Category Archives: Relationships

A Night Without Kids

My youngest daughter’s best friend had a birthday party last night, and being the prepubecent bundle of hormones that they are, they decided the best thing to do would be have a sleepover. So both my daughters were gone all night.

We were alone.

Party Time! Bust out the drinks and the dancing, it’s time to hit the clubs!

Well, at least that is what I was thinking in my head, but here’s how it actually played out.

First I picked up honey at work for lunch and took her to her favorite (but inexpensive) Chinese restaurant. While we had a great time, it was hardly romantic as the second we walked in, we saw some other folks she knows from work. As one of them was sitting alone, we invited him to sit with us and I got to sit there and listen to them talk about work.

Okay, I’m cool with that, I’ve got all night.

So later that evening she gets home, and after the hour long download of her day, I am finally allowed to speak, and suggest my Wild Disco Clubbing idea.

Shot down immediately, but I’m not phased.

So I suggest an evening stroll on the beach with a few suggestive hints as to where that could end. Hmm, that’s not happening either it seems.

She suggests the mall to look at stuff for the house we currently in escrow for.

The mall. How romantic. Okay, sure honey.

So off to the mall, she gets nachos, I get Subway, and away we go. Now I have a plan here. I’m going to make the best of this, so I spend the whole time teasing her and making rude suggestive comments. (What can I say, I’m a man, and my wife is beautiful) Now I’m not getting slapped, so I figure I’ll just keep going.

We went into this fancy bohemian furniture store, and this place is just awful. There is nothing in here that even remotly pleases me. It’s like some cross between a gypsy camp, an eighties nightclub, and a wicker revival. So I am naturally not all that interested. Then it happens. I hear Disco. Oh man, I love me some Disco.

So I’m walking around the store sporting all my best Disco moves while singing along to her across the aisles. The folks who work there are just snickering, but I don’t really care, I want to snicker at them for not shaking their tush a little. My wife of course is embarrassed and beginning to turn a lovely shade of beets. With disdain, she decided to remove me from the Disco. Sadness follows.

More shopping follows as my wife keeps asking me questions about what kind of style furniture I like. At some point she has an epiphany, I really don’t like any of her choices. I try to explain to her that it isn’t true, I really do like them, they just aren’t my favorite, but this is not getting me any points. Then in a typical moment of brilliance, I come up with the 1-10 scale. I let her know her stuff is an 8, and an 8 is a great compromise. She seems fine, but this will preoccupy the rest of the evenings conversation.

Off to home, and here’s where things get really sexy. (Children might want to cover their eyes!)

She goes off to the living room to work on her cross-stitch, and I head back to my office to finish up some extra work. We spend the next four or five hours doing just this. Every now and then one of us wants a snack, or has to get up to go to the bathroom, but here we are finally alone, and we are both in separate rooms, doing our own thing. I would have allowed the kids to see this, but I would hate for them to realize we are so boring.

(Okay kids, you can uncover your eyes now)

And there was our big night on the town. To be honest, I had the time of my life. Nothing beats just being with my wife, it’s pretty dang awesome.

(The night of course got far more awesome, but I don’t kiss and tell…)

A side note, I really do love Disco, and we lost one of the greats this week. God speed Donna Summer, I pray the Lord has Disco in heaven, and that we can shake our fannys with joy together when we get there.

Satan Shaved His Beard

Of course he did. That’s what evil does. It takes the goodness that God has created, and twists and perverts it.

Okay, now this theory might just be my silliness going crazy, but then, I might just be right. So take this with a grain of salt, or maybe a jar of salt, take it as humor, or take it as self glorification. Or maybe I’m really on to something here…

For a man, to have a beard is his natural state. Leave him alone in the woods for just a few days, and it is nearly magical how God will transform him. God just loves beards on men. (It was His idea, after all!)

Modern culture doesn’t like beards so much, have you ever wondered why? Personally, I think it’s a plot of Satan himself.

Now I’m not going to put this plot on the same level as his desire to keep you in sin, or his desire to damn all humanity, but I do think it’s part of his bigger plan. It doesn’t end with beards either, it’s way bigger than that. But I have to start somewhere to really explain this, and beards are just so handsome that it seemed the proper place.

In “The Screwtape Letters”, a brilliant book describing the methods and mentalities of devils and tempters written by C.S.Lewis, there is a short idea he throws in for a moment that has always set me on edge, made me just a bit more than leery of fashion in general. The basic idea is this: Satan uses his “best” tempters to work on the minds of the few who are in control of art, music and fashion. Why would he do such a thing? Why not work on politicians who can do more harm? To create dissatisfaction.

