Monthly Archives: August 2012

When I tell people I ride the subway…

To read more about common misconceptions of Boston and city livin,’ check out my latest post for the Weekly Dig here.

Top 10 Most Useless Marriage Advice

10. Choose your battles.

In the end, the battles don’t matter. What matters is who wins the major wars. Let them take satisfaction in winning the “Battle of Who Does the Wednesday Chili Night Dishes.” You’ll have the last laugh when you win the “Let’s Retire in New Zealand” War.

9. If all else fails, get naked. You’ll forget what you’re fighting about.

I guarantee this works for Tom Brady and Giselle Bskdfjslkflsk or Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr. I’d bang any of them no matter what the hell we were fighting about if they dropped trou. But when you have a normal human body, complete with hair stubble, pimples in weird places, wobbly bits and PMS bloat, getting naked is just likely to make your partner go “What the hell are you doing? Good God, woman, we have neighbors. Put your sweatpants back on.”

8. Always be honest with each other.

I’ll grant you that being honest 85 percent of the time is healthy for your relationship. The other 15 percent should be made up of little white lies like “No, five glasses of wine is definitely not too much,” and “No, those definitely don’t qualify as man boobs” and “Yes, I’d LOVE for you to tell me all about how the “Avengers” movie differs from the comic book series.”

7. Never stop dating.

Dating sucks. That’s why you got married. So you wouldn’t have to shave, wax, bleach, bronze, dye, pluck and paint all so you can go to a crappy restaurant where the waiters wear flair on their vests. Sure, set aside special times to spend with your spouse. But don’t feel you have to, like, put on a bra or anything.

6. Put your spouse on a pedestal.

This one is just simply impossible. Especially if you share a bathroom.

5. Always say “I love you.”

Show, don’t tell. “Oh, you love me? That’s super great, hon. But if you really did, you’d pull all the dental floss the dog ate last night out of his butt.”

4. Really listen to what your partner is saying.

This is good advice unless it’s the 12th time they’ve come home from work bitching about Sharon again. Then you can just pretend to listen while you’re actually thinking about what your next tweet will be or why wasn’t it you who first came up with that ingenious Feminist Ryan Gosling meme. Because honestly all they need to do at this point is vent and if you can already list Sharon’s Top 10 Most Idiotic Statements for the Month of June, you can just pretty much zone out.

3. Never argue about money.

Are you kidding me? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? If you didn’t argue about money, chances are high all your worldly possessions would consist of a 200-inch flat screen and 800 pairs of high heels. Of course you can argue about money. Just do it smartly. And learn to compromise. Like purchasing a 72-inch flat screen and only 400 pairs of shoes instead.

2. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Unless the small stuff is his FREAKING socks that he left ALL OVER the house AGAIN because he gets a weird, perverted THRILL out of taking off his socks in EVERY GODDAMN ROOM IN THE HOUSE AND LEAVING THEM THERE UNTIL THEY DECOMPOSE OF THEIR OWN ACCORD!!!

1. Never go to bed angry.

This only works if you started fighting at 8 a.m. Sometimes you just need to go to freaking bed. Regain your strength. Obsessively go over and over ways to poke holes into their stupid argument about how the time travel in the Terminator series could totally work until you fall asleep. And then wake up, refreshed, and armed with an arsenal of new insults that emerged from your subconscious the night before.

Let’s just table the issue, shall we?

For years, my husband and I have harbored a shameful secret. A secret so hideous, so horrifying, so wholly conducive to alliteration, we have hardly dared to even whisper it out loud.

And the worst part is we have carried this secret with us from state to state, apartment to apartment, every time we move, from Ohio to Texas to now Boston. Each time, with each new set of friends and colleagues, our pain and embarrassment only growing as we again try and miserably fail to hide this…this abomination from their innocent eyes.

This shame has only increased ever since we got married and became somewhat upstanding citizens (hunchbacked citizens?). I mean, we pay taxes (occasionally), for crying out loud! We fully intend to register to vote someday probably before we die! Someday we might even be parents once Child Protective Services takes us off their Do Not Let These People Procreate Under Any Circumstances Ever list!

And yet, here we are. Two grown adults, living in our very own house that is “technically” owned by our landlord, and without a single surface to eat on or a chair to sit on that is not of the office variety.

Yes, my friends, my husband and I have never owned a set of table and chairs. For the past, oh, eight years or so, ever since we met, we have been reduced to eating on the couch like a pair of…of ANIMALS (or frat guys…same difference).

Now, you’re probably thinking, “How in the world do two grown adults go without a table and chairs for eight long years!?!” Of course, for all I know, you could be thinking “Cheese may just be the world’s most perfect food.” And I’d have to agree with you there. But for the sake of continuity, let’s assume you’re thinking the former.

It’s not like we didn’t try. We always meant to get an actual dining room set. But other, more pressing financial matters got in the way, such as paying the vet approximately three million dollars because our dumb dog tried to chew his own tail off and the fact we couldn’t live ANOTHER day without owning Rock Band 2.

