thisworldofhurt

Archive for the ‘Moms’ Category

Quirks, Ticks, and other Oddities

In children, Communication, Dads, daughters, Humor, husbands, life, love, Men, Moms, Parents, wives, Women on December 23, 2015 at 2:30 pm

I’m not sure how we measure up against the rest of the inhabitants of this fast spinning ball of rock we call Earth, but I am certain when I say: Human beings are an unusual lot. Along with opposable thumbs and larger brain area, we also have unusual personality traits and bizarre eccentricities. And through creating mechanisms in order to adapt our surroundings to fit our personalities, we develop rituals and traditions to cope with the world around us.

I am fascinated by how uniquely different on some of the simplest things we all are. For instance I have one child who is terrified of clowns—no circuses, no rodeos—while another child is equally afraid of moths. That’s right, moths. Those little, nocturnal, mostly blind, butterfly-like insects, that in my daughter’s world, bring infant amounts of painful agony and death at the slightest touch of its teenie tiny, itty bitty, dust covered wings.

I have a friend that is completely freaked out by cross-eyed people, while another refuses to eat red M&Ms, insisting the red dye is still a leading cause of cancer. I have a number of personal oddities, such as I eat my meals one item at a time, deciding where to start by which food item holds in heat the longest. The things that cool down fast get eaten first. I am also not a fan of speaking the word “Tripod”. I’m not sure why, but I think it’s a weird word to say.

The rituals we develop within our world is no less strange. They become more complex as we grow and gain experience into adulthood. When we get married there is a whole new set of rituals we create to either work with or work around our spouse, and to adapt to changing surroundings.

For instance, when my wife and I moved to a new bedroom, one side of the bed was against the wall. I am an extremely heavy sleeper, therefore I wanted the side closest to the door. My reasoning was because if there was a fire in the house, and my wife woke to the smell of smoke and fire, she could panic, get up and run out of the room, leaving me to sleep through my own demise. However, if I slept between her and the door, no matter how heavy of a sleeper I am, a panic-crazed woman scrambling across you in the middle of the night will wake you up. No doubt about it.

When the baby came along, that all changed. Mom needed to be close to the baby, and now I sleep in the fire danger zone next to the wall.

Now at the end of the day my wife will take any measures necessary in order to make sure that she gets into the bed first. This way I am forced to go through the house turning off all the lights she has left on. Most nights she turns in before me as I tend to stay up writing or reading for a bit before bed. However, if for any reason that we choose to hit the sack at the same time, she kicks her nighttime rituals into overdrive. I have no proof of this of course, but I’m certain she is thinking something like, “My hair has been in a clip all day. How dirty can it be? I’ll get a shower in the morning and get to bed sooner.” Or maybe something like, “I’m sure that just one night a week, I can gain an efficient amount of oral hygiene from 25 seconds of brushing instead of the full 2 minutes.”

And as a result of her preparation and planning, I am stumbling around attempting echolocation to avoid the countless obstacles in the now dark house.

My wife has a few quirks of her own you understand, one of which is she does not like the closet doors to be left open. She claims it is because an open closet door jacks with her feng shui. I think it’s because she still believes in the closet monster, but either way, she would prefer doors to be closed.

So, after stubbed toes, banged shins, and a few colorful metaphors, I fling the closet door open and crawl into my side of the bed next to the wall, sniffing the air for smoke until I drift off to the unconscious nether regions of This World of Hurt.

 

Shop Like a Man

In Baggage, children, Communication, Dads, daughters, Humor, husbands, life, love, Men, Moms, shopping, wives, Women on December 15, 2015 at 10:41 am

One would think in a house full of women, to have a wife that hates shopping would be a good thing, and for the most part, it is indeed. I however, unlike most men, enjoy shopping quite a bit. But, I shop like a man.

Many people have a misunderstanding when it comes to the shopping man. Psychology majors the world over would have us believe the modern shopping man is nothing more than a descendent of the hunter gatherer from the stone age. The truth has been lost to over analysis and decades of honey-do-lists. It has been the invention of shopping list that over time has skewed reality. The cave man didn’t have a specified list to follow. He didn’t head out into the wild and say, “I shall bring home no less that 3 medium size, Grade-A pterodactyl eggs.” No. He woke up and said, “Me go kill something. … Ugh.”

The point is: Even when not tied down to a list of items, men shop differently than women. Men may not know exactly what we’re looking for, but we do have an idea, criteria, a shadowy outline of what it is were after. Women on the other hand, have indecision. The red one? Black? Maybe the green one? No, definitely the red one. The yellow one’s nice.

Men walk in and say, “Great, they have the thing I’m looking for. But no blue one. … Next.” And off we go until we find a blue one. Then if the price is right, we buy the blue one, and leave.

On a shopping trip with my in-laws, my nephew said to me, “Stores always have plenty of stuff for women and almost nothing for men.”

I told him this was not true. Every store has a cash register.

At least that’s how it is when we to through the checkout line. And this isn’t because of some chivalrous gesture on my part, nor is it because of some traditional concept of “the man is the head of the household”. And it isn’t because I’m the one with the money. I’m not her sugar daddy. I’m her husband. In fact, technically I’m her employee. She just doesn’t want to hear how much we stuff into that cash register, so she goes to start the car before she hears the total.

Not that it matters, we don’t have money. We have children instead.

Therefore let me pass on a few shopping tips to my fellow men as you prepare yourselves for this upcoming holiday shopping season. As whether you like to shop or not, you’re shopping.

First of all—and most important: If you have a place to ditch the kids. Do it.

