The Continuing Saga of my Wife’s Hurt Back

It had been a week since my wife’s first visit to the doctor for her back pain. After a surprisingly short time in the clinic, the doctor had concluded without a shred of evidence that my wife had a muscle strain, causing the unbearable pain in her back and her legs to go numb. She prescribed two medications, a steroid and a muscle relaxer, convinced that they would both relieve her pain, and heal her body, but they did neither, which is why I found myself crossing three lanes of traffic at the last second to get into the turn lane for this chiropractic clinic that my wife had found online. We opened the door to the clinic, the lobby was dark and empty, and the girl behind the desk said welcome to “The Joint.” That’s right, the fate of my wife’s back lies in the hands of a place named something that sounds more like a hip new restaurant or a local bar than a doctor’s office, but without many other options, we continued on inside and my wife filled out the seven pages of paperwork, which turned out to take longer than the actual time spent with the chiropractor.

While she was filling out the forms, a man in his mid twenties walked in and scanned a keychain at the front desk, as if he had security clearance at a top secret government facility. The scanner beeped its recognition and he took his seat. A few minutes later a doctor summoned him to the back, where loud noises ensued. It sounded like someone was picking a heavy table off of the ground from one end, then slamming down against a marble floor as hard as they possibly could. I feared for the man’s life back there, sure that he was being beaten to death, not that I made any attempt to help or avert my eyes from the book I was reading, but after a couple minutes of the mayhem, he walked back out into the lobby like nothing had happened. After a few minutes, my wife was told to go into the back to meet the doctor and the receptionist asked if I would be joining my wife, to which I politely declined, opting to sit in the lobby and strain my eyes reading “Story of a Sociopath” by Julia Navarro. Perhaps the story is about me, the man who refused to join his wife when she went to consult with the chiropractor, but I haven’t read that far yet.

After only about ten minutes, and some more of the crashing sounds, my wife returned, feeling better than she had in more than a week. The chiropractor told her that her alignment was off, that one leg was an inch longer than the other due to some sort of shift that had moved her spine slightly out of place, but not too worry, after a few more sessions, she was sure my wife would be healed. I have my doubts about the legitimacy of the practice, likening the chiropractor to the new age healer that turns George’s face purple in Seinfeld, but after two sessions my wife seems to be getting better and the pain has subsided drastically, so whatever the chiropractor is doing, seems to be working for the moment, and hopefully my wife will continue along this trajectory until she’s good as new, or at the very least, comfortable getting out of bed in the morning.

My Wedding Night

IMG_3270People say that your wedding night is unforgettable, and mine was no exception. After we got married and went out to dinner with our families, my new wife and I hit the road for our honeymoon, our destination being Orange Beach, Alabama, where we would spend a week in a beachfront condo, enjoying our new lives as a married couple, so obviously we were very excited to get there. Our wedding was on a Friday evening, and after dinner, we got on the road a little bit after eight, planning to drive as far as we could that night before exhaustion took over. On the south Florida interstate we rolled down the windows, the night air exhilarating us as we began our journey. I hung my arm out the window, but only for a couple of minutes, then I thought better of it, fearing my new wedding ring might slide off my finger and be lost forever, which probably isn’t the ideal way to start a marriage.

We stopped at the first rest stop we came to, and went our separate ways to change out of our wedding clothes, my wife still in her white dress and me in my suit. Before long we were back on the road with our whole lives ahead of us. We drove and drove and before we’d gotten too far we were both exhausted and ready to quit driving for the night, so we pulled off at the nearest exit to check into a hotel. The first hotel we went to was completely full, as were the other few in whatever town we were in. We kept driving, stopping at most exits hoping for an empty room, but there were none to be had, so we decided to look online, and book the closest available room, which was in Jacksonville, about an hour and a half further. I somehow managed to not fall asleep at the wheel, playing twenty questions until I couldn’t bring myself to think of anything more to ask, much less guess at whatever object my wife was thinking of. It was a struggle but we finally made it to Jacksonville and pulled off at the exit to our hotel.