Although, one time we did get as far as purchasing a second-hand table. Which we had for years. But since we had no chairs to go with it, it ended up turning into “The Giant Shelf of Random Items We Were Too Lazy to Put Away.” And then there was the winter we actually used our patio furniture as our “official” indoor table and chairs, which ended after the Great Thanksgiving Collapse of ’09. We also tried to go all bohemian a few times, making people sit on pillows on the floor as they ate off the coffee table, but that stopped once I hit 30 and the process of getting up off the floor started to resemble one of those bugs that gets caught on its back and can’t right itself.

And then…then a miracle happened. Like a deus ex machina plot twist (yeah, who didn’t pay attention in English class now, Professor Greenberg?), the hand of God himself came down from the heavens and plopped a beautiful, dark wood six-seater with red velvety chairs right in our dining room.

Or, to be more specific, our friend was moving to Chicago and said “Hey, you want this guy?”

And we did want that guy. Oh, how we wanted that guy. Finally! A place to have a nice, intimate dinner! A place for guests to actually sit and eat without our aforementioned dumb dog breathing right in their face! A place to whatever else since I need a third example thanks to that annoying “Rule of Three” writing principle!

I have to tell you, it has completely changed our lives. All two times we have used it in the past three months.

We are now officially civilized.

Road hookin’

They say that a true sign of wisdom is when you finally know just how much you don’t know. They also say it’s cliché to start an article with the phrase “they say.” But “they” can suck it. I like how it sounds.

(I also enjoy the “good news/bad news” cliché from time to time and the occasional question lede).

Anyhoo, moving on. If that is the case, then I am now about as wise as…as…uh, I don’t know…Angela Lansbury, maybe? Or perhaps the big-boobed mom from “Facts of Life.” Yeah, definitely the big-boobed mom from “Facts of Life.”

Because despite the numerous road trips I have taken across this great country of ours (like this one, or this one, or this one), I am not too proud to admit that I remained ignorant of an apparently somewhat common road tradition.

That is, until this latest 14-hour trek to the Mid-west I recently took.

It all started when I noticed that an unusually large number of trucks kept flashing their lights and honking at me as I barreled down the highway. Now, in my experience, this kind of behavior meant one of two things:

  1. There is a cop up ahead. And you are going 93 miles per hour. Slow down, dumbass. Or…
  2. Your car, which is being held together with duct tape, has something visibly and very, very wrong with it. Like your trunk just fell off.

However, after about three panick-y inspections of my vehicle at rest stops, I knew it wasn’t No. 2 and I immediately dismissed No. 1 since my car can’t go over 75 miles per hour without switching into what I like to call “Seizure Mode.”

So, I decided to call an expert, who, based on the fact that 1. she drives and 2. calls me “kiddo,” would have the answer.

“Mom? Trucks keep honking their horns at me and flashing their lights. What gives?”

“Oh, yeah, that’s how they try to get your attention when they want you to pull over at the next exit with them.”


“I know you’re not that naive.”

“How the hell do you know this?”

“The 80’s were a crazy time, kid.”*

Of course, seeing as how I drive a 2004 Hyundai Accent, which is technically the smallest car you can get without being a card-carrying member of the Circus Clown Car Union, I immediately dismissed what she said. There is absolutely nothing about that car that says “Hey, I’m a road hooker!”  If anything, it says “Hey, I dig doing puzzles on Saturday night with my cat!” Sure, it gets great gas mileage, but I doubt that’s what these guys are looking for.

“Wow. She gets 38 miles to the gallon? That chick must be down for a good time at a seedy truck stop!”

But then, this happened:

I’m in the left lane. Some white pick-up is in the right. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see him creeping up on me. Soon, we are side by side. The truck then falls back. Repeat three times. Cut to me getting annoyed because I hate when people don’t abide by the “left is the passing lane” rule. It throws off the ENTIRE flow of traffic. So I, thinking he wants to pass me and considering my car is already in heavy “Seizure Mode,” slow down and pull into the right lane behind him. As we approach the next exit, he starts hitting his brakes. And now, I’m super-duper annoyed because this jackass just two seconds ago wanted to pass me. He then starts to get on the exit ramp and as I speed past him, he begins flashing his lights and honking his horn as he rolls off toward the exciting world of Snow Shoe, PA.

And that’s when it hit me.

I just apparently accidentally gave the international road hooker sign that said “YES! I will get off this exit with you and then we can make a bastard in some Exxon Mobile/Subway parking lot!”

I felt bad for a bit. Even though I just thought I was being a polite driver, my actions caused this poor horny pick-up driver to not only lose a good two minutes of traveling time as he wandered his way through some podunk town, but had also dashed his hopes that he would soon be able to tell his buddies he scored with some Massachusetts foreign car drivin’ slut.

And that bad feeling lasted for all of two seconds.

But then, just to bring this whole thing full circle, I realized that even though I now know about this underground road sex tradition, there is still so much more that I don’t know. Like, if you do actually get off the exit with these guys, how does it work? Do you park side by side? Do you choose the McDonald’s parking lot or Taco Bell? Or is Arby’s considered classier? Do you introduce yourselves or just get down to business? My car or yours? Afterwards, do I at least get a cup of gas station coffee in return? Or maybe a large bag of Cheetos if my performance was suitable?

So many questions. So many no-way-in-hell will I ever know the answers.

But, I guess in the end, you just have to take the good and take the bad and there you have the facts of life.**

*I may have made that last part up.

**See? So wise now.