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Posts Tagged ‘men’

Sorry I’ve disappeared…. I’ve been traveling for work this week and that always screws up my free time….. dang job!

 

Anyhow, here’s what’s on my mind this week!

 

I’m truly surrounded by absurd male behavior.  I mentioned last week that I was worried about a having a “mini-hubby” when we found out we’re expecting a boy.  But now, I think I’m coming to realize that due to the mere fact that it will be a BOY, even without hubby’s “mini-me” training, I’m just plain screwed.  Because men…. pretty much all men….. are just absurd!

 

I’ve given examples of my father-in-law, my brother-in-law and even my own father.  And today, I’d like to share one more story that might help illustrate the crazy world I live in.

 

As if it’s not enough to have tons of material from my own husband to blog about regularly, the other men in my life seem to love to “step it up” to keep me on my toes (or maybe they are all just hoping they’ll get a blog mention??)

 

Here’s a little back story.

A few years ago we had a new fence installed around our backyard.  We had some challenges with getting our gate to automatically close to ensure that our pool isn’t accessible to little ones and our dog can’t escape.  But my Dad, who is a wiz at stuff like this, swept in and fixed the problem for us….. voila…. problem solved (or so I thought).

 

Fast forward to the end of last summer.

My hubby is doing his summer chores and he goes out to mow the lawn.  Afterwards, he comes in and says… “Did you do something to the gate?”  “No why?”, I respond.  “Well, the closing mechanism is all different than it was last weekend”.   Hmmm… well, unless the fairies have now taken on mechanical tasks, there can really only be one explanation.

 

So, I call my Dad…..

 

Me: “Dad, do you do something to the gate this week?”

Dad:  “Yep, I was wondering how long it would take you guys to realize it!”

Me: “Well, it’s not like we go into the backyard every day….. we do have jobs you know.  So anyway, hubby just mowed the lawn and he noticed that it’s not closing right again”

Dad:  “Not closing?”

Me: “Yeah, before, Maggie (our dog) couldn’t run away but now it seems that she might have free access to the outside world”

Dad: “Hmmmm, ok I’ll look at it again”

Me:  “Uhm, Dad?

Dad: “Yes?”

Me: “Why exactly did you mess with our gate at all?   It’s been fine for quite a while, and we didn’t ask you to fiddle with it?”

Dad: “Well, I didn’t like the way it looked.  When I fixed it a year ago, I wasn’t totally happy with the closing mechanism, so I came back this week to improve it”

Me:  “Interesting….. you didn’t ‘like the way it looked’ and so you improved it???  “But it was fine… AND more importantly it was closing…. and now it’s not.  Not so sure that’s an improvement”

 

So the next week my Dad was back at our house fiddling with the gate.  You see, my Dad is a “fiddler”, and he’s also a perfectionist – a potentially lethal combination for a man. He’s always got some sort of a project going on and he likes to tinker around the house (ahhhhh… the joys of retirement!).  So, after a few tweaks, the gate is closing again – HOORAY!

 

Thank you Dad… for fixing a gate that we didn’t know needed any fixing.

 

Fast forward to this summer.

Hubby goes out to mow the lawn.   “Hon” he says, “I think your Dad is at it again.”  “What do ya mean?” I reply.  “Well, the latch on the gate is different again”

 

Oh boy… I thought we were done with this.

 

So, I’m at my parents house.

 

Dad:  “You guys aren’t very perceptive are you…..”  he’s taunting me

Me:  “Is this about the gate?”

Dad: smirking “Ah, so you did notice”

Me: “I noticed that you are once again messing with a gate that’s working perfectly fine..”

Dad:  “Well, it may have been ‘fine’, but now it’s ‘more than fine’.  I have improved it!”

Me: “Are we done with this one?  Can we move on from creating projects out of things that are not projects?  I mean if you’re looking for things to do, I’d be more than happy to make you a list of things that actually need doing!”

