First year of Marriage: check!

I can no longer describe our marriage length in terms in months, for we have officially passed our first-year anniversary! Baby, we did it! They say the first year can be one of the most difficult a couple can go through, so if minor arguments over movies, cell phones, and pants were the “tough” parts, we are doing ok!

Apparently for us, it’s year two that’s proving to be more difficult, as we discovered about 4.5 hours into the first day of our second year. Oh the stories I could tell you about our “romantic” weekend at Granny’s cottage… I would require more than a simple blog post. But for now, I will settle on sharing just a few details about our anniversary weekend; dog vomit, fish hooks, and all.

Things you need to know before reading further:

  1. Our wedding anniversary fell on a long weekend which we decided to spend with Howie’s entire extended family at his Granny’s cottage
  2. Our dog Monica has an extremely sensitive stomach
  3. Howie’s cousin Dean owns a old, long-nailed, scabby-legged Jack Russel with a severe non-stop shaking issue, his name is Whisky

We were blissfully asleep in Granny’s guest room, when all of a sudden at 4am, we awoke to a sharp, irritating yelp going off about every five seconds. Was Granny having a nightmare? No, Dean had gotten fed up with Whisky’s barking and moved him from the bunkie into the main cottage, for all to hear.

Granny: “Dean! Dean! Get that dog out of here!”

Whisky: ARP! ARP! ARP!

Granny: “Whisky shut up! Be quiet!”

Whisky: ARP! ARP! ARP!

Granny: “Dean I mean it! Get that dog out of here!”

Dean: “Geez Granny I can’t take him anymore!”

Granny: “Well don’t bring him in here! Get out!”


Finally, we could go back to sleep. But wait, what’s that? Oh yes. Monica just vomited all over Granny’s bedspread.

Cheryl: “Howie! Howie! Monica’s puking! No! She’s ruined Granny’s sheets!”

Howie: “Monica noooooo!”

Cheryl: “Get her off of here Howie! This is why I tell you not to let her sleep up here!”

Howie was in the process of putting on his shoes and taking her outside, when…

Cheryl: “No!! She’s got diarrhoea all over Granny’s carpet!”

Howie: “Monica! Let’s go outside!”

Howie took Monica outside while I tried as swiftly as possible to clean up the sheets and the carpet. Then Granny woke up. Long story short, she provided a lot of advice on how to clean up everything. From using copious amounts of Sunlight dish detergent to using two feet instead of my one foot to blot out the stain. I felt terrible.

By the time the messes were taken care of it was almost 6am so I joined Howie outside and we went on a little de-stressing walk. By the time we came back the sun was fully up and we weren’t inclined to go back outside. I decided to read my book in the lawn chair  while Howie went fishing.

Howie: “Darn! I don’t think there is the right kind of attachment in here…”

Cheryl: “What do you mean?”

Howie: “I’m just worried that this lure could fall off, I don’t have the right kind of clip to make it stay on.”

Cheryl: “Well then don’t use it.”

Howie: “But I really like this one.”


Howie: “I’m sure it will be fine. I won’t lose it.”

Cheryl: “Howie, don’t use it if you could lose it.”

Howie: “It will be fine.”

Cheryl: “Ok, but I’ve warned you.”

I go back to reading my book. In what seems like two minutes later…

Howie: “Cher! I’ve lost the lure!”

Cheryl: “I told you not to use it.”

Howie: “I’m going in.”

Cheryl: “You’re what?! Going in?! Howie why?!”

Howie: “I lost it right near the dock, people could step on it if they go swimming!”

Cheryl: “Oh Howie…”

Howie proceeded to strip down to his boxers, then started creeping up to the four-foot deep water area where he dropped the lure.

Howie (crying out in little girl-like yelps): “Ah! Ah! Cold! Cold!”

The water crept up even higher over his thighs.


Cheryl (uncontrollably laughing): “Oh… this is awesome.”

Howie was holding up the sides of his boxers, in a futile attempt to avoid getting them wet.

Cheryl: “Howie! Why are you holding your boxers up? Just take them off!”

Howie: “What if Granny sees my wiener?!”

Cheryl: “Oh Howie, it’s 6am, no one is looking.”

Howie: “I can’t risk it!”

Howie got to the spot of the lure. At this point I think it’s finally sinking in (no pun intended) that he’s got to submerge his upper half in order to retrieve the lure.

Howie: “Cher! Can you bring me my t-shirt?”

Cheryl: “What for?”

Howie: “I’m going to use it like a glove so I don’t prick my fingers on the lure!”

Cheryl: “Augh Howie! Then your shirt will get all gross and lake-y!”

Howie: “Just pass it to me please!”

I passed Howie his t-shirt. Like a heroic duck, Howie bobbed under the water and came up with the lure in his t-shirt wrapped hand.

