Sunday: Ken is weirder than me and I can prove it
I realize that I have my own quirks. I’m sure I do, even though I’ve sat here for several minutes trying to think about what they might be. OK, here’s one—I might be a tad “obsessive”. Two weeks ago, I lost the back of an earring in my bathroom. I looked all over for it and couldn’t find it. It wouldn’t have made much difference except that it was a rather expensive, sterling silver earring back, specially designed to screw onto the earring post instead of just slide onto it. The last time one of them fell off, I stepped on it and crushed it. When I went to the jewelry store for a replacement, the woman asked if I wanted white gold or sterling, and that there was a price difference between the two. I asked how much the gold one might be, and was shocked—Ken and I could have gone to the Keg for that price. So I went with the silver, which cost the equivalent of Swiss Chalet for a family of four. Needless to say, when I heard the earring back drop onto the floor, I had a moment of panic. Which only increased as it became obvious that it had disappeared into some vortex of hopelessness under my bathroom vanity. I got down on my hands and knees, but I have sensitive knees and the wooden floor is hard, so I ended up lying prone, sweeping my arm back and forth under the vanity, hoping that I could feel it. Nope. Then I systematically moved all the furniture in the room and swept underneath everything. Nope. Ken got a flashlight, and looked into the far reaches of the baseboards. Nope. I got my hair dryer and blew it underneath the vanity. All I got for my efforts was dust bunnies. I went back to Toronto that week, very put out, and creating plans in my mind for how to best find the earring back. OK, I realize that this is probably the most “first world” problem that I could possibly have, but imagine if, instead of me, a government employee, and the missing object, an earring back, I was a farmer, and the object was my goat. No one would think twice if I was obsessing over the fact that my goat had mysteriously disappeared from a small, locked room. But I had a clever plan that would surely turn up my goat. When I came home last weekend, I got the vacuum cleaner out, and put the toe of a pair of panty hose on the end of the nozzle. I only have one pair of panty hose, having refused to wear them for the last 18 years on the grounds that they make my legs twitchy, which is maybe like another quirk. These nylons were from a Hallowe’en costume that I’d worn for my birthday party, and they were all glittery. I’d put them on and within 5 minutes, I was regretting having skin. At the end of the party, I may or may not have torn them off, wadded them into a ball, and flung them into the far reaches of the closet, screaming “F*cking panty hose! I hate you! I hope you die!” Anyway, Ken also thought my plan was pretty good, and watched supportively while I sucked up more lint with my clever contraption. Finally, I went to clean the nozzle. “Eureka!” I yelled, my heart soaring as I saw something silver in with all the hair and dust. Ken said, “Did you find your earring back?” “Well,” I answered, heart sinking again, “I found AN earring back. This one looks like it’s been under there for about 20 years.” I have as yet been unable to locate my goat, and Ken is now convinced that it must have fallen down the hole around the sink pipe. Now though, every time I go into the bathroom, I look around in hope. Hope which is immediately dashed as I realize that my goat/earring back is gone forever.
Anyway, back to Ken. I may be obsessive about things, but Ken is weirder than me. This simple trip to the grocery store is my proof.
1) On Sunday after lunch, we decided to get groceries. As we were leaving, he turned the outside lights on. “How long do you think we’re going to be gone for?!” I asked. He claimed it was just force of habit, but I worried that it would attract burglars. “Oh look,” the burglars will say. “Their outdoor lights are on. They must be away from home for a LONG time. Let’s go steal their stuff.” When I told Ken that, he scoffed and said that Titus would scare off any burglars. Titus just laughed and said, “Hey man—this tail wags ITSELF.” And while I have no idea what that means, I now know why our electric bill is so high. (As a side note, while I was writing this, someone came to the door, and Titus barked like crazy then sat in front of me protectively while I talked to the person, so maybe I’m wrong about the whole burglary thing. And I’m baking him special cookies today as a thank you.)
2) As I got into the SUV, I looked back at the house and realized that there was a large, plastic bag on the roof of the porch. “Hey, Ken,” I said. “There’s a large, plastic bag on the roof of the porch. How the hell did it get up there?”
Ken: It was probably the wind.
Me: What? There’s no way the wind could have blown it up there. Do you know anything about this?
Me: What did you do? What’s in the bag?
Ken: Dog poo.
Me: Why in the name of God is there a large bag of dog poo on the porch roof?!
Ken: Well, I was scooping up Titus’s poo in the yard, and I thought I’d try throwing the bag into the garbage can from over by the fire pit. I aimed a little high, I guess.
Me: When was this?
