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8:12 a.m. - 2002-08-21

THIS IS THE PART WHERE BAD STUFF STARTS TO HAPPEN

My life ... it is in shambles.

The wallpaper I picked out for our foyer??

Out.

Of.

Stock.

A catastrophe like this has never happened to me. Sure...there was that time I got my penis caught in an electric pencil sharpener (don't ask), but other than that ... this kind of tragedy is new to me.

I spent several agonizing hours looking at wallpaper books, which happen to be the dullest books short of Dr. Phil's Self-Help Trilogy.

(We get it, Dr. Phil ... live life to the fullest. Live each day as if it's your last. You can shut up now.)

I received the call yesterday from Lynn our interior designer.

LYNN: "Uncle Bob, I hate to call you like this but your wallpaper that you picked out for your foyer is out of stock."

ME: "Good God, woman! When were you planning on telling me this?"

LYNN: "I just received the call five minutes ago."

ME: "And you're JUST NOW calling me?!?"

LYNN: "Yes sir."

ME: "Well...doesn't this just take a big ol' donkey crap on my day!"

So after work yesterday,rather than going to get my hair cut which is a dire situation in and of itself, I had to go to the decorating center and go through wallpaper book after wallpaper book and find something else I liked.

I would have included the wife on this but she was nowhere to be found. She wasn't returning my voice mails, my emails, her cell phone and she hadn't picked up the boy. My guess was that she was dead on the side of the highway somewhere. And when I use the word "guess" what I really mean is "wish".

(The wife is currently at the top of my short shit list right now in case you haven't figured it out yet).

So I'm going through these books, not knowing what in the hell I'm doing when I stumble across a wallpaper book entitled "Perfect Gentlemen".

Inside, there's wallpaper samples that look like they'd be right at home in The Ladies' Man's apartment.

You know...the guy from Saturday Night Live?

There's one wallpaper with all these exotic women on it. They're all making faces like they're deep in the throes of an alien-induced superpower orgasm.

"Who would order this?" I snickered to myself.

Answer??

....Me.

Okay...I DIDN'T order it. But man...I came about THISCLOSE to lugging that book over to the counter and proudly proclaiming "I want these orgasmic women plastered all over my foyer please!"

I was mad because Susie hadn't met me at the decorator center like I had asked in several unanswered emails and voice mails.

I settled on a green marbleized pattern. It really should look pretty good. It's not bright green or anything. It doesn't look like you're walking through a rainforest when you show up at my doorstep wanting either hot sex or to watch a DVD on my new thrilling state-of-the-art surround sound system.

It looks kinda....classy.

So anyway... here's what I want, write it down Wallpaper Boy.

Wallpaper Boy writes down what I want and I hustle over to the hair salon to get my hair chopped off.

They closed five minutes earlier.

Dammit.

I have bangs like a rabid sheepdog and have to put up with this unmanageable hair for yet another day.

I get home and Susie's not home yet. It's now 6:15. She should have been home at 5:45.

I cook dinner.

She's not home.

I wait for her and Andrew to come home.

They don't come home.

I go ahead and eat my dinner.

Still not home.

It's now 7:15.

I get ready to drive out to the house to do my daily progress report when they pull up in the parking lot.

Okay ... I'm a bit pissed now. Not just about this stuff ... there's other things too. But this is the shit-covered cherry on top of everything.

"Sorry I'm late," she says brushing past me. "I got in a meeting with my boss at 4:00 and it didn't end until 6:00."

"You DO understand that we're supposed to pick Andrew up by 5:30 ... right?" I asked.

"Well it's not like they're going to put him on the street," she snapped.

"It's called 'common courtesy'," I said. "Just because I put up with your lack of respect for others doesn't mean everyone else is going to do it too."

"What could I do?" she said.

"Well ... at 5:00, you could have told your boss whom you despise that it was now quitting time and you have to go pick your child up at daycare. That would have been a good start."

"Well I'm sorry," she snapped again in a sarcastic tone that implied that she wasn't really sorry. "But we were talking about Polly down in Florida."

Jumpin' Jesus on a trampoline.

They weren't even discussing business. She spent all this time that she should have spent picking up the baby, picking out wallpaper, helping with dinner, and going out to the house GOSSIPING over a woman that neither of them like who they only deal with over the phone.

Maybe it doesn't sound like much.

But the night before she was an hour late getting home because "traffic was bad".

Maybe in New York City. But there's NEVER been a traffic jam in this town that required anyone sit in traffic for an hour.

I married a workaholic. I completely understand that it could have been much worse. I could have married a shopaholic, an alcoholic, or a sexaholic (which I'm sure is fun for the first couple of years).

But my wife...if she had her way .... would have a cot in her office and stay at work all day and night.