I’m not suggesting you leave your kids wandering around the clothing depart while you head over to the auto parts store. I just mean find some friend or relative to stash the munchkins with for the day. Taking kids to a store is like taking them on a road trip. … if the inside of the car was the size of a football field. You have a task you must complete and it requires your concentration. After all shopping isn’t easy. The kids sense the distraction and exploit it.

Best if you leave them with Aunt Suzie.

Next, if possible, all of your wife’s purchase decisions should be based on weight. Think about it. You are not only the wielder of the wallet. You double as a pack mule.

And lastly, every chance you have to offer your wife food or cocktails, do so. I promise you, another slice of pizza or a vodka-sour can shave hours off your scheduled shopping spree.

So, ditch the kids, buy the red one—it looks less heavy than the green one—finish up those fries, and have one more round, because everything’s half off in This World of Hurt.

 

Conversations on a One-way Street

In children, Codes, Communication, Dads, daughters, husbands, life, Men, Moms on October 14, 2015 at 4:34 pm

Let me give you a quick explanation of the structural breakdown regarding my children, how they are grouped, and the corresponding nicknames that accompany those groups. Together there are 7 of them, and their groups are as: “The Oldest”—because she’s the oldest, “The Boy”—because he’s the only boy, “The Middles”—because they are in the middle, “The Littles”—you guessed it, because they’re younger than the Middles, and “The Baby”—this should be evident.

The other night I was part of a conversation, which took place between my wife, the Middles, and myself. The conversation was a fairly typical one that takes place between teenage girls and their parents all across the nation at the end of a long hard day: part personally informative, part gossip and conjecture, and part motivational and inspirational.

Admittedly, I was doing a bit of writing during this conversation, but I was keeping up with the exchanged dialogue, and I even chimed in when I had something worthwhile to contribute. In fact, I had just raised a question, posing it to my wife while she opened the door to the refrigerator. Then, all the sudden, something happened: a long pause occurred, and then it got weird.

Have you ever been following directions to some destination in an unfamiliar city? And let’s say the final part of these instructions was to make a right turn onto a one-way street—how about we use Washington Ave? Cities love to name streets for presidents. So, you make a right turn onto Washington Ave, and you don’t stray from this one-way street. You think you’re getting pretty close to your destination, and you look up at the street sign to discover that you are now traveling down Kennedy PKWY. It is a terribly disturbing recollection, correct? This is what had just taken place in our conversation.

I had asked a question, yet we were no longer engaged in the same conversation we were just microseconds before. My wife’s response had absolutely nothing to do with the question I had asked. To make me even more confused, the Middles seemed to move right along without missing a beat.

I immediately brought this to the attention of the group, because I am a man after all. I’m not afraid of anything. … apart from arithmetic that is. “Wait a minute,” I said. “That didn’t have anything to do with what I asked.”

“Yes it did,” my wife said. “Don’t you remember the conversation we were having in the car on Saturday?”

A conversation from the car on Saturday had just completed itself in the kitchen on Monday. Fortunately, I did in fact remember the conversation from Saturday; however, I have no idea how the current night’s preceding discussion tied into it whatsoever. So, naturally, I said so. Because I am a man, and we just don’t give a lot of thought about things like this before we say them. “That conversation doesn’t have anything to do with the question I asked,” I said.

“Yes it does,” my wife said, and then proceeded to explain to me why.

Then it got bad for me. My manly memory could indeed recall there was a conversation on Saturday, and I could recall what it was about—mostly. My wife on the other hand, was able to remember each detail of the conversation. She pointed out that in subsection 9, paragraph 14, 3rd bullet point down in the conversation, such and such did this thing, and that led to so and so needing to do this other thing, and what happened next tied my question into the night’s conversation perfectly.

As she explained, I watched the Middles nodding their heads in sequential affirmation, and I knew I had no dog in this hunt.

You would think after all these years surrounded by my little ladies, I would have a better operational understanding. I do not.

All I can say is I will do my best to take better notes on the conversations I am allowed to be a part of. And next time I will hopefully have a better conversational map. For now, I will just have to try to do my best at navigating through This World of Hurt.

The Human Walkie Talkie

In Babies, baby, children, Codes, Communication, Dads, daughters, Humor, husbands, life, love, Moms, Parents on October 5, 2015 at 2:51 pm

A bit more than a year ago my wife and I celebrated the birth of our 6th daughter. Surrounded by so many women, one can imagine that I am pulled in a number of different directions. Or another—and probably more accurate—way to say it is: I get bossed around a lot. However, after a few months with the new baby, I realized something: My wife was no longer giving me any directions at all. Or at least not when the baby was around.

Nowadays my wife provides me with suggestions of what I need to do in soft, gentle tones, imbedded within conversations between herself and the baby. The baby’s’ name is Everleigh by the way. We call her “E”. She is going to grow up thinking her name is Missy, since she seems to hear, “What are you doing Miss E?” so often, especially since she is now walking. But I digress.

The point is: Now I have to listen closely to what my wife is saying to E in order to discern what instructions my wife is laying out for me. For instance, before the baby was born, and the family was preparing to head out to some destination, my wife might say to me, “why don’t you start loading the car so we can get out of here and hit the road?”. However, now those instructions are beautifully woven into the peaceful inflections my wife uses to speak, not to me, but to the child. She will look at the baby and softly speak, “We will be able to go, just as soon as daddy gets the car ready.”

And there you go. I am expected to “overhear” this conversation, and immediately jump into action, loading the car with no further instruction. And this is not limited to vehicular preparations; virtually any job duty imaginable may be delegated to me in this fashion. “Would you like daddy to feed you dinner so mommy can do a little work?” “Daddy is going to give you a bath in just a little bit.” This one is tricky because she uses the phrase “a little bit”. She says, “a little bit”, but she means, “Right now”. “Why don’t you see if daddy will change your diaper?” This last one also conveys a sense of urgency. This sentence could be boiled down to just two nouns: Daddy & Diaper.

