Category Archives: Dear Hubby

My Life in Holds

I have a love-hate relationship with the library. Love, because, well, it’s a library, and I can borrow things that I have no intention or desire to ever actually own. Hate, because I inevitably end up with fines since I typically misplace only those materials on which someone else has placed a hold. Library karma? And then there was the time that the library actually sent Marc a collections notice for his outstanding fines…alas, a different story for a different day. (To clear his name, though, I should tell you all that they lifted the fees after much ballyhoo on Marc’s part.)

So what does all of this have to do with My Life or My Holds? I’m getting there. Today, I checked my e-mail and found a hold notification for a few DVDs I requested for Max (yes, I let my toddler watch television…sue me!). What caught my eye, however, was a new area on the notice that read, “To protect your privacy, we cannot publicly display your name on materials being held for pick up. The Hold Shelf will be organized by Hold ID.” It went on to list my very own, personal Hold ID number. And it got me to thinking…is this really such a problem? As I was getting ready for bed, I told Marc about the new Hold IDs, and he said, “That kind of sucks.” “What part sucks?” I asked, to which he replied, “Well, it was just another clue.” I laughed…mainly because he was right.

Creepily enough, library holds are, indeed, a clue to what’s going on in someone’s life. I remembered a time that Marc came back from having lunch with a friend he hadn’t seen in awhile. As he recapped their time together, he told me a story about how he and the friend talked about having children. At some point, their conversation turned to how it took awhile for me to get pregnant, and the friend said to Marc, “Yeah…we wondered if you guys might have been having trouble getting pregnant because Nat kept noticing that Karen had a bunch of books about infertility on hold at the library.” What?!?! His wife’s last name also starts with an “M” and is just a few characters off of our own. I even grabbed one of my on-hold books at the library once only to find a note from her on a due-date receipt…it was sweet, just a quick note to say hello and that she hoped we were doing well. It never really occurred to me that someone might draw their own story of my life from the books I put on hold.

Marc and I got a good chuckle out of the nature of my holds over the last few years. So what did my on-hold story tell? Well, during the spring of 2007, they were all about getting ready to “try” to get pregnant. At that point, we thought it was going to be easy. There were books like Taking Charge of Your Fertility and others about “getting ready.” When it didn’t happen right away, there were books about changing your diet for fertility and yoga for fertility. Still nothing…more books…Infertility for Dummies, books about when to call a doctor, even more about what happens if it doesn’t happen. And then, voila! Anyone casing my spot on the on-hold shelf would have noticed books about pregnancy starting the following summer…a few months later, they were books about labor and delivery…next up, caring for newborns…throw in a few Dr. Sears’ books here and there, and one would know that we right on track for Max’s arrival in January of 2008. Over the last year and a half, there have been books by Anabel Karmel about The Top 100 Purees for Baby, Baby Super Foods, and Meal Planners for the Picky Eater; CDs ranging from Here Come the ABCs by They Might Be Giants to For the Kids (1, 2, & 3!); and just today, I picked up a couple of new Elmo’s World DVDs.

It was kind of fun to see our journey through the lens of the Dewey Decimal System and a metal shelf at the local library. From now on, though, I guess it will just be a story for us, alone. Well, us and the librarian.

To protect your privacy, we cannot publicly display your name on materials being held for pick up. The Hold Shelf will be organized by Hold ID.

Your Hold ID is:
MCA 8282

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Pick Your Poison

We celebrated a couple of friends’ birthdays this evening at Benihana, and when our waitress came around to take drink orders, Marc asked for a Sprite and a water. Surprisingly, the waitress seemed a little confused by his request. We thought that we had it all straightened out when the waitress held up two fingers, which we presumed meant that she would bring out two glasses — one with Sprite and one with water. But lo and behold, when the drinks arrived, Marc looked surprised to see just one glass with a few meager bubbles floating around inside. He started giggling and said, “Honey, I think that she didn’t understand what I meant. I think she thought I meant Sprite and water in the same glass.” No way. I removed the cover from the straw and took a sip. Sure enough…Sprite and water. The best part was that she brought out several refills of this soda/water combo, and Marc didn’t say a word. He just continued to suck it down. Later, when I asked why he didn’t say anything or ask her for two separate drinks, he said that he couldn’t bring himself to do it because she was just so nice, and he kept picturing her back in the kitchen with the two hoses — one Sprite, one water — carefully being sure to get just the right proportions. Good thing he didn’t order OJ and Coca-cola.

