Monday, August 29, 2011

Captain Underpants

We've been living in the subdivision now for just over a year. We're only really familiar with a few of our neighbors, but mostly we just chat with our next door neighbors on either side. To the left of our house live a married couple close to our own age, and to the right of our house is a single mother and her 14 year old daughter.

The daughter recently lost her cat and had spent weeks combing the subdivision for it. She taped "lost cat" signs to every stop sign and put cat food out on our porch, as the last place the cat had been spotted was in my front flower bed. Eventually I had the bright idea of loaning her my father-in-law's live trap, and she caught her cat this past weekend. The trap was returned and profuse thanks offered, and the girl was happily re-united with her lost kitty.

Until this morning, when our doorbell rang about two minutes before my alarm went off. Our bedroom is at the front of the house, with our windows right next to the front porch. I groggily elbowed my husband and said "someone is ringing our doorbell!", to which he offered the response of "muuuugrrhhh...."

The doorbell ringing was followed by hard knocking, and then we heard the sound of someone hysterically crying. This spurred my husband into Instant Action Mode, which pretty much meant that he leapt out of bed and was out the front door in lightning speed, thinking Something Bad Was Happening Outside.

What had actually happened was that the girl's cat had darted outside again this morning when she was getting ready for school, and she was desperate to catch it and wanted to borrow the live trap again.

What also happened was that my husband went charging out the door onto the front lawn clad in nothing but his Marvel comic book hero t-shirt and a pair of baggy blue boxer-briefs. The trap was quickly retrieved and given to the girl, and then he seemed to realize that he was outside. In his underpants. In front of a teenaged girl and her mother. You know that sinking feeling you get when you realize you've done something horribly embarrassing? I'm guessing that was the feeling churning through my husband's gut as he hightailed it back into the house and retrieved his pants before the whole neighborhood got an eyeful.

While he was procuring his jeans, another bright idea crossed his mind. When he bought some special edition of one of the Call of Duty games, it came with a pair of functional if rather comical looking night vision goggles. I'm sure you can all imagine where this is going. Now clad properly in pants and t-shirt, my husband decided to join the cat hunt..with his Call of Duty night vision goggles on.

Because that's not weird, or anything. I suppose I should be grateful that he didn't decide to grab one of his replica lightsabers while he was at it. Just in case, you know, an evil sith lord appeared from the bushes.

Thankfully the cat bolted back inside when the mother raised their garage door, the trap was returned, and my husband came back inside. I'm pretty sure the cat was terrorized by the sight of my husband charging around on the lawn first in his underpants, and then in his night vision goggles, and decided "screw this outdoors shit, I'm going inside for some friskies!"

Thursday, August 4, 2011

In which I attempt to take my husband's nose by force.

I've been married for nearly a year now, and honestly it's not much different than just living with the man was. I can't say that marriage brought about any big surprises or revelations about my husband. I've known him since I was 15, and we've been together for about 8 years, so it's not as though there's much about him that remains a mystery to me. I know he likes to wear athletic socks and not dress socks. I know he likes funny t-shirts, and that he can recite episodes of Star Trek line by line, and I know his favorite foods and his favorite color and that he is excellent at cooking and useless at doing laundry.

So I knew going into this marriage that he snores like a fucking chainsaw being wielded by a pissed-off grizzly bear. I imagine that such a thing would sound like NNNNNNNG NNNNNNNG NNNNNNNNNNG BZZZZZZZRRRRRRRRRRRROOOOOOOAR NNNNNNNNNG, which is exactly the same sound that emanates from my husband's nasal passages and mouth at 3:00 A.M. nearly every night of the week. Naturally, he refuses to accept or admit that he snores, let alone snores like an enraged power-tool using ursine, so of course one night while he snored away and I lay awake and balefully stared at him, I decided to grab my iPod and use the handy video feature to record evidence.

After capturing several seconds of his open-mouthed symphony I tried my usual methods of making him stop. I shook him. I elbowed him in the ribs. I flopped around in the bed like a fish hoping that my restless tossing and turning would penetrate his sleeping brain and send "stop snoring please for the love of god" signals to him. None of these things worked, so my next course of action was to extract myself from the warm cozy bed and stomp off to the kitchen in search of the box of breathe-right strips in the cabinet. I know those things don't stick worth a damn unless the wearer's nose is totally clean and dry, so I made a stop by the bathroom for a toner-soaked cotton ball to aid in my efforts.

