Friday, November 27, 2009

Driven to Drive

Yesterday, my wife picked me up from work and immediately slid into the passenger seat so I could drive us home. Nothing makes me feel like I still wear the pants in my relationship more than being the driver of choice for any trip short or long. Most of the time, our relationship is all about compromise. When I’m driving, the clutch decisions (pun intended) are all mine. Merge right away or sneak up to the front of the line and dart in? That’s my call. Choose toll booth lane 1 or 2? The captain of this four-wheel vehicle will decide.

Glancing over at my wife on a recent four-hour drive though, I couldn’t help but feel some envy. Here I am staring straight ahead over-thinking the past week and the week ahead and she’s stretched back, mouth wide-open in a deep, restful sleep. I guess the energy she spent reading magazines for the past hour really tired her out.

Maybe I should close my eyes for a bit next time that happens. Those rumble strips on the side of the road should wake us both up in time, right? Ok, that’s extreme. I guess we could come to an agreement that she drives some of the time. If I do that, though, we might start down a slippery slope. Soon my wife could be manning the grill, taking out the trash, and commandeering my role as the big spoon in bed.

Nope, Driving Miss Daisy it is and will continue to be.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Your List Is My Command

Growing up, my Mom was the one who would shop for groceries. It was a division of responsibilities thing, but it was also because my Dad could fail miserably at locating the simplest of foods. Send him out for chocolate sauce, he'd come back with hot fudge. In need of a pint of cottage cheese, he'd pick up a bag of mozzarella. Since my Dad is an intelligent guy, I always thought this was his way of getting out of a pretty annoying chore. I decided that this was a carefully developed ploy that I could copy to my advantage.

My marriage, however, has resulted in a different reality. Trips to the grocery store are a a team activity. A team activity in which I am by far the least valuable player. Typically, my wife devises a game plan (grocery list) and sends me out into the field to select the low-hanging fruit. Ok, I should not have used the term fruit because I never get asked to pick the fruit or any produce for that matter. I'm pretty sure this is because I have a history of picking bananas that turn brown within a day of bringing them home. Talk about a tricky fruit.

Really, the only thing I get tasked with these days are the basics. I guess this is better than nothing though. For a while, I used to follow my wife around the store like a kid on a leash, periodically getting something from the top shelf or helping her locate the cumin in an unorganized spice section. Now though, I am captain of the staple items. As soon as we enter the store, I’m sent out for the no-brainers like milk, bread and juice while my wife makes the hard calls.

Somehow, even these items rarely pass inpsection. My choice of cereal? Please put that back and choose another one, we had that flavor last month. Chedder flavored crackers? Nope, those taste terrible and are bad for you. This has made me start thinking that I should start messing up the simplest of tasks. As my utility dwindles, my participation may no longer be required. Maybe this is what happened to my Dad. I only saw his antics in action when I was old enough to comprehend what he was doing. It's likely that he started this routine many years earlier and time's a wastin' for me. Screw up in aisle nine is teed up and ready for deployment.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Living In A Fantasy Land

It is pretty hard to find a woman who likes sports, but I definitely scored a touchdown with my lady friend for life. Yeah, she likes some painful sports like figure skating and gymnastics and doesn’t really get pro basketball or the NHL, but she is genuinely interested in baseball and football. In fact, she’s such a football fan that I asked her to fill the final spot in one of my fantasy football leagues.

Not sure what I was thinking with this one. On one hand, I wanted some leverage to spend Sunday afternoons at a place with more TVs than the CNN newsroom. On the other hand, I had no idea how much work would be involved in pulling off this fantasy football experiment. First, I had to help her decide which players to choose while not screwing up my team over the course of twelve painfully long draft rounds. Now that the league has started, I’m consulted on only the most difficult of personnel decisions and I’ve quickly come to learn that there is really no upside for me.

The wife’s team started out with a couple of solid wins. I was proud of her, but then came the bragging to friends and family that she was a fantasy football star. No mention was made of the guy who manned the draft for a couple of hours or picked the best team name in the league – No Jockstrap Necessary. This past weekend, however, when I suggested that she bench a player who had a breakout weekend, you’d think I was the guy pulling all of the strings.

No credit when times are good, no respect when the going gets rough. And I can’t even imagine the consequences if her team ends up better than mine. This is far from a fantasy situation.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Dressed for Success

Like most guys, I'm not really into clothing. Sure, I like to look good, but I'm not adverse to wearing my favorite shirt or jeans for a solid decade. During my single years, I think I did a pretty good job making myself look presentable. That's actually a pretty remarkable feat. From what I've seen in family photos, my Mom had me constantly sporting some combination of Larry Bird shorts, and old man polo shirt, and tube socks.

In my college and early professional years, I rebounded into a phase I'd like to call cool casual. My wife tends to disagree. To her this was an unfortunate time where I opted for clothes that were too baggie and sandals that channeled my inner Moses. As a result, I realized recently that she has almost completely taken control of my wardrobe. What started as a birthday gift here or a Christmas present there has become a complete overhaul. I think I even wore something like this out to dinner last week.

We often hear the phrase "grow up and be a man." With respect to clothes, I feel like the phrase should be "grow up and be treated like a child."

Friday, October 30, 2009

No Lights, No Camera, Action?

Hey there, married guy here. Statistically speaking, I'm not part of the most successful group of Americans. Seems like people are dropping out everyday. That's ok by me though, I'm signed up for life. Look, I get the ball and chain jokes, but before I met my current wife I was staring at the below or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at least four days a week.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't marry my wife for food and it's not like she is waiting on me hand and foot. No, the shrewd woman that she is, she's negotiated a deal. In exchange for delicious eating, I'm in charge of cleaning up. This way she gets to cook like she's on the Food Network and I get to, well, eat and then head to the kitchen to pay for my meal by doing the dishes. If only I had some cooking skills. Maybe then I could offer to cook a side in exchange for some help with the silverware.

One thing I have noticed, however, is this marriage thing isn't really documented from a guy's point of view. Let's see if I just can't change that...