Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chunky Peanut Butter

“Whose bright idea was it to put steel bleachers in an ice rink, anyway?”
My friend Taffi and I have this rhetorical conversation every practice while sitting and shivering watching our sons and husbands on the ice.
“I think this is actually good for me. I’m shaking so much that I must be burning at least 200 calories just sitting here,” Taffi explains to me. She’s 5 foot 10, gorgeous and always counting her calories.  “You know, if we don’t stay in tip-top condition, our men are going to run off and find some puck bunnies to serve them cognac and bring them their slippers.”
“Taff – in your world are we married to Hugh Hefner? There is no way Ja would wear slippers unless they were those fuzzy kind that all the boys wear to practice.”
“You laugh now,” she adds while looking at me completely serious, “We’re both turning 40 this year. I’ve got crow’s feet and what my dermatologist calls ‘the elevens’. My tits are sagging and don’t get me started on my ass.”
Mental Checklist:  figure out what “the elevens” are and check out my ass in jeans.
“Got it.  In your world we’re also competing against Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift for our husbands’ attention. So… would you be worried about moving to a tropical island and having Max spend 8 to 12 hours a day with a bunch of 20 something’s?”
“Would never happen,” she deadpans. “You know he has that whole speeding death bullet thing going about planes. How would we even get there? This is exactly why we drive everywhere for vacation. Who drives to Toronto from Seattle? Max does.”
“I’m serious. On the drive up here Ja told me he got accepted to a Caribbean medical school. He wants to go. Taff, he planned. He’s serious.”
She looks at me in amazement. Talking about my husband and planning in the same sentence is a huge oxymoron. It’s like talking about Joan Rivers and natural hair color. Those things don’t go together.
A long sigh from Taffi and then, “Wait. Is this like that time that he ‘planned’ to help out with the team fundraiser?  Remember how Jameson was going to help make the peanut butter cookies so he went to Costco and bought a pallet of chunky peanut butter. Then, you were the one who called the soup kitchens and schools to donate the excess. And that year for Christmas you put peanut butter in everyone’s stocking.  Is it that kind of planning?”
Mental Checklist: go through the pantry and throw out the 15 leftover tubs of Jif.
“I’d completely forgotten about that. My pantry thanks you for the reminder. No, this is real planning. He wants to further his career, which is awesome. But, it’s a huge change in lifestyle, a huge commitment…”
“A huge chunk o’change,” Taff interrupts.
“Supposedly it’s only going to be like 200 instead of 300 if he went in the states, “ I add while standing up to scream at my son.  Oh. My. God. Is he really making snow angels in the net? Ja is going to kill him.
“2 or 300?  FRAK! Are those pesos?” Taffi gives me a concerned look and then adds, “Kelly, I totally get that he wants to go to med school. Props to him. I just think you guys need to talk about it at length and in full detail. Spending an hour in the car on the way to hockey practice is not what I’d call a complete conversation. I’ll admit it’s a start for your husband. He internalizes way too much. Do you want the number to my astrologist? She’s great at helping you open up. What’s his sign again?”
Mental Checklist: block that Astrological app thing on Facebook. Taff has put too much energy into what it says.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Drop the Hammer

“Babe? We need to leave. Now.”
I scream up the stairs while simultaneously zipping up my North Face jacket and stepping into my black UGG boots.  My husband’s appreciation for time or a schedule goes as far as him wearing a watch with no working battery for aesthetics only.
Mental Checklist: replacement battery for husband’s watch.
“Ja? I’m loading the truck and we’re leaving with or without you.” Still screaming up the stairs to no one, I turn and run into my 12 year-old son who lands butt first on the ground while sweat stained hockey gear and Gatorade spill over the entry-way.
“Damn, Mom! Nice check!” Grey starts gathering up his gear while I rush back from the kitchen with a towel to clean up the Gatorade. “We need to go. I don’t wanna get laps again because Dad’s taking a dump.”
“Watch your mouth! And, your dad is not taking a dump. I don’t know what he’s doing.”
At this moment, my husband, Jameson, flounces down the stairs, jacket zipped, gloves on, envelope under his arm, ready to walk out the door. “What happened down here? I thought we were leaving.”
