Thursday, February 26, 2009

Getting Our Zen On! (Sort Of)

Hi, it's me, Jill. I'd like to tell you a little story about last night. Sometime last week I asked Jack if he would be up for going to a meditation class with me. I have always wanted to try it but just never done it (that's what she said). Since he is pretty adventurous, he said yes. So last night was meditation date!

A couple things you should know: Jack and I are not very patient people. It hasn't really been a problem in our relationship so far because a) it's not like we're impatient with each other (usually), and b) we're both quite aware of the fact that we could improve ourselves in that regard, so I think we both make something of an effort. His parents are routinely asking me how I manage with his lack of patience, and honestly it hasn't been that bad except when he's behind the wheel of a car. Then WATCH OUT. One time, we were behind a woman in the left turn lane, waiting to turn left onto a one way street. You can turn left onto a one way on a red light, you see. But this poor woman didn't know that. I thought Jack was going to lose it for the 15 seconds we sat there. After the turn, he actually pulled up next to her and had her roll down her window so that he could tell her "you know, you can turn left on a red light there because you're turning onto a one way". Her English seemed limited, and she just said "no, no, no", and drove off. Jack felt like he had performed a public service. I felt like I should duck and hide from embarrassment.

Anyway, because I would like to work on my patience, and because so many people recommend meditation for those of us who are Type A (him) and moderately insane (me), I decided this would be a good thing to check out - for both of us. Jack agreed to go, but afterward, he definitely disagreed on the benefit of meditation in helping him build some patience. "That is the WORST way I could try to improve my patience. I sat there frustrated the whole time. I mean, when he said look at the floor but un-focus your eyes, what did that mean? It's physically impossible."

"Well, I think you missed the point, honey..."

"Point? You think there was a POINT to that nonsense? Was the point to BE DRIVEN INSANE?"

" But I actually meant that I think you missed the point on the not focusing thing. You know how if you focus on something your eyes will start to hurt? Well, they don't want you to do that because it sort of defeats the purpose of relaxing, you know?"

"But how am I supposed to NOT focus my eyes? They're MADE to focus. That's how I can SEE."

At this point, honestly, I was losing my patience with dear Jack. I mean, he just refused to admit that maybe you could look into space and NOT focus, but lots of Buddhist monks everywhere would disagree with him. And I was disagreeing with him because I am disagreeable.

The moral of the story is that Jack won't be going back to the Zen Center any time soon. Instead, I think he'll just continue to enlighten people on traffic laws where ever he goes. Because if he doesn't, WHO WILL?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Jill Knows Her A-B-Cs

Hola. Jack here. Normally my posts are rather light (i.e., stupid). But today’s is quite heavy: Jill has a serious problem, and I’m not sure how to help her.

What is Jill’s ailment, you ask? She can’t stop spelling words out loud.

It all started innocently enough. Jill’s dog can’t spell, you see. So when Jill wanted to slip something by Spot, she’d spell it out.

“After lunch, maybe we should take him to the p-a-r-k?”

Or, “since it’s 3:00 a.m. and snowing outside, I think it’s your turn to take him out for a w-a-l-k?”

Recently, however, there have been a couple of disturbing developments. First off, Jill is starting to think Spot has a bigger vocabulary than he does. I think Spot’s vocabulary consists of six words: treat, water, out, walk, park, and potty. Jill thinks Spot’s vocabulary consists of thousands of words, including m-e-d-i-c-a-t-i-o-n and g-r-i-l-l-e-d-t-e-m-p-e-h. And quite frankly I’m not the best speller, so it’s getting hard to keep up.

Secondly – and most disturbingly – Jill has started spelling words out loud even when Spot isn’t around. Last week the two of us were dining at a nice restaurant when Jill casually asked, “Will you give me a back rub tonight after I take Spot out for his w-a-l-k?” Concerned – and confused – I quickly checked under the table to see if Spot had in fact actually sneaked inside the restaurant without me noticing.

I wish I was making this up. But I’m not. Please help.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

To Stink or Not to Stink?

Jack washed my winter parka earlier this week, because, as he so delicately put it, "you look like you work at Jiffy Lube". You'd think I could wash my own, and you'd be right, but Jack tends to feel a greater sense of urgency as it pertains to cleanliness, as it were. So anyway, he washed my Jiffy Lube parka, and then returned it in a plastic bag the next day.

Last night I opened that plastic bag and decided that clearly he had put the jacket in there without fully drying it, resulting in a "damp" smell - you know the kind, right? I made him smell it and he detected nothing (or CLAIMED to detect nothing), so I let it go, even though I was pretty sure it was stinky. Later in the evening I felt a little bad for accusing him of doing an inadequate job while doing a favor for me, so I texted him, "I'm sorry I said my coat smelled. It doesn't. Thank you for washing it."

His reply?

"I figured out what probably smelled funny to you: cleanliness. :-)"

Sadly, I think he has a point. Either that or he's trying to make me stinky to deter all my other suitors? Tough call.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Jack Makes Himself Unavailable

A while back I wrote a post about "Five Things that Boil My Blood."

I'd now like to add a sixth: when yoga instructors use the expression, "If it's available to you."

Here's an example:

- The instructor directs you into a fairly basic pose (e.g., Plank Pose*).

