They May Take Our Lives, But They’ll Never Take Our Beans!

Sometimes I wish we still lived in a more romantic time… a time with horses, and knights, and honor.


I know, I know.  If I was alive back then I’d either be dead or a really old lady. I’d crippled by work and arthritis, and I’d probably be toothless from mild scurvy and a lack of calcium.  I would have married at 15, and with my fertility I would have 14-15 children instead of the two I have now.  I might even have a grandchild or two.

Yes, yes, I know all that.  I just choose to forget about that.

In my daydream, despite the fact that I’m female, I’m a totally cool warrior chick – like Paksennarion from the Elizabeth Moon series.  I kind of imagine a world where women are equal to men and we can serve alongside them.  Since it’s my daydream, I’m in perfect shape, can run for miles and hit a target with my bow at 300 yards.  Basically, I just run around, riding horses, defending justice, and kicking ass.  I have a coat of arms, a family sigil, and a battle cry that I cry out to the heavens as I raise my sword and charge into battle.

It’s a good daydream.

And then reality sets in, and I start thinking about how stupid I’d look wearing a coat of arms with the insignia of a piddling cocker spaniel.

And, you know, crying out “Beeeaaaaaans!” wouldn’t exactly strike fear into the heart of the enemy.  I’d just sound hungry, or like I was complaining about being gassy.

Oh, well.  I guess it’s for the best. 


Communication

The Bean is a stereotypical guy – he doesn’t pick up on hints and he takes things pretty literally. 

If I were to say to him in a pitiful tone, “I…I…. <siiiiiiigh>…..I don’t want to talk about it right now….”  He would take me at face value and change the subject.

Girly, emotional games are lost on him, which is fine, because I’ve never been very good at those kinds of games anyways. 

Despite his lack of emotional intuition, I find that The Bean and I have developed an incredible, intuitive ability to know how the other is feeling. 

When he’s happy, I know it.  I can hear it in his voice, and I can see it in his posture when he enters the room, before he’s even spoken a word.

When I’m feeling down, or am grumpy, he picks up on it almost instantly.


It’s almost eerie how he knows my moods, without me having to say a single word. 

They say that good communication is the key to a good marriage.

 

I agree.

Shadow Puppets

I grab my Nook and click on the tiny attached reading light. It’s dark in our bedroom, and the way the light is twisted means that when it turns on, it shines full-force into The Bean’s eyes. He lets out a yelp and squeezes his eyes shut.

“Sorry, sorry!” I mutter, twisting the light to face the ceiling. “Yeesh, that’s bright. Do they really think we need that much light to read a book?

The Bean shrugs and mutters something noncommittal, settling into bed beside me.

I play with the light a bit more, twisting it on different parts of the room, shining it in corners to play with the shadows.

Ooooh! Shadows!

“Here, hold this!” I say, dropping the Nook into The Bean’s hands. “Look!” I put my hand in front of the light and make a shadow dog. “Woof. Woof, woof! Woof. Aaaa-ooooooo!” The “dog” tilts his head back, howling quietly. I grin over at The Bean and discover that he is somehow managing to look down his nose at me, even though we’re both lying flat in bed.

“Oh yeah? I’d like to see you do a better one.”

Silently, The Bean hands the Nook light to me. He takes his time preparing for his shadow puppet, stretching and arranging his fingers just so. Finally, he balls up a fist, wiggling his knuckles slightly. I stare at the ceiling, transfixed, watching the slow curves of the shadow move, undulate, twisting and transforming slowly into….

A giant shadow of him flipping me off.

“Hah, hah, hah,” I shove the Nook light back at him. It’s my turn again, and I decide to impress him. I mean, he probably doesn’t know he’s married to someone who used to be really well-known for her shadow-puppet abilities.

“Here, look, I made this one up when I was eight.” I smile in expectation, remembering the way my sister and I used to make shadow puppets on the walls of our bedroom, their forms wavering and indistinct in the dim light. “Look! It’s a giraffe! And it’s eating a tree!”

