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Basic Needs of a Husband

I will spare you my rationalizations about why I watch the Duggars’ reality show,  “19 Kids and Counting,” and simply say: I am repulsed yet strangely fascinated. Also, I have always enjoyed learning about foreign cultures.

I didn’t think their beliefs could shock me anymore, but the season premiere proved me wrong. The camera scanned ever so briefly across one of Michelle’s public speaking handouts and the title, “Seven Basic Needs of a Husband,” jumped off the page. 

I paused the DVR so I could study up on my husband’s needs.  And so I could take a picture of the screen. Here you go.

Squirming with discomfort, I read about the ways in which I am destroying my husband’s (apparently ridiculously weak) manliness.

For example: wives, did you know that we destroy our husbands’ manliness when we “resist his decisions in our spirit.” That’s interesting, because I don’t stop with resisting in spirit. I say that shit out loud.

Most entertaining were the handout’s practical tips. For example, instead of “resisting his decisions,” you should “learn to wisely appeal to your husband.” Even fundamentalists understand the need to be realistic about who really makes the decisions. Fear not, wives! We need not accept our husband’s decisions, we just need to learn how to be more subtle in our resistance.

These “needs” were so over-the-top ridiculous it was hard to be as pissed as maybe I should have been. When I noticed the “love is killed by self-sufficiency” line, I dissolved into giggles.

But wait a minute…

If you’ve been reading here awhile, you may be aware of my early retirement fantasy

Why is it just a fantasy? A.) our mortgage, 2.) I imagine replacing the time currently spent working and commuting with things I want to do, not what I’d actually be doing (learning to cook, cleaning the house, doing Dave’s laundry, etc…), and c.) as grumpy and depleted as work makes me, my self-worth is largely tied up in how well I perform there and in my ability to earn a living. It would make me (not to mention Dave) uncomfortable to expect Dave to earn all our income.

But the Duggars (actually the “Institute in Basic Life Principles”) were telling me that God wants me to be financially dependent on Dave. My self-sufficiency is killing our love. That doesn’t sound good.

Could Dave really need me to quit my job? Could this really be so simple and easy? I thought I’d consult an actual husband about the accuracy of these needs.

“Dave, I need to show you something. Can you come in here for a minute?”

I played the scene in slow motion so he could peruse his basic needs.

“So, what do you think? Do you need me to quit my job? Because I’m willing to make that sacrifice to support your manliness,” I looked at him hopefully.

Unfortunately, Dave fixated on a different basic need.

“No, but I agree you shouldn’t resist my physical affection.”

“Crap, I hadn’t even noticed that one. I brought you in here to discuss how my self-sufficiency is killing our love.”

“But God wants you to stop crushing my spirit.”

“I don’t think God understands how often you want to have sex. Look, if we worked on meeting your need to have a financially dependent wife first, I’d have so much more time to, uh, stroke your manliness in other ways as well.”

I think he’s starting to warm up to my early retirement. I think it will be more difficult to convince myself.

I joked that God didn’t understand how often men want to have sex, but apparently he does. The only practical tip the handout provides for wives to help them meet this need is: “learn the power of prayer.” Yep, that sounds about right.


If you wonder how I know the “Institute in Basic Life Principles” published this document, that’s because my perfectionism commitment to my blogging craft made me research the source. I may also have ordered my own copy. Hey, there are six more needs the show didn’t even cover, and I’m nothing if not thorough.

Ignorance and Malt Liquor

They say laughter is the best medicine. So when I laugh at people, I’m just looking out for my health.

One of many reasons I’ll be in hell if it exists is laughing at an impassioned speaker during high school who said, “we will no longer take your condensation!” Expressing frustration with condescension but messing up the word…now that’s ironic, Alanis. To this day, when I want to feign indignation, I say:  “I will take your sublimation, I will suffer through your precipitation, but by God, I will no longer stand for your condensation.”