“While you were upstairs dropping aqua nuggets and ass gas, Mom was telling me I could go to Crosby Camp.” Grey grabs his bag and heads for the garage.
Ja looks at me and I can tell he’s about ready to say something. “Don’t look at me, “ I challenge, “You were the one dropping nuggets.” 
Traffic on the 405 is ridiculous for a Saturday morning. It’s not even 8AM and I’m resigned to drive 30MPH in a 60. Really?!?  What the hell are these people doing heading North?  The Winter Olympics were last year.  No matter, I’ll use this time to review my mental checklist for the week.
New goalie helmet for Grey.
Clean the hardwoods.
Review meeting schedule for the next week.
Figure out what happened to Tracy Ullman. She was so damn funny!
 “Kel? Did you hear me or were you making a list and checking it twice?” Ja likes to make fun of my infinite organizing methods by comparing me to socially acceptable nut jobs or fictional characters. It used to be cute, now I just find it annoying.
Glancing his way while still focusing on the crap traffic I ask, “Babe, do you remember ‘The Tracy Ullman Show’?”
“I don’t even know who that is. Are we talking prime time or cable?”
“You know, that quirky lady that had a show and one of her characters was like a TSA agent with crazy hair and bad teeth.”
“If you’re asking me if I remember a show with a character that looks like every bad-hair day we see in SeaTac – no. Can I get back to the conversation?”
“Sorry. Yes.”
Mental Checklist: Tracy Ullman just moved up to number 1.
Flattening the 8x10 envelope in his lap, Ja unloads. “So? What do you think about moving to St. Maarten? Hmm… island life, sunshine 24/7, warm weather, tropics.”
 I really need to pay more attention when using my inner monologue to make lists.
Ja continues with, “I got my acceptance letter to AUC and the welcome packet and financial aid information. I’ve done a lot of research online and the schooling for Basic Sciences is actually shorter than if I went to med school in the States and tuition is less. I want you and Grey with me. Kel, this is what I want. It’s what we’ve been talking about.”
My husband is right. We have been talking about him quitting the Fire Department to further his career in medicine by taking it to the next level - medical school. We also talked about getting granite counter tops in the kitchen and me getting a boob job.  What happened to those dreams?
“Helloooo,” poking me in the arm, “Thoughts? Comments? Rude remarks?”
I check the rear-view mirror. Grey, ear buds in and face buried in his iTouch, has no idea what we’re discussing.
“Is that what you were doing upstairs while we were waiting to go to practice? You were reading about med school in the Cariboo?”
“Wife, I love that you name every place we vacation but I’m really curious and looking for your input.” I call Jameson by any 3 nicknames I feel like at the time and he always calls me “Kel” or “Wife”. Huh.  He needs to read more fiction.
Mental Checklist: check out David Sedaris from the online King County Library for husband. Maybe throw in some Tina Fey for flair.
“Oh my gawd! Babe! Why didn’t you tell me? I’m driving so I can’t react appropriately. This is so exciting! Congratulations!”  I try to bob up and down in the driver’s seat, but all I succeed in doing is tapping the breaks and throwing open the odiferous hockey bag once again.
“Classes start in May, but since Grey’s in school I requested to start with the September semester. Registration is August 29.” Ja turns to look out the window at the kids sticking their tongues out at us in the car to the right and keeps flattening the 8x10 envelope. What is that thing, a woobie?
Color me shocked! Not only has Ja committed a date other than our anniversary or son’s birthday to memory, he’s planning ahead. Methinks a mutiny is afoot.
“OK. We can totally do this. SHIT!” I scream, slamming my foot on the brake and flipping the bird to the blue-hair who just cut across 3 lanes of traffic because she can’t see over her steering wheel.  “What about school for Grey?”
“Already thought of that. There is a private school on the island that uses Ontario curriculum and will be accepted once we get back to the states.” Ja is beaming. My husband has not only planned, but he’s planned ahead.
“Got it. So, we need to find a place to live on the island, put our stuff in storage here, rent out our house, and figure out how we’re going to get mail. I need to make a list.”
“Wife, thank you. I know you’ll get everything figured out for the move.”
Mental Checklist: my husband got me excited about making a list and simply handed it over without me realizing it’s a flaming pile of poo. The husband is crafty.