This is where the intellect of Lewis just shines. Satan, by focusing his energy on creating a physical ideal that is unreachable by most, makes everyone feel ugly, and see uglyness in everyone else. No one is happy and satisfied with the way God made them. Everyone is too fat, everyone is too short, women should look like they are still seventeen, and men should look like Atlas. Of course, having a beautiful, natural beard is simply out of the question.

If you think I am exaggerating, turn on your TV and count the beards. How many newscasters for example have you seen with a full beard? How many romantic heroes in film resemble ZZ Top? I’ve even heard it said of men who wear their facial hair natural are men who are sinister, or have something to hide. Bearded men are more likely to be associated with the unabomber than with Saint Peter. The Devil is one tricky fellow if he has so completely fooled humanity.

See how Satan did that? He took a good thing that God created, and made it unfashionable. To put it another way, God gave most women big hips, not just because they are feminine and sexy, but because they help to facilitate the bearing of children. Fashion however wants you to be thin as a rail. Another example, most women should be a little heavy, where do you think the calories that build little babies comes from? Fifteen pounds overweight should be sexy, I mean after all, what could be sexier than being ready to have a baby? But fashion says that’s ugly. So here you are, really into a man, and you naturally gain fifteen pounds because your body is naturally getting you ready, and instead of your fiance becoming more into you, he becomes less. Satan may be evil, but he is brilliant. (By the way, you’ll notice that I just said that getting ready to have a baby defines sexy. One of these days, I’ll prove it to you!)

Never forget that the prime man Himself, the Son of Man, Our Lord sported a beard. I cannot even imagine a clean shaved Jesus, the very thought is insulting. Manliness in perfection clearly had a beard. All the apostles too had beards, down to the very last one.  The persecuting Romans? Clean shaven.

Now I must take a step backwards. I know you are probably really excited to start growing that baby out, but you might want to hold on for just a second. Realize that this mental dislike of beards runs deep. If you are married, you might just feel that your lovely wife should just like you with a beard, but you have to remember that she has been deceived for so long, that it’s in her blood to not like them. Try it out by all means, but if she’s not down with it, well, I prefer to cuddle at night than sleep on the front door mat, if you catch my drift. I know this is shocking, but somethings are simply more important than having a beard.

Here's a guide to get you started!

Mother’s Day

The single most important day of the year.

Let me rephrase, the single day you must never forget.

Seriously.

If you forgot, right this second, get off the computer or phone or whatever, go out in the yard and pick the prettiest flower you can find. (The neighbor’s will do in a pinch) Take it to your wife, mother, or any other mother in your house, and ask her if you can make her dinner tonight while she relaxes. I just saved your butt, so get to it.

Then, get on the phone, and call every mother that has any relation to you whatsoever. Mom and wife of course, but don’t forget mother in law, grandma, great grandma, aunt Betty-Sue, everyone, period. Don’t forget to call every pregnant woman you know, and congratulate them too. Not only will you save your very life from utter destruction, the brownie points you earn will come in very handy this week.

(Brownie points do NOT carry on to the next week. Resentment points however, have no expiration date. Just so you know.)

Now that we have that out of the way, on to the task at hand.

I hope I made it clear that you cannot shirk your duties on Mother’s Day, but I must admit I do have deep concerns about the day. It is so very easy to turn mother’s day into another one of the Hallmark card days, a day with a quick and funny note, a sweater with hands painted on it, and a badly made breakfast. Yes, mothers truly need appreciation, and we should give it to them, but make sure that you are taking the time to truly honor her, and not just pay her lip service, or it really is a bit silly.

“Gee Mom, you’re great, thanks for life and stuff.” Yea…, it just doesn’t cut it.

The evening as I am writing this, already the cheese is flowing on Facebook with this kitschy nonsense.”Share this picture of a cute puppy if you love your mom!” Think I’ll pass on that one. “A mother’s love is priceless, hit share to wish your mother a happy mother’s day!” It really almost makes me sick. Please do try to be more meaningful, to do less is really altogether, well, lame.

If you really want to wow your mother or your wife, or your grandmother, I have the perfect method to show you how.

Tell her that her life has shown you what it means to love Mary, the mother of all. Then take the time to list all her most beautiful traits. Speak of her gentleness, her sacrifice to your family. Let her know that you see how she holds your family and it’s mysteries close to her heart. Let her know that you see the toil, the sadness, the struggling, the frustration, and that the elegance with which she handles it shows you what our most Blessed Virgin must have been like.

