Tag Archives: husband

t is for thanks. and turkey.

10 Oct

thanksgiving is a special time – good food, copious amounts of chilled chardy and entertaining family drama.  but sookie sookie, i have another, more secret, reason for loving thanksgiving.

before we get to that though, you may recall that i have told you the story of the first time husband and i met (a ball + vodka + a disappearing act). what i neglected to mention in that little tale is that in between the first meeting and our official coupledom, there was about seven months. (when i said i ran away – i wasn’t kidding…)

well it was seven months of being just friends – seven months of learning about each other and of building to that moment. you know, the moment when you realize that hey – i’d like him to be my more-than-a-friend.

and well for us that moment came on a thanksgiving weekend. we had been talking a lot, and one night – in typical ‘him’ fashion – he randomly invited me to travel five hours to come and spend the holiday with him and his friends.

now, i’m a logical human girl, so i knew this was kind of odd. i knew that most people would probably have said he should be wooing me in more obvious ways, like say, with a giant panda bear and maybe a string quartet and champers on a picnic blanket.

so after making mental lists, pivot tables and several venn diagrams on my options –  i swiftly got on a bus and made my way into the vast unknown.

and yup, since we hadn’t really spent much time together since the epic first meeting, it was a little awkward at the beginning. i mean, what did i know about this guy other than the fact that he dances well when drunk and likes pizza kind of a lot?

but then something funny happened.

i was standing in his parents’ kitchen, freezing my tush off and looking out on the deck at him with his big group of friends. they were all talking and laughing and telling stories from 10 + years ago.

i just stood there thinking: “wow, this guy loves his friends. and they love him. and i love that. oh f*&k…”

and i feel like, honestly, that was the moment – simple as it was. i knew that in that instant i would probably never be a so-called logical human girl around him again.  if he wanted me to take a bus to the moon i totes would: c’est l’amour.

so thanksgiving is a wonderful time for all of the normal reasons – but it will always be just a little bit more perfectly perfect for me and him. i will simply never forget that feeling of standing in a freezing cold kitchen being insanely and irrationally thankful that he asked me to come visit.

happy turkey day, kind readers. (and happy non-wedding anniversary, kind husband.)

t is for thanks

when skies are grey.

11 Sep

it’s 1 am and i am getting up in a few hours to leave for darjeeling (tea, mount everest, not kolkata) but had to tell you something i learned tonight about the husband.

we have this slideshow our wedding photographer put together of all the “best shots” from our tiny (well, miniature really) wedding in december. it’s a magical slideshow set to the beatles ‘here comes the sun’ and it makes me smile each time i watch it.

sometimes i watch it at work. sometimes i watch it while drinking chilled chardy and shedding an oh-so-tiny tear. sometimes i watch it with other people.

i thought that i was probably alone in this quiet little ritual. i mean, we’ve been married a while now, i figured the sheen of the day had somewhat worn off – especially for the husband.

but tonight, as i showed the slideshow to miss jp (aka the ringleader of the americans) the husband said: “i love this slideshow. i  love it. sometimes i watch it at work when i really miss you.”

my heart skipped about 34095 beats.

apparently the big man watches our little wedding slideshow at work when he misses me the mostest. in doing so he reflects on our special day, which in turn brings him just a little closer to me on the days when skies are grey.

what a revelation – i thought i was the only one sneaking a peek at this slideshow 7, 8 and 9 months out!

even though these drab and dreary days aren’t here right now, i just had to tell you that his tiny admission made me smile. and, if you haven’t already seen them, it made me want to share these very special wedding moments with you all.

if you are so inclined, you may view our small wedding slideshow here. (pictures courtesy of the brilliant andria lo of orange photography)

while we are off to darjeeling tomorrow to make new memories, i’ve realized that the moments of love and commitment from our wedding day will help carry us through trying times – no matter how many years pass. and this makes me think we did it right.

hey it’s me, husband: the market.

