James, quick – my husband is coming. You have to go NOW!
Hold up. I am almost finished.
Well, hurry up! I can hear him coming down the hall.
One more second…
Get out NOW!
Ok. Fine. Finished.
Now, anyone overhearing this conversation may think the wrong thing. And I admit it does sound pretty sketchy. So let me give me you the context:
I had to VPN into my work computer from home and couldn’t get it to work. So I called the IT help desk at my work. I can say without hesitation that EVERY SINGLE TIME I have called the help desk, I get the nicest, most helpful person.
I have been having issues with this for awhile but haven’t really worried about my VPN access until our recent weather. I am considered “essential work personnel” so have to work no matter what. The good thing is that I am authorized to work from home. (As a reminder, last winter when I tried to go to work during inclement weather, my car was totaled).
Earlier in the week, I had put in a help desk ticket because I had tried to remote into the PC in a conference room and it didn’t work. By the time Anthony called me (it was 5:20 pm) and I told him I couldn’t access my PC, he remoted into mine and said someone was already using it. I told him it was me. Then I told him to not judge me. But he checked everything and said it should work.
So I tried it from home. And of course it did not work. Which resulted in my call to James. Bless his heart, he tried to talk me through it over the phone, he really did. And if anyone has every tried to be a help desk to an aging parent you will have the exact image in your head.
James finally asked if he could just remote into my home computer and fix it. Now, here is my dilemma. My husband is a hound about his PC. I even have my own separate sign in with major firewalls and probably a bunch of other shit that will protect his PC. So allowing some “stranger” into his PC would definitely not be a thing he would be agreeable to. (I did ask James if I could trust him not to mess with my PC and hold all my shit for ransom. He told me he was impressed; I was the first person to ever even bring that up). I let James remote into my computer which resulted in the conversation above. There really is a reasonable context for everything.
And in the event my husband reads this, I made up this entire blog.
It is still happening. My husband continues to do all the grocery shopping and I am now officially in withdrawal. It isn’t pretty. I did get a grace period. We needed to go to Walmart and it was Sunday afternoon. My husband refuses to go to any grocery store on Sunday afternoon. Armed with a list and promise to ONLY buy what was on the list, I went to Walmart.
And then texted my husband:
Me: I failed.
Husband: I know.
So we went back to the old way and I got to complain that he bought the cheap ziplock bags and Boca-cat does like a little variety and he can’t just buy the same canned food over and over. Then Boca totally threw me under the bus and eats the same food every day without complaint.
In a moment of rebellion, I went to Walmart. Then I bomb texted my husband pictures of things that I was going to buy. Like this:
I was so good I even sent him a picture of my cart:
I felt bad that it looked so empty. That is just so not me. And it about killed me not to get any of the discounted Valentine’s Day stuff.
It is standard knowledge that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. It’s day 57 and I am still waiting for it to get a little easier. But I think I am doing fairly well.
It didn’t help to hear my husband comment about how well our finances have been since we started this experiment. My response to that was to get him a Valentine’s Day card from the Dollar Tree. Maybe I’m not taking this as well as I thought.
Well, I probably should call it what it is. My husband’s New Year Resolution to keep me out of the store which will keep me from impulse purchases which will stop me from spending money. Because, damn am I good at spending money. Like, really good. Really, really good.
So we had a discussion and he told me he would do all the grocery shopping from now on. At first I was like, YES! I mean how many people would be thrilled to not ever have to go grocery shopping again? But after a few weeks (two) I started missing my thrice weekly $200 shopping visits.
And my husband has this thing about “THE LIST.” If it isn’t on THE LIST then it doesn’t get purchased. First of all, he doesn’t tell me when he is going to the store to allow me time to put things on the list. Second of all, I am not going to remember the entire name of things. So when I asked for “Jimmy Dean’s Cheese and Egg Croissant” and he didn’t get it because he could only find one with egg, cheese AND sausage, well, I have an issue. And there are just some things that you have to buy name brand. I don’t have time to explain all this to him. Like Kraft Shredded Cheese, Dixie Paper Plates, Campbell’s soup and Sara Lee Bread.
And then we had this text conversation:
Him: Going to Store. Need anything?
Me: Cat Food
Me: Paper Plates
Me: Tyson Dinosaur Chicken Nuggets
Me: Pads WITHOUT Wings
Him: Buffalo Wings?
Me: Always Pads. #1 Without wings
Him: Won’t they sick out of your underwear?
Me: I just don’t like them. Not a conversation I am going to have with you. Buy what I want or I will go and buy them myself.
I was impressed that he got the correct ones.
I am trying to be supportive and agreeable to this plan. The fact that he can do all the grocery shopping once a week and take less than one hour is definitely annoying but I understand the plan. I am also convinced he’ll eventually get tired and we’ll go back to the old way. Isn’t that the way resolutions work?
So I was glad the underdogs won. I heard someone in Vegas bet a million dollars on the Eagles. I’m glad he won. Not that I really care – I only watch for the commercials and the half time show anyway. Danny Devito as an M&M. Pretty funny. My other favorites were the NFL commercial to the Dirty Dancing song and the Verizon Alexa commercial.
The Eagle quarterback certainly earned his pay with this game. Seriously impressed with his football throwing skills. Yeah, Okay, Tom Brady too. It is just that he isn’t new and shiny anymore. (and they lost, remember?)
