Dan got ambitious last Friday night and tackled one of the numerous projects on our ever-growing list of Things to Do So That We May Have a Perfect Life. The project? Organizing and alphabetizing our CD collection.
One would think this would be much more of a Cathy kind of job, given my penchant for order and my fondness for being able to locate Journey'sGreatest Hits with minimal profanity because JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH, WHERE THE HELL IS IT? I NEED TO HEAR "STONE IN LOVE!".
Yes, one would think, but one would be wrong. For all the order-lovin' genes camped out in my DNA, CD and album organizing just aren't part of my unique genetic sequencing.
Dan, surprisingly, does have the CD and album organization gene, and it became increasingly clear as he went from room to room, gathering renegade CDs and letting his highly refined classification skills whip their asses into alphabetical submission.
Now, before you get this image of one glorious wall of CDs from A to Z, you should know this: we keep them in three areas.
Area 1: an IKEA CD tower in my office that holds Abba's Gold through Jools Holland's Big Band Rhythm & Blues.
Area 2: the place where the actually CD player resides (i.e. the logical place) that holds Janet Jackson's The Velvet Rope through the Stray Cats' Runaway Boys: A Retrospective '81 to '92.
And last but not least, Area 3: The wrought iron CD tower that Dan says "doesn't take up any valuable living space so why in God's name would we need to get rid of it?", and covers The Strokes' Room on Fire through Neil Young's Decade.
I made the mistake of asking him if we could find a way to do just that—get rid of the CD tower. I asked, "Couldn't we clear out some of the photo albums on the other side of the fireplace and put those CDs up in the empty space?"
This was when Dan once again presented the Valuable Living Space Argument, which I'll admit is a hard one to counter. But that's what triggered the stuff that does live in my DNA, in other words, the real reason I've come to despise the tower:
"True, it doesn't take up that much space. But it gets really dusty and looks like Hell."
"Oh, it doesn't look THAT bad."
"How many times have you dusted it?"
"How many times have you been to Hell?"
Just remember though, when I do show up in Hell—because at this point, it's not really a question of if, but when—and find I've been assigned to clean in a super heated room full of dust-caked CD towers for all of eternity, don't be surprised to get a call from Jesus telling you to check your email for a rather pointed told you so message from me.
So last night, Dan and I are sitting at the kitchen table, eating a substantive serving of whole wheat capellini, tomato sauce and Byerly's label freshly grated parmesan, and I was telling him in a very the-world-and-Weight-Watchers-has-beaten-me-down tone of voice that sure, I was eating healthier, and yeah, my snacks were things like almonds and dried fruit, and that okay, I was walking almost every day, and so on and so forth, but that I still missed being a skinny smoker, and I would never deny that.
Trying not to sound ridiculously melodramatic, however, I weakly pointed out that I was not, in fact, a smoker anymore, and that I was still fairly proud of that, whoop de frickin' do.
Now you know guys. You know how sometimes, they just aren't sure what to say or do when they sense their partner is trapped in the suckage of a pity whirlpool. So what do they do? Usually, they start hitting the facts. The numbers. Pointing out the non-emotion related things that are supposed to make you feel good, instead of just saying, "OH, honey. I KNOW!"
Now first, a little back story before I continue: Dan is convinced he will outlive me. And rarely, if ever, do I challenge him on this fact. His grandmother is 96. Her sister lived to be older than that, and her other sister is still alive. He has longevity in his genes. We often imagine him moving to a loft in downtown St. Paul, living the hipster lifestyle as only an 80-plus year old man can, and very likely, having an endless stream of hot 70-year-old chicks at his disposal.
I mean, afterall... he IS really charming.
So there I am, in my melancholic stupor, and Dan is pointing out that YES, eating almonds and dried fruit is WAY better than potato chips, or loaves of french bread, and that the walking is doing wonders for my ass, and that the not smoking thing is absolutely HUGE as far as my health and longevity go.
And then, sweetly, with glistening eyes, he says: I only want to outlive you by one day.
God, I have no idea why or how, but this man really seems to like me.
And with that out of the way, I would like to present my new official rule on self-portraits:
I was on the phone the other day with my BFF Molly, who I am fairly certain rarely, if ever, reads my blog because she's heard and seen it all so many times, honestly, why bother? (Hi Mo! It's me... Mac!) and I casually tossed out, "There's a 140-pound St. Bernard in my house right now," and she's all like, "What are you now? The dog whisperer?" (Because the last time I'd talked to her, a few days earlier, we had sweet little Kyla, the Dog I Want To Have Cloned, staying with us for the weekend.)
I am not actually a dog whisperer, and as any of you loyal blog readers know, I am not presently capable of owning a pet of my own, and so, I take care of others' dogs when the needs arise. And this lovely dog belongs to my sweet neighbors Jay and Lesley, and she is here because little Jack Malone and Stella McIntosh were born on Tuesday night, and that means their big "sister" Nana needed to get a little extra lovin' while the new Mom and Dad tend to business. Make sense? Make good run-on sentence? Yes?
Which reminds me of something Dan said to me while the previously-linked Kyla was staying with us. I was lamenting that I wished I could have a dog. A dog just like Kyla. That I really hoped someday I could be emotionally ready for a dog. And Dan, in his thoughtful and loving way said:
"Yeah. I mean, it's not like you're home all day and could actually take care of one."
Isn't that sweet? If I had been within spitting distance of my special monthly time, I might have just had him go on ahead and set up his new bedroom in the basement. But instead, I just laughed because he really did have a point.
He makes good points a lot. Like this morning, when I was droning on and on about my fall from Weight Watchers grace yesterday (which occurred somewhere between countless slices of summer sausage, two Sierra Mists, and three helpings of Village Wok chicken fried rice) and I said to him:
"It's like I'm going to have to live my entire life on a diet. Just like I'm going to have to live my entire life without smoking."
To which he replied: "I know… it's just like I'm going to have to live my entire live without ever having a three-way."
I love it when he really gets where I'm coming from.
I tell Dan this morning that I want to buy some layering tees, long and short sleeved… that I really think it's going to be my critical wardrobe plan for winter 2008… that I think it's time that I start layering. His reply:
"I've been saying that for years. I practically invented layering."
So I'm cleaning up the kitchen last night, doing an extra special good job, because I'm hosting a Pampered Chef party tonight (I know, my coolness is SUCH a distraction at times), and I'm explaining to Dan that I'll pick up a pizza for him and the kids from Papa Murphy's, but that later, during the party, he'll want to come downstairs to taste the dish the demonstrator is making, because, "It's reallyl yummy…it's this anti pasta pizza thing."
To which he replies: "But I'm FOR pasta."
And I've never heard that one before, and think it's the funniest thing ever. He says it's one of the oldest ones out there. And I say, "Well, it's new to me.
To which he acknowledges, adding "My timing was impeccable."
Aidan was teasing Cole about going to a girl classmate's birthday party, because he'd be surrounded by a bunch of girls, and I told her that there's nothing wrong with a boy going to a girl's party, and that the girls love Cole, to which Cole added:
"Yeah…the girls always start mobbing me! They're like little demons…except wonderful."