Friday, August 26, 2011

Hit a Nerve

Yesterday I saw someone's status update on Facebook that referred to "paying tribute to Steve Jobs". We've had a busy week, and I haven't seen much news lately. I looked up from my phone and asked Jason, "Hey, did Steve Jobs pass away?"

We were both standing in the kitchen, Jason was slicing a loaf of bread. His head whipped up and he looked at me. "No," he said emphatically, "He's just stepped down as CEO of Apple. But he's still on the board and will be very involved."

Oh my gosh you guys, I wish I could do a better job here of conveying tone. Because the way he said this--it was as if I'd insulted his mama. Like I'd made an accusation instead of asking a question. Not even a loaded question, just a question! He sounded defensive, as if there'd been all this misinformation about Steve Jobs out there and he'd spent all day talking to people, taking phone calls, hitting the airwaves to set the record straight; only to find the lies in his own home. His own home! (Can you imagine it now?)

He said that, and my jaw opened just a scootch. We looked at each other for a second. Then we both started laughing. "Wow. Babe," I said. "Didn't mean to hit a nerve there." "Oh," he said, "I said it that way to be funny. Like I'm some kind of Apple nerd, you know?"

Oh. Okay.

Jason has an unabashed love of Apple and all iProducts. Oh--and please don't ever slam Google Plus because then Jason will have to tell you all about its superiority and all the different circles you can be in and how its web conferencing capabilities are peerless and if I have to hear about it again I will die. I will fall to the ground and be taken up lifeless and it will be all your fault.

But anyway, our little exchange got me thinking. Do you have any products/companies that you are a teensy bit irrationally attached to? Like, you take it personally if someone else slights or criticizes them? I think I'm a little like this about Chik-fil-a. I don't really know why. I guess it's just that the food is just so yummy and the people that work there are always so earnest and eager to please. I suppose I can be a little defensive of Target as well. Why do people gotta hate on cute bargains, anyway? But I don't think I have a regard for any product or company that approaches Jason's for Apple, or Google.

All I know is that from now on, I'll be careful how I mention Steve Jobs' name around here. There are some issues in a marriage that you just have to tiptoe around.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Reasons we rarely eat out

1. When restaurants advertise a "homey" environment, that doesn't *actually* mean you can take your pants off and lay under the table.

2. The food Nate likes is scorned by Ava. The type of restaurant Ava likes has the chicken Nate won't eat. And no place serves peanut butter and jelly, which is what Grace most often wants for dinner.

3. When Grace gets Crazy Eyes, we have to hide the cutlery. (see photo)

4. It's not actually appropriate to lick the salt shaker. (Nate)

5. Or to eat food off the floor. (Um, Nate.)

6. When coloring sheets, one iPad and two iPhones won't entertain one 2 year old for a 40 minute meal, you really need to ask yourself: where have we gone wrong?

7. The candy that we're coerced to buy at the shop next door while taking the aforementioned 2 year old for a walk before the food arrives will spoil her dinner anyway.

8. Listening to Jason bemoan the lack of free refills in our adopted country gets old after awhile. (Though he does have a point!)

9. The kids Hawaiian pizza either has too much pineapple or not enough cheese. This is a scientific fact.

10. "No, they don't have a playland.... I don't know why....Because we're just supposed to sit here together and enjoy ourselves..... By talking to each other and being together as a family. Isn't that nice?..... No, I don't know why there isn't a Playland..... Hey--go see what's in that potted plant over there."

Monday, August 15, 2011

Best Argument I've Heard So Far

Yesterday, I was rushing home with the kids after church. We were having some people over for lunch, and I still needed to go to the grocery store. Why people expect you to actually have food for them when you invite them to lunch is beyond me. But these are the constraints I find myself working within.

The kids were hungry and Grace was shrieking "Chicken! Fries!" as we got into the car, so I ran through the McDonalds drive thru, (don't judge) and then headed towards our house. The plan was to drop them at our house so I could get Grace down for her nap, put a movie on for Nate, then rush back out to the store. (We have friends staying with us right now, so there was adult supervision.)

