Monday, May 31, 2010

Canadians are HOT!

I'm sure some of you (I'd tag all you other Canadian lovelies but it's late where I am and the bed is calling) are like "duh" . . . or maybe "duh, eh?" . . .

Tonight (ok, well, it's the proverbial tonight, because it's actually the night before my 15th wedding anniversary when I'm writing this, but I thought it sounded tacky to post this the night before my anniversary, so I'm using post options to delay posting, which looks like it was written tonight . . . I mean today . . . but it's actually past tense . . . never mind) . . .

Where was I?

Oh, yeah. Tonight I was trying to finish some things for work tomorrow and I was flipping channels. After watching the end of National Treasure on cable, I flipped to the Hallmark Channel to watch "Mail Order Bride". It featured Daphne Zuninga (remember her) and some other guy I'd never heard of, and was about to flip the channel until Mr. No-Name came on.

Cameron Bancroft.

Canadian hotness, dressed up in Little House on the Prairie gear, homesteading it out West. Reminiscent of other cowboy hotness, but even better. Almost made up for the lame, completely predictable nature of the Hallmark storyline. I watched until the end. Kept hoping that Hallmark would throw off the family veneer and show me how they really kept warm down on the prairie . . .

I knew you all were huggable. And smoochable. Who knew you could be hot enough to stop my remote finger?

Respectfully submitted (after my anniversary),

The Wife

Sunday, May 30, 2010

15 Years . . . Celebrated

I briefly mentioned that we should get away. But we're classic procrastinators, and work and life are busy, so I didn't think anything more about it.

He did.

Of course, he had a little help from a friend who might be good at classy, romantic getaways.

Nonetheless, it was a weekend to be remembered. 24 hours of a getaway not far from home, but far from real life. The Ritz-Carlton at Half Moon Bay - if you're in the mood too shell out some bucks, this is the place to do it - they understand the type of customer service that it takes to make you say "Oh, THAT's what we're paying for." From the moment we rolled up in the Ferrari, to the moment we roared out, it felt like one of those movie scenes . . . "Nice to have you Dr. and Mrs. Chako"

They had made note of it being our anniversary, so every place we went - the spa, the restaurant, the club level lounge . . . everything was "Happy anniversary, Dr. and Mrs. Chako" . . . they had a little anniversary present for me at the spa, and at the restaurant, and at turndown . . . the smallest details that made me feel pampered. If you are going to spend the money - get the club level rooms. You have access to an all-day eating and drinking binge . . . heck, you wouldn't technically need to actually go BUY food if you just made time to visit the continental breakfast, midday "snack" (read, light lunch), evening drinks and appetizers . . . we missed the night time chocolates.

Best part was it was only semi-scheduled, and completely relaxing . . . even the Dr. forgetting that our dinner reservation was at 7:00 and not 7:30 didn't set us back. I got massaged, and spent time in the spa, got all dressed up for dinner, got back to find the bed covered in rose petals, managed to knock all the rose petals off the bed . . . and even got up with enough time for continental breakfast, a workout, a lazy shower, and a light lunch before heading home. Oh, and I guess the best, best part was doing it with my partner of all these years!

Nice planning, baby.

Here's the photo review.

Gotta go in the Ferrari - though the traffic was brutal and crawling along at turtle speed with the midday sun beating down on you in a black Ferrari can be BRUTAL.

The view from our room.

The view of our hotel from the path down to the beach.


A view of the beach from the patio.

Me, dressed for a night of romance.

15 years!


My honey reviews the first course of wine.

As if the pre-dessert and dessert were not enough, we got a box of chocolates as a little present for our anniversary.

These adorned our linens when we returned from dinner . . .

The morning dawned as beautiful as the rest of the weekend - this was the view from our room!

And this was the view in the side view mirror on our way home!

Respectfully submitted,
The Wife

Friday, May 28, 2010

15 Years Ago . . . (Part II)

'Nuff said.
Respectfully submitted,
The Wife

15 Years Ago . . .

I'm sure I was still sewing something. I had to have been.

By this time 15 years ago, the guests would all be tucked in their beds after the rehearsal dinner. I think the Dr. would have been polishing off a bottle of Southern Comfort or something goofy with his best man at the hotel, prepping for one last night of drunken memories as a single man, and the next morning's round of golf before the official duties called.

