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The Lesson Matt Had To Learn

Awhile back, I had a comment that addressed the fact that Matt had tossed a credit card at me on his way out the door. The commenter was surprised that I didn’t have my own credit card. I actually do have my own, it was more of a symbolic credit card toss- sort of like throwing in the towel or waving the white flag. But it did make me reflect on marriage and money and the perceptions of a stay home mom.

Back when I worked full time, I had my own paycheck coming into the house every month. We only had one joint checking and savings account. We spent money liberally without checking with each other, we both knew that there was plenty of money in the account to cover our purchases. We didn’t fight about money, we didn’t have his and hers accounts. It was our money. When I decided to become a stay home mom, things changed. All of a sudden, our income was cut significantly. It became imperative to make and stick to a budget. Let’s just say, that’s not my strong point. Matt is the anal retentive, Excel spreadsheet using, budget maker. It took a lot of trials and tribulations to get to the point we are at now with our finances. And by trials and tribulations- what I really mean is fighting, screeching, yelling, hair pulling, and no sex having. I don’t do change very well. One of the biggest issues for me was feeling like I had to ask for money, or ask for permission to buy something. I am not a 10 year old. I am his wife, not his child. My inner diva, Buffy, just wouldn’t allow me to roll over and let Matt control the money and dictate my spending. Have you ever seen a grown woman bitch slap herself? It’s not pretty. For about a year after I left my job I let the resentment grow and build up. It was just festering under the surface waiting to blow. One day- BOOM. Mount Buffy’s-a-Bitch blew and the resentment overflowed like hot, molten lava. Poor Matt was right in the path with no escape. We had the mother of all fights. We have had relatively few real fights in our almost 13 years of marriage. We learned a long time ago that picking our battles is a lot more preferable than fighting over every single thing. We formed a somewhat tentative peace treaty after the big explosion. But I still felt like I had to ask for permission to buy things and to make it worse, Matt and I had very different ideas of a want vs a need. Yet we continued to live in relative harmony, occasionally arguing about money and bills that I forgot to pay on time. We went on this way for a couple of years. Then it happened.

The Incident.

It started out as a seemingly normal morning. Until I mentioned that I had found this great little dress for an upcoming wedding we were attending. It was ridiculously expensive, even on sale, but I loved it. I had planned to go back to buy it later that day. Matt said no. Oh yes he did. He actually forbid me to buy the dress. Forbid me. I know, I couldn’t believe it either. It was time for drastic measures. I did what any self respecting Southern woman would do. I called my mama. She gave me some sage advice that made me spring into action. The following days in the Semi-Domesticated House were part of a lesson that Matt just had to learn. It had to be done. No way around it. You know all those little things that women do to make life easier for their husbands? All the thankless little jobs that he doesn’t really notice? I stopped doing them. Then I watched with glee as he wandered around confused for days. Poor thing. It was as if someone moved his food dish.

I did the laundry, minus his clothes. I didn’t match up his suits, shirts and ties for him when I put away the laundry because they were all still dirty. I didn’t take his suits to the dry cleaners or pick up the already cleaned ones. I didn’t cook dinner. I didn’t make him up a separate container of leftovers to take for lunch the next day. I didn’t pick up all the toys lying around the house before he got home. I didn’t have the kids fed, bathed, changed and ready for bed when he came home. I didn’t check the voice mail and write down his messages for him. I didn’t remind him to sign his mother’s birthday card because I didn’t buy one like I normally do. I didn’t replace the toilet paper when it ran out in his preferred bathroom. I didn’t run interference when the neighbor asked for Matt’s help moving that weekend. I didn’t set the DVR to record his favorite basketball team’s game.

By the end of the week he was rumpled with no clean dress shirts or suits, wearing mismatching outfits, eating PB&J sandwiches for lunch, nursing a broken big toe from tripping on a toy, exhausted from wrestling the kids in their nighttime routine. He missed out on a great guy’s trip because he didn’t check his messages, he had to apologize four million times to his offended mother and he got stranded high and dry in the bathroom with no TP. That weekend he wondered where it all went wrong as he helped the neighbor move heavy furniture down two flights of stairs, only to come home and realize that he missed the game that I neglected to DVR for him.

The Lesson?

Just because I don’t work outside the house does not mean that I am not contributing to the household.

Lesson Learned.

The End.