So we're sitting at a red light and Nate asks me, "Mom, what if Dad had married someone else?" Now, you might remember Nate has brought this up before, that time he asked Jason why he married me, and then asked him, "But who was your second choice?" I'm starting to get a complex.

"Well," I said, looking at him in the rearview mirror, "I'd be really sad, cause then I guess I wouldn't get to be your mom."

Nate shook his head. "But if he married someone else, then you could buy the chicken nuggets while she goes to the grocery store."

I am not even kidding you, that's what he said. And now I can say the most compelling argument I've ever heard for polygamy came from my 5 year old son.

Chicken nuggets for everyone!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Impulse of the Moment

I never promised that I'd be mature all the time, you see.

Jason was up and out early this morning, and as I was awake way too late last night, first watching An Affair To Remember (sigh) and then reading, it was with a fuzzy head that I got up with the kids this morning. No one tells Grace that it's the weekend, so she persists in waking at 6:30 whether it's a school day or not.

Then, I couldn't keep the fire going (I know, tragic) so I'm huddled here in my bathrobe, chilly and totally unmotivated to do much of anything. It's okay, that happens sometimes. A few minutes ago, scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, it occurred to me that I hadn't seen any updates from one of my FB friends in a long time.

She and I went to high school together, and were really good friends. We were in the same classes, we both wrote for the school paper, we both pretended to not want to go to prom. (ButI think she went? Can't remember. I didn't go--CAN YOU BELIEVE?? What is it with boysssss?) Anyway. After we graduated, I went away to school and she stayed local. We lost touch, as you do. But I always kinda got the vibe that she was annoyed that I didn't do a better job keeping up. This was when The Email was just getting started, you see, so it was a bit harder in days of yore. But what can one do. It was, like, a new chapter? I was off in college? Finding myself, meeting Jason, eating too much at late night establishments and philosophizing. As you do.

I friended her on FB a couple years ago, just to catch up. I realized this morning that I hadn't seen her updates lately, so I checked and Y'ALL WE AREN'T FB FRIENDS ANYMORE. Girl unfriended me, straight up.

Truth? I don't mind too much. Cause she plays that Farmville game CONSTANTLY, and her buying chicken feed or wheelbarrows and asking for plywood or whatever all the dang time was clogging up my newsfeed. (No offense if you play that game, but the rest of us find the constant updates super annoying. We've talked.)
I usually don't notice when I "lose" a FB friend, I don't really keep track of my number, so the only way I notice is if I think of them and then realize they're not on my list anymore.

Here is the mature response in that situation: do nothing. Right? Like, duh, I know that. Here is what I just did: requested her as a friend again. Why? I have no idea. I'm cold and sleepy? I've made breakfast for Grace 3 times already this morning and needed a diversion? Idle hands are the devil's something or other?

It's part of my personality to go to extreme lengths to not make others feel awkward. I don't want to put you in a position of feeling uncomfortable or embarassed. But as I sat here, looking at her profile and the little "Add as Friend" button, a chuckle escaped me. What'll she do, I wondered, when she knows that I know? And that I know she knows I know? You know?

Reader, I clicked it. The button, I mean. Mwahahahahaha! Daring, you say? Cheeky? Oh yes. It is on. On in the way that Donkey Kong is also on.

This is why FB gets folks in trouble. Seriously as someone who works with folks, I can't tell you how many times Facebook plays a very real role in people having "issues" with each other. (I mean, I can't tell you because I can't tell you, not cause it's happened more times than I can count. But still, it happens a lot.) The social distance afforded by interacting online facilitates us doing and saying things we wouldn't in person. And now, I'm forcing myself upon my used to be high school friend! Just to give her a hard time for unfriending me!! How petty is that!! I feel so dangerous right now! Who knows what happens next? I might post a controversial political opinion! I could tell someone I don't like their new haircut!

This stuff just got real, y'all.

But probably, I'll do none of this stuff. Cause I hate conflict and also, I mostly use FB to see everyone's pictures of kids and fancy meals they eat.