She's been like this ever since we've met and I'm sure I've documented the problem elsewhere. It all stems from seeing her parents divorce and her mother not having any job skills to rely on to help pay the bills. And since Susie doesn't want to rely on "Get rich quick" scams to pay the bills when I finally get tired of her shit and pack my bags, she works her fingers to the bone, putting in 50 and 60 hour work weeks when it's a 40 hour job.

I've tried to convince her that I'm never going to leave her.

But her blatant disregard for anything that's not work-related really gets under my skin sometime.

Which you probably just deducted from that little rant, huh?


So I try to warm up to her last night, but it's difficult. I'm pretty pissed off and it's hard for me to overlook that fact.

And when I'm pissed, I get quiet. Because ... well ... if you haven't figured out by now ... I can say some pretty rotten things when I'm in a good mood. So when I'm provoked, I can get quite the acid tongue and hurt some feelings.

Therefore, I stay quiet. That way I don't say anything I'll regret later.

Like ... oh I dunno ... calling my wife an irresponsible crack whore or something.

All this is on top of the fact that over the last few days, I've tried to use three credit cards and all of them have been denied.

The first time I thought it was a mistake and made the girl run it through the machine several times.

Denied. Denied. Denied.

Hmmm...okay...here's some cash then.

The second time ... same thing. My disbelief over the fact that a gas credit card was denied made me drill a poor girl at the gas station.

GIRL: "Sir, this card is denied."

ME: "It can't be. I just used it the other day here."

GIRL: "I'm sorry sir. Do you have any other cards?"

ME: "Try it again."

GIRL: (swiping the card) "Still denied. Do you have any other cards?"

ME: "One more time."

GIRL: (sighing) "Still denied. Sir....please tell me you have another credit card."

ME: (handing over the Mastercard) "Fine. Here."

So I tell Susie this. That in the last two days, I've been embarrassed twice trying to use credit cards that have been denied and that something is definitely wrong here.

"I'll check and see if I paid those bills," she says.

Excuse me???

CHECK AND SEE IF you paid those bills???

Apparently, my wife has completely lost her everloving mind.

We are in the midst of making the biggest purchase of our lives and she's abandoned the concept of paying bills, thus destroying our impeccable credit rating.

I wanted to gouge her eyes out with a jagged stick.

But, as luck would have it, the kid was in the back seat and from what I understand, seeing shit like that happen to your Mom can really do some damage later on in life.

So instead of performing primitive eye surgery on the Mrs. I merely said "Yes. Please check into that for me as this is starting to become humiliating."

She came home and checked. Both bills had been "paid".

I don't believe her. I think she scrawled out some checks, shoved them in her purse and paid them the next day.

But did I learn my lesson from this??

Oh hell no.

So yesterday, Edweird and I go to Circuit Shitty to get the new DVD of "Pulp Fiction", my all-time favorite movie that I've been waiting several years to purchase a deluxe version of the film rather than the cheap piece o' crap that they've been selling for several years.

Susie has been telling me for months that the next time I got a DVD at Circuit Crappy to put it on the credit card because we had a credit on the card that we needed to use.

Hey. You don't have to tell me twice.

So I get in line with my hot lil' DVD in my hands.

I get up to the register and do my spiel about how I have an account with Circuit Shitty but I don't have a card because the card was so old and dog-eared that a cashier destroyed it and ordered a new card over the phone right in front of me, but that card never came so a few months later, I called the headquarters myself and ordered a new card but THAT card never came and I've made it my policy to never buy a big ticket item from your company ever again after getting screwed numerous times in the past, but a DVD isn't a big ticket item so that's why I'm putting this on my account which should have a credit on it so ring me up LaShonda....ring my big ass up.

LaShonda gets my social security number.

She punches it in.

"Sir, you don't have an account here," she says.

Exfuckingcuse me?!?!?

I'm sorry...is this some sort of bad dream here?

Is there a hidden camera hanging up and I'm on "Spy Motherfucking TV"?? Because if that's the motherfucking case, that motherfucking show blows and I refuse to give you mothefuckers permission to use what's turning out to be one hilarious motherfucking segment on your motherfucking crappy-assed show.

Nope.

This is not Spy TV. It's not a bad dream.

Circuit Shitty has now joined the ranks of businesses who no longer want to deal with me because my wife only pays bills when she feels like it.

Meanwhile, this is doing wonders for our upcoming credit report that we need to secure a mortgage for the new house.

The mortgage that Susie wants to "take care of".

The mortgage that we should already be locked into, since we're 30 days away from moving in.

The mortgage that Susie "doesn't have time to call and arrange because she's busy at work."

The mortgage that she wants NO HELP from me in securing.

Something's going on here.

And if you haven't figured it out yet ... I'm not exactly thrilled about it.

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