“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.