Tag Archives: Relationships

One more reason I’m glad I’m a guy

Men reasonsI ran across this poster, and it reminded me of one more reason, #87, why I’m glad I’m a guy.

Sales “Parties”

If you are a girl, you probably know what I’m talking about. If you are a guy, I strongly suspect you have never even been close to one. I guess they started with Tupperware back in the 50s or 60s, but it seems in recent years they have multiplied. Here is the way it works.

1.) Woman takes on a job selling a product with other women as the target customer group.

2.) Saleswoman approaches friend or co-worker and asks if she would hostess a “party” and invite some of HER friends. The purpose of the party is to provide Saleswoman with a captive audience to hock her wares. Not really wanting to produce a party, but not wanting to disappoint a friend, the Hostess agrees.

3.) Hostess then spends some of her “social capital” inviting her friends to a “party” at her house. Hostess typically provides drinks and snacks, or more.

4.) The friends/guests frequently accept, even though they have no desire to attend the pseudo-party, because they, in turn, don’t want to their friend/hostess to look bad. The implied understanding is that the Guests have a social obligation to purchase something from the Saleswoman.

Mrs. Poolman attended one such “party” last week. In this case, the product was handbags. Mrs. P came away $55 poorer, but with a handbag, to be delivered at some future date. I don’t know whether she needed the handbag or not. That wasn’t the point. She bought the bag because she attended the party, and she only attended the party, because she didn’t want to disappoint her friend, Carla. Carla wasn’t the hostess. The party was being hosted by her daughter’s partner’s mother and sisters on behalf of some cousin. Do you see how the web grows?

One of our friends here in the neighborhood, Louanne, was a real sucker for any “Saleswoman” who called on her. For a while there, it seemed like Louanne was calling every couple of weeks or so to invite Mrs. P to a party where she could/should/would buy lingerie, perfume, jewelry or candles. (The thought of giving up a Saturday afternoon during football season to go listen to someone try to sell me scented candles would drive me to socially unacceptable behavior.) At least one party she hosted was for a line of “marital aids” which was interesting. I would have gone to that one myself, but no guys were invited. Louanne finally shut down her run of parties after the other women in the neighborhood politely told her that were considering not answering the phone when her number showed up on caller ID.

Maybe I’m being too harsh. Perhaps I should call up my friend Matt the Welder and ask him to come over to learn more about scented candles. “Oh, and be sure to bring your checkbook.” I think I seen an intervention in my future.

Pictures of us

Yesterday was Mrs. Poolman’s and my 36th anniversary. I wrote a post remembering the truly bizarre circumstances surrounding our wedding in 1976. However, in the spirit of maintaining peace in the family, I had second thoughts about actually posting it. Normally, I don’t worry about offending the guilty parties,but it has been 36 years. Sorry ’bout that.

Meanwhile, I ran across this really cool collection of satellite images that are worth a glance.

Enjoy and Happy Summer!

 

So how ya doin’? Don’t ask.

My fellow blogger “Hubby Diaries” wrote a post this week totally abusing her husband for having a “man cold” or “man flu.”

I know that stories are legendary among our female companions of men turning into total babies at the first hint of a sniffle or cough. I hope I’m not one of those. I typically come down with one cold a year, which usually degenerates into bronchitis. I try to ignore it for several weeks in the expectation my immune system will do what it is supposed to do and just make it go away. (What’s the point of all those little antibodies if they’re not doing their job?) Eventually, I end up at the doctor’s office to get a prescription for an antibiotic.  When I do run a fever and feel lousy, I just snuggle down on the couch and apologize to Mrs. Poolman for being such poor company.

However, for those members of the gentle sex who like to make fun of their ailing partners, I have a question. Which is worse – the occasional “man flu baby” or the chronic “I’m always feeling bad” whiner?

None of my male-friends ever complains about the way they feel.

“Hey, man, what happened to you?”

“Well, I coughed up a lung and left it in the passenger seat of my car, but I still have one left so I’m cool. So, what d’ya think about the game last night?”

On the other hand, I know any number of women for whom complaining about aches, pains and discomforts is a way of life.

“Hey, Mary, how are you?”

“Oh, I haven’t slept well in a week. My back aches. My neck hurts. I may be coming down with a migraine. And I think my uterus fell out last night. You know my doctor says I have a very sensitive disposition.”

I have several friends with whom I am very careful to never ask how they are. It’s not that I don’t care. Well, maybe it is. It’s just that, unless someone really is seriously ill or injured, the expression, “How are you?” is just a casual greeting, not a request for a health inventory.

Whatever you do, you must never react or respond to the complaints. To do so would only encourage them and subject you to a lengthy health history and prognosis.

“I really think these are all symptoms of dengue fever. I may have only days to live.”

“So, do you guys want to catch a movie tonight, or what?”

Here’s to hoping your 2012 is a healthy one! To quote another blog-friend, Terri, “Life is good!”

This is pretty funny!

I pulled this off of a friend’s Facebook page, so I can claim no credit for it.

Facing demons with a toolbox

This past weekend I faced another home-repair demon and emerged triumphant.