My child has become a human walkie talkie. A covert message delivery system designed to trip up the male of the species in order to prove the much debated saying that men do not listen? Well of course we men understand that it’s simply rude to eavesdrop on other peoples conversations, yet once the babies come along we must learn this skill. We must become more than husbands, more than fathers, we must become international super spies, able to decode the encrypted messages exchanged from spouse to offspring so that we may maintain a state of readiness.

And to answer the question that is on the mind of so many first time fathers out there: No, this does not work in the opposite direction. This will be a one-way form of communication. If you soothingly tell your child, “I bet mommy is going to dress you in the cutest outfit,” she will move about her day as if you had said nothing at all. It is quite impossible to speak in a soft voice and be heard over the commotion of thoughts taking place in the mind of your wife. The female brain multitasks, every second of every day, while men have a difficult enough time feeding ourselves while watching the game.

Learn to listen my friends, to whomever your wife may be saying it to, especially the human walkie talkie. Breaker Breaker 1-9, listen up good buddy. James Bond only succeeded with the ladies, because he was wearing his secrete decoder ring. At least that’s how I see it, living in This World of Hurt.

Welcome to This World of Hurt

In Babies, baby, Birthdays, daughters, Humor, husbands, life, love, Men, Moms, Parents, Pregnancy, Uncategorized, wives, Women on August 3, 2014 at 11:24 am

In thinking back to your youth, do you recall the difficulties in falling asleep on the nights preceding exciting events? The night before a big family gatherings or an exciting vacation, Christmas eve or your birthday, any attempt at drifting towards the restful slumber greatly sought after by adults, as quite an impossibility. When it did come, it was short and largely ineffective at providing any true rest. Sleep was simply the brain powering down non-essential portions of the body and placing itself into a stand-by mode in order to allow time and space to fold around you, creating a slipstream to pass instantaneously from one day to the next. Through the worm hole, the days merge, night turns to morning, and you woke up and see all your awesome relatives, hit the road to Disney Land or wherever, open your presents and check your stocking, eat cake and ice cream, blow out your candles, and hear “Happy Birthday”.

As you get older this feeling of sleeplessness and the brain’s form of suspended animation still occurs, but at different times and for different reasons. It usually precedes surgeries, or court cases, and is similar to the kind of sleep that undercover police officers must experience: neither unconscious nor awake, like some form of slumbering preparedness. Like a set animal trap or a bucket of water resting atop of partially opened doorway, resting in silence until that precious moment and then Wham! death… or utter hilarity as the case may be.

For adults, family gatherings are sometimes a dreaded event, and if not, it at least requires enough preparation that by the time the night arrives, sleep comes easy. Family vacations have a similar effect, the planning, the packing, the checking and rechecking, and checking again. And then let us not forget the impending drive to the vacation destination that must be rested up for. Christmas eve is similar to family gatherings, in that there is a lot of preparation for the arrival of Santa, and there is always, always plenty of stuff for the elves to put together on site. Most adults get sleep the night before a birthday in the same way they would any other night of the year. Try as we might not to allow it to happen, birthdays become just another day to adults until we hit triple-digits.

Yes, sadly for adults, birthdays become quite commonplace and are but a ripple somewhere between Wednesday and Friday. That is unless the anticipated birthday in question is the birthday of a child yet to be born. On the night before this birthday, the adults become filled with the overwhelming anticipation that sends us right back to excitement of our youth. Because that’s what children do: they keep us young, and they make us old at the same time.

My wife and I got little sleep the night of July 30; we were anticipating a birthday the next morning after all. We were up and out the door by 3:30 am. We were at the hospital by 5:00 and beginning procedures by 7:30.

A cesarean section birthing is one of the most terrifying events that I have ever been through. Now, I know right now there are hundreds of women out there that cannot believe that I just made it out to be all about me. They are probably speaking out loud to the computer screen, “What you have been through? You?! What about your wife? She is the one who is numbed half way down her body, the one being cut open. She is the one who is having the baby. You’re just sitting around trying to not get in the way.” I can’t blame them for that, but let me follow up by saying that I would have traded places with my wife in a heartbeat.

I have been able to do some pretty tough guy things throughout my life. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I am a “man’s man,” but I am a man of action when the situation arises. I am probably like many other men out there in that I am a fixer: a problem solver. There are things that need to be done, overcome, worked out, or what have you, and I recognize these issues, formulate a plan of action and implement that plan in order to reach a resolution in the timeliest manner possible.

But now the time has come for a child to be born, and my wife is too small for that to occur in a regular way. I just can’t fix this. Now I have to allow one person to cram a needle into her spinal cord, allow another person to take a razor sharp piece of steel and slice into her body. All I can do is hold my wife’s hand and pray to God that she can’t see the unadulterated terror in my eyes that I am feeling at this point. This stranger now pulls out the baby. The baby starts to cry. My wife cries. I start to cry. Then he hands the baby off to another group of people who rush her off to another part of the room where she continues to cry.

My wife looks at me and says, “Go be with our daughter. I’ll be fine.” Let me tell you ladies, there are few things in the world harder than to try to decide in a split second where you need to be. I have never felt so disloyal in my life than when I let go of my wife’s hand to go see our baby.

The team of nurses measured, and tested, and rubbed, and cleaned, and finally they handed me my brand new baby girl. I took this bundle of perfection over and sat down beside her mother as the doctors finished up with their work, but she had been given some additional meds and was asleep. I looked at my wife’s still face, held our baby girl, and wept until I saw her eyes flutter open and a smile stretch across her face.