I grimace at my first attempt – it looks awful. In fact, it doesn’t really look like a mammal at all. It just looks lie a hand crippled with arthritis, trying to grab at the shadow of another hand. Hmm. That’s not very magical. I twist my hand several different ways, trying to recreate my favorite, but it’s no use. My hands are thicker, older, and I’m too out of practice. “Well, I mean, just pretend. See? It’s a giraffe. Eating. Nom, nom, nom.” Against the starkness of our ceiling something resembling a creepy sea monster makes chewing motions at… well, at my other hand balled up into a fist.

“You know, I remember it looking much cooler.”

“Suuuuure,” says The Bean, rolling his eyes.

“Fine,” I snap. “Look.” I cross my thumbs, and spread the “wings” of my hands majestically. “It’s an eagle!”

Against the ceiling, a spidery-looking bird jerks its wings spastically. I study the overly-long pinion feathers formed by my fingers and decide that it’s not an eagle, but rather a sickly crow.

“Caw! Caw! Caw!” I flap my hands again…

And feel The Bean’s free hand slide slowly up my side, in warm invitation.

“Caw… Caw… Caw…” The bird makes a few more pathetic attempts at flaps before disintegrating as I reach over to the Bean, kissing him deeply. The mood of our bedroom changed drastically, and the air grows warmer.

Except…

“Bean,” I whisper.

“Mmm?”

“Bean, wait.”

“Mmmmm?”

“Bean, can we do this another night?”

He leans back, looking at me quizzically. “What’s wrong?”

“I…. I wasn’t done making hand puppets,” I admit, guiltily.

With a disgruntled look, The Bean flops back onto his side of the bed. The Nook light clicks back on, blindingly bright in our dim room.

“Caw! Caw, caw!” The sickly crow flutters happily on the ceiling, drowning out The Bean’s heavy sigh.

I Like to Tease The Bean

I like to tease the Bean.

I try to take him seriously and deal with him a mature, straightforward manner…

But then he gets too serious.

And once he gets all serious/adult/mature/stuck-up, it brings out the little sister in me.

When I look at him, I no longer see an intelligent, handsome man who is joined together with me within the bonds of holy matrimony.

I see someone who needs to be teased, and teased hard.

See, the problem with The Bean is that he is very good at what he does. He is very intelligent, and very persuasive and he started excelling in the business world before he was even allowed to legally drink. We’re only three weeks apart in age, but while I was running around, enjoying lazy summer afternoons, horses, and traveling around the state in my beat up old ’91 Ford Ranger, he was spearheading the development of overseas production plants and working 60 hour weeks to get ahead.

He is used to being taken seriously.

Taking things seriously has never been my strong suit.

What makes it even worse is that he never really tells me “No.” I mean, can you blame me? Who can resist such an open door?

As a little sister, I’m familiar with the way teasing usually goes down.

I tease.

The other person becomes annoyed.

I pick on them harder.

The other person becomes even more annoyed.

I continue picking on them.

The other person snaps at me to “KNOCK IT OFF AND LEAVE ME ALONE.”

I heave a contented sigh at a job well-done and wander off to go find another victim.

But:

The Bean never says “No”.

He never says “Quit.”

He never says “Leave me alone.”

During the first few days of our marriage, I remember actively trying to find his breaking point.

What happened if I waited until he was asleep and wrote all over his back with a permanent marker?

Sadly, nothing. The joke was on me – I chose to play my practical joke on a too-warm summer night, and with the lack of air conditioning the Bean just sweated the marker off and stained my favorite sheets.

What happened if I sang the same song thirty times in a row while sitting beside him in a car? THEN would he tell me to be quiet?

The Bean ignored me stoically, hands firmly placed at ten and two, executing safe lane changes and dutifully checking the rearview mirror on a regular basis like the DMV handbook recommends.

What about if I poked him? What would happen if I poked his arm… and then continued poking him even after he’d said “What?” I tried this one day while waiting in line at the store. The Bean ignored me, continuing to place the items on the conveyor belt.

I shifted my weight, annoyed. Where was his breaking point? I upped the ante, moving from poking his arm to slowly poking his head, waiting for some sign of annoyance. An angry look? A grumpy sigh?

