He's Not Just Annoying, He Looks Ridiculous, Too

Two nights ago, as I was writing a blog entry, my husband paused in his activities to ask me, "Are you writing about me?"

As you may know, I was not writing about him. I told him as much, to which he replied, "Why not? I know I'm driving you crazy."

Honestly, THAT was the understatement of the century. But I replied, "Whatever" and went back to typing on my laptop.

I was going to let the whole thing go and not write about it, but since he pretty much invited the commentary, let me just tell you one of the ways my husband can make me insane in no time flat.

I know it's a common boy thing, but my husband takes the art of obsession to levels never before witnessed in the free world. If he gets it into his head that he wants something, he must have. it. NOW! NOW! NOW! As with most men, usually his obsessive craziness is directed towards some sort of electronic item. I've been around that block with him a few times, so I can tell you that he will obsess, buy, play for a few days, then abandon that thing he previously could not live without. There's quite an extensive graveyard of various discarded electronic items scattered all over our house. Come to think of it, I probably need to stop thinking about it before my face turns purple and my head explodes into a million little irritated pieces all over the dining room walls.

His latest obsession was with a Nintendo wii. Why? I have no idea. It's not like he actually plays any of the video games we already own. In fact, I haven't seen the man play a video game in probably five years. Even then, it was because I pretty much forced him to let me kick his butt in a little game of Mario Kart. I like to play video games. He likes to call me a geek for doing it.

So when he started saying he wanted a wii, I was extremely grateful that they are not exactly easy to come by. Unfortunately for me, his obsession reached a level to where he became willing to spend his every spare moment scouring Pittsburgh and Mr. Google until he found one. The same man who does not have time to hang up his coat spent HOURS searching for a wii. And succeeded. (Insert cuss words here. Lots of cuss words.)

You would think that the facts that I wasn't working at the time, Christmas is so close, and that I made scowly face when he told me he was going to buy it would deter him. You might also think that the fact that I said, "Do what you want" in a whiny, scolding tone would set off his "BEWARE--Your wife is setting a trap" alarm, thereby slowing him down. You would be wrong. He bought it anyway, explaining that he might just turn around and sell it on eBay and that I should just think about how much money he would make with the move. I knew very well that he was lying like a rug at the time. The odds of him being able to resist the urge to open that box and play with some brightly-colored cables was about as good as the odds of monkeys flying out of my butt.

I was right. He opened the box, hooked up the over-priced hunk of plastic, and borrowed a few games from a friend. Then, just so that he could add insult to injury, he started playing the stupid thing in the same room I was sitting in. Do you know how annoying it is to have a 200-pound man pretend bowling in your living room? I know! I know! It's less annoying that having that same man pretend boxing in your living room! Every. freakin'. night. And he knows it's annoying because he told me so.

Excuse me while I go smash my head through a wall.


You're Supposed to Tackle Boys, Not Kiss Them

Peyton's Mom lied to me. She said that Alexis was, and I quote, "a perfect angel" when she visited their house for a few hours last week. LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE!

How can you call this little girl "a perfect angel?"

Do you see that? Not only is she drinking while driving, but she's kissing a boy! Both behaviors are strictly forbidden. Right in front of Elmo, no less.

I need to keep a closer eye on that one, I tell you.

While I'm at it, I probably should teach her how to play a little football. She's such a girl. A no ball catching, no running, no resisting the tackle girl. Sort of reminds me of Plex back in the day . . .


Really, There is a Reason for my Madness

It has come to my attention that many of you think I am a total freak for starting the Christmas decorating already. First of all, I feel the need to point out that Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK and there are only about 40 days until Christmas. It's not that early. However, I will be the first to admit that I'm starting to get a little edgy about the issue, because I am at least a week behind in my holiday festivity decorating activities. So maybe I am in a bit of a hurry.

But! There is a reason. Actually, there is a history of reasons. Long, long ago, in a land far, far away (well, OK, in Akron), there were two little kittens and a very sad little Christmas tree. It was the cheapest of cheap trees and was decorated with homemade paper garland because back in those days, there were many college bills to pay and Ramen Noodles were the meal du jour. Those two little kittens were in love with that cheap, ugly tree. They climbed it, they pulled things off of it, they spent their every waking moment playing with it. Within a week, the previously sad and ugly tree was even more sad and ugly because those little buttholes destroyed it.

The following year, I decided to take the wise advice of a fellow cat keeper. She recommended setting up the less sad and ugly replacement tree first without lights or ornaments. Once the kittens seemed to have gotten over the joy of having the great indoors in the living room, then add the pretty blinking lights. And once they were done staring longingly at those, then introduce the shiny ornaments. The idea was to make it a little interesting at a time instead of the all at once HOLY SMOKES WOULD YOU LOOK AT ALL THE SHINY AND BRIGHT GOODNESS! PARTY IN THE CHRISTMAS TREE!

It worked. The cats didn't rip the tree down that year (BTW, I now know that this strategy works with dogs and kids, too!). So I made it a habit in the years that followed to slowly set up the tree. Doing so requires that you start the process perhaps a few weeks earlier than you otherwise would. If you don't, you run the risk of not getting to decorate it until 10 minutes before you are going to take it down.

As the years went by, I began to fill the time between tree phases with bright shiny outdoor lights. Then more bright shiny outdoor lights. Then even more bright shiny outdoor lights. Before I knew it, I was putting out dozens of strands of lights. And I wanted more. But to accomplish that task, you need time. Since work has a tendency to interfere with my fun time, I had to squeeze in the decorating in the evenings and weekends. And I had to back up my start date just a little bit farther.

Then began the tradition of visiting my husband's family for Thanksgiving. That tradition, while wonderful, puts a severe damper in my Christmas decorating timeline. I want to turn those happy little lights on the second we return, and in order to do that, I must start before we leave. And given the fact that my Christmas Kingdom is teetering on the edge of being featured in the next Griswold's movie, we're talking the beginning of November.

So, if my world were a perfect world, I would have started with the decorating on November 1st. I promise I don't start turning the outdoor stuff on until after Thanksgiving. As for the indoor stuff? Well, my big tree in the living room holds enough lights to both heat the entire house and provide enough light to read by, so I do start turning it on as soon as it's all set up. Usually that would be done by now, so I am running late. And I've had to read by the light of a lamp because of it.

Especially for Jen, here's some upside-down Christmas trees. There are also some that come with a bracket so that you can attach the base to your ceiling, but of course I couldn't find any photos. This place sells them (or at least they did when we lived near there).