Some of you are thinking all of this is very dramatic. Doctors perform C-sections every day you may say. True enough. People fly airplanes and drive cars every day too, accidents happen, and I didn’t want one to happen today. Two of some of the most important people in my life were being worked on by doctors, and I couldn’t do anything but sit there and try to stay out of the way. There are fewer more helpless feelings of inadequacy that one my experience than to turn the well being of a loved one over to a stranger, let alone two loved ones simultaneously.

But we had a more than professional staff of people working for us, and they worked brilliantly. At 8:09 the morning of July 31st, we welcomed the newest addition to our family into the world. “Happy birthday baby”.

And if you are a follower of this blog—wink wink, nudge nudge—you are probably wondering what middle name we decided on. We ran through a gambit of names, no doubt about that. But in the end we went with something simple and close to the heart. My wife said that I could name her after the first woman that I ever loved: My Mom. So we did, and her middle name is Sue. I think it has quite a lovely ring to it wouldn’t you agree?

Everleigh Sue, welcome to This World of Hurt.

Everleigh  Photo by: My Oldest Baby, Kyndra

Everleigh Sue Hurt
Born: July 31st, 2014
8lbs 15oz
20.5 in

It Cost How Much?

In children, Dads, daughters, Humor, husbands, Investigations, life, Makeup, Men, Moms, Uncategorized, wives, Women on July 24, 2014 at 11:51 pm

My wife’s grandmother loves to host family gatherings. Periodically she will prepare large meals, and family members come from all over to simply partake of good food and great company. This is great for my family in that we happen to live just a short walk from all of the festivities. Despite this fact, my wife and I are almost always late to these events. It was during the preparation to attend one of these events that I made a most alarming discovery.

People who know me on a personal level would attest to the fact that I have more than one obsessive compulsive tendency. I like labels to face the same direction, I prefer things arranged in categories and in order from greatest to smallest, I hate for my food to touch, I eat one thing at a time and I’m not an overt fan of odd numbers just to name of few of these little eccentricities. On the other side of the coin, my office space is a train wreck of paperwork to any one other than myself, and I often appear to be a little more than scatter-brained in more than one aspect of my life. For that matter, if it wasn’t for doing certain things in a repetitive fashion, I would constantly loose most of my personal items. I am aware of this flaw, and as a result I have developed myself into a creature of habit to cope with my forgetfulness. Otherwise, I wouldn’t even be able to keep up with the contents of my pockets once the pockets are emptied. My wife has developed similar routines for things like her make-up bag.

Mascara, eye liner, base, blush, lipstick, eyebrow pencil, deodorant, toothbrush all have a specific place. They are each used in the same way and in the same order everyday. I am unclear as to what the order is—and truthfully I don’t really care—but I am aware that there seems to be a level of efficiency within this order. I also know that when it comes to this beautification ritual, my wife has a few dashes of Asperger Syndrome mixed in. Do NOT mess with the order of things.

So, the family begins preparing to head over to the Grandmother’s house—we call her Ree by the way—and join the rest of my wife’s family for food and socializing. About 10 minutes after my wife told everyone to get ready, I was ready. My son was ready about 4 minutes after that. It took him a little longer; he has hair. Around 6 minutes later, during the final sequence of my wife’s procedures she realizes: the next item is missing… Dun, Dun, Duuunnn!

There is a sudden explosion of vocal prowess as my wife assumes the persona of the Great and Powerful Oz. And when I say this I don’t mean the “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain,” feverishly pulling levers and turning cranks. I am talking about the full on bellowing voiced, floating apparition beset by spurting jets of flame. “Who took my deodorant?!” came the voice of OZ. And the usual stream of accusations ensued.

The eldest daughter is always the first to be blamed when something of mom’s goes missing, and more often than not, she is the culprit. The scene unfolded as usual. The eldest is blamed. She denies it. She almost always denies it. Especially when she can’t remember where she put the item she has taken. But she also says she never eats or drinks in her room or takes items from the house, yet we seem to find all the missing cups and bowls lined up along her dresser, and she drives around in a car full of spoons. Nevertheless, she denies the deodorant theft. Others get blamed. They deny.

“She took it!”

“No I didn’t, it was her!”

“Nuh uh, it was probably, so and so. She always takes other people’s things.”

“It wasn’t me! Mom probably just lost it, and she’s blaming us!”

The boy looks at me. I look at him. We both shrug.

“It doesn’t matter who took it,” proclaims OZ, “No one gets to eat until my deodorant is found!”

This is where I begin to question the accuracy of my character parallels. We have to head up an investigation, or we don’t get any food. What’s next? Fire balls at my straw-filled friend? Threatening my miniature K-9? I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m hungry.

Where do I begin? The oldest daughter’s dresser? In one of the youngest’s many bags or purses. Perhaps one of the two middle girl’s beds. Both of them seem to actually sleep in the bed with all of their most prized possessions. But then I think: hold the phone. Someone has taken the deodorant, and that someone knows that they have taken it. I can wait this out. I look over at the boy, and I can see that he is thinking the same thing. We stand up, and move quietly to our respective rooms.

I can’t say what he was doing in his room, as I was not present, but I can tell you how I had handled the situation. I was laying prone on the edge of the bed attempting to remain aware of the progress of the ensuing investigation while focusing on the interior functions of my body. I was willing my heart to slow its beat, keeping my breathing deep and steady, clearing my mind of thought, hoping to coax my body into some sort of deep, zen-like state of consciousness in order to stave off the inevitable hunger pains.

