Sunday, March 30, 2008

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned . . .

I drive by a small church on my way. It's always packed on Sunday. Doesn't matter if it's been two weeks or a month since the last time I drove by . . . people lined up to hear God's word.

Our Father, which art in Heaven
Hallowed be thy Name

I'm Jewish, so its not even my Sabbath. But I still feel a little guilty. I am not here for God. I am not here for spirituality. I am here for selfish pleasure. I pull my car into a spot a few blocks away. Walk to the non-descript building and let myself in the door at the back of the alley. He's left it unlocked for me. His shoes are on the mat by the door. I know he's waiting for me. Down the dark hall, third room on the right. My own two hours of heaven await me.

Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven

Same sheets. New blanket, today. Scarlet. Even with the candles and low lights, the color is rich and vibrant. Yet doesn't disrupt the mood. The music is soft in the background; familiar and inviting. I slip out of my clothes quickly; I don't even wear my wedding rings anymore. I slide between the sheets, and stretch, like a cat about to nap in a sun spot on the carpet.

He places a hand on my lower back, letting the warmth imprint on my skin. Holds it there, as if saying a little prayer over my prone body. Then begins making small circles on my lower back, moving further and futher outward, until he can feel me relax. Slides his hands down my back, splaying his fingers across the curve at my lower back, then running his hands up my sides, tracing the hourglass shape. I drift into that other-worldliness that always accompanies this little renedezvous.

Give us this day our daily bread

My stomach rumbles, bringing me back to reality for a moment. He only chuckles, quietly, his hands never leaving my body. But it makes me think of the family that parks in the church lot. Selling tamales and churros and other homemade treats to the congregants when services are out. I often think about stopping on my way back home. Back to reality. But they would know. So instead, I always pull my hat down further over my hair and my sunglasses, and stare straight ahead.

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us

I feel spiritual. He takes me inside myself, inside my head. Never asks for anything other than what we have had for the last three years. Content in our mutually beneficial relationship. So I lay, breathing quiet and deep, feeling the stress fade and my mind clear, focusing only on the rhythm of his hands and the music. In this state, I could forgive. Not forget. Just forgive.

And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil

It always seems too short. He whispers "It's time." Runs his fingers through my hair one last time. So tempting to stay. But he has obligations. I have obligations. We'll see each other in a few weeks. Some Sunday.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Some theology teaches that we are all sinners. I am guilty of many sins. Is it sinful for letting a man who is not my husband touch my bare flesh? I don't think so. My sin, if you ask Betty, is that I pay so little for a two-hour massage.

If this is sin, then I ought to start booking my room in hell now.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife


Editors note: Fiction alert.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

She tugged at the cabinet door again. Finally the swollen wood gave way and it swung open with a jolt and a creak of protest. In late summer, they always stuck. The combination of the heat and humidity outside, and the dampness from the pressure cooker and boiling water as she canned whatever she could out of her garden to store for the winter, wasn’t kind to cabinetry that should have been thrown out with the rest of the stuff when they gutted the old church downtown.

Frank was so proud when he brought them home. “I got those new cabinets you wanted,” he beamed.

She’d nearly cried. She had visions of him building nice new ones that she would sand and paint. Maybe even do some extra sewing to make enough money for those pretty little decorative knobs. Anything to make this old, broken down home seem more like the ones she saw her friends living in. The ones she imagined living in as a little girl. Instead, she got a ramshackle 50-year old story and a half that didn’t have indoor plumbing the first year of their marriage. And there he was with these ancient, tired cabinets they’d salvaged from the church basement, with the awful Formica top and the peeling paint. When they didn’t quite fit, he’d just taken off the base and cut one end off, leaving them about two inches shorter than a standard cabinet and with one “half” shelf with no door.

She pulled out some more jar lids, and shut the door. The stack of bills on top of the cabinet fell and scattered. She stooped to gather them, cringing at the red “past due” stamped on more than one. She gathered them up and tucked them back in the shelves, looking at her long fingernails, stained various colors by the gardening and the canning, and her hands, cracked and dry from working outside in the fields as they finished the summer haying. She slumped into a sitting position at the bottom of the stairs, and the tears started to roll.

She remembered that sick feeling in her stomach, amplified by the soft undulations of her extended belly, when she heard the news that they’d found his car across the state line. Joe was fine; just wasn’t prepared to be a parent. She had sat in their tiny apartment, trying to decide what to do. Remembering making that humiliating call to her parents and asking for help. Waiting for the “I told you so” that she knew they had to be thinking after the shot gun wedding months ago. Remembered packing her clothes and few belongings, including the baby layette she’d started accumulating, and going back home.

Frank had been mature and charming when they were first dating. It was 1970; a divorced woman with a toddler should consider herself lucky to have found someone with some property, a good work ethic, and, more importantly, who could love and provide for her baby girl. She couldn’t think beyond the immediate situation. Couldn’t take the time to entertain those dreams she still had. Returning to Europe. Summers on the eastern shore. A day at the art museum followed by a moonlight walk on the shores of Lake Michigan. Finishing her commercial arts degree. At that moment, though, Frank just seemed like a fresh start for a woman with few alternatives.

