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??

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!

Guest Post: When You Fall In Love With A Techie

Well my busy week got stopped in its tracks by a lovely stomach virus, of all things.  Oh, I’m still busy alright, but unfortunately it is the kind of busy that takes you from the couch, to the bathroom, and back to the bed again.  Now that’s busy!

So, my hubby being the bestest of all hubbies, has agreed to fill in for me here at TT today.  Knowing that he is a little long winded, I had better warn you now that this will probably be the LONGEST post ever to grace the Topsy-Techie annals.  But hang in there, cause when my hubby writes something, it is definitely worth reading.  (Just don’t drink Coke at the same time, unless you particularly enjoy that burning sensation when it comes out through your nose).

So without further ado…I give you Resistant Techie…

It was like Romeo and Juliet. I fell in love with a digital techie. She fell in love with someone who was analog. It was a forbidden love, but against all odds(which she could easily calculate with one of her cell phone features) we have been together for two decades. When we first fell in love, everything was in VHS. Fortunately for us, our marriage was digitally remastered, with bonus features included. I am Topsy’s almost Amish husband. I still know what a pencil and paper is, so she keeps me around for nostalgia.

So what is it like being married to a techie goddess?

Well, you can probably already guess that she is in charge of making sure everything electronic works. She focuses in with laser intensity on any technical problem in paradise. Actually, I would call it hyper-focus. We could easily be in the middle of a tornado evacuation and she would still be sitting at the computer with battle-hardened determination to solve the problem or go down with ship trying. I can imagine her shouting, “Take the boys and go to the basement. I will be there as soon as this computer finishes reformatting!” I hate to stop and ask for directions when I am driving, but you should see my Topsy when she is in troubleshooting mode  After spending grueling hours literally taking the whole thing apart, she will finally look up in defeat and say, “I guess I am going to have to call technical support.” Then she will wrinkle her nose and say, “They don’t know anything!” The thought of having to wait on the phone and then defer to someone in India for technical advice only spurs her to renew her digital hunt for the malfunctioning prey.

I also never have to worry about expressing my affection. Most guys struggle to know how to say “I love you.” I have never faced such difficulty. It can be said to my dearest Topsy in a variety of meaningful ways as long as it includes something with many buttons, cool functions and wireless options. Some fellows send flowers, jewelry, perfume or candy. My Topsy simply turns her nose up at such things. They do not flash, beep, whirl or perform twelve amazing functions all at the same time. I once bought her a very expensive bottle of perfume. She smiled and promptly made me return it for a full refund. However, she has never made me return any new gadget. I can count on overcoming her frugality with the simple expression, “But it has all of the latest features…” Her eyes will light up like I just whipped out a diamond necklace. Forget that commercial slogan, “He went to Jareds!” Topsy rolls her eyes at such waste. The real way to her heart is to whisper, “He went to Best Buy!” Forget Victoria’s Secret—if I want to impress her I better find out Bill Gates’ latest secret. Dear Topsy, how do I love thee?  Let me show you the latest program that can count the ways. I love thee to the zip, the byte and the Google Beta heights…

It also means that while our old house looks like a classic on the outside, it resembles the bridge of the Starship Enterprise on the inside. The many gables and antique features of the exterior is simply clever camouflage. The decorations on the inside must all match the colors of the computers. And while my crew may appear to be just a normal American family, that myth is quickly shattered when you actually hear them conversing with each other: “Mom, you now you cannot slink the gleeb with the twerper circuit!” or, “I already linked the mozinga to the swalp drive.” Most of the time I have no idea what exotic language they are actually talking to each other in. They could be plotting my slow demise for all I know, or they could be talking about the latest program to bake brownies, or both. I understand their jargon no more that I could understand R2-D2. It also means that every available electrical outlet in the house has something plugged into it. It is a good thing that she is so conscientious about the environment and recycling because surely it somehow offsets some of what must be an enormous carbon footprint left by our massive power consumption. We simply do not have enough power outlets to suffice in a techie household. I fully expect to walk in one day and hear a Scottish voice yelling back up to my wife from the basement, “Aye Cap’n,  the warp reactors are on hyper overload as it is, you will have to lower the shields if you want to go any faster.”

Most of all, it makes my dear Topsy very, very popular. Britney can sing about how everyone wants a piece of her, but my wife has her beat hands down when it comes to technology fame. Everyone wants her to do something. She is a Geek Samaritan when it comes to helping everyone out the digital ditch they have fallen into. We were both at a Diocesan event where I was being examined by a church commission to determine if I should move forward in the process of preparing for Holy Orders. When our Bishop found out that she did technical design work, he suddenly turned his attention to her. Apparently there is no shortage of people who wear clerical collars and labor in theology, but someone who can do techie stuff, now that is a burning bush from God if ever there was one. Of course, Topsy is pretty popular with me as well. She does it all and makes it look easy. In short, she keeps us all recharged and updated. I happen to think that she is the hottest thing since…the latest new gadget that just came out. Just ask Topsy, I  am sure that she can tell you what it is.