Despite having eaten a few hours ago, my wife and I were both very hungry, perhaps from the exhaustion, and luckily there was a Krystal right by our hotel, which I was pretty excited about having not had one of the little square hamburgers in years, so we hit the drive thru and went to the hotel, where we sat on the sofa, eating the greasy burgers and watching late night television. It may not have been the most romantic wedding night in the history of the world, but it was a night full of memories that my wife and I can look back on now with fondness and laugh at the absurdity of it all. It was an unforgettable night and I wouldn’t trade those first memories we shared together as a married couple for anything.

The Never Ending Game

My wife and I have been playing a game for years now, that we are probably not likely to ever finish. A few years ago, for christmas, she gave me Trivial Pursuit, which was an awesome gift and I was thrilled to have gotten it. I imagined myself to be an intelligent person, one who would enjoy the intellectual challenges of the game, and overcoming them by thinking back to something I might have picked up in school or on the nature channel, but the reality hit me hard in the face, that christmas afternoon when we played for the first time. She bought me the genius edition. She really thought a lot of me back then. My wife likes board games to an extent, but the one’s that tend to drag on for hours like Monopoly or Risk, a couple of my favorites, she’s not to keen to play, and after well over an hour of us missing question after question, neither of us any closer to winning, she was ready to pull the plug on Trivial Pursuit, and quite frankly, so was I.

We’ve played on several other occasions, when I think it might be fun to stimulate ourselves intellectually, forgetting just how difficult the questions were, but never finished a game. We’ve always called it quits well before our tokens were filled with the six colorful wedges and a winner was declared, but last night, having gone months without pulling the game out of the closet, I fell into the trap and suggested we play, and surprisingly she agreed. We played for nearly two hours and had each collected five of the six wedges necessary to win, and I thought that maybe we would finally finish the game, so we played on. The only wedge both of us needed was the pink one, entertainment, so we continued, each of us hovering around the same spot on the board, desperate to land on the pink space and get the question right. We both had ample opportunities to win the game, but we missed the question every time we got the chance. My wife thought she’d won, when given the question about who played the main character in “The Parent Trap.” She excitedly answered Lindsay Lohan, the smile of victory already on her face. This was a good answer because it was in fact Lohan who played the main character, unfortunately for my wife, this version of Trivial Pursuit came out long before Disney remade the movie with Lindsay and the answer printed on the card was an actress neither of us had ever heard of, who starred in the original. We kept the board on the table and maybe we’ll try to finish the game tonight, but if history has taught us anything, it’s that we will come up shorthanded once again. I was so excited when I got Trivial Pursuit, thinking I would be able to show off my breadth of knowledge, but all that the game has really done, is expose how little I actually know.

Searching for my Wife

Saturday morning I went to the zoo. I knew I wanted to do something outside since it was a beautiful sunny day, but my decision to go to the zoo wasn’t made until I saw my wife’s phone lying on the counter. I occasionally do nice things for other people, not often enough so they get used to it and come to expect it, but every once in a while, I try to help out others. Taking my wife’s phone to her at work would make her happy, because she often gets bored and relies on her phone to make the time pass more quickly in the ticket window at the zoo, and I would still get to enjoy the weather, so it was a win-win situation. When I arrived at the zoo, the lines to get in were pretty long, so I picked the shortest one, window five, and when it was my turn to step up to the window I asked the person working if they knew where Leticia was working that day. She craned her neck to see the person in the window across from her back, to no avail, and told me that she was either in window six or at the other entrance at the other side of the zoo. I walked to the other window and saw that my wife was in fact, not the person sitting on the other side of the glass so I asked this person how to get to the other entrance, one I’ve never used before as they only occasionally open it when the zoo gets really busy on the weekends. “That’s going to be tricky” she said, not really what I wanted to hear.

