “definitely not as good as brownies” perhaps, but not “stringy”.
“Yeah, those green things in a pod.”
And then it came to me. “Were you eating the shells?” I asked, chuckling. “You are not supposed to eat those. They’re poison.” OK, so I don’t know if they are actually poison. I’ve heard yes. I’ve heard no. I think it’s one of those urban legends, like the fact that Mr. Rogers was a Navy Seal. I like teasing Blustin though. Besides, he’s still alive.
“What?” For a split second – before he realized that too much time had passed since he’d eaten them to make this true – he thought he might die. I saw it in his eyes. Poor guy.
“Didn’t your girlfriend tell you not to eat them?”
“No.” I’m sure she knew. She probably enjoyed watching him struggle. We females can get like that after we’ve been together with someone for a while. Sex is no longer blinding, and it makes up for the fact that we only got the right to vote less than one hundred years ago.
“Why didn’t you ask her, if they tasted so terrible?”
“I don’t know.”
“You learn something new every day,” I said, wiping the counter. Men – while dense in some areas, and stubborn in others – are also very messy.
“I guess so,” he shrugged.
Pride can be a factor as well. Yesterday, my younger son ate one hundred Oreos. They were “making a video” apparently. He’d probably eat rabbit poop if someone dared him.
Oh well, somebody has to be willing to sacrifice themselves to the zombies should they come. I sure as hell ain’t going to do it. I’ll be hiding in the ice cream parlour eating a big waffle cone – one scoop rocky road, one scoop pina colada, one scoop banana chocolate swirl – and praying that my husband doesn’t suffer too much.
A few people in my family – my know-it-all, young adult, precocious, I raised them, what am I complaining about, children – think the word “feminism” is outdated. We have this discussion quite frequently. “Are you a feminist, Mom?” It’s a trick. They know what I’m going to say. I was born in the 60′s. Of course I am.
“Why are you still stuck in the dark ages? We are all equal. That’s what’s wrong with the world.” It’s my oldest son – again. He’s thinks he’s Buddha. Or Gandhi. I think he’s more like Leon Trotsky (mainly because he lives in a “permanent revolutionary” state) mixed with Neil deGrasse Tyson (for his “we are the world in an immeasurable cosmological way” dogma). Nothing is ever as simple as just washing the dishes when he’s around.
As usual, he keeps going. “We can’t keep putting people in groups – like women, blacks, gays, whoever. Then there is the tendency to rank one group as being better than another. We are all members of the human race. In fact, we are all part of the endless megacosm that is the universe. Did you know that even rocks breathe? Buildings breathe. Traffic breathes. Everything has a flow and life to it. It’s simply a matter of recognizing and accepting that – no more, no less.”
OK, OK, I get it. And “feminist” or “no feminist/lover of all things”, I would classify myself as someone who fervently supports equal rights. For men too, even though I don’t think they have a clue what it’s like to “do it all” per se.
For example, as much as my husband and I divide household chores – even in times when we are both equally busy with school or work – the laundry somehow falls on my shoulders, as does making sure the kids are still alive should they be throwing up uncontrollably. Put your foot down, you say. Just take a little “two day vacation” the next time someone complains that their stomach is feeling a little “off”.
Great suggestion, but it’s not that easy. In times of need, kids want their mothers. Well, mine do anyway. I’m nicer, that’s why. Even something as simple as heading off to lunch with a girlfriend when those little sick eyes are staring up at you from the couch can make a person feel guilty as hell. Men don’t seem to have the same trouble. “Just get a bucket,” says my husband. “He/she’ll be fine.” That’s his “not-quite-as-biologically-attached-because-he-never-birthed-anyone” attitude. No warm compresses from Daddy, my little ones. He’d rather go to the hardware store.
Admittedly, I’ve purposely stepped back a bit when it comes to my own career. I make room for the “kid” things, the “family” things, the “house” things. Why? Because someone needs to take care of that stuff. Sure, I could’ve hired a full time nanny/housekeeper. Some people do. I still could. The housekeeper anyway. The nanny seems a bit redundant for three spawn over the age of eighteen, even though emergencies – mostly mental ones – still seem to strike at our house almost daily.
Sadly, it broke my heart to put my kids in before- and after-school care for a few years so I could “make something of myself” – my words, nobody else’s. It’s hard for women. Trying to combine our roles as mothers, partners, and workers can be tricky. We work too much, we are neglecting our families. We spend all of our time with our families, we are being over-protective, helicopter-ish, not driven, unambitious, unduly selfless. We can’t win. If we put ourselves somewhere in the middle, we get to feel shitty about both.
