Top Ten Vows They Left Out

Deciding to share the rest of your life with someone is a huge deal. Especially if you decided not to live together before you got married, as was the case for my wife and me (but, hey, if you decided to live in sin and risk your eternal soul, who am I to judge).  When the big day arrives, everyone knows the vows they have you say: better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness and health, yadda and yadda.  But they really leave a TON of scenarios out of that little exchange, probably just to cut down on time and to keep people from calling off the deal before the cake is even cut.

10.  With Pleasant Tasks  and To Make You Do Things That Suck

Let’s be honest, most of us wouldn’t go to the dentist unless your teeth felt like someone was jackhammering through them.  And what would be preferable: dealing with being sick or taking the nasty, gag-inducing medicine?  I know that I stopped regular dentist visits after I turned 18 until my wife set us up with a family dentist – other than that I was just a “drill and fill” kind of guy (that sounds wrong).  And as for being sick, I figured I would either get better eventually or die.  In either case I could accomplish the end goal without having to take down a shot of neon-colored Benytylochloromoxidopamine!  But when your significant other holds out the little plastic cup and says, “Take it,” you do…and maybe you get an M&M chaser to get the taste out of your mouth afterward.

9. In Exciting Times and When Things Are Boring

I wonder if anyone has ever calculated how much time married couples waste doing mind-numbingly dull things.  The car inspections, the taxes, the appliance shopping, the laundry folding, the paint swatch selectings…zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

8.  When You Have Good Ideas and When You Don’t

Hearing things come from my mouth like, “Let’s leave early to avoid traffic,” or my wife saying, “I think my parents should watch the boys so we can clean this house,” you know you’re hearing good ideas.  However, I also say things like, “We don’t need to hire someone, I can fix that.”  And once I heard my wife say, “I’m going to dye my hair red.”  These are times you know we weren’t performing at the top of our game and, lo and behold, our living room is a fog of drywall dust and my wife’s hair is maroon (seriously, it was maroon).  However, I frosted my hair once, so I can’t pick on her too much (but, let’s face it, I looked freakin’ hot).

7.  When You’re Fresh and When You Smell

There are times when you’re “nose blind” to yourself and you haven’t showered in a couple (or eight) days.  It is the job of your partner to A) gently let you know that you are a tad bit gamey (or way past your expiration date) and B) stay with you whenever you inevitably make a return trip to Stanky Town.  This also includes when you’ve worked up a sweat, morning breath, and whatever after-effects occur because of Taco Tuesday.

6.  When All Living Things Are Welcome and When Something Needs to Die

My wife is okay with insects most of the time – she’ll take out a spider or a colony of ants that invade our house as if she was the Terminator.  But if we get a visit from a rodent…I’m instantly tagged in.  I’m usually tagged in very loudly from atop some piece of furniture.  But, when it’s time to go after the little intruder, my cat and I are a vicious duo.  Okay, she’s vicious, I’m worthless.  I usually lose the ones she caught (and I can actually read her mind when she looks at me after I allow one to escape – she can’t hide her disgust for me in her eyes) or I panic and attack the critter in whatever way my reflexes tell me to – I punched a mouse in the face once.  Punched it!  My cat AND THE MOUSE both looked at me like, “Dude!  Let us handle this!”

5. When You Are a Source of Pride and When You Are A Crappy Example of a Human Being

When you say something a teensy bit politically incorrect about the person you didn’t know was standing behind you.  When you wave at fellow motorists…with just one finger.  When you accidentally ruin a stranger’s moment of silence.  When you put embarrassing quips about them in your blog.  It is an unwritten vow that your spouse HAS TO still acknowledge that you’re married.  They can apologize for whatever harm you’ve caused and promise to ground you, but they cannot leave and pretend like they’ve never seen you before no matter how much they want to.

