Friday, December 05, 2003

My Beloved is a non-conformist
Truth is, My wife has taken non-conformity to all new levels. Even most other non-conformists think she is too weird.

The Phone/slave thing. Sometimes she just doesn't answer the phone. This isn't because she is mad at anybody, nor does she fear a call from a certain individual. She has caller ID, so for the most part, she knows who is calling. It doesn't matter.
Her Explanation for this is that she doesn't feel like she should be a slave to her phone. OK, fine, I can understand that. I wouldn't ask anyone to be a slave to an electronic device, But there are times in our increasingly complicated lives that a phone call is necessary.
Another explanation is that she was taking a nap and if people would stop calling then she would answer their calls when she wakes up, but she isn't going to take any calls when she is trying to sleep. (can you see the paradox in this?)
Trying to meet her halfway I have asked her to let me know when she plans to take a nap and I will wait to call her unless it is absolutely necessary. There has been, however, some paranormal activity that subverts my idea. One minute she is wide awake at her computer, and the next minute...*poof* she's asleep on the couch. (I can only speculate that some magical force is responsible for this since I am not at home to witness this phenomenon when it occurs)

At this point it might benefit you, the reading public, to know that we are a wireless household. We have escaped the tyranny of Cincinnati Bell and do not have phone service to our house. Instead we each have a cell phone which has proven to be more affordable and easier to maintain. All of our other services normally associated with the phone are acquired through alternate providers, internet through our local cable, and so on.

Another problem with the phone paradox is this: Because she is the one who is usually home during the day, The utilities, cable, phone and so forth, are in her name. So if they need to call for any reason then it is her number they will call and (in a perfect world) she would be the one to answer and I wouldn't be bothered while at work. But if it's necessary to call one of these service providers for support, to pay the bill...etc, She will sometimes call me at work and ask me to call them. I'm busy at work, she's playing solitaire...and I should be the one to call them. Makes sense right?

Her perception of time and punctuality is another conformity problem. (although we are working on it)
One basic scenario to explain this goes a lot like the following: We need to be someplace at 4:00. at 3:00 she lays down to take a nap, she tells me to wake her up at 3:30 and we'll get on the road. It takes 30 minutes to get there. I wake her up, and by this time I've gotten myself and the Kid ready to walk out the door. She needs to have a cup of Coffee and a cigarette to wake up before we leave.

Side topic...
Now, the sleep issue is another thing we are working on. It is beginning to get through that if she would just sleep at night (having gone to bed at a reasonable hour) it wouldn't violate her non-conformist honor code. This way she can wake refreshed and begin her non-conforming at an earlier part of the day. If she just gets an earlier start at her non-conforming duties she might just catch people who also are just waking up. That would be a time when they need that stability of normalcy and she could do the most damage to their psyche. She could really make large strides if she just gets an earlier start.

...Back to the scenario:
While having her cigarette and coffee she sits down to her computer and begins to play solitaire. When the Solitaire game is over she realizes she hasn't checked her email. Now, This person who refuses to be a slave to her phone, just HAS to check and respond to her email at a time when it inconveniences absolutely everybody we know.

Never mind what a conformist would do, she won't play into that little trap of mediocrity. No no!

4:45 she starts to get ready, and realizes that she has nothing to wear because the laundry hasn't been done. So she starts a load of wash. While the laundry is getting done she tells me to not just stand there but to do the dishes or something. My rebuttal of "but we are supposed to be there already" falls on deaf ears.
None of this really measures up to the most incredible thing to happen throughout the process. We actually go to wherever it was we planned on going, (4 hours late but nonetheless we go)

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Wifey was just filling out a form to hand in at our daughters preschool. (she didn't do it the first time so she had to repeat the assignment.) hehe
In filling it out we were musing at some of the questions they asked. It's not that they were difficult or unusual questions. It's more that we were having fun recalling our daughters stages of development in her infant and toddler stages.
While filling out the form Wifey asked me to recall when she uttered her first words. It seems like AGES ago, but I estimated 12 months. She didn't think I was right, (I'm always wrong) so she asked me to get online and look up a child development chart. This was not an argument or disagreement mind you, just the need to intellectualize that it was possible for her to speak at that age. "Hagabuh" didn't count.