And here she still sat. Hadn’t left the state since they got married. Still living in these same six small rooms, with the worn linoleum, the leaky ceiling, the uninsulated walls and the hand-me-down furniture. Still rising at six every morning to milk the cows and start breakfast for a man who spoke in gruff, three-word phrases and a few well-timed grunts. Still staring at ugly, peeling cabinets that she knew she could never afford to replace. Knowing that this was all just part of a path she had chosen years before, that would never lead her back to those old dreams. She pressed her palms into her eyes, and rested her elbows on her knees, her shoulders shaking with each sob.

“Mom, why are you sad?” came the voice above her head.

She looked up to see her oldest daughter sitting on the stairs above her, a worn copy of a Nancy Drew novel with the library sticker on it tucked under her arm, wearing homemade corduroy pants and second-hand sweater from the neighbor girl. Her daughter smiled, her front teeth slightly crooked. No money for braces, either. She was awkward and skinny at age ten, but smart and responsible. Simple.

She tried to speak, but the sobs caught in her throat. “I hate,” and here she paused, and turned away, before saying “these ugly cabinets.” Wondered if her daughter heard the “my life” echoing in her mind.

She felt a thin, small hand patting her back. “Don’t worry, Mom. Someday, I’ll buy you new cabinets. I promise. Someday, I’ll buy you a whole new house. Just don’t cry, Mom.”

She wiped her eyes and turned to give the girl a hug. “Someday,” she whispered into her hair. “Someday.”

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I'm Bored

Yesterday, I'm at work and I get a call on my cell phone from a number I don't recognize.

"Hello. This is Mrs. Chako."

"Yeah, is Son #1 there?"

"Um, well, no he's not. This is my cell phone and I'm still at work. Can I take a message for him?"

(I think the parenting handbook conveniently leaves out that you become your children's message service at age 9 or 10)

"Yeah. This is Ryan. I was, uh, wondering if I could sleep over at your house. It's Spring Break and I'm bored."

It was 4:05 p.m. on Friday. School let out for Spring Break at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, a mere 35 minutes earlier.

I pity Ryan's dad.

At least we're considered the "fun" house.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Friday, March 28, 2008

DrChako is Home - A Week in Retrospective

Well, he's been home for a week now. Still hasn't figured out how to change the intro header on his blog yet, but we'll give him time. So you may be wondering how the reintegration into family life has been going. I'll give you the recap of some of the ups and downs of reintegration.
  • He is fit. Really fit. More fit that when I met him 16 years ago. Solid. Buff. Looks better at 40 than at 25. How many women can say that about their husbands of 13 years?
  • Somehow, he has made me put on 3 or 4 pounds. I am no longer as lean or mean. Well, maybe still mean.
  • Errands are getting done. Laundry. Dry cleaning. Registering my new car on the military base. Cleaning out the garage. Installing a garage door opener (well, greeting "the man" who will install the garage door opener).
  • Sometimes still forgets that "helping with homework" actually means monitoring the homework-doing, rather than saying "do homework" and then leaving to go do a personal project in the garage.
  • Have someone to help me do things.
  • Sometimes I forget to ask for help.
  • Sometimes he forgets to offer help.
  • Sometimes doesn't remember the old routine.
  • Sometimes I forget to tell him the new routine.
  • Good to have part of the revised routine include a kiss, a hug, or someone to talk to who speaks English as their first language and doesn't add to already increased estrogen levels in the house.
  • Bed is warmer, for those times when my feet are cold. Which is, say, every night.
  • Who the hell is taking up all the space in my bed? And where did my man-sized pillow go?
  • It's like having sex with a strange, new, fit man. Every so often I gotta turn on the light and check to make sure it's really him.
  • Sometimes I turn the light back off and pretend it's Hugh Jackman.
  • He wants sex all the time. Trying to make up for the lost 7 months. Forgets that I still have a 50+ hour a week job, a long commute, two children, and the occasional migraine. And have for the last 7 months. Not to mention a tax return to complete. Hate to admit it, Drizz, but sometimes, life makes it a coinflip.
  • Sometimes acts like we're having sex for the first time. Forgets that we've done this for 16 years now. I didn't get re-virginized. I am not breakable. I gave birth. Bring it on.
  • Post-deployment leave gives him time to relax, catch up, continue his workout. Still looks good, seems happy.
  • Post-deployment leave gives him extra time to shop on line for watches, motorcycles, Ferarris. Go to the Harley store, boat show, etc. I'm thinking of freezing the credit cards, just in case he gets a little punchy.
  • Post-deployment leave gives him plenty of time to think about dinner ideas for when I come home from work. For some reason, we're always still deciding where to eat on the way to the car.
  • Pats my ass on the way to the shower when I'm getting ready in the morning for work.
  • Stands in my blow-drying space at critical styling times.
  • Loves my new car and tells me what a great job I did buying it.
  • Always wants to drive it.
At the end of the day, regardless of how the pluses and minuses add up, my best friend and my boys' daddy is home. No bullet holes. All his limbs and extremities. And won't be going back.

Sounds like a positive to me.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Shift in the Universe and Don't Piss Mrs Chako Off

Shift in the Universe

Yesterday, Betty and I were mulling over a few things that seemed odd. Unusual. Not so ordinary. Including shifts in our own personal moods and perceptions. Reactions to things. Pondered whether it signaled a shift in the universe.

Then, yesterday, it snowed. Only in our town. Not actually in Seattle. Literally, the snow line stopped 5 miles north of the house. Thank goodness for my new AWD baby.

I sent her a message - "Further shift in the universe . . . hope you aren't close to a fault line."