Howie: “YES! Got it!”

Cheryl: “Good work babe.”

Howie: “Ha ha! How is that for impressive eh?”

Cheryl: “Very impressive babe.”

Howie: “My eyes sting.”

Cheryl: “Why would you open your eyes in that water?”

Howie: “I don’t know.”

And thus began year two of our marriage. Let’s hope the following 364 days are not as eventful, or early…. or involve so much vomit.

How did other newlyweds celebrate their first year of marriage? Please tell me it was as romantic as ours!

The Difference Between Men and Women III

Oh yes. It’s back by popular demand. The Modern Wife’s introspection into some of the most head-scratching differences between men and women as discovered through extensive research and observation of the male species. Well, the male species as observed in one specimen, namely my husband Howard.

So one would think that a date night at the movies would be easy right? I mean, in nearly ten years of having a relationship we’ve probably seen hundreds of movies together. However, the longer I’ve been with Howie, the tougher I’m finding it to compromise on our movie selections. It’s as if the longer we’ve been together, and the more “comfortable” he gets, the less likely he is to watch a chick flick with me. What’s up with that?

Travel back to December 2002 and you will find a sweet, caring, ever-so-eager-to-please 16 year old Howie who couldn’t be happier to escort his girlfriend of one month to Maid in Manhattan.  Fast forward about 9.8 years and into 11 months of marriage and you have a 26 year old Howard who dragged his wife not once, but twice to see Avengers in the theatre without even repaying the favour with a subsequent chick flick. Oh the humanity!

Chart A:  Howie & Cheryl's Movie-Watching Situation

Chart A: Howie & Cheryl’s Movie-Watching Situation

So with the final instalment of the Dark Knight series coming out this Friday you can imagine my “delight” to see yet another lame action movie based on comic book characters. My attitude is not sitting well with Howie, he is appalled at my lack of enthusiasm and can’t even fathom why I’m not pleased to be lining up 1.5 hours before the movie even starts.

After failing to pre-order his precious movie passes online due to an internet issue, Howie decided to drag me to the actual movie theatre on a Tuesday night so he could buy them ahead of time for this Saturday.

Cheryl: Hey! Since I’m going to see Dark Knight with you Saturday, why don’t we go and see Katy Perry’s movie tonight?

Howie: (Loud laughter) Yah right! I would never go see that movie! Why would you even want to see it?

Cheryl: I don’t know, it looked kind of fun… plus it reveals how her divorce with Russell Brand went down!

Howie: No way Cheryl. I could never see that movie.

Cheryl: Funny how you drag me around to watch your lame movies but you won’t even see one movie I want to see!

Howie: (Gasps, struggling for air) LAME movie Cheryl? I hope you are kidding. Dark Knight is probably going to be the most successful movie of all time. Have you even watched the previews? It’s sick! It’s going to be awesome!

Cheryl: On a scale of one to ten on how excited I am to see that movie, I’m probably a two.

Howie: (Gasps, shocked) Two?! You are only excited at a two level?!?

Cheryl: It would probably be a low one if it weren’t for the frozen yogurt.

Howie:  I do not understand your taste in movies at all.

Cheryl: Well it’s way better than your taste. Remember how awful Avengers was? What was that? Some evil “moon-prince” wanted to make people bow down to his glowing sceptre? So lame.

Howie: (Coughs) Ummm… well millions of people agree with me Cheryl. It made the most money of all time, and it’s record is only going to be broken by the Dark Knight.

Cheryl: Just because millions of teenage boys also go to the same movies you do, does not mean you have good taste. This is the same audience that made Sponge Bob famous.

Howie: Whatever Cheryl. Clearly I have the better taste in movies. Yours are all the same. Couple falls in love, they have a problem, and then oh look! They end up together.

Cheryl: Not all the time, in The Vow it was left unclear whether they end up together!

Howie: Oh The Vow was one of the worst of them! You only like it because of that Tating Channum guy!

Cheryl: It’s Channing Tatum, and no, I don’t like the movie because of him.

Howie: Well I’m just as good looking as him anyway. Those girls of yours thought I looked exactly like him … (smirks)

Cheryl: Howie my girls’ group was standing like 100 feet away from you and couldn’t see that clearly. Plus, they were like thirteen years old.

Howie: Still…. (checks himself out in the mirror)

Exhibit B: Channing Tatum vs. Howie Martin (personally I prefer the one on the right)

At that point we had arrived at the theatre and Howie went in to buy the Dark Knight tickets for Saturday. He came out holding them as if they were the Holy Grail or something then placed them carefully in the centre console of our car. I will go and see Dark Knight with Howie. But he’s going to have to return the favour. It’s only fair.

