thisworldofhurt

Archive for the ‘wives’ 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.

 

Who needs a GPS?

In Baggage, children, daughters, GPS, Humor, husbands, life, love, Parents, Travel, Uncategorized, wives, Women on November 25, 2015 at 9:10 pm

There will be many families hitting the highways during the upcoming holiday seasons, and mine will be among them. I consider myself to be an adequate driver, somewhere around average, but I have, unquestionably, one of the worst senses of direction of any person alive. My internal compass malfunctioned shortly after childbirth, and has yet to be repaired. So, don’t follow me, I only drive around in expanding circles until I recognize a place I’ve been lost in before.

However, I understand directions, and have developed good skills with a map and a compass, and I will admit that I often rely on GPS, and frequently use Onstar. My wife on the other hand, is the only person I know who will tell the computer generated Onstar voice that they are wrong. Her problem has never been knowing the way to get to where we’re going. Her problem is deciding on where we’re going.

For instance: Like most men, I really don’t care where we eat. So, the old Abbot and Costello routine plays out every time we face hunger.

“Where do you want to eat?”

“I don’t know. Where do you want to eat?”

“I don’t know. What do you feel like eating?”

” I don’t know. What do you feel like eating?”

That is, of course, unless I’m really hungry, and then I will make a quick decision. And then, of course, my wife tries to talk me out of that decision by asking me if I want to eat at just about every restaurant that we pass along the way.

And it goes like this:

“Where do you want to eat?”

“Taco Bell. Quick. Tasty. Cheap.”

“It’s the other way. You’ll have to turn around.”

I turn around.

“There’s Wendy’s… How about KFC?… We could go to that sandwich shop.”

So, basically our road trips consist of: a pilot with no sense of direction and a navigator with issues in decision making. Now, take them, and lock them in a car for 10 hours with 5 girls.

It goes like this:

“Sounds like our exit’s coming up.”

“Onstar is wrong. It’s the next one, I’m pretty sure.”

“Dad, tell her to stop using me as a pillow.”

“Mom, she took my thing.”

“That’s because she took my thing.”

“Her feet stink.”

“She’s touching me.”

“She’s breathing my air.”

“I have to go to the bathroom.”

Now couple all of that with the fact that, although my wife knows exactly how to get there, she has a total inability to tell me how to get there, at least not with any consistency.

She chooses a different method of direction giving every time. Sometimes she will give me cardinal directions, which are excellent, if the sun is up—It’s not like I carry a compass in my pocket. But she tends to reserve this one for nighttime driving, usually when she is giving me directions via telephone. So, there I am driving around in circles with the phone to my ear and my head out the window looking for the North Star.

Other times she will call out the directions in simple commands: Right. Left. Straight. This is my preferred method, provided of course she is paying attention to where I’m going. Otherwise, she will look up from a recently sent text message and say, “You should have turned left back there.”

She often incorporates the point method. I don’t like this one because I never see it coming, and even once I have been made aware of the method chosen, the finger pointing system requires a level of observation and multitasking I do not possess.

She now has a newly developed and implemented verbal system I am calling IVANS (Indistinct Verbal Ambiguous Navigation System). Until this new system came online, I had no idea that-a-way was an official direction.

So, wherever you may be traveling to this season, when you see the Suburban with the Texas plates, the one full of girls, with a lone man at the helm and the good looking blond in the seat next to him, looking at her phone and pointing in no particular direction, slip in behind us. We will be diving in expanding circles until I find the North Star. Then we will be taking a right, a left, and a sharp turn that-a-way before pulling into the driveway of 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.

Chicktography

In Chicktography, Codes, husbands, life, Men, Uncategorized, wives, Women, Writing on July 10, 2014 at 12:24 am

It is somewhat debated among scholars—at least the ones who study such things—when the earliest forms of writing occurred. It seems that when the scientific community believes that they have discovered the beginning, an earlier form is uncovered. Of course all forms of writing seems to be predated by the use of numbers and pictures. However, all of this is irrelevant for that in which I elude. My point is, that as soon as mankind began to write, there also was a need formulate ways to keep the writing from being easily discoverable. It would seem as though man began to write on Monday, and began to formulate cryptography on Saturday.

Secrete codes have been utilized in every society, on every continent, in wartime and in peacetime for as long as we have been using written communication to exchange thought. Mankind has been a clever bunch.

However, there is a form of cryptography that predates them all, and has seemed to go practically unobserved by even the most well studied and devoted scholars. Interestingly enough, roughly half of our world population is so well versed in this obscure form of communication that it is truly like a second language, passed down from generation to generation through intuition and observation. The other half of the population is so ignorant to this form of communication, that in most cases, the attempt to decipher the true nature of the hidden encryption can cause short term—and on rare occasions irreversible—madness. This extraordinarily complex form of communication has been a long time fascination of mine. I have studied it for decades now, and despite years of intense observation and mental documentation, I am only marginally closer to understanding how it truly works. No, that’s not accurate; I have no clue at all how it works, only that it does indeed exists. I have, however, at least given it a name. I call it Chicktography.

Chicktography is the encrypted form of communication that women use—perhaps unconsciously—imbedded within all dialogue. The complexities of chicktography are vast, and these complexities are compounded by the fact that there is absolutely no consistency whatsoever. It would also seem that all members of the female gender seem to have some form of biological decryption device that allows them to communicate with each other unimpeded and with a lack of confusion as to the meaning to that in which they speak. The male gender is not equipped with this decoding device. Nor is there any written key that I am aware of. Additionally, I have discovered through years of trial and error that just because a woman is speaking, it does not mean that they are using code. Conversely, when she is speaking it does not mean that she isn’t.

For instance, I am notorious for being a night owl. I do some of my best writing at night. But I also read, or research some topic of interest, perhaps play the occasional video game or maybe watch some movie that my wife won’t let me watch while the children are awake. My reason for staying awake is irrelevant. The point is: my wife will ask a seemingly simple question… Or is it? I will hear her draw back the covers and slip into bed. The she will ask, “Babe, are you coming to bed?” And there you go. “Crap!” says my male brain, “what does that mean?”

I begin to analyze the tone, inflections, speed of the sentence and anything else I can think of. Did she pause slightly after the endearment, babe? How did she use the word? Was it soft and delicate? A motherly tone, soft and gentle, calming or persuasive. Like a request in itself, “Babe, I love you so much. I need you to do something for me.” Did it come out more like a bark? Like the tone she would use to scold the cat for climbing onto the counter. Perhaps there was a softening of the consonants in the word bed, opening up the possibility for a completely different interpretation of the meaning. Crap! Crap!

What is she really asking me here? Is she looking out for me, reminding me that I have an early morning, and it would be in my best interest to power down and get some much needed rest? Is she saying that she would really like to make love to her husband, provided that he isn’t too daft to figure it out? Perhaps she is telling me that the cotton is cooler than normal, and some additional body heat would be appreciated. Maybe it’s just a precursor sentence that actually requires an answer in order to ask a followup question.

Such as, “Babe, are you coming to bed?”
“Not yet.”
“Well I forgot to turn off the light. Could you turn it off for me?”

Or, “Babe, are you coming to bed?”
“Yes, I’m about to brush my teeth.”
“Okay, could you bring my phone when you come. I need to set my alarm.”

Or maybe she she’s just curious to know whether she is going to wake up to read a new blog post. She always gets to read them before you do. Seems only fair since she is the one who has to put up with me day in and day out.

At this point I’m beginning to think that I have over analyzed this whole situation. So I just roll the dice, power down the computer, or whatever it is, and go to bed. I slip into bed, and my wife says, “You didn’t have to stop writing, I just needed you to bring me my phone so I could set my alarm.” Or worse, I stay awake until the the early hours completing my writing, or finishing the movie or what have you, only to find her grouchy the next morning because I so clearly misread the perfectly obvious hints that she was dropping about the fact that she was really in the mood.

Stupid decoder ring… I got to get that thing in the shop.

I have often been just simply biting the bullet, and just asking if chicktography is being used in the communication that is taking place. “That wall just seems so empty,” she will say.
My response will be, “Baby, is that girl code for you wanting me to hang a picture, or move a mirror or something.”

If anyone out there has a code key for chicktography, or an improved decoder ring, or special glasses that will let me read between lines, or for that matter some device that will let me know when these lines that need to be read between are present, I will pay top dollar. After all, chicktography is the native tongue here in This World of Hurt.

 

Hello Joe

In Coffee, Dads, husbands, life, Men, Mornings, Uncategorized, wives on July 4, 2014 at 12:13 am

securedownload         Some days start in in such a way that makes you consider whether or not you would like to pursue the day, or return to bed. Every day is different, yet they all have varying degrees of similarities. In each home across the world these daily rituals exist. Different of course from one home to the next. Some rituals present in one household will be completely void in another. Despite my desire to be a a somewhat unpredictable person, the truth is: I am a creature of habit. And the habit that controls each of my mornings, 365 days a year—I am sure that I’m not alone in this—is my devotion, or should I say addiction, to coffee.

This morning began like the all of the preceding days. After a few attempts my wife successfully woke me. I am not a rise and shine kind of guy. I would say that I don’t like mornings, but this isn’t quite an accurate statement. A simpler way of stating it would be to say that I’m just not an overt fan of waking up. Whether in the morning, or perhaps just an afternoon nap I don’t like having to return from my unconscious state. But either way, coffee makes it all better.

Normally my wife gets up quite early, as she has rituals of her own, and she persists in repeatedly waking me from my slumber until I finally climb from our bed, stumbling to the kitchen in my quest for my old friend Joe. However, my wife has the week off and has no need to rise from bed at the same hour as myself. Therefore, with the exception of my wife informing me that it is time to get up, I am largely left to my own discipline to get out of bed. You might think that it’s unfair that my pregnant wife has to wake me up in the morning on her week off, but it is that assumption that is unfair. I would be more than happy to set my own alarm to wake myself, but my wife won’t allow it. Understand that an alarm powerful enough to truly wake me would also generate a noise so loud that it could in fact wake a good portion of the western side of the county. My wife would never allow such an infernal contraption to break her slumber.

The alarm that I would require would go off like an air raid siren. My wife’s alarm sounds very much like a set of muted wind chimes. My alarm clicks on screaming, “ALERT, ALERT. INCOMING FIRE. ALL PERSONNEL, GET TO YOUR STATIONS!” My wife’s alarm goes off in a gentle whisper, “Psst. I must apologize for this, but it is indeed time to awake.” How she manages to wake up so easily to such subtleties is truly mind boggling to me. But despite the fact that she has the week off, she sets her wind chimes, and wakes me up each morning. After that, I’m of my own.

And that’s just what happened this morning; just like all the other mornings. And after an attempt or two, I climbed out of our bed, and I shuffled to the kitchen, depressed the power button on the coffee pot, and as I headed to the bathroom to take care of other morning necessities, I could hear the water beginning to reach it’s optimum temperature of around 200 degrees. Perfect.

A few moments later my bladder empty, teeth clean, pits deodorized and bald pate moisturized to a shine, I returned to the kitchen to fill my cup. The window above my sink looks out to the western sky. It’s nice in the mornings. No harsh morning sun baking the pre-dawn kitchen, and equally true in the evenings as the gorgeous West Texas sunset casts the room ablaze in a wash of rich colors that can only come from that particular place at that particular time. Unique, every time, and the only time of day that you could call West Texas absolutely spectacular. As it is an absolute truth that we have some of the most stunning sunsets in the world. My coffee pot sets along the counter on the adjacent wall to the right of the sink.

As I approach the coffee pot, what do you suppose I saw there in the three foot of space between the sink and the coffee pot? Clean dishes dried overnight and awaiting to be put away? Neatly folded stack of dishtowels? A cutting board somehow overlooked, remnants of fresh baked bread scattered along the score marks left by countless slices from a perfectly sharpened knife edge? No I didn’t. What I saw was my coffee decanter, heavily tarnished by weeks of use; rinsed daily, but rarely washed.

Most coffee decanters are somewhat aggravating to me in that the manufactures of the things haven’t seem to grasp the fact that if they would increase the size of the spout, even by fractions, that there would be less spillage during a rapid pour. I know that right now you are probably saying to yourself, “Well Jeff, if you would just take a little more time, and pour evenly you wouldn’t spill a drop.” I see your point, but when it comes to coffee, I say, “Screw patience.” And it should make no difference, as the mouth of the decanter should simply be wider. I mean, for goodness sakes, have we learned nothing from Mickey’s? However, in this particular situation, the problem wasn’t the size of the spout, the problem was that the decanter was resting on the counter between the sink and the coffee pot.

My sleepy mind registered the decanter on the counter, purely recognition, similar to the way your brain would recognize the face of a roommate as you passed them in a hallway on your way to the morning shower. An eternity of microseconds later my brain flooded with with a surge of adrenaline as I suddenly became aware that the counter between the sink and the coffee pot is not where the decanter should be located. My head whirled to the right, hoping against hope that I would’t see what I knew deep down that would see. And see it I did.

A steady caramel colored ribbon of precious personality stabilizing nectar flowed from the filter basket into a widening pool. A pool now directed by gravity across the countertop, around the base of the decanter, across the thin strip of wood between the rim of the steel sink and the edge of the counter. The weight of the liquid no longer held back by the surface tension sent droplets in some places, short streams in others, cascading down the front of the cabinet doors to the hard floor where it began collecting in pools once more.

My only consolation was that no one was awake to hear the less than prestigious choice of vernacular that I had chosen to relieve the frustration at my oversight. Nevertheless, I did manage to repeat the choice word several times as I waded through the pools of coffee at my feet.

Somewhere in the midst of the wiping, and the sopping, the ringing and the rinsing, I managed to get a good deal of water into my wife’s rubber dishwashing gloves. I’m sure that I’ll have to answer for that later. Wish I had a kid around to blame that on. But a saturated towel and five minutes later, the counter and floor was once again clean, and the coffee pot restarted. Ten minutes after that, I was sitting at the table with my old friend Joe, who was doing his part to reconstruct the framework of my mind to be more amiable. Not the worst morning I have ever had, not by a long shot, but not the greatest of beginnings. Just another questionable morning in 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.

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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