Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know." - Groucho Marx, Animal Crackers


The New Boy on Valentine's Day, weeping into his bear after he was stood up by the toddler next door.

The Mrs. has no illusions of the way I am. None. Consequently, she’s found that the best way to be happy in our relationship is to have no expectations of me.

I think it started when we were dating. I would show up at her place, and demand that she go and kill a goose just to make a nice pâté for me out of its liver. I would then yell that I hated pâté, ask why she made it, and storm out in a rage.

Oh, wait, that was just a movie I saw once.

Actually, I try to avoid overt hostility – my general rule is that I need to be more polite to The Mrs. than a random person, since The Mrs. will hit me if I’m not. So, it’s not that. I just have HADD. That’s Husband Attention Deficit Disorder. It’s not unusual to have HADD, mainly I think it just means you’re a guy.

What are some symptoms of HADD?
  • Going to the store for milk for The Boy and coming home with beer for me and no milk.
  • Forgetting to take out the trash after being asked six times.
  • Forgetting to change The New Boy for a day or so (those diapers only hold a few pounds!) after promising to do so within then next few minutes.
  • Neglecting to bring enough wood up to the house to heat a Pop-Tart™ and putting that as the first task of the new day for a freezing The Mrs.
  • Leaving a trail of socks on the front room floor like Hansel and Gretel left bread crumbs in the forest.
So, as a HADD sufferer, The Mrs. has to make concessions. First on the list is expecting that I’ll remember things like St. Valentine’s Day, or that I left the children alone at the supermarket. Don’t sneer, it’s not like that hasn’t happened to you. Besides, they found their way home after a day or two.

The Mrs. feels that HADD is a wiring problem. Women have this great big Hubble Space Telescope to detect how others are feeling. They even seem to care. Don’t ask me why. She says that men, by comparison, have squinty glasses that are the wrong prescription to detect how others are feeling.

I did, however, remember this St. Valentine’s Day. I actually remembered a day or two before, after being reminded a dozen or so times by people who understand I’m afflicted with HADD. I did something very out of character for me – I went shopping the day before.

Now, I didn’t buy the flowers the day before. I live in Alaska, where am I going to put them so they aren’t flowersicles? No, day-of purchasing of the last batch of wilting roses on the shelf is the way to go. I also figured that there would be at least one card left in the supermarket, so, even if it were written in Russian and had a picture of a goat on it, I could pretend that specific card expressed exactly what I felt.

No, I got smart.

I bought The Mrs. pajamas.

See, after being married to The Mrs. for nigh on a decade, I finally got a clue. It happened one night in the kitchen. I brought the mail home from the post office, and in it was a catalog from Cabela’s. Cabela’s is the Armani of Alaska, the Dior of Denali, and the Prada of Prudhoe Bay all rolled into one. When The Mrs. and I were fighting over the catalog, it finally hit me.

I

FINALLY

GOT

A

CLUE

The Mrs. didn’t like frilly, lacy, sheer things. She liked lined jeans and sweat pants and t-shirts that are a size or two too big. Makeup? I think she wore some for her high school senior picture. Dresses? Well, to church. The last great clothing find she bought was a pair of flannel lined jeans and some Sorel boots.

So, I could purchase every single one of Victoria’s Secrets (does the NSA know what that secret is???) but still not get The Mrs. what she was looking for.

Which was: a flannel set of pajamas. That was it. A decade of searching, and it was flannel jammies. I think she enjoyed those as well as any St. Valentine’s Day present she’s gotten.

If I can conquer HADD, so can . . . what was I saying?

11 Comments:

Blogger Wild*Hen said...

Your a man after my own heart!

I must also tell you a little secret I just discovered...fuzzy chenile socks. Just the right amounts of sexy, and warmth. Next time you need a good gift idea, there you go. No need to thank me!

4:13 AM  
Blogger Lois Laine said...

I too got a very comfy set of pjs for the big V-day! One of the best gifts I've every gotten. True, they were still from Victoria's, but from the back of the store, where all the comfy cotton is. Yes, there really is comfy cotton at Vicky's, you just have to get past the spandex and lace.