I’m going to make him watch something so ridiculously sappy he’s going to be wishing he had agreed to Katy Perry. Yes… (evil laugh)… some sort of historically-set romance, preferably in 18th century England…with accents….and Colin Firth….

Are there any lucky ones out there who share their significant other’s taste in movies?!

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Liked this post? Check out the Differences Between Men and Women 1 and 2

How did we get here?

Christopher Columbus

Leading up to their wedding a couple tends to get a lot of advice (usually unsolicited) about marriage and relationships and how to be happy. The groom is told that a “happy wife is a happy life,” and to “just say yes dear,” and as a bride I was told to “not sweat the small stuff.” While we tried to assert that we’d be just fine and we knew what we were getting into, married couples had a knowing, smug look that seemed to pat our heads and say “Of course you do, you silly, young couple.”

It was as if there was some sort of impending, pivotal shift that would occur after we were married and only they knew the full extent of what would happen. We assured ourselves that we would never be one of those couples who bickered, argued over the remote control and stopped cuddling every night. We would be different. We would be in a permanent honeymoon phase. Who could have imagined I’d be sleeping in the guest room in six months, furious over Christopher Columbus?

Howie and I have what I like to call a healthy sort of communication style that can be teasing at times. I like to complain about his permanent cow-lick and lack of hair gel while he likes to pretend to get mad about me tasting some of his food when we eat out. It just works for us. Sometimes I find we might push the teasing limits a little bit, like when I made a comment about his muscles not seeming as big as when he played hockey (that was a mistake). But all in all, we usually know when to pull the brakes on our little banter.

Then one night we were lying in bed talking about various things, places we’d like to travel, and things we’d like to discover, and somehow (don’t even ask me how) the topic of the European discovery of North America came up. I was convinced that Christopher Columbus came to the Americas way before Jacques Cartier started fishing off the coast of Newfoundland (I’m Canadian eh?) while Howie was convinced Cartier made the trip before Columbus.

The problem with Howie and I is that we can both be “right-fighters,” meaning, we both love to be right, even if it’s at the cost of peace.

Cheryl: Howie are you serious? Columbus was in America WAY before Cartier went to Newfoundland! I can’t believe you!

Howie: Seriously Cheryl? You minored in history! How can you think that?! Cartier was first and it was around the same time period!

Cheryl: You are SO ANNOYING! I can’t believe you don’t believe me!

Howie: I’M ANNOYING?! I can’t believe you don’t trust the guy who majored in history!

(And on it goes)

It got to the point where I was so peeved off that I couldn’t sleep until I had proven him wrong. So I got my BlackBerry and started googling the respective explorers.

Cheryl: A HA! I WAS RIGHT! Cartier was in 1497 and Columbus in 1492! A HA!

Howie: Okay Cheryl, it was like five years apart, I told you it was around the same time, Columbus wasn’t WAY before.

Cheryl: Five years is a long time Howie!

Howie: (Quietly) Tell me about it I’ve been with your for nine!

Cheryl: What was that?

Howie: I said five years isn’t long between 1492 and 1497! It’s the same time!

Cheryl: Augh! I can’t stand this! Why can’t you just admit you were wrong!?

Howie: I will when I’m actually wrong.

Eventually I had worked myself up into such a huffy that I refused to sleep next to a man who couldn’t admit when I was right. I grabbed my pillow and stormed off to the guest room. After a few moments, I stared up at the ceiling and thought, “What am I doing?”

How was I seriously so mad over Christopher Columbus? Why did I care so much about proving Howie wrong? What was the point of that whole argument? The more I contemplated these things the more I realized what a pair of nutcases we were. Was this really worth sleeping in separate beds over? I think not.

So I casually slipped back into our bed, and just as I was about to say, “Love you babe” Howie leaned over and whispered in my ear, “Let’s never discuss Columbus again.”

Agreed. Some things are so not worth arguing over, especially in the bedroom.

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a ridiculous argument and thought, how did we get here?

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Liked this post? Check out the Modern Wife Guide to fighting fair

Mexican Daredevil

Howie and I got back from a relaxing and fun vacation in the Mayan Riveria last week and I have to say, I’ve come home with a new and intriguing perspective of my husband. I don’t know if it was the warm weather, the fact we were vacationing with friends, (or more probably the tequila) but something came over my usually hesitant Howie and turned him into a connoisseur of trying new things.

Playa del Carmen

It started with the food. For years, I’ve tried to convince Howie he might actually like certain seafoods besides beer-battered haddock. In the heat of the dinner moments he started trying shrimp, sushi and even mussels. His face would scrunch up as he anticipated a disgusting bite, then, his face relaxed, eyebrows raised, and he exclaimed, “Actually, that isn’t so bad!”