Dad: “I think we’re done.  I’m pretty happy with it now.”

Me:  “Gee thanks, I’m happy that you’re happy…..”

 

Mom: she pipes in from the background  “Well, I’m not happy…..   He keeps leaving the projects he should be doing here to go and mess with your gate!!”

 

And there you have it.   Yet another man trading off his time to create projects from thin air just to avoid doing projects on the To Do List!   This procrastination, avoidance, prioritization by men is just simply mind boggling!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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There is potentially nothing I despise more in the world than car shopping.

 

I hate the entire process from the moment you walk through the door, to the fake conversation, to the irritating salesman yapping in the back of the car during the test drive, to the “why don’t you sit down for a bit”, to the pass off to the manager, to the annoying follow-up calls after I have long decided I do not want to buy your over-priced, under-performing, gas guzzling vehicle.

 

I guess you could say that I’m a bit over-the-top on my hatred of car shopping.

 

It’s actually ironic given that it’s 100% due to car shopping that I ever even met hubby.  You’d think that the benefit, misfortune…. no, I’ll stick with benefit, I received in meeting my wonderful husband, would have somehow dissipated my hatred for this experience – but it totally hasn’t.

 

If you read my follow-up story to “How It All Began” then you know that hubby, while he may not love the process, is so smitten with the fact the he’s about to own a new vehicle, he can tolerate the horrible dance that is car buying.

 

Sooooo…. when I start getting notices in the mail that our car is coming to the end of it’s lease, I start to get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach and I dread every day where hubby might suggest we check out new cars.  All the while hubby is humming and smiling and Googling up a storm, researching new vehicles.  (btw – the reason we usually lease is so that hubby  can subject me to this torture can experience this excitement every 3 years)

 

“Oooohhh look at this one”  he might say…..

“This one gets great ratings” he tries to lure me in…..

“So-and-so has one of these and he really likes it” he tries to engage me in conversation…..

“This one has a V6, 320 horsepower, 269 torque….” I honestly have no idea where he’s going with this one…. unless maybe he’s buying me a pony, horses?  I don’t know…….

 

Needless to say, our lease is almost due.  And, this particular new car brings with it special excitement.  You see, hubby has been forced to drive my car for the last year and a half.  This is just dreadful since he didn’t get to pick out the car, doesn’t necessarily like the car and has been “suffering” through it for sooooo long.    (Now, without boring you with far too many details, here’s why hubby is driving “my” car:   I received a new company car smack in the middle of my personal lease and hubby’s lease was up shortly afterwards so, since no one was driving my car,  we decided he would drive “my” car until the lease was up.)

 

So there we are, still 5 months out from the end of the lease and hubby is already focused on new cars.

 

We drive down the road and he says… “what do you think of that car?”

We’re watching tv and he says…..”what do you think of that car?”

We’re making out, naked, in bed and he says ….. “what do you think of that car?”  

 

Ok… maybe I took it too far with the last one… but needless to say, with 5 months to spare, it seems to consume his every thought.   I’m ready to put him into “my” car and send it over a cliff.  This way I wouldn’t have to listen to him for the next 4 months (this has already been happening for a month!) AND I wouldn’t have to subject myself to the process of buying a new car –this is the best part EVER!   It’s sort of like a win-win all around….. no??!!

 

Ok yes, I’d be sad without hubby…. but more importantly, WHAT ON EARTH WOULD I BLOG ABOUT?  

 

Ok, you’re right,  I guess I’ll have to reconsider that plan…………………………  just say a little prayer for me that I make it through the next few months!

 

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What is it with men and story telling?  For many years I’ve listened to my hubby tell a story. The most interesting elements of the story (for me at least) are the ones he changes for his audience.  It might start out as being “85 degrees” outside but the next time he tells the story it’s “102 degrees”.  A task might start as taking him “2 hours” but eventually it took him “8 hours”.   I might have made him stop at 3 stores while we were shopping  but in the re-telling I made him stop at a dozen.

