The men in my life are not always an open book

This series of vignettes has a prologue. I thought the prologue was in an old blog post, but when I couldn’t find it in my archives, it turned out to be in an email to my family sent in June of 2006, six weeks before Henry was born. (Back when my blog was even more imaginary than it is now.) The email’s subject was, “Aluminum foil can protect from alien attacks at night.”

So, yesterday, about 11 PM, our car horn started honking randomly. Fortunately it was the polite little “car-is-now-locked” honk instead of the horrible, ear-splitting
“you-hit-the-Panic-Button-when-you-were-digging-in-your-purse-for-your-sunglasses” honk.  I told Dean, “I forgot to tell you that your keyless remote for the
van went through the washer today.”  He said, “Oh, yeah?”  Me: “Yeah — I know I
meant to put it somewhere where you would see it, but I don’t remember where
I did put it.” Dean checked in the garage and the car stopped honking.  And
we both forgot about it.  Until 4 AM:

Dean woke me up:  “The car’s going crazy.”  Me:  “That’s our car?  Oh, yeah,
where did I put your remote?”  Dean stumbled downstairs:  “Where’s your
remote?”  Me:  “In my brown purse, in the zipper pocket.  I remember I was
going to put your remote on the counter in the laundry room, but then I
thought I’d better put it where you would see it.”  Dean: “I still can’t
find your remote.”  Zina:  “Oh . . . wait, it’s in the diaper bag, from
yesterday.”  With a massive effort, I hoisted my pregnant belly out of bed,
flipped on the light, and looked on Dean’s dresser, where his remote was
sitting next to his alarm clock.  I brought it to him.

A few seconds later the car stopped honking, and Dean came back upstairs
with his remote wrapped in a ball of foil, which he placed on his dresser.
And we both went back to sleep.

(I’ll take bets on how long the foil-wrapped-remote stays on his dresser — I predict
6 months to a year if I nag him about it, or indefinitely with no nagging.)

Back to the future present:

While we were making Valentine cards for all the younger kids, I asked Ike, “So I guess you won’t be giving out any valentines at junior high?”

“Yeah–because which class would you pass the valentines out in? But they’re doing this ‘match’ thing where you fill out a survey, and then for two dollars they’ll tell you your best matches. Would you be willing to pay for it?”

Trying not to act to surprised, I said, “Sure! So, you want to know who your best matches are? Then what do you do?”

“Nothing, I just think it could be interesting. But the survey assumed you watched a lot of TV and texted.”

“So the survey was written by girls?”

“There just weren’t really any questions about video games or gaming systems.”

“So it was written by girls. But if you’re looking to find a girl as interested in Halo Reach and the DSi as you are, there’s no perfect match for you.”

Putting away his clothes after a work trip, Dean said, “Wow, you cleaned off my dresser while I was gone.”

“Yeah. You can consider it my valentine to you. I thought, ‘I’ll just see what I can do’ and I just kept going. You’ll still have to make decisions about a lot of stuff, like the car remote wrapped in aluminum foil. And when we finally get some more bookshelves you’ll have a place to put some of those books from that huge pile. But your dresser still looks so much better, doesn’t it? I thought, even if you never do read that Jonah Goldberg book I bought you four years ago, I could at least take it out of its dusty box and throw the box away.”

The next day Mabel told us, “I finished reading that Perfect Strangers book and it was such a waste of time. It was so dumb and predictable.”

Dean asked, “Where did you get it?”

“With the school reading contest your name gets entered in a drawing, and then if they call your name over the intercom you get to go to the library and pick a book. And there was nothing good–there were three books of this weird cartoon with these people dressed like fairies–”

“The Fairly Odd Parents?” I interrupt.

“There was a boy and then a pink girl fairy and a green boy one–”

“The Fairly Odd Parents,” Isaac and I agree.

“So anyway I got the Perfect Strangers book because there just wasn’t much else to choose.”

“You know what’s funny?” asks Dean. “I saw that lying on the desk downstairs, and I read the whole last chapter.”

“I did too!” I say. “I was like, ‘Where did this teeny-bopper romance come from?’ Well, actually I only read the last page, and then skipped a little through the last chapter. It looked pretty dull.”

That night when I went to bed I saw that Dean had been reading Mabel’s book. I asked, “Did you read that whole thing?”

“Yeah. I guess I was just curious. There’s a lot of the typical teenage stuff, like ‘who’s going to be the Student Body President,’ that kind of thing.”

“It’s like a ‘You’ve Got Mail’ story, right? They hate each other in real life but they fall in love via emails?”

“Yeah. Isaac couldn’t believe it when he saw me reading it; he was like, ‘You really will read anything.'”

“You’ll read a teen romance, but leave a National Review book in its box for four years.”

“Well, to be honest, another reason I read this was I knew I could finish it in an hour and a half.”

(Note: Dean does read lots of elevated, intelligent material, which is why this story was funny to me. And I brought a copy of Marilynne Robinson’s Home to read while Henry was at the dentist today, but instead read People magazine about Portia de Rossi’s eating disorder, and was disappointed when the visit ended too soon for me to finish the article.)

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This entry was posted in But Dean is the funniest, Meanwhile in the real world, My kids actually are funny (and sweet and wonderful). Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The men in my life are not always an open book

  1. marymary says:

    I thoroughly, throroughly enjoyed this post.

  2. Acheté says:

    Loved it too.

  3. the MomB says:

    Me too!

  4. Kayli says:

    My husband is ALWAYS getting after me to read books with more ‘substance.’ But I just don’t have the time or perseverance required to read real hefty stuff at this time in my life. Plus I really love a lot of the feathery stuff (not too feather, mind you). But it’s really silly since I’m the one that got HIM into reading after we were married. Now he reads Dickens and Dumas and really long books.

    By the way, what a good Valentine present–cleaning off his dresser.

    Fun stuff.

  5. Just to let you know, you were just nominated as Best LDS Female Solo Blogger of 2010.

    http://www.mormonmomma.com/index.php/2011/nominations-best-lds-female-solo-blogger-2010/

    Good luck. 🙂

  6. OK, and now I actually had time to come back and read the actual post. And I see why you were nominated. Good stuff.

    I bought my husband a George Will book that he really wanted…before we finished college in 1991. Still not read.

  7. Kerri Madsen says:

    This was one of the best posts I have read. EVER. I am still giggling! Thanks for sharing.

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