She is. Good luck, friend. Come up and visit if your place starts shaking. Hope American Airlines hasn't cancelled all of the flights out of California.

Today, more shifts in the universe. And more snow. Only south of Seattle. In our town.

I did double-check though, and Waffles is still ranting, Bam-Bam is still his affable poker-playing self, Bracelet is still modest, and IT is still loving his kids . . . maybe its only a West Coast thing.

Either way, I'm gonna buckle up.

Editors note: I realize, after reading my friend's comment, that I did not clarify. This is DEFINITELY a positive shift in the universe. At least for us West-Coasters. Even the snow. It was beautiful as the sun came out on my commute, sparkling on all of the newly blossomed trees and green lawns. Nothing prettier than pink trees and green grass and white snow. And when I say I'm gonna buckle up - well, I say that when I strap into my favorite rollercoaster, California Screamin', and laugh all the way to the end, too. Oh yeah, Betty, I'm expecting a good ride.

Don't Piss Mrs Chako Off

So I've been working my ass off. Literally. My ass is smaller. Ask my husband.

So when I get clients who give me shitty accounting documentation with bad answers and even worse justifications, it doesn't improve my mood. In fact, makes me a little more feisty. Yesterday, they tried to pull one over on me. I put my foot down. The accounting manager said "I think its because you're wearing black and white. You can't see all the shades of grey. Could you go back to wearing the spring colors you were wearing earlier in the week?"

I'm heading out there again later today. Wearing black and white. Again. Just in case it does impact my judgement. There will be no grey line in accounting today.

And unfortunately, certain members of my team are starting to drink their Kool-aid. I came in yesterday to find two of them poring over a client memo. I picked it up. Flipped instantly to the conclusion page. Said "no way in hell is this the answer" inside of 30 seconds. They gotta get better at seeing through the bullshit. They went to a meeting - only thing that got resolved was that they told the client "Mrs Chako is probably not going to like this answer."

What part of "no way in hell is this the answer" doesn't mean, unequivocally, "no way in hell?"

Felt like writing a big WTF on the memo and handing it back.

But I'm sure I'll put my nice girl pants on (the ones that hang in the back of my closet, next to my big girl pants, Betty) and find a nicer way to tell them. Does "no f---ing way in hell" count?

You've all had fair warning today.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Monday, March 24, 2008


Editor's note:

So I'm an accountant by trade. But inside, there is an actress, a singer, a dancer, a photographer, a writer. Accounting just pays better. And I'm technically better at it. But, inspired by the hoardes of you who actually write fiction, I've decided to post my own. Good or bad, you decide. If you ever had a conniving, blackmailing younger sibling, you'll sympathize. Be prepared for mild sexual content. And infidelity. Which my husband hates immortalized in fiction, movies, etc. Sorry, honey. Suck it up.

And if I offended any Catholics (or Jews, for that matter) . . . well, its fiction. Suck it up. Read one of Waffles rants to put things in perspective.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife


She was bent over the suitcase, looking for a sweater to pull over her camisole, when she felt strong fingers around her waist. She jumped and spun around, covering her mouth and stifling a scream. Avi stood there, his dark eyes flashing, crinkling at the corners. In the midmorning sun, his olive skin glowed, and his dark curls showed dark mahogany highlights. His jeans were a dark faded wash, and his t-shirt clung to his lean, muscular frame. Some random Hebrew lettering on it she couldn’t decipher.

“What are you doing here?” she whispered, loudly.

“I told you I had business in Milwaukee. I couldn’t be this close to you and not see you.” His slight accent was musical, made the butterflies in her stomach dance. “Come here, my Shoshana,” he murmured, reaching for her belt loops on her jeans. My Rose. No wonder she couldn’t resist him. For a moment, Rosemary let her body go slack, melt against his body. Feeling the heat from him, feeling him hard in his jeans. He kissed her ears, her neck, whispering Hebrew phrases against her skin. Her hands wound their way involuntarily through his hair, slipping through the big, soft curls, pulling his mouth up to hers. He had a way of kissing her like no other; as if he were breathing her breath, smelling her skin, drinking her essence all at the same time.

A noise in the hallway caught her attention, snapping her back to reality. She quickly disentangled her fingers from his hair, the diamond on her left hand catching his curls. He reached up to grab her hand, freeing his hair, but lingering on the ring. Spinning it around on her finger while he stared intently at her face. She could feel herself flush; she hadn’t finished her discussions with David and her parents didn’t know yet. Probably wouldn’t take the news well at all. She pulled her hand away and turned away from him. “Avi . . .”

He stepped up behind her, wrapping one arm around her waist, kissing her neck, and putting a finger over her mouth. “I am a patient man, my Shoshana. I will wait.”

She could feel her resistance slipping away. Then, the noise again. She pulled away, put some distance between them. Well, as much distance as she could while he still held her fingers tight in his own. “Avi, you shouldn’t be here. How did you even find me? How did you get in?”

He smiled at her. “Google is an amazing thing. And your parents are like every other small town family. No one locks their doors. I knocked; when no one answered, I came around to the back, where you said your old bedroom was. And found you.”

Now she felt self-conscious. Realized he was standing in her old bedroom, with its shabby, patchwork quilt her mother made when she was ten. The high school honor awards. Her confirmation picture. The miniature statue of the Virgin Mary . . .

“Avi, you shouldn’t be here,” she repeated. “My parents are going to be home from mass any minute now. My sister is staying here for the weekend. How am I going to explain you?”

