Archive for the Mars and Venus Category

The mistresses

Posted in Mars and Venus with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2011 by cwgala

GRIN # 417

In my garage: 12 bikes, 8 helmets, four wheel bags and two million water bottles. Now you’re waiting for that pithy line about family togetherness or fitness, after which I’ll declare it all priceless.It’s not priceless! These items are all hideously expensive. I have detailed daydreams about trips to Italy and daily massages—all the things we (I) could buy if we liquidated this stockpile of bicycle gear. But the insatiable cyclist would file divorce papers at the mere suggestion.
He denies there are that many bikes in the garage, of course. But I know. I counted. There’s one upstairs I didn’t include in the total above because I momentarily forgot about her. That brings the total to 13.

They’re mistresses, these bikes. And I just found out, after a little badgering, there are three more at hubby’s work. But they mean nothing. They’re old, vintage bikes. He’s going to fix them up and sell them. Uh huh. They have wheels. They count.

And now Jerry is introducing cycling to T. Which is good, I guess. But I feel kind of left out. I came home Sunday and no one was interested in the movie I rented for us or the groceries I’d bought for dinner. Tyler was trying out the new bike Jerry had bought for him. Number two for Tyler. One for me. The rest belong to you know who.

Maybe I should take up cycling. You know, take to heart that old adage, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” There are plenty of women cyclists—strong, muscular women—whose backsides and legs must have finally stopped screaming. Right?

But Jerry and I have tried riding together before. You may remember that I ride and he races. I enjoy the view. He tries to have a heart attack. If I stop pedaling and coast, he says, “Are you coming? What’s wrong? Why aren’t you pedaling?”

Sometimes cursing ensues—by me, usually, if I’m not winded—and one of us leaves the other. It is always some version of this.

Still. Maybe I could get into it this time. It’s something we could do together. As a couple. I bring it up.

“If I got good, we could go on one of those cycling trips together to Colorado,” I say.

Then I see it. The fear. No, terror. He’s trying to figure out how to applaud the idea so as not to hurt my feelings while blasting to pieces the actual possibility that I might become the ball and chain he has to drag around on the bike.

Okay, I get it. I know him well enough by now. I guess having me along on a ride would be akin to having him along on a writer’s retreat. Shudder. Or the mall.

The truth is, it’s good for couples to have time apart. Then each person has things to talk about when you’re together again. That sounds feasible.

What a relief. My backside and legs would have never stopped screaming anyway.


Love letter

Posted in Mars and Venus with tags , , , , on July 21, 2011 by cwgala

GRIN #408

Found this today when I got home from the pool.

The tiger’s sarcastic way of saying: LOCK THE HOUSE!!!

Happy Anniversary to the Tiger!

Posted in Mars and Venus with tags , , , , on March 23, 2011 by cwgala

GRIN #383

Okay, so I’m a day late. Our 14th anniversary was actually yesterday, March 22nd.

Jerry and I agreed to go low-key this year since we just went to Disney and to even forgo cards (and spend the $10 on something else) but he cheated and got me the sweetest card.

He even wrote a mushy message in it without my prompting, which just goes to show you can teach an old tiger  new tricks.

Anyway, he’s still up to his tiger ways, eating everything in sight, and being the athletic one in this coupledom. Which kinda pisses me off because if I was married to a regular (couch-potato) guy, I would be the athletic one.

The tiger is so skinny, (sorry: trim), that it looks like he has a vacuum cleaner in each shoe, sucking his ass right out of his jeans and into oblivion.

It’s not fair!!! I want vacuum cleaners in my shoes.

Anyway. In addition to being married for fourteen years (which feels like 14 minutes underwater, as the tiger would say), we dated 9 years before that. So that’s, whew, 23 years.

I’m so grateful that not only did I meet my life partner so young, which is rare, but also that we’ve managed to grow together over the years, instead of apart. Also rare.

It hasn’t always been easy, but I will say this: the tiger makes me laugh like nobody else, and life with him is always interesting. Even when we’re doing the most mundane things.

Case in point:

The tiger found this old car when we were at the grocery store a few days ago. Inside is a full-size skeleton riding in the back.

There’s never a dull moment with the tiger.

Sambone, a filing cabinet and bloody fingers

Posted in Mars and Venus with tags , , , , , , , on March 7, 2011 by cwgala

GRIN # 379

How’d ya like that rainy Sunday, yesterday?

Typically, I like to spend a day like that reading the paper and lounging but for some inexplicable reason (probably because Jerry was off the bike) we set out to do “house” things–all those things you talk about doing but never do. Tyler was at a friend’s house; so this was almost a date. I know. It does sound sad.

First on the agenda was to go look at a bathroom vanity I liked that I found on Craigslist. Jerry was trying to be nice about it, but I could tell he didn’t want to go.

“What’s wrong with the one we have?”

If it’s not covered in asbestos or fire ants, Jerry thinks the item in question is fine for at least another forty or fifty years. Especially if my only complaint about it is that it’s old or out of style.

But the vanity wasn’t going to work  so we went to the Ale House to have lunch and regroup, which I could tell Jerry liked a lot better than looking at stuff he didn’t need.

While drinking a Sam Adams Jerry came up with the idea to replant Sambone.

Sambone is an old corn plant that for many years I have been trying to kill. It was Jerry’s first plant of his bachelorhood and, weirdly, he named it.  It puts out the most horrible-smelling bloom once a year and it grows at about a 45-degree angle, probably because it needs to be replanted.  I’ve tried to relegate Sambone to the screened porch, but Jerry will say, “We can’t do that. The freezing temperatures would kill Sambone.”