Then he participated in the resort pool competitions, losing only by a hair in the kayaking beer-chugging contest. Next, on an excursion we descended into a cenote (underground cave filled with pristine rain-water) and Howie was the first one to jump off the rock into the water (a feat that even I, was too scared to do). To top it off he was mildly attacked by a parrot on his shoulder.

The most thrilling feat of all, however, was when our excursion took us to the edge of a jungle cliff and told us we were all going to rappel down. His cautious instincts kicked in full force at that point:

Howie: Cheryl, this is crazy. Are they seriously making us all do this?!

Cheryl: Yah. This is kinda nuts. I’m not sure about this.

(We walk over to the ledge and look down)

Cheryl: Ummm… I’m not so sure I’m going to do this

Friends: What? You’re not going to go down?

Cheryl: I don’t know….

Howie: It’s ok! It’s ok everyone! I will escort Cheryl down on the trail!

Instructor: No no! You will be fine! Everybody does this!

Howie: Babe, you don’t have to do this. Don’t worry I will walk you down the side

Cheryl: Actually I think I’m going to do it Howie.

Howie: (Eyes bulging) What?! No, no, don’t be silly. There’s no shame. Don’t do anything you don’t want to do

Cheryl: No I think it’s fine Howie. They said 80 year old ladies did it. I’m going to do it.

Howie: (High-pitched groan) Are you sure?

Our friend Denise rappelling down!

Our friend Denise rappelling down!

(We start putting on our gear and get in the line, Howie repeatedly tells me it’s ok if I want to turn around and walk down because he will escort me. Soon, a lady in front of us starts freaking out)

Freaked Out Lady: No! No! I’m not going to do this. Unhook me! I can’t do this!

Instructor: Yes you can! Look at my face! Look in my eyes! You are fine! You can do this!

Freaked Out Lady: No no I can’t! I can’t do this! Let me out!

Everyone else: Come on! You can do it! It’s ok!

Howie: It’s ok! No need to do it if you don’t want! I will assist you and walk you down!

Instructor: Everybody stop talking! Listen lady, trust me! I do this all the time. You can do it!

Howie: It’s ok if you can’t do it! No shame in it! I will help you walk down the side!

(Freaked Out Lady decides she can’t do it right away. She goes to the back of the line. I assume the next position to go down)

Cheryl: Don’t worry Howie, I will go first. Just watch me!

Instructor: Ok mister give your wife a last kiss goodbye!

Howie: (Groans)

Cheryl: She’s kidding babe!

(I cautiously start to repel down the side, it’s not so bad at all. I stand with the other people at the bottom and wait for Howie)

Howie: (Muttering about craziness and dying from up there)

Cheryl: Come on babe you can do it!

(Howie starts slowing descending down)

Friends: Look around you Howie! Look down! It’s beautiful!


(Howie takes a peak and looks down)

Howie: Oh sh*t!

Cheryl: You’re almost there! Keep going!

(Howie makes it to the bottom)

Howie: WOOOOO!

Friends: See? Wasn’t that fun?

Howie: NO!

Despite saying he did not have fun, I knew he couldn’t admit to it after making a big deal about it. I was truly impressed with Howie. His adventuresome seems to come out when we go on hoildays. I supposed we will need to go on a lot more of these…..

Do you find you’re more likely to try things out of your comfort zone when you go on vacation?

Hockey Wives

For the record, I was never a puck bunny.* The fact that Howie and I started dating in his first year of the OHL was merely a coincidence. I did not hang around arenas scoping out hockey players, never once attended a team party and certainly never attended an ice hockey game wearing a mini-skirt. Yes, I like how Howie looks in shoulder pads, but that does not make me a puck bunny. Despite these truths, friends endearingly like to tease me with this name.

Though it’s been a while since I’ve watched Howie play competitive hockey, I was really looking forward to watching him compete in a for-charity ball hockey tournament with some friends a few weekends ago. The fact that he was playing with the new husband of my friend (and former basketball teammate) Melissa meant I had a cheering buddy. And when you get two competitive former basketball players cheering together, things can get pretty serious. When you add in a Loud Mouth who purposefully hooks* our men in the nuts, things get ugly.

The fun-loving charitable atmosphere took a turn for the worst when our men had to compete against a rather brutish oaf who clearly talked smack because he enjoyed getting a rise out of his opponents. After a few initial dirty plays and smart-aleck remarks, we soon had the entire crowd cheering for our team to spite this ridiculous Loud Mouth. At first our boys tried to maintain the higher ground, play on and ignore the fool. It wasn’t as easy for us Hockey Wives to do the same. And so the game digressed….

Here is my account of the Tale of Two Hockey Wives and the Loud Mouth

Loud Mouth cross-checks Howie across the back, Howie shoves him in the chest (so hot)

Loud Mouth: “You wanna go man?!”