But I'm sure I was home sewing. Sure, my mom had helped me with identifying the bustle points on my train before the dinner. But I know I wouldn't have been able to sleep and I'm sure, given my procrastination about the rest of the major focal point of such a monumental occasion - the dress - I'm sure that it still needed some buttons, or some sequins, or some hooks somewhere . . . all I remember is my wedding dress wasn't finished until I walked down the aisle.

15 years ago, I wasn't The Wife. I was still The Fiancee. 15 years ago, I was headed to bed, hours from officially becoming Mrs Chako. 15 years ago, I was a nervous bride-to-bed, heading to bed by myself for one last time as a single woman.

Tonight I'm heading to bed by myself again, with almost 15 years of experience under my belt as The Wife.

No fancy lingerie or ridiculous up-dos or frothy white veils await me in the morning. Instead of girls in matching satin dresses tomorrow, I'll have two floppy-haired, lanky boys that look so much like their daddy to greet me and kiss me and hug me before they run off to school. And instead of white satin and lace, I'll don something more fitting for the cubicles, and head into the office for another day in corporate America.

And tomorrow night I'll go to bed with the first and only man I've ever said "I do" to.

What a long, strange trip it's been.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Overhead Parenting . . .

My kids are little fonts of wisdom and reflection. When I'm not trying to keep from strangling them, they make me laugh, make me ponder . . . and make me proud.


Son #1 has a girlfriend. He announced the other day. Lizzy. She's Asian (husband is giving thumbs up). She's smart. She's taller than him. He showed me her Facebook. She has pictures of herself that are natural. Real. Silly. His favorite? One where she's blowing her cheeks up like a puffer fish. Forget botox and plastic surgery girls, the guys like you the way you are.


She put a friend quiz post on Facebook. "If you saw Lizzy and she moved to kiss you, would you kiss back?" He responded with a winking smiley face. Sheesh.


I asked him if he was going to change his Facebook status to "In a relationship with Lizzy." He looked at me very seriously and said "I don't need Facebook to tell me I'm in a relationship." Duly noted.


Son #2 is no less deep. We were watching TV today - nothing special, but he spoke up during part of the show, and having been busy with some work, I turned to him and asked him to repeat himself.

He looked at me with his big brown eyes and crooked 7 year old teeth growing in to fill the spots the baby teeth vacated. "Zeyda was funny. And nice. And he was stronger than daddy. He also wore glasses, 'cause he was blind. I liked Zeyda."

"Zeyda" died 2 years ago, when Son #2 was only 5. He got to spend only a couple weeks each year with his grandfather. He had seen him last about 3 weeks before he died. I don't know what made him think of Zeyda tonight. We weren't looking at pictures, and the TV wasn't talking about grandfathers. Maybe he just felt he needed to share a memory.

I looked over at him and rubbed his little 7-year old pot belly. "Zeyda loved you - he was always so proud of his grandsons."

He smiled at me. "I know, mom."


Always a different perspective. Zeyda would have been proud.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I got a Facebook friend request today that surprised me. It was one of my cousins that I haven't been in touch with for ages. Let's call him K.

He was younger than me - my sister's age - and lived about 3 hours away from us. For my parents, 3 hours might have been an ocean away, and given that we lived on a farm with cows that needed to be milked every 12 hours, we didn't travel much. Once I moved away from home, I had few occasions to run into him.

Someone once told me that just based on statistics, every family has someone who is gay. I grew up in the north midwest on a farm, with a very conservative extended family. I didn't know anyone who was gay, growing up. Well, maybe that calculus teacher in high school that mysteriously didn't come back the next year. I wondered about my cousin L, but that was just because she had a moustache. Then I learned that many German women, including a few of my aunts, have mustaches.

I accepted his friend request right away and checked out his profile.

I'd found my statistic. Which was neither here nor there, for the moment. After all, I'm a woman of the world. I live in California. 35 miles from San Francisco. The only thing more common around here than a gay man is a house I can't afford and a state budget that isn't balanced.

I was more interested in the evidence of his life lived. Pictures with friends, men and women, who seemed to genuinely love being around him. A handsome man I quickly associated with his relationship. Scenes from cities and the mountains, from the Sydney Opera House to the Argentinian Glacier. He is currently living in South America.