8 Sep

having the need to leave the apartment – as you often have to for food and water – i have quickly realized the reasons why kolkata is sometimes described as “simultaneously noble and squalid, cultured and desperate…a daily festival of human existence…all played out before your very eyes on teeming streets where not an inch of space is wasted.”

i found this wonderful uplifting quote in a travel book a few days ago – and my experiences over the last few days got me thinking about it. (it seems the authors have been here before…)

our adventures began yesterday morning heading to the mall to eat and run a few errands.  arriving at the mall you walk thought a metal detector that might be working but all in all i’m not really sure.  the mall is comparable to the eaton center in t-dot: very large, fairly expensive stores. you know.

after a quick tour, some groceries and lunch it was off to the market.

now this was unlike anything i’ve seen before.  you hear of the street markets and the millions of people, but until you’ve been in the middle of one, words can’t describe the insanity that takes place.

frankly, the mass amount of people really stressed me out – not to mention the the beggars, the street kids, the market vendors  all competing for our attention. also, i don’t think it helped that i’m a foot taller than everyone else – and we were the only white people there.  everyone was staring.

i guess after the initial shock, it was alright. we bargained for everything, fought though crowds, and avoided the odd car that drives down what seems to be a glorified walkway. we ended up coming away with some nice items.

it was crazy and it almost pushed me too far – i lasted about 30 minutes before we had to leave. regardless, i’m glad it was something i got to experience here in kolkata!

insanity

glad i am tall so i can take these shots

and as always great to see the marketing boys hard at work!

bud!

hey it’s me, husband: the first days.

5 Sep

a note from al: well ya’ll, the husband finally arrived on saturday safe and sound and tired. so i gave him a glass of chilled chardy, told him to buck up, and now he’s ready to make the first of a few guest appearances on this crazy teenaged telephone convo of a blog. so, enjoy india through his eyes – just for a scooch.

it's the husband - blogging!

the first thing i noticed at the airport – besides my beautiful wife – was the insane amount of people. from walking out and seeing the thousands of people lining the gate, it was overwhelming and gave me more of an understanding of what india is: the land of a billion people.

after jumping in miss jp’s big green car (her driver was nice enough to take my wife to pick me up!) – the long drive to al’s palatial pad meant me staring out the window at the massive amount of people on the streets. i thought it was funny that the cars were bumper to bumper and the cows roamed freely on the medians of the highway.

i was overwhelmed with everything around me, at that point al informed me that i was going to be writing some guest posts and to start thinking about things to write…..so in true sports fan fashion i’m going to do a “top 5” (actually, it’s a top 4) of my first two days in india.

1)  maxiums and grantus, be happy your daughter is safe and very brave, you’d be proud of her and seeing this place make me so proud of everything she is doing, words cannot describe how crazy this place is!

2) horns the f*%king horns, the drivers honk  all the time. maybe because a two lane road is being used as a four lane or that people on bikes like driving on the wrong side, either way they honk all day and night.

3) getting around you have a couple of options: car dodging aka walking is a dangerous way to get around. cabs are scary but fast, autos –  imagine a motorcycle with a little back to it and seating for 6 – are fast cheap and effective. my favourite are the rickshaws – not made for big men though.

all of these ways are very terrifying ways to travel.

with so many methods of transportation on the very busy roads you’d think there would be lots of accidents, but no – everyone here pays attention when they are driving. no cell phones no texting no tim hortons, just focusing on driving and not killing me. what a novel concept.

4) finally the food oh the food, so the first day i had very traditional meals of subway and dominos pizza, a nice way to ease into the diet here. yesterday got right at it with bengali food at an indian/chinese restaurant – i don’t know what it was called just that is was very good.

today was al’s cook turned up and he out did the restaurant somehow. he only used veggies but the end result a great meal. it made me think why don’t we have more flavour in our dishes in canada? everything here, expect the pizza and subway, comes packed with these wonderful spices.

well that’s it for now – its only been a few days and i’ve already seen a lot. more to come…

what we do to get by.

13 Jul

hannah told me a while back that you gotta do what you can to cope while living in a developing – or in india’s case, a transition – country.