The investigation drug on. The verbal finger pointing continued. Deny, deny, deny. My brain was working on some Cliff Note version of Chongg Ran while my stomach was acting like a three year old who’s crayons got taken away. I was growing hungry, and it was jacking up my inner peace. The girls were searching the house like a forensic team and arguing like senators. The house was shaking and banging, and full of indecipherable squawking and sniping. It sounded like a room full of construction workers and seagulls.

I had to do something before I starved to death, and raking the imaginary karesansui wasn’t working anyway. I got up, and went off to see the wizard. “Come on baby, it’s just deodorant. Let’s go eat.”

“Not just any deodorant. It’s clinical strength, and it’s thirteen dollars a stick.”

I had no response. Surely, surely this cannot be correct. She must have simply overlooked the decimal placement. A dollar thirty sounds much more reasonable. After all, I have seen her deodorant stick next to mine on a few occasions. In my mind’s eye I can recall that her stick is perhaps slightly less wide and about half as tall. Mine cost around two fifty. So a buck thirty sounds about right. I asked for clarification. She repeated and confirmed that thirteen dollars was indeed the price.

She applies this deodorant on a daily basis. Not weekly. Thirteen bucks for a half a stick of deodorant. For that price you should swipe it under your arm Monday morning and should be sweat free until Saturday afternoon. I am reeling at this new knowledge.

I try to justify this expense in my head. After all it is “clinical” strength. That seems suggestive of some kind of intense laboratory work, pointy heads in lab coats, grants and special funding, animal testing, things like that. Maybe there is some kind of medical prescription process that has to be met, and if so, perhaps our insurance covers the majority of this additional cost… No, this is a ridiculous thought process. You wipe it under your pits!

I had to leave. I went to find my brother-in-law. I was certain he would agree at the ludicrous price of thirteen dollar under arm wipe. And in fact, he did, but he was able to bring some previous unrecognized logical parallels into the mix. He asked two questions, and two responses later, the world became right again.

“Would you pay 150 bucks for a torque wrench?”

“If it was Snap On, sure.”

“Would it make you mad if somebody borrowed it without bringing it back?”

“Sure it would.”

“Well, there you go.”

Finally, somebody that can bring a little sense and clarity to This World of Hurt.

Along Comes… Wait, Are You Sure?

In Babies, baby, Dads, daughters, husbands, life, love, Men, Moms, Parents, Pregnancy, wives, Women on June 11, 2014 at 1:26 am

There have been quite a few changes in this old World of Hurt since my last post, when I complained about flip-flops last summer. I’m still not a fan by the way, but I haven’t thrown them away either. My eldest daughter has gone off to college where she is doing well, we have the remaining five living with us throughout the school year, but my son—who is now a going to be a sophomore in high school—will turn fifteen in a couple of weeks, and I, of course, have become the worlds biggest idiot. I began a new career in the world of pest control as an inspector for Orkin. I like the new job, but it’s harder than you might think, lots of studying. The biggest change in This World of Hurt took place over Thanksgiving. Let me tell you about it.

The family loaded up the Suburban, and hit the road to Colorado to visit my parents. The day after we arrived, my wife had said that she felt kind of sick. We had just come from about 350 foot elevation in Texas to about 7,800 foot elevation in Colorado, and my wife would not have been the only one of us who had come up there only to suffer elevation sickness. The kids and I had plans for skiing and snow boarding the following day, so I told her to get some rest, and by the time we got back she will feel right as rain. After all, elevation sickness only last about 24 hours or so.

As planned, the kids and I hit the slopes, and as we were leaving the mountain, I received a text from my wife asking me to pick up a few items from the store. One of the items was a pregnancy test. Don’t jump to conclusions here; this is not an unusual request. My wife has made this request on many occasions in order to start a flow. Im sure that many men are aware of this strange medical anomaly. The way this works is this: the monthly is late, and the woman gets worried. She asked the man to pick up a pregnancy test at the store, which he does. He goes to the store, makes a selection, goes to counter, exchanges some form of legal tender for the item, and ta-daa… the menstrual flow starts right up before he even makes it back to the car.

This did not occur however. Instead, my wife took the test… twice. The test was quite clear. We were going to have a baby. All I could think was: well crap; I’m going to be the oldest dad at the little league games. All of us are actually quite excited. We will be expecting a little girl—which will bring the daughter count to a total of six to the one boy—and she is due to arrive in August. However, we have her delivery date scheduled for July 31st. Her name will be Everleigh, but we have not yet found a suitable middle name yet. Feel free to send me any suggestions that you have. It would be nice to have a name that starts with a “D”, but it’s not necessary.

Let me break down the last seven months for you. The first trimester was pretty miserable: lots of vomiting and unusual mood swings. The second trimester was pretty easy-breezy, and the baby really began to grow. She had begun to become quite active, and my wife looked fantastic with the whole motherly glow that everyone talks about. Now we are into the third trimester, and we have pretty much come full circle. Back to miserable. Resuming some occasional vomiting, and crazy mood swings: crying, laughter, explosive yelling, crying while yelling, crying due to the guilt of yelling, crying while laughing, and of course, pure unadulterated joy. All of this sometimes occurs over the course of a single afternoon. My wife still looks great, but she thinks she is fat, and her feet swell. But we are almost there; just a little over a month and a half to go.

One of the most difficult changes over the course of this pregnancy is the distance that has grown between my wife and I. Mainly we have become distant in the bedroom. I’m not talking sexual, or even emotional distance, I am referring to a true physical barrier that separates us at night in our bed. This barrier that I speak of is substantial, light and fluffy… pillows my friends, pillows. Many pillows.
In fact, my wife is up to a minimum of four pillows. These pillows are arranged in such an ingenious architectural fashion that my wife’s side of the bed more resembles that of a lounge chair than an actual sleep surface. In fact one of these pillows is actually commandeered from my side each night just before bedtime. I don’t mind. The level of unconsciousness that I am able to acquire requires no bed at all, let alone the need for two pillows. And I’m happy to make the sacrifice for the cause.