But I do have a couple of worrisome areas. First of all – what the hell was the Patriot’s coach wearing on the sidelines? Seriously it looked like a lycra spandax blue turtleneck over a Flashdance sweatshirt. If my husband left the house looking like that knowing he was going to be on TV, I would make him march right back in and change his clothes. A hoodie would have looked better. (for the record, he might want to consider his outfit being bad luck and never wear it again. Just a suggestion).
But I’m not done. WTF was Justin Timberlake wearing? A Camo suit with a crappy print shirt? I am just shaking my head not understanding his wardrobe at all. I am sure it is not a reflection of the last time he performed at the Super Bowl – can’t really have a wardrobe malfunction with camouflage, right? Jeans and a black t-shirt would have looked better. Couldn’t Jessica have said something? Anything? Like “Honey, don’t you think a nice pair of jeans and a button down shirt with strips would look good?” I waited and waited thinking that maybe he would bring out all his Back Street Boys but nooooo. Somewhat disappointed. Stage set up was phenomen, though.
We had nachos two ways (Regular with chili and shredded cheese) and Queso Dip made from Velveeto Cheese and Rotel. My husband told me to shred some cheese. I told him I don’t shred cheese; I buy it already shredded. Which meant I got to run to the store and get a Starbucks at the same time. Laziness paid off.
We also had wings. Didn’t care for them too much. My husband made this special brine to soak the wings 24 hours and then slow cooked them in our crock pot and baked them to get them crispy. Next time we’ll skip the brine soak, I think. Or go to Little Caesars. I like their wings. I get them plain and then use Buffalo Wild Wings mild sauce on them.
Good game. Glad I watched most of it. Also had laundry to do. I Tried pitching the kitchen towel into the washer from the doorway. I missed. Guess no ring for me.
Yeah! Work called a snow day. Which would be great except I get to deal with this all day as I try to work from home:
We had one of those minimal Christmas this year. By that I mean I only put up the tree and one box of ornaments (and when I say “I,” I actually mean my son’s girlfriend – I rather like this one). It was enough to say MERRY CHRISTMAS and enjoy the lights without all the work.
And we had a great Christmas:
- I found out that my son opened up the tin box with the Papa John’s gift card and had been using it prior to Christmas. He only had a $4.32 balance left on the card Christmas day.
- My husband bought me a new laptop. I got him a wallet. Which took me two tries because he told me the first one I got for him hurt his ass. I guess wallets to men are like purses to woman. Which brings me to…
- My “To Lori From Lori” gift this year was a new purse and wallet. I have been complaining about needing them for months. I even bought a new purse a few months ago. Used it for one day and then pulled my old purse from the trash because I ended up hating it. We are so far so good with my Christmas purse.
- I have this one gift that I have been trying to re-gift for two years. I was so happy when my daughter told me she would take it and give it to her boyfriend’s mom. Except she didn’t and I got to unwrap it for a second time on Christmas Day.
- My son is a voracious reader so we always get him a BAM gift card. This year I tried to also buy him a book by one of his favorite authors. When he saw the gift was a book, he said he would “bet me $100 that if I got him a book, it would be one that he already had.” Which pissed me off. So I wrapped a second book and put it under the tree. It was this one:
- Don’t you hate it when you get a gift for someone and then have gift regret? You know, when you know you really should give it to them but secretly want to keep it for yourself? That happened to me this year with a pink sequined heart pillow that I gave my daughter. I hid it from her so she couldn’t take it home with her. But then she missed it and took it later. I sent her this text message: “Heart pillow texted me and wants to come back home.” I got this response:
I would buy another one but it was the only one the store had.
For the past 25 years I have sent out an annual family Christmas letter. And I know there are many annual Christmas letters that are horrendous and boring and all they do is make you feel bad. I’d like to think that mine was not like that. Because I really tried to make it funny and not talk about the new job, wonderful vacation, over-achieving children or perfect family. More often than not, I would be bitching about my son still living at home and the 4 pound rat that my cat brought into the house as a play thing. One year my husband and I had a great debate on whether or not I could include an awesome picture of roadkill in my Christmas letter (he won, I didn’t put it in).
I started the process the same: I purchased my Christmas cards that were covered in glitter and picked up some really cute stickers for the envelope from the Dollar Store. Spent way too much time deciding on what holiday themed stamps to buy and updated my Christmas address list. Except when I started to write the letter, I had…nothing. Which was really weird, right? I mean, I am the person who once wrote a letter to my mom and dad from college. When my dad asked my mom what I said, she told him it was three pages about doing my laundry in the college dorm laundry room. I should not have this problem. Yet, there I was – twenty drafts of an annual Christmas letter that was just – boring.
Maybe some of it was because when I re-read the 2016 letter we really didn’t have much change. My kids were basically in the same place. My husband and I at our same work. All the pets were fine. Same house. Same commute to bitch about. Same old. Which is probably good, right?
I remember when we lived in Las Vegas. My 11th grade daughter came home one Sunday after spending the weekend with a friend and told me how happy she was that she had a boring family. And to clarify this, I got to hear about an angry person and drugs and a 911 call and two girls locked in a bathroom on a Saturday night. Compared to that, I was grateful we were boring as well.
So to those of you who read my blog and usually get an annual Christmas letter, I am sorry I didn’t send one out this year. I tried. I really did.
May everyone have a Happy, Healthy and Financially Secure 2018.