Thursday, May 28, 2009

He Blogs/She Blogs: "Can We Make A Quick Trip To The Mall?"

Captain Dumbass: The Male
My partner in crime shot me an email Tuesday with our topic for the week. Actually, it wasn't so much an email as a bunch of gobble-de-gook with the word "shopping" in caps. She's been a little busy of late. I don't know how she manages all of it. I'm happy if I remember to put on pants in the morning.

So, shopping, always a contentious issue between the sexes. Love it or hate it, it's something we all have to do at some point and more often than not, we have to do it with our significant other. Men are always made fun of for our lack of patience when it comes to following their wives or girlfriends around the mall or wherever. Personally, I love shopping. For myself. Add other people to the mix though and things start going sideways fast. Thankfully, with the invention of smart phones, iPods, PSP's, etc. things have gotten a little better. Not like the old days where you'd consider yourself lucky if the change room had a chair for you. They just need to get wi-fi in the store and it would be perfect.

Personally, I'm pretty lucky. My wife isn't a clothes hound and never has been. When we do have to go out it's usually pretty quick and painless. Unless we're shopping for something like wool. My wife likes to knit and she's pretty good at it. Pretty good at starting projects, anyway (hey, Petra, there's an idea for a post!). When it comes time to head off to Micheal's or wherever though... that's when I usually start hoping for an earthquake or the beginning of the zombie plague. The minute we hit the store I'm overwhelmed by fake flowers, glitter and the cloying stench of potpourri. "Which colour do you like?" Which choice will get us out of here faster? Colour has lost all meaning. It's a rainbow kaleidoscope of despair. Its pretty much the same if we're looking at cooking... stuff. Yes, that Stainless 17” Open Oval Roaster is to die for, but it's like a whole mortgage payment. I understand what the end result of this shopping will be, but unless the food is actually in front of me? Meh.

I'm kidding. Honestly, honey. Besides, regardless of what we're shopping for these days, it's always painful unless it involves a trip to Toys R Us, and even then that doesn't guarantee happiness. I love my children, but they have a special way of sucking our will to live every time we need to go buy something. Unless we're at Best Buy standing in front of the big screen TVs. I love my boys.
Petra a.k.a. The Wise (Young) Mommy: The Female
Just the word sends shivers down my spine. Shopping and I have a love/hate relationship. I love to shop for clothes, shoes, stuff for my kids, and gifts for other people. I HATE food shopping. I love finding just the right outfit or a bra that finally makes my boobs not look like oversized traffic cones. I HATE not having money to buy the things I need. I love shopping by myself. I HATE shopping with my kids or my husband.
It's not that I don't love going on outings with my kids and my husband; they are just not the best shopping companions. With the kids, it's for obvious reasons. All they are interested in is the toy aisle, they tire and bore easily and my quest for jeans that make my butt look half its size turns into a competition in which my kids try to see who can outwhine and outshout each other and I end up spending the time gritting my teeth, giving them the evil eye and trying to restrain myself from yelling at them in public. And as if I don't hate grocery shopping enough, somehow my two children always end up hyper and off the wall as soon as we enter the supermarket and I have to constantly apologize to the shoppers around us for the noise, mayhem and almost carriage collisions. Not my idea of fun.
As for shopping with my husband. it's not so bad. Except that he actually takes longer than I do to pick things out and is much more methodical about his shopping. For me, I go in, I grab a crap load of stuff that I like, go try it on, decide what I like and buy what works for me. For him, it's a much longer, more drawn out process of comparing and contrasting, and being completely thorough in perusing what is available. Yes, you could say this is a much better process of going about making responsible purchases, but I'm on a tight schedule people! I don't have the time or the patience to watch him look at two shirts that look almost exactly alike for 20 minutes to decide which one is better suited for him. Nor do I have a good enough eye to tell whether they are going to fit him, because he refuses to try things on. He would rather buy it, bring it home and try it on there, then take it back if it doesn't fit. This again eats into my very busy schedule of working, yelling at my children, um, I mean taking care of my children and keeping the house in tip top shape. Well, maybe tip top shape is a bit of exaggeration. It's more like I prevent it from falling in on itself. But it takes time to do all these things. So shopping, for me, has to be quick and efficient.
And don't get me started on the glassy eyed, slack jawed look he gets when we go into Home Depot. I may as well clear the whole day ahead of time for those trips.
So basically, I love shopping, under the right conditions. Me, by myself, with no financial constraints and nobody slowing me down. As you may have gathered already, this doesn't happen very often, or well, ever. So I guess my love/hate relationship with shopping isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Maybe someday I will have exorbitant amounts of money, a nanny and a personal assistant to help me make my shopping trips more efficient.
Somehow, I doubt it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

