15 May 2014


The more Paul gets out of PNG, the more he despises being in the country. Two weeks ago, we were in Singapore. Last weekend he was in Brisbane. Yesterday, as like most days these days, Paul decided he was bored. Now, I have heard the bored word on occasion. Paul doesn’t really do a whole lot when he doesn’t have work to do.

He watches baseball between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., he naps after lunch and then he wakes to watch The Pickers, Pawn Stars, American Restoration sometimes, two episodes of M*A*S*H followed by two episodes of Seinfeld, immediately switching over to The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon. When Jimmy has said his farewells, I may have a shot at the remote. Or Paul will find Top Gear – the real one, not the Aussie or crappy American versions.

While he is watching all this TV, he is on the internet reading reddit threads, pilot forums and playing games like Free Cell and Capture the Flag, whichever is his new thing at the time.

The thing with Paul is that he goes all in on something he likes. If he doesn’t like something, he will give an attempt or two and then quit because why should he continue to do something that doesn’t make him happy?

But when the things that fill Paul’s day don’t do enough to keep him entertained, he comes to me. Not for ideas, not for conversation, not for anything other than a human bean bag that he can jump on, poke, bounce around and laugh hilariously because he is just so funny.

The last two days he has confessed his boredom, just two days – mere hours, really – after he returned from the first world.

I have been working on some projects and keeping myself mostly entertained but I do occasionally get bored as well. When I get bored, I usually sit in front of the television and not really do anything else. If I have control of the remote, Paul is not in the house.

We have 2.5 weeks left in PNG before we head back to America for the summer. Paul has his aircraft training and I am going because why would I stay in PNG alone for more than a month when I could be in the first world – the cheaper first world – spending time with friends and family doing all of the things that I cannot do here?

Our nephew is having a birthday party June 1, the day we tentatively planned on arriving stateside. When the party was announced, I decided (yeah, I decided) that we should land a day early since Paul’s family would be at the party and it would be nice to attend the first of the kid’s six birthday parties.

He’s having a GI Joe-themed party, so I thought I would invest in something camo. I hit my favorite online retailers and found a nice pair of fitted camo pants from the Gap. On sale and free shipping – done. I nabbed two tops in the process. I showed a lot of restraint with that purchase because I initially had three additional items in my online shopping cart that I eventually removed because I have been pursuing spirit-led spending and my spirit was telling me that the other items were not necessary and that my total was getting out of hand. I also decided not to purchase a fun camo scarf that I found on Nordstrom’s site and considered that a win.

Then I received an e-mail regarding a bachelorette party I will be attending in a few weeks, also in America and also in the middle of jet lag recovery week. Now, at 31, I feel that I am too old for bachelorette parties, especially for women in their mid-20s but the girl is about to be my sister-in-law-in-law so I will proudly chaperone until I can wear real shoes no more. (Fact: when a person wears flip flops every single day, real shoes of any kind – boat shoes, heels, ballerina flats, even Sketchers walking shoes that people are supposed to wear on walking vacations – tear up the feet and create blisters at the heels, the sides of the feet and the top of the feet near the toes. Oh the toes. Don’t forget about blisters on the toes!).

The invitation advised that among scandalous things like lingerie and underwear, I also needed to bring a mask for the evening on the town. I do not own a mask, here or in America, so, of course, I needed to find one online. What color mask should I wear? I don’t know what color dress I will be wearing. Do I have a dress worthy of a night out with mid-20-year-olds that still says, “I look amazing” and yet “I’m 30 and I’m married so don’t touch me you horny infant”?

The short answer is that I do not own clubbing clothes because I do not go clubbing. So, again, I sought my online retailers, both for the dress and the mask. While I was searching for a night-out dress, there were other dresses that filled the pages and widened my eyes.

Sundresses, maxi dresses and wedding-worthy dresses abounded in so many beautiful prints and colors. I found myself lusting over them and wishing that I had money so that I could buy them all. I actually said to myself at one point, “If I had a job like I used to and earned my own money, I would absolutely buy that dress right now!” That’s when I admitted that I have a problem.

I stopped looking, closed the website, took a breath and got back to reality. PNG reality but reality nonetheless.

After a workout that had me sweating like I swear I have never sweat before, leaving a puddle on my pilates mat that made burpees dangerous because I kept slipping, I showered and began washing the dishes.

The bored man appeared and dropped my pajama pants to my knees, exposing my behind, a true act of a juvenile whose dirty uncles have obviously had a hand in raising him. Both hands covered in soap up to my elbows and half a load of dishes to finish, I kindly asked my husband to return my dignity. After laughing and running around the room in a manner I should have associated with his still 5-year-old nephew, he got closer but did not acquiesce my request.  

I attempted to pull my pants back up my body and then Paul – again, 5 – decided he would help. He grabbed my pants, pulled them up to the sky as far as they would go and ensured the drawstring was outside of my tank top, not underneath as it was just moments prior. Luckily, my pajama pants are so long that the bottoms were tucked firmly under my heels meaning that I was not injured in the process. He simply could not get the pants as high as he wanted them to go. But he did leave me there standing with my pants up to my true waist, drawstring out and proud.

I decided that I had to do something to combat this behavior. The word divorce has never in five years come to mind but I realize that there are absolutely moments when I don’t like him at all and that debacle by the sink definitely consumed a few of those moments.

Then, genius struck. Oh, this is awesome! I thought as I appeared in front of him.

“Listen here,” I said as I stood proudly, looking down on him seated in front of the television on the red leather loveseat, all smiles. “New plan: you annoy the crap out of me, I do some online shopping.”

He didn’t seem to understand, so I spelled it out.

“You continue to bug me, I will dwindle the bank account. You leave me alone, I will continue to restrain myself and the money stays in place.”

He may realize that my bark is bigger than my bite but I do have four dresses picked out already, which would bring the total somewhere around $400 so he can try me.

I think he got the hint. We went to bed. We slept.

We woke….well, he woke, went into the other room and came in some time later to see if I was awake.

He walked over to my side of the bed and started smiling and agitating the bed, asking if I was going back to sleep. Then he laughed and said he guessed not.

Still coming to, I looked at him and said, “If you’re bored already, this is going to be a long day.”

He laughed and plopped on the bed.

Fewer than two hours later, while I am writing this piece, he barged into the room insisting that I watch a video he just sent me. He plopped onto the bed, pushing me to the side, sat on top of me and suddenly decided that he would dig his teeth into my arm.

I warned him about Nordstrom. “I found a fantastic dress on Nordstrom last night. It’s $88.”

“For the wedding?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“That’s actually a good price.” O.K. that threw me.

He continued to press his teeth into different parts of my arm, pressing harder and pressing his teeth in different angles against my skin.

“If you break skin, I am buying two dresses.”

I thought it was a good threat and I was so ready to pull up the website and order them if he actually did, but Paul saw my threat as a challenge and forged ahead with his new battle plan.

“I want to see how hard I can do this before actually breaking the skin.”

Anyone reading this better buy stock in Nordstrom today. 


Anthony Archambault said...

I've read all your posts, and like them all, but love this one the most! You write fabulously, are interesting, and you put a big fat smile on my face, thank you for that :D keep up the good work :)

Anthony Archambault said...

I've read all your posts, and like them all, but love this one the most! You write fabulously, are interesting, and you put a big fat smile on my face, thank you for that :D keep up the good work :)