Monday, October 17, 2011


Husband is a man of many talents.  Running is one.  Math is another.  Burying dead cats is yet a third. 

Lying?  Not so much.  Seriously, the man has the dishonesty meter of a toddler.  Like, if we played hide and go seek, he’d completely convince himself that I wouldn’t be able to see him if he hid under a blanket in the middle of the room.  (And because I am the wonderful wife I am, I wouldn’t stop to wonder what the heck we were doing playing hide and seek in the first place but would play the whole ‘now WHERE is HUSBAND?’ routine while looking right at the blanket as he giggles quietly for a good 5 minutes.  Then I’d walk away and see how long he’d keep hiding.  Come on, a girl can’t be Glinda the Good Witch all the time.)

Husband’s lack of any deceptive ability hasn’t really come into play in recent years, because what does a math teacher really have to lie about?  Proofs?  The value of x?  Try to convince a group of gullible freshman that 2+2 doesn’t REALLY equal 4?

In short, we’ve been floating along on a lazy deception-less river.  Until.

My first clue that something might be up came when Husband got up at 6 a.m. on Sunday to go on a long run.  The long run in and of itself wasn’t weird – Husband thinks it’s fun to churn his legs endlessly for hours at a time on a regular basis.  Sneaking out of the house at 6 a.m. for said run, however, was.

Being as it was 6 a.m. on a Sunday, I rolled over and went back to sleep.  Woke up an hour later, got the kids up and moving, still no Husband.  At 8:30, I finally started wondering where he was.

Husband rolled in at about 8:45.  I asked, as I usually do, how far he ran. 

“20 miles,” he replied as he ducked his head.

Huh, I thought.  Husband hasn’t run that much since……WAIT A MINUTE!!!!

Me:  “Hey, um, Husband?”

Husband:  “Yeah, Al?”

Me:  “So what’s going on?  You going to tell me why you’re running 20 miles?”

Husband:  (ducks head) “Noooo, no reason.”

At this point, Husband morphed into The Boy, dimples and all.  My fellow parents know The Look – that moment when a little kid is trying with all of his or her might to not look at you while still lying to your face. 

Me:  “Out with it.  You’re training for something.  An iron man?  Marathon?”

Husband:  “Uhhhh, I have to take a shower.”

Me:  “Nope, sorry.  Out with it.”

Husband:  “Weelllllll, there may or may not be a marathon in Harrisburg in 2 weeks and I may or may not have signed up for it.  See ya!”

Now, the loyal readers among you may remember my 7th layer of Hell experience when I took The Kiddos up to wait 3 hours to watch Husband fly by for 10 seconds in the Boston Marathon.  We’ll be supporting in spirit, thank you very much.

The training on the down-low isn’t even the best part.  Later, Girl #2 breaks the news of Husband’s plan for marathon day.

What’s this, you ask?  Husband wasn’t going to TELL you he was running a marathon?  What would have happened on marathon day?

Bear with me.

Apparently, the brilliant plan goes something as follows. 

Step 1:  Husband sneaks out of the house to train for the next three weeks. 

Step 2:  On marathon day, Husband sneaks out of the house extra early to drive the 90 minutes or so out to the marathon.

Step 3:  I wake up on marathon day, freak out because Husband is gone.

Step 4:  I go to my cell phone to call 911 because Husband is gone.

Step 5:  Upon opening my phone case, I am instantly comforted because my thoughtful husband has sent me a TEXT MESSAGE telling me that he has gone to RUN A MARATHON.

Step 6:  Locks changed and activated.

Nope, STILL not the best part.  Husband tells Mom of his brilliant Bond-esque plan over the weekend.  Now, my mother has known me for almost 34 years.  She knows that I don’t like the unknown or change.   Especially not surprises or changes to the general routine.  Yes I may be scattered, but I like to know what’s going on for any given day.  Change and I do not go well together.

Yet, knowing all of that, Mom thinks Husband’s plan is a fine idea.  Heartily AGREES WITH it. 

“Sure, I know she doesn’t like the unknown or surprises and all, but you’ll send a TEXT MESSAGE, right?  She’ll be FINE with it!!”

Some people connive to cheat, Husband connives to run a frieking marathon.  So I guess in the grand scheme of things, I still have it pretty damn good.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Screws fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place

I have the pleasure of supervising the in-school suspension room every day from 8:36 until 9:21 a.m.  Usually there isn’t much excitement, as our guests are still half-asleep at this teenage-early hour.  Yesterday started off as no exception – until it happened.

I had four guests, who were scattered around the room engaged in various stages of sullen learning.  I was getting ready to start the bathroom rotation when suddenly the lights flickered and went out.  Shrieks from rooms up and down the hall told me that the entire school had lost power.

Now, a bit of background about this particular room, if I may.  The room is windowless and unadorned, save for one freaky-deaky space-Einstein-rainbow mural on the back wall.  Therefore, when the lights went out, the room was instantly plunged into complete darkness. 

After a few minutes, an announcement came over the loudspeaker that the outage stemmed from issues at the electric company.  Long story short, duration unknown, stay in your current class.  Ducky.

At this point, I had a couple of choices.  I could bring the kiddos out into the hall, like many of the inner-windowless-room sections were doing.  It was loud, it was chaotic – I preferred our dark little cocoon.  So, first decision made – we stay.  But, given that we now had an indeterminate amount of future time together, how to keep the kids relatively occupied so they don’t go all desk-throwy on me?

The answer was simple – we prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse.

Our first problem was lighting the room.  A kind administrator provided us with a flashlight and I turned my computer screen into the room so there was some light.  The kids did an admirable job of problem solving, working together to figure out the placement of the flashlight that would provide the most light.  (Physics!)

Next up in our one-room society, forming a government.  I intervened and declared a military dictatorship, imposing myself as supreme leader.  I am happy to report that it was a bloodless coup.  My reign was brief, yet effective.  Another couple of hours and I very likely would have rummaged up a captain’s hat and called myself Muammar. (World cultures!)

I gave my subjects some time for exercise – we went into the hall and I gave each of them their own hallway tile.  They commanded their own little island, but couldn’t leave the island.  Much like the Russian Police, I was stern…but fair.

We were humming along nicely making our own little Brave New World (literature!) when the subject of defense came up.  If (WHEN) then zombies came a knockin’, we needed a defense plan.  Throwing desks wouldn’t work (and I didn’t want the issue of practicing to cross anyone’s minds), so my little MacGyvers started to brainstorm game plans with everyday objects around the room.  An old school 007 black umbrella could make an excellent spear.  A wallet chain could be swung around like a mace.  Desks could be used as a barricade (NO THROWING!). 

In short, we spent 2 hours problem-solving and collaborating – we had morphed into our own little Breakfast Club.  (Does that make me Principal Vernon?  I’m NOT being Allie Sheedy.  And Molly Ringwald was a brat, too.  What the heck was her ‘talent,’ anyway?  I never understood the lipstick thing.  Forget the mean principal, I call being the elephant trunk lamp kid.)  They learned about physics and government and I learned that when the Zombie Apocalypse does happen, I want these people in my corner.