Posts Tagged ‘growing up’


For two years now, I have been on a sad and obstacle ridden journey to find the password to this blog, the blog that made me famous with the “faithful forty.” Well, in case you haven’t figured it out, I found it, and I am back from the dead.

For a cool year and a half, this blog addressed myriad subjects, but the most popular ones were stories of my wife’s antics, my childhood issues, and generally my disdain for teenagers. Hell, some of the teenagers that read this blog when it was first published and found themselves offended are now adults and hate teenagers as well.

This is an exciting prospect being back on this thing.

A whole lot has changed from the time I stopped blogging. In the two years I haven’t blogged, my daughter has aged two years…She has been raised predominately by my wife. This is a great thing, my wife has compelled my daughter to possess a startlingly well-developed vocabulary. The term well-developed means she walks around the house like a three foot tall version of her mother. In many ways, she has become the hall monitor of my house enforcing the rules that the Principal has burned into stone tablets. “No Shoes in the House, Dad.” “Look at the Mess You’ve Made, Dad.”

In the two years since I last wrote, my wife has continued to be the same brutally honest partner in crime that I’ve always had.

Recently, my wife and I were preparing ourselves to head to a Holiday party of some sort. Whitney’s “getting ready” routine has become the stuff legends are made of. There is an unwritten rule in the house that while she gets ready you say nothing to her, you don’t go near her and risk making her sweat, and for the love of God, you can never surprise her. This in mind, my “getting ready” routine is usually very much a solitary experience without the aid of supervision. On this specific occasion, I decided to do some digging around through clothes that I have carried with me for years. As I rummaged around the darker recess of my closet, I happened upon the most amazing re-discovery.

As a matter of fact, there was this spiritual moment where I believe the light of my Lord and Savior, his Father, and the Holy Spirit, let loose in my closet making it glow in unbearable brilliance. For a second, an angelic chorus—a multitude of ethereal voices rang out into the small room. Reaching down into the abyss of forgotten shirts and old rags, I pulled from the pile, in Arthurian movements as if unsheathing a sword from its stone home, a pair of corduroy pants I actually bought in the year 1996. Beautiful khaki-colored wide-lined corduroy pants complete with worn and smoothed areas, the result of wonderful moments and memories now twenty years old.

Because of the lifting I have done since I turned 18, I was certain these pants would be nothing more than something nice to look at. Maybe, the pair would compel me to some walk through nostalgic bliss, but nothing more. That didn’t stop me from trying to put them on with the same nervous apprehension of a woman trying on a pair of pre-pregnancy pants in hopes of finding out she is back in business.

To my surprise, I slid the pants on, one leg at a time, and realized that they fit, clinging in all the right places. Sadly, this also proved that my leg regimen in the gym is probably lacking, but, for the sake of good story telling, I remind you that we wore our pants baggy in the day, and just maybe, the lifting I had done is just what these pants needed to stay relevant in an era of snugger fitting jeans.

Whitney was still engrossed in her processes as I rounded out what was turning into an epic ensemble. This day was going to be great. The party we would attend would no doubt go down in history as the Holiday Party that brought back the 90s experience—things were going to be all right in the world again. Of course, this outfit had to make it through one last gigantic hurdle in order to make this a reality.

When the time came that it was safe to approach my wife without fear of violent recourse, I strutted down the hallway preparing to peacock into the bathroom where she currently resided. I was filled with undeniable joy, preparing to defend myself against the passionate throws of love Whitney would no doubt force upon me. We might not even make it to this party—she may want me too badly right here and now, I thought. I let my mind wander that road for a second and a smile formed on my weak-chinned face.

As it turns out, I was not completely wrong. Whitney’s eyes grew two sizes wider than I have ever seen, and it looked like we may be a mere step away from disrobing in passionate lovemaking. Things were going just as I planned. It was true—disrobing was going to happen, but unfortunately only one of us would partake…

Whitney smiled and said, “I see its official, you’re an old man now and have finally chosen your decade to be stuck in….I half expect you to smell like cigarettes and marijuana, or Teen Spirit.”

She, ever gracious in her criticism, let me off the hook like I had somehow developed an elaborate scheme just to let her have a laugh. “Okay, babe, seriously, we need to get out of here, go put on what you’re really wearing…”

“Yeah, it was funny, though, right?”

“Yes, Heath, you are the funniest…” She continued, “God, you should probably work out your legs more if you can still fit in those pants…” There it is, I thought.