The entire V-day package from my boyfriend included a trip to downtown Chicago, a stay at a very fancy hotel, dinner at a great Italian place (with the best Godiva chocolate mousse cake I've ever dreamed of), great seats at a very entertaining musical, drinks and dancing at the hotel's piano bar, and a totally awesome room service omelet the next morning.

But as unforgettable as the trip was, the pajamas are still my favorite part.

Oh, and I have a pair of those chenille socks. They go great with my new pjs.

5:35 AM  
Anonymous Penny Pressed said...

I dare any woman to tell me she'd rather have sexy lingerie than a set of really good pj's. Seriously. They're up there with chocolate in my book, and they last longer. Congrats on having a clue--I knew you had it in you!

7:16 AM  
Blogger Lady Luck said...

I am so glad you just invented HADD. I now know what to call it! That is great!

9:42 AM  
Blogger Dame Koldfoot said...

Now you need to start a HADD 12 step support group. I'll be the first to sign my hubby up!

Coldie took me (and the kids) out to dinner at a local eatery. Since the kid's meals were free on Tuesdays, does that mean they were never really with us and we had a "real" date?

4:26 PM  
Blogger John said...

lungfung,
See, now all this time I thought "chenile" was an adult film star name. Now I must assume it's some sort of polycarbon compound. I'll run it past The Mrs.

lois laine,
See, my dream was to marry The Mrs. on Valentine's Day. Which, if all were good, would have been her birthday, and the anniversary of our first date. So, one present, one day, zip, I'm done.

No, it had to be complicated. Now, all of those days are different ones.

My best move, though - getting married in Vegas while hungover on a Sunday. Doesn't set up unrealistic expectations, like getting married on top of a 14,000' mountain in the Rockies by a minister being suspended by a hot air ballon. How would I top that??

penny,
Thanks - it only took 3300 days or so. Imagine what I'll learn in the next 3300 days. Perhaps her favorite color. Which, I assume now, is "visable light spectrum".

lady luck,
Oh, I invented HADD alright . . . my photo is right next to it.

dame koldfoot,
Step 1. Admit that you have HADD
Step 2. Admit you cannot solve HADD
Step 3. I forget. Go back to step 1.

As far as the real date goes, I'm thinking that as a member of SMA (Secret Male Alliance) that, yes it counts. If you disagree, drop the young 'uns by our place most any time, and take koldfoot out. Won't work on Fridays, I know . . .

8:25 PM  
Blogger Duck Hunter said...

My wife got a part to fix the stove on V-day. Maybe I too have HADD.

(I'm serious. I gave her a part to fix the stove...I still haven't installed it)

5:10 AM  
Blogger HP said...

Other items she's probably love...
any fleece item from LL Bean (far from Alaska, but still good)

Rag wool socks from Eddie Bauer
(not a hard core favorite, but ok for my Cleveland winters)

fleece jammy pants, an awesome combo of jammy and fleece!

Good luck with the rest of 2006: Mrs' Birthday, Christmas

I can even remind you if you need me to....

4:16 PM  
Blogger Woofwoof said...

Bad bad idea. Now you've raised her expectations. You should have given a 4-gallon jug of liquid laundry detergent. If she asks, just say that you want to be "practical" this year. And duck.

6:35 AM  
Blogger John said...

duck,
You are now officially my hero, especially for not installing it yet.

hp,
Thanks for the list - it's like I've discovered this whole new world, where shopping for The Mrs. is no longer an impenetrable mystery, like searching for Dick Cheney's sense of humor.

woof,
Four gallons? I'd better start with the one, so I don't spoil her . . . !

10:02 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

John,
I found your blog through our mutual friend Heather. You are an outstanding writer and I love following your tomes. I think you have a great sense of humor. Are you getting this stuff published? You should. I noticed you've stopped by my place and I really appreciate it. Keep up the great work. The wife and I hope to visit AK someday. I have been there, but only brief stops in Kodiak and Dutch Harbor.

10:35 AM  

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