Nothing. The Bean continued along with his purchase, digging in his wallet for his ATM card.

I decided to go all out – slowly, giving him every chance possible to avert his head or smack my hand away, I extended my finger, aiming towards his eyeball. Surely. Surely he’ll tell me to stop before I poke his eyeball.

The Bean ignored me, squinting his one eye shut as he continued on with his transaction.

Fascinated, I tried it again. The slooooow finger of doom crept towards his eyeball.

The only sign he noticed it was that he squinted his eye shut milliseconds before I actually touched it.

“STOP IT!” said the cashier in a frustrated, annoyed tone. “LEAVE HIS EYE ALONE.”

I looked up, startled, to find myself beneath the baleful glance of an extremely annoyed woman in her late 50s. Mollified, I let my hand drop back down to my side. Well. At least I’d gotten a reaction from someone.

You know, now that I think about it, I really only managed to get a good reaction out of him one time. Late one evening while we were still living in Long Beach, I waited until he fell asleep, then snuck into the kitchen. I grabbed one of our gigantic, plastic tumblers we used as drinking glasses and filled it full of water, hiding it in on the bottom shelf of our refrigerator. The glasses were enormous – they probably held somewhere close to 30 ounces of water. Snickering, I crept back to bed and fell asleep.

The next morning, as The Bean stumbled sleepily into the bathroom to shower before work, I feigned sleep.

I waited until I heard the sound of the shower door close before throwing off the blankets and tiptoeing into the kitchen to retrieve my gigantic glass of frigid, icy cold water.

There are many disadvantages to living in an absurdly tiny apartment; however, this was one of the times when I managed to make it work in my favor. The bathroom may have been minuscule, but clambering up to stand on the toilet seat put me in a wonderful vantage point above the shower.

“Oh, Beeeeean,” I sang out gaily as I slowly tipped the icy water onto his head.

“Crap! ACK! COLD! COLD! ACK!” said The Bean eloquently as he hopped around the tiny box of a shower in a failed attempt to avoid the icy stream.

“What’s the matter?” I continued in my singsong voice. “It’s just water… you’re already wet….”

“Cold! COLD COLD! ACK! WHY? WHY?! QUIT IT! QUIT IT! QUIT—BBblbllbblbl!” He gasped as dumped the remaining water on his head.

Aaaaah. Finally.

I smiled in satisfaction and hopped off the toilet seat.

Success at last.

Monday, Monday, Monday. Curse thee.

  1. Woke up late today.
  2. Seriously considered getting busy with The Bean, but alas: no time (see line item #1).
  3. Began contemplating whether or not we could find time to have a little “busy time” later today… but no, The Bean has an evening class…. maybe tomorrow morning? No… I work out tomorrow morning…. and I have plans tomorrow evening – besides, The Bean has another night class….. Maybe Wednesday morning…?….
  4. Became seriously depressed at the thought that not only is my life so busy I have to “plan” something as fun and spontaneous as “busy time”… but I’m not even sure we do have time, even if we did plan it.
  5. Got in the shower, pouting.
  6. Couldn’t find the razor to shave my legs, which mean I wouldn’t be able to wear the business skirt I wanted to wear. Instead, I would have to wear my too-tight, too-high, kinda too-short in the legs “wow-I-look-like-a-mom” pants.
  7. Considered not shaving and just taking a chance nobody would actually look at my legs today.
  8. Looked down and saw the long, full forest of leg hair that currently adorns my leg undulate gently in the breeze.
  9. Decided to go with the pants.
  10. Stuffed myself into pants.
  11. Stared morosely in the mirror. Ugh. Fat.
  12. Drove to work.
  13. Stopped to get coffee— Mmmm. Coffee. At least one thing went well, right?
  14. Received a phone call from The Bean letting me know I had forgotten half of the parts to my pump at home, which means pumping will take twice as long.
  15. Got to work.
  16. Put things down at desk.
  17. Immediately spilled 30 ounces of coffee all over my desk – watched in horror as 30 ounces became something like 425 bazillion ounces and covered everything in sight.
  18. Galumphed Ran nimbly and lightly to the breakroom to get paper towels.
  19. Spent 30 minutes cleaning. Congratulated myself that I managed to sop everything up without losing a single bit of electronics to the coffee madness.
  20. Tried to begin work.
  21. Realized that I did have one casualty – my keyboard, which once again decided it did not want to type the letter “t”.
  22. Tried to fix keyboard.
  23. End result: A keyboard that ONLY types the letter T. T. Ttt. TtTtttT. Pages and pages of TttttTTTtttttttttttttttTTTtttttttttttttttTTTttttttttttt.
  24. Disconnected keyboard, opened laptop.
  25. Look at the time: 9:30am. Only seven more hours to go.
  26. Take a break, type up a post complaining about it, post it to blog.
  27. Look at time: 9:46am. Back to work.

