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My son recently turned ten years old.  Shortly after his birthday, I started to think about what I needed to teach him before he gets much older. What kind of wisdom should I share with my son, to get him ready for his teenage & adulthood years?

I thought about the things my father taught me, and what I wished he would have taken the time to share with me when I was young.  The result is a list which includes some of my father’s wisdom, and a number of things I had to figure out on my own.

The most important things I still need to teach my son, are:

  • Choose your friends wisely.   Just like an elevator button, they can take you down or up.
  • Nobody knows what you are thinking, unless you tell them.  People can’t read your mind. This includes your teacher, coach, future spouse or friends.
  • Know “wrong” is wrong, even when everyone else thinks otherwise.
  • Your glass is always half-full.  Stay positive in all aspects of your life.
  • Failure is a part of learning.  If you are afraid to fail, you will never succeed.
  • What is your plan? You will never get anywhere, or achieve anything, without knowing your goals and how to achieve them.
  • Never underestimate your fertility.  Not now, not when you go to college, not even after you are married.  

  • Marriage is the starting line, not the finish line.  All the really hard work starts after “I do”.
  • Your financial status means very little, in the grand scheme of things.
  • Never say to your daughter, “Don’t Tell Mommy” –about something that you did wrong (or wasn’t supposed to do in the first place). The pain from your mistake will only double as a result.

Have I missed something you would include?  Please leave a comment and let me know.

-Al

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I am sure you read about the 13-year-old San Pedro boy who choked on a hot dog during a fundraiser for Haitian earthquake victims this month.  Apparently, the children were taking part in a hot dog eating game as apart of the fundraiser.  Organizers stated that this was not a speed eating contest.

I’m not sure what other contest you can have with hot dogs, but we will take them at their word.

The fallout can be seen all over the web.  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is calling for a redesign of foods such as hot dogs and candies, along with new warning labels, to reduce the chances of children choking.    The AAP is also asking the Food and Drug Administration to establish a nationwide food-related choking reporting system and to recall foods linked with choking. The group also stated that redesigning the shape of foods will make them safer. 

Reportedly, 61 deaths a year in the united states are due to choking on hot dogs or gum by children under the age of 14.

According to the Child Trends Database Organization, there are 73.7 million children in America as of 2006.  Therefore, .00002% of children in the United States die from choking on a Hot Dog each year. Or, 1 out of every 4.6 million children.

Don’t get me wrong, my heart goes out to the parents of these child choking victims.  However, do we really need to form a new government agency to establish a “choking reporting system”.  Keep in mind, we are talking about a percentage of .00002%.  

And who is going to determine the correct shape of a hot dog?  How many millions of dollars will this cost us?

In a manner that is purely American:  We are playing the role of the victim and asking our government to regulate us.  Apparently we aren’t smart enough to be left to our own good judgement.

At what point does common sense kick in?  Do we really need more labels or a government agency to tell us that certain foods are choke hazards for children? At what point are we, as parents, taking responsibility for the safety of our kids?

If this over regulation occurs, then what next?  

I’ll tell you what comes next———-

The Kansas City Royals are being sued after mascot Sluggerrr allegedly poked a fan’s eye out with a hot dog, TMZ is reporting.  According to TMZ’ report, the lawsuit was filed in Jackson County court by John Coomer, who claims the accident happened at a game on September 8, 2009. Sluggerrr was firing hot dogs into the crowd via his air gun!

That’s right……..with an air gun.

I assume that a new law will be put in place, banning the use of air guns to shoot hot dogs. Who’s stupid idea was this?

Again, common sense and good judgement seem to be a dieing commodity. 

Let’s give the American Hot Dog a break, and take responsibility for our own actions (or lack thereof).

-Al

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Recently, a study was released by the OECD (The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development) which correlated the earnings of men to their fathers.  Without getting lost in all the analysis from the report, a discovery has been made which shows that a man’s income is more closely tied to his fathers income level within the United States and Great Britain.

 In the United States, we are brought up to believe that we can achieve anything (Position, Salary, etc) with nothing more than  hard work.  This report challenges this basic belief.

Our parents financial well-being is a bigger influence on our success or financial failure as adults than any other factor.  Looking back on my childhood, I remember seeing my father as the hard-working professional who’s primary goal was career success.  My goal was to be as successful as he was, both professionally and in college.