All of that said, I will be happy to have this new little girl in the world. I’m looking forward to meeting her, and I’m not too proud to admit that I’m a little jealous of my wife being the only one who gets to spend any time with this kid. Even though I will have to share time with all of the rest of the family, and my wife of course will get to have all the quality bonding through the feeding process—since she has all of the food—while I quite literally get the crap jobs. Still, I can’t wait to hold her and introduce myself. Hello baby Everleigh, I’m your Dad.
Just a little less than eight weeks to go, and you can all help my family welcome the brand new addition to This World of Hurt.

 

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Mother-in-Laws: Myths and Legends

In children, Dads, daughters, husbands, life, love, Men, Moms, Mother-in-laws, Parents, Uncategorized, wives, Women on January 8, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Opposites attract. Or so the saying goes. In the scientific world, this holds up pretty well, but in the realm of love?… That saying about birds and flocking tends to be more spot on; at least half of the time. This is certainly the case with my wife and I. When I was younger I had often—only partially joking—said that if I were to get married, I would want someone just as “bad ass” as I was. Well, I found her. It is uncanny how many similarities that the two of us have; many more than our differences for certain. What is even more strange is just how completely different our parents are from one another, especially our mothers.

Now, I know that  we are supposed to  be somewhat predisposed to dislike our mother-in-laws. Similar to how dogs are supposed to hate cats, and in a way, I guess we are… then again, maybe not. I know that my dog would like nothing more than to eviscerate the old tom cat that struts his enormous girth past the living room window every day, but I have conversely seen plenty of pictures of dogs and cats nuzzling each other in those cheesy pet calendars at the mall. The point is: some people love their mother-in-laws and some people hate them. Both my wife and I happen to love ours, and the two of them also enjoy the company of the other. However, these two mother-in-laws are completely and totally, similarly different.

My mother’s name is Pam. My wife’s mother is named Pat. Pat and Pam. Pam and Pat. Both of them spent much of their career’s in public education: Pat, currently the business administrator at our local school, and Pam, a retired diagnostician for special education. Well, I’m confused already. This is going to be very interesting to write. 

Both are political conservatives, but while Pat remains “Pro Life”, Pam is a steadfast believer in that one should always have a choice. Both believe in the second amendment, but while Pat is in simple agreement, Pam packs a .40 caliber Springfield and has no problem putting a couple, center mass, into any would be assailant trying to infringe on her constitutional rights. Pam operates her vehicle at a speed conducive  to the weather and road surface and she is almost always late. Pat drives at the speed of sound regardless of the road or weather and she is almost always late. I love engaging in conversation that results in laughter, but occasionally, I will go a little too far and push the boundaries of acceptable humor. I can tell when this happens because Pat will use the phrase, “Oh my stars,” where as Pam will simply give me the finger. Pat probably said, “Oh my stars,” when I used the words “bad ass”, in the first paragraph. Pam uses profanity just like any other noun, verb, or adjective. It took several weeks of persuasive speaking before I was able to convince Pat to wear a temporary tattoo—on the underside of her wrist—to work. Pam wears a tattoo on her neck that would make a member of the “Hells Angels” envious. Pam Scrapbooks well into the night. Pat plays piano at church on Sundays.

Do see what I mean? The two of them are exactly different, and still, Pam’s eldest son managed to fall in love with Pat’s youngest daughter. Two different ladies that raised two very similar children; children that were destined to become bride and groom. You could drive yourself crazy trying to discover how this all came about. How all the cosmic tumblers of fate had to fall in just the right sequence. How the particular parentage, combined with the individual personalities of their children, resulted in those children growing into adults that were so meant to be together.

What ever the formula for destiny may be, I am grateful for it. I love the fact that I can find such wonderful—and similar—council in two different individuals that I love and admire. I cannot speak of your personal relationship with your own mother-in-law—as I am obviously not privy to such information. However, I will say that regardless of your relationship with her, she is owed your gratitude. After all, she is the woman that helped shape your significant other into the person that you fell in love with. So, the next time you see your mother-in-law tell her thank you. Thank you for raising the best friend that any of us will ever have. Besides, scoring a few brownie points with the moms-in-laws of the world is never a bad thing. Not to mention, brownie points a rare commodity when you’re living in, This World of Hurt.

Books, Shoes, Life, and Death

In baths, books, children, death, dogs, life, love, Moms, shoes on May 15, 2011 at 6:13 pm

There are a couple of things that my wife truly loves. One, she loves to read books. She’s always in search of a well-told story and she enjoys many different kinds of literature. However she will always eventually circle back to the tried and true romance novels. She will buy a new one—usually a six or seven dollar paperback—read it intently, transporting it from room to room, occasionally bursting out in laughter, all leading up to the inevitable waterworks. What is it with crying? This seems kind of unreal to me, but when a female cries, she may be neither sad, nor be in any kind of pain. In fact, I have discovered the full gambit of human emotion could at any time be expressed through tears. So when a woman cries, she could be sad… or overjoyed, or angry, or stressed out, or completely indifferent and upset about the fact that they feel completely indifferent, or it could be that there is just currently too much information running through her head to be processed at one time. All you can do is ask her what’s wrong, and chances are she will respond between sniffles by saying, “nothing”.  If that wasn’t strange enough, they will seek out forms of entertainment such as television, cinema, and books that will evoke this very particular response.  Girls are weird.