So I’m a pain in the ass. But lest ye think I have no embarrassing moments of stupidity, I’m here to invite you to laugh at me.

Most of my highlights are the result of being naive. I have lived a pretty sheltered life. Although I’ve always had a mouth like a sewer, that came from growing up around my older brother and his friends, not the result of experience. I was, and sometimes still am, an innocent Catholic school girl at heart.

Sophomore year of high school, I was startled at the change in appearance of one of our classmates. I turned to my friend and whispered, “Wow, she really got fat!” And my friend looked at me incredulously and said, “She’s pregnant!” I can’t remember if she added, “you moron,” but if not, I deserved it. I was still a little confused even after the explanation (uh, isn’t sex required to get pregnant?!?), but managed to hold it in.

My specialty is misinterpreting song lyrics.

Sometimes I take things too literally. I’m embarrassed to report it was only a few years ago I finally realized “Santa Claus” was actually Daddy dressed up as Santa Claus in the song “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” Before that, I had always just thought Mommy was a slut.

One of my favorite songs ever is “Mama Said Knock You Out,” by L.L. Cool J. It came out during my senior year of high school, when I was immersed in English literature (immersed as in having to memorize some of the prologue of The Canterbury Tales in Middle English). So when L.L. said, “Old English filled my mind, and I came up with a funky rhyme,” I was terribly impressed at such an allusion in a rap song.

Because clearly L.L. Cool J meant this Old English:

Of course, I learned later about an alternative “Olde English.” Perhaps this is the origin of the funky rhyme?

I still prefer to believe it’s a double entendre.

For all I know, the line might have been a triple entendre…

I could have swiped stock photos, but I am committed to my craft. Beowulf came from the library (buy it? bitch, please!), furniture polish from the grocery store, and the malt liquor…let’s say finding Olde English 800 in my neck of the woods was not as easy. We’d pretty much given up when we happened upon a little corner store with “wine and beer” in the title. On the way in, I had a premonition that our purchase of Olde English 800 would not go without comment. The guy behind us didn’t disappoint: “OE 800?!?! Kickin’ it old school like Dr. Dre!”

Nope, taking a picture of it for my blog. Dave’s excited to take it to his next band practice. He insisted I put it back in the fridge as soon I was finished taking photos so it wouldn’t be exposed to light. Something about degrading the quality…ahem. “Sweetie, I put the 40 of OE 800 next to your imported Belgian Trappist Ale.”

What’s your best moment of ignorance?

Want Some Cold Duck?

Grampa started in early with offers of Cold Duck. The same Cold Duck he had obviously already been enjoying. Even my Dad didn’t want any of that swill. Instinctively, I shrunk back, standing behind my Mom.

Although Mom and Dad assured Grampa no one wanted any Cold Duck, he would check in with us on this point every few minutes anyway with a barrage of “Want some Cold Duck? You sure? Cold Duck?”

While nudging each other and repeatedly asking, “want some Cold Duck” would eventually become a running joke in our family, at that moment we were trapped in a loop of Cold Duck offers. Would we ever be able to leave without drinking Cold Duck? 

Perhaps he was so drunk, he thought he was funny. Or perhaps he was so drunk he kept forgetting he had already checked on our desire for some Cold Duck. Or perhaps he was so drunk, he didn’t realize how inappropriate it was to offer his grandchildren Cold Duck.

The only thing I knew for sure…he was so drunk.

Luckily, he snapped out of his Cold Duck obsession long enough to remember he had ice cream.

“Do you want some Metropolitan ice cream?”

I shot a look at my Mom. Did I? We were all wary. What the heck was Metropolitan ice cream?

“What’s Metropolitan, Grampa?”

“You know, chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry…Metropolitan.”

“Oh, you mean Neapolitan?”

“No, it’s called Metropolitan.”

We went back and forth on this until Grampa was good and pissed. He insisted he was right and said, “I’ll show you.”

We dutifully followed him to the kitchen, dreading the moment when he realized his error.