I sent him a quick note to say I was sorry I hadn't known to look him up when I was down there two months ago. He quickly popped on to Facebook chat and we chatted briefly, catching up on the why's and how's of his world travels.

He's living a simple life now with his friend. Apparently neither our immigration policies nor our gay policies have made it easy for them to make a life here in the US, so South America is home for now. I told him to come visit in CA - told him it was probably tougher to be an immigrant here than to be gay, which made him laugh.

I was taught, from a young age, that homosexuality was wrong, was a sin, was a sickness. As an adult, I feel a sense of pride (or maybe relief) that I could have come from that conservative of a background and still hold my "live and let live" attitude that I have about the subject. But today it struck a more personal note. Thinking of how hard things might have been for him, growing up where we did. In the family we did. In the time we did. Thinking about how nonsensical it is that if it were a nice South American woman he was in a relationship with, he could marry her and jump through immigration hoops easier than he can because there are two penises in the relationship.

I'm not trying to make a religious or political comment, though I am sure this may rile one or two of you up one way or the other. You're not going to find me draped in rainbow flags in the middle of a rally in Sacramento; but neither are you going to find me with the marriage bumper sticker with the man and woman stick figure. Just puzzling over how inconsistent life can be depending on your choices.

Right now, he's happy. And he's living life experiences he can't get in Wisconsin. And maybe, at the end of the day, that will be good enough.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Back in the Olden Days . . .

I happened to be singing the other day. Don't ask me why, but I happened to be singing Queen's "We Are The Champions."

My little guy says "How do you know the Crazy Frog football song?" Crazy Frog is this weird little animated frog . . . well, I think frog, except it looks mutant and has questionable exposed genitalia . . . who appears in various YouTube or other video sites singing many popular songs that have been put to some techno music, including the Queen classic.

I told him that "We Are The Champions" is an old song that existed before Crazy Frog. He looked at me like I was kidding. Then I told him that when I was a kid, YouTube didn't exist. He looked at me in disbelief. Then I told him that when I was a kid, we didn't have the internet. This time, he looked at me like I had two heads.

* * * * *

I don't feel old. And except for some gray hairs (which can be addressed with a good colorist), I don't think I look old (or at least not THAT old). But unlike me, my children will never live in a world where:
  • 8 tracks were the "old" technology, being replaced by cassette recorders . . . and if you were really cool, you had a dual cassette recorder so you could make a "mix" cassette
  • "Beta" was still an option, even though my family couldn't afford the $800 Beta or VHS machine (which could now be had for $30 brand new)
  • Phones still had dials . . . touch tone was high tech
  • You only carried a phone with you if you had just purchased a new one to plug into your wall outlet in your house
  • You didn't have GPS - you either used an atlas, a fold-up AAA map, the county plat book . . . or you relied on your dad's instructions that went something like "go north at the corner, until you pass Eric Ament's house, turn west and cross the old bridge until you come to the old Parker place that Bubba G. bought and turn north onto the gravel road (make sure you slow down cause Bubba G.'s got a busted fence and his heifers get out) . . . "
  • If your parents were rich, you might have had a Commodore 64 that cost nearly $600. Now in addition to an 80-gig laptop that costs about the same, our kids have iPods that cost 1/4 of that and have like . . . well, after rounding . . . 8,000,000 x the memory.
  • WWW did not exist when we were kids . . . if you wanted to know something you had to look it up in an encyclopedia in the library. If you wanted to watch a video of people doing stupid things, you had to go to your aunt's house and watch a bad reel to reel of their family vacation. If you wanted to see porn, you had to find some kid who found and stole a 5 year old edition of Playboy from his dad's hidden stash.
  • We didn't have Facebook, MySpace or any social networking (other than hanging out with your friends after school). If you wanted to form relationships with people you'd never met, you got yourself a pen pal and wrote letters.

Maybe I am old.

Or maybe I'm perfect and time's just on fast forward.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

We Now Return to Your Regularly Scheduled Program

I checked my blog the other day. I think there must have been a writer's strike or something. Not sure. All I know is I kept coming back to my blog and finding an episode I'd already seen.

Granted the only time I checked it was in the 2 minutes between 12:58 and 1:00 a.m. right before I fell into a small coma and had to go to work again. I kept thinking the words would magically appear.

I guess they don't. I guess I have to write them myself.

Wish me luck.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife