Friday, December 23, 2016

Not a happy Christmas

I know I should be happy with Christmas coming. But I'm not. My wife is still in the PMS zone, and it's only aggravated by holiday stress. The kids are whiny and always seem to be on a sugar high. Rude Boy the dog seems to think that the holiday season gives him a license to piss and shit anywhere he likes.

The only cheerful thought I have is that the year will soon be over. This has been a crappy year. 2012 couldn't be worse. Unless the Republicans win the election, that is.

For what it's worth, Merry Christmas.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Thank God for witnesses

I let my niece, a teenager, take my kids to the Natural History Museum on the subway. I figured she's old enough. It freed me up to do some Christmas shopping.

I didn't tell the Wife until the kids were already home. She almost had a stroke. But I told her in a restaurant, in public, and there were plenty of witnesses.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A decision

I need to leave my wife. Soon. But not before Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Just say no

"You're not going to Asia."

That was as far as the discussion went. I tried to explain what the job is about, and had a number of suggestions about how we could manage it. My idea is that I'd go in January, she and the kids would come out for Spring Break, then return in June. They'd stay all summer and for one semester of school. Then we'd all go back home.

She refuses to listen to the options. She just said no, and that if I left, she wouldn't let me move back in with her.

How tempting.

Monday, December 19, 2016


Ok. Not sure how to explain this simply and crisply. I'm in business mode, so I'll try bullet points:

  • The Wife told a neighbor about our holiday plans. She does not like this neighbor. She does not trust this neighbor. In fact, she despises this neighbor. She only did it to show her we can afford a holiday trip overseas.
  • The neighbor, it so happens, has a relative in the city we were thinking of going to. She therefore asked the Wife if she'd take a package.
  • The Wife agrees, although she loathes the idea.
  • The neighbor stops by. I answer the door, knowing nothing. I tell her that the Wife is not home, she went to town and would be back later. I also say that  a small package would be fine.
Sounds harmless. The Wife admitted that it was really stupid to talk about our holiday plans with someone you don't trust or like. Or who you hate. She said that if I had done it, she'd kill me. My reaction? I told her it was a bad idea, but I didn't get mad.

Then I mentioned a detail of my chat with the neighbor: that the Wife had gone to town. 


Why? Because the neighbor is supposed to think that the Wife is gainfully employed, when in fact, she is not. By saying she had gone to town in the afternoon, I created the risk that our evil neighbor might understand this fact.

So it's OK to tell your enemy the details about your travel plans, and agree to carry a package to her relatives across international borders. But it is not OK to make a statement might reveal the truth about your employment status.

I will be sleeping in my daughter's room for the foreseeable future.

Friday, December 16, 2016

The glorious pickle

"My PMS is starting," she said. "I just had to have a pickle." She put the jar to her lips and drank deeply, the same way I tackle a beer after a long week.

My phone says that Crazy Day will start tomorrow, but she's cheerful enough right now.

I wonder what they put in pickle juice?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Crazy day comes early

My phone says that Crazy Day should come on Saturday. That's the one, horrible day where the Wife should be locked up in a padded cell. Usually my phone is accurate, but not this month. I think it came today.

I triggered it yesterday by saying I wished I were a single parent. What I meant was that I wish she'd run off with her boyfriend. Her interpretation: I wished she were dead. It took most of the day to get her to tell me that.

The agony went on all day. I hardly got any work done. I was blamed for that too; when I'm not working for money, I'm supposed to be cleaning the house.

But there was one bright spot in the day. A former colleague in Asia said they needed someone to write a book. A coffee-table kind of book. And they'd be interested in me.

My first thought was, "Wow, a book."

Then, "Wow, Asia!"

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Back to my baby's bed

It's taken me several weeks to get BabyGirl to sleep in her own room. At first, she was outraged that I'd sleep in my own bed. The only way to get her out was to carry her after she fell asleep. Not too effective, except that she got used to waking up in her own bed.

The next step was to lie with her in her bed until she fell asleep. She resisted fiercely until I played Michael Jackson songs, over and over, until she finally crashed.

At long last, she went to bed herself. With my phone, and Michael Jackson, but that was a small price to pay. I'd retrieve it after she fell asleep to read the news.

But today my carefully-crafted world came crashing down. I was banished by the Wife. How did it happen? She started bitching, and I said the magic words—the wrong magic words. Bad, magic words.

"I wish I were a single parent."


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Rude Boy leaves me a gift

I knew what it was instantly, but I looked down anyway. There, meshed between my toes, was a turd. A gift from Rude Boy, the dog, living up to his name.

Rude Boy is a Yorkshire Terrier. Yes, he's super cute. But we've never managed to properly train him. Most of the time, he pisses in the laundry room, which is tiled and therefore easy to clean. But for shitting, he much prefers my daughter's room, which is always a mess.

Usually the turds dry up before we notice them. They almost never smell. Why not take him outside, you ask. Because, I answer, I am an idiot.

The problem is that he lived with the family for more than a month when I was working across country. The Wife does not know how to enforce discipline, either with children or dogs. By the time I came home, it was already too late.

At first I stopped him every time he tried to pinch off a log. I'd grab the terrified pup and take him outside, plastic bag in hand. But instead of learning to shit outside, he learned never to take a dump around me. If I'm around, he clenches and holds it in, inside or out.

Instead, Rude Boy takes stealth dumps when I'm not looking. Once in a while, I find them with my bare feet. I hate it, but it's been over a year now and we're resigned to it. Plus we're all such lazy bastards that I doubt we could be bothered bundling the dog up and taking him outside.

Dogs live for about eight years, I hear. I'm not so sure about Rude Boy's prospects, though.