“At the cafe, stay left on the path and there will be a giant lego spider to let you know that you’re headed in the right direction. Go past the pelicans and keep walking until you see a wooden gate that should be opened. Go through the gate and that is where the ticket booth is located.” I thanked her and began my journey, left at the cafe, but I couldn’t find the lego spider anywhere. I eventually passed the pelicans and saw the wooden gate that was cracked open, and a sign hanging from it that said “Employees only” and walked through to the ticket booth. It didn’t appear that anyone was in there but I walked up to the window, just to make sure. The window was boarded up, and there should be clear footage of me on a security camera, knocking on the window just to make sure nobody was inside. My knock went unanswered. I walked back through the gate and saw an employee coming towards me on a golf cart, so I flagged her down and asked if she could use her walkie-talkie to find out the whereabouts of my wife. She said that since she wasn’t sure if my wife had a radio, she couldn’t try to call her, which seemed odd, but I thanked her for her time and continued walking in the other direction.

I followed the path past the Komodo dragons and the snake house, staying along the fence, hoping to come across another entrance where I might find my wife. When I reached the pandas and realized that no such entrance existed, I turned around and made my way back towards the main entrance of the zoo, ready to begin the process again. I couldn’t get back to the ticket window without exiting the zoo so I did, but this time stood in line for gate two, and asked that employee if she knew where I could find my wife. She craned her neck and pointed her out to me, working in the office behind gate one, so I got in that line and was able to get my wife’s attention, and was finally able to give her the phone. She was grateful, but after nearly an hour of looking for her, it didn’t seem worth the hassle. I kissed her goodbye and told her to have a nice day. “You aren’t staying to go to the zoo?” she asked me. I told her I’d already seen enough of the zoo for one day, so I went home and spent the rest of my day watching TV and doing absolutely nothing, as any good Saturday should be spent.

Training Day

IMG_3500Today I didn’t go to work. I guess technically I did, but it wasn’t the work that I’ve become used to going to over the past three months. I went to the same building of my first day working for the bank, for my second classroom training session. I thought it would be a nice change of pace, a welcome midweek break from the monotony of running transactions for eight hours a day, but after lunch, about the two o’clock mark, I realized how heavily I rely on my daily work to keep me awake through the afternoon hours until it’s time to go home. The instructor was great, but as she went around the room role playing different scenarios with all thirteen tellers in attendance, I came to appreciate the acting skills of portrayed in some of Adam Sandler’s more recent films, because some of these people were terrible. I found myself opening and closing the cap of the highlighter in front of me, just to have something to do so I wouldn’t fall asleep out of boredom, and I’m happy to announce, that my tactics worked and made it through the entire session without subjecting everyone else in the room to my snoring.

Training was a real eye opening experience for me today, not because of what I was taught, but because of what I observed. My first day at the branch of my bank I realized that out of the four tellers employed here, I was the only male. I figured that it was just a freak occurrence, that surely in other branches there were other members of my gender mixed more evenly throughout the banks in my city, but when I arrived to my class today, I was surprised to find that again, I was the only guy in the room. It’s not that it bothers me or anything, but I just found it a bit odd, because everywhere else I’ve worked, there has been a pretty even ration of males to females, but apparently that is not so in the banking world, at least not here in Memphis. After class today the instructor thanked me for being such a trooper, like it was a huge deal for me to function in a room full of females and not jump out the fourth story window, but it wasn’t all that bad, excluding the role playing skills of course, but I don’t think that has anything to do with the gender of a person. I told the instructor that I didn’t realize there were so few men tellers here and she told me that in the whole west Tennessee market of our bank, there were maybe only ten males doing my job. For the first time in my life I am in the minority, and I’ve gotta say, it’s pretty exciting, with all the possibilities that are opened up to me due to this fact. Perhaps I’ll go back to college now and finish my degree, and on my application essay I can disclose that I’m a minority, which should without a doubt get me a massive scholarship. I’m one lucky man.