He Blogs, She Blogs: Cue The Swedish Chef*

Captain Dumbass: The Male

Welcome back, and thanks for stopping by. Today is our second installment of He Blogs/She Blogs in our new home. Petra's been super busy and a half this week so she let me choose the topic this time around. Geez, what to talk about? So many possibilities. As I was sitting in front of the computer desperately scratching my head something kept distracting me. Something I was supposed to be doing. Somewhere. About something... do you smell something burning? Shit!

This week's topic: the kitchen.

I love the kitchen. I love everything about it. Well, when I say I love everything about it I mean that in an idealistic kinda way, not the reality of my own kitchen which is a freakin' nightmare of 70's linoleum and coke induced floor plans, but that's not what this post is about. Like many homes, our kitchen is the centre of the house and a good deal of our time is spent there. And with good reason. As my ever expanding waistline will attest, the food that comes out of there is fantastic because our house is blessed with an amazing cook/baker/pastry chef. That person is not me.

Kudos to the men who know their way around a kitchen, I wish I could join your ranks. Not as much as my wife does, but I do. She tries her best to beat some culinary sense into me, but it's much like trying to bathe a cat. Messy and not really worth the effort. It's not that I don't want to learn either, it's more of a defensive stance my brain takes on whenever she starts talking about... well, whatever it is she's talking about. It's like when the bandits thunder into town on horseback and the locals close their shutters and disappear from the streets. She begins talking about cooking temperatures and doing this while this is doing something else and it's like she's speaking backwards Aramaic in a wha wha wha Charlie Brownish accent. I want to understand but my brain is steadfastly refusing.

Back when I was working I used to have to coordinate hundreds of investigations with a very limited number of investigators and keep clients baffled with bullshit and charm while they waited day after day for results. Previous to that I was in charge of coordinating daily deposits of tens of millions of dollars to the Bank of Canada on deadlines that were written in stone. I was good at it. Coordinating two different things on the stove to be ready at the same time? Blind panic. Cooking meat, chicken or fish? I don't even want to touch it.

Now I don't want you to get the idea that I'm totally useless in the kitchen, I defy anyone to match my mastery of grilled cheese:

Go ahead, click on that bad boy for full effect. Also, I'm very good at washing dishes. Early on in my working career I was a professional. I'm quite willing to keep the kitchen spotless, nay, the entire house spotless (including laundry, vacuuming and floor washing) if it means not having to cook.

I'll keep trying (my wife is raising an eyebrow as she reads this), but sadly, like the majority of men, I fall back on the lizard brain and evolutionary memories of our hunter/gatherer ancestors. I'm more than happy to go out and spear a woolly mammoth or sabre toothed tiger, just don't ask me to cook it.

Petra a.k.a. The Wise (Young) Mommy: The Female

Yeah, so it seems all of a sudden I am a real writer of sorts and have these assignments and meetings with editors and such writerly, columnisty things, so I told The Captain to come up with a topic this week, and of course he chooses the kitchen. Because we have all seen the beautiful, mouthwatering pictures of the food creations that he makes and posts on his blog (brag much?) and there is a glaring lack of food pictures and recipes on my blog for a very good reason.

I kinda hate the kitchen. Pretty much everything about it (except for the pretty ones with all the stainless steel and granite countertops that come fully equipped with a cook and housekeeper. That kind of kitchen I could live with, quite happily indeed.) But as for my kitchen, the one with the hand me down stove and fridge, a lack of countertops, and NO DISHWASHER, which also happens to be tucked into the corner of a little basement in my in-laws' house, let's just say I harbor some feelings of resentment.

