Monday, May 28, 2007


MrCyclingLife and I have different ideas about being sick. He has a more "you are on your own" attitude while I click into a classic mothering mode. So basically he lucks out when he is sick, since I fuss over him making sure he has plenty of liquids, medicine and comforting foods. When I am sick, I have to keep reminding him that I am and have to demand the little bit of TLC I get.

I came down with a sore throat yesterday which became full blown sick this morning. My head is throbbing, my throat is sore and I'm sniffly/sneezy. I hate being sick and really don't have time for it. Today is my only day off so it is frustrating to waste it on feeling miserable.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Arranging the dishes

I think I loaded it correctly

There are a few tasks that we share. One of them is loading the dishwasher. The usual scenario is I rinse off the dishes and then load them into the machine. I arrange the dishes to maximize the washing capabilities of the machine. However, when I have them arranged, MsUrbanLotus takes a look and then promptly rearranges them, complaining that I have no spatial sense. To me they look fine. The dishes are facing the spout that the water shoots from. But MsUL moves a cup or dish so that it gets the full blast of the water. For me this has become an IQ test. I have ‘X’ amount of dishes that need to be washed, but only ‘Y’ amount of space. How do you load all the dishes so that they are all cleaned? Each try I get closer to a perfect score and she has to reposition fewer plates or cups. One day I know I’ll get it 100%. Until then I’ll keep trying and then move on to separating colors that go into the laundry machine. Who knew that there are so many different shades of green?

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


MrCyclingLife travels for his job. In the past we couldn't imagine being apart so it has been a bit of a traumatic adjustment. Sometimes he has had to go on three trips in a row. That's the worst. Having him back for just a day can seems harder than having him gone the whole time. I hate saying goodbye again the next day. When he's been gone for a while I sort of get used to it and go into an emotional standby status. Seeing him brings all the emotion to the forefront and having to say good bye again seems too painful. He's home now though. He just got back from one of his trips and the next one will be short, so we have a little reprieve. MrCL is doing his dream job so I'm happy for him. It is just tough on the relationship. I can't imagine what it would be like if we had kids. The cats manage OK and they keep me company. But I look forward to a different time in our lives when distance isn't a common element.

Friday, April 6, 2007

ISO the Perfect Gadget

Everyone has their obsessions. MrCyclingLife loves all things bike racing related and I have an insatiable desire for books, books, books. We help to mediate each other's obsessions by letting each other know that we have gone too far. However, because we share a love of the latest gadgets, there is no one to help control our sometimes boundless appetite for them. We will read an article and then turn to each other with that mesmerized look in our eyes. Both under the spell and unable to snap the other out of it. Lately, we have been particularly obsessed with the latest cell phones, PDAs and smartphones. We are both jonesing for new ones but aren't sure which way to go. We are unhappy with our cell phones and have had our PDAs for a while, so we have been debating whether to go for a smartphone. Being gadget people we have high expectations and are frustrated that the solution doesn't seem to be available. We're currently on a Treo watch, hoping that the perfect Palm OS with WiFi solution manifests. Maybe we'll check-in with the local PUG (Palm User Group) that has meetings we once attended. That's right, gadget geeks gather in groups. It's pretty scary.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

The Wife Whisperer

I’ve figured out what our cats want, but I’m sometimes confused about what MsUrbanLotus wants. Our cats will look at me with piercing eyes and meow pitifully when they want to eat. When my male cat wants his belly stroked, he rubs up against me and then flops over, exposing his furry underside. These are obvious actions and the cat expects for me to do whatever he wants. And I usually do. I guess our cats have trained me more than I have trained them. However, with my wife, her hints are not so obvious. They are more subtle and if I’m not fully paying action to them, I completely misunderstand what she wants. Sometimes I’m not sure if she wants her belly rubbed or something completely different. Her look might be something as small as a slight inflection of her voice to something more obvious, like furrowing her brow. I’m not completely clueless. I can pick out most of her signs, but a few do elude me. One day I might break the code and completely understand, but till then I’ll continue to observe both our cats and my wife.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

In the eye of the beholder

Hanging out at one of our favorite weekend places, we noticed that the parking meters were all had blue covers on them. As we wondered about this strange sight, we noticed a blue shirt wearing woman on the street corner. The covers and shirts both had Helpful Honda Campaign on them so I was pretty much ready to move on to our planned lattes. However, MrCyclingLife couldn't resist the opportunity to interact with these blue shirt folk. One of those moments when our differences are highlighted. He couldn't understand why I had wondered off to get the local free paper from the stand in front of the Starbucks. I on the other hand was mildly annoyed at the delay in getting my latte. Later when were headed back to our cars, we spied a flock of blue shirt wearing folk. I encouraged MrCL to take a picture of them and tried not to be impatient when he took so long.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

You Don't Understand!

Communication is one of those ongoing issues of marriage. It is key to so much of what we humans do. I sometimes wonder if MrCyclingLife and I are speaking the same language at all. Could there be gender-defined dialects? Ironically, our communication skills are leaps and bounds ahead of our parents. For much of the time I think we are doing great. Resting on our married couple laurels. Then a mega-argument moment happens and we suddenly feel totally isolated from each other. We aren't the yelling and screaming type of drama couple. We just sometimes manage to really hurt each others feelings. Then nothing we say seems to be right and we end up retreating like sad puppies to our separate corners.