Anyway, the second thing that my wife truly loves are shoes; specifically high heels—around five to six inches—and I have to say that I dig the whole “love for heels” thing. After all, high-heeled shoes are sexy; are they not? I mean how often do you hear some guy say, “Hey, did anyone see that gorgeous bombshell in the flats?” I don’t love it so much when we go on any kind of road trip, mainly because of the amount of shoes that are brought along. But you never know what you’re going to do on vacation, and—of course—any outfit that may be worn for any particular outing or event is going to have to start with the perfect pair of shoes. Needless to say, however, whenever we travel, at least one suitcase is going to be full of various makes and models of elevated footwear.

Now, as it happened one sunny afternoon, I arrived home with a carload of my young ladies. The teenager and mom had not left school yet when I followed the younger kids through the front door of our home. I was forced to remain just inside the entryway as the children had formed a human roadblock, keeping me from proceeding to the living room. I instructed them to keep moving, reminding them that my hands were full, and gently tried to nudged them from behind. But, it was if they either didn’t hear me, or were incapable of moving at all. Then, as they stood there frozen, whatever items they were carrying suddenly dropped to the floor, their limbs, paralyzed with shock. I continued—for a moment longer—with my orders to keep a forward motion when I saw for myself what had petrified my children.

There, in the center of the living room floor, were a pair of my wife’s, sienna colored, open-toed, heels. The shoes were covered—as well as much of the rest of the floor—with what appeared to be confetti. Tiny pieces of paper lay strewn about the room, some of which seemed to have markings on them. I noticed a few larger pieces, and then a few more; it seemed as though to be a trail. I followed this trail of increasingly sized paper, all the while, cocking my head this way and that until I realized with a great measure of alarm just what those markings represented: words, sentences… paragraphs.

This scenario temporarily gave me pause as my mind worked out the possibilities, followed by terror of the potential outcome of my internal investigation. I instantly turned back to the shoes in the middle of the floor—having not remembered seeing them there when I left for work that morning—for a closer examination. My fears became reality as I inspected the shoes, finding thousands of tiny holes and missing pieces of leather. Oh know, I thought, the dog!  You see we are the owners of a young two-year-old Border collie. A dog, mind you, that I firmly said, “No” to, and one that my wife brought home the following afternoon anyway. However, she is a beautiful animal, smart, good with the kids, and was my favorite price… free. Even though I wasn’t thrilled about this new addition to the family at the time, I have grown to love my dog, and could not imagine my life without her. That’s right I said her. Why should that come as a shock at all by this point? It’s just one more girl.

I knew that the children and I had to work fast in order to save the life of the K-9. We had to thoroughly clean the crime scene, as well as make sure the room itself was free of any of our personal items that did not belong in the living area. My wife has unusually sensitive olfactory senses; so it would also help to spray the room with the cinnamon and apple spray that is her favorite.

I instructed the children of what needed to be done, to which they agreed immediately—after all they were also concerned about the life of the family pet—and we began to work with furious efficiency. It was about this time when the dog arrived, having come from her hiding place in the teenager’s room—the one furthest from the front door—and cautiously returned to the scene of the crime. “Duchess Archiline Hurt,” I exclaimed to her, “are you out of your mind? You ate mom’s book, and a pair of heels. Holy crap! She’s going to kill you!”

Her face was solemn as she looked up at me with her golden eyes and in my head I heard her soft British accent reply, “I know and I am truly sorry. I just get so nervous when I’m alone in the house… But in my defense, I only ate the first three chapters of the book; they were not as delicious as the shoes.”

We continued with due diligence, and by the time that my wife walked through the door, the cleanup operation was successfully completed. “Mmmm, it smells good in here,” she said upon entering, and then swiveling her head about continued with a gasp, “and it’s so clean!”

I took her by the hands and looked lovingly into her eyes. “Baby,” I said, “There is something I have to tell you.” To which she immediately exclaimed, “THE DOG ATE MY SHOES DIDN’T SHE?!” I sat her down and explained the series of events that had just taken place. Fortunately, for the dog, my wife had already finished the first three chapters of the book, and the shoes were not her favorite pair. So, much to our relief, she agreed to spare the life of the dog.

Now, I told you this story to help illustrate a truth I have just recently discovered. Even though we live way out in the county, we prefer Duchess to be an inside dog. This is in part because being a border collie she instinctively attempts to herd any animal she sees, and my brother-in-law’s horses do not wish to be herded, and partly because she always seems to return covered in all sorts of nasty material, and of course, smell like a dog. This does not sit well with my wife’s sensitivity to smells and I am in turn delegated to bathe the dog.

In those cases in which Duchess has made a successful escape from the house I have noticed that she will not return to me when I call for her. I will call her name, she will turn in recognition, and I will see momentary contemplation of decisions in her body language just seconds before she sprints away in the other direction. Now, how can this be? She minds me with unquestioning loyalty inside the house. It will literally take but a snap of my fingers to bring her to my side from any room in the house, but only inside the house, never outside. She will come to my children and she will more often than not come to my wife. My father-in-law frequently takes her with him riding around the countryside and reports that she helps him herd the cattle and returns to him with no problems… but not so with me.

As I pondered this, the answer hit me like a shovel to the face of an unwitting burglar, the baths. Yes, that is it. The dog now believes that I am calling her, not to bring her in for food or shelter, but for the dreaded scrubbing of a lifetime.