My oldest son’s girlfriend is in law school. She just said the other day that she doesn’t know how she is going to manage both a career AND a family. How does a person do everything and be everywhere? Sorry, younger version of myself. I haven’t figured it out yet. I have absolutely NO advice to give. Maybe one thing. Just don’t tell your husband that you have a crush on The Rock or Mark Wahlberg. As open and as “new age” as he says he is, he’ll bring it up routinely, and then you’ll owe him sex – and it’ll happen on days when you are tired and bloated. Nobody wins then.
On the subject of “things women have to worry about that men don’t”, there’s also that whole issue of how we look, or how we should look, how we behave, or how we should behave. We are too fat, too skinny, too muscular, too loud, too opinionated, too wide in the vaginal region (of that, I do not joke). Fucking babies.
So many of us can’t go anywhere without our “face” on. It’s ridiculous, the expectation that as a woman I’m supposed to pretend – in so many ways – that I’m not real.
And what about that pooping business? Yeah, women do it. I’m not going to lie. And I’m not going to pretend that I don’t. Might as well start somewhere.
Oh, small pot,
That day at the thrift store, when I saw you jammed haphazardly on the bottom shelf,
I knew we were meant to be.
I needed you -
Mainly because I was planning on melting some wax for a crazy scheme that I’d seen on the internet for making homemade deodorant,
And I didn’t want to use any of my GOOD pots.
I just needed something cheap,
Something that could be destroyed without care,
Something that I could use without my husband complaining that everyone (except for him) is hell bent on ruining our house and everything in it.
When I went out to escape just this sort of harassment,
I ended up wandering around the Salvation Army -
After first buying some chocolate and a few avocados at Loblaws.
As I walked past a sketchy character in the men’s pants section,
I saw you there, amidst the rest of the junk and clutter and a few shadeless lamps,
There was also something beside you that could’ve been a sex toy but was probably just a strange kitchen utensil.
It always amazes me the kind of stuff that winds up in these places.
Anyway, I knew I’d have to bring you home.
$2.99 – I couldn’t beat the price.
And you were SO cute,
Plus, I was starting to sneeze.
Second hand shops do that to me sometimes.
I had to get out of there.
And now – after successfully melting that chunk of wax,
But not using the homemade deodorant because it didn’t work very well -
Here you are,
So helpful in cooking two boiled eggs without having to use a regular-sized pot.
We love you.
At least I do.
My husband doesn’t.
He says you are probably toxic because you are made of Teflon.
Besides, marriage is about compromise,
And I have to ask myself,
Do I really NEED you?
Or would I rather make my husband happy
So that someday he will get less angry when I buy something a lot more expensive like that $500 pair of boots I’ve been eying for a while now.
I’m afraid it may be adios to you, small pot.
Don’t hater the player.
Hate the game.
My husband does some interesting things sometimes. A few weeks ago, his cockamamie scheme was to grow a grapefruit tree from a seed. He took an old cookie tin, threw in some potting soil, and planted the seed that came from a grapefruit that came in a mesh bag that came with a group of other grapefruits that came from Costco.
“Ummm, why are you doing that?” Apparently, I ask a LOT of questions. That’s what a wife is for, isn’t it?
“I want to see if it will work,” he said. He is definitely a scientist at heart. Why he doesn’t grow something a little more normal, like say a tomato plant, or even something like mint or basil is beyond me. I feel like it’ll be about twenty years before we see a single grapefruit grow on that thing.
But then maybe that’s the point. Maybe this is the man-version of a midlife crisis – the kind that doesn’t involve buying a motorcycle (he has two of those), purchasing a sports car (he has that as well), or sleeping with his secretary (I know Angela – she’d tell him to get lost).
Maybe, unlike a woman who yearns to have just one more child when all of hers are on the verge of leaving home, my husband is yearning to grow a grapefruit tree – something he can nurture and take care of, something that will satisfy his primal fatherly need to support life. Funny, he complains enough that our children suck the living finances right out of him. A grapefruit tree is a lot cheaper, I guess.
“We don’t really live in a tropical location,” I said to him.
“Doesn’t matter. We’ll keep it inside in the winter. It can go out in the summer.”
“Once it gets big, you won’t be able to move it around.” Honestly, I have no freakin’ clue how big a grapefruit tree gets. If I can judge based on the size of most other trees, I would say pretty big.
“We’ll figure it out,” he said. And like an expectant father might pat his pregnant wife’s belly, he smiled proudly down at the tin.
And then on Tuesday, he called to me all excited. It had happened – the seedling had emerged, the delicate little leaflets just there, all leafy and everything.
All I can say is that my husband had better plan to be the sole caregiver of this new addition. The ficus tree that I bought a few years ago rarely gets watered, it has bugs, and it’s been on the verge of death a few times. I do not want to be responsible for the furthering of anyone’s mental deterioration.
How To Identify A Male Midlife Crisis (For Women) With Pictures – thanks Wikihow!
We’ve all heard stories of mothers doing crazy things to protect their children, and while I’ve never had to lift a car off of anybody – knock on wood – I will say that I have that same boundless and at times catty drive to protect my young, though they aren’t so young anymore.