The analysis points out, that there is a high correlation for our financial success when we grow up in a better educated family, and a corresponding penalty when growing up in a less-educated family.  This is most prevalent in England, Italy and the United States.  Further, a father’s educational level is a primary motivator to his children’s academic success within secondary education.

In other words, my father was a role model for me as it relates to education and financial stability.  Those who did not have that strong role model, found it difficult to achieve financial success greater than their fathers’.

The end result for those of us in the United States, is that we live in a less financially mobile society then we were brought up to believe. 

There are those who achieve financial success from humble beginnings.  However, they are much fewer in numbers (within the USA, Italy and England) than societies with weaker educational standards (Norway, Finland, etc).  Certainly, much fewer than I previously believed.

As a Husband and Father, I am constantly reminded that I am a role model for my children.  I alway believed that this related to my morals and values.  These findings expand that scope even larger. 

In summary, I am my Father’s Son………..just like my boy will be.

For the full details of this report, please go to:  http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/17/42/44566315.pdf

-Al

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Find Your Husband Here!

We have all heard of Mail-Order-Brides.  Have you ever heard of  Mail Order Husbands? 

I stumbled across a website, just for ladies looking for Mr. Right.  Here are some of my favorites:

 

 

 

Name: Steven
I’m definitely a classic romantic. I like a candlelight dinner, some quiet background music, and a couple hits of ether. I prefer a woman that has insurance and a car would be great as I need to make the occassional trip to Mexico to pick up “souvenirs”.

 

 

 

Name: Earl
I deal in reality…and the reality is that I’m ready for love. I can chop lots of wood and can even climb a greased pole. I keep in shape by chasing chickens around my back yard. I keep my self clean and take baths weekly.
Location: West Virginia, U.S.A

 

 

 

Name: Fuad
Ladies, I’m still available. I’ve been here for about 2 years. what gives? Don’t ya wanna party with me? woohoo… They lowered my price twice already. I’m a red-hot special, come and get me.
Location: San Bernardino, USA

The link to find more of these special guys, is: http://www.mailorderhusbands.net/order 

Best of luck,

Al

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I received a letter the other day. It was from my wife.

I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to write long letters to your spouse when you have an issue, but I’m not a big fan of it. I’ve always appreciated the direct, verbal route. Perhaps this is one of the issues she (and other people) have with me at times.

Regardless, a written response has been requested. Why in writing? Only she and her “life coach” know for sure.

 So, in a supportive (but not overally thrilled) way, I have tried to draft a response the last couple of days.  What women fail to understand at times, is that putting a man’s feelings into words is not the simplest of tasks.  I’ve been through several drafts, and I can feel the clock continue to tick as my response is being waited upon. 

Am I wrong to assume that my every word will be scrutized by my wife and her Life Coach? 

And……….how do I address analogies, such as “a marriage is like tending a garden”?  Shall I own up to pulling all the weeds, without knowing which ones are really flowers?  

I don’t know.  I’m simple-minded, and need more direct feedback. 

In all fairness, I’m not the easiest guy to be married to.  I’m on the temperamental side, addicted to sports at the expense of other wife related activities, and have had an off & on relationship with Nicotine over the years (currently its ON, which is one of the issues).

My parents divorced when I was a kid, so I never had the best of role models when it comes to marriage.  But, that’s no excuse.  During the course of (almost) 15 years of marriage, it hasn’t been easy to keep my wife happy with me or our marriage all the time.  It appears that I’m in the middle of one of those down cycles.

Unfortunately, I’m not bright enough to see these marriage cycles coming ahead of time (and yes, I’m assuming this is just a phase in marriage we will overcome).   So, I’ll write the letter and profess my love.  I’ll apologize for whatever I have done to offend, and try to figure out how to make sure it doesn’t happen again.  That’s always the tough part.

Of course, all of this is coming down the week before Valentine’s day.  I better get this one right……..or it’s gonna be a little cold on the 14th.

-Al

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My wife maintains an extremely clean household. Some, not me of course, might use the word Anal to describe  her cleaning habits. 

I must admit, that it is always nice to come home to a neat and organized house.  Opposites definitely attract, and I need someone who can make up for my messy husband tendencies.