The world will keep turning. But if you ask me to help you buy a new axle for your hay wagon or whatever, someone's gonna get hurt.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Eggceptional Effort

Last Monday, I was out on our balcony enjoying the sunshine when I noticed a bit of broken eggshell on the ground by my foot. I picked it up to throw it away, wondering how it'd gotten there. I figured that Grace had perhaps dug it out of the trash and carried it outside. Something that is entirely within the realm of possibility. Especially because when you ask her to take anything to any place: the cup to the sink, the phone to Daddy, the cookie to Nate; she marches right over to the garbage can, lifts the lid, and chucks it in. You'd think I would learn to stop giving her errands.

I didn't think about it again till a couple hours later, when walking through one of the rooms that fronts our balcony, I noticed a huge splat-like smear on the sliding glass door. Aha! Someone threw an egg at our window. Weird. We'd been out pretty much the whole day Sunday, so I wasn't sure if it had happened on Saturday night or Sunday night.

Later that afternoon, I was telling Jason about it. "What kinda creeps me out, " I told him, "is that someone would've had to come all the way up onto our driveway in order to hit the window." You see, our house is on a steep hillside--the driveway is about 12 feet below our house and wraparound balcony, and the street is about 30 feet below that. I just couldn't picture someone tossing an egg from the road, given the distance and the angle, and hitting our window. But then again, I got a D in Physics, so what do I know? (For instance, I don't even know if that's Physics. Geometry? Poultry Sciences?)

I made the driveway comment, and Jason shook his head. "Babe," he said in the way he says it when he's going to school me. "Someone could easily chuck an egg from the street and hit our window. There's no way they were on our driveway." "Do you really think so?" I said, "Cause it just seems like such an awkward throw. I don't know..." "Oh yeah," he said, "Totally do-able."

Of course, you see where this is going, right? "Well," I said, "If it's so easy let's see you go out there and get 'er done. If you think you can." And then Jason answered in this robotic voice: "CANNOT RESIST CHALLENGE TO MASCULINITY. ATHLETIC PROWESS THREATENED. MUST THROW EGG. MUST CHUCK EGG. MUST GO NOW."

Okay, that last part didn't happen. But you know how dudes can get. Of course, I told him as he was gathering a couple eggs that this endeavor was crying out to be blogged. Full disclosure and all.
Here he is, in position. I took this from the driveway, looking down, so keep in mind he's gotta throw it farther up and over.

And the wind-up...crack! A lone egg flew threw the air, making up to the level of the driveway, but smashing on the tire of our car...not at all high enough to sail over the balcony railing. I laughed loudly. Like, it echoed. Who knew egging houses was so much fun? Being the competitive guy he is, there was no way Jason was stopping now. By this time, Ava and Nate noticed something going on. So they joined Jason for his next attempt. (This is the vantage point from the balcony. Do you love how technical I'm being? I should do a graph or something.)

Round 2...oh no! This one landed just to the right of where the first one hit. A big disappointment for Mr. Cavalier egg chucker down there. Maybe this egg tossing isn't so simple, hmmm? By this point, I am laughing so hard--I think it was some sort of catharsis for me--and Grace is crying in my arms cause why is Daddy throwing stuff at us? But Jase had to give it one more go.

And...better this time--he made it up and over the railing, but failed to hit high up on the window where the initial egg had hit. Instead, it hit the floor.

Awww. Wop wop, Jason. In the battle between you and Egg Physics and/or Geometry, looks like you lose. Ouch. That must hurt, confronting your own limitations like that.

Of course, he called out from the street, "I need to give it one more go!" Ava was dispatched to get a fourth egg. "Babe!" I called down, "We shouldn't--these are free range!" If I'd known we were gonna be egging our own house today, I would've bought the cheapie cage eggs.

So, as it stands...we're still not sure what happened on that fateful night some ruffian egged our house. Although our friend Andy pointed out, perhaps they did it from the street with a catapult or a slingshot? The world may never know.

But what you lose in egg inventory, you gain double in laughing at your husband. And that, my friends, is Physics.