This is typically how it works…
Someone says my kids aren’t perfect, I say who is?
Someone says they don’t always use the best language, I say they learned it from their fucking father.
Someone says they shouldn’t be climbing the neighbour’s fence to take a short cut to the bus, I say, Jesus Christ, again? I’ll talk to them.
All kidding aside, it doesn’t matter their age, a mother is a mother forever, and my claws WILL come out if someone criticizes, questions, or otherwise bad-mouths any one of them. I count this as a good thing. It’s my job. If I don’t stick up for them – right or wrong – who’s going to?
I think it just goes to show that we have bonded, that the body-altering nature of their time inside my womb, and the subsequent excruciating pain of their individual evacuations – my daughter’s being by far the most bloody and brutal – and the many, many, MANY long nights of taking care of them, and all the stress, and all the dishes and laundry that I’ve done to clean up after them, has really left its mark on me.
Each action and each day is a wrinkle or stretch mark somewhere on my body, and I wouldn’t give them up for the world. Ah, that’s nice, you say – it’s such a touching and heartfelt sentiment. It almost makes you want to cry.
Wait a minute. Don’t give me too much credit. I still might have a tummy tuck if it was like some magical process whereby I walked into the shower and came out three minutes later all smooth and flat and pooch free. It’s the fact that surgery requires a stay in the hospital – and I HATE hospitals – that generally holds me back.
As angry as my kids make me sometimes, I would do anything to protect them though. It’s funny, because I even defend them to each other – like leave your brother alone. If he takes out all the garbage, I’ll give him a ride to the train. Stop calling him a “you are never going to amount to anything” lazy ass. I do lots for you too. Remember, people are what we say they are, and your father and I don’t want him sleeping on the couch forever.
I for sure defend them to their father. My husband knows, if it was him and one of them in the ocean, and I only had one life jacket to throw out, he’d been going down faster than Monica Lewinsky probably went down on President Clinton. He doesn’t like to hear that – and who would? – but it’s the truth. He’s a scientist. He should understand – it’s just biology.
And speaking of biology, here’s a fun little story. Male bass (the fish) will eat their own spawn. As the newborns swim away in search of life in the big sea, the stragglers get gobbled up by their very own daddies who go from protecting their children from predators, to becoming predators themselves. Supposedly, the males do it to ensure that the strong but innocent and cute baby bass are the ones to survive. Sure, they are probably just too lazy to go to the other side of the reef to look for supper.
And we wonder why women go cuckoo for cocoa puffs sometimes. We are the only ones who “no matter what it takes, even if it means we die in the process” care about the continuation of life on Earth as we know it.
The Science Of Mother Love Very interesting article.
Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. If you haven’t looked at a calendar recently – and I hadn’t until just now – Valentine’s Day is only three days away. Yikes!
What to do? What to get? How to handle this “always mind-boggling” holiday? Because there isn’t much time left to make a decision, I’m going to have to approach this dilemma in an ass-backwards kind of way – the technique I use for almost everything in life.
That’s right. I’m going to make a list of all the things my husband absolutely WOULDN’T want, thereby narrowing down the things that he WOULD want. Hopefully then, I’ll come up with an answer.
Here we go…
2. Hand-knitted mauve legwarmers. This is almost a guaranteed “do not get” item, but in some cases – like if your boyfriend is Prince – it could work.
3. A picture of Pamela Anderson with your face Photoshopped over hers. For men, some things are sacred.
4. Anything written by the Bronte sisters, especially Wuthering Heights. Men often feel threatened by that sexy bad boy Heathcliff – the subject of so many woman’s fantasies since it was published back in 1847. Seriously, men have Pam. I don’t see the problem.
5. Sliced mozzarella cheese. In a roundabout way, it reminds guys of paper towels, which then reminds them of cleaning. It’s a known fact, guys don’t like cleaning. Wait a minute – I don’t like cleaning either. Nobody likes cleaning. Forget the cheese. Get him the damn paper towels, and tell him no sex until the kitchen is spotless.
6. A fruitcake-making kit. I asked a man about this once, and his answer was, “I’d take the rum by itself. Forget about all that other crap.” I guess that’s a no.
7. The “all new” Mini Pop Kids’ album featuring 24 of today’s hottest hits sung in high-pitched whiny voices. If I ever bought that, I’d have to shoot myself first before I ever allowed him to play it.
8. An evening of naked cuddling – JUST cuddling. No penetration or fondling or relieving oneself of pent-up angst of any sort. He’d probably rather have the Mini Pops album.
9. A diamond headpiece to weave whimsically through the braids in his hair, kind of like the ones worn by the girl in that new Endless Love movie. You don’t want to make him look stupid. I mean, not even Brad Pitt could carry that off.
