Friday, January 20, 2012

Advice from a Stranger

I was sitting in the Sacramento airport in the A-terminal bar last week, having a bit of lunch while waiting for my flight home. You know, and maybe a beers. Hard to say for sure. Well, a feller sits down next to me and begins to talk to me.

Now, as you all know, I'm not a very friendly person. It's not that I don't like people. I'm just absolutely terrible at chit chat. I watch a little football, but I don't memorize any of the games. Other than that, I don't really follow sports. I follow politics, but I don't make chit chat about it with strangers (or, for that matter, with fambly anymore given how much of my fambly is raging leftists or, at the very least, buys into the popularly-held misconception that liberals are smarter than conservatives, or that conservatism is just thinly veiled racism, or both). While I am an astute follower of the weather, one runs out of weather observations rather rapidly. So mainly I smile and nod and pay close attention to see not so much if I can learn about the subject being discussed as I can learn about how to make idle chit chat without feeling like it's completely forced.

At this I am a failure.

But after a beers or two, I can nod and smile very convincingly, and I can inject wry little witticisms into the conversation for color. Like this:
"That's great. And I thought the best thing that could happen today was that .223 ammo went on sale at Cabela's, and if you order $99 or more of anything and enter the promo code "12FREE" on the checkout page, you get free shipping this weekend only. And you know how expensive it is to ship ammo. That stuff weighs a ton. It's like they filled the box half up with lead or something."
See that - useful information followed up immediately with sarcasm. It's like I have a gift, just not for chit chat.

(I'm required to tell you that Cabela's has not paid me any fee or consideration for promoting their sale. I just finished ordering some ammo moments ago, after Slushee text messaged me about the sale, so it was on my mind.)

Well, we're chatting some of the standard airport-bar chatter about whether you're going home or leaving home, and whether you're actually from the place you're going to or coming from. Blah blah blah. Then, out of the blue:
Guy at Bar: "So, how long have you been married?"

Me, CherkyB: "Wait! Don't tell me! I know this one! Uhhh..."

Bartender: "You damn well better know this one if you expect to stay married."
See, the thing is that I, CherkyB, am a man. Therefore, I remember things the way a man remembers things - I remember when they happened. I don't remember how long it has been since it happened. Somebody says to you, "How long has it been since the Declaration of Independence?" You go, "Hmmm...July 4th, 1776. It's January 2012. 235 and a half years." You don't just know that's how long it has been. And believe you me, the signing of the Declaration of Independence is a hell of a lot more momentous an occasion than any particular person's wedding - yes even more important than Princess Di's.

So, I'm doing math in my head. While taking shit from a bartender. Who I guarantee doesn't know how long he's been married, he's just making chit chat.
Me, CherkyB: "Oh, a little over 15 years."

Guy at Bar: "I made it 18 in mine. Lemme tell you something."

Me, CherkyB: "What's that?"

Guy at Bar: "Divorce. You should try it. It's like the best thing in the world."

Me, CherkyB: "Hmm."

Guy at Bar: "Yeah. I thought it was going to be horrible. But it turns out to be fantastic. Fan-f*^king-tastic. You really should try it. If you don't like it, you can always get married again."

Me, CherkyB: "Well...I'm not really thinking about getting divorced at the moment."
At which point I may have added, "because my darling wife is the best thing that ever happened to me, and we love each other more every day, and she's one of the last people who avidly reads everything I write in my blog," or, "I have kids."

One of those.
Guy at Bar: "Let me tell you - I was telling my girlfriend how I wanted to quit my job and start my own business, and the next day she had deposited $10,000 into my account to help pay for startup costs. And look at this:"
At which point he starts digging in his wallet and tossing credit cards onto the bar.
Guy at Bar: "This credit card is hers. This is hers. This one is hers. She pays for everything. You should seriously try divorce."

Me, CherkyB: "Well, I'm glad it's working out for you, but I can't imagine being without my dear, beautiful wife who hangs on every word I write on my blog so that she can discuss it with me and/or her mother as though it was some sort of literary masterpiece."

Guy at Bar: "Yeah. OK. I'm just saying. Hey, have you seen this online game? It's like a war strategy game where you have armies and have to equip them and fight battles against other players? It's the best. You've got to try it."
I bring out the best in people. It's my gift.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

CherkyB, Father of the Year

Yes, it's a fresh new year, and this gives us the opportunity to grab the much-coveted Father of the Year trophy, even if just for a brief moment.

You see, yesterday for whatever reason, The Mrs. decided she would clean out her closet of all the "old clothes" that she "never wears anymore".

All you married people, of course, know that that is code for something that cannot ever be mentioned, not even in a whisper. But the fashion industry exists in large part to create a built-in reason to get rid of old clothes - they're "out of fashion" - so that marriage can exist happily without anyone ever having to mention the unmentionable.

She spent hours up there yesterday, and she even vacuumed the walk-in. When I went up there last night, she had wiped out about 90% of her clothes. It was vast expanses of empty hangers and space the likes of which we haven't seen since the moving van arrived the day after we got here.

Well, my darling Childrens spent most of that time sitting in the fambly room with me watching the last 6 episodes of Top Shot off the DVR (that we've been saving up for a special occasion) and waiting for the New Year, so they didn't really know the fury that was ongoing upstairs. Fast forward to this morning, where I am blissfully asleep in my nice warm bed when all of a sudden:
The Mrs.: [poke poke poke] "Hey, I'm going to see the king."

Me, CherkyB: [startled awake] "Huh? What? What king?"

The Mrs.: [speaking very slowly, as if to an idiot - which I hesitate to even write here, as this has actually been her normal way of communicating to me since she had childrens and decided I was largely superfluous, though she hasn't figured out how to replace my income yet and is thus filled with resentment] "Iiiiii'mmmmm goooooiiiiiinnnnggg sssshhhhhoooooppppppiiiiinnnnngggg. Alone."

Me, CherkyB: [rolling over to go back to sleep] "Great."

The Mrs.: "There's pizza in the garage fridge that needs to be eaten."

Me, CherkyB: "Bye bye."
Later, I got up. I was in the kitchen making my coffee, which is much easier now that we have a Cuisinart machine that does single-serving K-cups. MaxieC asked me where Momma was, and I said, "She moved out." He laughed and went back to watching TV.

A few minutes later, after some consideration, this happened:
HannahC: "Really, Daddy, where is Momma, and when is she coming back?"

Me, CherkyB: "I told you, she moved out. She's not coming back."

HannahC: "Oh, come on."

Me, CherkyB: "Yeah. She packed up all her stuff and left. She even packed up all her clothes. Have you seen her closet?"

[HannahC runs upstairs...checks closet]

HannahC: "Daddy! What's going on? Did Momma actually leave?"

Me, CherkyB: "No. She packed up all her old clothes to give to the Goodwill, and now she's gone out to buy all new clothes."

HannahC: "Daddy!!! You're a jerk!!!"
Then she burst into tears and ran into her room. I haven't seen her since.

Maybe she moved out.