Howie (who is twice his size): “Are you serious?”

Loud Mouth backs away shouting: “Ooo big tough guy eh?”

Melissa: “What is your problem?! Play the game!!”

Cheryl: “I hope you realize this is a recreational ball hockey tournament!!”

Loud Mouth: “Why are you guys even talking?! You’re not even playing!”

Melissa: “Neither are you!”

Cheryl giggles: “Shhh.. careful Melissa… he’s an idiot. We should just ignore him”

Melissa: “It’s impossible to ignore those kind of people. I can’t stand them!”

Cheryl: “I know… he’s just trying to cause trouble.”

Loud Mouth becomes excessively aggressive with Howie’s younger brother Bret, and causes a scene in which both he (Loud Mouth) and Bret end up with penalties.

Loud Mouth to Bret: “Hahaha! What a joke! You think you’re good eh? You’re the worst!”

Bret: “Wow dude. You have issues. Have you ever even got laid?”

Cheryl: “BRET! Don’t say things like that!”

Melissa: “Don’t stoop to his level Bret! He’s not worth it!”

Loud Mouth: “Hahah! I’m not worth it? Ok. Why are you still talking?”

Melissa: “Get over yourself and just play the game!”

Cheryl: (Giggles) “Nice one.”

Loud Mouth continues to do idiotic things, gets a few penalties and eventually gets kicked out of the game.

Loud Mouth: “Hahaha what a joke! They think they’re so good! They suck!”

Melissa: “Ya. Just walk off and sit down.”

Loud Mouth: “Oh really? You think you’re funny?”

Melissa: “Your FACE is funny.”

And there it was. The best line ever. When all else fails, just remember the lines from grade school playgrounds. I was laughing so hard at that point. Loud Mouth didn’t have a reply to that. Take THAT Loud Mouth!

Our boys went on to win their division championship. Howie told me I’m not supposed to reveal there was only three teams in the division how truly difficult and hard-fought the victory was. In the end, we Hockey Wives were very proud of our men and their glorious accomplishment. We stand ready to challenge anyone that would say otherwise!

* Puck bunny: Female fan of hockey players (emphasis on the player, not the game of hockey) who frequent arenas and hockey team parties for the sole purpose of hooking up with players. They severely underdress for a sport known to be played on ice.

The Name Change Discussed

Last month I explored my feelings about the decision of married women to change their last names. It resulted in quite a lively discussion with many readers weighing in through comments and the survey. We heard from different cultures, different generations and of course, heard lots of differing opinions. As promised, I’m sharing the results of that survey among some of my favourite comments.

  • Of the women who responded to the poll, 63% changed or plan to change their name. Over half of those women said it didn’t even cross their minds to keep their names or they thought it was best for a family.
  • 10% of the women hyphenated their last names or were still undecided.
  • 27% of the women polled said they did not, or will not change their last names. Half of these women said they were keeping their last name because they were too attached to change it. One-quarter of the non-changers kept their names because they were “too lazy” or didn’t like the sounds of their partner’s name, and the remainders thought the practise was sexist.

The results of my informal survey actually fell in the same distribution as a much larger survey conducted in 2011. Generally, about two-thirds of North American women still prefer to change their names. A connection to the personal identity one feels with their name and the professional reasons for keeping one’s name were the most cited reasons for not changing to your partner’s name.

Some of my favourite comments from your responses to my post included:

“I took my husband’s last name but i added it to my three names because, the way I saw it, marrying him added something to my life and who I am. It didn’t replace who I was and it didn’t trump the me i had been for twenty-three years.”

“In my family it’s not a question of “will you change your name” but “WHY would you change your name?” I have always been very impressed by my mom who didn’t change her name in 1975, when it was still very much expected. And as for your children having a different last name, I can honestly say that it made absolutely no difference in my life, we don’t live in the 1800s, we introduce people by their first names now.”

“I was personally one of those who dreamed of getting married just so I COULD get rid of my last name. It’s not horrible, but I did get made fun of enough to scar me for life. Now I like to say that God was exercising his sense of humor when He matched me with someone with the most generic last name in the country. I love being Mrs. Smith.”

“I was honored to be able to take the hubs last name as my own because not only did it symbolize our union but it provided me with a connection to the hubs father who died two years before mine. That being said, it was just as important and meaningful to me to keep my last name so that I always have that link to my family and of course my dad. I made my maiden name my middle name and took my husbands last name as my last name.”

“I could not answer your poll because my answer was not an option! When we got married my husband decided to take my name. Where we’re from it is not that unusual though the norm would still be to have the woman change her name. For me that was never an option as my surname is unique, which is quite useful in these days of globalization and internet. As it is a very unusual surname it has also been an important part of me growing up and I identify very much with the name as you also did, very often people would just refer to me by my last name – so how could I change that? My husband is a progressive guy (I would not have married him otherwise) and he likes my name also so decided that he changes his surname.”

“There are many reasons pro and con to change your name. Unfortunately one of the biggest reasons people change is to have children that have the same name as you, which really takes a lot of the decision out of your hands. Some couples choose to both hyphenate thereby taking on two new “identities”. Whatever your choice is talk it out with your fiance/husband and come to a decision that you both are most comfortable with!”

“What’s the difference, my dad’s name or my husband’s name? Personally, I think it would be cool to make a new name when you get married, to represent your new oneness. What would you think of Duivtin? Or Marteyn?”

“Here in Switzerland, you have four options of name change when you get married, but keeping just your maiden name is NOT an option unless your husband takes your name, too. Made the decision very simple for me!”

“In the Netherlands, no citizen is allowed to lose or change their birth name, unless under very specific circumstances (of which marriage is not one).”

It was such a relief to realize that other women felt this was a big decision to make as well, not just a “given.” I feel more at peace with my decision to just add his name, without taking mine away. Thank you to all the readers and contributors on this topic, I think it will help many other young millennial women explore this decision.

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If you liked this post, you may also want to check out another naming issue in my marriage: What’s in a Name (or, the Tale of Three Howards)

Young and Impulsive Once

About two months ago Howie and I decided we should go on a vacation. My plot to have Howie catch the travel bug via our honeymoon in August was an overwhelming success. He now dreams wildly about all sorts of places he’d like to go such as China, Japan, Australia, more Europe, and down South. (I still haven’t been able to convince him we should go to Africa quite yet but all that’s all in good time my dears, all in good time).

Since we are trying to be somewhat responsible with money we decided that a big trans-oceanic, multi-thousand trip would be out of the picture. So Europe, Australia, Asia… you’ll have to wait a little longer for Mr. and Mrs. Martin to make their debut. Instead, we decided we’d head down south, where many fellow Canadians go to escape the grasp of Jack Frost. Now that we knew which direction we were headed, we had to decide where and how. All-inclusive? Cruising? Caribbean? Islands? Mexico? Cuba? So many choices.

(Driving home from work one weeknight)

Howie: We need to make a decision. What are we going to do?

Cheryl: I'm open to pretty much anything. If I had to choose, I'd
like to go somewhere that has some history to it. Not just beach.

Howie: I agree. Plus, I hate being hot.

Cheryl: Well... if we are going down south it's going to be hot.

Howie: I know I just mean I hate roasting on a beach all day I
want to see something.

Cheryl: Ok well did you like the cruises we were looking at?

Howie: You know I'd love to go on a cruise. But they were a
little over our budget don't you think?

Cheryl: Yeah.... I mean, if we wanted to stay in budget we should
just go to an all-inclusive. With cruises you always get that
awful bill at the end for all the alcohol and excursions you had.

Howie: You mean all the alcohol YOU had.

Cheryl: Yes, yes whatever. It's all just every expensive.

Howie: Yah, I know. But I just love cruises.

Cheryl: Me too.


Cheryl: Should we just book it?

Howie: We could. I mean, it will only make us like $1,000 over-
budget and really, what's $1,000 over the span of a lifetime?

Cheryl: Not much really.

Howie: Exactly.

Cheryl: Plus, when we are old and dying, do we want to say,
"Oh boy. I was able to pay off school loans about 1 year earlier
because I didn't travel that April in 2012." Or, do we want to
be able to say, "That was a kick-a** vacation we took in April
2012! Thank goodness we went on that! And look, our student loans
have been paid off for decades even though we still went on that

Howie: We definitely want to be able to say the second thing.
Plus,"And look, Howie still has a full head of hair!"

Cheryl: Yah, and if we don't go now, it will be harder and harder
to go away once we start having kids and stuff. 

Howie: Yah, I mean, I can barely leave Monica at her groomers, how
would I be able to leave kids for weeks?

Cheryl: Well I still want to vacation after we have kids Howie.
But anyways, let's just do it!

Howie: Yah we're young. It's not like we don't have time to
recover from the cost of this trip.

Cheryl: Yah, if we don't do impulsive things now, we can't be as
reckless once we get older.

We had come to such a high place of freedom and “live-life now” that we had convinced each other within a matter of seconds we should just splurge and go for the cruise. Then a few days later at a wedding, we started talking to some friends that were planning on vacationing at the exact same time we were planning to vacation. Coincidence?

They were planning on an all-inclusive. Something within our original budget.

They were planning to go with another couple, did we want to join?

