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(George Strait reference)

I do not talk to other cancer survivors (or caregivers, for that matter) because I am looking for a date.

No. It happens that I am married, happily so, most of the time. If you are married, you know it has its up and downs, unless you are newly married, in which case you make the rest of us sick, physically sick, with your lovey-dovey stuff.

Don’t worry. You will get over it, and people will like you again.

In the meantime, I am not looking for a date.

I hang out on CSN, I think, because I think that I can do some good in helping others, and because I know that if I do, it is good for me. Simply put, doing good is good for me.

My wife knows that and supports it. She is the only one that supports it, by the way, so I am looking for a job (:)). But, she does. I am grateful for that.

I suppose it has its limits. I spend a lot of time on the computer talking to people, writing responses, working on the blog, that sort of thing, and Corrine, my wife, does not complain.

The other night, though, I was talking to a former member of the CSN chat, one who had been given the boot for some reason. We were in MSN. She likes to use annoying graphics, like the fist knocking on your monitor (or so it appears) to wake you up.

I am not sleeping. If this were not a family room, I would have more severe things to say about that danged fist.

She also uses the smoochy lips smacking your monitor when she says goodbye, and this is where I ran into a problem. With the wife.

I allowed my wife to use the computer while I was still logged on, and I have nothing to hide, so that seemed like a no-brainer to me, and it turns out it WAS a no-brainer. As in no brains, dude!

My friend, who is, after all, just a friend, left with that big smooch of hers and my wife flamed on like the guy in the Fantastic Four. She was ON FIRE. And I was in trouble.

Raise your hand if you are a man and realize that I have done nothing wrong but am still in trouble and you know exactly where I am at because you have been there yourself.

I see: every guy has a raised hand. Oh, there’s that one guy over there in the corner who didn’t raise his hand. Do I take him out, or do you guys want the favor?

Before you answer, you should know he probably LIKES to shop with his wife. He probably makes dinner every night. He probably buys her jewelry at Christmas of his own volition. Now…do I take him out or do you?

Maybe it’s just me.

I am not a bad husband, in so much as that smooch is just something that lady does when she leaves and she means nothing to me, nothing at all, well, I mean, you know, sexually or whatever it is that worries women, and I am serious about that, just as I am about taking out the guy who likes to shop with his wife.

What is WRONG with that guy? I have no problem whatsoever with him shopping with his wife, until it becomes an issue for the rest of us. You know? Don’t brag about it! Keep it to yourself and do not let your wife tell other women you are doing it! Geez! Are you not aware that the others will start expecting US to do it too?

Sorry. I digressed.

Timing is everything. My timing was terrible.

My wife decided that I was online everyday hooking up with cancer chicks for, um, reasons I cannot quite figure out. Whatever reasons they were, she was mighty irate about them. I can assure you of that.

I said, and trust me ladies who read this, it is nothing against you but I was covering my own derriere if you know what I mean and I think you o, I said, Corrine! They have cancer! Geez!

Or something to that effect. And then, I hate to admit this, but I must, I tried to point out the potential defects in each and every one of you. It was hard to do. I do not mean that it was hard for me to do ethically (:)), I mean that it was hard to find defects in any of you. I did my best, and it was not good enough. My wife went off in a HUGE huff, suspecting me of digital adultery, if there is such a thing, and geez, some times I wish there was, I’m just saying.

I figured by the next night she would be over it. She came home from work and I was once again in the CSN chat room, and she came in and asked, rather directly, who I was talking to. I confidently began reading down the list of people who were in the room and realized about halfway through that there were no men in the room but me, and that my troubles were about to worsen.

They did.

She left in a bigger huff, and this is not funny, my friends.

I DID manage to sleep in my own bed last night, which is a very good thing, under the circumstances, even if I had to sleep next to a long and pushy dog (not my wife, people..PLEASE!).