4.  When Dealing With Normal Things and With Inexplicably Gross Things

Let’s face it, the human body is one of the most disgusting things on the planet.  I don’t care if you think your spouse is the most gorgeous specimen ever to grace the face of Earth…they are gross.  Toilets will need to be plunged, air freshener will need to be sprayed, toothpaste globs will need to be wiped up, HUGE FRIGGIN’ FISTFULS OF HAIR WILL NEED TO BE YANKED FROM THE BOWELS OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD PLUMBING!!!! And you HAVE TO do it!  YOU HAVE TO!  The person officiating never mentions it before the whole “kiss the bride” thing, BUT YOU HAVE TO!

3.  When Meals Are Delicious and When the Food Makes You Gag

Now, don’t get me wrong, my wife is an amazing cook and I’m no slouch myself.  But we’ve both been guilty of “experimenting” with a meal and leaving each other with a forced grin and a phony “Mmmmm.” Apparently my wife isn’t a fan of me making her eggs blue (don’t ask – I had no reason to do it).  I however never thought a dish like “dill carrots” needed to be invented…she later agreed.

***On a separate note, because my wife hasn’t yelled at me in a while and I’m a glutton for punishment – I must bring up that she makes amazing homemade apple sauce.  But the recipe calls for a jar of apple sauce.  And I just don’t understand this concept.  If one of the ingredients for what you’re making is, ultimately, what you’re making, isn’t your quest over? A recipe for apple sauce that requires you to open a jar of apple sauce shouldn’t have a Step 2***

2.  When You’re Warm and Comfortable and When the Covers are Stolen

No matter how much you may think otherwise, the fact that your butt is constantly exposed to the freezing winter elements is not grounds for divorce.  However, it works both ways, so yank those covers back over your hypothermiated hiney and hold on for dear life!

1.  When You Are Successfully Navigating Through Your Life and When You Randomly Do Something Irrationally Stupid

There will be times when your partner will need to help you out of situations that you honestly have no reason for being in.  Like, hypothetically speaking, keeping pressure on your bleeding head because you put it through a wooden basket while diving to avoid a sock, or painstakingly using make up to draw in a portion of your eyebrow that you accidentally shaved, or even figuring out a new hairstyle for themselves because you may or may not have cut their bangs diagonally…not that any of those things happened to anyone I know…

“I love being married.  It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.” ~ Rita Rudner

Top Ten Words That Need to Go Away

I’ve received a lot of great feedback from last week’s Top 10 Tuesday – so I guess we’ll make it a regular thing!  So today I was talking with my family and we got on the topic of words that are infecting the English language and need to make their exit from our vernacular!  Now some of these have formed partnerships with other equally ridiculous words, so we do have some combo entries.  In any case, these cringe-worthy words pop up all over the place and if they have crept out of your mouth, hang your head in shame!

10. Staycation

Oh I get it, when you’re on vaCATION, but you’re STAYing at home!  You know what else you can call that?  A vacation.  You know what you call a vacation when you go somewhere? A trip.  Your vacation is no less vacationy if you never leave your house.  So, if you are taking advantage of your much needed time off by playing a game of “reclusive hermit” you go right ahead and take pride in it!  Don’t let anyone cheapen your glorious week-long pajama pants and Netflix marathons.  The only word you need to use to describe this type of vacation is “AWESOME.”

9.  Hi-Def

Now that pretty much all electronic devices have the ability to show things in “Hi-Def” do we need to keep pointing out the fact that things are in Hi-Def?  “Hey, wanna come over and watch football in Hi-Def?”  “This Boogey Nights looks so amazing in Hi-Def!”  “Quick, Sharknado is about to start!  Turn it to the Syfy Hi-Def channel!”  You know what else is in Hi-Def?  Everything.  The world is in brilliant quabillion pixel 3D Hi-Def – from the majestic Niagara Falls right down to the annoyed look I’m giving you every time you needlessly say Hi-Def.