He moved forward to kiss her again. “How about your business colleague that just happened to be in the area?” he whispered, running his fingers up her rib cage and under her breasts, his tongue teasing the corners of her mouth. Hair tickling her face.

She succumbed to one kiss, then pulled away. “Avi, if I never come visit them on business, they’ll never believe you had business in this town. You should have called.”

“I did, my Shoshana. You didn’t answer.”

Rosemary, grimaced, remembering the cell phone reception was sometimes poor out here. At that moment, she heard a car in the driveway. She began to feel panicky, then looked around. “Avi, they can’t find you here. I need you to hide, just ‘til I can figure out how to get you out of the house.” She grabbed his hand. Started to pull him toward the hallway, thinking she would have him sneak out back door and then go meet him.

The door opened before she touched the handle, and her 20-year old sister, Mary Catherine, burst in without knocking. Rosemary backed up, stunned, until she found herself backed up against Avi, still holding his hand.

“Father Paul was asking where you were . . .” Mary Catherine started, but then stopped, noticing the tall, dark-haired stranger in her sister’s room. She glanced down at Rosemary’s hand, still holding Avi’s. Rosemary dropped it, feeling herself flush again. Avi stood his ground. Mary Catherine’s eye narrowed as she processed the scene, then a slow smirk spread across her face. “Well, well, well, Rosie, what do we have here? Aren’t you going to introduce me?”

Rosemary was completely without words. Avi, however, found the situation amusing. He stepped forward, around Rosemary, extending a hand to Mary Catherine. “Avram Cohen. I work with your sister. Please. Call me Avi.” His slight accent seemed to charm Mary Catherine, and she smiled and batted her lashes.

“Nice to meet you, Avi.” An unnecessary emphasis on his name. “I‘m Rosemary’s sister, Mary Catherine. People just call me MC for short. So you work with Rosemary in Chicago?” An unnecessary emphasis on the word “work”. “Rosie must have forgotten to mention you. She can be sooo forgetful sometimes. Where are you from, Avi?”

Rosemary found her voice. “He’s originally from Isreal, MC. But he’s been living in Chicago for 10 years now. He works in our M&A practice.” She looked her sister in the eye, but couldn‘t hold her gaze.

Mary Catherine proceeded with her questioning, taking obvious pleasure in Rosemary’s discomfort. “So you’re Jewish, Avi?” Emphasis on ‘Jewish’, for Rosemary’s benefit. Mary Catherine reached out to touch the miniature Holy Mother, as if for additional emphasis.

Avi was unshaken. He smiled, and politely said “Yes.”

There was an awkward moment of silence, and Rosemary debated about what to say to her sister. Mary Catherine, however, had decided at this point to take it to a new height of uncomfortableness.

“Father Paul was saying that you and David had postponed your pre-marital counseling three times now. Mother laughed and said it was probably your busy schedule, but I could tell she was worried.” She stared at Rosemary, then turned to look at Avi, over her sister’s shoulder. “David is Rosie’s fiancée.” Heavy emphasis on fiancée. Mary Catherine turned back to look at her sister, pointedly. Avi said nothing, but Rosemary felt his hand come up protectively and rest on her waist. The motion was not lost on Mary Catherine.

This was not a conversation she wanted to have with her sister at this moment. But she didn’t have a choice, really. “MC, you can’t breathe a word of this to Mom or Dad or anyone, until I find a way to tell them. But David and I aren’t going to get married. We just haven’t . . . well, we just haven’t worked out the details, yet.”

Mary Catherine reached forward to grab her sister’s left hand, staring at the large solitaire. “Looks like you have a couple big details to work out,” she commented, lifting the ring for her sister to see, then glancing over Rosemary’s shoulder and staring at Avi. Rosemary glanced back, mortified, but Avi held Mary Catherine’s gaze, even smiling slightly at her.

“I know, MC. I know. Look, I need a huge favor from you. I need you to keep Avi out of Mom’s sight for a few minutes, until I can get out of here with him. I was planning to discuss it with Mom and Dad tonight at dinner, OK? Can you please just hide him in your room until I can make up an excuse to leave? Please MC?” Rosemary felt like a teenager, rather than a successful business woman at this point. What was it about coming home that always made you feel like a kid?

Mary Catherine’s eyes narrowed again. “For a price,” she began. “You will let me stay in your apartment downtown and let me borrow your ID when I feel like hitting Rush Street with my friends from school. Of course, that is, if you don’t have company.” Here, she looked directly at Avi. “And you will let me borrow your clothes. Like those.” Pointing to the little black Italian leather pumps Rosemary had brought back from her trip to Milan. And you’re going to help me convince Mom that the study abroad in Italy program is in my academic best interests.” Which really meant that she’d be closer to Marco, the Italian foreign student she’d met last semester, when he went back home.

“You know Mom won’t be crazy about you going to Italy for a whole semester,” Rosemary reminded her sister. “She’s not going to want to pay that much, and she knows about Marco.”

Mary Catherine pouted a little and said, “Well, at least he’s Catholic.” Emphasis on Catholic. Rosemary cringed, looking apologetically at Avi. Mary Catherine continued. “I’ll understand if you can’t be my advocate,” she said, pathetically, looking at Avi, and then grinning at her sister.

