Thursday, April 17, 2014

Jim Fortune: Author of a million little peaces

My wide-eyed 9-year-old exclaimed to me recently, “Did you know that some houses run out of hot water?”

I laughed. “Yeah, bug, most houses have a tank that heats water, and when that tank is empty it takes a while for it to fill back up. It’s called a water heater.”

“We don’t have that?”

“Nope, we have a tankless system your dad had installed a few years ago. That’s why you and Jack can take a shower in both bathrooms and I can do laundry all at the same time and no one ever runs out of hot water.”

“That’s so cool.”

“Yeah, it is. Your dad has good ideas.”

People have told me I need to read that book about the five love languages – the one that tells you which type of display of affection you (and your mate) find most meaningful.

I have never read that book, and I bet I never will (honestly, it all sounds so drippy, and I’m pretty sure there’s gross churchy stuff in it) but I can tell you exactly which type of affection on that list gets me where I live: Acts of service.

Acts. Of. Service. I swoon even as I type it. Swooooon.

My marriage is not perfect, but I seriously won the love language lottery when I walked down that aisle. The things that make me want to crawl straight into my husband’s lap are the things his methodical, engineer nature just compels him to do: Install a tankless water heater so I will never get cold trying to wash and condition my ridiculous, enormous hair; build me a massive bookshelf so I can keep and admire all of my beloved books; unfailingly load my to-go coffee in the car for me every single morning because, dammit, it’s morning and I will forget.

In fact, earlier this week, my usual to-go mug was missing, so he put the coffee in a different mug – one that has a handle – and he asked me if I drink coffee left- or- right-handed so he could put the lid on facing the right way.

PEOPLE. Do not try to tell me there is anything hotter than that. Because there is NOT.

And OK, I did not actually know the answer to the question about how I drink my coffee because, as I mentioned, MORNING, so he just had to guess. But still. Swoon.

There is profound peace in knowing I will never run out of hot water and that my to-go coffee will always be in the car when I finally wake up halfway into my commute. Meanwhile, do you know what my husband never does? Any of that other crap on that list of love languages.

Gifts? Shit no! Because if he bought me gifts, I’d be all, “What the fuh? What did you spend on THAT?”

Words of affirmation? Puhleez. Don’t need ‘em. The only time he ever speechified at me about our boundless love was this one time in 1998 when he was proposing marriage, and the whole thing was a little weird, y’all. Yes, I’m amazing, he’s amazing, we are crazy about each other. I’m aware. No need to issue a memo.

Quality time? Well, I’m pretty busy, yo. Quality time is great in theory, but I’ve got a ton of work to do and I do need to take my runs. Besides, we’re happier vegging in a grubby pile on the couch after the kids go to bed than we’d be doing some fancy date-night thing.

And physical touch? Yeah, OK, I dig it. But don’t sneak up on me and start rubbing things or I might punch you. I’m a little edgy, you know? And I’m still kind of sore from my run.

Don’t worry, though. It’s nothing a scalding hot, 90-minute shower can’t fix.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Don't even try to beat geocachers. You will lose.

Hey, did you see that the word 'geocache' recently won the add-a-word-to-Scrabble contest? True story. It beat out rivals including 'Bitcoin' and 'zen.' Beat them to death, y'all.

I could have told those other words they didn't stand a chance. Geocachers are some hardcore mofos. They organize and strategize nonstop. That's what geocaching IS. Organizing. Strategizing. Mobilizing. Bitcoin and zen? Really? Fake money and some chilled-out, new-age vibe? Girl, puhleez.

Just about the time geocache was dominating the Scrabble contest, I wrote a TFP column about my sons' obsession with geocaching. I didn't know about the Scrabble thing when I wrote the column,  but it makes sense. This is clearly a pastime that has reached some kind of global critical mass. It's like a nerd tsunami.

In fact, I am sitting here covered in dirt and pollen and brier scratches because it's a pretty day, and that means we had to spend it climbing around in the woods geocaching. The only thing better than seeing my kids enjoy something this much is knowing I can now use it to kick ass at Scrabble EVEN MORE.

Everyone wins.