 

I just wanted you to know, because I have been holding it in for years…


The left, rear tire on my truck has developed a tumor. It’s been there for days, and it is a constant reminder, along with a couple other things, that I am missing some key elements of manhood that make other men useful. I have written about this before, but I like to really drive things home through example and honest portrayals thereof. Additionally, one of the greatest things about writing a blog is that you are the king of said blog.

The tire bulges forth from its normal tire self making the once circular object into an oblong shaped nightmare. Instead of a round tire, I am driving on a football–lengthwise. I know that the tire is holding on for dear life, trying not to fail on me, but I also know that I am pissing in the faces of the gods every time I drive. Another thing I am absolutely sure of is that, due to my tire’s elliptical shape, my truck drives like an excited puppy whose tail is wagging furiously as it makes its way down the highway. The pine-tree-shaped-fragrance-enhancing-tree-thing hanging from my rear view mirror swings violently from left to right, and every third second, up and down. The movement causes slacking in the twine that connects the mirror to the part of the tree that would hold the star at Christmas. Above the tree, the rear view mirror is having a seizure. The cars entering my rear view mirror’s vision seem to be jitterbugging down the road (I feel sorry for them…poor bastards).

Cars passing by notice. I know they do. I watch them in the driver’s side mirror as they make their way around my pulsating vehicle. These cars are also jumping in unison with my mirror’s motion. They examine my truck. They think they are the first to notice. I hate them for it. As they come directly along side, their windows flush with mine, I can feel them trying to gain my attention. They are jiggling in my peripheral like children trying to bother their siblings through annoying gestures alone. I refuse to look their way; instead, I sit there oscillating up and down, side to side, side to side, and up and down. For a moment the highway comes to a standstill. I meet the traffic and slowly wobble to a halt, and now I can actually feel the three cars surrounding my vehicle all aching to convey their concern over my tire’s health. They look to each other as if forming a spontaneous intervention. I pray a silent prayer for the traffic to regain its momentum so that I could ramble on down the road leaving the judgmental stares of men and women with normal shaped tires behind.

So you think to yourself. Use your spare. Let’s be honest, people. If I use the spare, Murphy will show up and screw me like it’s cool. There is only one thing that can be done here. There is one course of action that can take place that will effectively fix the problem. We are out of options and we must take evasive action. The truck needs to be blown in place like a disabled military vehicle you don’t want to fall into enemy hands…the truck is no good anymore. This truck is dead to me. The only problem with this course is that the man skills required come up with a device that would blow the car in place, but still look like an accident also reside beyond my man capabilities. Trust me I have thought of everything. And so I just jiggle everywhere I go. Calls I make from my car sound like I’m being burped throughout the duration of the conversation. But, I just jiggle.

I know my father will read this in disappointment, and he will question where he failed. He will look down at his old, weathered hands aged through experience and hard work. He will feel the ache of arthritic thumbs (which are not the result of years of over work, but rather from his discovery of first person shooter games at the age of 60), and he will begin weeping. He will cry crocodile tears; the floor will be wet with tears of sadness. I will be the reason for his first good cry.

I am not proud, but I have to tell you, the vibrations of the vehicle have done wonders for my back. As another bonus, I got to write a blog and portray my father as weeping, which is always fun. If my father is crying right now, it is more likely caused by a thirteen year old who beat him in a video game.

Look, I just wanted you to know, because I’ve been holding it in for years.


I saw the teenagers out tonight, and I noticed one thing.  Besides the fact that none of them wore respectable clothing and most decided skinny jeans were a great idea, all teenagers now are kind of weird and unruly.  I don’t think I was ever this bad as a teenager, myself.  I don’t want to get you all hyped up first thing on a Sunday morning, but these teens were… maybe, you should sit down before you read this…these teens were, well, they were being loud in the mall.  I had to usher my pregnant wife away from the craziness of these teens and their reckless bantering back and forth.   I made eye contact with everyone of them, and my eyes said in a stern and unwavering manner, “STOP BEING LOUD IN THE MALL!”  It would have worked except these teens were looking through their bangs at me.  They were Bieber-Blinded and therefore did not get the full on effect of my enraged stare. 

There was this specific band of teenagers that kept converging on my wife and my journey through the mall.  Once, the teens had hijacked a shopping cart from some poor store owner and decided it would be a good idea to put the fattest member of their group in the cart and push him or her around (could have been a girl, but the boys dress like girls, and I don’t want to offend this teen and make him or her want to shoot up a school or something).  They all laughed and carried on like they were the first to think of this—like, as if teenagers of yesteryear were so inept that we were never put together enough to grab a shopping cart and push a fat kid around. 