Friday is not starting out so good in our house.  I am sick, complete with fever, chills and bitchiness. I have the Bitch Flu. Watch out, it’s contagious.

I tossed and turned all night, couldn’t get comfortable, couldn’t breathe through one side of my nose….what is up with that anyway? There’s nothing more annoying than trying to sleep with air whistling through the clogged nostril. Pretty soon, I’m trying to whistle out a little tune and just when I almost have it down, that nostril clears and the other one clogs. I digress….

Static Baby, appropriately nicknamed for the fabulously fun Static Cling-On stage that he is going through right now, is cutting teeth. Stupid teeth. Those better be some gorgeous pearly white’s that require no maintenance on my part. I’m expecting self cleaning, self polishing and self repairing for all the trouble they have caused in this house recently. Static Baby was awake 4 times last night, wanting to nurse. I nursed, I Orajel’d and I Tylenol’d him. Then I rocked, I swayed, I sang. Soon that turned into begging and pleading. Just as I was about to bring out the big guns, drinking and hiding, Matt offered to take over for a little while. Thanx evah so much for yoor generous offah sir, which conveniently came right around 6am. Where the hell was he for the past 5 hours? Oh yeah, that’s right…asleep.

I got 43 minutes of sleep before I had to get back up to get the others ready for school. 43 minutes was not nearly enough. Now not only do I have The Bitch Flu, I also am sleep deprived. Buckle your seat belt, this could get ugly. When I finally stumbled downstairs, bleary eyed and in need of caffeine, Matt was all a’fluster. There was no coffee made. This is Matt’s job in the morning. He makes the coffee. He’s made the coffee every single morning since the day we got married. Mainly cuz he hates the way I make coffee. But that’s beside the point. I’m still a little fuzzy on the sequence of events but from what I can piece together it all went awry when Cam made pee pee on the bathroom floor beside the toilet instead of in it. Matt was just starting to make the coffee when he heard the tell tale ‘uh oh’ that sends every parent a runnin‘. He encountered a mini version of The Bathroom of Doom. He had to hustle to clean it up before the pee river ran underneath Stella and Frank. He cleaned it up and went back to making the coffee. He was quickly interrupted by Ty yelling that the other toilet was clogged. I do not understand how an 8 year old boy can manage to clog up a toilet every single time he has to go number two, or drop the kids off at the pool as Matt likes to say. S’rsly. What does this kid eat that makes the toilet say ‘hell no’ every single time?! That cannot be normal. Matt strongly encouraged him to start saving the “kids” to drop off at the pool at school from now on. Anyhoo, when Ty yelled about the toilet clog, Matt got startled and dropped the bag of coffee. All over the floor. All of it. On the floor.

This was about the time that I stumbled down the stairs. First thing I saw was the coffee all over the floor. My coffee. I stopped. I gasped. I screeched. ‘My precious.’

Matt was totally alarmed at the amount of Gollum in my tone. Rightfully so.

All of a sudden, he had to rush off to work in a great hurry. Damn him. I stared longingly at the coffee maker for a moment. Then I got down on my hands and knees and scooped up the spilled coffee. Oh yes I did. I am not ashamed. As I stood savoring the smell of the brewing coffee, I remembered. The toilet. The clogged toilet. Matt left me with a clogged toilet. 20 minutes, 100 plunges and 5000 naughty words later, the toilet is still clogged and the plunger is broken.

Matt will pay for this.

He. will. pay.


The heat fixer dude finally got the heat running around 5:30pm yesterday. I was so excited. Until he explained the problem. Apparently the teeny tiny vent opening got frozen shut and therefore, the fan could not work. Now, when I say teeny tiny- I mean teeny tiny. It is literally the size of a pin head. I needed granny bifocals just to locate this teeny tiny speck that caused us so much inconvenience. Then the dude laughed as he explained how he fixed the problem. Are you ready for this?? Really? He poured hot water over the vent to defrost the opening.


Are you kidding me? Then he handed me a bill and I laughed. Out Loud. $335. To pour hot water on a vent opening. He even used MY hot water. For Real. I cannot discuss the outcome of this little debacle due to probable legal proceedings. Sufficed to say, I did not pay $335 for him to pour hot water on a vent opening. After the initial shock wore off, words were exchanged and it was not pretty.