Monday, December 12, 2016

In praise of drunkedness

I have a drinking problem. It's not that I get wasted every day. I don't even drink every day. But when I do drink, I keep on drinking until the booze runs out or I'm really, really shitfaced. Kind of like a college freshman.

I did this over the weekend. We had the in-laws over, and tensions were high. Not with me, but among all of them. The Wife's sister and her family came over nearly two hours late because they had scheduled massages, even though they knew about the dinner party for some time. Dinner was cold. And the Wife was very, very hot.

I found the situation irritating but only mildly. Luckily, I get along quite well with my brother-in-law, whose wife is a lot like mine. Only more so. In comparison to him, I'm the lucky one. He and I went through the better part of a bottle of whiskey, under cover of cleaning the kitchen.

I wasn't very functional the next day. I didn't have a headache or feel nauseous, but I couldn't think or focus. I spent most of the day doing nothing. I didn't even try to do any writing or editing or tackle household finances or do any domestic chores. Not that I needed to—the kitchen was already sparkling.

That's why I think it's good to get blasted once in a while. It's like pressing the reset button on your life. You take a time-out for a day, do nothing very challenging, and then start afresh on the day after.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Midnight SMS disaster

Just think: everything was fine. The kids were asleep. My week's work was out of the way. And my wife's breasts were particularly appealing, and she didn't scratch my eyes out when I fondled them. Perfect.

And then the SMS came. It was from the Classroom Parent of the other Grade 2 class. An urgent message, referring to an urgent email.

"I got the time of tomorrow's Christmas party wrong," it said. "Please check your e-mails to parents."

Apparently she tried to type "12:30" on a phone and it came out "1:30." My wife had passed this erroneous information on to the parents of our daughter's class.

Being used to fuckups at every level, I cheerfully offered to fix the problem by sending out a correction to the parents. It's not as if many would want to come to the school in the middle of the day for a lame Christmas party with second graders. To me, this was a minor problem that could be fixed in about five minutes.

But the Wife had a different view. This was catastrophic. Her reputation hung by a thread. Someone might think she was stupid. She bitched up a storm about what an idiot the other woman was, and was enraged when I defended her.

"Everyone makes typos," I said. "I've done much worse."

"That's why you're fucking unemployed."

"I'm not unemployed. I'm a consultant now."

"You don't have insurance. You're fucking unemployed."

She refused to send a correction. So I did it secretly. A short, one-liner. No blame assigned, no responsibility assumed, just the straight facts. The goddamned Christmas party is at 12-fucking-30. End of story.

Her anger shifted gears. At about 1:30 AM, she declared her opposition to my helping the second graders with their reading groups, something which takes up about 45 minutes every week, including the commute. I argued, pointlessly. Sometime around 3 AM she fell asleep. I fell asleep at 4:00.

I spent that hour wondering why I don't just get the hell out of here. I've worried about the kids, but my guess is that they'd follow me soon enough.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Merry Christmas, Assholes

Merry Christmas, assholes
Behind every successful man, they say, is a great woman. Or something like that. I don't know who said it or how it goes, but the point is simple: you focus on your career and can count on your spouse for support. Any kind of support. Encouragement. Advice. Housework. Food. A bedtime massage.

These days, the support might go both ways, and could include a same-sex partner. It doesn't matter. What matters is that someone's standing behind you.

This is just a fantasy in my life. Today's events shoved this fact in my face.

I was at the office and was in the groove. Then I get a call from the Wife saying the fridge wasn't working. She was panicking and begged me to come home. So I packed up and left. The problem? The circuit breaker flipped. All she had to do was flick a switch. Because she couldn't figure this out, I lost about three hours of income.

Then things got worse. She had also taken BabyGirl's little Christmas tree and sprayed it with fake snow. A nice seasonal touch, only BabyGirl saw it as damaging her property. This led to a huge shouting match. BabyGirl actually hit her mother in the head with a shoe. The Wife responded by stomping on the tree. They only stopped after I intervened. 

Then the Boy made his contribution. He has a book presentation due soon, and after all his work, he only managed to put together about two minutes. He was supposed to have five. A normal kid would work on the presentation more. His response? To freak out. I tried to advise him on how he could improve and lengthen his presentation, but he couldn't listen and shouted at me. After some time, he calmed down, and was able to get it up to four minutes. But those two extra minutes caused me a lot of time and stress.

It seems that my family isn't capable of functioning without me. This isn't something to be proud of. It's a burden. I can't count on my wife to keep the household running, even though she has no work and plenty of time. I have to hire maids. I have to advise her constantly on what to do as a classroom parent. I even have to ghost write her e-mails. Could she be any more useless?

I'd love to just pack up and disappear, leaving a note behind that just says, Fuck You. And the little dog too.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Obama attacks, finally

I was really, really happy about Obama's speech in Kansas yesterday. It's about time. For months and months, we've been listening to drivel spewed out by the GOP candidates. They've demonstrated an extraordinary lack of depth on international affairs and basic economic principles. And Obama has largely kept silent.

I understand that he wants to operate at a higher level than the GOP candidates, to rise above GOP pettiness. But sometimes, goddammit, you have to get out your lead pipe and crack a few skulls. A lot of people who support the GOP aren't fully aware that they're getting screwed right up the ass. Someone's got to tell them. If not Obama, who? If not now, when?

The Wife has tuned out the political discussion. She was a Perry supporter, which is intellectually incomprehensible, but understandable from an evolutionary point of view (she's attracted to his jawline, I think, something I don't have). But Perry is such a dickhead that he's even lost her support. Now she's wavering, uncertain, partly swayed by my pointy-headed arguments for the Democrats, and partly by Romney's rugged features.

What a fun year we're going to have.