8.  Data

I don’t care if you pronounce it DAY-ta or DAH-ta.  Just stop pronouncing it.  This one is unfortunate because it’s a word that is actually needed and useful and it has been beaten like a Donald Trump piñata with a kick me sign on it.  Data analysis, data plans, unlimited data, data reviews, collecting data, data driven, data based, data, data, data…BARF!  Stop!  Just stop!  Data has been used so much that no one even knows what kind of data you’re even talking about anymore!  Remember that lame saying “That’s my name, don’t wear it out” that annoying kids used to say in school?  Dear God, they were right!  You can wear a word out!

7.  Yummo, Yummers, Delish…

Dammit, Rachael Ray!  Thanks to you these weird synonyms for “tasty” keep popping up.  I’ve never been a big fan of “yummy” but it’s tolerable due to the fact that cute little kids say it.  But the word has an age limit – unless you are a parent and you’re using it with your small child, the word just starts sounding creepy and ridiculous after a certain age.  Picture a 40-year-old man with a deep voice and a lumberjack beard saying, “Thanks Mom, this cake is really yummy.”  It’s just not right.  But then we just make it worse by taking a nonsense word and making it more nonsensical!  Yummo?  Delish?  How can words meant to describe something that taste amazing sound so unappetizing?  “You want some of this pie?  It is de-lish!  Yumm-o!”  Well, I did until about 2 seconds ago, now I’m going to have to pass AND never speak to you again.  There are so many other words – REAL words – to describe something that tastes really good like, oh I don’t know, “this tastes really good.”

6. Vape and e-Cig

It is a great accomplishment if you can quit smoking.  If you need one of those vaporizers to do it – more power to you!  I have a couple good friends who use them and if they want to use them in my house I hope they get the chocolate mint flavor, because that smells pretty darn good!  However, if they use the term “e-cig” or tell me that they need to “vape” their flavored water vapor will be traveling a more southerly route, if you know what I mean!

5.  Cray

When something is crazy, but you need to describe it in a much more incoherent way, this may be the term with which you choose to infect my ears.  Whether you are using “cray cray” in its entirety or sticking with “cray” for the sake of brevity – you’re sounding pretty “stup” (see what I did there?  I just used the first syllable to describe what your one syllable version sounds like).

4.  Bae, Boo, Wifey…

I’m married.  I’m out of the dating scene.  However, let’s pretend for a second that I’m not.  If I was to be dating someone who referred to me as their “bae” or their “boo” it would be time for us to see other people.  “It’s not you, it’s me…no actually it’s you.”  And “wifey” – seriously?!!  Wife isn’t enough of a term?!!  If we had managed to stay together all the way until the wedding, avoiding all the “boos” and “baes,” and my bride-to-be used the word “wifey,” even if it was in her vows (and YOU KNOW someone has done that – probably more than we want to know), I would walk out of the church with my hands in the air swearing off dating (and possibly speaking to people) forever.  It should probably be grounds for instant annulment.

“Wait, you guys got divorced?!  What happened?”

“He called me his ‘wifey.'”

“Oh, well that’s understandable.  I never liked him.”

3. Chillax

Like “staycation” – this is one of those words created by someone who thought they were clever little wordsmiths.  But, like the word they created, they are just so sadly wrong. But, unlike staycation, this combines two words to create a new word that doesn’t mean anything different than each of the words that make it up.

chill: (v – informal) to calm down and relax
relax: (v) to calm down or become less tense

IT’S THE SAME THING!!!  Do you say you’re going to make “dupper” (dinner/supper) after you come back home from your daily “rog” (run/jog)?  NO!!  BECAUSE IT MAKES YOU SOUND LIKE A MORDIOT!!!

2. Jelly

“You’re just mad because you’re jelly.”  Grrrrrrrrr….. No, I’m mad because you felt the need to shorten the word jealous into a word that 1) takes just as long to say, 2) sounds almost exactly the same, and 3) is already a word for something else!  And furthermore, I will NEVER be “jelly” of anyone who uses the word “jelly!”