 

I’ve never understood this male habit of embellishing a story for dramatic effect.  And sometimes it’s all I can do to sit there quietly after I’ve heard him re-tell the same story so many times, that it no longer even sounds like the same story.  I have no idea how it gets away from him but it does  s – l – o – w – l – y  migrate into something that’s somewhat unrecognizable.   Yes, he’s a good story-teller but holy crap hubby, reel yourself back in!

 

So, I’d like to share with you the tale of the fish.

 

The first time the story is told:

 

“I caught a pretty big fish last weekend.  I cast my line and, although it took about an hour or so, I hooked one and reeled it in pretty easily.  It was probably about 2 1/2 feet long.  We had the guys on the boat filet it for us then and we came home and grilled it for dinner.  It wasn’t really all that tasty – even after a ton of seasoning”

 

The 2nd time this story is told:

 

“I caught a pretty big fish last weekend.  The second I put my line in the water it grabbed on.  I wrestled with it for 20 mins and finally got that bastard into the boat.  It had to have been 4 feet long.  I gutted that thing myself and grilled it up for dinner…. I even seasoned it myself.. it was pretty good!”

 

The 3rd time the story is told:

 

“I went on an exclusive fishing trip last weekend with some of the top fisherman around.  We probably traveled 500 miles off shore.  The fish I caught was humongous… easily 5 feet long and much bigger than anything caught by anyone else.  The guys on the boat said they’d never seen anyone reel in something so big, so quickly.   There was so much fish, I sent most of it home with a bunch of the guys to eat.  They’ve been calling ever since to tell me how good it was.”

 

The 4th time the story is told:

 

“Last weekend we travelled almost to Nova Scotia and I caught the largest fish the Captain of the boat had ever seen.  It towered over me and I’d estimate it at about 7 feet.   I hooked it pretty early in the day and reeled it in all by myself.  They couldn’t believe that I wasn’t a professional fisherman.  Then I proceeded to catch 4 more fish while we were out!  We docked at a 5 star restaurant a few hours away and had them grill it for lunch.  It was the best fish I’ve ever tasted.  It just so happened that there was a private party going on and the chef shared my story and some of my fish with them.  They said it was so good that they had to meet me.  And, the next thing I knew,  I was shaking hands with Christopher Walken, Natalie Portman, and George Washington”   (oh wait…. did I go too far???).

 

 

Just for the record… this is a TOTALLY fictional story. Hubby doesn’t even fish… but we’ve all heard the story of the “big fish” so I thought it would best  illustrate my point.     And, in order for me to re-tell one of hubby’s actual stories, I’d need to have a notepad with me to write it all down since catching all those changing details is a big challenge!!

 

What’s the tallest tale you’ve heard your guy tell his friends?

 

 

 

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In honor of the final shuttle launch today I wanted to reflect back on a post I wrote back in 2009 (wow, I’ve been blogging for a while!). This post was about my dear old Dad.. and his effortless execution of “Man Time”.  If you didn’t read that post (or you’ve forgotten the story) you can read it HERE.  I will say.. that I’m now 40 years old and my model space shuttle is still dusty, in the basement and probably sad today as it considers it’s 30 yr tenure, in it’s dented box and incomplete state, as we watch the farewell voyage.

 

So, did you ever wonder why a project that’s supposed to happen in 2 hours could actually take 2 weeks?  Or why something that’s going to “happen next” seems to not happen until next month?

 

Or maybe you’ve wondered why, when a man says “I’ll do it later“, “later” actually means at some undetermined time in the future.  Not necessarily after he’s done watching the movie, or playing the video game.  Later could easily be some time next Thursday or maybe the week after next or quite possibly immediately after  pigs fly  (and by flying pigs I do not mean the next football game… at least this might have a definitive timeline).

 

This phenomenon is the result of Man Time.  The problem is that, as women, we don’t have the proper conversion tool to take man time and translate it into real time.

