Archives for posts with tag: Relationships

The wife and I talk about babies.

Sometimes, as I try to fall asleep, my mind will spin before letting me drift off. Lately these thoughts bounce towards parenthood. Are we ready? Am I ready? How will a baby change our life? Will the dog like the baby? Will the baby like the dog? Is the school district we’re in any good?

The list is endless. Maybe the questions shouldn’t be answered.

One thing has become clear, as we talk and let our minds drift with the poodle tucked between us, that even though we treat our dog like a child, she is not. We can leave her alone for hours on end. She generally does not wake us in the middle of the night – except to alert us of monsters breaking into the house. She is our responsibility but she doesn’t (entirely) control our lives.

Then again, I’d argue that she has taught us at least one important thing; she has taught us how to talk to each other about another being whom we both love. We talk about her diet and her poops and her mood. We must agree on how to discipline her. We have to have these conversations and occasional disagreements like adults. This can be hard when we have divergent opinions and we’re both right. Eventually we figure it out.

If we’re ready or not, I think the dog will be happy for us to dress up a baby instead of her:


Little does she know, we’ll never stop:


She’s so cute when she’s mad!


Weather like this can be a hidden blessing. After inching through Elizabeth Strout’s first novel for weeks I finally ate the last hundred pages:


For years I avoided Elizabeth Strout’s work. First passively, I had a long list of things to read after all. I’m busy reader when I want to be. Then, steadily over time, my avoidance became a bit more purposeful. Who cares about the upper Northeast? Why would I read a novel about such a place? Such people? Excuses, excuses.

Really though I was worried about disagreeing with my wife. Now don’t get me wrong. We disagree on normal topics just fine. What toppings belong on a hamburger? What TV show we should watch? Is it important to empty your pockets before putting your jeans in the wash? But something felt different about the possibility of disliking a book.

The book is a nerd’s heart. The author, our hero. I didn’t want to disagree with her hero. I should have known though, she was right. Strout’s simple prose is near perfect: “How unpleasant can it be?” Amy asked unpleasantly.

She kills me!

Moral of the story: Read this book, or this one. You won’t regret a single sentence of Elizabeth Strout’s work.

Also, always trust your wife.


Most of the conversation around Blue is the Warmest Color has revolved around the sex. And yes, there are three very explicit sex scenes. Scenes that, personally, I would rather not watch with a theater full of people. At the end of one such extended scene, a gay fella sitting in our row said “oh thank god that’s over.” But maybe that’s just me and puritanical friend.

Beyond the sensational sex scenes, the movie is pretty damn good. It is the portrait of a relationship, one that spans some awkward times. High school and college and first jobs. Young professional life. Our dear protagonists must find their footing in the world and with each other. Largely the emotions feel true – which gets big points in my book – and the acting is suburb (despite the fact that sweet Adele can’t remember to use a napkin when she eats):


With all the buzz around this movie, I hadn’t heard (or blocked out the fact) that it is three hours long. THREE! Like The Godfather and Schindler’s List and Titanic. THREE! I thought we were past that fad. I was more than a little wary of that benchmark but you shouldn’t be. I’m sure this movie will pop up at the Oscars so you might as well check it off your list.

The girlfriend and I made a list of the thing we wanted to do before fall arrives and our carefree days disappear. A Twins baseball game easily made the top of the list and today was perfect. Eighty degrees. A light breeze. Sunshine. Cheap seats. Yes, please.

Because we don’t know much about baseball (or sports in general), we like to pick a specific player to root for. Usually someone near our seats. We pay attention to his at bats. We watch him on the field. It might seem silly but it’s fun. Today we chose number 11, Ben Revere:

Look at that beautiful swing.

The first time the girlfriend and I chose a player together, we had a mutual hallucination. The day was as idyllic as today. The beer just as tasty. As the players warmed we looked around, weighed our choices on entirely frivolous grounds, and landed – separately – on number 22. “Great,” we said, “Now, what’s his name.” We looked at the program, then the scoreboard, then the internet. There was no 22. There had never been a number 22. We could find no reason why we both saw this mystical, hallucinatory number. Instead of panicking that our psychotic breaks had finally come, we rose our glasses.

If we’re going crazy at least we’re going crazy together.

We drove nine hours from Minneapolis to central Illinois yesterday so I could finally meet the parents. That crucial relationship test/milestone/potential deal-breaker. I wasn’t nervous until we were 15 minutes away and the sky let loose the most intense thunderstorm. Rain so dense we could barely see the road. The first storm here in two and a half months. Good sign? Bad sign?

In the end it was fine. Her parents are lovely people. The town is so goddamn cute I’m already planning a utopian artists colony here.

AND we found some of the girlfriend’s old school work:


(In case you can’t read it, it says “vivid readers” instead of “avid readers”.)
My heart swells with the sweetness of that line. What a great world where a kid can believe people who like to read are the people who have the most vivid imaginations.

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