Posts Tagged ‘husbands’

The Refugee Crisis and My Husband’s Sock Basket

We have two sock baskets. One for white socks, one for black socks. All the white socks belong to my husband Alex. Most of the black socks are my son’s.  This system has worked perfectly for years. Until yesterday. Alex appeared in the living room with his sock basket. It was nearly full.

“Half these socks aren’t even mine,” he said and dropped the basket.  His are plain white Haynes calf high.He started sorting the socks.  There were “his socks”, socks with holes that got thrown out and the “others.”

The “other socks” were the white socks with pink or blue around the top. White socks that were ankle high and made by New Balance or Polo, tube socks and girl socks.  “They don’t belong in here with mine, they’re different.  This basket is just for my socks.”

“You’re being super prejudiced .” I teased him.

“Yes I am, I only like my kind of socks. Sorry.” But he wasn’t really.

When he finished there were three piles. His, those to throw away and “the others.”

He took his basket and left the room. And I was left wondering what to do with the poor “others”. Most of them were still perfectly good socks. First, I matched up the ones I could, there would be a home for them.  But what about the rest?

They’d been kicked out of their home and now had no where to go. No one would accept them simply because they were “different.” I felt guilty throwing them away, but boy, there were a lot of them. They were refugee socks, without a basket.

This behavior doesn’t surprise me from Alex. He’s Hungarian and Hungary typically doesn’t want refugees. They build concentration camps, surrounded with barbed wire and dogs. Refugees can stay there or leave the country and go somewhere more welcoming. Hungarians are all about taking care of Hungarians. Screw the rest of the world. They forget in the late 1950’s they were the refugees, running from Russia and seeking asylam in America.  Alex is a very good man but that sentiment runs deep in his blood.

So, what do I do with the remaining 27 refugee socks? I’ll probably end up throwing them away because there’s no basket or drawer that wants them. They are the lost “other socks.”

As President Trump said last week. “Who knew this stuff was so complicated.”

*Please let me know what you think.  Your feedback means everything.

What Happens When You Treat Your Man Like A Dog?

I have a really good husband. We’ve been married for twenty or twenty two years.  We both always forget.  We also have two really wonderful dogs.

Aries is a German Shepard/Wolf hybrid.  I thought I was buying a simple female German Shepard. A fat man in a red corvette lied to me.

And then there’s Spots.  He’s a stocky white dog with weird brown spots.  He’s a pit bull mix that showed up in our yard, emaciated, with cigarette burns on his head.  I swore I would never have anything to do with a Pit Bull of any kind, but all this dog does is wag wag his branch like tail and he tries to make us happy.

Last night I was lying in bed watching a PBS show about barns in Arkansas.  Spots looked deep into my eyes and I started rubbing his silky ear.  “Look at those pretty spots on your ears. That one looks like an island, that one looks kinda like Cuba and that one looks like a water bottle. You have the prettiest spots, Spots.”

His club of a tail thumped heavily. He was in doggie heaven. So, he rolled on his back and snorted cheerfully.

A few minutes later Spots rolled over to stare at me again and I started rubbing his nose. Slowly, I ran my thumb down, between his eyes and I said, “You are so handsome.  Look at your weird eyes and think neck and sausage like tail.” In less than a minute he was asleep. So happy to be loved.

When was the last time I rubbed Alex’s ears?  I don’t think I ever have. Have I commented on his nose or ears lately….last week I told him I was going to trim his Eisenstein eyebrows or shave them off in his sleep. And what have I ever said about his tail? Maybe years ago.

You see where I’m going?  If we treated the people we love like the pets we love the world might be better.  Man, I would love it if Alex stroked my hair, scratched my neck or told me I was so beautiful and sweet, even though my breath smelled like roadkill.

I need to rethink good behavior, bad behavior and our reward system.

Sure, Spots and Aries give me unconditional love. But so does Alex.



Taking Care of Your Wife

wifeAlex and I are in an interesting place right now. He’s not working, at all. And I am For a multitude of reasons we decided for now and maybe forever he didn’t need to work and instead would stay home.

Everything has been lovely. He’s not nearly as stressed or exhausted, the house is in much better shape because he’s always been a better cleaner than me.  And on most evenings when I get home there’s a wonderful dinner waiting.  Having a chef at home has it’s rewards.

