Monday, April 30, 2012

Grocery adventures

I've been having bad luck at the check out counter lately. Take last night: I went with my wife and my infant son to one of those specialty grocery stores, where most of the food is organic or vegan and all the employees are perky-bordering-on-creepy. And it had a crapload of wine. Here is what happened to me at the checkout counter, and keep in mind that my wife doesn't drink.

Checker: “Did you folks notice that we're having a sale on wine today?”

Me: “Oh, we better not.” (pointing at my wife) “My wife here just got sober. How many days is it now, dear? Show him the little A.A. coins you got in rehab.”

I thought I was being hilarious, but Wifey was not impressed. This is frequently the case.

My next mishap happened when I was at Walmart (forgive me for my sins). My wife refuses to go to Walmart, partially because of moralistic reasons but mostly because she gets claustrophobic and panicky at the hordes and hordes of people pushing and shoving trying to save money. Also, at our Walmart low prices seem to come in exchange for any type of customer service.

So I was at Walmart with my son sitting in the cart. I was loading my groceries onto the conveyor belt, which left my kid sitting undefended in the cart while the creepy people behind me in line snuck up on him. When I turned around two middle-aged women and their two infectious daughters had their hands all over my son, touching his feet, hands and face.

“He's so cute!” they all said.

“Stop touching him!” I yelped.

Women, daughters and cashier all looked at me like I was the biggest jerk in Walmart history.

“Do you even have clean hands? Are you current on your shots? I mean, you can't just walk up to someone and start touching them, even if they are a baby! When has that ever been OK? What if I just walked up and started touching your daughter's face?”

Needless to say, after I paid for my groceries I beat a hasty retreat. I told my wife about it and she said it reminded her of when she was pregnant and she got all sorts of unsolicited belly touching, so Junior should be used to it by now. Something about pregnancy and babies makes people forget normal human boundaries.

So for now I'm avoiding grocery stores. I think I'll start ordering groceries online, or maybe pay a neighbor kid to go for me.

Anyone else had a similar experience? Each time you leave a comment, a puppy's life is saved.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Beard makes brief appearance, knows when it's not welcome, leaves

I've had a long and complicated history with beards. I am constantly shaving and then growing beards. Recently I tried to grow another one and my wife was very supportive. The Beard and my wife tried to work it out, they really did, especially my wife. They tried to make it work for my sake, but after a few weeks it became clear that it would only end in tears.

“It's like kissing a toothbrush,” she said kindly.

I had to admit that didn't sound pleasant.

“It's like your whole face is covered in toothbrush bristles and my face has tartar on it and you're trying to scrub it all off. Only I don't have tartar on my face and you're just slowly scraping away all my skin and tissue until one day I'm going to be just a fleshless skull staring back at you with hollow eye sockets, asking, 'Why?'”

OK, my wife didn't say all that, but I could tell the Beard wasn't her favorite. I researched the issue on the trusty internet and found that if you put “beard conditioner” on your beard it is supposed to make your beard softer and more kissable. I set out on a journey to find it and instead found that there is a huge disparity in the availability of grooming products for men and women. I would ask for beard conditioner and store employees would look at me like I asked for winged high-top zebra skin tap dancing shoes and say, “What's that?”

I went online, but beard conditioner costs a fortune and only comes in weird hippie scents. I tried putting regular hair conditioner on my beard and that was what we call a “limited success” aka “failure.”

So I was thinking seriously about shaving when I saw one of my co-workers and we had an awkward beard moment. This co-worker is on the road all the time so we hadn't seen each other in several weeks.

“Whoa,” she said, “Nice... facial growth.”

Which made it sound like I had a giant, hairy mole or a tumor on my face, but a nice one, thankfully.

So with that, plus my wife disliking the beard, I shaved. I ran into the same co-worker again and she said, “Hey, where'd your beard go?”

“Well, my beard and my wife weren't getting along,” I said. “One of them had to go, and I chose my wife.”

“You got rid of your wife?”

“No, I chose my wife to keep, I got rid of the beard.”

Oh. Probably a good choice.”

Anyone know any good brands of beard conditioner? Or have any beard tips? According to Science, people who leave comments report 37% greater life satisfaction than people who don't, so please leave a comment.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Baby swapping and other terrible ideas

Some friends of ours offered to watch Junior on Friday night, on the condition that we watch their baby on Saturday night. It sounded like a good idea at first.

He is ten months old and until now we've only had family watch him, even then it's only been to go to work or the dentist. We haven't been on an actual “date” since he was born, mostly because my wife is super selective about who can watch him.

Do you know how many perverts there are out there?” she told me. “Don't you watch the news? The world is crawling with perverts. Do you want some pervert watching our son?”

I had to admit I didn't. But that was several months ago and I guess we'd known these people long enough. That, and my wife invited them over for dinner and then clandestinely took their fingerprints off their water glasses after they left. Once the FBI NCIC background was complete, the date was set.

We dropped Junior off and it felt really weird at first. We sat in our car for over an hour asking each other, “What did we used to do before he was born?” Neither of us could remember. We ended up eating dinner at a place we couldn't afford and putting it on the credit card because it was such a momentous occasion. We tried to think of things to talk about besides our baby, but we couldn't remember how. It was very awkward –not unlike a first date– but it was very nice.

And then came Saturday where we had to watch their baby, a six-month-old little girl I nicknamed “Lungs” pretty early on. Junior was pretty concerned to see us holding and caring for another baby.

That's right,” I told him. “If you don't behave we're going to trade you in and get a new baby.”

That kept him in line for a while. I don't think we're going to do the baby swap again anytime soon because Lungs screamed for three hours straight, and I don't think it's worth it. Next time we'll just pay a babysitter.

The Lungs ordeal made us appreciate Junior more, so I think we'll wait awhile before we trade him in.

Has anyone else had problems relating to your spouse post-baby? Or had babysitting disasters? Leave a comment, it's good for the environment.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Just beTWIX you and me...

I haven't blogged in the last two weeks because I've been having computer problems and also lazy problems. But anyway, I'm back to do some more of what I'm best at: complaining and then transitioning randomly –and not particularly skillfully– into a weird story.

We finally paid off all the medical bills associated with having a baby, but now we've been noticing that a huge chunk of our money is still going to another baby-related expense: keeping his tiny butt clean.

Disposable diapers are enough to put a couple in the poorhouse. It breaks down like this:

We considered doing cloth diapers but ultimately I decided I would rather work three jobs, donate plasma twice a week and do sketchy drug trials before I touched a poopy cloth diaper or used plastic pants.

So my parents got me a Costco membership for my birthday and it's been a lifesaver and saved us tons of money. We have to buy tons of diapers, and at Costco the only way to buy stuff is in units of tons, so it works out.

The only problem is they also sell other things by the ton at Costco, like Twix candy bars.

“Are you sure we should buy a ton of Twix?” my wife asked. “You know how you are with sugar. Plus, I don't think it will fit in our car.”

“I'll tie it to the roof,” I said. “And I'll be fine. I can control myself.”

It was the equivalent of a hardcore alcoholic bringing home a distillery. Later that night my wife –awoken by the sound of gnawing– came out and found me elbow deep in a package of Twix, smeared with chocolate and with piles of golden wrappers scattered all around me.

Costco is a cruel mistress.

Anyone have money-saving baby advice? Please leave a comment, it's fun!