Rosemary knew she didn’t have a choice. Not now. Not if she wanted it all to come out on her own terms. “Fine,” she sighed. Turned to Avi. “I’m sorry. Can I beg you to go with my sister, just for a bit? I’ll come get you and we’ll go get lunch and figure out what to do with you.”

He smiled. Glanced down at her and touched her face. Kissed her on the lips. Pulled her hips just a little closer, as if in invitation for something later. “Certainly, my Shoshana.” Kissed her on the nose.

Mary Catherine looked pointedly at her sister. “You owe me,” she reminded her, and then walked across the bedroom to the adjoining door to her room. “Come, Avi. Let me show you some pictures of when Rosie was little.” Avi walked across the room to join her, looked back at Rosemary, then stepped through the doorway. As Mary Catherine started to close the door behind her, she poked her head back into Rosemary’s room. “Is he circumcised?” she stage-whispered.

Rosemary picked up a stuffed animal and threw it at her sister’s retreating frame. She turned with her back to the outside door, and slumped down on the floor. Twirling the diamond solitaire on her finger. Wanting to fast forward through this next part.

Let There Be Light . . .

A friend of mine had the quote of the day. It was in reference to someone else, but I'm sure I'm guilty plenty of times too.

" . . . well, it's dark with your head up your ass."

Fortunately, for me, today I can see the sun shining. But next time things seem a little dark, I'll make sure I don't just automatically blame the Seattle weather.

Got light?

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Rose by Any Other Name . . .

Would still look awesome in digital photography . . .
Respectfully submitted,
The Wife

Saturday, March 22, 2008

From the Mouths of Babes

We're driving home from the movies with the two kids. We're listening to a mix CD's that my au pair burned for me. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," sung by Israel "Iz" Kamakawiwoʻole is playing.

The kids are debating the merits of the song and the singer, when DrChako decides this might be a good time to teach the children a health lesson.

"You know what kids? This man was huge. He died because his was so big. And he was very young."

Son #1 says, incredulously, "Really? How young?"

"In his 30s," says my husband.

Son #1 says, "Why did he die?"

This is my husband's proudest moment. He gets to deliver today's life lesson about obesity. "His heart exploded!" *

Son #2 perks up at this moment and exclaims, "His FART exploded?!?!"

* * * * *

You have to admit it would be a funnier cause of death.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

* Cause of death was actually a weight-related respiratory problem.

Rock On

So after recommendations from CC about some top notch entertainment, and confirmation by Betty and other friends that the venue was also worthwhile, DrChako and I headed out for our first date in . . . well, since 2007. Pre-deployment. A collective 35+ pounds ago.

New red Lexus. Ballard. Tractor Tavern. Kaki King. Matt Sheehy as the opening act.

Great first date back. Kaki is an extremely talented woman with fast little fingers and a wide range of musical style. DrChako posted a video I took of one of her bits. She is this petite little thing that looks a little like Hillary Swank's cousin. So petite, in fact, that I found myself thinking "those are not child-birthing hips". Don't know why I even thought that. Poor thing had the flu and sounded like she was about to lose her voice at any moment, but kept playing with passion (fortunately, much of her set is instrumental only).

Observations from the evening?
  1. Love live music. Love standing there absorbing the bass line and drums through the soles of my feet, activating that internal seismograph low in my belly. Feeling the guitar make the rest of my body hum. Being able to move unconsciously without feeling self-conscious (not that I ever really feel self-conscious about singing and dancing to music I like).

  2. Love live music in this kind of venue. Everyone standing (there are only 7 chairs/barstools in the place), everyone there for the music, 10 feet from the stage, unpretentious.

  3. Love the mix of people it attracts. There was the tall dude with the really large fluffy hair who chose to stand in FRONT of us. The poor petite lesbian couple who had to stand behind us AND tall guy with the big hair. The really drunk guy yelling "HOOOO-RAY" at Kaki in between songs. The dude with the ginger 'fro. The older Asian woman who could have been everyone's grandmother. The adorable chick who decided to wear a distinctly ugly duck-hunting cap and still managed to look cute. The quiet, pensive guy with the shaved head. The trio of young guys at the bar who bought an extra shot of Jagermeister and asked me to join in (I downed it like a man).

  4. Love this kind of venue. It's college meets grown-up life. No extensive frou-frou drink menu - beer on tap and well drinks from plastic cups and shots of Jager in little dixie mouthwash cups. Except the beer on tap is something better than PBR or Keystone or Milwaukee's Best or whatever you got in college. But you can still get a can of PBR, if you want. Wear whatever you want (read, jeans, don't bother with the club clothes 'cause no one cares). Tiny bathrooms, with long, but friendly, lines of girls and lots of grafitti. Not a meat market, but I'm sure if I'd been in the mood to hook up, I still could have.

  5. Love the garage band feel. Reminds me of going out and watching my friend's bands play, playing the groupie role, sitting around watching them practice. Which, excepting the psycho ex boyfriend that went with it, were pretty good times.

  6. Love the quirky personalities of musicians. Drummers are in their own little world. All the time. Which makes them look alternately beautiful (when they are really engrossed in some wicked beat) and autistic (the rest of the time). Bassists are always kind of the odd guys (but I always like them because I can feel the bass line the most in my body - can't do without it). Guitarists are passionate and egotistical and make horrible faces when they play. Like they are simultaneously in pain, about to throw up, or potentially having a seizure. Then they smile, like a 7-year old that just found a new bike under the Christmas tree. Although I felt like smacking the other guitarist. He was always watching Kaki with this goofy-ass expression like "Isn't she amazing (I'm clearly more talented)? Kaki, you are the best(wait 'til I go solo). What passion you have (I have WAY better chops than you, skinny bitch)." Maybe I'm reading way to much into his goofy mug. Although I think my husband felt the same.