I hate the idea of "marriage counseling" - you can bet MrCL does as well - but I think married couples could use an objective coach from time-to-time. Someone to send us back into the ring with a few pointers. Of course the object isn't to knock out your opponent, so perhaps I need to turn this metaphor in a different direction. We aren't looking for a winner and a loser in marriage. There will always be times when we hurt each others feelings. The important thing is the skills we develop for working things out. The ability to communicate helps to foster the sense of trust that is so essential for getting through our lives together. You are never finished working on communication. Marriage isn't being done. I think some people make the mistake of seeing it that way. It can be a refuge from the world, but it takes constant upkeep so it is there when you need it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

She Said: How We Met

In my waxing-romantic moments, I say that I crossed the country just to find MrCyclingLife. Most of the time, I just tell people with a wicked grin that we met at a bar. The story is more complicated than that though. I had met a friend through a college class and she had a friend working at a bike shop. The bike shop staff regularly went out as a group and one night my college friend and I started joining them. That first night I was focused on a job interview coming up and the antics of a drunk guy were just an annoyance. That night MrCL was full of antics. The next few months were much the same, especially the night of his birthday when his friends were on a particular mission to get him wasted. Simultaneously, my college friend and her friend had taken on a mission to get MrCL and I together. Since I was not as obsessed with meeting boys as they were and had actually gotten quite tired of being fixed up since I had moved to SoCal, their attempts to interest me in him had the opposite effect. I began to hate the sight of the poor guy.

The night it all turned around, I was actually trying to ditch MrCL. Much to my dismay the group had begun to disperse earlier than usual. I realized that I was about to be left alone with him so I announced my departure to my favorite Irish bar. He and his friend decided they would go with me and offered me a ride. I'm not sure why I accepted when I should have been quicker with an excuse to take my own car. So I found myself in a car with these two guys who decided to get TacoBell on the way, and suddenly much to my dismay his friend announces that he is going home leaving me alone with MrCL. (I would later learn that it was at MrCL's request. Boy, was I off my game that night!) Because MrCL was sober for once and I was forced to speak to him for the first time, I discovered the nice guy that I ended up marrying two years later.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

He Said: How We Met

I met my wife in a way that men in my family have done throughout the centuries, in a bar, in various states of sobriety. The evening had started out with pretty much the same goal: meet women. I was working at a bike shop and the one girl that worked there had some friends. She arranged for these friends to meet us at a bar in Costa Mesa. MsUrbanLotus was a friend of a friend of my female co-worker at the bike shop. Got that?

The usual modus operandi with my group of friends was to drink, get a buzz on and make asses of ourselves. In retrospect, I think that’s why my group of friends didn’t have girlfriends. Anyways, I digress. By the time I met my wife I was fairly drunk, which immediately pissed her off. This scenario played itself time and time again for several months, but at different drinking establishments throughout the area. Finally one night, for whatever reason, I had not drank that much and was sober. The night was winding down and my window of opportunity to impress MsUL was quickly vanishing. MsUL wanted to leave and go to an Irish bar not to far away. My wingman and I volunteered to go with her there in my car. However, my urge for empty calories and fatty foods over took my immediate need to 'hook up.' "Let's go to Taco Bell!" I said. Once we were at Taco Bell, I hatched a plan with my wingman. I pulled him aside and told him to announce that he had to leave, therefore giving me some valuable alone time with MsUL. After eating, my wingman peeled off and went home. With my buddy gone, it was time for me to work my magic. MsUL and I went to the Irish bar were we danced and I continued to schmooze her. It was at that bar she decided that I wasn't quite the troll she thought I was.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Telling Our Story

MrCyclingLife and I have been married for over 10 years and still find ourselves dealing with the challenges of modern marriage. Being really independent people can be the greatest challenge when we try to work together, but we are fortunate to be best friends who enjoy supporting each others careers. Our sense of humor has helped us get through life's ups and downs. You have to learn to laugh at yourself, because it makes communicating with each other much easier. Apparently high stress lives can be an effective contraceptive because so far we just have cats. We love living in our eclectic urban neighborhood where we can walk or bike to great restaurants, shops and our favorite coffee house. Although the cost of housing has skyrocketed since we moved here so we don't know if we'll ever be able to buy into the neighborhood.

For the most part, ours is not a traditional marriage, although we find ourselves falling into the traditional roles at times even though it is not our intention. We struggle with the typical areas of household chores, getting organized, finances and making time for each other in our busy lives. I have always been the one who reads books on relationships but to his credit, when asked MrCL will read some of them too. In my web surfing, I have been surprised and frustrated to not find resources for modern marriages of our generation (we're both Gen-Xers). We both enjoy writing and telling stories to our friends, so we decided to have some fun writing about our experiences and ongoing challenges. We'd love to hear from other couples out there. Let us know what marriage is like for you and if you have found any great resources you would like to share with us.