I went about my business of feeding, watering, and walking the children. Errr, I mean dinnertime, bathtime and bedtime. Everything was running smoothly until Matt and I got ready to go to bed. No heat. Again. There were lots of naughty words said. Good thing the kids were asleep or we’d be getting phone calls from a teacher today talking about Cam’s new vocabulary words. Just because he has a speech delay doesn’t mean he can’t manage to pronounce the dirty words with alarming clarity. I consider that one of God’s little jokes. Matt and I were already in our pajamas. We threw on big coats, some snow boots and caps. We searched for a flashlight, which was nowhere to be found. Matt gave up and grabbed the next best thing. Tyler’s Star Wars lightsaber. We both took cups of hot water out to the Godforsaken monstrosity of a heating unit. More naughty words were said and there might or might not have been a few kicks aimed at the heater. I can neither confirm or deny that at this time. We hadn’t been outside more than 5 minutes when we heard:

‘Freeze. Hands in the air. Turn around slowly.’

We froze and stared at each other in horror. It couldn’t be. It just couldn’t. We turned around.

‘Hands in the air. Drop the weapon.’

Matt stared at the cop blankly while I convulsed in laughter and wheezed out ‘He means the lightsaber. Drop the TOY lightsaber.’

I know, I know. Not the most opportune time to have a laugh attack but really? I got frisked. I kind of liked it. Matt…not so much. The cop was really nice and seriously amused when he heard the story. He came inside with us so we could show him our ID’s and we gave him a big cup of coffee to go. I’m sure we’re the talk of the cop shop today. It’s not every day that they get to stop a homeowner from robbing their own home with a toy lightsaber. Turns out, our neighbor saw the green glow from the lightsaber and heard the freaky noises that it makes and called the cops. She thought someone was breaking in to our house and panicked. I took her over a basket of muffins this morning to say thank you. She was really embarrassed about what happened but her husband laughed his butt off. I hope nobody does ever break into our house because she will never call the cops again. Ever. A thief could walk right out with our flat screen TV and she’d be in the window, just a watchin’.

And the heater? Turned off again at 3am and again at 6am. This time, there were definitely some kicks involved. The heater fixer dude is coming out to fix it this morning. Not the same dude though….I think he’s already filed for a restraining order.




Really. Betty Beauty Color for the hair down there? Have we really reached the point where coloring and decorating the hedge is considered a good idea? Really?

I saw this in Redbook’s February issue. Actually, I didn’t see it. I skipped right over it until Matt made me skip back a few pages. He pointed it out with a smirk on his face, a twinkle in his eye and mischief in his…. heart. I read the description of this product with a mixture of disbelief and humor. Then, intrigued by this new trend in bush maintenance, I had to check out the website. Here is what Betty has to say:

Hot pink means play. Adventure down below! Celebrate! The first safe color for the hair down there. FUN betty is a hot pink party in a box! FUN betty color for the hair down there. Go girl, it’s your birthday! Or your anniversary or your wedding or his birthday! It’s the perfect gift! Follow the easy directions for safe color. Natural looking. No mess. No drip. Use it every time you candy! FUN is where you find it! Color kits include everything you’ll need to lighten and color…get your betty ready!

Matt was all for it. He thought it was a great new invention. Of course he did. It’s not his nether regions that would be exposed to chemical burns. I needed to investigate this a little further. I found that it comes in several different colors: Brown Betty, Blonde Betty, Auburn Betty, Black Betty, Fun Betty, Malibu Betty, Sexy Betty and the brand new Lilac Betty. Hmmmm, variety is the spice of life. They also sell Charmcils! In case you, like myself, are new to the world of pubic hair decoration, here is what Betty has to say about the Charmcils:

Unique charm-like stencils that will transform the hair down there into a variety of fun, sexy shapes! Hygienically-safe and easy to use at home with any hair removal cream/wax and for professional waxers to use too! Each charmcil pack includes one of each shape: lightning bolt, flower, star, bow tie, heart, peace sign, money sign & lips! These special stencil shapes are great to use with any of the betty colors!

Hmmmmmm? Charmcils– special stencil shapes to charm your Betty. What is the world coming to? The Charmcil are being advertised as “the new Brazilian for your Betty‘. Well, considering I wasn’t that happy with the ‘old’ Brazilian, that slogan is not making the sale. Although, I would really like that money sign on the ole Betty. Kind of lets a man know that he has to ‘pay to play‘. That’s not a bad idea. I do accept credit cards.

