Day 20 and 21: Equal time.

Dear friends:

I get the feeling Mr. Mom was a little embarrassed by yesterday’s attention. (Flattered and grateful, but embarrassed.)

Lest you think I’m syrupy sweet (which I assure you I am not, ask my closest friends) or that we are a “perfect” couple (by whatever your definition of perfect is and I assure you, again, we are not), I’ve decided to give equal time to my beloved’s flaws. That’s plural. And he has them, even though I typically talk about my blessings not my challenges.

Here’s a story I wrote four years ago about a habit of his that makes me crazy. It makes me so crazy and I’ve mentioned it so many times that the man now mostly goes outside when he feels an uncontrollable urge to . . . pace!

(Which kinda makes him even more of a saint, but we’re not talking about that today.)

With gratitude {for the flaws that make Mr. Mom perfectly human and, thus, our marriage miraculously balanced},

Joan, aka the Magpie

The Pacer

first published in January 2009

Scene in Magpie Manor last night —

Mr. Mom:    Blah, blah, blah, pointless blah, blah, blah, and more blah.

Kate:            (giggling uncontrollably because she’s too young to understand her father is NOT funny)

Magpie:        (speaking to no one in particular) I abhor him.  I abhor him with my entire soul.

I know . . . abhor is a strong word.  But trust me when I say if you lived here, you’d pull out the A word, too.

Let me explain.  Mr. Mom is a pacer.  Have you ever lived with a pacer?  It’s absolutely unnerving.  He simply can’t sit still.  On an evening like last night, Kate and I are sitting on the sofa, comfortably nestled into furry blankets, savoring every moment of American Idol, and Mr. Mom gets up and starts pacing.

He wanders in the sun room and jacks with the computer for a minute without sitting down.  He steps into the study and does lord knows what.  He circles the dining room table, cutting the corners like he’s a NASCAR driver at Talladega.  He wanders into the kitchen.  We hear rustling but he doesn’t stay long enough for us to ponder what in the world he’s doing.  He steps into the middle of the living room and stares into space as if the purpose of his movement is in the air and is about to land on his consciousness any second now.


Enjoying some down time, grabbing a little R&R, cooling in the veg lounge is IMPOSSIBLE with him in the room.  And don’t dare sit beside him, even for a moment, because his legs vibrate.  That is, they jitter uncontrollably.  Lying beside him in bed is akin to filling the coin slot in a creepy Best Western vibrating bed.  Several times a week I yell at him to “Stop shaking your legs!!!!!”

I suspect he doesn’t even relax when he sleeps.  He frequently has nightmares, during which he moans and fidgets and occasionally screams.  Ever been awakened from a dead sleep by a 6’6”, 200 lb. screaming man?

Chill, dude.  Seriously.

So after the pacing started last night, I looked up at one point and said “What are you doing?”

This question he interpreted as an unnatural and dangerous interest in his movement, as if some sort of potential infringement on his liberty was lurking behind my question (which was really just a very polite WTH?), because his trademark sarcasm kicked in and he responded:

I’m walking to the basement to fold laundry.  I’m leaving the living room now.  I’m passing through the dining room.  (Louder) I’m in the kitchen now, stepping toward the basement.  (Even louder) I’m walking down the basement steps toward the laundry.

Or he said blah, blah, blah, pointless blah, blah, blah and more blah,  all of which his undiscerning teenage daughter found to be devastatingly hilarious.

Come to think of it, I abhor all of them.

Day 9: The weekend.

Dear friends,

No additional words necessary.

With gratitude {for time to quilt, cook, and nap — all without pantyhose and heels},

Joan, who can’t stop humming Loverboy’s “Working for the Weekend,” cheesy as it is

A Saturday meditation.

Dear friends,

breathe in

I’ll be doing my job today. And maybe some quilting. And reading. And dreaming. Topped off with a dinner out with Mr. Mom.

What more does one need on a rainy spring Saturday?


With gratitude {for weekend meditations},

Joan, who as the former Mayberry Magpie is still stuck on bird motifs, so she added one here and plans to make a paper flock very soon for flight to friends everywhere

PS: PicMonkey is my new favorite photo editing software. If you’re no pro with Photoshop and are looking for something easy to use, give it a try here.