R-T’s Man Crush

I’m not a naturally jealous person.  Well, at least not in the sense of checking the hubster’s collar for lipstick stains, or foraging through his pockets for any stray hotel matchbooks. (I guess the mere fact that I used such clichéd examples of jealous wives shows that I’m not even green-eyed enough to figure out what it is wives are supposed to do these days when they suspect infidelity!)

However, even my unsuspecting personality has been on slightly higher alert the last couple weeks.  I mean a woman just KNOWS these things, whether or not there is any substantial evidence.

And R-T has been feeling slightly depressed ever since his doc temporarily quarantined him from his favorite hiking haunts.  So, I guess it’s not that surprising that he would seek out someone to make him feel alive again – – virile – – dangerous.  When one name started to come up more than once or twice a day in conversation, I admit my ears perked up.  Even worse, I actually caught him watching video covertly in the bedroom not once, but twice.

Finally, I just decided to confront my questions head on.

“Do you have a man-crush on Bear Grylls?”

Like any man, he avoided the question altogether at first.  “Did you know that he has skydived onto every continent on earth??  And was one of the youngest Britons to ever climb Mt. Everest?? And that was AFTER he broke his back in three places and doctors weren’t even sure if he would ever walk again!! Is that not freakin’ amazing??!!”

While I stood there with my mouth open, not able to find the words to respond, R-T got up the nerve to confess everything.

“I’m thinking of sending in an application to join him on his show.  He’s asking people to send in letters and videos and explain why they deserve to get to go on an adventure with him.  I really, REALLY want to go with him.  I think I would be the perfect candidate! Don’t you?”

Instead of breaking down or lashing out, though, I started trying to rationalize my husband’s disloyalty.

It had to be the pain medicine they gave him for the broken ribs – – that, and his recent restlessness and despair.  He’s hallucinating, of course.  Thinking that I would EVER let him go on an adventure with Bear Grylls – – he’s moved past depression and is now in full-blown psychosis!!

Rationalizing only gave me so much comfort, though.  Especially after I discovered the letter he wrote to Bear.  I’m including it, here, in case you had some lingering thoughts, dear readers, that perhaps I was paranoid and just imagining my husband’s man-crush.

Dear Bear,
I believe you should pick me to be your guest on one of your televised survival adventures. Americans have this whining thing down to an art form. I have no doubt you will be inundated with letters from this side of the Atlantic by very noble people who have selflessly overcome many challenges and probably deserve a chance to go adventuring with you. That stuff might work on Oprah, but not on someone like you who eats raw maggots from the rotting intestines of mountain goats. Let me be blunt. I don’t deserve it at all. Consider this: How would you feel if one of those noble, selfless candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize ended up croaking on one of your wild survival treks? Could you really live with that guilt? Why not take an ordinary guy like me and not risk years of emotional self-flagellation if I slip through one of those ice crevices? Instead of boring you with some really sad story about why I am the most deserving contestant I am going to cut right to the chase and appeal to your ego. Obviously, you have a massive ego. Anyone who breaks his back in two places and then goes on to become the youngest British person ever to climb Mt. Everest in order to write a book about it has to have an ego to match that lofty summit.
In trying to appeal to your ego, let me first just say what a cool name you have. It’s right up there with Crocodile Dundee. Americans rarely get named after ferocious animals and when they do it’s usually just a golfer named Tiger (although I recently heard he changed his named to Cheetah) or someone like that. Also, I must add that you have single-handedly restored my faith in British masculinity. Before Man vs. Wild, my opinion of your country had been largely formed by my wife’s obsession with Jane Austen’s Victorian England and those Notting-Hill-Love-Actually-Bridget-Jones movies that she is always watching. Based on those, I used to think that all British men ran around like Hugh Grant speaking in a posh accent while fretting over paper cuts or getting exercised about the bread crust on cucumber sandwiches. Then you came along, biting through the spinal cords of raw fish with your teeth, eating worms and drinking your own urine. Wow! You taught us what it means to be a real Brit of a man by showing us that when some of you say “bloody” it’s not just an expression, but an adjective that is going to describe supper on tonight’s episode of Man vs. Wild.
I also happened to notice that before you parachute out of planes or paraglide off the side of a helicopter you make the sign of the cross. So I suspect that if you are a religious man living in England that you must be an Anglican. What good fortune it is that I just happen to be an Episcopal clergy person. Having me on your show would help strengthen the Anglican Communion. There’s no question that it could use some of your survival skills. Now to be honest, those of us who are in the Anglican Communion really have no idea what that is other than to use one of our favorite phrases: “It’s a profound mystery.” However, like all good Anglicans, we believe that if it is really old then we must somehow work to preserve it. That is where you and I come in. Countless Archbishops and ecclesiastical hierarchs have held numerous conferences and drafted endless parliamentary resolutions seeking to ease the strain on the bonds of the Anglican Communion, but what it really needs to jump start the process is for an Episcopalian and a member of the C of E to go out and leap over a pit of rattlesnakes together or make our own zip line through a rain forest somewhere. I do not know the Archbishop of Canterbury personally, but I cannot help but think that you would earn some good will within Lambeth by doing your part to foster the Communion. You could even rename our joint episode and call it, “Man of the Cloth vs. Wild”.

Thank you for your consideration.

So, as you can see, I am completely justified in my jealousy.  I am not sure what recourse to take, at this point.  Do I give him an ultimatum??  Wild Man or Topsy??  or do I take the if-you-can’t-beat-em-join-em tactic and offer to go ahead and move with him to the mother country for the sake of the children??

Think of me, will you, as I ponder these things in my heart?  Who knew that a few broken ribs could also lead to a wife’s broken heart??

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

So I haven’t blogged about the hubby in a while, and after this week, I think it just may be high time. 

That’s because this week, Resistant-Techie has come front and center of the Topsy drama.  To explain why, though, I’ll need to backtrack just a bit and give you a little history.

Not only is R-T not the techiest tool in the shed, but he is actually quite proud of it, you see.  He makes it known far and wide that he don’t need no stinkin’ flashing lights and beeping sounds in his life.  No sir!  He is a man of the great outdoors!!

So, in keeping with his character, he has made it his life’s goal to see every known (and unknown) waterfall within a 100+ mile radius of where we live.  And let me tell you – – that is no small feat.

R-T hikes in good weather and bad weather.  Alone or in company.  He doesn’t care.  He just wants to explore falling water and take photos of his finds.  Right now I could basically keep every calendar company from here to Nantucket in business with all the incredible waterfall pics that are sitting on our hard drive. 

If R-T doesn’t get to hike at least once a week he gets antsy.  No, no, I mean really antsy.  Trust me…I love the man and he has definitely still got it and all, but I’m all for the hiking, capisce??

Anyhoo – – the hubster often has to hike alone.  That’s because if he always waited for the geek squad to join him, he would be twiddling his thumbs until he had a nasty case of carpal tunnel. So he heads out on his own.  The only requests I make of him are that he please let me know the general direction where he is going and that he please stay on the trail.  That way, if he does run into the inevitable bear, and ends up as Resistant-Techie pellets, I will have the DNA to produce for the life insurance peeps. 

But last week he got cockier than usual when his spidey-senses told him that there was an as-of-yet undiscovered waterfall just over the ridge from the trail he was on.  He WAS in the general direction where he told me, so I suppose he figured one out of two wasn’t bad. 

But it was.  Bad. And now I feel guilty because I should have been there.

Had I been with him, he would have never gone off trail.  And had I been with him, he would have never convinced himself he could walk across a log to get to the other side of a creek.  And had I been with him, he wouldn’t have slipped off that log and landed with his side slammed against it.  And had I been with him, he wouldn’t have a broken rib and three detached ones.

And now, poor hubby has been forbidden by his doc to go out traipsing through the woods for at least 2-4 weeks.  I’m figuring that is going to make him one ANTSY camper.

And me?  Well, let’s just say I SHOULD have been there.

Run, R-T, Run!!!

Have you ever felt trapped in a particular situation in your life?  Trapped by circumstances beyond your control?  Control-freak that I am, I’ll admit that doesn’t happen to me much, but once in a while, I wake up and realize my back is against the wall, and there isn’t a single crappin’ thing I can do about it. 

I’m in one of those situations right now with our house.  Our beloved 94-year-old house.  The house that we bought because it was in the city, which we love, and had a big fenced in yard, which we love.  But it is also the house that is beginning to fall down around us, and which we have no money to repair. 

So what do YOU do when you are trapped?  Do you drink?  Do you curse?  Do you pray?  I guess I do a little of each.  But of course, then I am still trapped.

So I take it out on the people I love.  Like I did today on poor Resistant-Techie.  He had been gone on one of his hikes in the mountains this afternoon, which gave me time to enjoy the sunshine out in the backyard. 

Enjoying the sunshine in the backyard, though, means walking through the sun porch which is basically slanting downward from settling, over the deck, which has actual boards that have come loose from their moorings and are waving hello in the air, down the steps which are like a splinter factory, past the basement door which has nearly rotted in. 

By the time I got to my favorite chair in the backyard I couldn’t enjoy one single minute of the gorgeous weather; I just sat their stewing in my own juices until R-T got home and I could finally boil over.

R-T, (who, by the way, had nearly been knocked unconscious on his hike by a wayward laurel limb) came in dazed and totally unprepared for my graphic comparison of our home of ten years to the cells at Guantanamo.  Wolf hunting

But that’s what I do when I feel trapped.  I react a bit like a wolf caught in a steel vice.  I growl.  And flail around.  And nearly gnaw my own leg off in the process.  It isn’t pretty.

But then R-T brings me a dark chocolate truffle left over from my birthday festivities, and for a few minutes I can ignore the chain around my neck and just chill.  At least until I throw away the wrapper and see the crack underneath the window sill.

Sigh. Grrrrrrr.

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The Hubster and I

Ever heard the story of the Amish farmer and the female airline pilot who fell in love?  No?  Well, the story of R-T and I wouldn’t be so very different, actually. 

If you’ve ever wanted the “behind the scenes” story on how a director of a homeless shelter and a tech-geek met and fell in love, the hubster has it reposted over on his blog today. 

You’ll laugh.  You’ll cry.  You’ll hug your loved ones. 

Ok, maybe not.  Maybe you’ll just be more confused than ever about what makes the Topsies tick. 

My little contribution for the day.

A Thousand Words Thursday


This is the very waterfall where my hubby of almost 18 years proposed marriage to me on bended knee. Romantic, yes?

We headed back the other day for a family hike, and after the recent rains, the falls were more gorgeous than ever!

A Little Nepotism Never Hurt

Tim My hubby gets overlooked a good bit on this here blog thingy because he just goes along on his merry way every day trying not to upset the apple cart that is Topsy-Techieland.  He doesn’t create drama.  He doesn’t take sides.  He doesn’t stoke the fires of dissent. 

What he does do is keep us from taking ourselves too seriously.  Yes, believe it or not, that can happen once in a while, and R-T knows exactly where to stick that pin so that our balloon can deflate at just the right speed and still somehow save face.  He is probably the single funniest human being I’ve ever had the fortune to know, and no matter what the subject matter, my hubby WILL find a way to make it pee-your-pants hilariously funny. 

We laugh more around here than is probably legally allowed.  We laugh at our local newscasters.  We laugh at our relatives (well, except for the ones that read this blog, of course).  We laugh at the way we dress, the way we speak to each other, and the way we call each other to the phone.  Everything we do or see can be fodder for our hilarity.

And the reason we laugh so much?  Probably because we see so much to cry about.  You see, my husband is the operations director for our local homeless shelter, and not a day goes by that he doesn’t encounter people in crisis.  It’s not an easy job.  Not by a long shot.  Success stories are few, and relapses are common.  In a job like my husbands, you get to know people well enough to take it personally when they lose a child because they can’t overcome drug addiction, or get stabbed under a bridge, or have their last dollar stolen from them because they weren’t mentally able to distinguish the people you can trust from the people you can’t.

Seeing these things every day either makes you bitter, or increases your desire for justice.  Fortunately, my hubby has chosen the latter.  He knows that he can either be angry with God or be God’s hands in the world.  Fortunately, my hubby has chosen the latter.

And one of the ways R-T tries to make sense of all the injustice he sees on a daily basis is by talking about it.  Laughing about it.  Trying to see it in light of his faith.  And he is doing all this in a very public way on his new blog.  So today, I’m showing my hubby a little linky love and suggesting that you drop by and see what kind of impact one man with a heart and a vision and a huge sense of humor can make on the homeless scene. 

And then you will understand just why we need to laugh so much around here. 

Who ARE You? And Where Did You COME From?

I’ve gotten really into Facebook lately.  It has been a hoot.  I have actually touched base with people I haven’t talked to since MIDDLE SCHOOL!!! 

But the funniest part of a social network like Facebook is that not only am I catching up with old friends and distant family, but I’m also having to look in the mirror a lot closer lately.  I mean with Facebook, you kind of have to define yourself in some way…tell other people who you are.

What has been surprising, though, is the double-takes I’ve been getting from people I haven’t seen in a long time.  You like what??!!  Your political views are which??!!  You actually say that??!!

Who ARE you??!! And where did you COME from??!!

Well, you see, when a mommy and a daddy love each other very much, they get really close and….

Oh.  Sorry.  You mean who am I really.

Ok.  Well, obviously, I’m not who I was twenty years ago.  I hope NO ONE is!  Yes, the changes have been gradual, and then major, and then gradual again. 

Life changes you.  I used to be a very black and white thinker.  My view of the Bible was literal.  My view of politics was “it’s my way or the highway.” My view of people was that they were either inherently good or inherently evil.  My view of blogging was that only politicos, Drudgites, or voyeurs did it.

So maybe I have changed a lot, come to think of it.  Having a husband who works with the marginalized and the forgotten changes you.  Having sons with neurological issues changes you.  Making friends who challenge your belief systems changes you.  Seeing the ridiculous antics of politicians on both the far right and the far left changes you.  And God knows that blogging changes you.blackwhitegrey

So I’m different than I was 20 years ago.  A lot less black and   white, and a LOT more grey. But I’m oh so happy to be grey.  So very, very happy. And that’s what matters, right?

How about you?….would people from 20 years ago still think you are the same person if they saw your Facebook?

Remember, every comment this month gets you another chance to win that HP Printer just in time for Christmas!!

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