All in all, a great evening.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Priorities . . .

DrChako in the house! Yes folks. I had a lean, mean, military machine in my bed last night.So now, we are back to the business of being a family.

However, this just arrived in my e-mail box. DOUBLE POINTS!!!!

Hmmmm . . . maybe DrChako needs new shoes too.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Do You Really Get What You Deserve?

I was having a moment today at work, where something just struck me as patently unfair. Of course, when things don't work out like we expect, it always seems unfair. I'm generally a positive person and generally don't have this "why me" attitude. But with the culmination of events these past few weeks, it just seemed like one more kick in the gut.

I was ranting to a friend. About why the undeserving get. Why the unworthy are sometimes blessed with things they can't even appreciate.

She is a good friend. Has a good sense of humor. Reminded me that in the end, these kind of people never win.

"Karma is a bitch in sexy heels and [she] will kick them in the ass."

I hope she's wearing a pair of red, peep-toe heels, like mine. And I hope when she kicks them, the "Guess by Marciano" logo is firmly imprinted on their pathetic, sorry asses.

If Karma doesn't get to them soon, I might have to take matters into my own hands.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Lessons in Grief

A week has passed since we learned the news of the passing of my father-in-law. We have been a family relatively unscathed by death in the sixteen years we have been a couple. My mother-in-law passed away ten years ago; we lost my husband's uncle just a few months ago. This death hit us the hardest of all.

What did I learn, in this time of grief?
  1. The pain of hearing the news yourself is exceeded only by the pain of having to deliver the message to his only son, with an ocean between you and a hug.

  2. I suck at delivering bad messages. Unless you like your bad news completely stripped of all sugar coating, and with no real lead-in.

  3. That children are sometimes better at hearing, grieving, and then moving on. Our littlest guy doesn't completely understand, but our oldest one does. He had an appropriate amount of tears, then an appropriate amount of fond memories, and then got on with the business of life. I wish I could have grieved as succinctly as he has done.
  4. That good friends are the ones who aren't afraid to talk to you when you're sobbing uncontrollably and think to check in with you later, whether with an e-mail, text, or a call. You know who you are.

  5. That a life well-lived is a life well-remembered at death. My father-in-law touched many; his memorial service was FILLED with friends and family.

  6. That I work with awesome people. Who sent me cards and flowers and redistributed my work load so that I didn't have to worry about anything.
  7. That I married into a good family, who loves me like their own and supports each other through good and bad.

  8. That Jews think too much food is the answer to ANYTHING.

  9. That after all the tears are done, its time to gather your friends and family, and raise your glasses in honor of the memories.

So here is how we do it . . .

Gather a few of your favorite relatives who also make good friends . . .

Make sure you bring your favorite honey . . .
Add in a cute and pleasant waitress that lets MrsChako show off her order-taking skills . . .

Make sure MrsChako has a few drinks so that she's willing to show off the new navel-piercing to the group . . .

And don't forget to bounce the Sister's rental car a few times . . . great way to wrap up an evening.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Keep Your Family Close

A couple more days, and he is home for good. Today, he is at Ft. Benning, Georgia, and tomorrow will turn in his combat gear for good. In 2 1/2 months, he will leave the rank of Lt. Colonel behind and just become Dr.

Although we could have hoped for better circumstances for a reunion, at least these pictures look more right than the last seven months.

Welcome (almost) home, honey.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Careful What You Ask For . . .

Next time you slur impatiently at the barkeep . . . "Give me an effen vodka . . . "

You might actually get it.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I'm less than six hours from seeing my husband. It should have been a welcome home in the SeaTac airport, followed by a drive to the house, a wrestle with the two dogs, and dinner as a family.

Instead, the two boys and I are holed up in the Houston airport on a 3+ hour layover between Seattle and Florida, where we will join up with other grieving family members, including my dear DrChako, who got to come home "early" (3 day) for bereavement leave.

It's not the homecoming he deserves, but in a few hours, he'll be on US soil for good, with nary a scratch. And we'll be with him. I haven't spoken to him for a bit, but I know he's en route.

Sometime later next week, we'll actually be home as a family in our house.

Thank heaven for the USO - we're settled in for these long few hours with all the free snacks, drinks, kids videos, free internet, and other minor comforts we can handle.

Keep DrChako in your thoughts.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Pretty Box . . .

I found one, Betty.

I just have to put it to good use. Someday. I promise.

Unexpected Homecoming

For my interested readers, I will likely be with the good doctor in the next 48-60 hours. Unfortunately, the events which have accelerated his return, slightly, are not how I would have scripted this homecoming. And they will require a slight detour before we are all back safe and sound in our Seattle-area home.

If ever there were a time where your thoughts, prayers, and good wishes might be worthwhile, this would be that time. Let your thoughts be with those military pilots that bring my precious cargo stateside; let your thoughts be with our commercial pilots that will take me and my two precious cargoes to reunite with their daddy; and let your thoughts be with DrChako's family - they need them most.