But instead, we watched in disbelief as he held up the carton of ice cream and said, “see, it’s Metropolitan” while simultaneously pointing to the word “Neapolitan.”

Grampa did not need any more Cold Duck.

This post was inspired by the Write on Edge RemembeRED writing prompt to write a memoir piece in which wine, coffee, or chocolate features prominently.

My Dad’s parents were a real treat…but making fun of Grampa was usually good for a laugh. Neapolitan isn’t very common anymore, but whenever I see it, I still call it “metropolitan.” And I still don’t want any Cold Duck, thanks for asking.

Write on Edge: RemembeRED

Photo Friday: It’s Always Better on Holiday

Every day for the past few weeks, I have walked by this advertisement.

Part of a set of ads with “humor” customized for DC, they miss the mark for me in that they resonate just enough to remind me how annoying DC can be (it’s an election year, so I’m extra cranky) but not so much that they are funny.

Another example of the hilarity: “It took an act of Congress to get you out of bed this morning.” HA! Get it? Mornings are hard…and this is DC, so like Congress makes laws here and shit. So yeah. That’s hysterical. It’s not as if I get out of bed every morning so I can continue to receive a paycheck.

A quick internet search yielded the news that others find these ads charming. Oops. Apparently they also ran ads in New York, and the NYC ads are a little more clever, like maybe they were written by people who actually live in New York. They inexplicably used the dumbest ad in both markets: “A text-walker ran into you while you were text-walking.” Is this thing on?

But back to the holiday ad, which really fries my ass.

You see, this Monday is a holiday. Indeed, my calendar most certainly does mention that fact and I’m sure yours does too. And I’m not likely to forget a paid day off, whether it’s on the calendar or not.

So you can imagine how charmed I was when some people I’m working with who don’t get the day off kindly scheduled a meeting I need to attend on the holiday.

The splash or 12 of vodka I plan to add to my OJ will be the only good part of that particular DC morning. Thanks for the daily reminder of my missed holiday, Tropicana!

Happy President’s Day. If you have the day off, enjoy! If you don’t, grab a mini bottle of Tropicana on your way into work. Tell ‘em Congress sent you!

Free Birth Control on the Subway

Remember that made for TV movie, the Boy in the Plastic Bubble? If I could commute in such a contraption I would. Instead, I create my own protective bubble: listening to music and playing a game on my iPod or reading prevents me from inadvertently encouraging conversation. Talking on my commute makes my brain hurt.

Having spent most of my day watching the spinning blue circle on my computer go round and round, during my commute tonight, I transformed into “Captain Introvert” on the train platform and used the “you are invisible to me” cloak to pretend I didn’t notice “talkopotamus” next to me. Entering the train, I turned the opposite way and plopped into the last available seat. Crisis averted…until!

One stop later, the man sitting next to me got up to offer his seat to someone. He stood in front of the seat, blocking my view, and then two small children squeezed past him and climbed into the seat next to me.


I wanted to get up, but there was nowhere to go on the packed train and the man blocked my view of whoever accompanied the kids. I leaned over until I could see around the man. I caught the attention of a young woman clutching a large stuffed penguin and offered her my seat. She smiled and shrugged and said a little too brightly, “Oh no, that’s OK!”

So I would be sitting with Taylor and Tristan.

Like Bill Cosby’s comedy bit about the annoying 4-year old boy “Jeffrey,” I remember their names, because the woman they were with used them incessantly in a futile attempt to get them to behave.

Taylor and Tristan jostled for position in the seat they were supposed to share. While they encroached on my personal space, that wasn’t the worst thing. You see, children don’t respect the protective commuting bubble.

They peppered the air with very loud questions. Then they started directing their questions at me, interrogation style.

T&T: “Why did the train get broken? Why did the train get broken? Why did the train get broken?”

Their decibel level combined with their awkward grammar made me cringe. I had no idea what they were asking.

Then Taylor screamed: “Tristan bit me!” She turned on the annoying fake cry kids like to perform.