I love being hypocritical in my views of teenagers.  I think as 30 plus year olds, we earned our hypocrisy.  Furthermore, I think that teenagers today are so awkward and goofy that their trouble is just annoying.  I know that I am different.  I know that I am a man now, because I look at teens in groups of three or more, and I cast judgment upon them, and they are all GUILTY.  My looks are no longer based in a nostalgic longing to feel young and unbound by the chains and shackles of life that we attach ourselves to in our adult years.  Maybe, I look at these teenagers being loud in the mall and think, “this is the best idea you could come up with, huh?” 

I also worry about how my daughter is going to want to dress.  I have to believe that every father and mother of the girls I saw in the mall yesterday started out with a hard-line stance against phrases written across the asses of their daughters.  In the very least, and maybe more importantly,  these parents were dead set on the idea that the asses of their daughters were going to be covered completely…

The teenagers all walk around the mall like they own the place.  They looked at the pregnant lady to my right as if she was too slow and needed to get out of the way.  And, while I agree that the pregnant lady to my right is very slow, she has a right to waddle down the same path these kids do.  Who is more likely to spend money?  Probably me, and I proved it.  The teenagers all have conversations.  I hate when teenagers have conversations, because their conversations are superficial, I can just tell.  I wanted to walk into the crowd of loud teenagers conversating* superficially and get all of their parents’ names and numbers and call them.  I would say, over the phone, in a very rhythmic and well enunciated tirade, “Do you have any idea what your kids are doing right now?  Well, I will tell you.  Your kids are being loud in the mall.  If that isn’t bad enough, they are doing it dressed like court jesters and whores.”  That would show them.

Teens in groups are all slowly marching to trouble or some lawless behavior.  Townships and cities need to make rules addressing this and they need to act quickly.  Even if your teen is a calm and collected responsible nerd, when he or she is in a group of three or more like-minded fools, trouble is a second away.  Sometimes nerd trouble is worse than pushing a fat kid in a shopping cart.  Just saying.

The teenagers are a powerful force because they have no fear.  Fear is important in a society.  I know they have no fear, because they wear stupid clothes.  Fear starts in the home.  I recommend instilling fear into your children today.  We need to rise against this barbaric movement of teenagers and their loudness.  We need to take the power back.  We need to stop fooling ourselves that our kids are trustworthy and are all on the sacred and pure walk to heaven.  They are not.  They are at the mall right now and they are loud and obnoxious. 

Step it up parents.  Get up, Stand up!  It starts by taking away their skinny jeans and making these kids dress like real people, like we did in the nineties.  Make them wear corduroys, and make them put on a pair of Doc Martins and dress like decent people preparing to be men and women.  If they want a different hair style make them shave the sides of their heads and let the top grow long, that was okay, because it was cool.  Remind them that the music they listen to is nothing when compared to bands like Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters, Sound Garden, Alice in Chains, and bands that actually had lead singers that used their man voices.   Do your best and may God have mercy on your souls…

I just wanted you to know, because I have been holding it in for years.

 

*Conversating should be a word.  Conversing is cool, but conversating is more cool.


Weekends are where life really happens in the Phillips household.  Weekdays are like a pause in what we really want to do around here.  As fall sets in, the mood in our home always brightens.  Everything about the season is happy to me.  I think the fall reminds me to slow down and relax, to look out the window and see the show that nature is putting on, and to look at my wife and remember who it is I married.  She is a fun, fun lady, and during this time of year, we do a lot of “us” stuff.  We work together around the house, we set it up to look like a harvest scene, and most importantly we enjoy ourselves.  Don’t get all weird with me, I am not going to spend the rest of this blog writing about how incredible my relationship is, because those of you who have been reading my blog, already know that.  I am going to tell you about the training I have put my wife through.   She has passed a rigorous program that would have broken a lesser woman.  I started thinking about this earlier this week and felt like you needed to hear what it is like to be married to me.  I think you all would love it (being married to me), and therefore you need to catch a glimpse.

Being married to me is awesome.  I am not a braggart; I am an honest man who tells stories.  Being married to me is awesome (This is my thesis).  Besides being generally easy to deal with, I am an inciter of chaos.  I induce into an otherwise relaxing lifestyle—turmoil.

I like spending time with my wife.  I like sitting around with her while she reads smutty novels, and on occasion, I like to pick the book up, and read the passages in a very dramatic manner.  Dramatic renditions of raunchiness are awesome, and they make Whitney very happy.  She loves it when I do this and shows me by giving me the “stink eye.”   I am going to teach my daughter to do this as well.  Once a husband or child grabs the book and begins an overly dramatic monologue entitled “Saddle up and Ride (an actual book title I found on our kindle),” it probably gets a little difficult for the reader to re-engross themselves in their fantastic voyage through word porn.   If there are any men reading this, I challenge you to do the same; it will either lead to a bonding moment between you and your wife, or your wife will never feel comfortable to read around you again.  Either way, you have succeeded in the one thing all husbands love to do….terrorize their wives momentarily.  Don’t mistake what I say for wanting to hurt our wives.  We don’t want to hurt them; we want to drive them crazy.  Only crazy to a point, and then we want our wives to chill out and prepare themselves for the next battle.  (This may actually be my thesis).

We do it in little criminal actions.  A great example:  In our home, Whitney is a Nazi-like organizer of the refrigerator.  She has a very systematic method for how she sees things fit together inside, and she hold briefings on them every time she opens up the door.  On shopping days, she will actually address the press in the middle of our house where she will outline the proper shelf for beverages, dairy products, where snacks will reside, and where random products that don’t fall in line with other things will go.  It’s simple.  Whitney would have done well in Napoleon’s Army as she has a knack for ensuring her orders are always understood at the lowest level of the chain of command.  They sound  something like, “Heath, in your brain, I know you think ground turkey is a dairy product, but here in the real world it is not and, therefore, should find itself in the lowest drawer of the refrigerator.”  Sometimes when I go to the fridge, I put things back in there in the wrong spot on purpose, and I get an amazing sense of rebelliousness swelling from my soul to the tip of my head.  Then I go and hide, and I wait, and I wait, and then it happens.  Whitney goes to the fridge and notices that her yogurt has been moved to the “random fridge item” shelf.  I come out from hiding, I walk past and say this, “Whitney, you know yogurt is a dairy item, right?” I continue, “Why would you put it in the ‘random fridge item’ area?”  Because Whitney is pregnant, she can only remember 17 minutes before the current moment.  I have used this to convince her she is slowly losing it.  As I walk away, she is mumbling to herself the same way the people in the movies act like when they are in the crazy house.  This is a victory for me—a yogurt induced victory.

Adding to her frustration, I like to pretend that every time she explains to me where items should go in the fridge is the first time she has explained it.  Furthermore, I like to patronize her by saying things like, “Dude, this is weird, I was thinking the other day how disorganized the fridge is, and that we needed to get on the same page in this house.”  If there is one thing my wife loves, it is being patronized—this is just another thing I recommend all husbands start doing in their homes…good times.  This is all out of love.  I love messing with my wife, because she is the only person in the world who could deal with it.

As Whitney has progressed through this pregnancy, things have become funnier and funnier to watch.   One of the things that has quickly become a great past time for me is watching her walk, stand up, sit down.  It is similar to when a turtle is put on their shell and just kind of flailing their arms about hoping they can develop the momentum to propel themselves into the standing position.  Before you all think I am calloused, I help out.  From wherever I am sitting, I cheer her on and time the evolution to see if she is getting better at it.  Awesomeness.

A final thing that I have liked to do is slowly reveal ways I got in trouble when I was a kid.  I explain to her about the time I stole people’s mail around the neighborhood.  I remind her I am a convicted shoplifter, I remind her that I joined a gang in Idaho Falls, Idaho.  We were the “gang that wore denim jackets.”  I wore headgear and in a gang fight, which subsequently got shoved through my cheek.  How many gangsters were ginger kids with headgear?  I was.  I remind her that I one time took a knife to our neighbors tree and shaved off all of the bark.  Apparently, the neighbors weren’t happy with the makeover.  I remind her that my high school friends and I were drunkards who would have sold our siblings if it meant we could get a twelve pack of Milwaukee’s Best (higher alcohol content).  I tell her that I used to torture my sister about her hair and how she had the exact same hairstyle George Washington had.  What kind of ginger kid with headgear would have the audacity to make fun of other kids?  This guy.  I tell Whitney, of the time I was taking another friend to baseball practice and wanted to change the cd out in the car and wrecked it into a jeep.  Right as the car hit the jeep, Tres Delinquentes’ “Step into the Madness” blared over the car stereo and it could not have been more appropriate.  I tell her all of these stories and then remind Whitney that our child will pay us back the hell we caused our parents; get ready.

Tomorrow I will tell you the story of how I convinced another blogger to give me a blogging award.

I just wanted you to know, because I have been holding it in for years.