More later . . . the Chako family may be dark for awhile.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Wives You Should Avoid Today, Part II

Editor's note: I started this post at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 11, 2008. In the interest of full disclosure, this is how I was feeling at that time. For some reason, I felt it important to finalize this, before moving on to the next chapter.

I find it interesting that really only my husband was scared of yesterday's me.

Drizz just suggested a footrub and alcohol. Not sure if he was offering, or just saying . . .

My sister in law used it as a reason to justify her ass-kicking mood.

And Bam-Bam, the eternal optimist, somehow figured he's actually get a better hug out of me this way. Go figure.

I'm not so nasty today. Red heels have been replaced by perfectly demure brown sling back peep toes. I'm drained from yesterday's rant . . . but thanks for your thoughts.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Monday, March 10, 2008

Wives You Should Avoid Today

I need to tell a client that due to their stubborn, but incorrect, insistence about the presentation of a certain transaction in their financial statements, we're going to be forced to waste time in consultation with our area practice, which is going to cost them money.

I need to tell my team members that some sub-standard work needs to get up to standard by the next time I and my superiors review it.

I need to tell my managers that their review of the sub-standard work was also sub-standard. And took too long.

I had a migraine last night that is trying to find its way back. The pain is gone, but the prescription tends to leave me with a wicked hangover, an upset stomach, and tends to make my face hurt. Don't quite know why that is.

I'm wearing my new red shoes, but rather than pretty, delicate feminine things, they feel like red weapons today.

I was listening to one of the CD's given to me by a friend in the car this morning. She's got good, eclectic taste - managed to pick songs that strike my mood frequently. I was listening to "Island (Float Away)" by Starting Line, and it was starting to pick at me . . .

Just a keep a hold on me don't let go
If you float away, if you float away
Waiting too long for a ship to come
Don't you float away, don't you float away

Couple songs later, its "Misery Business" by Paramore:

Whoa, it was never my intention to brag
To steal it all away from you now.
But god does it feel so good,
Cause I got him where I want him now. . . .

Its a bitchy, nasty little song. Kind of like my bitchy, nasty little mood. Give me the right circumstance, and I could totally be that girl today. In fact, I almost wish I was. Of course, I'd have to have stolen someone away from someone else. Small details. And not that I need an extra man. It just might be satisfying to be able to throw it in some poor, pathetic woman's face. Yep, I just said that. I told you - I'm not a nice person today.

Hell, my husband doesn't even have any ex-girlfriends that I could still rile up.

Oh well, I'm sure I'll find something else to be a bitch about.

You might want to stay out of my way.

Disrespectfully submitted,

The Wife

Saturday, March 8, 2008


I came upon Son #2, age 5, laying on the floor outside of his room.

"Whatcha doing?" I asked.

"Dreaming about Alashae."


"Yeah. She's my ex-girlfriend. Know why she's my ex-girlfriend? 'Cause all boys have ex-girlfriends. And I love her."


"Yeah. I love her. That's why she's my ex-girlfriend. But I don't date her. But I want to."

* * * * *
Ever wish love could be that simple as adults?
Respectfully submitted,
The Wife

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Roses Were Lavender

The pink ones smelled the best. But looked a little worn. Red was classic. The dark red ones, with yellow streaks, exotic. The yellow ones were the freshest. But clinical and devoid of scent.

The bouquet in the bottom caught her eye. The roses were lavender.

* * * * *
She called from Denver. Talked over normal things. Missed him. He'd been home from overseas for less than a month. She was still traveling for business, only seen him for 12 hours on a layover in Atlanta, between her flight from Baltimore back to Denver. She wasn't scheduled to be home for another four days.
"I was supposed to get my period," she mentioned on the phone. "I expected it three days ago."
He hesitated. "You worried?" His voice was nervous.
"Not really," she said. Although, truthfully, she was like clockwork. "I'm probably just stressed about the merger and everything we have left to do. Besides. My boobs feel funny. Nipples ache. Probably means its coming in the next day or two."
"Don't say that!" he exclaimed.
"Say what?!" she responded, surprised.
"Every woman who comes into the hospital and says her nipples hurt . . . it means she's pregnant." His excitement was evident now, even over the phone.
"I don't know honey . . . I'm pretty sure my boobs get sore like this when I get my period." Although now she wasn't so sure. She laughed. Said her goodnights. Lay awake for hours.
* * * * *
Four days later, he met her at the airport. Hugged her, but carefully, like she was fragile. Looked at her, afraid to ask. She looked at him. Shook her head. He took her hand and they walked to the car.
At the apartment, he opened the door for her. Carried her suitcases in.
"Welcome home."
She walked in to the familiar surroundings. Could smell the cinnamon scent the maid service used when they cleaned. The dining room table caught her eye. A big bouquet. The roses were lavender. Unusual color, she thought. Then she noticed the package beside them. Lavender box. Picture of the little white stick. Just like in the commericals.

He hugged her. Urged her into the bathroom. Stood outside the door. Then burst in, unable to wait.
"Three minutes, sweetie . . . it takes three minutes," she said. But she looked down. Could already see the little plus sign forming. He saw it too. Beamed. As if he was the first man to procreate. Hugged her hard.
* * * * *
She contemplated the lavender roses. Smiled.
Then two bodies crashed into her. Four arms hugged her, laughing. Two heads of tousled brown hair - one at her shoulder, already, one still tucked nicely at her waist.
"Hey, Mommy. I like those." Pointing to the multi-colored bouquet.
She picked up the multi-colored bunch, sniffing. One last look at the lavender bouquet. Then she ushered her offspring toward the checkout.

