Cure for the Artsy-Fartsy



Last night I was watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. I sat in front of my computer screen, headphones blocking out the real world and allowed myself to be sucked into the fantasy.

I winced when they wanted me to wince. I sighed when they wanted me to sigh. I laughed in all the right places.

And I cried, right on cue. I sat here in front of my computer screen in my red flannel pajama pants, red-eyed and sniffling, lost in the beauty of the on-screen moment. I felt that artistic side of me open up, and I embraced it. Tears rolled down my face as my emotions surged in time with the music in the background. By the time the episode ended, I felt vibrant. Alive. I felt like my soul was singing, pulsing with the underlying beauty of the world. Songs that fit my mood rolled through my mind, and I could hear the quiet echo of the lyrics bouncing about in my head, bolstering the beauty of the moment.

I stood up from my seat in front of the computer, wiping the back of my hand against my eyes to to clear the tears away.

I turned around, looking for the Bean, ready to share with him the beauty of the moment…

and viewed the destruction.

It took a moment for me to realize what it was.

The dog had broken into the bathroom trashcan again. You know— the bathroom trashcan. With THOSE products. Like the sociable creature that he is, he had pulled all the items in the living room to share with us. Wasn’t that sweet of him?

Anyways, I’m just here to let you know that nothing— and I mean NOTHING– can snap you out of a “there’s such beauty in the world!” moment and back to reality faster than cleaning up shredded, half-chewed used bathroom-trashcan-products. By the time I’d finished cleaning everything up, I was completely grounded, tear-free and logical. I think I’ve stumbled upon an actual cure for those overly-artistic the-world-is-love-and-beauty-and -harmony-and-all-is-connected-by-exotic-rainbows-and-Bob-Dylan-and-poems.

If any of you guys out there have one of those in your life, the kind you just want to grab by the shoulders and shake some sense into, send them on down to my house. I’ll release my neurotic cocker spaniel in the bathroom for ten minutes, and then they can come clean it up. When they’re done, I can guarantee they won’t be in the mood to compose any badly-written, overly angsty poetry.

Maybe I should market this idea.

Becky’s All-Natural, Chemical-Free Cure for the Artsy-Fartsy! Guaranteed to ground your flighty friends!
Only 3 easy installments of $19.95!

Order in the next 20 minutes, and we’ll throw in our popular Redneck Baby Carrier free of Charge!

Laugh all you want, I think I’m onto something here.

Advertisements

I’m a Terrible Blogger.

Yes, Yes.

I’m a terrible blogger. I know I should have stuff sitting in the archives, for times like this—-times when I just don’t have it in me to write something that doesn’t sound like an angsty, gothic teen. The problem is, every time I do write in advance that I get so excited that I’ve actually written something that I get antsy and post twice in one day.

Patience has never been my strong suit.

Just to let you know, I feel like I totally have every right to whine, mope, and generally feel sorry for myself. I’m going to prove it, too:

Two and a half years ago, I was in great shape. I was running regularly, working out, doing cardio sprints, etc, etc. I was training to run in the Camp Pendleton Mud Run and I was gonna go all out. YEEAAAAH! WOOOO! HOORRAAAAH!!!!

Then Mr. Sperm found Ms. Egg, and a DragonMonkey was conceived. By the time the mud run rolled around I was a waddling 6 months pregnant, had already gained about 50 of 70 flabby pounds, and was already lying to people about my due date so that they would quit trying to insist that I was having twins.

After I gave birth to the DragonMonkey (or rather, had him ripped forcibly from the flesh of my stomach right before they piled all my intestines on my chest and then stuffed them back inside haphazardly. Yaaay for C-Sections!) I decided I would participate in the next year’s Mud Run as my training program to try and drop the weight. After all, I did gain 70 pounds, and since the DragonMonkey was obviously 55 pounds at birth, that meant I had a pesky 15 pounds to shed. You guys believe that, right? Right?

I saved my money, anxiously counting down the days until I could sign up. The Camp Pendleton Mud Run is a pretty famous race and it usually sells out within a matter of days. I even had a little countdown on my calendar, numbering the days to registration.

Let me end the suspense: the day before the registration we had money. The day after the race closed out we had money. During registration? I think we had $4 in our bank account, due to some unforeseen expenses. Figures. The day the registration closed I cried like a whiny two year old.

This year? Same exact scenario: We had absolutely NO money during that first week in January. At least I was expecting it this year.

Then came a surprise: A new mud run opened up— the Irvine Lake Mud Run . My friend told me about it, and thrilled beyond belief I actually had the money to sign up. I glanced around, waiting for something to pop up to steal my ticket away from me. (I’m sorry, ma’am, but we’re federal agents with the BIATHFA–the Becky Isn’t Allowed To Have Fun Agency– and we’re here to confiscate your Mud Run ticket.) Nobody came knocking at my door. No evil gremlins came creeping into our bank account. No little spermies snuck into my uterus. I was IN!!!! I only had 6 weeks to train for the run, but I knew I could do it.

I’ve gone and done something to my knee.