The Honeymoon is Over

It’s nothing new.  I’m sure we aren’t the only marriage it has happened to.  But all that doesn’t bring me much comfort, under the circumstances.  I just didn’t think it would happen this soon.  How could he tire so quickly?  It just doesn’t make sense.  

I’m referring, of course, to R-T and his new computer.  The Vista newness has worn off, and he is back to sneaking around using my laptop.  The whole purpose of getting him his own computer for his birthday, is that my laptop would finally be “all mine.”  But if I leave the house to run an errand, or – – god forbid – – go into the kitchen to fix supper, I can pretty much guarantee that my gool ole’ Toshiba will have found its way into dear hubby’s lap.

desktopI’m feeling pretty stupid, right about now.  I missed all the signs.  The unique way R-T had of lying in bed, with the  laptop propped up on his stomach, with that look of complete peace and satisfaction on his face.  The way he would always lovingly place it on the dresser, out of reach of any danger, whenever he wasn’t using it.  The careful habit he had of wrapping up the AC cord, and putting it next to the outlet.  The clues were all around me, I just chose not to see them.  R-T is a laptop man.

That got me thinking.  In the laptop vs desktop controversy, what creates our personal preference?  I definitely used to be a desktop gal.  I loved having my research books, and physical files all around me as I worked.  Oh, how things have changed.  I do almost all my research online now, and keep pretty much all my data in digital form.  So a laptop, for me, is ideal, because I can work anywhere there is a Wi-Fi connection, and an outlet (my battery isn’t what it used to be!)

What is it that makes us desktop or laptop users?  What about you?  What do you prefer, and why?  I need some input here, folks, because this one has really got me curious?  What is it about a laptop that would get my hubby bored with his state-of-the-art Vista desktop in under two months??  This is one psychological quandry that has me stumped!  So please comment below, and give me your two cents on the issue…

Oh, and if anyone wants to trade their laptop for our brand new desktop, I’m entertaining offers…..

It was good while it lasted.

Drunk With Vista Power

My dear hubby will tell you that he doesn’t get all that much say-so in his life.  At this stage of his life cycle, he is rather on the low end of the power totem-pole.  Somewhat tied into the demands of family life, church life, and running a homeless shelter, his days and hours are pretty much mapped out for him.  Get up, go to work, come home, do family things, write a blog, go to bed, and start all over again.  Even his weekend “down time” is usually filled with diaconate classes, yard work, his teaching and serving duties at our church, and often speaking at other churches.  There just isn’t a lot of wiggle room for R-T to pick and choose what he would like to do or not to do these days.

Until now.  From the first boot-up of his shiny new Windows Vista computer, R-T knew that something was afoot.  The first thing that popped up on the screen was a question – – aimed directly at the computer’s new owner….”Would you like to register your new computer?”  Wow…a choice!  Would he like to or wouldn’t he?  Being unused to such preferences, he had to think about it awhile.  Yes.  Yes he would like to register.

And the options didn’t stop there.  In a matter of only about ten minutes, R-T got to pick his screen resolution, his background, a screen saver, and even a virus protection plan. I could swear the normal slump in his posture became noticeably straighter. 

Before long, R-T realized that Vista was a system that didn’t do anything without asking first.  Every time he opened a new program, an unfamiliar website, or tried to complete a download, he would get a pop-up screen which said, “Windows needs your permission to continue.”  What???  Someone was asking him for PERMISSION before they do something??  I brought R-T a cold glass of water, noticing he looked pale and faint.

This is a man who struggles to get his rescue mission staff members to even call him before they leave work early or don’t come in at all.  A father of two adolescent know-it-alls who think it is fine to head down to the neighbor’s house without informing him of their whereabouts.  A husband of a wife who remembers to tell him she is taking her church youth group to the movies as the movie is about to begin.  R-T just doesn’t always get the respect and deference he needs or deserves.  Until now.

Microsoft is really missing their advertising boat.  You remember that guy from the Viagra commercials who was suddenly all confidence and smiles because of his new prescription?  Microsoft needs to snatch up that idea and run with it!    My hubby would make a terrific commercial…he would walk into the rescue mission, shoulders back, chest forward, a new spring in his step, and everyone from his staff to his host of volunteers would be trying to figure out what is different about him.  New haircut?  No.  Measurable weight loss?  No.  So what is it about their Operations Director that makes him look so confident…so in charge…so virile?? 

“Sir,” says the mission cook to R-T outside his office, “I think we have a mouse problem.  I’d like to set up some traps in the walk-in, and around the kitchen area.”

R-T looks at him for a moment, and rubs his chin thoughtfully.  “You have my permission to continue.”

Who needs Viagra when you have Vista?

Do All These People Have Windows Vista??? 
Think maybe all these people use Viagra Vista?

6 Unimportant Things About Me

Ok, so Firefly Mom tagged her blog readers with the difficult task of finding 6 unimportant things about themselves and blogging about them.  I tried to explain to her that EVERYTHING about me is important, but for the sake of argument, I will try and comply with the rules of the game……

(1)  I rotate everything.  When I’m putting away clean clothes, towels, etc., they have to go underneath, behind, or below the clothes and towels already in the closet.  The clean dishes are put away behind the other dishes in the cabinets, and the neglected ones pulled to the front so they can be used first.  Even my silverware is rotated so that it all gets used an equal amount.  Some might call this a sign of OCD, and they would probably be right on the money.  See, I told you this stuff was important.

(2) My boobs are different sizes.  And keep in mind that neither one is a full B cup.  But one is pitifully even more microscopic than the other, and feels jealous most of the time.  I’ve tried to make it feel better by padding that side of my bra, but it backfired on me and now I think I may have given it a complex.  I’m checking into boob therapists, but the only ones I’ve found so far are 50 year old men who look like they might not be sincerely in it for the healing.

(3) I have eclectic tastes in music.  Tony Bennett is my all time fave.  Hands down.  Anything that man sings makes my heart go to goo.  But I’ve also bought or downloaded some seriously diverse tracks in my time.  My ipod, if I had one, would probably have some Rascal Flatts, U2, The Corrs, Alison Krauss, Nickel Creek before they broke up, Alicia Keys, a little John Mayer and a lotta 80’s pop rock.  I have a whole CD collection of Big Band music, too, and my favorite XM channel is Frank’s Place, which highlights the American Songbook.  No one will ever figure me out by looking at my Itunes playlist.  I dare you to try.

(4) I love containers.  Tupperware gives me goosebumps.  Carry-all bags get my heart racing.  You know those wonderfully useful plastic tubs that baby wipes come in?  I’ve got em by the hundreds, and you’d be surprised at how well they hold up after 10 years.  (Scary thought, huh, considering there are probably 8.5 trillion of them currently sitting in various landfills around the earth)my legs

(5) I can’t tan.  I can trace my ancestry back to the Mayflower, and I am an official DAR, so what does that mean for me?  Yep.  A pasty complexion.  Those imperial genes of mine prove that I am Anglo-Saxon to the core, and therefore  will never, ever look good in a bikini.  Ok, so actually my B-minus cup size already secured that status, but even when I was nursing my 2 kiddos and sported a solid C, I would have never been caught dead in a thong at the beach for fear that the reflection of the sun and sand off my skin might have speeded up our current global warming crisis.  (and yes, before you ask me, those are my ACTUAL legs.  It might be wise to now make an appointment with your opthamologist, just to make sure there is no lasting damage)

(6) I type my blog using my toes.  Of course that’s a lie, but wouldn’t that be cool???  And it is so much more interesting than any of this other “unimportant” crud I’ve just shared with you. 

A big shout-out to Firefly Mom, who gave me the idea for this post.  And for those of you who are children of the eighties, like myself, you’ve gotta head over to her blog each Thursday and check out her Thursday Thirteen, which will definitely take you back in a big way.  And for those of you bloggers who haven’t yet been tagged with this one, consider yourself marked, and let us know when you post. TTFN, y’all.

Can You Imagine What Scrabble Does To Us??

Hubby and I have discovered a secret passion.  After sixteen years of marriage, it is important to flame the fires that keep things interesting and exciting.  I wanted to take ballroom dancing lessons, but he puts dancing right up there with getting an enema as activities to generally avoid.  I’ve also suggested reading aloud to each other, but at our age, lying in bed at night reading tends to elicit more drool than desire.  Hubby has had some suggestions for spicing things up along the way, as well.  And after my hernias from laughter healed, he gave up on most of them. 

But then one day, just as a chance happenstance, we stumbled across something that caused our breath to quicken and our heart to race in unison.  The object of our simultaneous arousal?  TextTwist – – that torrid computer game of twisted letters and jumbled words. Just the name brings a grin of furtive delight to my face.  Very few things in our married life have brought us the singular satisfaction of watching our high scores go higher as we twist and turn those letters into submission. 

From the first time we discovered the game, we were instantly hooked.  We found ourselves sneaking off into the bedroom at various times in the day just to huddle around the dim glow of the laptop and unscramble to our hearts compcupid content.  I am always the typist in our gaming romps, because my fingers fly at the speed of light.  But that doesn’t at all diminish R-T’s role in the gameplay.  It takes teamwork to call out each of the words intertwined within those mismatched letters.  And after each round we look at one another lovingly and offer words of shared joy or frustration at our successes and failures.  

Who knows why the simple seduction of letter twisting has had such a profound effect on our marriage?  Maybe it is the unexpected look that R-T gets in his eye when he sees that we are both reaching for the laptop at the same time.  Perhaps it is the way I bite my lip when we have almost beaten our high score.  It could even be that tingly feeling we both get when the victory sound effects start playing after a hard-fought win.  Whatever it is, I hope it continues for many years to come.  Oh, sorry everyone.  Gotta go.  (Giggle)  “R-T, stop swinging that mouse.  You are such a tease!”