He’s MINE, girls… BACK OFF!

It’s the middle of the week, and both the Bean and I have just arrived home after yet another glorious day in California traffic.

As usual, The DragonMonkey is making loud, noisy laps around the house.

“Eeeeee! Hahahahahahahahah! Kick doggie! Hahahahahahaha! EEEE!!! EEE!!”

In a perfect, 1950s world I’d be donning my apron, patting my perfectly coiffed hair, and getting ready to lovingly prepare a healthy, nutritious, and delicious warm meal for my family.

Unfortunately for The Bean, this is 2011 and I ain’t no June Cleaver.

“Hey Bean,” I holler, trying to be heard over the racket the DragonMonkey is making. “Grab a hotdog out of the fridge for the DM. It’s dinner time.”

Hot dogs are considered healthy, delicious, and nutritious, right?

Please don’t answer that.

“We’ve only got one,” The Bean hollers back. “What else do we give him?”

“Ummmm…..” Let’s see… rice takes too long… I’ve cooked fish three times this week…. I did chips yesterday….. Ah-ha! “Applesauce. Give him some applesauce.”

There. Protein and fruit. Maybe it’s not a culinary masterpiece, but it’s gluten-free and filling. Yay for me.

From the living room, the Squidgelet begins to whimper quietly. Hello? Hello? Has everyone forgotten about me?

I flatten myself against the wall, preparing to push myself between the Bean and open refrigerator door and the narrow kitchen doorway so I can go pick him up.

Thoughtfully, the Bean shuts the door slightly, so I don’t have to actually suck in my flabby belly beautifully toned abs to squeeze past. I shoot him a smile, but he seems distracted.

As I scoot past him, I see the door jerk in my direction… once, twice… accompanied by a muted “Pa-choo! Pa-choo!”

I stop, and stare at the Bean incredulously.

“Did you…Did you just pretend to hit me with the refrigerator door? Complete with cartoony sound effects?”

The Bean flushes, and his eyes drop guiltily.

“Yeah.”

“Why? What on earth would make you do that?”

He shrugs like a teenager, still eyeing the floor guiltily. “I dunno. It just seemed like it would be fun. Like a videogame, or something.”

*******************

Actual Excerpt from Gmail Chat:



Sigh.

They never grow up, do they?

Three Dollar Hooker

I’m a three dollar hooker.

It’s sad. I always thought I would do more with my life. Write a book? Travel to Scotland? Balance a checkbook?

Funny, but “sell my body for slightly less than the cost of two king-size Snickers bars” was never very high on the list.

Still, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

After all, the Bean refuses to buy condoms.

It’s not that he has anything against them—

Oh, who am I kidding? The Bean hates condoms – he just never comes right out and says it. To butcher a quote from Grey’s Anatomy: There is a land called Passive Aggressiva… and The Bean is their king.

What can I say? My husband is a prude when it comes to buying condoms, and I can’t say that I blame him. We’re both kind of prudes when it comes to buying birth control. The problem is, every time we get down to business (It’s Business Time!), he is accompanied by several million eagerly swimming little non-prudes.

With both of us hating to buy condoms, this is kind of a problem. I’d go on the pill, but the pill seems to be completely ineffective on my fertility.

So, what’s a fertile girl to do? Unfortunately for me, I seem to have all the self control of a rabbit in heat where my husband is concerned. Despite my better intentions, the same thing happens every time.