10. A rhinestone-covered skull to set on his mantle. Pretty if you light candles around it, but not so great if it gets hit with a hockey stick.
11. A certificate saying that he’s adopted a dolphin. Unless it comes with a bottle of whiskey in the gift bag as well, most men won’t give a damn.
12. A $5 gift certificate to Pottery Barn. Nothing in that store is under $5 except for the gum and pens at the checkout. Perfect. Fruity not minty though, as recommended by the crafty people of Yahoo Answers.
13. A DVD of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 or Mama Mia. Don’t even think about getting a Blu-Ray version either. Men say they like electronics, but as this is evidence, that’s a lie.
14. A Valentine’s Day Visa bill for $5000. I know my husband wouldn’t like that, even if $10 of it was spent ALL on him.
15. A ferret water dish. Unless he actually HAS a ferret and it doesn’t already HAVE a water dish, then go for it. If this is the case however, it’s proof that he’s a bit strange and fairly irresponsible. You may want to ditch him, and forget about the gift altogether.
16. A set of vintage tea cups, even if they are made of the best Windsor England Bone China, and they have little kittens hand-painted on them.
17. Not-a-blowjob, which is the opposite of blowjob, which is something almost every guy probably wants, like every day, no matter what, even if he just had both hands cut off. Especially if he just had both hands cut off.
18. High-waisted skinny jeans. It’s so hard to get the right fit without someone trying them on. He’d likely have to take them back anyway.
19. A pink t-shirt that says “OMG SHOES!” on it. That’s something you buy for yourself to wear to the gym, or to bed. Not such a bad idea for sending out subliminal messages for the kinds of things YOU may want for Valentine’s Day. Nude snakeskin “So Kate” Louboutins size 9 1/2 dear, just FYI.
20. Another cat. This may not apply to every guy out there. Some may actually WANT a cat. My husband doesn’t though. We already have four. I think instead, he may want a different wife. He may find one that doesn’t like cats as much as I do, but she’d probably have some sort of annoying tongue-clicking habit that gets really fast and loud especially when she’s in the throws of ecstasy. Then wouldn’t he feel like he’d made a bad decision?
Well, that sums it up. He’s getting one of those Staples EASY buttons like the one he bought for my birthday a few years ago. He can press it, and press it, and fucking press it, and wonder what hell I was thinking, and then we’ll be even.
The 25 Absolute Best And Worst Gifts You Could Give A Man These ideas came from Reddit. Some of them are hilarious. I particularly like the last one.
Note to my readers: I am a very proud Canadian. I fully support our athletes, and I think they are doing a great job. Sometimes however, a person likes to poke fun. I do anyway.
Sarcasm and beer pong: two sports that we Canadians would win hands down.
In the opening ceremonies, our athletes might be dressed a little like preppy Santas. Nothing wrong with that. Pharrell was dressed like Smokey the Bear at the Grammy’s. It just goes to show that he/we are on the cutting edge of emulating fictional characters. That takes guts, and (in our case), it also takes access to a LOT of red wool blend material.
If it seems like we should’ve won a particular event, but we didn’t, we are still nice about it, saying things around the water cooler like “we did our best” and “maybe next time”. We simply walk around harbouring a small amount of resentment, which comes out later when we give some guy at the Tim Horton’s drive through the finger for zooming in before us. We NEED that double double, god dammit.
If our athletes lose, they apologize to the entire nation for letting everybody down. It’s good to feel responsible to others. It’s why we recycle, and why, when the end of the world comes and we have all the resources, the Americans will end up driving all of our snowmobiles.
At some point, we might say, “We won a gold, eh!” More likely to happen in the winter games than the summer ones – because we are not as good at those – and even still, we might not say that because our use of the term “eh” is completely and utterly exaggerated. We do live in igloos though. All of us. The television gets mounted with an ice pick.
If it’s the winter games that are on television, it’s also winter where we live. Most Canadians watch the Olympics (or any television for half the year) wrapped in blankets, or with their wood stoves burning – at least the French do. The rest of us have those “new age” furnaces and/or gas fireplaces.
All bets are on the men’s hockey team to win gold. We probably know somebody who has laid down a substantial amount of money on it too. Ten bucks anyway. It’s OUR sport, after all. When it comes to ice, we don’t think twice, and we DON’T play nice. If they lose, we always have our healthcare to rub in people’s faces.
Sometimes, when our athletes compete – like say in women’s figure skating – our girl will go, skate well, maybe fall (because she’s human) – and then someone from say Russia will come out – be fifteen, look like she’s ten, and kill it in a really good but “I’m almost a cyborg” way. Don’t worry about it, it just goes to show what we spend our money on – donuts.
Yes, our hopes and dreams are on our athletes to do well – because who doesn’t want to win? – but our hearts are with them in good times and in bad. We are a VERY supportive and loyal country. Go Hawks!