Matt really talked up this new product, determined to get me to try it even though that means I would have to actually grow the hedge back. I know, TMI but there was an incident while trimming the hedges that led to the removal of the entire hedge and then I decided to just go with it. So I’m hedgeless now and I’m not going back. I lobbed a volley back into his court and told him that I’d  first grow and then dye my hedge blue if he’d dye his pink. Point to Delia. I aced the serve when I told him that I thought the bow tie Charmcil would give his hedge the finishing touch.

Game. Set. Match.


I would everyone to take a moment of silence right now……

What are we mourning, you ask? The passing of Matt’s good sense. It has apparently flown the coop for good, as evidenced by this morning’s heated discussion. I should preface the story by admitting that I had not yet consumed my normal large quantities of coffee and therefore was a total bitch cranky. It’s understandable though when you take into account that Mase was up half the night with teething pain. Which means I was also up half the night with him. While Matt slept peacefully. Bastard. It all started with such an innocent comment. I merely mentioned that I had to go to Target today. Words that obviously strike fear into the very heart of Matt. I say I’m going to Target and his brain is flooded with images of poverty, foreclosure and standing in line for government cheese. You’re shaking your heads, aren’t you? I know, I don’t get it either. It’s not like I had the intentions to go on a shopping spree at the ole Tar-jay. If I’m going on a spree, rest assured I’m heading over to the swanky mall where I can hit up Nordie’s and Coach. I just need 3 things. THREE things, people. And 2 of them are necessary. Cam has a birthday party this afternoon at 4pm and I assume that he is expected to bring a gift…and who the hell schedules a birthday party on a Friday afternoon at 4pm? School doesn’t even get out until 3:30pm.

Anyhoo. Matt screwed the pooch big time. He said and I quote ‘I don’t have that in the budget right now.’ And I was all like ‘I’m sorry, what? Did you make the mistake of thinking that I was asking you for permission to go to Target?

The tone should have tipped him off. The tone was not good. It was the tone that wives use right before they rip your head off and shove it up your ass. Figuratively speaking, of course. I’m not one to condone violence. Stop laughing. And if the tone didn’t clue him in, then ‘The Look‘ certainly should have. Now I might have mentioned that Matt is a bigwig in the financial industry. Fortunately, he does not work for one of the unstable, always in the news, banks. If he did, I would understand his panic and fear. But he is blessed to have relatively firm job security. Thank God because I won’t do poverty very well. But because he is in the financial world, he is anal about our finances. A-N-A-L. He has this entire spreadsheet budget thing saved on his computer that makes my eyes cross when he tries to show it to me. It’s ridiculously complicated and he loves it. I think he might love it more than me. Certainly more than the kids. He took over all the scheduling of bill paying long ago because I am more of a ‘They’ll get it when they get it and they’d better be damn happy that I’m paying it at all’ kind of a gal. Due date, schmue date. This drives Matt to the point of alcoholism. So in order to save our marriage and his sanity, I graciously allowed him to take over paying the bills and doing the budget. Now, not one time during the transition period did I, in any way, shape or form, give him even the slightest hint that I was abdicating my throne and allowing him dictatorship over our finances. This is not the 1950’s and obviously, I am not a 50’s housewife- as evidenced by the enormous bouncy house living in my playroom. I will not be reduced to asking for permission to go shopping. I will shoot him dead and hide the body first. I digress….

Back to the tone. You ladies will know the tone and ‘The Look‘ of which I speak. My male readers have probably already curled up into the fetal position and are knocking on the door of PTSD at the mere mention of ‘The Look‘. I understand. That is Matt’s normal reaction to ‘The Look‘ also. I think it’s in the Handbook. Today he must have been feeling brave. Perhaps he ate his Wheaties for breakfast. Whatever the reason, he had the gall to sigh at me. He Sighed At Me. The sigh was followed by the eye roll. He rolled his eyes at me. Oh yes, he did. So I had to jack it up a notch in order to get my point across. ‘The Look‘ became ‘The Death Glare‘ and the tone became the ‘Whisper of Satan‘. Now that got his attention. He knows when I go all Exorcist on his ass that it’s only a matter of time before blood is shed. His blood. All of a sudden, he had to dash off to work in a great hurry while tossing a credit card behind him on the way out the door. Obviously his body finally caught up the flashing warning signals that his brain was throwing out.

Smart Man.