The kids are asleep, and I feel that familiar rub on my side….

I turn to him…..

Many short-breathed moments later, I gasp out, “Babe, we need, to uh… we need.. you know…”

And with that, my normally brilliant husband suddenly develops all the mental acuity of a half-dead houseplant.

“Huh?”

“We need to, you know… We can’t get pregnant…”

“Huh?”

“We need protection….”

“Mmmrphrmph…” He makes a noncommittal noise and tries to distract me.

Apparently he forgets how much I hate being pregnant. I am not that easily distracted.

“We need to do something about it!” I bite out, frustrated in more ways than one.

“Like what?”

Like what? SERIOUSLY? I’m supposed to believe this sudden onset of confusion from the man that carries a 4.0 in his university classes while juggling two jobs, a wife, and two kids? Yeah. Not buying it.

“REALLY, Bean? Do I have to spell it out for you? PRO-TEC-TION.” I bite out the syllables.

“Why can’t we just do what we normally do? It’s worked for us so far…”

“Who’s to say we just haven’t been lucky? Huh?”

He evades the question by trying to distract me yet again, and this time nearly succeeds. I surface like a drowning swimmer, clinging to my last remaining shred of self control.

“No, BEAN! You know what you have to do – did you pick any of them up?”

The Bean has been under long-standing orders to buy some condoms from his school. The school offers them ridiculously cheap, but you need a student ID to take advantage of the offer. He has one. I don’t.

Besides, we’ve been married three years and we have two kids. Maybe it’s time for me to pass the birth-control reins onto someone else.

Moreover, I think I offered him a pretty good deal. “Six months,” I told him. “Six months of you taking point and then I’ll take over all the embarrassing purchases.” The Bean agreed. Six months vs. a lifetime? That seemed reasonable.

And yet….

“No, I haven’t had a chance to get them yet…..” He tries to distract me yet again, but this time I slap his hand away.

“I’m gonna end up pregnant,” I warn.

“You won’t get pregnant,” he says soothingly.

I am not soothed.

I give a disbelieving snort and push him away. “Sorry. No babies. This shop is closed.” I know there are other ways of taking care of our “dilemma” but as far as I can tell, if I don’t take a hard stance, he’ll never learn anything.

I roll over on my side and face the wall, frustrated. The problem with taking a hard stance is that I’m not really sure who I am punishing.

Thirty seconds go by, but it feels more like thirty minutes.

“Fine.” He heaves a heavy, woe-is-me sigh. “I’ll pick some up tomorrow.” His hand touches my waist.

I look over my shoulder with a grin before pouncing on him.

The next day, when I text him, “SO??? Did you get them???” I receive vague excuses as to why he hasn’t had a chance to stop by. The line was too long. He was late to work. A giant herd of unicorns stampeded through the hallway and blocked the entrance.

Don’t get me wrong – I love my kids. I just don’t need thirty of them.

It didn’t seem fair that I had to be the adult in the situation. It takes two to tango, right? Shouldn’t it take two to wander up to complete strangers and ask them for sperm-blockading devices?

On the other hand, it was obvious we weren’t getting any closer to that goal, and who needs to live in a constant state of worry each month?

So I decided to take matters into my own hands. I came up with a plan and I put it in motion.

I bought a bunch of condoms.

I stocked them in “the drawer”.

And if the Bean wants to use any of my condoms instead of the much-cheaper condoms he can pick up any time…. Well, then he has to pay a premium.

Three dollars worth of premium.

I mean, come on. I’m a working mother with two kids. I don’t have the time or the energy to be worth $5 of premium.

And you know what? So far, the system seems to be working pretty well.

He no longer has to try to summon the courage up to ask a complete stranger for a big box of condoms.

And me? I no longer resent him for not going to the store. In fact, I actively discourage it. After all, it may only be $3, but it adds up.

So, yeah. There you go. Me love you long time.

But apparently only three bucks worth of long time. If you want some of that five-dollah lovin’, you’ve got to go to the ritzy side of town.

(Actual screenshot – names changed to protect our lascivious identities. I sure hope Wells Fargo doesn’t closely monitor transfer descriptions. )

A Nighttime Symphony

A Symphony of Sounds

brought to you by:

Our Nighttime Household

*CLICK* goes the light switch.