And I don't like to cook.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that I hate to cook, but I will avoid it at all costs and buy as many frozen, easy to prepare meals as possible to avoid defrosting, seasoning, tenderizing, marinating, or anything else that involves putting effort into creating a dish. Every now and then I try to get creative and follow a recipe and it usually turns out OK, but nothing to write home about.

My poor husband, you may be thinking. But no, he gets a good meal at least a few times a week that consists of meat, vegetable and starch, and it's always edible. But now, back when we first moved in together, that was a different story. I was a vegetarian that lived off steamed vegetables, rice and pasta and would not, could not, would NEVER handle meat. So yeah, that was an issue.

So I guess you can say I have come a long way.

And then there is all the washing of dishes, cleaning up and putting away of things that always accompanies being in the kitchen, which I despise. And of course these are my responsibilities, and since I am not the best housewife in the world, our kitchen is not the most spotless kitchen you have ever seen. Another fact that my husband likes to point out, to which I say "get me a housekeeper or do it yourself," to which he scoffs, rolls his eyes and shuts up. I will get my housekeeper someday: I think I am wearing him down.

So you might think that since I am lacking in the culinary prowess department that my husband might pick up the slack there, but alas, no, he limits his trips to the kitchen to get snacks and drinks. Oh yeah, and to criticize me about how I put away the pots and pans and the fact that I don't have a sponge for the ONE time he decided to clean something up. A sponge? Hello? Doesn't he know how much bacteria grows in those things and then you rub them all over your counter? That's why I buy antibacterial wipes. But he thinks that is a waste of money. Well, tell me if you think it is a waste of money when you are hanging over the toilet with a raging bout of Salmonella. I think not.

So basically, until we move into our new house (hopefully the end of this summer) with our brand new, state of the art kitchen with a dishwasher and actual counterspace to cook meals, my standpoint on the kitchen will remain the same--a necessary evil.

But maybe, just maybe, when I get a decent kitchen, I will decide to start watching some Food Network and turn into a culinary goddess.

But I wouldn't hold your breath honey. Better start looking for a housekeeper.

PS. from the Dumbass: Rereading my post I swear I've read my last line somewhere else. If I've unwittingly plagiarized you, take it as a compliment. If I plagiarized myself then suck it up, ya hack. It wasn't that funny the first time.

*Duh, the Muppet Show

Thursday, May 14, 2009

He Blogs, She Blogs 2.0: The Bathroom

Captain Dumbass (The Male)

He Blogs/She Blogs, been awhile, hasn't it? It's like we're coming back from summer vacation or something. How do you like the new digs? I'm thinking we should hang a picture or two. So for our inaugural post on our new site we're taking on the contentious issue of the bathroom.

So who spends the most time in the bathroom? As this is HBSB I'm sure you're expecting me to rant on about how long my wife takes and blah blah blah? Well that's not going to happen. I could pull the man card here and tell you Supreme Leader takes forever in the can and then fart and scratch myself, but she reads my posts and our couch is not comfortable. I take the longest in the bathroom. There, I said it. It's me. In my defense though, she's really really small so there is a lot more of me to clean. Plus, all my best ideas come to me when I'm in the shower, so I need extra time for artistic development. It's a good thing I don't have a white board with waterproof markers in there or I'd never get out.

Like that counter top? I think that when my house was built in 1977 they gave Mrs. Roper a bag of blow and asked her to come up with the colours. So that's my arsenal, the whole thing. Not sure how it eats up so much time, but it does. I will also admit to taking longer on the throne. But that contributes to mental health. I grab a book, lock the door and hole up in my Fortress of Solitude for a few moments of peace. The rabid monkeys can beat on the door all they like, but they can't get me. HA HA HAAAA!

I have a question for all the ladies? What gives with the beauty products? Specifically, the gross tonnage you acquire over the decades but can't seem to part with? That mascara from your senior prom? Time to go! The last ounce of conditioner that's been haunting the back of the shower since Clinton was in office? I think you can part with it now. The nasty shaving gel cans that are all crusty and rusting around the bottoms? Ick. I'm lucky in that Supreme Leader is not so bad at this. Not so bad.