Belated Birthday Pics

Yes, it has officially been one million years since my last post.  So to tide you all over, here are the pictures from Marc’s birthday/graduation party a few weeks ago.  I know that they are late coming, but I thought that some of them were too cute not to post.  Here you go…  We’re heading to NYC next week, so hopefully I can whip up some good blog material for everyone upon our return.  Until then….enjoy!

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You Say It’s Your Birthday…Happy Birthday to Ya!

Thirty short years ago today, the Good Lord blessed this Earth with a unique and charming individual that I am happy to call my husband.  Yes, folks, today is Marc’s thirtieth birthday…the Big 3-0!  Time for much merriment and partying!  As it turns out, Marc was a little stressed about this monumental birthday.  When we woke up yesterday, he looked at me and said, “You know, this is my last day in my twenties.”  To which I replied, “Yes, honey.  But just think—tomorrow you will be so much wiser and smarter!”  I don’t think he took much comfort in my assessment of the situation.

As our friend Troy points out, the fear of getting older is fueled by our society’s general obsession with youth. And truthfully, I wonder if we would view aging differently if we lived in a place that revered older folks a bit more.  But I digress…  This post is about Marc, our celebration of a milestone birthday, and kicking off another great decade that will hopefully be just as fruitful and magnificent as the last three.  I think that Marc was born under a lucky star—he first made his appearance on Six Seven Seventy Seven at Seven pounds even at 11:11am.  It just sounds good.  He was a super cute little guy, and I don’t think that much has changed in thirty years!

As most anyone who knows him will tell you, he’s a one-of-a-kind guy in all of the best ways, and I’m truly blessed to share my every day with him.  So in honor of my dear husband’s birthday, I compiled a list of thirty reasons why I admire Marc.  

  1. He always helps me open things without complaint, even though it’s probably a little annoying.
  2. He actually likes to exercise and sticks to a workout routine–while I sleep in.
  3. He always sees the best in others.
  4. He is an eternal optimist.
  5. He never gets upset when I buy clothes, even when I’ve said that I’m not going to buy anymore.
  6. He’s a kid at heart.
  7. He has a great smile.
  8. He always joins me in singing songs from Les Miserables at the top of his lungs.
  9. He can always tell you about great new music or bands that you’d never hear of otherwise.
  10. He can play the piano without sheet music.
  11. He knows EVERYONE!
  12. He can do a great Stone Phillips impersonation.
  13. He takes great care of his family.
  14. He keeps me laughing.
  15. He always makes me feel loved.
  16. He doesn’t mind when I burp loudly.
  17. He always says my cooking tastes good even when I’m doubtful.
  18. He gave me the best nickname ever, without which there would be no Meandering Mango.
  19. He usually takes over the nasty house jobs, like cleaning up when the pets get sick.
  20. He dreams big dreams.
  21. He’s a good cuddler.
  22. He has a wonderful sense of humor.
  23. He’s very modest.
  24. He worked full time while going to grad school and still managed a 4.0!
  25. He never hesitates to lend someone a hand.
  26. He tells people that being married is like a big slumber party, which I think is cute.
  27. He doesn’t compromise his values or beliefs just to please other people.
  28. He always tells me I’m pretty, even when I’ve just woken up and my hair looks like a rat’s nest.
  29. He’s good about keeping things in perspective.
  30. He is the most wonderful, loving, caring husband that a girl could ever ask for!

 Happy Birthday, honey!  I Love You!

APB: Marc’s Bike

We were rudely awakened this morning to the shrill scream of our ADT burglar alarm—never a sound you want to hear and definitely one that instantly creates a grapefruit sized pit in the bottom of your stomach. Marc called 911 and told them to dispatch. I took the call from ADT and told them to do the same. So we waited on the line with the police dispatcher until they told us that the police had arrived. We could see their flashlights shining as they made their way through our backyard to the garage door. For those who are unfamiliar with our area, the garages are de-tached…not attached. We saw the officer push open the utility door to our garage. Oh no…that should not be open! And then we saw their lights shine through into the alley way. OH NO!!!…the overhead door definitely should not be open. Then I heard Marc say over my shoulder, “I don’t see my bike!” That grapefruit in my stomach turned into a basketball. I was crushed.