(in hannah’s case this meant flashing the florida gator’s flag to every tanzanian, singing disney to herself and sneaking into the congo. you know, the typical stuff.)

for me, coping sometimes means drinking a bottle (or 46) of chilled chardy and then dancing around my apartment to 60s rock and roll.  sometimes it is allowing myself to feel brave, even if it’s just for a moment.

but mostly it means relying on the  the man i married.

the husband and i got into several good habits as soon as i landed in this crazy country of mud and spice. right off the bat we both bought tiny computers (1/2 because it was practical and 1/2 because he likes things that make him feel like a giant) and brushed off our skype accounts.

we committed to talking at least 2 times a day – at the beginning of my day and end of his, and at the end of my day and the middle of his. confused? sure ya are.

just carry the 2 and divide by 54.3 and you’ll deduce that what i’m trying to tell you is that we’re basically conversational wizards.  even if it’s only for 10 minutes at a time.

he's my #1

another thing we started a few days after i arrived was the ‘nighttime picture’. now i know this sounds like some kind of creepy sexual reference, but it’s not.  because that would be really awkward. for everyone involved.

anyway, l’epouse simply takes a picture of himself as he is wrapping up his day and sends it to my email. i usually receive it when i’m just booting up my computer at the office, so i always feel a little more connected to what he’s up to.

you know, seeing his face is not a bad way to start the day.

and our modest strategies seem to be helping me (and him) get through each day.  sure, we have our fights – lordy we’re both far from perfect – but we always figure it out. because that’s kinda the deal with the rings, i think.

so maybe it’s weird to lump the husband in with chardonnay and shameless self promotion tactics as coping mechanisms – but what can i say – he’s always going to be the #1 way i get by here.

but wine is a close #2.  (sorry sweetie)

conehead.

7 Jul

if this blog really were one long teenaged telephone conversation, like i aspire to make it, today’s post would start something like this:

ohmygosh – i have so much to tell you heather! but i can’t now cause mom just called me for dins – that wench – and if i don’t go right now she’s totally going to take away my croquet set. again. but i’ll call you later – m’kay? loves ya! [blows double kiss to the phone receiver]”

this dramatic monologue, other than attempting to loosely recreate the 80’s cult classic ‘heathers’ with a pinch of ‘mean girls’, is to inform you that i do have so have so much to tell you, but i don’t have time to divulge it now.

i’m on the first day of what has turned out to be 3 days in the field and i just can’t end my fight with india right now to fill you in.

actually, i guess i could have spent 3 hours filling you in tonight but instead i decided to continue my ‘arrested development’ season 2 and 3 marathon. (i realized on tuesday that i had actually been lying for several years when i said i’d seen, and subsequently loved, the entire ‘arrested development’ series.)

but something did happen yesterday evening that i couldn’t keep from you all, my fine loyalists….or some other less political, less 1837, less creepy sounding nickname.

may i present to you our formerly-fancy-turned-slightly-handicapped conehead dog:

now accepting cuddles and other outpourings of sympathy.

well, there was an incident mid-ball throw at the park yesterday and the furry member of our little family cut his right leg (as evidenced above) quite severely on some mysterious object.  blood everywhere. husband highly panicked. white carpet ruined. several stitches. gigantic vet bill we can’t afford. tempers flared. it’s all very lame really.

and while i am obviously gutted by this turn of events, i can’t help but chuckle just a smidge. there is something so wonderfully ironic about a dog wearing a red doggie car seatbelt and a cone at the same time.

so apparently car safety was covered, but we never thought to get him protective leg warmers and moon boots for the park – dammit!

so please send le husband and le conehead good vibes (i suggest working in the use of a carrier pigeon for dramatic effect) – because they’re feeling the pain this week. the no-al pain that is.

the night we choose to remember.