Me: Why the f*ck is it still up there?!
Ken: The ladder’s all snowy. I was waiting for the weather to get warmer. Don’t worry—it’s not going anywhere.
Me: I can’t even. Get it off there today.
3) Then, as we were on our way to the grocery store, Ken insisted on taking his fancy shortcut, which is intersected by the train yard. Every single time we go that way, we get stopped by the slowest f*cking train in the universe. Sometimes they even just stop on the tracks. I’ve asked Ken why he always wants to take that route, and he claims that it’s “usually faster”, which is what I call “a lie”. If I had a dollar for every time we had to turn around and go a different way, I’d have enough money to buy another earring back.
4) Then we got to the grocery store. Instead of going to the normal, human cashier, Ken always wants to use “self-check-out”. Self-check-out is the single most inefficient thing ever invented, even worse than a salad spinner (because the lettuce is NEVER DRY ENOUGH). We have never once been through the self-check-out where we haven’t had to “call for an attendant” because I didn’t put the item in the bag properly, or the scanner can’t read the bar code, or God forbid, we have a coupon. As usual, this trip was no different because Ken tried to rearrange the items in the old, reusable bags that he makes us use because it’s “better for the environment”, and it freaked the machine out. Then we had to wait for a human cashier to come and reset the scanner. Seriously, let’s cut out the middleman and just use the human. The worst part about the self-check-out is at the end, where the machine has the nerve to say, “Please indicate how many bags you wish to purchase.” I don’t WISH to purchase ANY bags, frankly. But Ken won’t let me lie and say “Zero”, even though I tell him it’s semantics, and that if the machine would simply say, “How many bags are you using?” I wouldn’t have a problem with it. Nah, I still would.
5) We were finally on our way home. Ken decided to take the highway. It’s literally one kilometre (which is like .6 of a mile), but when I looked over, I realized he had the cruise control on. For ONE KILOMETRE. I said, “Really? You can’t keep your foot on the accelerator for two minutes?” But Ken is convinced that cruise control is better for the vehicle—less wear and tear on the engine. This is one of his many “theories about cars” that make me give my head a shake. Like, you can’t have the windows down if you have the air conditioning on. I’m like “Why? It’s not like we’re paying for the air conditioning, and I like the combination of cold air on my feet and warm air on my shoulders.” But Ken insists that it puts “strain on the engine”. I think he’s just making it up, and sometimes just to bug him, I’ll put down the window when he has the air conditioning on. Then, when he turns the air off, I put the window back up. Then he puts the air back on, and I put the window down again. Then…well, you get the idea. I’m fun and annoying all rolled into one little package.
6) I can mock all I want, but Ken’s best quirk is when we finally get home, and it’s really cold, and he says, “You go on ahead and open the door, and I’ll bring the groceries in.” Because he might have some strange affectations, but he’s the greatest husband ever. He does all the heavy lifting, in more ways than one, puts up with my earring back obsessions, and he never complains when I write about him. Of course, he hasn’t read this yet…
Thursday: K gets a light sabre.
I called K’s cell on Thursday night, and she answered on speakerphone:
Me: Where’s your dad?
K (distracted): What? I don’t know…
Me: What are you doing right now? What are those noises?
K: It’s my new, awesome light sabre.
Me: Please. Tell me all about your “new, awesome light sabre”.
K: It’s airplane grade aluminum, polycarbon blades, and LED lights.
Me: How much did it cost?
K: __________ dollars.
Me: What?!! Are you joking?!
K: It’s totally worth it.
Me: Holy sh*t. If you can afford to spend that kind of money on a light sabre, I’d better be getting a really amazing Mother’s Day present.
K: Yeah, for Mother’s Day, I’ll let you touch my light sabre.
Me: Honey, I changed your diaper for two years. Your “light sabre” and I are no strangers.
K: Oh my god, Mom! My light sabre is NOT a euphemism.
Me: No, but it would be a great pick-up line: “Hey baby—want to come back to my place and see my light sabre…”
K: Mom, stop! That’s—oh sh*t, I just hit the dog with it.
Me: Well, as long as you don’t cut off his paw and tell him that you’re his father.
Titus (in background): K’s my father?! Best day ever!!!
Me: Sigh. Tell your dad I called.
I came home last night, and K showed me the light sabre. She wasn’t lying. It is pretty awesome, but I needed to get one thing cleared up:
Me: Why doesn’t it retract?
K: Because it’s not actually a REAL light sabre. Obviously.
Me: So long as we all understand that, I’m good. Use the force, Luke. Find my earring back.