When we finally got the okay from the officers, we made our way downstairs and met them in the backyard. Marc asked the officer—who, by the way, we recognized from the first time we had an attempted burglarly back in 2003—if it looked like a legitimate alarm, and the officer said, “No.” So we started to look in the garage, and sure enough…no bike. Well, officer buddy, it doesn’t get much more legitimate than someone breaking into your garage at 5:30 in the morning and stealing your beloved bike! Whether he would admit it or not, I could see Marc’s devastation written across his face in bold letters. For those long-time Meandering Mango readers, you may remember my story about Marc’s bike from back in the fall. Kermit, as the bike came to be known, was one of Marc’s prized possessions—his birthday present last year. It’s a beautiful bike and one that someone won’t just be able to ride around the neighborhood on without someone noticing. My hope is that someone will see it and will report it to us. The simple fact is that we haven’t seen even one single other bike like that in the city. It was a special order from Indy Cycle Specialist. And for God’s sake, when it all boils down, someone stole Marc’s birthday present on his graduation day. It doesn’t get much lower than that.

So my charge to all of you—well mainly our church friends who are out and about in the neighborhood around the church—is to PLEASE let us know if you see anyone riding this bike around the neighborhood. I’ll post the “reward flyer” below. As the flyer states, it has more sentimental value than anything else. I’m just sick to my stomach about this whole thing.

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Kids in a Candy Store

When Marc finally decided to drag himself away from paper writing yesterday, he swung by home so that we could pick our UPS delivery up from the Customer Service Center on 16th Street. One would think that the whole point of having something delivered via courier or post would be to have it actually dropped at your residence, but obviously the folks at UPS think differently. On Thursday, I placed an order for a couple of new pairs of shoes (one for me, one for Marc) from Zappos. I love that Zappos offers free overnight shipping, free returns, and has an awesome price matching service in the event you find the same shoes somewhere else for less, which I did. What I didn’t appreciate was the fact that they didn’t indicate anywhere during the online ordering process that signature was required for delivery. I anxiously anticipated my confirmation e-mail all day long—yes, I am a dork—only to be let down with the “Delivery Exception” notice that showed up in my in-box.

Once we obtained the goods, we sat in the parking lot for no less than five minutes trying to decide where we should eat dinner. This is common for Marc and me. Typically, it goes like this:

“Where do you want to go for dinner?”

“I don’t care…where do you want to go?”

“I don’t know either…nothing really sounds good.”

“What about [enter restaurant name here]?”

“No, I don’t want that.”

“I thought you said you didn’t care.”

“Well, I don’t. But I don’t want that.”

It generally goes on like this for awhile with complaints about the lack of reasonably priced, independently owned restaurants in Indianapolis until we finally settle on one of our usual haunts. Last night, though, I rose to the occasion. I suggested a restaurant that (a) we have been wanting to try for a long time, and (b) we both agreed on. So we headed off for our maiden trip to Machu Picchu on 38th Street. Neither of us had ever tried Peruvian food, but the restaurant came highly recommended by a co-worker and a fellow from church.

While trekking up Lafayette Road, I informed Marc that I was going to stop off at the Saraga Supermercado in search of my absolute favorite ginger candies—Ting Ting Jahe. [As a side note: I first tasted one of these delicious candies at the City Cafe and was immediately hooked. And since I don’t regularly make it to the City Cafe, I needed to find a way to get my fix elsewhere.] I once checked online to see about ordering the candy, which at first seemed like a great idea, until I realized that while the candy was $2.49 a bag, the shipping was about seven bucks. No, thanks. So I told myself that one day I would make a trip to the supermercado in hopes that they might have the sweets. Well, let me tell you…they had the Ting Ting Jahe alright. And they had about every other imaginable cuisine you could hope for. I think that Marc’s eyes grew to the size of saucers when we walked in the door.

One camp memory that Marc always shares is about the candies that his fellow, non-American campers brought along to camp each summer. He has explained to me before that it just wasn’t fair—not only did the Japanese and Mexican campers have all of the candies that we have here in America, but they also had sweets that we just couldn’t imagine here. Japanese candies with edible wrappers, sesame candies, Baby Lucas Sweet & Sour Mango Powder, and a variety of other chili-based delights. Upon entering the store, Marc became a virtual kid in a candy store, hunting for all varieties of formerly loved treats. As we wandered through the aisles, we were amazed at the variety of foods in the store—Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Mexican, Jamaican. You name it, it was there. We oohed and ahhed over the endless number of soba and udon noodles; went gaga over the cookies and marshmallow treats; gagged a little at the dried eel candy; and marveled over an individually packaged Japanese bean-curd biscuit that contained 27 grams of fiber and guaranteed to turn any human into [and I quote Marc here] a veritable fudge factory. Inexpensive produce, much of which I’m sure you can’t find at the average Marsh, graced the front side section of the store. The back left was lined with an enormous meat and fish counter. It really was a site to behold. Had I thought to bring my camera, you might have been able to catch a glimpse of one of my personal favorites, “Happy Peanut & You” snacks.

