Archive | marriage

Fifty Shades…

So I read a fairy tale the other day.  Actually, three fairy tales. A trilogy about a young girl who meets a handsome stranger with a dark secret. They fall in love (you knew that was coming, right?), overcome a variety of obstacles, banish inner demons, get married, and have babies.  Happily ever after and all that. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading · on March 2, 2012 in Books, marriage, pop culture, sex

monday listicles: sentimentality enclosed

Valentine’s Day today.  Excessive pink sentiment has pervaded even here: stores filled with heart-shaped chocolates, kids exchanging valentines at school…men scurrying through the streets clutching bouquets.

Stasha says today’s list is about “things you love,” so I thought I’d tell you about my Valentine’s Day:

1. Was awakened by smiling children already dressed for school, each carrying a home-made valentine’s card for me.

2. Shuffled into the kitchen where Husband had made breakfast and coffee and in a serious sign of affection, prepared the lunch-boxes.

3. Taught my classes, met students, and then spent the afternoon getting a luscious pedicure.

4. Came home to a beautifully prepared meal, a bottle of champagne, and a spotless house.



Sorry. Wrong movie. Hear that scratching sound? Yeah, that’s the tape re-winding.

1. Wake up to my alarm and a silent apartment.

2. Roust sleeping children who grumble but who are also delectably soft and cuddly.

3. Shuffle into the kitchen. Make coffee. Wonder why I ever got in the habit of making my children a hot breakfast every day. Idiot. Why don’t I just serve them baggies of cold cereal they can eat dry, on the bus to school? Realize that because they have such pathetic diets (if I were a French mother, I wouldn’t have this problem, naturellement), breakfast is the only meal where I can pack nutrients into their bony bodies.

4. Remember I have to drive them to school instead of have them take the bus. Dress in a hurry, hope my earrings match, grab my materials for class, hope I’ve not forgotten anything, get in the elevator to the lobby, remember I forgot my phone, go back up to the apartment, back down to the lobby, into the car, battle traffic, get kids to school on time.

5. Drive back from school after a meeting, battle traffic, find a parking place on campus, get to my own class with five minutes to spare.

6. Teach. Am brilliant. Or might have been brilliant. Have no real idea what the hell I was talking about, but the students were writing it down.

7. Drive to a meeting. Drive back to the school to pick up a child from sports practice. Drive home. Begin to help other child with some kind of clay mountain-building project for geography class.

8. Make dinner for children. Husband does not have dinner; he is packing for a five-day departure trip to Australia.

9. Bid adieu to Husband. Tell him I hope our children don’t become completely feral in his absence.

10. Put children to bed. Remember that I need to write a blog post and prepare for class. Decide that a glass of wine at this point would ensure that neither of these tasks get done.

11. Find beautiful necklace and earrings that Husband left me as a Valentine’s Day present.

12. Remember the other day, when he drew this in the sandy dust of a table where we were going to have lunch:

Husband is much better at “we” than I am.  It’s one of the many, many reasons why I am still glad he’s my valentine.

Continue Reading · on February 14, 2012 in Abu Dhabi, family, marriage, Monday Listicle

a new year’s lesson about marriage

New Year’s Morning. Caleb and I are walking back to our hotel from Patisserie Claude, in the West Village.  I am tired, not from too much champagne but from being awakened by the rantings of a very drunk, very angry woman in the hotel room next to ours.  Apparently her boyfriend is Satan and now we and everyone else on our floor know it.

Anyway.  We’re on the corner of Sixth Avenue when Caleb offers me these valuable insights on baby-making and marriage.

Caleb: I know why Uncle can’t get married. He doesn’t have any sperm.

Me, jolted out of late-night stupor: Wha?

Caleb: Daddy said, it had to do with a sperm bank and stuff.

Me: Wha?

Caleb: Daddy said that Uncle put the sperm in a sperm bank and then N’s mom got some because she couldn’t have a baby and she wanted one, and that’s how she got N.

Me: And so what does that have to do with getting married?

Caleb: Well Uncle’s sperm is all in the bank so he doesn’t have any left.

Me: And you need sperm to get married?

Caleb, patiently: Well YEAH, of course!  But he doesn’t have any left, so he can’t get married.


So there you go. This whole time I’d been thinking my bro was single because finding someone interested in settling down, in Hollywood, is sort of like expecting that Russell Brand & Katy Perry were going to last–when in fact, it’s just a sperm thing.  Glad we could clear that up for you.


Caleb and I are linked up to lovelinks…you should go there too and read around. Then come back on Thursday and vote for three of your favorites. Probably not as much fun as sperm donation, but hey, you can do lovelinks in your office during lunch!