Woman: “Tristan, don’t bite.”

I shot a sidelong glance at Tristan. I wondered if he was up to date with his rabies shots.

Tentatively, I leaned over Tristan the biter and asked the woman again, “Are you sure you don’t want to sit down?” OMG, let’s please figure out how we can both climb over this man and trade positions. Of all the people on this train, I had to be the least well-equipped to interact with Tristan and Taylor.

Tristan: “What’s your name?”

Ugh. I didn’t answer. Just didn’t seem like a good idea to give Tristan my name. But they would not stop asking me questions. I started to feel the eyes of dozens of adults on me. They wanted Taylor and Tristan entertained. I pushed my headphones back so I could hear.

Taylor (pointing to my headphones): “Why do you have those music things?”

Me: “To drown out the sound of your piercing voice. Uh, because I like music.” Duh! Kids ask dumb questions.

Taylor reached her little germ-infested hand for my iPod, “What’s that game?”

Me: “Collapse.” How jerky will it look if I snatch my iPod away from her hand?

Then she pointed at the post-it note on the back of my iPod. “What’s that?”

Me: “My list of things to do tonight.” Get the hell out of this seat needs to be added. 

Taylor: “Oh yeah? What did you do today?”

Some of the other passengers snickered.

Me: “Not a whole lot, actually.” I started to feel self-conscious about how deep and flat my voice sounded. Aren’t you supposed to speak in a higher pitch and add fake excitement when speaking to children?

Then Tristan rejoined the conversation: “What’s your name?”

Feeling ever so slightly more comfortable, I answered this time: “Tracy.”

Tristan (smiling): “afdl5$%k!”

Woman: “Tristan! That’s not nice!”

Wait, what? I needn’t have worried about not understanding what he said, because the admonishment egged him on.

Tristan: “Yucky! That’s yucky! Yucky!”

What’s yucky? My name? Me? Being such an annoying kid? I started to fantasize about elbowing Tristan hard enough to show him who was boss.

Tristan edged a little closer. “I want to sit there. Can I sit there?”

Hell to the no. 

Me: “I think you’re good right there.”

Tristan: “No, I’m not good.”

This brought more snickering from the crowd. No disagreement from me, kid.

During a break in the action, I tried to go back to playing Collapse. That lasted about two seconds before their hands were all up in my iPod’s business. So I let them play Collapse. My iPod has some sanitizing wipes in its future. Both Taylor and Tristan were sniffling, so I’m certain to have small pox tomorrow.

After a few more minutes, their mother/nanny/zookeeper told them to get ready, they had just one more stop.

And finally I found my excited voice: “One more stop!”

Time Nadal Stole From Me

My favorite sport is…tennis. Yeah, I realize that puts me in the company of…me. I find it considerably more interesting than other sports. The average intellect of tennis commentators seems greater than for most other sports. The ESPN2 commentators (for the most part) entertain me. And the sport itself is unique. It’s just two (I’m talking singles here) people on the court, trying to figure out how to win. There’s no coaching, there’s no teammate to pick up the slack. There’s no building up a lead and running out the clock.

Speaking of the clock…I have spent large chunks of my time eight weeks out of the year watching Grand Slam coverage for years. But I’m getting over it. I don’t have a favorite on the men’s side anymore. Nadal seems like a nice enough kid and he’s obviously super talented, but watching him play drives me insane. The jumping bean warm ups (dude, watching you do that is sapping all of the stamina I’ll need to sit on my couch and watch this match), the anal-retentive beverage set up, the purposeful pokiness getting up after change overs, and the worst…the ridiculously long time he takes between service points.

I was at the Ice Cream course the weekend of the finals. Even though I knew the result, I was excited to watch the men’s final I recorded. But sitting down to watch it was another matter. Nadal and Djokovic are the two pokiest mother fuckers in men’s tennis.