As I have written in the past, home repair is not my strong suit. When I tackle a job beyond the very simple, my odds of success usually run around 50-50. Sometimes, the damage I inadvertently do creates a larger repair bill than if I had never attempted the task to begin with. As a result, I look at almost any home-repair job as a major challenge and all victories sublime.

Mrs. Poolman is my strongest supporter. You would think that after all the years we have been married, she would have picked up on some of my weaknesses. (Well, she has picked up on many of them, just not this one.)

“Oh, Poolman, we don’t need to call a repairman. You can do it!”

Which brings me to one of Poolman’s Lessons on Life.

Nothing is impossible for someone who doesn’t have to do it.

This weekend’s plumbing story began last week. We have two and a half baths, but with only two people living in our house full time, the master bath and the half-bath off the kitchen get 99% of the use. We keep the door closed to the seldom-used bathroom in the hallway, because one of our cats (Sid the Tail-less) has been known to use it for his functions. (“Hey, if you’re not going to use it, one of us might as well. Meow!”) Unfortunately, Sid has not familiarized himself with the proper use of the bathroom appliances. All of which means that when I stopped into that bathroom last week and found the toilet running, I had no idea how long it had been doing so.

“Oh, boy,” I thought, “what a great opportunity to try my hand at toilet repair.”
Actually, as it turned out, it was a fairly easy repair. I just went down to the handy Ace Hardware store and bought a new valve assembly. Surprisingly, it went together just like it said in the directions. That may not be a first for me, but it seems that it is rare enough that I am always surprised when it happens that way.

I ran into two minor problems, but I was able to think my way through them.

One issue was really stupid. I couldn’t get the hose connector unscrewed from the tank. “Lefty-loosey, right?” In this case, that is true – if you are lying on your back and looking at the connector from the floor, but not if you are kneeling and reaching under the tank to get at it. Duh!

A masterpiece!

Once I had the new valve assembly installed and made sure it was both working and not leaking, I had only one remaining concern. How much water did we waste all that time we didn’t know it was running? Coincidentally, the semi-monthly water bill arrived on Saturday. It was more than twice the normal bill.

Crap!

Pun intended.

Eating, praying and loving our way through the weekend

It was a beautiful weekend in Coastal Georgia. On Saturday, Mrs. Poolman and I set out to run some errands. The plan was to hit the suburban mall area for a couple of quick hits, and then head downtown. Mrs. P has wanted to visit a particular antique/junk store. She also wanted to have lunch at Vinnie Van Go-Go’s in the City Market. It looked like a perfect day to sit out in the sun and have a giant slice of pizza.

The mall part of the day went fine, but when we got downtown, we ran into trouble. The area was just overloaded with people. I guess a beautiful day combined with the Savannah Irish Festival and the Savannah Book Festival brought in the crowds. We couldn’t find a parking space. Two garages we tried were both full. After spending over a half-hour in gridlock in one garage without finding a space, we ran up the white flag. We headed back out to the ‘burbs.

That evening, at Mrs. P’s request, we rented Julia Roberts’ “Eat, Pray, Love.” I knew it wasn’t my cup of tea, but you do have to compromise. I wasn’t into the movie that much, but I had a book to keep me busy. On the other hand Mrs. P was so entranced, she fell asleep a half hour into the flick. I’m glad she enjoyed it.

Love via the thermostat

It’s a long standing issue with Mrs. Poolman and myself, that we are comfortable at different ambient temperatures. Being post-menopausal, she is prone to hot flashes and definitely likes a lower room temperature. During the winter, she’ll be sitting in the family room in scrubs or a tee shirt, while I’ll be wearing sweats and have a blanket wrapped around me.

“Are you cold?” she’ll ask.

“No,” I reply.

“Well why do you have a blanket on?”

“Because if I didn’t, I WOULD be cold.”

On the other hand, she is much less tolerant of warmer temps in the summer. I’m happy with the AC set at 78. She needs it around 74.

That brings us to today’s story. Mrs. P left work early because she wasn’t feeling entirely on top of her game. She came home, called me and told me she was home, and then layed down on the couch and took a five hour nap.

When she woke up in the late afternoon, she thought there was something seriously wrong. She was hot and drenched in sweat. She was ready to call her doctor and tell her that something was seriously amiss.

Then she checked the thermostat.

82 degrees.

When both of us are at work, I reset the thermostat during the heat of the day. I get home a couple of hours before her and reset it to 76 or 77 before she gets home.

I didn’t think to tell her and she hadn’t thought about it.

On the good side, it’s a lot easier to just reset the thermostat than fix your hormones. Or so she tells me.

A grandma by any other name…

We are at that stage in life when our friends are beginning to become grandparents. It’s not a flood yet, but the trickle has begun.

This past weekend, our friend and neighbor, Lou Ellen’s, son and his wife had a baby and so raised Lou Ellen to the ranks of grand-motherhood.

One of the more amusing aspects of all this is the incredible amount of thought and discussion that many women put into their most serious issue. “What will the child call me?”

Apparently this is a big deal with new grandmothers and grandmothers to-be.