But I’ve had to fuss at myself several times because I do something he’s done in the past.  For years, I stayed home with the children. He’d come home from work after eight or ten hours and I was ready to talk.  I wanted him to pay attention to the things I’d accomplished while he was gone.

All the laundry was done, the kitchen was mopped, I painted the bathroom.  If Alex was dismissive or uninterested in my accomplishment I remember feeling really hurt and pouty. I felt that he thought my work was unimportant to the family and menial.

So, I’m trying not to be that kind of working jerk. I’m not going to let mys3elf walk in the house, say hello than sink into the couch to watch the news. I’m going to focus on him for a few minutes because he’s focused on us all day.  The truth is, I’m really really happy the house is so much cleaner and he’s finishing all kinds of projects.  I’m so happy I’m not the only one who has to deliver the missing notebook or trumpet to the school in the middle of the work day when a child forgets something.

So, husbands and wives out there. If you have someone at home taking care of business walk around and admire all the stuff they are accomplishing. Say thank you, repeatedly. You need clean clothes, you want dinner. You hate it when the kitchen floor is sticky.  And what does it cost you? Conversely, if you have a spouse who works  while you stay at home say Thank you so much!” Cause you get to sleep in a little if you want, cause you can sit down and watch 15 minutes of Grease in the middle of the day, because they are trying to take care of your family.  Finally, neither on of you needs to act like the martyr and sigh all the time, cause you’ve got it so rough. There are perks to both sides of this coin.

Just remember to take care of each other.

How to Pick A Husband…. Part II

alex christmasLast Sunday was horribly cold and raining. Sandor and I went to Walmart, then sprinted back to the car, splashing in nearly freezing puddles. After putting the fifteen bags of groceries into the car we jumped in, soaked, shivering and laughing.

I was so cold my fingers shook as I turned the key. And there was that horrible silence. Sandor and I looked at each other as I tried again.  I’d left the lights on and the battery was dead.

I took a deep breath before calling my husband, Alex.  I knew he’d just gotten home from a miserable nightmare of a day at work. He’d gone in at 4:30 am, to face frozen boilers, employees who didn’t show up, and a flooded kitchen.

When I explained  what had happened he sighed heavily and my heart broke just a little. Then he said, “I’ll be there in fifteen.”

Sandor and I managed to save the parking spot directly in front of my car so he could pull his truck right up to my bumper.  He arrived, jumped out, raised the hood then I saw him shake his head and wince.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

He looked down and so did I. He’d left the house in his slippers, no socks, and was standing in a puddle of nearly frozen water. “Oh Lord, I’m so sorry,” I said.

And that’s when he laughed a little and made a joke. He and Sandor hooked up the cables as the rain turned to freezing rain. He kept shaking his hands, trying to get them warm. Briefly he explained the positive and negative terminals to Sandor who is eleven, before he signaled for me to crank the engine.

Here’s what Alex never did. He never griped or yelled at me. He didn’t try to make me feel any worse than I already did. He didn’t complain once though it was a horrid and painful situation.

Instead he saved his wife and set a good example for his son. I don’t want Sandor to grow up to be the kind of man who gets mad at his wife for being human. He can follow his dad’s example.

There are times Alex screws up big time.  Last week I bought a new skirt for an event we had to attend. I got dressed and he casually said, “That outfit makes you look really boxy.”

I was mad and sad and crushed and he was standing on paper thin ice about to fall into the frigid waters of “Lake Pissed-Off Wife”.

But when I really needed him he was there. And  he almost smiled.

How To Pick A Husband

diana and alexI feel the need to tell this story. I get mad at my husband Alex, all the time, because he’s not very romantic. He’s a man. But there was a time…back in the day.

In 1991 I was running around Hot Springs trying to bring my new magazine The Spring, to life. I was writing stories and selling ads and delivering…all the time.  There was a good looking cook at Acapulco’s  (Now the Colorado Grill) who flirted with me and asked me out all the time. But I ignored him and  thought he was just a player cause all the girls in town liked him.  Alex was lean, dark and sexy.

I went on a date one night with a landscape architect from Duke University. We had dinner at Acapulco’s where Alex ran the kitchen. The second my date left the table to go to the bath room, I swear to you, Alex Hampo walked right up to me and said, “Why are you out with him? I saw you first.”

It was the cutest most immature thing I’d ever heard. He thought he’d called “Dibs” on me and was completely indignant.