 

So today, I’m going to try to provide you with a Man Time to Real Time Conversion Chart.

(This of course is just a few thoughts and I’m sure if I had “man free time” I could invest the next 3 weeks making notes… but alas, I’m not a man… and I have laundry to do…..)

 

Man Time impact on starting a task:

2 Hours =  2 Hours unless

 

There is good movie on…….  (add 2 hours)

There is a football game…….  (add 4 hours)…  if beer is involved… (add 24 hours)

There is a pizza nearby……. (add 30 minutes)

Pizza is used as a reward……. (deduct 30 minutes)

There is a naked woman nearby…… (good luck getting him to do anything ever)

There is a naked woman used as reward…… (deduct 1 hour)

The task involves…

Any sort of cleaning…… (add 1-4 hours)

Any sort of electronics……. (deduct 30 minutes)

The electronics make noises…… (deduct 1 hour)

Anything he doesn’t like doing…… (add anywhere from 2 hours to 10 years depending on the activity)

 

As you can see, there is some rhyme or reason to the completion time-table.   What I’m still struggling to figure out though, is the space shuttle time conversion.  I’m just not exactly sure what makes “next weekend” equal 30 years…. unless this has something to do with some sort of actual space/time travel…… can anyone shed any light on that??!!   Uhmmmmm Dad?!

 

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Who Moved My Cheese?

Quite a while ago I wrote a post calling hubby a “bad looker forer”.  (Yes, I do sometimes make up my own words.) 

 

This post discussed the widespread phenomenon of men being unable to locate basic items.  These items are generally not lost, or misplaced or even necessarily hard to find.  More times than not, they are in plain sight and screaming out “Here I am, Here I am” as a man gives a cursory glance right over the item and then declares he cannot find it!

 

So, here I am more than a year after writing that original post, writing about  it all over again.  Because even after a year, hubby has still not honed his viewing skills.  As someone with 20/20 eyesight, this is just mind boggling to me!

 

Last night we are discussing dinner.  We’ve both been working a ton and there are not a lot of food options in the house.

Hubby says…. “I’m hungry, what should we do for dinner?”

“I don’t know, do you want to order something?” I reply.

“Like what?

“I don’t know… Chinese?”

“No way…. I totally don’t want Chinese.”

“Italian?”

“Nope.”

“Do you want to pick something up?  Like Chili’s, or Applebee’s or maybe some boneless wings from that place down the road?”

“No.. I don’t think so”

“Ok, you’re killing me… what the heck to do you want then?  A burrito from Chipotle?”

“I had a burrito yesterday.”

“Since when does that matter…. I thought you were the guy who could eat a burrito every day, forever?”

“Nahhhh… no burritos tonight”

“Ok then, I don’t know what to tell you….  I think we have a frozen DiGiorno pizza, or some stuffed chicken?  How about pasta?  I think we have a jar of that vodka sauce we like.”

And….. here’s where it starts.

Hubby says, “Actually I thought about pasta. But, I looked and we don’t have any vodka sauce”

“Are you positive?  I’m pretty sure we have some.”

“I’m sure.  I looked for it.  But, you do always say I’m a “bad looker forer” so feel free to check” he says in his most challenging way……..

 

Lo and behold.. there’s vodka sauce in the pantry.

 

Dinner is ready….. and right after Hubby spoons the vodka sauce over the pasta, he opens the fridge, and calls across the room.  “Oh no… we don’t have any cheese!”

“Yes we do.”

“Nope… I’m looking in the fridge it’s not here.”

From across the room I say, “It’s on the first shelf, all the way to the left, by the wine holder…”

“Ahhh” he replies “I see it”.

Yes, of course you do.

 

You know, dear hubby, if you actually opened your eyes when you look for things you might actually find them….

 

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Well, I lost the most recent TV battle with hubby.