But Sambone is like a cockroach; he ain’t going nowhere.

So it was off to Home Depot. I managed to squeeze in a new pot for one of my fave plants in the bedroom, which made me feel a little better about having to save Sambone’s life.

That done, it was still only about 3pm. Jerry came up with the idea for me to clean out the gargantuan file cabinet in his bike room that has 12 years worth of my freelance story files in it. I’d been promising to do that too, but the task just seemed overwhelming.

But it was that kind of day. And, frankly, I don’t think anyone is ever going to want my “papers.” I’m not a Kennedy or Charles Kuralt, so I started chucking.

Jerry loaded them up and drove them off. Since the filing cabinet weighs about a ton, he was going to find a moving company to move it.

“Good idea,” I said.

Except this morning, I found out it’ s my job to find the moving company.

“No fair!” I said. “I emptied everything.”

“But I carried everything down,” he countered.

“But it’s for you, so you’ll have more space.”

“You should see my fingers. They’re bloody from paper cuts.”

“Oh please!!”

“I’ll send you a picture.”

He did. And that is sooooo ketchup from his Chick-fil-A combo.


Men: What you need to know

Posted in Mars and Venus with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2011 by cwgala

GRIN # 375

Seems lately I’ve been writing about all the things I’ve learned from men. So I’ve decided to return the favor and give you guys a “heads-up” about something. (Sorry ladies!).

I just saw a commercial for Public Storage, where a guy and girl move in together and they’re overrun with stuff. “They” decide the perfect solution is to rent a space at Public Storage for the guy’s beer can collection and other bachelorhood items.

Guys, this is the oldest trick in the book. Your woman thinks your prize possessions are crap and she wants them out of the house. For good. But she’s smart enough to take her time about it.

The storage unit is the transition holding pen which leads directly to the trash can.

The theory is, once your stuff is out of sight, you’ll no longer miss it. She may or may not tell you when it’s disposed of. If she does, she will likely precede that bad news with something good, the details of which we won’t go into as this is a family blog.

The only reason I divulge this tidbit now, at this late date, is that after 14 years of marriage I have finally gotten rid of all the black Def Leppard t-shirts, barstools, shot glasses stolen from bars, the beer mug collection, Budweiser coin collector, random road signs, cheap manly sheets and, well, you get the idea.

But, guys, in the end it all works out okay, because your beloved will create a much nicer home for you with her things.

Not that I’m biased.

Man Lesson #2

Posted in Mars and Venus with tags , , , , , , , on February 13, 2011 by cwgala

GRIN # 372

This next lesson has taken me a really long time to learn and, even now, I’m not sure I believe it.

I’m always in my own head too much, thinking things like, “He’s got to notice this ten pounds I gained” and feeling all self-conscious about it.

Here’s what I think is the truth: They. Don’t. Care.

Now if you get all psycho on them and obsess about it, talking about it all the time, then they care because, frankly, you’re driving them crazy. But from an appearance perspective, not so much. You’re you, and he loves you for who you are.

That is, if you have a good guy. If you have a guy who brings it up before you do, well, then, he needs a permanent trip to the curb.

And then last weekend during the Super Bowl, I came across Man Lesson # 2 part B. A commercial came on (I can’t remember which one) that made me wonder aloud, “Man, we’ve been together so long; are you happy with our sex life? You have to tell me if you’re not.”

Man Lesson #2 Part B: Men are happy you’re just there–ready and willing.

And Jerry told me: “What’s not to be happy about? I don’t have to argue for it, fight for it or buy beers for it.”

(There’s a compliment in there somewhere; I just know it).

In other words, I am really freakin’ easy.

More lessons on men

Posted in Mars and Venus with tags , , , , , , , on February 10, 2011 by cwgala

GRIN # 371

Surprisingly, I’m learning a lot about men this week. I have two lessons to share.

The first is that men are much smarter than we give them credit for.

Women are always saying men don’t listen, that they don’t get it.

Actually, I think they do.

I was at the dentist last  week, who just happens to be my brother. After copious warnings to Tyler about how Uncle Dave would find a cavity if he didn’t brush well, Uncle Dave found a cavity in my mouth. Which Tyler thought was hilarious. Frick frackin’ kharma.

Anyway, Uncle Dave was filling it and while we were waiting for me to numb up we were talking about the Christmas presents we’d had to return.

“I had to return the sweatshirt Jerry got me again this year; it was a medium,” I said. I went on to explain that while the thought of a medium was nice, I’m not really a medium.

I mean I can stuff into a medium. But I feel like I have alligator arms, pinned to my sides because the sleeves are too tight. Life is just too damn short for that nonsense.

My brother just nodded. “I never buy anything larger than a medium in clothes or an 8 in shoes for my wife.”

“What?” I asked, only it was really more like “Whuf?” because half my mouth was numb by this time. “Eben if you know it bon’t vit?”

“Of course! It doesn’t matter if it won’t fit. That’s the rule.” Apparently, he understands paralytic mouth.

So every year I and countless other women must head to the mall and exchange stuff our hubbies knew wouldn’t fit. That seems stupid.

Or does it? I tried to imagine my reaction if Jerry gave me a sweatshirt in an extra large.

“So. You think I’m an extra large? Do I look extra large? Last year you gave me a medium. Thanks a lot!” I’d say, muttering “Ass!” under my breath as I walked away.

I’d like to think I wouldn’t react like that but I’m getting old enough to be partially honest with myself.

And he’s gotten smart enough to know that size matters and it’s the thought that counts.


Stay tuned for lesson two. It’s a doozy.