*WHIRRR* goes the fan.

Dark goes the room.

*Snore* goes the husband.

My eyelids grow heavy, and after rolling around for a few minutes I drift off. I enter my second life – my vivid dream life. Brilliant colors, background music, swashbuckling adventures await… I don my secondary persona and dash off into adventure….

“MEEEEEEEEEEEH!!!!

I’m ripped out of my dreamworld as Squidgelet gives an angry, hungry grunt and whips his head from side to side. Sleepily, I roll over and pop open the nursing bra clasp. He latches on with a grumpy grunt.

I drift off into a semi-awake state.

*SNORE* goes the husband.

I pop off the Squidgelet and switch him to the other side.

I drift off into that half-awake state again.

Snore goes the husband.

Whirrrr goes the fan.

I’m having a relaxing, half-dream about horses.

The sound of the fish spitting the pebbles against the side of the aquarium wakes me with a jolt, and I realize that Squidgelet is pretty much done. Since I don’t really enjoy being a human pacifier, I pop him off, heave myself up with a grunt, and put him in the swing at the end of the bed.

I crawl back into bed, and after about 10 minutes of tossing and turning, I manage to drift back to sleep. I keep one ear open in case the Squidgelet decides he wasn’t done nursing, but it appears he’s back to sleep.

*CLINK! CLINK! CLINK!* The stupid fish spit pebbles against the glass walls of their aquarium prison. I lay there with my eyes shut, hating them.

CLINK! CLINK!

At some point, I manage to drift off again.

“MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEH!!!!”

With a grumpy sigh I lurch up and crawl across the bed, grabbing the Squidgelet. I hobble on my knees back to my side, and lay down to nurse.

He grunts and latches on angrily. I wince.

I drift off.

The left side begins to run dry. I can tell, because instead of calmly nursing, it feels like the Squidgelet is trying to suck my soul out through my nipple.

I pop him off to switch sides and he squawks angrily. He whips his head about blindly, too angry to latch on to what’s right in front of him. When he finally finds it, he bites down frantically.

I hate growth spurts. I know he’ll be back to normal in a day or so, but in the meantime… C’mon, Squidgelet. Mommy likes having normal boobies. If she was into BDSM and pierced nipples, she’d bring it up with Daddy. Please, please be gentle?

I drift off.

CLINK! CLINK! CLINK!

I hate fish. Tomorrow night we’re going to have goldfish sushi.

Snore goes the husband.

Whirr goes the fan.

My eyelids grow heavy.

“WAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!” goes the DragonMonkey.

I lay there a moment, feeling sorry for myself. I glance over at The Bean, who is laying face down, arms akimbo, blissfully sleeping through the racket.

I spend a few moments hating him and his ability to sleep through everything.

“WAAAAAAAAAAH!”

The DragonMonkey begins to shriek louder, and The Squidgelet stirs. With a sigh, I heave myself out of bed. I could wake the Bean, but since I’m already awake, there’s no sense in both of us being up at the same time.

I stumble into DM’s room, where he’s sitting cross-legged in his bed, wailing inconsolably.

“Aww, sweetie, what’s wrong?”

The wailing shuts off mid-scream as he thrusts an empty bottle at me. “NEW BABA. BABA. BABA NEW.”

I take the bottle from him, and he scoops up his blankie, takes a disdainful sniff, and thrusts it at me. “EWWW. Wash blankie,” he demands imperiously.

I pick up the blankie, expecting to feel it soggy with pee… but nope. It’s perfectly dry. Lately the DM has been obsessed with the just-from-the-laundry smell, and apparently the blankie that was washed that afternoon no longer smells like dryer sheets.

I hand it back to him, shaking my head. “I’ll get you a new baba, but your blankie is just fine.”

He thrusts it back at me. “Blankie EWWW. Wash. WASH!” he demands.

“I don’t think so, buddy. You did not just wake me up at one in the morning to demand I do your laundry. Nuh-uh. Not happening. Now lay back down.”

He flings himself sullenly on his mattress.

