Thursday, August 31, 2006

No Sex For You

Having spent most of my adult life as a dad, and brave/stupid enough to write about my experiences, I get lots of email from parents around the globe. I even came up with an Ask Dad link on my website to make it easier. Most of the questions I get are serious questions dealing with raising kids, single parenting, custody battles, and so on. Once in a while you get a gem that you can’t help but have fun with.

Dear WriteDad,

My wife and I have two kids, a boy and a girl. My youngest, the girl, is now eight months old and my wife still refuses to have sex. Is this normal? Will I ever get sex again?

Signed… Vern

Dear Vern,

No, you won’t get sex. As a general rule men don’t ever “get” sex. They are occasionally awarded sex, but that’s a process that requires detailed planning, self sacrifice, and can take years. The process also is on her clock, which by the way starts over on every time you do something considered stupid by her, normal by you. I’m guessing you didn’t read the Handbook for Husbands, now in its 78th edition. Most men who write to me didn’t. Don’t feel bad. I was on my third marriage before I read it. It clearly states in the Handbook for Husbands in Chapter 435, page 37,522… and I quote;

“Any decision toward having, or engaging in sexual activity is at the discretion of the woman. While men contest in vain from the beginning of the relationship with extremely limited success, this rule becomes ironclad after the birth of the first child.”

This is repeated in 300 other chapters which raise the suspicion someone intends us, us being men, to get the message… even if we have to stumble across it. The author you ask? It’s a collaboration of 867 million women across seven continents.

Remember the soup Nazi on Seinfeld? Had the best soup you ever had. Just couldn’t wait to get more soup. Approach with caution trying to do and say all the right things and yet that one little slip up and it’s “No soup for you!” Soup? Sex? It’s all relative. You get the picture.

I’m sorry Vern. I know this sounds harsh. I’ve always believed it’s better to know the truth however than hold out for false hope. You’re not alone in your delusions. I once had a young man tell me he couldn’t wait to get married so he would be guaranteed sex everyday. Poor bastard… he’s probably institutionalized now. But cheer up! Knowing what you’re facing can get you motivated and working toward your own award program. With hard work and commitment you just might achieve copulation before your kids reach graduation.

In the meantime just take lots of cold showers.


Monday, August 21, 2006

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Twinkle twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are

After consulting with experts, thoughtful consideration, some additional research, and the ever foolproof heads two out of three times flipping coins I've decided the lyrics to this popular children's song should be altered. I know, it's like rewriting The Star Spangled Banner or Jesus Loves Me.

Sorry, it can't be helped. The song was written in 1806 so it has to be close to 200 years old by now. The lyrics obviously aren't working.

The revised version will start like this...

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
How I wonder where you are.

Let me explain how I got here.

After a few glasses of wine one of my favorite ways to pass the time, or out, is sitting on our deck gazing at the stars. To me it's just mesmerizing to be there relaxing and pondering the great mysteries of life...

Is there a God?
Is there life beyond our galaxy?
Did I set the DVR to record House on Tuesday?
Do we have more wine?

Yes, much is accomplished sitting on my deck staring at the sky. Recently while on vacation however my best friend Bob attempted to ruin this simple activity for me. It had been a long day and we retired to the deck to finish the evening with a nightcap, or two. We were staying in Virginia along the mountains in the Shenandoah Valley. The night was pitch black yet crystal clear. The view was breathtaking of the stars and the moon. I was basking in the moment, my soul warmed with wine, surrounded by the glory of the spectrum before us when Bob changed my life forever by uttering,

"You know, they aren't really there."

"What's not there?" says me trying to remember if this was a continuation to a previous conversation I had zoned out of.

"The stars" he said. "What you're seeing is just an illusion."

Now Bob is my bestest friend. He is from England and I consider him a very intelligent person. He is after all well schooled, is prominent in corporate America... and he has an accent. He has to be smart. I guess he noticed me looking at him with an expression of disbelief, or perhaps a wine stupor... maybe both. He went on to explain how it takes light so long to travel to the earth that by the time it gets here and you see the stars... they actually have moved.

Needless to say this threw a huge monkey wrench into my gazing at the stars moment. Composing myself after refilling my wine glass I asked,

"Then what the hell are we looking at?"

"Well", says Bob, "You're looking at where they used to be. In fact, they may not exist at all anymore."

My night was shattered. From that point on whenever my wife and I are sitting on our deck and I look up into the heavens I find myself saying,

"Oh look at the stars. Of course, they aren't really there."

I'm sure Bob feels just terrible about spoiling this for me. First Santa Claus, then the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Rabbit, and now this. What's left? Thank goodness we ran out of wine before he tried to suggest pro wrestling was fake.

Twinkle twinkle little star
How I wonder where you are.

Yeah, sounds about right to me.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The cats are out to get me!

Somebody help me quick! Do you speak cat? My wife has three of them and I'm convinced they are conspiring against me. I'm not sure what I've done to become a target. I help out with food and their litter boxes. I don't throw things at them or kick them when my wife is out of the room. And yet, I catch them staring at me with a look that falls somewhere between total contempt and you're an idiot.

My wife is another story. They love her. Whenever she's in the room they surround her like she's a big bowl of catnip. I haven't done that since the first year we were married, but lets save that rant for another blog. I can hear them laughing at me with their little demented cat laughs when she's doting on them... rubbing their bellies, scratching behind their ears. Eat your heart out say their expressions knowing I stand little chance of having anything rubbed as long as they are in the room. It's a conspiracy I tell ya! Those eyes! Those eyes!

I thought about hiring one of those pet psychics to see if I could at least get a heads up on what they're thinking. Maybe I can turn things around before I catch them poisoning my coffee. Perhaps they blame me for only being able to sleep 18 hours a day, or for not freshening their boxes often enough. Who knows? I just know they're up to something.

It's Stephen King's The Shining all over again. I'll be this crazy man running around, only I'll be the one who's being chased. They'll follow me around everywhere I go speaking in little cat voices.

PINTAC... PINTAC... they'll be whispering, which I think is catspeak for let's go pyschotic. Just when I'm ready to lose it and shout, Here's Mikee... my wife will come home and the cats will act as if nothing is going on. For a few short hours I can rest safe in the knowledge that the attention my wife gives them is more important than me. Unfortunately, she works again tomorrow.

Again I beseech you... Do you speak cat?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Winston-Salem Writers Summer Workshop

The Winston-Salem Writers are sponsoring a Writing Summer Camp with Rebecca Brown on Wednesday, Aug 2nd, beginning at 7pm at the Forsyth County Public Library. Rebecca Brown is the former director of the The Writing Project at Wake Forest University. For the last nine years, she's helped lead the "Writing Adventures" program at the Reynolda House Museum of American Art.

Brown has been honored as an American Foundations Fellow, as a Reynolds Scholar and by the prestigious Governor's Business Awards Program for Excellence in teaching. Since 1988, Brown has served as an Advanced Placement Consultant for the College Board, and has instructed at numerous AP Institutes throughout the South. Brown earned her BA from Wake Forest University and her MA from New York University.
She recently retired from the North Carolina School of the Arts, where she taught English.

The program is free. Come join us!

To learn more about the Winston-Salem Writers, visit our website at