2 Jun

the night i met my husband i was wearing what might be the most unflattering and inappropriate outfit ever. if possible, i find the memory of this outfit more embarrassing than bra head al, so i share it reluctantly:

hello poofy gold skirt and backless tube top at a formal event.

sometimes i wish i had decided that this blog was about lying, not honesty. lies are your friend.

if you can believe it i was wearing this dashing ensemble to attend a graduation ball at my university. terrible poofy skirt? a tube top? really? to make it worse, as a well endowed girl gravity was (is) not in my favor – and the tube top was backless. jesus, i need to sit down.

regardless of my impressions now, in my haze of 4 1/2 years ago i thought i was quite possibly the best ever.  awkward tan and all.

anyway, every 20-something knows it’s crass to show up to an event sober, so my friends and i had planned on attending a ‘pre-drinking’ party before the graduation ball. it was at this charming little gathering – dressed like a pirate hooker – that i met my future husband.

but let’s back up for a quick sec. at the risk of sounding like a total jc-esque [juan carlo – the bastard lizard] creeper i need to tell you that while this would be the first time i’d meet him, this wouldn’t be the first time i’d seen him.  my university only had about 8,000 full-time students and because we were both in the commerce program, i had caught sight of  him a few times.

honestly folks, he was totally ‘that guy’ on campus for me. each time i had seen him i had stared awkwardly while telling myself to forget it:  he was obviously a football player, obviously into 5″2 110 lb blondes and obviously a total jackass.

flawless logic – obviously.

so you can see why when i quickly scanned the room upon my arrival at the pre-drinking gathering, i noticed him right away.

he was  hanging out in the back corner of the kitchen with a football buddy, and i could hear them making fun of people and cracking ‘anchorman’-themed jokes from afar. making fun of people? i invented making fun people. so i downed some liquid courage and went over to chat with them.

and much to my surprise it went well! i was being hilarious, he was laughing at said hilariousnsess – and my boob hadn’t fallen out of the inappropriate top yet. all around aces.

but something was still bugging me. stereotyping had never failed before so what was this guy playing at? where was the football a-hole underneath his suspiciously nice exterior?

after more chatting at the graduation ball  i had an unfortunate realization: i was really into him –  and it wasn’t even the several million vodka tonics talking. he had been nothing but charming, kind, interesting, sarcastic, witty, confident, smart – and i dug it. a lot.

despite my inside voice (head, not indoor) telling me to run like mad, i pressed on.

as the ball was winding down he casually invited me out to a bar with a smaller group for further dancing and drinks.  i thought this was a good sign – he must be digging me too.

but  shortly after our arrival at the club my jock-ahole-tiny-woman-loving fears were confirmed: he disappeared!

that bastard – he had obviously found someone hotter, skinnier and drunker than me that he felt would be less work to hook up with that night. theory proven – kablamo – he was a jackass!

a while later as i was quietly fuming in a corner  he had the nerve to find me and ask if i wanted to go get pizza. (inside voice said: his hotter-skinner-drunker plan b fell through and now he wants to take you home with him.) so, naturally, i sweetly said sure and told him to get his coat.

as he wandered through the crowd in the direction of the coat check, i did the only i could think of: i left him there.

and thus, kind readers, concluded the first night i met my husband.

(to answer your lingering queries: yes, i really did leave him at the bar. no, i am not a giant bitch all the time. yes, my behavior only further intrigued him and now we’re married. for real.)

of course,  we have laughed about this ridiculous night on many occasions.  he’s given me hell for abandoning him (saying “i really just did want pizza you know – i was hungry!”) and i’ve reconfirmed my second impression of him a million  times over: he truly is just an exceptionally sweet, genuine, hilarious and well-intentioned dude.

and as much as i hate to admit it (because it makes me sound painfully dull)  i knew from that first night – you know, the night we choose to remember – that he was it for me.

so all of this is to say happy birthday dear husband – without you i’d most definitely still be in someone’s dingy apartment, in a horrible outfit, drinking vodka and quoting ‘anchorman’. so thanks instead for our awesome life together.

forever in blue jeans.