 

I’ve mentioned, oh I don’t know, maybe 20 or so times in this blog, how important a TV is in our household.  In case you missed any of the posts you can read some (here, here & here).   As an outsider you probably think it’s absurd that I talk about electronics so much and, I can assure you, that as an insider I think it’s far more absurd than you do!

 

I have to take a teeny, tiny piece of responsibility for the most recent misstep but, it’s amazing how quickly things spiraled out of control.  Before I knew it, there was Googling, trips to Costco, CNET reviews, and then the ultimate losing proposition…. The-Trip-To-Best-Buy (this must be said in the most ominous voice possible)

 

I’d like to walk you through the most recent events so you can see exactly where I went wrong… and, hopefully you can learn from my mistakes.

 

Hubby & I participate in an office football pool.  We had a great end to this past season as I wound up winning the “suicide” pool and hubby wound up winning the overall, full season pool.  As a couple we got a nice envelope with our winnings at the end of the regular season.  So, mistakenly I say (this is where I opened the proverbial can of worms) “Hon, do you think you’re going to buy yourself a present with some of your winnings?”.

 

Now… I’d like to take a moment to go step-by-step through the things that were actually going on in my head when I said this. 

  • Hubby works hard.
  • Hubby just won a good amount of money and wouldn’t it be nice if he “rewarded” himself with a new present. 
  • Yes, we have bills and we have household projects on the long term to do list but, most of the money will go in the bank.
  • He’ll probably buy something like a video game or a new blue ray DVD.  Maybe even a nice bottle of scotch? 

 

But alas, these suggestions never actually came out of my mouth.  All I said was “new present”.. and, all he heard was “new present”. 

 

Hubby didn’t respond right away, but he mumbled something like “hmmmmm..buy myself something, I hadn’t really thought about that”. And…I think this is the exact moment where I started to lose control.

 

The next thing I know, hubby is emailing me links to new TVs from work.  New TVs? I still don’t think there’s anything wrong with our existing TV! (you can read about it’s supposed “blurring” problem here).  So, I’m like.. “Whoa dude… slow down.  What happened to a new video game or DVD?”  And, he’s like… “Huh?? You never said anything about a video game”.  And I’m all, “well, I may never have said anything but, that’s sort of what I had in my mind when I mentioned you should buy yourself something”.  And, he’s like “oh, well that’s not what I was thinking at all…. so, did you look at that link I sent you?”.

 

And at that moment, I could feel it all slipping away.   Here I was, the one who planted this seed in his head… this was ALL MY FAULT!

 

So, as we enter the ring, I’m prepared for our battle…and for 2 weeks we dance & we weave.  I hear about nothing but differences between LCD & LED TVs, recaps of industry debates over how to light LEDs… side lit, back lit, white lights, soft white lights, refresh rates, megahertz, Samsung, Sony….

AAAAHHHHHHHHH…. Just make it stop!! 

The tape measure comes out.. he measures, he re-measures.  55 inches.. 60 inches…. $1500 … $2000.  My world is spiraling out of control.. and I realize that I’m beginning to tire.  He’s wearing me down.  I keep swinging but it’s like I never touch him, he just keeps coming back at me.

 

Then it comes.  He hits me with the knock-out punch.  The TV he finally decides on, costs FAR more than the money he won in the football pool.  Can somebody please tell me how “buying yourself something with your winnings” went from a token item to taking money out of the bank to ADD to his winnings to buy a new TV??  All to solve a “blurring problem” that I swear I cannot even see?