My Horrible Trip to the Mall

Yesterday evening I found myself in the hardware department of Sears. I was lured there by my wife who’d earlier in the day asked if I wanted to go to the mall and I made the crucial mistake of assuming that going to the mall meant shopping in stores much more exciting than Sears. When we arrived at the Wolfchase Galleria and the excitement faded from my eyes as we approached Sears, my wife made a suggestion that we get something to eat at the food court, to keep my occupied while she shopped for tools and salvage my trip to the mall. We got Chick-fil-a which is always a good choice, but I quickly realized once we were handed the bag of food that I wouldn’t be able to eat this walking through the store, because like any good american I needed to be able to dunk my fries in ketchup, which would be virtually impossible if not sitting down. We sat in the food court and ate the sandwich and fries, which were pretty tasteless by the way, no matter how much ketchup I put on them.

Once we got to Sears and made it over to the hardware section, the boredom kicked in almost instantly. In this way, I suppose I’m not your typical man, because I don’t have any interest in tools whatsoever. In this marriage it is my wife who is tool crazy and likes to do the typical manly things around the house, which is why we were shopping yesterday because she is going to change the rear brake pads on my car. Boring I know. I almost fell asleep typing that sentence, but it’s something that has to be done in order for my brakes to continue operating functionally so one day I don’t find myself speeding down the road unable to stop. Apparently that’s a bad thing but it’s not something I’ve actually experienced, and standing in the aisle full of sockets and wrenches I thought it might actually be preferable to being in the store at that moment.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that we were on the same aisle for at least twenty minutes. We were there so long that I began looking around me for something that I could use to hurt myself and be taken to the hospital. At that point I would have done anything to get out of that excruciatingly boring situation. I could use the box cutter to make a deep cut worthy of a 911 call, but it was in a plastic container that looked nearly impossible to open, so I settled on the foot long metallic ratcheting wrench. Before I could make my move, Leticia was ready to check out, so luckily I was able to leave without paying hundreds of dollars in medical bills. When we left the mall it was dark out, but I was feeling light and happy inside, proud of myself for surviving that excruciating ordeal. Hopefully I won’t have to go back to Sears for a very long time.

My Wife Loves the Dogs More Than Me

IMG_3456Monday I beat my wife home from work, a rare occurrence, and when she walked opened the front door she said “hey, how was your day?” in the most affectionate voice possible, to the dogs. She barely acknowledged me sitting in the living room with an obligatory “hey” thrown in my direction. It has been like this for the past couple of weeks since those rat shaped creatures came to live with us, and I’m not the least bit happy about it. I miss the good ol’ days where there was no living thing in the apartment competing for my wife’s attention, sure there was TV and books, but eventually she needed someone to talk to, and that’s where I, the husband was useful. With the addition of the dogs, my role as listener has been eliminated as she doesn’t have to pause for outside opinions or comments since animals can’t really talk back.

I’m being treated completely unfairly and I don’t know how to rectify the situation. I’ve tried acting more like the dogs, urinating on the living room floor, being extremely loud while she’s trying to sleep, and even spilling crumbs everywhere when I’m eating, but none of these things have worked. In fact, since I’ve tried to become more like the creatures that she loves unconditionally, my efforts have been met with nothing short of outrage. The dogs always let her know when they need to use the bathroom but when I make a point of sharing that information, I am met with a crinkled nose and often the three words “too much information.”

I’m not really sure what the problem is. I’m just as hairy, if not more so than the dogs, but my wife never seems to want to scratch my belly or comb the hair on my back. I’ve even tried to scratch her a few times, desperate for the love and attention that the dogs get for doing the same thing, but this is just met with a threat to call the police. I despise the day that the dogs came to live with us, but there is not much I can do about it at this point, and as much as I hate them, I would never do anything to harm them even though they have left me with these emotional scars. Sure, I’ve thought about leaving the door open and letting them wander out of my life forever, but with my luck my wife would somehow find the animals and be so happy to see them that she’d give them more attention than before. I am now the lesser being in the house, illustrated perfectly by the fact that when I returned home from work today I picked up dog poop off the floor while the dogs who committed the heinous crime looked at me with contempt from behind the chair. Replacing carpeting isn’t cheap I’m assuming so there goes the security deposit. Not only have the dogs stolen my wife’s affection from me, but they are also costing me my hard earned money. This is my life now.