Thursday, January 3, 2008

What? Really?

You have to be joking.

My last update was in November?

I suck.

(As you read this entry, keep track in your mind all of the things we did in three short weeks.)

Wendy and I returned to the states in early December. She’s legal now so she had to get a bunch of stuff done for her Visa which involved going down to Boston twice and up to Burlington thrice. And of course, since I’m a man, I hadn’t done any Christmas shopping so Josh and I went up to Burlington again one day without Wendy to take care of that. Then it was up to Burlington again for dinner with Hilary and Michele and more shopping. And then we decided we needed a new couch so we drove around Vermont looking for the best one.

I used to drive 4 miles to work and home again. That was usually it. In the three weeks we were home I put the equivalent of 97 weeks of work worth of mileage on my car. As always when we return to the states, it is almost never endingly busy.

There’s a lot to do.

This trip home’s primary job was fixing up the house and making it much more a “Wendy and Jamie’s house” than a “bare walls and beer smelling rug.” As mentioned once already today, I’m a man. When Marilyn passed away, I tried to turn the house more into my house than “Marilyn and Jamie’s house.” Marilyn liked an old Americana style combined with pictures of dogs and children. I liked the dogs part but a little girl praying over breakfast with a dog at her side did nothing for me. So, I took those down and put up some Superman and Dragonlance posters.

Let me tell you, the ladies were impressed.

Marilyn kept and designed a beautiful house. But, like all married couple’s houses, it was a bit more designed to her tastes than mine. I never complained or tried to change it because, once again, I’m a man. Men don’t get a whole lot of say in what the house looks like, sorry. We get “the den” and “the garage,” if we’re lucky. (You should see my dad’s den. Full to bursting with girly mags, Vargas prints, “Peanuts” books, guns and deer heads. Not kidding. Not even a little.)

Ask yourself this – When was the last time you walked into a married couples house and saw a moose head hanging on the wall? How about a stolen road sign? How about a flashing neon sign boldly proclaiming your favorite beer?

That’s right.

This summer I practically begged Wendy to become more comfortable in my house. Help me design it so that she felt more at home there. So this winter it was time to fix the bathroom door (like Doug or I cared that it swung open just as you sat down or were showering), get rid of two very uncomfortable 14 year old couches, clean out the junk drawer, buy the cooking pots, pans and utensils she needed, hang up some of her pictures, repair some other annoying things that we men had just decided to walk around or avert our eyes rather than fix - and a few other things.

Oh yeah, don’t forget to add Christmas, dinners with families and friends and three poker nights, all of which Wendy finished in the top three and one in which she won. (Okay, she will tell you she didn’t win, she split with Bingham. But at my house, that’s winning. It always comes down to the last two and they split. That was the night we had twelve people sitting around my dining room table and new to the game this summer, my brilliant girlfriend won. I’d kill for a brain like hers… Hmmmm…

It was great to be back in the states but man, the weight gain! I didn’t eat at McDonalds ONCE. I had ONE HOTDOG and that was on our last day there. I didn’t snack on chips and soda every time I stopped for gas and I still ballooned up seven pounds.

Despite all the obvious things like family, friends, comprehending speech around me, home, my king sized pillow top bed, etc; it was wonderful to be back among Vermonters.

I was walking down the aisle of “Linen’s and Things” (new house stuff for Wendy, remember? I was NOT there willingly) and a woman ten steps ahead of me turns around, sees me coming, moves her cart out of the way and says “Excuse me.”

You cannot imagine how shocking and refreshing this was to me. And it happened over and over again everywhere I went and I LOVED IT! I was in BLISS!

Not only that, everyone on the street walked at a brisk pace and plotted a course for where they were going and avoided each other like people that… well, LIVE WITH OTHER PEOPLE!!! Something Spaniards refuse to master.

You’re probably sick of me explaining this, but I can’t help myself. Spaniards all walk as if they are nine hundred years old. All of them. From the sixteen year olds to the mothers of small children to grand parents. Every single one of them ambles along at a speed of half a mile a decade and weaves too and fro along the sidewalk as if drunk and no one could possibly be trying to get by them. This works fine for other Spaniards since they all walk at the same snail’s pace and no one ever tries to pass.


Of course, this is why half of America is medicated too. I should probably just learn to amble and weave and I’ll be a lot more relaxed.

On top of that, lines were not cut. People stood one person in front of the other like organized soldiers, not two or even three in a haphazard crazy jigsaw line only a Spaniard can either understand or ignore.

It was bliss.

Bliss I tell you.

Next entry – The Return.


  1. Glad to see you're back. But why back to the states? Is the plan to stay here and not Madrid?

    BTW get engaged. Don't F around.

    Being palsey only works for so long. Wendy deserves you and vice versa.


  2. Merry Christmas, J! Hope you post a lot in 2008