We decided that this had to be a sign. A way to go on a vacation within a budget, have an awesome time with other couples, and still see some amazing historical landmarks by choosing a country with some history. And so, after a little back and forth the six of us decided that the Mayan Riviera was the place for us! An adults-only, all-inclusive, ancient Mayan ruin adjacent, paradise of a vacation awaits us!

Now…. I have about six weeks to get my body in bikini condition. Ay ca rumba!

Questionable Readers

It’s Friday! Can’t wait for the weekend to start. I’ve got a big To Do list going with my planned bedroom makeover. Carpentry, sewing, and painting are all on the agenda, Howie’s going to love me for this. Since we can all use a laugh on Friday, I thought I would share the following experience related to blog management.

Every so often I like to take a little peek at my blog stats and see what kind of sites and search terms are bringing people to my blog. Most come from facebook, twitter, and other blogs I place comments on but there are a handful of visitors that find me through random Google search terms.

So you must understand I was a little taken aback when the following list of Google search terms popped up as the mode to which I gained new visitors.

“Burning boobs”? “Wife go wild”? “Bloodshot spot in my eye” twice? How are these people finding me? And what foreign term is that last one?

Thank you random Google searchers, for making me laugh, feel slightly repulsed, and oddly intrigued all at the same time! I think I will name this new emotion, “repulaughtrigue.”

Ten points to the person who can interpret the foreign search term! (Or just think of a really awesome possible interpretation).

Domestically Disturbed

I am a procrastinator of the worst breed.

From opening mail, doing a load of laundry, hanging up clothes, taking items back into the house from the car, unpacking luggage, writing to my sponsored child in Guatemala, sending birthday cards to people on time, printing pictures of our wedding, to almost every little task you could imagine, I tend to postpone action until a later date instead of getting things done right away. To illustrate, this is what typically happens on a weekday evening:

(Cheryl and Howie arrive home together, usually around 7:30pm-ish)

Howie: Oh no! We forgot to take meat out of the freezer again! 

Cheryl: Augh! Why do we forget to do that all the time? 

Howie: I will walk the dog if you go get pizza...

Cheryl: How about I will walk the dog if you go get the pizza?

Howie: I don't like that as much.

Cheryl: Ok how about you walk the dog and I start defrosting meat.

Howie: How? We don't have a microwave.

Cheryl: I'll just put the package in hot water. It's fine. We
seriously have to stop eating out so much we have food here!

Howie: Ok, ok. Did you get the mail?

Cheryl: I'll get it tomorrow. Did you take out the garbage?

Howie: I'll do it tomorrow. Did you pay the hydro bill?

Cheryl: I was going to do it tomorrow.

Howie: I'll do it after supper.

Cheryl: (Reaching into dishwasher) Augh! I hate how this thing
never cleans the glasses properly!

Howie: Oh well it's just us. We'll clean them by hand before people
come over.

Cheryl: (Walking into living room) Oh Howie, look how messy it is!

Howie: Oh well who cares? We'll clean up Saturday.

So as you can imagine, when you combine a procrastinator with a gent who isn’t bothered by mess, you get a home that goes from neat and organized on Saturday morning to total chaos and anarchy by Tuesday evening. Then Saturday morning rolls around again and you clean up because you simply can’t stand the mess any longer or what is more likely, you have people coming over and you can’t let them see how you really live.

The problem with being a procrastinator is that you start an inner dialog with yourself rationalizing the situation and convincing yourself that you actually cannot complete certain tasks until you accomplish other tasks of which you have delayed action.

Case in point: I forbade myself from writing another blog post until we cleaned up our bedroom. Result: Bedroom still messy. Didn’t write a post for almost two weeks.

So from now on I’ve decided that blog posts and domestic issues will be kept on completely separate schedules, 100% unrelated to one another. In further efforts to slay the procrastination demon that lives inside me, I’ve decided to open up about my issue and expose my procrastinating life for what it truly is. The first step to recovery is admitting your problem (at least that’s what they say on Intervention) and so I will open up the door to my bedroom, let you all in. Divulge the mess for what it is. And somewhere, deep down, hope that this revelation will either a) Encourage us to never let my bedroom get like this again or b) Make me feel a whole lot better because I will find out other people live like I do. Personally I hope this accomplishes a little bit of both.