I woke this morning not knowing what my status was. I did mention to a friend in CSN that my wife had left an open box of tampons on the bathroom counter (to which my friend responded: HERE’S YOUR SIGN). My friend is a lady, so maybe she knows more than I do about such signs. At least I was astute enough to notice it and to mention it. Give me some credit for that, at the very least.

If you can.

The bottom line, though, is that I was not worried about it. If she wants to go off about me trying to help others, about getting some sort of sustenance and personal satisfaction when I think I am helping others, then fine.


I was worried about it.

Did I mention that my friend mentioned hormones? She did. I shrugged that off, save the comment re the Tampons. (If I keep mentioning them, do you think I can get a product endorsement here? I’m just wondering. Product placement is everything these days. I am wearing Avia sneakers for example, in case they are reading.)

So the first thing my wife says tonight is that she comes bearing gifts and that she is sorry. It is her hormones.

Women are brilliant. They must resonate to the same tuning fork.

Meanwhile, it is clear that men and women ARE from different planets. My sister and her husband have moved to this area very recently and we have been inviting them over and then, for whatever reason (I have nothing to do with it: I do what I am told, sit where I am told to sit, the whole nine yards, until Virginia Tech is playing, and then I am the man, in which case you should not stand in my way) they are uninvited. But they are coming over for sure Saturday night, tomorrow night. Tonight, now. (Geez, time flies when you are…never mind.)

I bring that up because it matters. We are, after all, when you get down to the nitty gritty, talking about communication or the lack thereof.

My wife would not listen to me for two days. She was allowed to plead the Hormones. I do not know why I am not allowed to plead something like that. I am trying to think of something, and all of the ones I can come up with are likely to get me in trouble.

I cannot, for example, plead, “Honey, I was drunk! What did you expect?” That has never worked. I have tried it. When I was younger, I assure you, and way more naive than I am now. I cannot say, “Corrine, I would not have grabbed her butt if I didn’t have cancer!” I have NOT tried that one, but am pretty sure it would not work.

No, men, apparently, have no legitimate excuses, while women have at least two, one of them being ‘hormones’.

I digress, as usual.

Here’s the deal: I said to my son, we will keep the Christmas stuff up until Amy and Paul come, and then we will take it all down. It doesn’t seem strange at all to me that he said “Okay.” It doesn’t seem strange at all to me that every time the 50 mph winds passed by, we (I) went back outside and put the wreaths back up and made sure the plants allowed to be outside at this time of year were still in our yard if you know what I mean and I think you do.

What WAS strange was discovering that a lot of the ornaments from the top half of the Christmas tree had disappeared. What WAS strange was that there was a box next to the tree filled with newspaper, bulging newspaper, as if it contained, oh, I don’t know…ornaments???

I am saying that for the last few days, I have been rearranging the stuff on the tree, so that it looks full again, and wondering why it seems to be losing its appeal, while my wife, meanwhile, has been REMOVING ornaments and wrapping them up in newspaper and tucking them away in what is now two boxes!

The real irony is that both of us think we are helping the situation. I advised Ry that we would not take down the stuff until Amy and Paul left, really for two reasons, the first so that they could experience a Christmas atmosphere when they came over (keep in mind I thought they were coming over last week, and besides, my neighbor’s lights are still brightly lit every night for some reason, which may cause me to call the police, once I take mine down :)), and the second because I figured we couldn’t clear out all of our junk in time for their arrival (last Wednesday, then last Thursday…you get the idea).

So my wife is taking things and packing them, and I am finding them and putting them back, until I realize what it is happening. THAT is communication :).

Tomorrow, my son and I will retrieve the lights blown on to the roof by the winds, make them appear to be icicles again (THAT should fake them out), and in the meantime, I will unwrap all of the ornaments I have already unwrapped earlier but which my wife has opted to wrap, and put them back on the tree, and we will hide the newspaper and the boxes, and light the tree (not torch it, although that is an attractive idea), and turn on the lights, and Amy and Paul will coo over our lovely decorations, and will wait until they are back in their car going home before saying “Geez, January 10 and they STILL have that stuff up!?”

Such is life. Glad to be here :).