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Ting Ting Jahe

When we were at last able to conclude our supermercado field trip, we rounded the corner and made our way to Machu Picchu. I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect except great food and large portions at a reasonable price. The restaurant itself was relatively plain, but the service was great, and we enjoyed asking the waitress for suggestions. Per her advice, I decided on the chicken with tomatoes, onions, and French fries, which was served with a side of rice. Marc ordered the chicken with peas and carrots, which came with a side of potato with cheese. It was all delicious! And we had plenty of leftovers—Marc informs me that they were just as good today. I was completely impressed with the way the food was prepared—the spices were subtle but absolutely tasty. Next time, we’re going to split the whole chicken and order sides. I can’t wait!

Stephen Colbert’s Unknown Addiction

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been an odd sleeper.  I talk, no make that have conversations in my sleep.  I often see people in our bedroom in the middle of the night (or wherever we happen to be sleeping—parents’ guest bedroom, hotels, etc.)—this has freaked Marc out more than once.  And I also have the most vivid dreams, which I typically can relay in full detail to Marc or whomever will listen.  In case you’re wondering, here are a few insights into how I dream:  (1) I do dream in color; (2) I have experienced dreams both as an observer of myself and my activities and as my actual person…like through my own eyes; (3) I incorporate conversations/observations from just before bedtime into my dreams; and (4) I absolutely have recurring themes in my dreams, mainly in the following forms:

  • Dirty bathrooms/toilets,
  • My teeth falling out,
  • Tornadoes, and
  • Large facilities with smaller, compartmentalized rooms or spaces (think Shopping Malls, Hotels, Dormitories, and Parking Garages) where I’m running around and trying to find something or someone, escape from someone, or find safety.  These particular facilities aren’t necessarily mazes in and of themselves, but they tend to end up feeling that way.

I also frequently transform into another person during my dreams and assign descriptions to people or places that don’t match their true identities in reality (for example…I often dream about being in my house, and in my dream I know that it’s my house, but it doesn’t really look the way my house does in real life).  Make sense?  Strange…I know.

So by now, you’re probably wondering what Stephen Colbert and his unknown addiction have to do with any of this at all.  Rest assured; I’m getting to it.  The dream I had last night was especially humorous, so I thought I would share it with all of you and invite a little dream interpretation input from the peanut gallery.  Besides, what else are you doing today?

Here goes…  I was in a mall shopping for a fancy party dress and ended up in a department store.  As is typical for my dreams…the store was sprawling, and I couldn’t find the exact department that I needed to be in to find and purchase said fancy dress.  Finally, I found several dresses and made my way to the fitting rooms to try them on.  When I got to the fitting room, I noticed that it was in disarray (much like the dirty restrooms that often pop up in my dreams), and I had trouble finding a tidy, open dressing room.  As I was waiting to try on the dresses, I suddenly transformed into Stephen Colbert, at which point I was actually Stephen Colbert and not just myself visualized into Stephen Colbert’s body.  Then, as I sat on the little stool in the entry to the fitting rooms, it became apparent to me that I, as Stephen Colbert, had a methamphetamine and Darvocet habit.   While I cannot speak to how meth is administered in real life, I can tell you that in my dream…you “used” the meth by inhaling the steam that came out of this smallish, green glass gadget that looked kind of like a votive candle holder.  When my turn came up to try on the party dresses, (yes, I was still trying on the dresses even though I was now a man), I handed the little holder to Amy Poehler who in my dream was actually Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) from Grey’s Anatomy.  I told her to just hold it and not to do anything with it, but once I was in the fitting room, I discovered that she had indeed ignored my plea and used the device.  So basically, my cover was blown, and the whole dream ended with Marc and a third person who was unidentifiable in my dream having an intervention in the actual fitting room stall and me curling up into a small ball while Marc held me and I admitted that I did, in fact, have a meth and Darvocet problem.

Where in the heck did THAT one come from?  Your guess is as good as mine…and your interpretations are both welcomed and appreciated!