Monday, October 25, 2010

Are You Ready for Some Marital Strife?

Every marriage has its problems.

When my husband and I attended pre-marital counseling, we discussed in great detail the myriad of challenges we might be forced to face in the years ahead. We looked deep into our souls and shared with each other our most shameful flaws in an attempt at full disclosure. We spoke of hurdles large and small and how we might overcome them. We discussed our expectations regarding money, careers, and child-rearing. After this exhaustive personal journey there seemingly remained only one insurmountable impediment to lasting martial bliss.

This being the fact that even though the New York Football Giants are the greatest team in the history of human everything (and, according to several leading Biblical scholars, also Jesus' favorite team) my husband insists on being a fan of (let's all say BOO! together) the Dallas Cowboys.

Now, I know what you are going to say. I should never have married such a character in the first place. But what can I say? He's ridiculously handsome, wildly intelligent, and fantastic with kids, so, like so many brides before me, I turned a blind eye to the warning signs and went ahead with the wedding.

Maybe I thought he'd change. Maybe I allowed myself to believe that someone so wonderful couldn't really mean it when he said he'd go to his grave rooting for a team like the Cowboys. Even my father, a great fan of my husband's since their first meeting, shook his head sadly when I announced our engagement and asked,

"You're sure you can't at least find someone outside the division?"

But as Woody Allen will tell you, "the heart wants what it wants". And so it was that Monday night found our household thrown into a state of marital crisis as the Giants v. Cowboys MNF event loomed large.

Having been in a mixed marriage for almost three years now, at least I knew what to expect.

The matchup day begins with hostile glares over the breakfast table. Then, after some time apart at our respective workplaces, we reconvene for the ritual changing into team colors before kickoff. The children are, regrettably, fair game. Whichever one of us reaches them first outfits them in jerseys of our choosing. Has the phrase, "Do you love mommy? Then you must put on this Eli Manning t-shirt immediately!" ever been uttered? I won't say no.

At this point, it is time for a review of the ground rules
, which include but are not limited to the following:

1. No taunting,

2. No excessive celebration. (including any and all "in your face" style hand gestures or dance moves, see above)

3. No pity cuddles should be offered in the event of poor performance by the opposing spouse's team.

The list goes on and on, but let's face it, the reality of being in a marriage like mine is that one of us is going to end the night deeply unhappy. That's why it is so important to remember that while football games will come and go, it is the the deep and abiding respect with which we treat our partner that will be the trait which truly defines our marriage.

And we are totally going to start that next week. Because first I need to tell you that THE GIANTS WON!



"Boo-ya! In your face hubby! Giants RULE forever! WOOOO-HOOOO!"

*insert unsightly butt shaking dance here*

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Passion for Fashion

My fashion sense has always been a little, shall we say, suspect.

For example, one wintry day in college I was about to get dressed for my first class of the day when it suddenly struck me exactly how comfortable my pajamas really were. I mean like SO MUCH more comfortable than my regular pants! Unfortunately, I allowed this thought to percolate in my mind for so long that I eventually convinced myself that, in fact, pajama bottoms were EXACTLY the same as pants. I mean, they have a waist and two legs, right? Let's be real, those are ALMOST ALL the components of pants right there!

It was this logic that led me to spend several years making regular public appearances wearing flannel pajama tops and bottoms as sportswear separates. I want to say, for the record, that this was done without a smidge of irony and with a belief in the deepest part of my soul that I was pulling the whole look off.

Then Vincent "the chin" Gigante ruined the whole thing for me. Vincent was a NYC-based gentleman who had decided to feign madness in an attempt to cover up the fact that he was running one of the city's predominant crime families. How did he approach the problem of simply yet absolutely conveying faux mania to the masses, you ask? Well, let's look at Mr. Gigante's wikipedia entry, shall we?

"Gigante was officially recognized as the most powerful crime boss in the United States. Dubbed "The Oddfather" and "The Enigma in the Bathrobe" by the press, Gigante often wandered the streets of Greenwich Village in his pajamas and slippers, mumbling incoherently to himself."

So, as it turned out, my look wasn't so much saying to people, "I'm a maverick who has chosen to put a premium on personal comfort," but rather, "I am clinically insane, can't you tell by the fact that I'm wearing pajamas in public?"

All of this to say that perhaps I am a person who should be giving fashion advice to exactly no one. But sometimes, I can't help myself. Especially when it comes to my beloved husband.

Now, for the most part, David is a very reasonable dresser. He sticks mostly to button-down shirts with a jacket for work and t-shirts and jeans on the weekend. Still, there are three major fronts on which David and I remain locked in a war of wills, and they are as follows:

1. Hair length (I want it shorter; he can't be bothered to get it cut)

2. Facial hair (It annoys me; he sometimes can't be bothered to shave)

3. Sunglasses (I despise the only pair he owns; he can't be bothered to buy a new pair)

Our fashion stalemate remained the status quo for several months until I found an unlikely ally this week in my little pal Snoodie. It happened as our entire family sat gathered in front of the TV in rapt attention, joyously watching as the final Chilean miner was freed.