Of course she isn’t perfect, and she doesn’t model any of those things as well as Our Lady, but Our Lady’s graces are present in her. Let her know you see it, love it, and are a better person for it. Oh, and you better mean it.

Then just ask to pray a Hail Mary with her, and hold her hands while you do. I promise she will never forget it.

Oh, and don’t forget to look in her eyes and say, “I love you.”

Chicks love mushy stuff.

PS, Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

Puberty

So my daughter had her birthday today. Let me tell you, nothing makes you feel your age like the age of you children. So I can feel as youthful as I please, but the sad truth is, my youngest daughter is eleven. Sheesh.

With eleven come The Changes. Yes, they have already started of course, she’s growing hair in odd places, and her chest is changing shape, but I know what’s in store over the next few years.

First, I must relinquish the phone permanently. With one girl on it all hours of the day already, I can only imagine that I will not be allowed to use it again.

Second, the ladies at the drug store are going to love me to death. I think they get a kick out of the man who drives up in the rain to buy feminine products already, I imagine they’ll think it’s just great when I walk up with them stacked up to my eyeballs. That’s just the picture of masculinity right? A soaked, beaten man trudging through the store with three boxes of tampons, the super duper pack of pads and the mega bottle of Midol? Sounds manly to me, let me tell you. All I need now is a minivan and matching t-shirts. Oh wait, got that already.

Third, the sex talk is immanent. Now I love to give this talk, and I’ve been looking forward to it. I love watching my daughters squirm, and nothing makes them squirm like an uncomfortable conversation. This is going to be awesome. I know this will surprise you, but I’ve actually got a big mouth, I just love to talk. The more serious the topic, the more I am into it. This is going to be a blast.

Fourth, she will start noticing boys here soon. Truth be told, I’m more ready for this than she is, she still thinks they have cooties. This mindset will be all to brief I’m afraid. Too bad she can’t date till she’s 35, cause she’s gonna be a looker.

All in all, amazing changes are in store for me over the next few years, and I’m plum excited to live through them. I have enjoyed every second of their lives, and have never regretted a birthday and wished they could stay young forever. On the contrary, every year they become more interesting, more fun, and a greater blessing.

We cannot help but see God in the setting of the sun. It’s magnificence is simply too awe inspiring to miss. I would argue that the watching of a girl change into a woman beats it hands down. It’s one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

May Christ watch over her all the days of her life.

Alarm Clock Ping Pong

Ugg. I am not a morning person. All you morning people make my head spin with confusion. Why would you possibly get up before eight o’clock if you weren’t forced to by some evil villain bent on ruling the world?

When I wake up in the morning and see the light shining through the windows, I know what is really going on. God has brought out the holy flashlight. I imagine Him sneaking into my room, shining His flashlight at me and belting out as only a father can,

“What you doing out of bed boy?!”

Nope, I don’t like mornings. My lovely bride starts work at 8:00 though, so get up we must. I don’t quite have to get up that early though, because I work from home, so she usually gets up at 6:45 and I usually get up at 8:00. It’s not fair, but for some reason I’m okay with that. So to facilitate this fabulous arrangement, we each have our own alarm clocks.

Enter Lent.

Yes, I know I should at the very minimum get up with my wife. She doesn’t have the benefit of working from home like I do, so it seems rather unfair. So of course, it’s one of my Lenten goals to actually get up in the morning, say around seven o’clock.

That is not what has happened yet. It works out the same way every morning.

Her alarm clock goes off at 6:45, she hits snooze, we snuggle for five minutes, it goes off again. Another snooze, another five min, and the next time she hits snooze, get up, and hops in the shower. Mine starts to go off at 7:00, and I start my snooze relay.

Did you see me miss something there? Oh yes, something was most definitely missed, but if you look close, it wasn’t me who missed it. She just hit snooze again, and didn’t turn her’s off. Now she’s in the shower, singing her favorite hits from the eighties, and her alarm is going off full bore.

Arrgh! So I roll the thirty yards across my bed to get to the clock while my room starts to sound more like a fire station as this bell will not stop ringing. I finally slap my hand down on the thing, but by this time, I’m so exahsted from all the effort to make it to the other side of the bed, that I collapse back into sleep.

Then mine starts going off. Aaaahhh! I hate noise! Kill the thing, kill it! So again, I race to the other side, by now rolled up like a burrito in our comforter with only one arm hanging out, slapping out in the general vicinity of the loud thing.

This goes on for at least half an hour. Back and forth like a ping pong ball. See?

Mornings are evil.