1. Swag

I’m angry just typing this word.  Every time I hear this word it’s like parading Justin Bieber wearing a pair of crocs in front of me.  Again, like “data,” this used to be a useful word – and then it got dragged down into the depths of verbal asininity (boom – take that wannabe wordsmiths)!  It became like a sneeze to the millennials!

“Hi Mary!”

“Swag.”

“I got new shoes.”

“Swag.”

I’ve even heard adolescents laughing at a joke – legitimately laughing – and say swag in the middle of a chuckle!  “Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-haaaa!  Swag.  Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-haaaa!”  WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN?!!

And NOW there are kids who are making fun of the word “swag” and using the word “sweg” as a way of not using “swag” anymore.  HOW IS THAT ANY BETTER?!!  You know how to stop using a word?  STOP USING THE WORD!

“Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.” ~ Edgar Allan Poe

***But that’s enough from me – feel free to comment and add your own ear assaulting words!  I’d love to hear from you!***

Jehovah Witness Protection

At the very beginning of this 40-day Lent challenge, I explained how I am Catholic.  My father is Lutheran, which was kind of like “Catholic Lite” (same great wine taste, now with half the guilt).  I went to his church a few times growing up and I really didn’t see too many differences.  Although not everyone in my family grasped the concept of our family’s religious background.  I won’t name names, but it was the only other child my parents had.  When discussing marriages, she firmly proclaimed that she would not wear a little hat to my wedding.  It was one of those mouths-open, crickets-chirping kind of moments.  After a few more questions we deduced that she meant yarmulkas.  The rest of the conversation went kind of like:

“You only wear those if you’re Jewish.”

“I know.”

“We’re not Jewish!”

“DAD IS!”

“DAD’S LUTHERAN!”

“That’s sort of the same thing isn’t it?”

More open mouths.  More crickets.  And a much needed theological discussion.

However, I guess my beliefs can’t really be pigeonholed into one or two organized religions.  I looked it up once and found out that my beliefs make me a “pantheist.”  I know, be jealous.  I have friends from so many different religious backgrounds: Jewish (like real Jewishy Jewish – not like the Lutheran kind), Muslim (back off, Trump), Buddhist, Mormon, and Atheists.  I listen to what they all believe and, I’ve got to say, everyone has valid points.  Even if I don’t believe in everything they do, who am I to say I’m right and they’re wrong?  How do I know I’m not wrong?  By the time we figure out who got it right, it won’t matter anyway.  I think, like our forefathers (and stop misquoting them to fit your agenda), that everyone should believe what they want to believe.

Except the Pastafarians – you people are idiots.

I only have two rules as far as religious beliefs are concerned – #1: Don’t be a jerk.  Sure all of the holy books have it in there more eloquently than that, but the bottom line is: if you’re being a tool to other people, you’re doing this wrong.  #2: Don’t force your beliefs on anyone else.  If you think you’re a better person because you have a superior religious belief, please see rule #1.

However, there seems to be a blurred line with my rules.  The Jehovah Witnesses.  They keep coming up to my door and trying to get me to hang out with them.  That breaks rule #2.  But they are so nice, so they obey rule #1.  Usually, we can avoid these visits by doing the “duck and cover” routine from World War II.  Sometimes, when it’s obvious that we’re home, I will answer the door and tell them that I’m not interested as politely as I can. They ask if they can leave me with a Watchtower and I tell them yes, I love Jimi Hendrix – they don’t laugh and I am left to wonder if I insulted them or if they don’t get the joke.

Recently, those wily Witnesses found my weakness.  Little, old,  Italian grandpas who speak broken English.  And that’s when they started sending Tony to my house. Tony came to my house the first time and I saw him out my window and had no idea what he was there for (yeah, I was kind of being kind of “books-by-covers-judgey”) and then he started talking to me about the problems of the world and judgement and probably other stuff but his accent was so thick I didn’t understand most of what he was saying.  We talked (well, actually, he talked) for about twenty minutes.  Then he gave me TWO issues of Watchtower and said, “Okay, I come-a talk-a yous again?”  And I said, “SURE!”  C’mon – he was wearing one of those old cab driver hats, smelled like too much cologne, and he said “come-a talk-a yous” – how could I say no?

He came back, as promised, when I wasn’t home and talked to my wife.  Apparently, she wasn’t as charmed because she just gave me a look, handed me my Watchtower, and told me my “friend” had come to visit.

He found me at home a week or so later and told me he met my “woman.”  I found that pretty funny.  My wife thought it was funny when I told her he said that.  She didn’t find it as funny when I started referring to her as “woman” (which is totally a double standard if you ask me).  And I was going to do the polite brush off this time, but then he wanted to read something to me and he had forgotten his glasses so I needed to read his religious stuff to him!  C’mon – could you have resisted that?!

However, he started making these visits with friends…and his friends started to creep me out.  He still was his usual short, stocky, straight-off-the-boat “papa” self, but his friends were always tall suited gentlemen who did nothing but stare at me silently.  Once it was a guy around my age who definitely looked liked someone who has had his picture taken while holding numbers under his chin.  The next reminded me of the creepy guy in the black hat from Poltergeist II.  That was the last time I would bare witness for my little Witness.

The next time he showed up I was expecting a friend to come over so I quickly ran to the door and I saw Tony and the Poltergeist dude on my porch looking out at my yard so they hadn’t seen me approach.  I panicked and like a small child, who really sucks at hide and seek, I pressed myself as hard as I could against the back of my front door, in between the windows on either side.  Whether or not the two men saw me I have no idea – I’m guessing they didn’t because I had my eyes closed and as any child, who really sucks at hide and seek, knows, they can’t see you if you’re eyes are closed. They knocked and rang the bell a few more times and then they must have walked away.  I stayed there (eyes closed, arms hugging myself to make myself smaller, nosed smooshed against the wood) for five more minutes just to be sure.

“When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Old, New, Borrowed, and Ham

I had the perfect ring (even though I was scolded by a jeweler for buying tanzanite during a time of war) and I was ready to propose.  I was home and I was planning on asking her in the morning.  It was late on a warm summer evening.  I was on the porch with my father and grandfather – the two men I looked up to the most, my heroes; the two guys I’m glad I was with on the eve of the most important day of my life.  My father speaks out calmly through the darkness, “Are you ready?”

“Yeah, I think so,” I reply.

“Did you ever think she’d say ‘no’?”

“…………….well, not until right now.”  I figured that was as good of a time as any to go to bed and lie awake for the rest of the night.

The next morning we were getting ready to take a short trip, but I didn’t want to wait; we had been together a long time and I didn’t want to wait a second longer than I had to.  So I went over to where she was living at the time and proposed.  It was the perfect moment: just the two of us…and her landlady who joined us just as I got down on my knee.  The three of us shared a hug.  It was magical.  Hey, did your proposal get crashed by your landlady?  No. You’re jealous.

We had a year to plan– we wanted the wedding to be the same day as the anniversary of our first date, which was also the same day I proposed.  Awwww, how sweet, right? (plus we only have to remember one day – good planning, huh?!)

We started planning immediately after I proposed.  Our wedding party was going to be massive!  If you counted us and the flower girl and ring bearer, it was seventeen people.  On top of that, we were going to try and pay for most of it ourselves.  And on top of THAT, I’m a control freak who really isn’t too good at organization and time management.

Luckily, my wife and I have large families and lots of friends with eclectic hobbies – including florists, photographers, videographers, DJs, cake designers, and musicians.  CHA-CHING!  We got a ton of good deals with all of that!  Then we took care of invitations, decorations, and favors ourselves.  That left the tuxes and gowns (which we had a friend’s mom cut us a good deal), the reception hall, the food, and my wife’s gown.

The gown was easy!  My wife is brilliantly thrifty.  She found a white prom gown that she fell in love with and found a seamstress to make a train for it.  It was gorgeous!  And her seamstress was a little person.  No, that’s not a criticism and no, I’m not going to make any distasteful remarks about little people.  But this a fact that will be important later.

As for the food, we wanted it to be simple.  Pasta, veggies, cold cuts, and cookies.  However, my mother wanted ham.  No, that’s not entirely true.  We needed ham.  Apparently, it’s a wedding staple, and my mother looked at me like I had an arm growing out of my forehead when I told her we weren’t getting any.  She looked to my father for backup, but all he cared about was having fresh shelled peanuts on the tables (which we had brought in from a professional peanut roaster just for him, but the caterers lost the bags, and he hasn’t let us live that down yet).  I was unaware that all weddings have ham.  And even though my wife is a vegetarian and I’m not a big fan of ham (now bacon…that’s another story), we saw the err of our ways and added ham to the menu.

Finally, the big day arrived.  The guests were arriving and I was hanging out in a little prep room in the front of the church.  One of my groomsmen came in with this weird look on his face, “You have a wedding crasher and…um…she’s…” he held his palm down by his knee.

“What?  Short?”  Both my wife and I have a lot of Italian blood; short people at our wedding would be the norm!

“Yeah, but like not just regular short.  I asked her if she was here for the bride or groom and she said she’s just here to see the dress.”  Then it all clicked.  Apparently, the seamstress makes it a point to crash all the weddings of the brides whose gowns she works on.  Hey, did your wedding get crashed by a little person?  No. You’re jealous.

The ceremony was about to begin and it was a thousand degrees outside (no air conditioning, by the way).  My aunt (our mistress of ceremony) went out to get things prepped for the candle lighting and face-planted at the altar.  Our mothers had a difficult time with the child-proof lighters, which might have been a good thing considering my wife almost tipped the candles over and burned the church down…probably wouldn’t have been the best omen for our marriage.

After the ceremony we decided to drive to a very scenic spot by a lake to take our photographs.  My cousin was our photographer, so I was already familiar with his work – plus he lives far away so it was cool just to have him there.  Because the wedding party was so big, we just teamed up and drove cars instead of renting a limousine.  Upon arriving at the spot we realize we had lost two groomsmen AND the photographer.  The two groomsmen were also cousins and were the transportation for the photographer.  Their car was there, but they were nowhere to be found.  The bridal party fanned out and began a search party.  We looked everywhere and couldn’t find them.  Keep in mind, this was back before cell phones were so popular so we just stood around trying to figure out where they could have disappeared when all of a sudden we see them walking up the hill from a local bar each carrying an order of buffalo wings. Now, to this day, I’m not upset that they ditched us to go get wings. However, coming back without wings for the groom on his wedding day?  Inexcusable.

We finished our pictures and drove to the reception, and my wife and I entered to the dulcet tones of Ozzy Osbourne.  We ate, we danced, we sweat (no air conditioning there either, by the way), we had our cake taken away from us before we could eat it…it looked so good too, and I needed something to get the taste of ham out of my mouth.  We had a full contact garter toss and the lucky catcher (who technically was never invited to the wedding…) tackled other guests to grab victory!  And, of course, like I wrote about in yesterday’s post, I blew out my knee on the dance floor.

As the evening was winding down and coming to an end, we retreated to my parents’ house to open the gifts and cards with just our parents and sisters…and an Abraham Lincoln impersonator.  Nope, there’s no other story to go along with that.  He’s a family friend and when I came downstairs from taking a shower I was surprised to see him there.  Hey, did your intimate family gathering get crashed by the 16th President of the United States?  No. You’re jealous.

“My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.” ~ Winston Churchill