I let my wife read this before I sent it off. She laughed, but at the end there was a look that promised retribution. Stinging retribution. The kind that drags on and makes you wish you were dead. Alright, maybe not, but there was a promise of something in her smile that didn't quite reach her eyes.

Ah, He Blogs, She Blogs, how I have missed you so! It's nice to be back, isn't it? Today we are taking on the topic of the bathroom, since we all know that there is plenty to wax on about when it comes to men, women and the bathroom. Men stink it up, women stay in there too long. Women love candles and potpourri and sometimes there are towels that are just too pretty to use, while men will not think twice before lathering up their nether-regions with the most beautiful hand carved lavender soap (how rude!). But none of those issues are what sticks out in my mind when I think about my introduction to sharing a bathroom with a member of the opposite sex.

If there was one thing that I was unprepared for when I hastily moved in with my now-husband, then boyfriend of six months, it was the bathroom issue. Little did I know that this little, tiny room, so small compared to all the rest of the rooms in the house, could cause so much tension, grief and misunderstanding in our relationship. As a naive young lass of 21 years old, I faced a harsh lesson in male/female relations and quickly got a crash course in the bathroom practices of the male homosapien.

First of all, the magazines next to the toilet were NOT to be removed and put back in the magazine rack. As a woman, I have always spent a maximum of three minutes or so on the throne, unless I was having some kind of gastrointestinal distress or I was sitting on the toilet while watching a girlfriend do her hair. So the idea of needing reading material on hand next to the toilet baffled me. But I soon came to find out why my man needed stimulation during elimination, when he would actually schedule his trips to the bathroom because he needed THAT much time.

Nor did I realize that after spending that 20 minutes in the bathroom he may actually come out and say to me "Hey, you have to come look at this!" Yeah, I'm serious.

Now, as time went on, we began to fall into a routine with the bathroom and it became more comfortable. I got used to the little tiny hairs in the sink from shaving and not bothering to rinse out the sink after, and he got used to the shelves and shelves of hair products, creams and lotions that cluttered up the bathroom. I stocked up on air freshener and eventually didn't gag anymore when I entered after he had spent some quality "reading" time in there and he figured out which of the towels were not to be used because of the gorgeous embroidered flowers. Then the unthinkable happened.

One day, I found myself leaving the bathroom door open when I went to the bathroom. It just didn't seem necessary to close it and there was always the possibility that I would have something really important that I might need to shout to him in the other room while I was in there. Then came the day when he actually came into the bathroom while I was actually on the toilet to brush his teeth. There you have it folks. You have officially reached the point of no return when you are emptying your bladder and bowels in front of your significant other. Why stop there? Why not have conversations while he is in the shower while you do your hair? Or bring him new reading material when he is dropping kids off at the pool and doesn't have anything good to read?

Yup, that's true love.

So after eight years, he still complains about the abundance of products in the bathroom from time to time, and occasionally I throw up in my mouth a little bit when he drops a particularly pungent deuce, and I don't think that will ever change. And sometimes I even almost accidentally leave the door open at other people's houses when I go to the bathroom because I never do it at home. I have accepted that my days of having any kind of privacy or modesty are gone and sometimes I even appreciate the extra five minutes I get to talk to my husband when he is in the shower since I don't see him all that often.

If you had asked me 10 years ago if any of this would be so, I would have replied with a resounding "Hells no!" But life changes, folks, and you just have to "go with the flow."

No pun intended.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

He Blogs, She Blogs is BACK Mo-Fos!

Here we are, in our new home. What do you think, you like the digs? Of course, Mel from Mommydoodles helped me out, although I designed the header with my limited Scrapblog skillz. This is where the magic is going to happen from now on. Starting next week, Captain Dumbass and I will post our first edition of He Blogs, She Blogs: The Housewarming Edition. But we haven't quite decided on what the first topic should be, so if anyone has any bright ideas, please let us know. What we are looking for is something provocative, eye-opening and/or funny to kick off the new transformation of HBSB.

So come back next Thursday when we will have the first edition all warmed up and ready for you. A nice little shot of bloggy heroine for all of you who have been suffering from HBSB withdrawal.

Are you ready for it?