When Lou Ellen called on Saturday to break the news of the blessed event, she told me that they had all decided that her “grandmother name” would be “Me-me.” When I repeated the name with a questioning tone of voice, she said.

“But we will spell it ‘Mimi.’”

She did not indicate how they would convey the proper spelling to the newborn.

This has become something of a family joke between Mrs. Poolman and me. It started more than ten years ago when her younger sister was discussing her active negotiations with the other grandmother over what her soon-to-be-born granddaughter would call them. They settled on “Grandma” for my sister-in-law and “Mimi” for the other grandparent. (“Mimi must be the equivalent of Sarah, Madison or Emma for the grandmother generation.) During the course of the conversation, I suggested, “What about ‘Big Mama.’”

My sister-in-law took it with good humor. On the other hand, Mrs. Poolman had fire in her eyes. She could see where that was going, and threatened me with severe bodily harm “…if any grandchild of mine ever calls me ‘Big Mama.’”

If this blog ever ends with a final post about my future grandchildren learning to talk, you’ll know what happened.

‘Why don’t I have a mother?’

Last week it was same-sex-marriages. This week it is same-sex-parents.

I heard on NPR this morning that actor Neal Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser) and his partner have gotten together with a surrogate mother to produce a set of twins (who are yet to be born.)

Neal Patrick Harris (l) and partner David Burtka

I’m not a homophobe. I really couldn’t care less what someone does in the privacy of their bedroom, so long as they aren’t hurting someone else. That’s the problem I have with this trend of gay and lesbian couples having children. There is potential harm.

I believe both mothers and fathers matter to children. Children absorb and learn different things from the different genders. In this case, why would you go through an incredible amount of effort and expense to create a child who will not have a mother? Did your mother not play an important part in your life? Why would you deny your child the benefit of having both a mother and a father?

The nephew of some of our friends went through the same process about a year ago. The two guys ended up with twin girls. While I’m sure these two guys will love and care for their daughters to the maximum extent of which they are capable, but they are limited biologically in what they can provide. Neither is female. The two girls will be raised without a mother or mother-figure. How will that affect the girls? I don’t know, but it can’t be ideal.

It seems like an incredible act of self indulgence. The same-sex parents get a baby to play with, but the child is the one who is missing one parent.

Of course, in today’s climate of “starter marriages,” “no-fault pregnancies” and high rates of divorce, missing parents are all too common with “straight” families.  The difference is that, usually, the parents do not plan to make it that way from the outset.

I feel the same about single women who elect to have a baby without benefit of a functioning father?  I don’t understand the benefit to the child of not having a father.  I guess some mothers really think you are going to be so good as a parent that they can fill both roles. Some of the time, and maybe even most of the time, many parents I know feel they stretching their abilities to handle one job, let alone two.

It may sound contradictory, but I don’t have any problem with gays or lesbians adopting children. Why? Because usually they are improving the lot of a child. By adopting, they are providing a child with a set of parents. While a male-female set of parents would be ideal, same-sex parents are better than no parents at all.

The question is simply this: In the grand scheme of things, is a would-be parent’s desire to have a child of greater importance than that child’s need for both a mother and a father? It’s something to think about.

Ironically, Harris is also the star of the CBS sitcom, “How I Met Your Mother.” That is one story he won’t have to tell his real-life kids.

Questions and answers

Mrs. Poolman and I don’t always communicate as well as we should. I suppose that is probably true of most married couples. Wives generally, and maybe justifiably, blame it on the husbands. In our case, that may be partially (or substantially) true, but we have another issue that is sometimes funny and sometimes frustrating. Mrs. P is simply incapable of answering a simple question. She will jump around or jump ahead, but almost never does she simply answer the question I have asked. She is a lot smarter than I am so she is probably reading my mind and anticipating what I am really trying to ask, and answering my second or third question, but on occasion it can be frustrating all the same.

This morning, Mrs. P heard my alarm go off when she was about to walk out the door to go to work. She came into our bedroom with car keys in hand while I was sitting on the edge of the bed still trying to come awake. I was already thinking ahead to this evening. Since she is working, I’m responsible for dinner. We have several options, but I did not want to duplicate whatever she took for lunch.

Me: “Did you pack chicken salad for your lunch?”

Her: “Chicken salad would be all right.”

Huh?

Did she mean:

  • She packed chicken salad for her lunch but it would be all right to have it for dinner also?
  • Chicken salad would be all right for her lunch?
  • She really didn’t really want to have chicken salad for either meal, but didn’t want to come right out and say so.

That is too much thinking for me when I’m not entirely awake yet.

We have exchanges like this all the time.

Me: “Do we have any vacuum cleaner bags?”

Her: “I vacuumed yesterday.”

Or…

Me: “Have you already fed the dogs?”

Her: “We’re almost out. Would you pick some up on your way home tomorrow?”

Or…

Me (when she arrives home from work): “Can I fix you a drink?”

Her: “I have to go to the bathroom.”

Or…

Me: “Would you like sliced tomatoes or green beans with dinner?”

Her: “I had a salad for lunch.”

Oh well. I guess little mysteries like these keep the spark in a relationship.