Imagine, if you will, that it is 3 A.M. in a dark house. The only light is coming from the bathroom, the door of which has been left open to provide some illumination to the bedroom. In the bed there is a large, sleeping man who is snoring. Perched atop his chest is his much smaller and very pissed off wife, who is cleaning his nose with a cotton ball soaked in toner. The man, against all odds, is sleeping quite soundly through this experience even though the toner proclaims how refreshingly tingly it is (which is beauty product speak for "holy shit this stuff burns!"). The little plastic backings are peeled from the breathe-right strip. Ever so slowly, the wife applies it to the husband's nose. Probably thinking the unpleasant nasal-passage-lifting sensation he is experiencing processes as "bug trying to excavate my nostrils", and he keeps swatting her hand away in much the same way that you'd try to swat an annoying fly.

This continues for several moments, until the damned breathe-right strip is now utterly de-stickified and useless. The end result is one wasted strip, one still obliviously snoring husband, and one still exceedingly irritated wife who has just wasted a cotton-ball's worth of refreshingly tingly toner on her husband's undeserving nose.

I ended up just wadding my pillow up around my head and glaring at him for another hour before I finally fell back asleep. I presented him with the proof of his snoring the next day. He had no recollection of me attempting to open his sinuses by force. He claimed that he slept peacefully and listened with disbelief to the pissed-off-bear-with-chainsaw sounds emanating from my iPod. "That's YOU" I told him. "Wear a damned strip to bed or I will kill you in your sleep."

He always laughs when I threaten him, of course. But if he'll sleep through me sitting on his chest and trying to stick things to his face, I'm pretty sure he'd sleep through me smothering him with a pillow. Of course, then I wouldn't have anyone to get things out of high cabinets or open jars for me, but oh, the uninterrupted nights of quiet sleep just might be worth it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Crazy Stamp Lady

Today while I was on my lunch break I went to the small post office that's around the corner from work. There were only two people ahead of me in line, so I was internally congratulating myself for getting there before the rush hit. Unfortunately, I was so very, very wrong.

The two customers ahead of me both had rather involved transactions. One was a jeweler who was sending pieces of fine jewelry, which of course involved insurance and tracking numbers, and about a quarter of the two dozen packages he had were international, so they needed customs slips as well. His end of the counter was quickly covered in sheafs of little green customs slips and packages and insurance forms.

The other customer was an elderly woman who was purchasing stamps. She was toting a wheeled cart stuffed to the brim with empty Dillards bags, and she was sorting through the stamps with the intensity of a scholar perusing the Dead Sea Scrolls. The post office clerk brought out book after book of stamps, each one scrutinized and rejected for various reasons that the elderly lady loudly shared with the entire post office.

"Oh, if these had forget-me-nots on them instead of violets, I'd get these. These are nice, but I don't like that they say 'love' on them. Oh, I don't need Black History stamps..Oh, no, I don't even know who that singer is. These are too bright. These aren't bright enough" on and on she went, like some kind of Post Office Goldilocks, trying to find that "just right" book of stamps. 15 minutes she took, as she thumbed through each pile, asking if there were any others, if other post offices might have other designs. I leaned back against the counter and waited, inwardly grinding my teeth but outwardly radiating patience as I watched my lunch hour tick away while the woman hemmed and hawwed and compared stamp after stamp.

Finally she settled on some stamps featuring cats and dogs, but she made the post office clerk tear off a segment in such a way that the stamps would not have white cats on them. Because she didn't like white cats, you see, and simply would not send stamps with white cats on them.

After she left I mailed my one package and scooted out into the parking lot with a sigh of relief. But it wasn't over just yet. From across the lot came the reedy voice of the stamp lady: "Yoohoo! Miss! MISS! Are you going in the direction of Hikes Lane??? Would you give me a ride??"

I froze, and then told her in a regretful tone that I was going back to work, which was in the opposite direction, and hurried back to my car. Even if I had been going in her direction, my car was crammed to the brim with so much stuff that I had no room for the woman or her cart. Last I saw her, she was heading for the bus stop.