On the negative side, my wife has problems dealing with children being messy children;  and a dog who has a total disregard for the towel she leaves at the back door for him to wipe his feet with (If she can teach our dog to wipe his feet when he comes in from the great outdoors, I will truly be impressed).

Over the years I have learned, that cleaning the house while your kids are growing up is like shoveling the driveway before it stops snowing.  You put a lot of hard work into it, but in the end it makes little difference.

No sooner is my wife done cleaning the upstairs of our home,when Kelly the hurricane comes in through  the front door.  It’s amazing how quickly a 7-year-old can totally trash a bedroom or play room without giving it a second thought.  This, of course, gives my wife conniption fits. 

She also does not care for me watching collage football while she is picking up around the house.  I’m sure many married guys know what I mean————you get that uneasy feeling while watching  a game, that your wife is growing more and more unhappy with you.  You sense it, but can’t bear to tear yourself away from the game.

Many an evening is spent listening to her frustrations about keeping the house clean, and our (kids and myself) disregard for how hard she works to maintain it. 

This usually results me trying to help out a little more.  I tend to stick to my favorite chores when helping her.  For example: my second favorite chore is folding the laundry. My favorite is banging my head against my sons top bunk bed until I pass out.

 At some point we will have to decide if we want to live in a cold museum, or a fun & somewhat messier home.  I’m just not sure how to get my wife to let go of the excessive cleaning.  I am fairly sure, that the other members of the home will not meet her high standards in the near future.  Therefore, we have a future melt down coming in the household.  Something will have to give.

I just hope it’s not my TV time, during the collage bowl season.

-Al

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As you may recall from an earlier post, my wife has been on a big “Couple’s” class kick.  We attended a movie / seminar called Fireproof, about 6 weeks ago.  Since that time, we have been attending a couples gathering once a week to review the movie.  This class (listed under the guise of a couples get-together) has spent the last 5 sessions reviewing individual sections of the movie and answering questions found within a “Fireproofing Your Marriage Workbook”. 

 

Now, I have to admitted that the movie was  a great idea.  I went into it begrudgingly, but found it to be a very good investment in our marriage.  Having said that, I’m starting to go through a slow death. In short, the group gatherings on this same topic are starting to wear on me.

 

Last night, I was called upon by our group “leader” to explain what things my wife does that I feel are “disrespectful” to me.  The second question I was asked later in the evening, was “what things my wife could do better in our marriage to support me”. 

 

We have a pretty strong marriage.  But no man could answer these questions even half-honestly without getting into trouble.

 

I also have to admit, that we have been at this church for only a few months.  I barely know these people, so I’m not real comfortable letting them into our lives yet.   My wife, however, is a social butterfly and doesn’t mind at all.  And of course, in a group like this, there is always one or two people who won’t let you off the hook with an easy answer.

 

Needless to say, my answers did not cut the mustard.  Upon answering the second question, my wife chimed in and told everyone that I should share what I really think —and that was OK with her.

 

So I went on to explain  that my wife’s interrupting and correcting me when I speak to people was both disrespectful to me and something she could improve on for the betterment of our marriage. 

 

This was an honest answer, stated as nicely as I could.

 

On our drive home, it was very quiet.  I asked my wife what she was thinking.  Her first statement was: “it bothers me that you think I am disrespecting you, when you need to be corrected.  When you are wrong, I think I should tell you”. 

 

Can you guess where this conversation headed?  I certainly didn’t feel “fireproof” during the following 30 minutes of discussion.

 

 Is it just my ego that I don’t like being corrected by my wife in front of other people? My feeling has been that she can always discuss it with me later. After all, just because someone has a different point of view it doesn’t mean that I’m wrong. Right?

 

To be fair, this is something that I had to work on at the beginning of our marriage.  It went hand-in-hand with trying to “fix everything”.  Sometimes our spouses want us to just listen and be supportive……and not turn into Mr. Fix it.  The same is said about “correcting” them.  My job as Husband is not to “correct my wife”.  The children are a different story, however.

 

So as we launch into the last 2 weeks of these couples evenings, I have to ask myself if it has been helpful or not.  As I said, I got a ton out of the movie.  But the weekly couples meetings ………….not so much. 

 

Regardless, this will soon be over and March 14th is quickly approaching.  This is when I get to spend a full day with my wife at a Couples Seminar located at my old University. 

 

Will somebody please take me out of my misery, and just shoot me………..

 

-Al

 

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