Friday, February 22, 2013

You Are My Favorite

I work with a gentleman who often announces that he “loves” someone “the best”.  Usually the person receiving his affection is the person closest to the coffee maker. I think he believes that if he bats his big brown eyes, gives a huge toothy grin, and butters up his target with shouts of sweetness from across the room, he may be rewarded with a cup of coffee.

Last week, Eldest hacked my Facebook. She took my phone when I was distracted, and updated my status to read, “Eldest is my favorite!” She then ceaselessly giggled when she told me what she had done. I didn’t say anything; I just plotted my next move. That post, by the way, received two likes and a number of comments about how I must have been hacked.

Any good parenting book will tell you not to play favorites with your children. But a few years ago I asked Littlest to put a load of laundry into the washing machine. She was deeply offended since she thought it was one of her sister’s turns to do that chore. She pleaded, “But daddy, why me?” I replied, “Because you are my favorite.” Without a moment’s hesitation, she rolled her eyes, “I know, but...”

I think I am still waiting for that load of laundry to be put into the washer.

This choosing of the best has been a tradition in our house since that time, with Eldest and Littlest each arguing between themselves as to who is really my favorite. Meanwhile, Middlest stays out of the fray, and when I tell her that she is my favorite, she replies with a stately and quietly dignified, “I know.” This is out of character for Middlest, who has made it a point to attack every moment of the day with enormous gusto, scathing sarcasm, and the wittiest of comments, such as, “What?! It’s 5 o’clock already?! God Save the Queen!”

So, on Friday, Eldest posted that she was my favorite when she hacked my Facebook. On Saturday, I posted, “Middlest is my favorite.” She remained silent, but her sisters argued back and forth in the comments that they were actually my favorite.

On Saturday, I posted “Littlest is my favorite.” By this point social media apparently had grown bored with my inability to pick one favorite and stick with it; that post only had two likes and no discussion. Littlest would say that there were no comments because it was the truth.

On Sunday I posted that my account had been hacked, and that “Beloved  is truly my favorite.” Now that post was greeted with great mayhem, with 14 likes and 5 comments.

Unlike my friend from work, I would never resort to underhanded complimenting in order to get something I wanted. I simply have a hard time making up my mind who is really my favorite.

Although, Littlest has been getting up early and making me coffee this week.

And the other day, Middlest had me laughing so hard my sides hurt.

Oh, and Eldest has been playing the piano lately.

And Beloved took me out to breakfast.

Crud, I cant make up my mind.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I am a Valentine's Day Failure

I have a confession, I am a Valentine’s Day failure. In the early days of our marriage, when I asked my wife what she wanted for Valentine’s Day she replied, “Oh, nothing special.”

I believed her.

Call me young, dumb, or naive, but I believed her. Perhaps, I should say I took her literally. Now after a bunch of years into the relationship (yes I somehow managed to escape that nasty Valentine’s with my life) I am much wiser. My lovely wife is a bit wiser too, and has come to realize that as amazing as I am, I cannot read minds.

I have a degree in psychology and can tell volumes by reading subtle non-verbal cues. These cues are often missed by the average lay person.

Allow me to illustrate. If a person has fluid leaking from red watery eyes, they are sad...or suffering from severe allergies. If their eyebrows are pushed together, the forehead has deep furrows, and eyelids are almost closed, they are angry...or staring into a bright light.

Despite these keen, deep insights into the cues of non-verbal communication, I cannot read minds. Beloved, realizing this singular deficit within me, gave me subtle hints as to what she wanted this year, by leaving sales circulars in my spot at the dining room table.

Wanting to make this gift personal, I spent several weeks researching the cost of purchasing and keeping a pet Alpaca. I also looked into taking knitting lessons. With the plan to use the alpaca due to knit her a delightful sweater. Unfortunately February 14 came sooner than I expected and I found myself out in the cold world, shopping.

I hate shopping.

After endless ages wandering in the barren wasteland known as shopping, I narrowed my choices to a toaster oven or one of those George Foreman grills.

It was then I saw it, the oasis for every shopping-weary male in the world. A light gleaming in the darkness. Jewelry. I quickly looked up my wife’s birthstone and purchased her matching emerald necklace and earrings.

Of course she doesn’t have many outfits that will go with that color, she informed me. But that is fine; I can take her shopping for a new outfit sometime.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Super Bowl, Harbaughs, and Classic American Poetry

This Sunday is the Superbowl, and for the third year in a row, I am going to share my prediction as to who is going to win. My prediction is based on highly specialized scientific analysis, astute insight into the human psyche, and using Google to scour the internet for data.

I am proud to report that I have a 100% record in wrongly predicting the winner for the past two years. I, therefore, have made a few tweaks in my process for this year, and am excited to test these new and improved analyses.

The first item to consider is the coaching staff of each team. In this case, the head coaches John and Jim Harbaugh, are brothers, which renders the analysis futile. I have a brother and having a brother makes me an expert on all things about brothers.

One fine day, my brother and I were engaged in a delightful conversation about some fact upon which we disagreed as we strolled along the suburban subdivision in which we lived. My brother, a stubborn knucklehead, was not able to see the folly of his point of view, and our conversation quickly escalated to a heated argument. From that heated argument, my brother and I began to engage in mortal combat on some distant neighbor’s front lawn. That is, until the unsuspecting neighbor poked his head outside and demanded that we stop or he would call the cops.

My brother may be a stubborn knucklehead, but nobody threatens to call the cops on him. Apparently, he felt the same about me since we both stood up, and in unison, angrily told the neighbor we could fight if we wanted since we were brothers, and that we were leaving since he did a poor job of lawn maintenance and his grass was all scratchy.

Trying to predict the winner of the Superbowl by analyzing the head coaches, being brothers, would immediately skew the results and therefore will not be factored into my analysis.

Since football is a great American classic, my analysis turns to two great pieces of American poetry. The first, "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe, who lived, died, and is buried in Baltimore. In this poem, a young man allows a raven to enter his room and sit on the bust of some dead Greek guy. The young man talks of his love for some chick named Lenore and the raven repeatedly responds, “Nevermore.” The young man, neither able to engage in meaningful conversation with the bird, nor to shoo it from his room, falls deep into madness.

In the folk ballad, “Oh My Darling Clementine” a young man has fallen in love with a miner forty-niner’s daughter named Clementine. All is well, until he sees his beloved Clementine stub her toe, fall into a raging river and drowns to death. He mourns her demise. That is until he finds her younger sister, they kiss, and he forgets his sorrow and Clementine.

Based on these two great American poems that describe, in allegorical form, these two great American football teams who will meet on Sunday, I predict that the Ravens will collapse into a deep sinking madness and that the 49ers will be resilient in the face of adversity and win the game.