This is a member of the family that I feed, water, show love, and ritualistically scratch those hard to reach places like the base of the ears. I take her out—sometimes in the middle of the night—when she has to go, sneak the occasional delicious treat to when no one is looking, and at least on one occasion, have saved her life, and yet—because of my wife’s nasal issues—she listens to me no more than any one else in the family. It would seem as though, my wife and her overactive sense of smell, have managed to put a significant strain on my relationship with my dog. I have come to the conclusion that there will be no resolve to this situation, as I am frequently reminded by the youngest of the 10 year olds, “A happy wife leads to a happy life.” I gather that I will just have to take it one day—and one bath—at a time living in This World of Hurt.

Mother’s Day

In husbands, life, love, Moms, wives on May 8, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Sunday, May 8, 2011, Mother’s day. You probably think that this is going to be a mother’s day installment, and you would be partly right. But this is not about my mother; it’s about the mother of my children. Now you’re probably thinking, ok Hurt, that’s a little too corny. In reality, it’s not that corny at all, it’s just the simple outcome of an inevitable mathematical coincidence. Bear with me and I’ll explain.

See, on May 8, 1914, the U.S. Congress passed a law designating the second Sunday in May to be henceforth known as “Mother’s Day”. Since then we have celebrated Mother’s day on many days, as the dates themselves tend to rotate. However, May 8th will always and forever be  my wife’s and my anniversary.

Growing up the son of a successful band director for public schools, I was moved around during my youth almost as much as a military brat. Five years is about the maximum that I have ever spent in one place, and that has only occurred twice in my lifetime that I can recall.

One of these “five year” stretches was spent in a tiny oilfield community named Sundown. Two kinds of travelers went to Sundown: people who were going there, and people who were lost. It is located at the intersection of two farm to market roads in the middle nowhere. There was one traffic light… and it blinked.

I suppose, one might say that I have grown into a bit of an unusual man, and as you could have guessed, I was a bit of an unusual child. Naturally, Sundown, being a typical small, West Texas, one blinking light, narrow minded, redneck, cookie cutter, Payton Place of a community that it was, just welcomed the unusual with open arms. Nevertheless, I played a lot of music—being a drummer and all—and I made a few friends. But it seems as though, my true purpose in Sundown, was to meet a young, fourteen year old beauty, which would eventually become my wife.

Patricia moved into town the summer before her freshman and my junior year of high school. We had an immediate attraction to one another and were maintained a very on again off again relationship. You see, we never officially “dated”. I claimed that she—although super hot—was too young for me, but the truth of the matter was: I really liked her a lot and that sort of thing kind of scared me. So, needless to say we really never got anything going. Not that it would have mattered, because before the end of the year she had to move away. She kissed me goodbye on the steps of the school, then turned, and walked away without ever saying a word. She was gone, and this made me very sad, but—while I was on tour with a drum and bugle corps out of Wyoming that summer—my parents moved us to a new town as well, and this made me very happy.

Now, flash-forward a couple of years, during my freshman year of college our paths crossed once again. She was certainly not too young for me any more and I wasn’t going to have another missed opportunity, and, well, that evening could only really be described as an explosively erotic immersion of unyielding passion; ah the impetuousness of youth. The next morning I awoke alone. She had awakened and left in the morning while I slept without saying a word… She certainly had an uncanny flare for exits. Fate had brought us together that night and bonded us in ways we could have never imagined… life—for the time being—however had other plans.

Flash-forward to a Mother’s day, oh, a dozen years or so later, as I traveled from South Carolina to Utah, fate intervened once again. I was plotting the next leg of my journey and saw on the map the town of Rotan Texas. My stomach fluttered recalling that I knew of only one person from this tiny little town. So I called information, made a few calls and in no time I was once again talking to the girl I could never get out of my mind. Unfortunately, we were each on the back end of an eight year long marriage spiraling toward divorce. It seems that fate has a macabre since of humor.

Now, flash-forward a couple more years, I was a firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service, and received an e-mail from a person with an awfully familiar name. I opened it. My pulse raced and my heart echoed in my ears as I read. She told me her name and inquired if I was the same Jeff Hurt that had attended Sundown High School all those years ago.

I will spare you the next couple of years. Let’s just say that we stayed in communication via telephone and text messaging. This was a wonderful way to build a relationship without physical contact. See, we were able establish our love on the content of the others heart instead of, well, other organs. We spent many nights talking well into the morning hours; getting little sleep until eventually she came to visit me in South Carolina. It was December 27th when she stepped off the airplane and into my embrace for the first time in fourteen years, and she stayed with me for a whole four days before I proposed to her on January 1st; not a bad way to start the new year if I do say so myself.

So, I loaded up the truck and moved to… Texas, and we began the next chapter of our life together.

To tell you the truth I don’t know why she loves me and I cannot begin to describe to you the reasons or the way that I love her. I do know this one truth for certain: This is God’s doing. I am the furthest thing from a religious radical that you could be, but I have my beliefs and a healthy relationship with God. See, I literally put it all in his hands and then wander through life and he takes care of me… because he knows that I am an idiot. He made us wait because I needed to learn about life and love before we could be together. And eventually all the cosmic tumblers fell into place to allow that to happen.

I have lived a wonderful, exciting, and full life, but with Patricia, it is now a complete life. I laugh harder, cry happier, and love deeper than anyone else on the planet because of who she is to me. I could never begin to thank her enough, and Shakespeare himself would be unprolific in scripting the words to adequately describe the love I feel for her. What that I can say is that all that I am, or all that I may eventually be, whatever greatness I may one day achieve, will be in my failure to become the man that she deserves.

So, in the words of the great Ella Fitzgerald,

“The world will pardon my mush.

 Cause I’ve got a crush, my baby on you.

Yes, I’ve got a crush, my baby on you.”


I love you Patricia. Happy Mother’s day and happy anniversary  You are what makes life bearable in,  This World of Hurt.

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