Her first Word Hagabuh, was the first word we remember her saying with the intent to communicate a thought or idea. She was roughly 6 months old (give or take a month) and we were getting in the car to go someplace. I had just gotten her fastened into her car seat and we all settled into our seats, (Wifey, Myself, and Firstborn). Just before starting the car she erupted with the single word "Hagabuh!"
She Had just commanded our attention. Now it was a matter of elaboration, which unfortunately she was incapable of at the time. I think even this 6 month old child was able to realize that as an attempt to communicate, it didn't go very well and was going to take a great deal of practice. It did, however, lighten things up and give us something to laugh about so that was OK in her book.
We never did figure out exactly what it means and we may never know. But it was a moment we haven't forgotten. As parents you mark such occasions in your memory.

Back to the matter at hand. I looked up 2 development charts on my own, somehow not realizing that I must have been doing even that wrong, she intervened and told me to go to a more specific development chart that SHE was more familiar with. It said the same thing the others said.
We remember her having a relatively normal development as an infant and toddler, and tracking it more fervently as we did in those days, the development charts seemed to mirror her development quite well.
This is not to say that my memory is failing and that I don't remember my child's attempts to communicate in her early stages. The "hagabuh" incident is my case in point.
My wife is able to concede that I am right from time to time. It just takes a panel of experts to verify it.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

The Male Identity Crisis
A story of change.

Wifey hates it when I bring up this topic, so I will go into great depth of detail and exploit it for all it's worth.

In the beginning, you are attractive in many ways. You are healthy, happy, content in your lifestyle, witty, charming and funny.
Then you meet her. She finds you attractive, you find her attractive, and you develop a relationship.

Eventually you decide to live together. Let the changing begin!

One by one, your personal belongings begin to disappear or are replaced. You don't give it much thought, after all, yours is worn out and hers is nicer. Or maybe she just went shopping for another one because she didn't like the one you have. Eventually, in this process, any and all reminders of life before you met must go.
Oh, and that Couch! sorry, there is the remote possibility that you made out with an ex-girlfriend on that couch so it has to go. In fact, anything that might be a reminder of your past relationships would be certainly doomed. But that picture of her arm in arm with her ex at some vacation resort stays on the mantle because it reminds her of how great things were back then. But, if you have a problem with the picture, then you have a jealousy hangup. (see double standards in an upcoming post)

You learn quickly that your clothes are tacky, and not at all suitable for formal dinners and cultural outings (which you never attended before but somehow have become a social imperative) inevitably, at these social outings and cultural gatherings, there are wealthy attractive professional men to whom she will pay a little too much attention. This makes you feel a bit insecure. (which by most womens standards is just fine. anything that makes a man feel insecure is ok by them)

Sure clothes wear out, but whatever happened to that colorful shirt with the fishing hats and hibiscus pattern? It was in realatively good condition. It's been missing ever since that day we went to the park when she said, "you're not actually going to wear that in public are you?"
She will no doubt deny any knowledge of it's whereabouts as she fondly remembers how well it burned in the fireplace.

You also learn that your culinary tastes are not what you always thought they were. Even though you have liked Crunchy peanut butter all your life, she convinces you that in fact you do not like it and should never buy it again. There is only ever the smooth and creamy variety. Because that is what you like, whether you have ever realized it or not.

Your keepsakes are now, at the very least in storage. You may at your convenience open the box to view them as long as they don't go back on display on the mantle.

You have undegone physical changes:
Healthy has become frequent upset stomachs, ulcers, high blood pressure, headaches and so on.
You are no longer the happy go lucky bachelor you used to be. Your funny has become Wiseass. Charming has become Grouchy. Witty has disappeared alltogether because anything witty you had to say before has yeilded terrible results.

Years later you wear different clothes, you are serious, more intense, confused most of the time... You are just not the same person you were in what seems now to have been someone elses life.

All of this is because of one person who has the nerve to ask, "Why can't you be more like you were when we first met?"

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