- You begin to feel good about yourself. "Hey, I got this. I can feel my core tightening. Good work, Jack."

- Then he or she drops a bombshell. "Now, if it's available to you, curl your left leg up towards your lower back and continue curling your left leg until it's resting on your right shoulder. Next, if it's available to you, curl your right leg up towards your lower back and carefully guide your leg through the space created by your left leg resting on your right shoulder. Then - and only if it's available to you - extend your left arm out in front of you until it's parallel with the ground, leaving you balancing your entire bodyweight on your right arm while your legs are coiled up in the shape of a poorly-made Bavarian pretzel. Remember, you should do this only if it's available to you."

There's just something about the expression that makes me want to go postal. It's just so...passive aggressive. Like it's a way for someone to say "there's no f'ing way you can do this" while at the same time sounding like they think you can do it.

Going forward, I think I'm going to use this expression whenever asking someone to do the near impossible. Hey, Jill, if it's available to you, win the lottery this weekend.
* If you're not familiar with plank pose, imagine that you're about to do a push-up (i.e., your arms are fully extended).

Jill Adds: Every time we're doing yoga and an instructor says this after suggesting something impossibly difficult, Jack looks at me like he might go punch her--without fail, every time. It makes me giggle. Does that make me a bad girlfriend?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ew, There's Poop in My Mouth!!?

Not long ago, Jack and I were at a friend's wedding enjoying some vino when we both decided we had to go use the bathroom. He set his wine down outside the bathroom, and I had planned to take mine in. As I was walking in, he says "you shouldn't take that wine in there."


"Because it's not good for you."

"I beg to differ, wine is GREAT for me!"

"I mean the molecules of stuff that will get in there."

"Molecules?" (What? I didn't do well in science, get off my back.)

", if you can smell poop in the bathroom, then when you open your mouth or if you bring a beverage in there, you're basically asking to eat some poop."

"But I don't want to eat poop!....Wait, is this another one of your schemes to get me to believe something ridiculous so you can tell all your friends later and make me look like an idiot?"

He took my glass and set it down on a nearby table, swearing that he was telling the truth.

"The reason we smell things is because there are all these molecules in the air. So if you open your mouth in that bathroom, you're ingesting anything that you can smell - like poop."

I left my wine outside, but refused to believe him until I could Google that shit (pun intended). And it turns out he's kind of right. This is unfortunate because 1) I don't like it when Jack is right and I am wrong, and 2) I don't want to eat poop. Ever. And now every time I go into a stinky public bathroom, my lips are sealed as tight as possible because all I can think about is that Poop is trying to get in using its clever molecules! Well I'm onto you, Poop (not literally, that would be gross), and I'm not letting you molecule your way into my mouth. TAKE THAT!

Friday, February 6, 2009

I Do What?? Getting to Know Myself...

One of the interesting things about spending a lot of time with someone is that you end up learning more about yourself. Your partner will notice and (if you're as super lucky as I am) point out your odd little quirks - things that you've become so used to you hardly know you do it anymore. These are a few of the things Jack has pointed out in the past several months:
  • I have a strange tick where apparently I shake my head back & forth once very quickly, and I quote, "violently". This may explain why I have chronic neck pain, but that's another story. The thing is, I don't notice when I do this. Jack told me recently that for the first 6 months we hung out, he thought maybe I had a mild case of Tourette Syndrome. My own boyfriend thought I suffered from a nervous system disorder. I asked him why he didn't say anything sooner. He was like "well, I don't know, I just figured you didn't want to talk about it." BUT HE THOUGHT I HAD TOURETTE'S. That seems like something you'd mention, you know? Anyway, now every time I do this, he alerts me. I still don't notice, but maybe eventually I will. I'm weird.

  • I used to think that the reason I was always covered in bruises was just because I bruise easily. When Jack & I first started dating, he'd see a massive and dark bruise on my arm or something and say "WHAT HAPPENED? That looks awful!" I could never remember, which concerned him more. "I just bruise easily, that's all", I'd tell him. Turns out I am an unbelievable klutz. Like, how did I not know that before? The reason I have massive bruises is because I am always falling down or dropping something on my feet, or running into inanimate objects. Jack is kind enough to point this out each and every time.

  • I sweat. A lot. Even when it's not warm out at all. I find Jack's house to be unbearably hot most of the time. Sometimes I wonder if he is just trying to get me out of my clothes, if we're being honest. I mean, who has their house at 107 degrees F year round?

  • I sleep. A lot. So much so that Jack thinks I have suffered from mono for the past 8 months. If I had a dime for every time he's asked me "do you think you have mono?" I would have lots and lots of dimes, people.

As for Jack's behavior, I think I'm far too kind to point out his quirks. I mean, sure, he soaks the bath mat every time he emerges from the shower, but do I mention that every time it happens? No, I sure don't. And he puts his milk in the bowl before pouring his cereal, which I think is possibly the most bizarre thing I've ever seen - nobody does it that way, right? But I only mention that to him every OTHER time he does it because I'm nice like that.

Jack's Follow-Up: Unless you (a) don't have teeth, or (b) just prefer your cereal to be really soggy, you should always pour the milk in first. Trust me. Try it once, and you'll never go back.

Readers: What have YOU learned about yourself from your significant other? Did s/he think you had leprosy or something? Multiple personality disorder? Please share!