Yes, many of the points were breathtaking, and required more recovery time, but come on. Time is money. I don’t have 6 hours to watch tennis, especially when over half of it is between-serve hair arranging, ball bouncing, and underwear wedgie grabbing. I found myself fast-forwarding through large segments of the match, because the between-serve time was lulling me to sleep.

How do I know how much time was spent between points, you ask? Early in the second set, ESPN2 showed a graphic with the average time between service points for both men. In my frustration, I calculated from those averages and the number of service points each men played that over half of the time was spent not playing tennis. But that’s not really fair, because the rules allow 20 seconds between points. Taking that into account, the match would have been 1 hour and 20 minutes shorter had they followed the rule. That’s a long time.

My favorite part of the coverage was watching them both squirm in agony (eventually officials brought them chairs so they wouldn’t pass out) during the very long speeches given at the trophy ceremony. See, how do you like being made to wait for the good stuff?

God bless the person who created this video:

Run to the Hills

The alarm sounded, music uploaded onto the clock interrupting their sleep.

Honest to God, she’s never going to change that music, he thought. At least “Run to the Hills” accurately reflects the annoyance of waking up this way.

I hate when she lets the alarm go on and on, it’s so inconsiderate. Doesn’t she realize how exhausted I am?

He rolled around with his anger for a bit and toyed with the idea of turning off the alarm before she got up, but that would really piss her off. He considered an escape from the room, but he didn’t have the energy to right himself. His movements always felt awkward in the morning.

He tried one last time to roll over, but felt like he waded through thick brush. After about 30 seconds, he gave up and allowed himself to roll over onto his back. Positioned just right, he could muffle the sound of the alarm and rest.

He dreaded the days she slept through the alarm. She would check the time, panic, and start spewing profanities about the alarm’s uselessness, making him wince. Yeah, blame it on the clock. Why can’t you just go to bed earlier, woman?

After about a year of this torture, he couldn’t take it anymore. He cracked. Fuck this noise, he thought.

He made sure the alarm would never sound again. It didn’t help her get out of bed anyway. Silence, blessed silence, and rest awaited. 


This post was inspired by the Write on Edge RemembeRED writing prompt on personification: “tell a piece of your story from the point of view of an object who bore witness.”

This post is written in memory of my Tocky, who tried to roll around (as you can see from the video, pretty half-heartedly) and play music (only three songs worth, though it held many more) to wake me up for about a year, and then decided he’d had enough of my nonsense and my thick shag carpet and died an untimely death. After much back and forth with the company, they promised to send me a new one. We’ll see how Tocky2 fares.

Write on Edge: RemembeRED

Photo Friday: Going Postal

I’d say we have the worst mail carrier ever, except:

a.) we don’t actually have a mail carrier (the one time we actually complained to the person who delivered our mail, he said that no one was officially responsible for our route. He was just filling in, which of course explains why none of the carriers servicing our route can read)


2.) every time I think something can’t be worse, I find out how much worse it can be, so I’m going to play it safe and assume there are worse mail carriers.

We routinely get mail addressed to our neighbors one street over with the same house number. At least a couple of days a week, we receive their junk mail, catalogs, bills, and in early December, two of their packages.

Sometimes we deliver the mail ourselves, sometimes I actually re-mail it. One time I dropped an envelope addressed to our neighbors back into a nearby USPS mailbox, only to find it re-delivered to us a couple of days later. I shit you not. If you love something, set it free…

I was so pissed about the second package, I left it on the hood of the mail truck when I noticed it still parked near my house.

But the best errant delivery was yet to come. The problems run deep at the USPS. We apparently now get all mail involving our house number…

Come on, this shit is international. Even if I could get past the overlooked airmail stamp and decide they misread WI to mean Wisconsin rather than West Indies, I live in Virginia.

Homemade Advent Calendar*

Preparing My Heart for Christ with Belgian Chocolate

I’m sure you’ve all been wondering how I spent my free time in November. I spent it making advent calendars for me and Dave. Heads up for the devout among you, this has nothing to do with preparing my heart for the coming of Christ and everything to do with preparing my mouth for a daily piece of delicious chocolate (sanctioned by Jesus!).

Because I’m a 5-year old trapped in a 38-year old body, I get a Neuhaus advent calendar every year (two because I don’t want to share with Dave). I love the designs on the front and the anticipation of opening the little paper door to reveal my surprise treat each day…until the day when I’m greeted by a piece of dark chocolate. Then my 5-year old palate wrinkles its nose.

In past years, I’ve toyed with the idea of making my own advent calendar so I can fill it with chocolates of my choosing. But I’m lazy and not even remotely crafty.

But early in November, my ADD took over and I searched the internet for homemade advent calendar ideas. Because that was the best use of my time. Oh how my to-do list suffers when I get one of these brilliant “project” ideas.

This homemade advent calendar idea resonated most with me. But I think I might have mentioned I’m lazy? So I thought about buying these pre-made tins on Etsy. But as lazy as I am, I’m also cheap and picky. Since I want to retire early and have super cute tins, I decided to make my own in my voluminous free time.

This is the part of the craft project blog post where I’m supposed to say how easy this project was. This was a raging pain in the ass so easy. I started this nonsense during the first week of November and I didn’t finish until December 1st, which is actually four days after advent started, but who’s counting. Advent calendars always start on December 1st, I don’t make the rules. I stopped counting the time this project took when it reached 12 hours.

Now is the time in the craft project blog post when I’m supposed to tell you how to torture yourself do this.

“High-Maintenance Homemade Advent Calendar” Steps:

1.) Buy shit:  Having no crafting experience, this involved making a non-technical shopping list (i.e. paper cutter thingie, stuff to make paper stick to the tins, way to make numbers appear on the paper, etc…) and losing my Michael’s virginity. The only reason I didn’t leave in a huff when the cashier asked for $99 (seriously?!?) was that I’d already blown an hour and half wandering around the store in a stupor. I was by that point what I like to call committed.

2.) Design and cut (with fancy new circle cutter I can’t imagine ever using again as long as I live) two decorative paper circles for each tin. Curse each time the paper slipped and the cutter created a useless ellipse.

3.) Realize cutting circles out of the paper wastes a ton and return to Michael’s for two more packages.

4.) Tape (using special tape I had to order) smaller decorative paper circles onto larger background circles.

5.) Freak out about something happening to the paper given how much time steps 1-4 took. Research paper preservation products. Select acrylic sealer spray.

6.) Decide not to number the circles. Hope no one ever dares to question this decision. Thank you.

7.) Obsessively worry about my spraying competence and ruining my precious circles. Become frightened by how often the phrase “my precious circles” enters everyday conversation. Find YouTube spraying tutorial and consider hiring a professional spray person. Wonder if inhaling a toxin and the possible subsequent failure of my internal organs is a reasonable response to an aversion to dark chocolate.

8.) Choose the windiest fucking day since Hurricane Irene to spray toxic shit onto the circles. End up shellacking myself (three coats!).

9.) Wash tins. Dry tins. Be completely blown away when this takes two hours.

10.) Find Simon & Garfunkel limited engagement channel on Sirius. Finally learn Art’s harmony on “You Can Tell The World.” Sort of.

11.) Tape circles to tin lids.

12.) Stick magnets to bottom of tins.

13.) Obsessively arrange tins on magnet board. Take many mediocre photos.

14.) Buy chocolate. Feel the need to explain project to store clerk. Ignore her look.

15.) Use a random number generator to randomize the order of the chocolates. If you think I’m kidding, you don’t know me very well.

16.) Insert chocolates into tins.

17.) Eat delicious chocolate daily.

Enjoyable steps include: 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and portions of 1 and 2.

Cost Comparison

Now is the time when I smugly tell you how much money I saved by doing this myself.

–Two Neuhaus advent calendars = $60 plus tax

–Two sets of premade magnetic tins from Etsy plus a magnet board = ~$120

–“High-Maintenance Homemade Advent Calendars” = $222.57 ($139.01 without the chocolate)



So I spent a lot of time making homemade advent calendars that were more expensive than what I could have bought premade. But my calendars are super cute.   

Here are my precious circles waiting to be shellacked. Each one is stuck to the paper-lined cardboard with painters’ tape.

Here are my 24 finished tins on the magnet board. I couldn’t get a good picture of all 48, so use the reflection to imagine Dave’s set too.

Close up of my favorite pattern.

The chocolate on the left is called Louise and is filled with milk chocolate (of course!) ganache. I think the confetti look is pretty. The chocolate on the right is called Sapho and it’s my favorite. It’s filled with almond praline.

The funky-looking chocolate below is called 1857 and is filled with praline studded with crushed spicy speculoos cookies.

Happy Advent! I hope your holiday preparations go smoothly. Do you do anything special to mark the days before Christmas?


*I toyed with the idea of naming this post “Oh my God, that’s the crafty shit,” based on the Prodigy song “Funky Shit.” Because I want to, you know, build community with other apathetic agnostic, advent-calendar making, listeners of the Prodigy on the internet. But since I had to explain the reference even to Dave, I decided there aren’t any other apathetic agnostic, advent-calendar making, listeners of the Prodigy. So much for finding my tribe.

Photo Friday: National Family Pajama Night

Flipping through the Company Store catalog a few weeks ago, the picture below caught my eye, along with an explanation of “National Family Pajama Night.”

The text said, “The best memories are often the ones where your child reminds you of those special moments long after the original smiles and laughter. This fall, plan a special night for your family creating new memories on National Family Pajama Night. Saturday, November 19th, 2011.”

I don’t think we are the family the Company Store had in mind.

Yeah, special moments with your child, blah, blah, blah. Whatever, look at the cute golden retriever. Wearing PJs.

National Family Pajama Night was on! We were going to make some mother fucking memories up in here.

I briefly considered ordering a matching set of family PJs, as the Company Store clearly intended. However, Dave and I couldn’t agree on a style and Dave also gingerly reminded me of the incongruity of my wish to retire early and the purchase of new, matching PJs when we already own PJs. Well, except Chuck. So we ordered doggy PJs for Chuck. Besides the joy of dressing Chuck in PJs, why was I so excited about this event?

National Family Pajama Night would give me an excuse not just to stay at home and cocoon as is my preference (logy means sluggish, after all), but to celebrate it. We weren’t just going to stay in and lie on the couch watching TV, as usual. Oh no! We were going to rock the staying in: wearing comfy PJs, renting a movie, eating popcorn and homemade two-batter brownies. Slumber party, y’all!

I “liked” National Family Pajama Night on Facebook and checked out the daily “memory-maker” ideas. I briefly considered fort building, but then decided our couch is a perfectly good fort as is. We opted out of the homemade play-doh making and playful puppet show as well.

We started off with a photo session, documenting Chuck’s angst. I should probably feel guilty about this, but I giggled the entire time. What good is having a dog if you can’t use him for entertainment?

I needed to step in and stuff Chuck into those PJs. We followed the Company Store’s sizing chart, but they obviously didn’t account for Chuck’s generous circumference. He’s pretty busty, just like his Mama. He’s a brick house, as I like to sing to him. Chuck looked like an adorable sausage for the 3 minutes we made him wear the PJs.

Our first choice of pre-movie cartoon warm-up (Charlie Brown Thanksgiving) was blocked on streaming video, but we made do with Aqua Teen Hunger Force on DVD. Then we watched Blue Valentine and ate brownies. I’d like to provide a deep, insightful review of the film, but I never really got over the first few minutes. Someone really should have warned me about the dog. Seriously, I didn’t give a shit what happened to anybody after that.

Recipe and pictures of the two batter/Twix-studded brownies coming soon.