11 May

you know who I love? neil diamond. that’s right, neil flipping diamond.   let that settle in for a minute.

guitar hero!

there is something just so deliciously indulgent about neil.  he’s a little bit country, a little bit rock n’ roll and the man wrote – albeit accidentally – some of the best drinking music ever.

if that doesn’t satisfy you as to neil’s deserved status, let me tell you that mr. diamond had one of the most  expensive divorces in history. it came in at something like US $ 150 million – or in other words – a buttload of cash.

i guess the man just really didn’t want to be married anymore. which sets the stage for my, somewhat ironic, point.

i am eternally devoted to mr. diamond because his song ‘forever in blue jeans’ has greatly inspired my approach to being  in a relationship. he says:

money talks, but it don’t sing and dance and it don’t walk.

as long as i can have you here with me, i’d much rather be, forever in blue jeans.

husband and i have spent many a car-ride singing this wonderful tune to each other.  awkwardly off key with finger-pointing dance moves out in full force, we grin like complete idiots.

but while it’s fun to sing neil’s wise words to each other, it’s proving harder to live by them.

working here in india is a dream, no doubt. but in achieving said dream we have made the decision to become a one-income household, with a needy dog and a 120 year old house to support.  we have a lot on our plate, and there have already been times when we’ve both thrown our hands up in the air and said ‘this sucks!’.

but, when these days come and we’re feeling blue,  we are learning how to pull ourselves out of the funk with the power of positive thinking.  cause neil is right – money’s useful, but we’re lucky to be spending forever (in blue jeans) with each other.

i ticked  an item off my bucket list in 2008 when my charming husband made the tactically stunning move of buying me 2 tickets to a neil diamond concert  for my birthday.

what’s more impressive is that he even attended with me – and sang along to every word.

@ neil diamond in ottawa. just me, husband and his goatee.

i think you’re fun.

19 Apr

i love my husband.  here are the top five reasons why.

1. he is a perfectly giant man and can beat up anyone who gets in mah face. yup.

2. he’s good at everything i’m – as the french say – le shit at.

3. he has a deliciously off-beat sick sense of humor.

4. he loves with his whole heart.

5. he puts up with me.

happy fam.

i love you, sweetie.  

favorite things.

8 Apr

ok, honesty time. so…here it is, i’m just going to lay it out there for the world to see: boys break things.

how do i know this, you ask instinctively? did i grow up with several bushy haired, loud older brothers? did my cousins break my dolls and other toys (mostly variations of dolls) during my childhood? or perhaps my nephew, is he a tyrant?

well no.  no brothers as a child, lovely cousins and my nephew is 2 months old so i guess he’s exempt. (not exempt from cuteness though – oh snnnap!)

charlie, cuddling with his fav uncle

ok, back on topic. so where oh where does this “boys break things” instinctive instinct come from, you wonder?

perhaps, just perhaps, this wild opinion has come from living with my significant other for the last three years.

oh calm down, you know i think he’s pure bliss, but when it comes to things – i.e. stuff, possessions, kitsch – the bliss gets a little less….bliss-y.

simply put – he doesn’t particularly care for things the way i do. or as some may say, he likes the distressed look. a cause for concern when he’s about to spend 12 months alone with my – i mean our – stuff.

so i figure that by proclaiming the things i desperately hope make it through this next year unscathed, maybe my partner in crime might take note. so here goes.

thing 1: teacups
lord knows i love a good cup of tea, that’d be the britishness talking.  each of these beauties have come from family, so hopefully his man-paws don’t break them.

tea for two

thing 2: pyrex
last summer i developed an addiction to vintage pyrex bowels.  cut to consort and i trapsing all over southern ontario antique shops looking for the perfect mixing bowls, and here they are.  stay safe, little ones.

they nest!

beauty blue

thing 3: bookshelf
ok clearly i don’t expect him to break an entire bookshelf, so this is more about…misplacing.  i spent an obnoxious amount of time color coordinating (yes, color coordinating, get over it) my books. and anyone who knows me, knows how seriously i take my books.  i’m saying a tiny tiny prayer for them.

a small snapshot of books x 1,000

thing 4: blue plate wall
as many know, we moved into a 1890s house last spring.  i knew i wanted to do a throwback plate wall of some description, and here is the result.  after months of collecting these puppies, i hope they remain in place for the coming months.

love color

so there you have it – the before shots. let’s see how this all plays out in a year, or if this post is goodbye – and ode, if you will – to my sweet favorite things.