I warm up a bottle of vanilla soy milk (gag!) and give it to him. He accepts it begrudgingly.

I return to bed.

The feel of my weight on the mattress wakes the Squidgelet. I sigh, and pop him back on to nurse.

Whirr goes the fan.

Snore goes the husband.

Clink, clink, go the stupid, idiotic soon-to-be-short-lived fish.

I drift off.

WHINE goes the dog.

I jolt awake, disbelieving. No. I didn’t just hear that. No way.


WHINE, WHINE
goes Max.

Forget the fish. Forget sleepless nights. Forget traffic, and coffee stains on white blouses, and living in the city. Forget cancer and Hitler and rheumatoid arthritis.

I don’t hate any of those things anymore.

I hate the dog.

WHINE, WHINE, WHIIIIIIIIINE goes the dog.

I burst out of bed and go charging down the hallway like an angry Minotaur.

The dog takes one look at me and averts his eyes.

I fling open his kennel door and he skitters outside, sniffing the ground and circling.

I wait by the sliding glass door, toe tapping furiously. Pee, already. Pee, you dumb, whiny, sleep-depriving, useless animal. I glance at the clock on the stove – two in the morning. The alarm goes off at five. Yaaay.

Max finally pees then returns to the door, looking up at me lovingly with his tail stump waggling. I love you. I love you, my mistress. Thank you. Thank you for letting me pee. I love you.

I relent, and briefly reach down to scratch behind is ears. I still resent him, but I no longer daydream about tossing him down the garbage disposal. “Good boy, Max. Go to bed.”

He does.

So do I.

“MEEEEHHH…” Squidgelet wants to wake up, but I’ve already anticipated him and I pop him on a boob before he can get going.

Whirr goes the fan.

Snore goes the husband.

Clink, clink go the fish.

I drift off.

Mawwiage

“Ooooh, yeeeeeaaaaaahh….” The Bean groans, head tilted back, eyes closed.

In front of us, the hotel tv blares out the jumbled words of a late-night comedian, but neither of us is paying attention.

“Right there?” I whisper softly.

“MMMMMMMMMmmMMM!” He groans loudly in response, and the baby stirs slightly in his swing beside the bed.

“Shhhhh!” I caution, hands still moving.

“Sorry, sorry,” he whispers back. “It just feels so good.”

“It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?”

There’s a small pause, and then the relative quiet of the room is broken again with another moan.

“OH, YEAH, Becky… YEAH… MMMMmmm!”

I wince at the sudden noise and glance worriedly over at the baby, but this time the Squidgelet doesn’t even stir.

“Mmmmmmm…” The Bean makes another pleased noise, and I take a moment to wonder whether our neighbors can hear us. The hotel is booked solid after all.

Screw it. It’s my anniversary weekend. Neighbors be damned. If they didn’t want to hear us then they should have booked in one of Bakersfield’s better hotels.

“Are you ready?” I run my hands over him, poised.

“Oh, yes,” he whispers back, eyes closed in anticipation.


CRACK!

“MMMmmmm!” The Bean groans again, lips curving into a smile as I finish cracking one of his toes.

“That was a good one!” I give his foot a small rub, then move onto his right foot. “Ready?” My fingers hover over his pinky toe, ready to pull.

“YEAH, baby. I’m ready. Do it!”

CRACK!

“Wow! MMmmmm. Crack the next toe!” he begs, wiggling his foot enticingly.

Hey, maybe they don’t make dirty movies about moments in marriage such as this, but it’s the little things that keep a relationship alive. Mawwiage. That bwessed awangement. That dweam, within a dweam….

Two babies. Three years. Forty bazillion toe crackings and “Bean, do you know where I put my cell phone?“s later, life is good.

What Kind of Car Am I?

The Bean loves cars.

I know a lot of women say that about their husband, but I’m being serious. The Bean is constantly checking out other cars.

He studies them as we drive by them on side streets.

He talks about them when he sees them on billboards.

He reminisces about cars he used to own, daydreams about cars he will one day like to own, and is constantly ogling cars we pass on the freeway like some kind of philandering husband.