  1. Heap of clothes containing a mixture of both clean and dirty laundry. Since I can no longer tell which is which (the dirty ones have contaminated the clean ones) we will have to wash them all. Also, Monica has probably hidden her rawhide bone in here.
  2. Super expensive and awesome set of coordinating throw pillows which spend more time on the drying rack than arranged neatly on our bed.
  3. Compact drying rack that ironically spends more time holding super expensive (already dry) and awesome coordinating throw pillows than drying clothes.
  4. Our single Blackberry charger that we inconveniently plug into the wall that I need to walk by to get to my side of the bed and often trip on. Thus, unintentionally causing Howie’s charging Blackberry to become unplugged all throughout the night and cause Howie to arise to a still dead phone in the morning to which he angrily exclaims, “Cheryl! You did it again!” and I reply “It wasn’t me!” Even though it was.
  5. One of two Ikea chairs I used in university at my little dorm desk and we now use as nightstands because we haven’t bothered to find nightstands. I have two because I thought I lost my chair one summer and so I bought a chair to replace it only to discover that the first chair had been in storage in my parent’s basement all along. (See earlier musings on my propensity to lose objects)
  6. Space where second chair on Howie’s side ought to be but isn’t because we had to use it at our table for a dinner party roughly two weeks ago. Why hasn’t it been put back yet? It’s a stand-off issue between Howie and I at the moment. I’m waiting for him to put it back and I think he’s doing the same.
  7. Monica’s dog crate which she slumbers in approximately just 3 out of 7 nights a week despite the fact that I swore I would never be a pet owner that allowed a dog to sleep in my bed. You may notice it’s missing the “o” in Monica. I am planning on fixing that at a later date.
  8. Hamper that never holds the dirty clothes because we obviously like to keep our dirty clothes on the floor.
  9. Annoying window fixture that came with our condo that I’ve been meaning to replace for the whole six months we’ve been living here. It has one single defective panel that strategically allows streetlight beams to hit directly into my eye at night.
  10. Half unpacked suitcase lying in dis-array from a weekend at my parents’ 7 days ago. One small victory, Howie now packs his clothes in here instead of plastic grocery bags.)

Phew! That feels a lot better. I feel that I need to follow up this post with some sort of bedroom makeover story! How inspiring would that be? I will definitely get around to that as soon as we clean up this room.

Thoughts on procrastination welcomed!

Dorky Soulmates

When it comes to building personal relationships, there are a few things you should know:

  1. If people laugh at my jokes and attempts at humour I will love them
  2. If people “get” my weird accents I will love them even more
  3. Howie has turned me into a semi-Star Trek fan (this is irrelevant to building personal relationships but you need to know this fact for later on)

A sense of humour and a love of dorky things are very important to me. People who are very self-aware tend to have the best senses of humour. If we laugh together, we can be friends. When it comes to my romantic relationship with Howie nothing is more important to me (besides love, trust, etc) than being able to laugh and share hilarious interests together. It is imperative that Howie understands and appreciates the things I find funny.

After a year of trying to get him into Modern Family without avail I was sure our relationship was doomed. Finally, this Christmas he gave me the best gift ever; the first season of Modern Family on DVD with the promise that he would watch and “get into it.” His sounds of laughter and urge to run out and get the second season was music to my ears. Finally, I could rest assured that this marriage would last now that he understood how hilarious Phil Dunfey truly is. (See below: Exhibit A)

Laughter is a huge part of a relationship. Even for people who don’t place as high of a stake in a sense of humour as I do. If you and your sweetie-poo can be completely dorky with each other, without fearing judgement, you know you’ve found a keeper. It’s important to delve into each other’s oft hidden and embarrassing interests. I reciprocate the gesture for Howie. Now is the time to remember that bit about Star Trek. You also need to remember Howie’s obsessive interest in Survivor.

(Sitting on the couch watching Star Trek)

Me: Whoa what's this about? Was Geordi in the holodeck* that 
entire time? You mean he wasn't on a date with that chick? 

Howie: Nope! 

Me: I see. I wish we had holodecks eh? What kind of holodeck would
you progr- 

Howie: Survivor!

Me: That was a quick response. You must've thought about
Survivor holodeck before... 

Howie: Obviously. That would be so cool. I would program it so
that I couldn't lose. 

Me: What's the point in that? That isn't satisfying if you just
programmed the characters to let you win! 

Howie: Well maybe I wouldn't program them to let me win, but I
would make it so that if I got voted out it would just restart
to a point in the game where I could make a different move... 

Me: Ooo that is cool! So you could like, play and try different
strategies with the same characters until you found a way to win...

Howie: Exactly!

Me: Which characters would you want to play with?

Howie: Oh you know which ones I like... Russell, Rob,
Parvarti... basically the entire cast of Heroes vs. Villians. 

Me: I should have known. 

Howie: This sucks. Now you've got me excited about something that
could never happen. 

(Long pause)

Me: You never know Howie, with technology these days holodecks
might be invented soon... 

Howie: I meant Survivor... they will never accept Canadians.

True love means that you can laugh together, be dorky together, and “get” each other’s lameness without judgement.

When it comes to building lasting relationships, what dorky
things do you need friends or significant others to “get”?

* Holodeck: simulated reality facility located on starships and starbases in the fictional Star Trek universe