Monday, November 10, 2014

Thirty-Five Reasons Why I Love My Wife

I wanted to do something nice for my wife's birthday so I decided to post just a few reasons that I love her. Well, thrity five. But I didn't want to do the whole, she's smart, beautiful, and sexy stuff--which of course she is--I wanted my list to be more original. So here, in honor of her um, 29th birthday, I present......Thirty-Five reasons Why I love my wife...

1 She’s a Yankee.  With my southern charm and her love of Macintosh Apples, our son is destined for greatness…

2. She’s stubborn. Very stubborn. Being in foreclosure, the house we now live in took forever to land and I can't remember how many times I was ready to just say forget it. But she persisted. It dragged on for months and months but because of her it finally happened.
3 She’s not afraid to get her nails dirty.While she can be a girly girl, she can also get her nails dirty. She went into the house thing with a pick ax and sledge hammer. The girl is a workhorse, I came home last year when she was on winter break to find she’d tore and power sanded the faux wall paneling from the kitchen.

4. She’s good at decorating. I am not.

5. She’s patient. In a house with two dogs, a toddler and me, patience has never been more virtuous...or something. I have a tendency to be neurotic, and she has a tendency to laugh at me.
6. She’s my best friend. I can drink a beer with her and I can joke around. Well, mostly. Sometimes I'll show her a youtube clip and she'll give me the blankest of stares, but still...she's cool.

7. She doesn’t like sports. This one may be just me, but I secretly enjoy that she doesn't know a pick and roll or a post route. She  just picks the pretty team.

8. She’s short. I like short girls. Maybe because it's nice to be needed  (to reach something from the shelf).

9. She’s unintentionally funny. A long time ago, before we were married, my wife and I walked into restaurant to have a drink. Sitting at the bar were two guys who'd obviously spent some time in the gym. My wife strides right past them, tosses a quick glance there way and says, "Hey tight shirts" just like it's their names before turning to the bartender to order a drink. I kinda knew right then we were getting married.

Oh, and her dancing. Now that is good stuff.
10. She can drive a straight.

11. She gave birth to this fella. -->

12. She's an excellent mother. Goes without saying.

13. She loves dogs. This one may be the foundation of our relationship.

14. She doesn’t take me too seriously. Sometimes we get in fights--shocking, I know--and she’ll let me go off on a rant. (When I’m worked up I can have epic arguments, by myself. *Remember, neurotic?). Suddenly I'll notice her just looking at me, like, Are you finished? And I’ll be like, Yup.

15. She can cook. It was maybe on the third helping before she told me her lasagna was vegetarian.

16. She’s a little bit snobby. This is good because it keeps me from picking up stuff from the curb. And today only some of my clothes come from the Goodwill.

17. She’s supportive I’ve been seriously writing for four years now. And she’s never told me to stop, even when I’m being a freak.

18. She speaks her mind. Back to that tight shirts thing…

19. She thinks I’m smart. Got her fooled.

20. She loves the outdoors. Our ideal evening usually involves a fire pit out in the backyard. And usually she's the one starting the fire...

21. She’s outgoing. And then some. With me being the more introverted one, it's nice to have her balance things out.

22. She respects me. And I her. We can have a disagreement or even an argument. But that doesn’t mean we don’t like each other.

23. She’s a teacher. Okay, yeah, when we starting dating, I did like telling people that I was dating a kindergarten teacher. But now, as I watch her with our son, I’ve learned to use those little teaching moments too.

24. We can be kids together. Both of us enjoy kid books, movies, and taking notice of those everyday little things that make life so special.

25. We can be old folks together. And then sometimes we're in bed watching reruns at eight. Okay seven.

26. We can be lame together. See the above. No shame in our game.

27. She can be the hard ass. I kind of need to work on my stern Daddy voice, but in the meantime she’s holding things down…

28. She’s sentimental Remember that time....?

29. She’s getting better with age. Seriously

30. We’re in this together. And we both understand that. Sometimes we're like a well-oiled machine, as one of us will toss the dirty diaper over a shoulder and into the waiting hands of the other. Gross? Sweet? It's all a blur...