 

Then, as I’m swooning from this punch.. he reaches out with the lightest of touches, and with a fingertip, he sends me falling to the ground in slow motion.  This lovely gesture came via another email outlining his well thought out argument about how he’s “earned” this tv.  “I’ve worked extra hard lately, I won the football pool, I got a bonus at work this year blah.. blah… blah… blah….”  [can you feel the heartstring tugs?]….But he’s not done yet….  “I know I’ll never be truly happy with my current TV, but I guess, if you’re totally against this, I suppose the one we have is good enough”  [he’s no longer tugging, he’s moved onto daggers through my heart]  Then, as I fall to the floor, I’m wrapped in amazing warmth as he gingerly covers me with this blanket of guilt.  So cozy and yet so heavy.  And, as I try to hang on to my senses, and I try to get back up, I realize that it’s time to admit defeat and I whisper to him … 

 

JUST BUY THE FRIGGIN’ TV…. I CAN’T TAKE THIS ANYMORE!

 
And that, my dear blog readers is how I lost the TV battle with my hubby.

 

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The apparent importance of electronics in a man’s world never ceases to amaze me.

I feel like this entire blog could revolve around hubby’s fascination, perhaps better known as an obsession (which I prefer to call lunacy) with technology.  And, I’d have to say that it’s not just technology itself that gets him all fired up.. it’s anything technology based, that offers more or does it better or brighter or with more pizzazz.  He’s so easily swayed by extra bells & whistles that  recently I told him he’s the perfect lemming for those marketing campaigns that sell you on some super-fantastic, new-fangled, piece of crap.  The moment he thinks it’s better than what he currently has, he is immediately unhappy with the item he owns (even if he just bought it last week).

 

Just a few examples of hubby’s Electronics Enthusiasm:

 

 

But today, since I tend to blog about current events in my home, we’re heading back to yet another TV conversation.

 

I mentioned that we have a 52” LCD HDTV in our Man Cave.  This TV is less than a year old… it has a great picture and I might add, that we actually do most of our TV watching in our family room… so, the TV in the Man Cave is primarily used for video games, an occasional movie or football games. 

 

This week hubby declared that he can see “blurring” on our TV and he’s unhappy with the “refresh rate”.  Now, I don’t claim to be all that savvy when it comes to TV technology, but I believe this to be a crock of you know what.  This is hubby’s way of telling me that he’s suffering from a new form of neighborhood TV Envy.  It’s called.. “The-Neighbors-All-Have-Bigger-TVs-And-They-Keep-Making-Fun-Of-Me”.

 

I’ve previously shared the story about Vinny (our next door neighbor) and the day he came home with his 55” new TV.  As he removed it from his car, hubby drooled with envy.  But even more recently we visited another set of neighbors who have not only one 60” LCD TV in their family room but ALSO, a 60” LED TV in their Man Cave.  I knew I was in trouble after this visit for a couple of reasons:

  • I watched hubby’s eyes light up. 
  • I watched him lick his lips.
  • He lightly caressed the top of the TV (it was love at first sight..)
  • And then…. he asked me to run interference while he tried to steal the TV off the wall.

 

Needless to say, we didn’t steal the neighbors TV but I’ve heard about nothing else since that day.  And, both Vinny & Marvin (the other neighbor) have taken it upon themselves to taunt hubby.  Countless text messages asking him how it feels to be the inferior neighbor, wondering if he can actually see a particular play during the football game on his “puny TV”, and even references to Fisher Price.  They are making MY life miserable.

 

So now, hubby (who has apparently gained super-hero like powers) has a perfectly trained eye that can see the difference between a 120Hz refresh rate and a 240Hz refresh rate… because apparently our TV looks “blurry”.  (I beg to differ, but I’m just a woman who doesn’t “get it”!)

 

The neighbors ribbing has motivated hubby to start researching how we can sell our perfectly fine TV to “upgrade” to a new, bigger & better TV.   God help me!

 

Now, if only I could figure out a way to harness this motivation and make it work for useful things… Perhaps I can get Vinny & Marvin to harass hubby into buying us new kitchen counters, or doing the “perfect load of laundry”.  Or maybe, just maybe they could taunt him into renovating our bathroom?  Hmmm… I may just be on to something here, Maybe I should have a talk with all the wives.  Perhaps if we band together, we can find a way to use this power for good rather than evil?

Wish me luck!

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