Saturday, October 27, 2012

Forty Shades of Gray

For the past several months, I have been secretly creating Angie's surprise birthday book. I'm pleased to write that I was not caught and that yes, it surprised her. Deeply.

When Angie and I were dating, she wanted to hang up something and asked me to drill a hole in the wall. I was on my way to Munich for business, though, and promised her that I would do it when I got back. Angie and Handan then found my tools and decided to take drilling into their own hands. What they didn't realize at first was that they were trying to use a metal drill on drywall. Sadly, they didn't realize this point after the second or third attempt, but I'm glad that they finally stopped drilling bullet holes into our wall. Angie tried covering up the crime scene by gluing postcards over them. This worked, until I came back home. Fail.

Angie and I were - surprise, surprise - incredibly late to David's 1st grade welcome ceremony. Angie was frantically looking for her shoes and I was dashing about just trying to stay out of her path. Angie eventually found her shoes under the dining table, but when she bent down to get them, she put her hand on the chair and noticed it was sticky. She then ran to the kitchen and got a wet rag and began cleaning all of the dining room chairs. I walked in as she was just finishing. She responded to my 'are you freakin' kidding me?' look with a 'what was I doing again?' look. She didn't answer my question, but I replied to hers.

It's a look I've only ever seen on Angie. I noticed a trend that it only happens when she is frowning and grumpy. So yeah, twice daily. 

After one of Angie's more crispy attempts at cooking, I actually identified the culprit - it was Angie's burning desire to read what people are doing on a minute to minute basis.

What can I say? Angie likes nerdy guys with big imaginations.

I was at work in the middle of a meeting when Angie placed her emergency call from the car. She was on her way to Handan's and had managed to get herself lost. She then freaked out and started screaming at me to identify her position and tell her how to get to Handan's. I couldn't of course, and after three hours, she turned the car around and fumed her way home. Thanks for calling!

The year was 2001. Angie and I had just moved to Virginia so that I could finish my degree. We went to a pub and met some new people. Cool, great, lovely. One of the women asked about the funny looking cucumber, which was a zucchini. Angie then explained to everyone 'I can tell the difference between a cucumber and a zucchini - even in the dark'. Enough said.

Most people at least try looking for something before asking others to help them find it. In so many ways, Angie is not like most people.

Before Angie figured out what not to do on iTunes, she tried downloading a Michael Jackson song. It took more than half a microsecond so Angie began frantically clicking all over the place. She also clicked away all those silly pop-ups asking her if she was really, really, really sure that she wanted to buy a song that she had already purchased. A month later, I got the bill and realized that Angie had ordered at least three versions of every song Michael Jackson has ever made, including an hour-long documentary and an interview with Michael Jackson's agent.

The first time I made Angie a Ramen noodle soup, she almost refused to eat it. I had broken the noodles into tiny pieces. Too tiny, apparently. Angie's mental rule on noodle-breaking is four times, in case anyone has a burning desire to cook soup for my wife. Good luck with that.

This didn't really happen.

This actually does happen. She only thinks she's green.

This also actually happened. I was on my laptop one night and decided to check Facebook. I wondered why a comment from Angie had warranted over seventy comments, so I clicked on it and came to the uninformed realization that 'We're getting a cat!'

We didn't always have a list. In the beginning, Angie would just get to the end of her school break and start freaking out. Big time. I analyzed this explosive behavior and came to realize a pattern. She always had a mental list of things to do and she never accomplished any of them. I then asked her to actually write them down. It didn't change much, but I at least know now why I am being screamed at.

I feel that Angie is making progress. It used to be that we would have baskets full of washed clothes, but she never had time to fold anything. Now we have baskets full of clothes that are folded. It doesn't change the fact that our closets are all empty, but still, we know where to find our clothes.

In David and Tom's room, there are two closets. My brain tells me that one should belong to David and the other one to Tom. Angie's brain tells her to use one to store all of the socks, underwear and t-shirts in one and pants and sweaters in the other. It also explains why my brain stopped dating Angie's brain a long time ago.

I thought about making a reference to how dogs learn tricks, but in the end, I felt the picture explained things well enough to let sleeping dogs lie.

I hate having my coffee filled to the brim. Angie knows this.

Angie freaks out when she finds toys in one box that belong in another box. And don't even get me started on kids that don't put all of the puzzle pieces back in the box.

Instead of taking the trash out, Angie's preferred method of dealing with this problem is a technique I like to call 'squish and jam'.

Angie has never made ice. Don't ask me why, it's one of the many unanswered mysteries in my life.

Angie doesn't believe in timing anything. Our kids will undoubtedly grow up not liking spaghetti that isn't crunchy or mushy.

Maybe it's a 'me' thing, but I like getting a hot shower and having the room steam up. When Angie strolls in to pluck her eyebrows and leaves the door wide open, it annoys me. My comfty steam is replaced with a draft of cold air. But Angie's eyebrows look great!

There are many, many, MANY things that I don't know about women. One of them is the difference is between a dress and a skirt.

We play poker at the house at least once or twice a month. When Tom was still waking up four or five times nightly, Angie would disappear to take care of him. After an hour or so, we would finally realize that Angie would not be making it back to the table.

Just trust me - it's amazing how high Angie can stack dishes.

I thought Angie was completely whacko when she told me that she sneezes whenever she looks directly at the sun. She was so adamant about it, though, that I actually researched and confirmed that this is a known condition. I still haven't ruled out that she's border-line certifiable, but the sun sneezes are at least medically documented and explained. Yeah, whatever. Freak!

Normally, we drink instant coffee. This involves boiling the water, getting a cup, putting the instant coffee in the cup, pouring the water, adding sugar, adding milk, getting a spoon, stirring, and giving the coffee to the hairy beast you've married. Angie rarely makes it past the first step.

If someone gives me a compliment on a pair of cheap shoes that I bought, I would always lie my ass off and convince them that they are handmade Italian leather. Angie goes to the other extreme.

I do this, too, but it's my blog.

Angie decided to paint the bathroom shortly before a business trip. I told Angie I would help when I was back. Angie can be somewhat of an independent free spirit, something I didn't realize until I came back home.

Angie openly admits to this lazy habit. Ask her. 

Again, just ask her.

Angie does not talk about the horrible childhood event that led to her lifelong hatred of feet. To be honest, though, I haven't asked.

It started with a mild reference to her boobs when she was still breastfeeding and has lead to an established rule. Angie is the one to hit publish on all of my blogs. This does mean that I have to go through several re-write cycles before I get the final signoff, but it's probably one of many reasons why we are still married. The uncensored versions are freakin' hilarious, though.

I snore. So does Angie, but not really relevant. One night, David had a nightmare and climbed into bed with us. I was not yet asleep and heard David snoring. Out of the blue, Angie poked me in the ribs. Apparently, she thought I was snoring and her method for dealing with this has been to poke me awake so that she could go back to sleep before I started snoring again. Ha-ha, busted!

If you want to brag about your tan in German, you say 'Ich bin braun'. In English, you don't.

Nice try. Crappy results.

Whenever I do something stupid, Angie doesn't just giggle. No, she goes nuclear with her gut-grabbing and finger pointing. Yeah, funny. 

This one is true. I wouldn't be the man I am today without Angie. I wouldn't be a husband and I wouldn't be the father to my children. I couldn't imagine existing without these two roles and trust me, I have a huge imagination. Just ask Angie.


  1. Again, hilarious!! I laughed even harder than the first time I read the 40 shades....I love all the 5 of you!! The best family ever...