When the landscape architect returned Alex shifted gears and started schmoozing the guy. Alex was charming and when my date asked where we should go for dessert and after dinner drinks Alex said we had to go to a place called Edelweiss (in the basement of Spencer’s Corner).

Of course when we arrived at Edelweiss, Alex was already there. Waiting for us. I hate to admit this because it was horrible and immature but as soon as my date was out of the room….I left with Alex. We went dancing.

I’m not proud of this story but it’s one of my favorites.  Dude from Duke University, I’m sorry.

But apparently my instincts were right that night.

Spooning, Bacon and Husbands

alexI was eating bacon this morning with a friend who has a miserable situation at home right now.  Bacon is the only thing that might help.

As we were leaving she said, “Has Alex finished your kitchen?”

“Hell no,” I laughed.

“Oh no, it’s almost Thanksgiving.”  She sounded genuinely alarmed.

“He still has to put the trim around all the flooring.  And all the countertops are still plywood.” I realized how bad that sounded after I opened my car door. “Hey, it could be a lot worse, one year he decided he could build a deck out of the big wooden pallets.”  Turned out that was a very bad idea. And ten years ago he thought it would be a great idea to upholster our bar with all our old Taekwondo belts. Lexie was eight at the time and thought it was so pretty.

I was trying to make her feel better by telling her about some of Alex’s silly ideas. But once I got in the car I remembered there’s some other stuff he does that’s not so silly.   He resets the alarm every morning and gets dressed in the dark, so he won’t wake me up. He does math homework with Sandor because I’m not very good at it. Secretly he cuddles the cat when nobody is around.  He never gripes when the kids and I have to run off to a Taekwondo tournament or I need a new dress so I can announce an MMA event, and last night when I absolutely insisted on spooning for five or ten minutes he just laughed and let me have my way. “We’re gonna spoon and you’re gonna like it, damn it.”

Alex doesn’t send me flowers, call me “sweetheart” or “beautiful” he never buys me  extravagant jewelry (he would if he could I think)  but when I have an emotional break down and cry for two days because we’re broke he doesn’t get mad or make fun of me. Instead, he puts up with me, day after day and that’s a pretty big deal.


Bigger Boobs and The Apoclypse of Gaining 9 Pounds

a scaleI  peed, dropped my towel and stepped on the scale, knowing bad things were going to jump up and slap me in the face. For three months I’ve been eating my way across America and I’ve had very little time to work out.  Clothes have gotten tighter and tighter….even my underwear.

I took a deep breath, things were worse than I’d expected. 9 pounds, 9 freaking pounds.  Holy cow, that’s 9 one pound bags of sugar.That’s what our annoying little dog weighs.  Nine pounds, that’s the size of a two month old baby…a fat two month old baby.

It was Monday, I’d get the problem taken care of, get my eating under control.  Then I pulled out a loose of “flowy”  tank top and a skirt with an enormous amount of elastic.

I found a piece of white paper and wrote 15 ______14_____13_____12_____11_____10_____. you get the idea.  Every time I lose a pound I’ll mark it off. I hung the paper on the wall, in the bathroom, over the scale. I’ll go to the gym today and get to a Taekwondo class tonight.  The weight will come off, but it’ll take a couple of months.

I decided I’d adopt my daughter, Lexie’s, health program.  When she wants to get in shape she can eat anything she wants as long as it doesn’t come from the freezer or cabinet.  That basically leaves her meat, fruit and veggies. It worked beautiful.

The truth is ten or fifteen years ago nine pounds would have sent me into  hysterical starvation mode. I’m bothered now but my world isn’t on fire. Nine pounds isn’t the apocalypse.  At my age men don’t really care  much about five or ten pounds.  If they think a woman is attractive or hot it’s because she’s smart, confident and fun that’s what makes middle age sexy.  Nine pounds when you’re sixteen or twenty one can be big trouble for two reason. Lots of young men are still pretty shallow at that age so a cheerleader body is important. And girls generally don’t have the confidence not to care. They think it’s a big deal and that makes it a big deal.

Grown men are generally smarter than that and less judgmental.

When I told my husband I’d gained nine pounds he was watching NCIS.  I told him my big plan about working out and eating healthy foods but he wasn’t really listening. Then he surprised me, during a commercial he looked over and said, “Hey, does that mean your boobs are bigger?”