Continue Reading · on January 1, 2012 in Children, Kids, marriage, sex

In which husband gives me a gift

Here’s what he did: he took both boys to Legoland Windsor for the entire day. Without me.

I hear there’s a castle in Windsor too, but as far as my kids are considered, it’s all about the Pirate Flume, baby.

We’ve been living out of suitcases now for a month, with another week to go, and while I love my children (especially now that they’re asleep), we’ve had a whole lot of together time in the last four weeks. A whole lot. A whole, whole, whole lot. Like they’re attached to me at the hip, shoulder, hand, elbow, neck, and knee. That kind of a lot. Think limpet.

So when Husband saw the ad for Legoland, he took pity on me and off they went. The boys planned their attack:

(That’s hot chocolate in Liam’s hand, btw, not coffee. I hope. But when you’re traveling with Daddy, anything can happen.)

They arrived to this:

and this:

Lots of lines, lots of crowds, lots of noise.

I got:

Cycles for hire all over London, modeled after velolib in Paris. Do you think Mayor Mike can implement such a thing in NYC?

I pedaled through the park, dropped the bike at the top of Regent Street, and walked along the shops. Why is it that in other cities we do things we’d never, ever do at home? Because in New York, on a beautiful sunny day, the last thing in the world I would elect to do is wander down, say Fifth Avenue from 59th Street to Madison Square. I hate shopping, mostly, and department stores make me anxious. Too many choices! Too many escalators that never, ever, take you where you want to go!

I made my way down Regent Street, through the ghastliness of Piccadilly Circus, and roundabout to Somerset House for art at the Courtauld Gallery. Paintings that I got got look at without someone saying “can we go yet? can we go now? are you done now?

There was an exhibit called “Falling Up”:

And the only thing I saw that came even close to a roller coaster were the stairs of Somerset House:

After I was done at Somerset House, I found another Cycle Stand, grabbed a bike, and pedaled back to our friend’s apartment through the late afternoon sunlight.

A day alone. Funny how ten years ago, in PKL (pre-kid life), a day alone didn’t seem like any big deal. Now? What a gift. More than atones for Husband’s evening ritual of carefully placing his dirty socks on the coffee table.

And hell, Windsor Castle has been there for umpteen hundred years. What’s the rush?

*the image of “Falling Up” is a piece by Catherine Parker, entitled “Neither From Nor Towards.” The stones are from the shoreline at Dover.



Continue Reading · on August 5, 2011 in Children, family, marriage, Travel

Reverb10: Everything’s Going to be Okay

Prompt for Dec 24: Everything’s OK. What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?

First of all, where do we stand on whether “alright” is one word or two? I am in the two-words camp, which means that, like the misplaced “it’s” in a previous prompt, I look at this prompt with a little inner “grr.”

But. That grr notwithstanding, my response to the prompt:

Husband traveled a lot this year as part of his work in Abu Dhabi and neither of us, I think, at the outset of his journeying, knew how hard it would be. I mean, we knew the logistics would be tough (for the person who stayed home –oh wait, that’s me) and that jet lag would be exhausting, and that he would miss out on stuff happening in the boy’s lives blah blah blah…But neither of us quite realized that there would be intangible difficulties too: simple things like trying to catch each other up on the day’s events, for example, weren’t simple at all, because of the nine-hour time difference.

After each trip it takes a few days for things to settle back to normal, but last summer, after Husband had been gone on a two-week trip, we had more than a standard-issue squabble. We had A Big Discussion. Without divulging any secrets, let’s  just say that things got heated and then got very, very cool. As in cold shoulders and even colder silences.

Neither of us is particularly good at staying angry–well, okay, I am a lot better at it than Husband, actually, but I get tired of being the only one In A Fight–so our typical pattern is to let a big fight fade, let it slip silently under the water of daily life to become part of our marriage’s subterranean landscape–the sharp rocks we step on when we’re not looking.

Last summer, though, instead of giving in to sheer inertia, we carved our way out of our interpersonal Arctic zone. We got to the root of what we were arguing about (which was not, of course, the ostensible topic on the table), and found a solution. A resolution, an answer, a plan.

Would that I could write a happily-ever-after paragraph here, in which I state that as a result of our resolve this summer, we’ve been living squabble-free ever since. If you’d like to believe that, please stop reading here.

In real life, the Bicker McBickersons still visit us each time Husband returns from a trip, but their bitching doesn’t carry much bite these days. Our resolution this summer shows me that, all bickering aside, everything is going to be all right.

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Continue Reading · on December 28, 2010 in marriage, reverb10

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