31. We have inside jokes. Again, years ago we were on a date, waiting in line at the movie theater and there was this guy in front of us wearing this horrendously short shirt over an equally horrendously long shirt. And to this day, when I’m getting dressed and the shirt feels a little, drafty, I’ll turn around and ask her if I have movie-theater-guy-shirt. The guy is famous in our house.

32. She didn’t marry me for my money. Of this I am 99% sure.

33. She didn’t marry me for my good looks. Of this I am 98% sure.

34. She didn't marry me for my car. I drove a 92 Honda when we met. Nice.

35. She married me for me.

So there. Just a few reasons I love my wife. We don’t have the perfect marriage, but I think the perfect marriage is imperfect. What my wife and I have a pretty good thing. One that I hope keeps on and on... So here’s to tight shirts, short shirts, and many more shirts to come…

Friday, November 7, 2014

Flash Fiction - Dad's Eyes

With the twins fed, bathed, and hopefully—oh please God—down for the night, I enter what was once my office. It’s been another one of those whirlwind evenings and I’m not really in the mood to clean up, but alas, I find my chair has been mistaken for a laundry basket. I turn on the lamp to more surprises. My antique desk is buried beneath the clutter of construction paper, crayons, magazines, and other arts and crafts.

I unearth my laptop, but in doing so I knock over a tube of glitter that falls to the floor like fairy dust. It just never ends. I sink into the chair of clothes and wait for it to boot up. From the sound of things, Ella is on the couch in the den watching The Biggest Loser. With the kids in bed we no longer have to play nice or even speak to each other.

The picture on the wall catches my attention. The one from my childhood home. Dad is pushing my sister and me on the swings, we’re maybe eight and five, all breeze and smiles. It’s my favorite picture of him even though I always notice how my dad’s eyes are set on Stacey, his boundless love captured forever in time. She always was Daddy’s little girl.

I log into facebook and start the mindless stroll through my feed, feeling my mind liquefy as I stare at the pictures of other people’s kids, plates of food, cars, selfies, skimming over the thoughts on the midterm election. Wait.

With a flick of my finger I scroll back to my sister’s throwback Thursday picture—the same photograph sitting in the frame on my wall. Only in her picture Dad is looking at me. Same soft eyes, same loving glance, but looking left, not right. I stand up and compare it to mine. Everything is the same, even the trails of her swirling blonde hair in the wind. But now, in the picture on my wall, Dad is looking directly out to me, reaching.
 My hand rattles as I punch Stacey’s name. It’s not until the third ring that I realize we haven’t spoken in nearly two years. Mom’s funeral.


“Stacey, how are you?”

“I’m uh, good.”

A horrible silence falls between us. I squeeze the bridge of my nose, looking to the wall. I sit up straight. Dad is nodding in the picture. I think about popping a Xanax.

“You still there?”

“Yeah, sorry. Hey look, that picture, the one you posted of Dad. He’s looking at me. Did you see that?”

She sighs. “Um, yeah Eric, of course he is. You were always the favorite.”
I turn to my photo. Dad’s eyes are once again locked on Stacey. I can almost hear the squeak of the chain as he pushes us.


“Eric, are you sure you’re okay?"

“Yes, uh, I don’t know. Hey, was Dad cross-eyed?”
 When she laughs it reminds me of those summer trips to the beach, when we were bored and I’d make up jokes trying to get a chuckle out of her. “No, I don’t remember him that way.

 “Me neither.”
This time the silence is warmer. With my foot I trace the glitter on the floor. In the other room a physical trainer screams about a weigh in. I think about the man I’ve become. Snapping at my wife, always in a rush to get away. When did I stop smiling?

“God I miss him, Stacey.”

“Me too.”I look back to the picture of my father, selfless and caring, enjoying a moment in the sun that he never could have known would mean so much to his two children. Or maybe he did. I don’t know. I just know that it’s my turn to do the pushing.

I decide to buy a swing set.