It’s an odd sensation. We can drive by a pack of roving 20 year olds in bikinis and he won’t blink an eye (at least while I’m around him), but if we pass by an Aston Martin he practically crawls out the window in an attempt to get closer.

I’d make fun of him, but I’m the same way. The Bean strains to catch glimpses of every Porsche, turbo Miata and 7-series BMW we pass, and I rubberneck every time we pass a horse trailer.

Who am I to judge? The Bean feels about cars the way I feel about horses. Everyone has their passion. It just kind of sucks that both of our passions cost so much money.

I remarked to him once that if he could just feel about horses the way I did, then we’d really have it made.

He didn’t miss a beat in responding. “Horses do ‘do it for me’. I just like mine all crammed under the hood of a sexy German sports car.”

I’d like to say that I understand his passion for automobiles, but I really don’t.

Horses are living, breathing, beautiful creatures that respond in unique ways based on their environment.

A car is a big chunk of metal balanced on four little rolly rubber things. You plug a nozzle into its side, dump a bunch of decayed dinosaur goop into it, shove it full of random crap, people, and discarded fast food bags and sit in it as it moves from point A to point B.

How in the world can that compare with a horse?

Horse:

Car:

Horse:

Car:

Horse:

I don’t get it. To each his own, I guess.

Moving on!

This morning the Bean and I were running a little ragged.

The Squidgelet had a horrible night. He woke up every hour, whiny and grumpy. Since I’m still on maternity leave and the Bean is running himself into the ground with a full-time job, a part-time job, and full load at the university, the night shift kind of falls to me. I did my best to keep the baby from getting too loud, but since the three of us are all crammed in the same bed, the Bean was up nearly as much as I was.

By the time dawn rolled around, the two of us looked pretty ragged.

Bleary-eyed and bumping into walls, The Bean stumbled into the shower, leaning against the wall in exhaustion.

I dragged after him, yawning hard enough to make my jaw creak.

The two of us talked in sleepy tones, making plans for the day and daydreaming of the uninterrupted sleep and lazy afternoon naps of our youth.

The conversation turned to cars, as it often does with The Bean.

Apparently Porsche has updated their look, and he really appreciates all the minor changes they made.

I’d give you more details, but to be honest I wasn’t really paying attention.

What I did notice was how his voice had suddenly perked up. Whereas moments before he had sounded like he had just survived the Holocaust, his voice now had a bright, eager, warm tone.

In fact, if I didn’t know any better, I would have almost said he sounded aroused.

Crabby and disheveled, I watched him in grumpy silence as he expounded on all the fascinating details that set this particular hunk of metal apart from all the other hunks of metal out there on the road.

As his hands floated in graceful, lustful arcs describing the tight, sexy curves of the car, I finally interrupted him.

After all, enough about the car. More about me!

“You know, I’ve always wondered what kind of car I would be.”

Yeah. I blame the postpartum hormones. It was a stupid question, and I should have known that nothing good could come out of surprising him with a loaded question like that so early in the morning.

“Huh?” replied The Bean, eloquently.

“A car. I was wondering… what kind of car would I be? What do you think?”

I blinked up at him, batting my eyelashes as I waited for his response.

The Bean pondered for a moment, and I held my breath, awaiting my compliment.

Sexy Corvette?

Lusciously curvaceous Porsche?

Priceless Aston Martin?

The Bean brightened suddenly. “I know! Mater!”

“Wait…. What?!” I sputtered. “Mater? As in that old rusted, falling apart truck off of Cars?”

“Yeah!” said The Bean, warming to his topic.

“But he’s falling apart! He’s all rusty and gross!” I frowned at him, waiting for him to realize his mistake.

Silly me.

“Yeah, but he doesn’t care that he’s falling apart! He’s easy-going!” replied The Bean happily, as if that solved everything. “Remember him in the field when they go tractor tripping? When that big, angry combine is chasing them?” He grinned over at me. “And Mater is all ‘It’s gonna get you! It’s gonna get you!’ and laughing?”

The Bean poked me playfully. “Yup! You’re Mater!”

With a heavy sigh, I gave up.

I guess it does fit me a bit.