As that last pod opened and the 33rd man, the mine foreman, stepped forth, Snoodie looked towards the television, took in the amazing sight, and then pointed enthusiastically at the screen before shouting:


Even my husband has to admit that when one's look is reminiscent of a man who has been trapped beneath the earth for 69 days it might be time to make a change.

For those keeping score - that's one in Mommy and Snoodie's column.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Random Thoughts

On Saturday I made the highly questionable choice to fly to Chicago for three days with my 2-year-old (yes, exactly 24-months) and my four-month-old. Three people + two seats + four hours in the skies x two legs = massive potential disaster. Unfortunately for the blog BOTH my boys were absolute dreams on each flight. Which is good in that it means that I may attempt air travel again in the future, but bad in that it (somewhat surprisingly) gives me nothing to write about this week.

Perhaps I can ask you to content yourselves with this brief series of entirely random and perhaps deeply mediocre observations. How 'bout it?

The Fall:

I have just noticed that in the last month I have started falling down. Like, a lot. Now, I'm not talking about your regular run-of-the-mill stumbles. I'm telling you that in the last four weeks I have taken no less than three SPECTACULAR spills. Like, I'm walking along happily and then with no warning, I trip. I proceed to fly through the air superman style before crashing to Earth with a thud. Then, the rolling begins. WHAT IS THIS HIDEOUS NEW DEVELOPMENT?

So far my two leading theories (thanks for your help Yahoo! answers) are either I am having a series of small strokes that have so far gone undetected, OR that I seriously need to start getting more sleep. I'll let you know what develops. In the mean time, if you see me rolling by please do lend me a hand getting back to my feet.

Helpful Hint:

Hi there business men behind me in line at the LAX security checkpoint on Saturday morning! Just a quick note: When you saw me attempting to free my two kids from the double stroller, then somehow contain them while I lugged said stroller's now-empty carcass onto the belt while simultaneously removing my liquids for inspection, you chose to ignore my plight. Which I guess I can excuse. Hey, I made the choice to undertake this vaguely impossible task, so why should I suddenly make it your problem, right? I get it. But, when you decided to view my distress as the perfect opportunity to CUT ME IN LINE, I gotta say guys, you lost me. I am forced to conclude that both of you DEEPLY SUCK AS PEOPLE. Thank you for your time.

In Closing:

I joined the CSA! This means that every two weeks I will picking up a new box of fresh veggies from a bunch of wacky hippies! Then I shall consume those veggies with my soon to be healthy and thriving children! As you can tell, I am strangely excited by the prospect. I clearly believe that the simple act of participating in community supported agriculture will somehow magically transform me into my greatest pioneer self!

I'll be living off the land!

I'll be partaking in whole foods!

I'll be eating things like beets! (OK, maybe not the part with the beets. I'm not really gonna eat those.)

Wish me luck!

Oh, and do feel free to let me know if you have any idea what to do with six graffiti eggplant and a pound of kale.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Search

Last week, I had the unfortunate experience of being exposed to my recent Google Search history.

It read, in part, as follows:

child won't stay in bed

Project Runway recaps

crate and barrel locations

toddler ate fertilizer


teething solutions

Top Chef

scaly penis rash

Mondo Guerra

child hitting me in the face

accidentally fed child 2-day-old formula

A detailed investigation of the above list tells me two things. The first is that I really need to take a hard look at the amount of reality television I am currently consuming.

I mean, seriously people, I'm what's wrong with America.

The second is that, as a reflection of my day-to-day parenting skills, those searches are more than a little damning. The list would seem to suggest that my children are violent hooligans who spend their days in a desperate search for sustenance. I want to state for the record that this is almost entirely not so.

I will add in my own defense that my relationship with the Google is much like the one I have with my diary: they are places I tend to turn in times of boredom or panic. Therefore, I think it is wildly unjust to view either's contents as a referendum on my entire existence. Ok?


Speaking of boredom and panic - did you know this fun fact about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? I was recently reading an article on the subject, and the author was explaining that we think of the military as being stressful because of the constant danger, but this is not the case. What makes service so stressful is instead the fact that one spends most of one's time in a state of gnawing boredom only occasionally broken up by moments of intense danger.

As I read this I thought to myself - I can relate. Long periods of boredom broken up by brief periods of panic?

That's motherhood in a nutshell.

Take for example this sample internal monologue from a typical day in my life:

"Really, Snoodie, you want to read Pajama Time again? Oh Sweet Lord deliver me. What time is it? It must be at least 5 o'clock (glancing at the clock) THREE-FIFTEEN! How is that possible? I think time is actually going in reverse. Is that possible? If only I could take a nap. I'm so bored. So very...OH MY GOD IS THAT A TACK ON THE FLOOR? HOW DID A TACK GET THERE? ARE THERE ANY OTHER TACKS? HOLY CRAP SNOODIE ATE A TACK!"

(Cue trip to the Emergency Room)

That's pretty much the day-to-day reality around here. So, you'll have to forgive me if I forgo the occasional panicked rush to the local hospital and instead turn to the Google to solve my pressing urgent care needs.

Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to do a search on "Delete Google History" followed by "Post Traumatic Motherhood Disorder". I'll get back to you with the results.