Closer . . .

As you may have read, DrChako's replacement is on the ground in Iraq. Step 1.

Last night, I was in conversation with my husband. He calls from the hospital when he gets into work in the morning. After sharing him with two excited boys, we were going over tidbits of news from the day.

In the middle of our conversation, someone interrupted to ask him a question. He calmly replied "Excuse me? Why are you asking me that? I don't work here anymore."

Sounds like I need to take the 7 pillows out of his side of the bed.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My Girls . . .

Small moments have a way of reminding you about the important things. This weekend, amidst the relaxing, one or more glasses of wine, fending off the relentless attacks of unrealistic males, and mission-critical stops to DSW (it's kind of like shoe heaven), I was reminded of one of life's little necessities . . . girlfriends.

They come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, they look and sound just like you. If you were half-Japanese with three kids and married to a restless entrepreneur, rather than being of decidedly European descent and married to a doctor.

Sometimes, they come in tiny, fiesty packages and are related to you by marriage.

Sometimes, they look like that high school cheerleader you couldn't stand - until you are locked in a van with them on a 5 hour road trip and by the end of the trip they like you enough to take care of you when you're hanging from a late-night bender with some Polish vodka - in Poland.

Sometimes, you meet them, and don't know they are going to be your girlfriend, until this magical web we weave brings you back around until you find yourself sipping Pinot Grigio on Santana Row in the San Jose afternoon sun with them.

Why, you ask, are they so important?
  • Girlfriends will tell you if your ass looks too big in that dress. They will also hold you while you cry, because your significant other told you your ass looked too big in that dress.
  • Girlfriends love to rehash the details of all your past loves, without getting jealous.
  • Girlfriends go with you to Vegas and ogle men with you, regardless of your relationship with their brother.
  • Girlfriends will tell you the cold, hard truth. Even when it makes you cry harder. Then they will hug you while your cry, because you hate the truth.
  • Girlfriends don't mind hearing your latest gripe . . . for the 20th time.
  • Girlfriends know that sometimes, just sitting around for 20 minutes in their bedroom with your parrafin-dipped hands in plastic bags on the floor is better than any session with a therapist.
  • Girlfriends have a way of sensing when life and conversation starts to get too overwhelming . . . and redirect your attention towards shoe shopping.
  • Girlfriends give you smart, sensible advice. Then, when you fail to heed it, they stand there with open arms to listen to your pain, disappointment, and general confusion. Without ever an "I told you so".
  • Girlfriends never forget to tell you how wicked hot you look.
  • Girlfriends never leave you in silence.

You all know who you are. This is my thank you.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Black Tuesday

Editor's note: No one is dead.

I’m not just blue. I’m black.

I guess I always knew the end would come.

Today, a little piece of my heart died.

It’s not completely broken. I’m still capable of rational thought. Functional.

But there is a small fissure. You know the kind. Like the one that starts in the joint in the ceiling. Annoying, but unnoticeable to others. But you are completely aware that its there. And that it’s not pretty. And getting bigger. And the pressure that caused it to crack? Always there. So it will never go away.

I need to get over myself. Our relationship was part time anyway. But somehow, knowing there isn’t a “next time”? Hurts worse than knowing he wasn’t really ever MINE. Not really.

He was amazing. Not perfect. But then, are any of us?

I never expected to feel this way about a man. Never expected to care about him like I do.

Don’t know that I will ever find anyone to replace him. But then, there probably isn’t room in my heart.

Read, and weep with me, my friends.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Dear John . . .

Yes, I know how difficult it must have been to resist our collective hotness. Betty and I can be a formidable force, when combined. I mean really, have you seen how hot she's lookin' lately?

And you had a good start. "Nice dress" is infinitely preferable to "nice ass", at least prior to a first date.

And when we finally got seated outside near your table, I'll even give you credit for "nice shoes." Because they were.

The offer for the foot massage? Might have been the start of a little too much. Pulling up a chair and almost sitting on top of me? You could have at least offered to pick up our bill. I mean, what's a couple glasses of wine to a well-to-do gentleman like yourself? And yes, I know this body is tight. And so does Betty. But thanks for pointing it out a thousand times. Look where that got you.

I'm going to have to deduct points for the poor eyesight. Failure to notice the diamonds was a mistake. I'm also deducting points for hearing loss. Because Betty having to tell you 17 times that I was married clearly indicates some serious auditory lapse. And big point deduction for suggesting the threesome. I believe you weren't anywhere close to convincing one of us to sleep with you, much less two of us at the same time. Come on, is there any man worthy of our collective amazing-ness? And negative fashion points. Regardless of how cool you think it is that you own a plumbing/contracting business, the company-logo Hanes t-shirt isn't a big turn on.

Oh, and that was the picture of class as you left. "Show me what's under the dress." Yeah. That and the "Flash Friday" grafitti scratched into the dirt on semi-trailers is really all it takes for me to get all publicly exposed. Dude, if Waffles hasn't seen samba panties in person, YOU certainly won't.

By the time you left, I'm guessing you were negative on overall score. Except laughter points. You had us laughing all the way to our next adventure.

So, dear John, I'm sorry to say I'll never be yours.

If you are still not sure why, you might want to check with your ex wife. She might be able to help you understand the "ex" part.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife