Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day of silly sayings

We drove to school in a downpour this morning. Gabe asks me, "Why does it rain?" I answered, "When clouds get so full of water they start to leak."

Clever, huh? Gabe responds, "Oh, so it's like they gotta pee!"

After seeing a photo of Michael Jackson in this morning's newspaper, Gabe yelled out, "Wow! That lady is scary looking!"

Out of the mouths of babes.....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

O Canada

Either we're raising a Canadian or our 4-year-old son has been secretly watching the movie "Strange Brew."

After returning home from school yesterday, he decided to ride his bike. He removed his jacket and said, "It's kinda warm out here, eh?"


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Let there be light

He flipped the switch.

And that’s when my husband flipped out.

“Can’t you please, please, PLEASE get some light bulbs?!” I heard bellowed from the dark, cavernous interior of our bedroom’s walk-in closet.

It was - and I’m not exaggerating here - the 27th light bulb to burn out that very week.

OK. So I might be exaggerating just a tad.

It was the 26th.

And the house was in complete chaos. We’d been walking around in the dark for days. I was afraid we’d turn into Mole People if it lasted much longer. And I’m thinking those folks are not the bundle of joy one might think them to be.

“I tried. Honestly, I tried,” I whined in response. “But a person needs a Ph.D. in electrical engineering or be close and personal friends with Thomas Edison’s third cousin...twice order to understand anything about light bulbs in the 21st century.”

My husband, standing in the dark in nothing but boxer briefs, was less than understanding of my plight.

“COME ON!” he hollered and began to pace around the small closet. “IT’S A STUPID LIGHT BULB! JUST TAKE THE OLD ONE TO THE STORE AND MATCH IT WITH A NEW ONE. IT’S NOT THAT HARD - SON OF A B----!”

And that’s when he ran into the shoe rack hanging on the far wall.

And, yes. I laughed.

So here I am in the light bulb aisle because my husband doesn’t have a sense of humor.

After climbing out of a pile of two dozen pairs of smelly shoes, he demanded satisfaction. And I was ordered to the store to purchase new light bulbs.

At least I let him think he ordered me. I find it strategically important to let him think he can do so once in a while.

Puppet on a string, you know.

OK. Back to the light bulb aisle.

I turned on the spot and saw two shelves, each at least 20 yards long, filled to the gills with light bulbs of every shape, size and color.

Geesh. I had less difficulty choosing a college - and a husband - than choosing a light bulb.

God? Are you up there? It’s me. Kelley. I could use a little help down here. You know, if you’re not too busy trying to help starving children in Africa or something.

I waited a couple of minutes for divine inspiration. Not sure what form it would take. I assumed a burning bush was out of the question. Fire hazard and all that.

When neither lightning struck nor a person wearing a smock and a name tag arrived on a white horse, I figured I was on my own.

Breathing a deep sigh of trepidation, I removed the offending bulb from my purse and held it up, walking along the shelves, hoping against all hope that it would magically guide me to the correct spot. Kinda like when twins are separated at birth, then grow up and travel separately across the country and stop at a Quickie Mart in Arkansas and meet each other while simultaneously reaching for a Snickers Bar at the checkout counter.

But, alas, no such luck. I strode up and down the aisles, muttering to myself and scaring the other customers.

And then I felt the urge to sneeze.

That’s when I really began to panic because sneezing in the day and age of Swine Flu first requires a 100-page thesis on the proper way to do so.


No hands. Can’t use my hands. I’ll go to Swine Flu jail if I use my hands.

I felt the sneeze welling up in my eyes, my nose was jumping in anticipation across my face. I felt the urge to pee my pants. Again.

Then in a flash of brilliance, I remembered.


I raised my arm in the nick of time and achoo-ed loudly in my armpit. Then remembered I’d forgotten to put deodorant on. Perfect.

“Where are the light bulbs?” my husband asked upon my return from the store and seeing my bag-less hands.

I could only shake my head and confess, “You’ll have to go to the store. I’m going to bed. The Swine Flu, babe. It got me.”

Monday, October 12, 2009

Is it Christmas already??!

No disrespect to Halloween or Thanksgiving (who doesn't love candy AND turkey and mashed taters?!)...but I'm ready for Christmas.

When my dad had a massive - and fatal - heart attack two years ago, the holidays were so hard. My dad was the biggest kid at Christmas and spoiled everyone around him with love and gifts. It seemed that with his absense there was such a large hole to fill.

I maneuvered the holidays on autopilot. Smiled here. Laughed there. Gave a hug over there. When people were watching. But as soon as all eyes were off me, I retreated into my memories of a man who seemed so much larger than life, who was a giant of a man - in spirit and of heart. Then he was gone in an instant.

But this year is different. As if waking up from a long sleep, I'm ready to pick up where my dad left off. This holiday we celebrate in the way he taught us: with REAL smiles and REAL laughter and REAL love. After all, he's got one of the best seats in the house to celebrate the miracle of Jesus's birth. The least I can do is throw a great party down here.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

We're just monkeying around

There comes a point in every marriage when you realize the critical turn your life has taken and think, “Holy Mother of God! I married this person??!”

Sometimes those moments arrive after a series of events or circumstances, built up over years and years of cohabitation and sharing lives, toothbrushes and TV remote controls.

Kinda like how a decade’s worth of hair tangled in the shower drain will finally blow the plumbing apart and require $20,000 in repairs.

But sometimes an episode rears up and smacks you upside the head and provides a moment of sudden clarity so concise in its own right it eclipses everything else that has occurred up to that very point.

And so this column begins....

“Did I ever tell you I once attended a Monkees’ concert?”

Uh, I don’t think I heard that correctly.

“You did what?” I answered, praying that my brain had mistakenly heard my husband say “Monkees” rather than Metallica.

Yeah, Metallica sounds good.

But, alas, no.

“I saw the Monkees perform live,” he confirmed. As opposed to “I saw the Monkees perform dead.”

Because THAT would be a concert worth seeing.

And that was the very moment I began re-playing our marriage vows in my head, wondering if I’d had enough foresight to include a No-Monkees’ clause in there.

Hmmmm...honor, love and cherish (note that I left out obey, for a reason).

Nope, no Monkees’ clause.


“I think it was back in the ‘70’s,” my husband continued.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, JUST STOP TALKING! I wanted to scream, but all functions to my brain had stopped, rendering me incapable of speech.

I had no idea that was even possible.

Nor did anyone who has ever met me. Go figure.

Skeletons in the closet are good things to have, don’t you think? Seriously. So I did what any honest-to-goodness Midwesterner would do.

I practiced the great art of avoidance.

“Oh, you meant to say Metallica, right?” I asked in a sing-song voice.

My husband frowned and formed his words carefully, like I was a deaf lip-reader.

Or Britney Spears.

“No, I said the MONK-EES,” he said very slowly.

“Oh, I don’t think so,” I waved him off and laughed uncomfortably. I tried again, “I think you MEANT to say Metallica.”

He cocked his head to the side in puzzlement then opened his mouth. I put up a hand to stop him before he could utter another syllable.

“Before you say ‘Monkees’ one more time I think it best to let you know my brain isn’t capable of dealing with that piece of information right now,” I warned.

And then it hit me. “Oh, I know why you went to a Monkees’ concert in the ‘70’s,” I said with great relief. “You thought Marcia Brady would be there.”

My husband has admitted — on more than one occasion — that the great love of his young life was none other than the pretty, popular, “Ow, my nose!” Marcia Brady from “The Brady Bunch.”

And since we all know Marcia was desperately in love with the Monkees’ lead singer, Davy Jones, my husband must have been following the trail to his beloved, hoping she’d be there in the front row, mini-skirt and all.

That’s the only possible explanation.

So let’s put that tidbit of information back in the closet where it belongs.

That is, after all, how marriage is supposed to be.

At least the happy ones.