It’s been three weeks, and I am barely able to walk normally again.

I had a blood workup and thankfully it’s not my Rheumatoid Arthritis coming out of remission. It’s not my tendons or ligaments either. The doctor thinks it’s bursitis– which is doctorese for “Wow! Your knee is swollen!”. I would have insisted on an MRI, but the after-hours doctor looked like he just stepped off the set of Grey’s Anatomy. It was unnerving having some Greek god have his hands on my knee/thigh. Knowing that I hadn’t shaved in a week only compounded that fact. I would have agreed with any diagnosis he gave me, no matter how ridiculous. (What’s that? My knee has been injured by tiny leprechauns? I should rub Unicorn Horn juice on it to make it better? Okay, just write the prescription, Doctor McDreamy.)

I personally think that it should be illegal for doctors to be good-looking. I think all doctors should be old, craggly, and look a little pissed-off that you interrupted them with your problems. They should NOT be 6’3″ with kind eyes, wavy dark hair, tanned skin and bronzed, bulging biceps.

So, anyways, yeah. Something’s wrong with my knee. It’s getting better, but slooooowly. The Mud Run is coming up on April 11th, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a Mud Walk, or even worse a Mud Hobble. Knowing that I am going to be the chubby girl waddling in the back of the pack has put me in a bit of a funk, to say the least. I guess I should be glad that I wasn’t hit by a train, or crushed by a herd of stampeding elephants. I’m beginning to think that maybe I shouldn’t sign up for Mud Runs.

On a brighter note, I haven’t stripped naked and bumped into any strangers lately, so I guess that’s a plus.

So, there you go.

Book Fail

So, I have a little confession.

I used to like the Anita Blake vampire series (by Laurell K. Hamilton).

I blame my friend for getting me hooked on the series. She gave me the first two books in the series for Christmas one year. Now, for those of you that know me, I’m a book fanatic. Seriously. When people ask me what my drug of choice is, I usually tell them “book.”

Okay, I’m lying. Nobody really ever asks me what my drug of choice is. Wouldn’t that be kind of creepy? But if someone ever DOES ask me what my drug of choice is, I’m ready with my witty answer! Yeah. I’m cool like that.

Witty or not, reading has occasionally been a big enough problem in my life that I’ve had to take short breaks from it, just to prove that I can. Non-readers don’t seem to understand that reading can actually be just as destructive as any other bad habit. If I played video games 7 or 8 hours a day, people would stage an intervention. However, if I spend 7 or 8 hours a day absorbed in a book, people smile and encourage it. A lot of people don’t understand the narcotic effect of a good book. It can suck you in and leave you helplessly enthralled until you finish it. With a really good book, things like eating, or sleep, or even going pee stop being necessary bodily functions. They exist only as annoying interruptions that come between you and the next page.

Readers, you know what I’m talking about. It’s 4 in the morning, your alarm is set to go off in two hours, your eyes are hot, gritty, and feel like they’ve been sand blasted… But you just want to get to the next chapter! Surely the next chapter will have a stopping point! You slip out of bed, book three inches from your nose, hand trailing along the wall as you feel your way to the bathroom. You may have to pee, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop reading! The trip takes 5 times longer than it needs to, because you’re trying to figure out ways to rip the toilet paper with only one hand. (Voice of Experience: Pull out more than you need and use your elbow to hold down the toilet paper roll to rip.)

Yeah. I like books. I like books the way heroin addicts like their heroin.

So when my best friend handed me two brand new books, I felt like I’d died and gone to heaven. When she told me she’d bought me the books because the main character reminded her of me… Well, it was like throwing gasoline on an already raging inferno.

For those of you who haven’t read the Anita Blake series, I am here to tell you that you’re probably better off. Don’t get me wrong— if you look past the unnecessary sex, the series is fun, in that turn-your brain off, fun-fiction kind of a way. I mean, any book that is filed under the “Paranormal Romance” section of a bookstore isn’t going to be good for the brain. Still, I found the first few books fun to read, and doubly so because my friend said the main character reminded her of me.

I mean… COOL.


Anita Blake is a vampire executioner, necromancer, who is tough as nails, witty, doesn’t take crap from anyone, beats up the bad guys she doesn’t just shoot, and still has every guy panting after her for her hot little body!

Just like me!

(SNORT.)

The problem with the Anita Blake series is that somewhere around book three or four, the focus shifts. They go from centering on Anita Blake, vampire hunter to Anita Blake, BDSM porn star. It’s a gradual, sneaky shift. One day you’re enjoying scenes of killer zombies and police shoot-outs with the occasional mention of a sexy Master vampire or alpha werewolf… and then the next day you have an ah-ha moment and realize…Huh. I’m pretty sure I’m reading porn. There’s no real plot here, and everyone is having unbelievably disgustingly graphic BDSM sex with every one else in the name of furthering the non-existent plot line… wait a second! Why am I reading this trash again?

Sigh. What a waste of a series. I really recommend NOT reading it.

So, now that I have warned you that I DON’T recommend it, and you AREN’T allowed to judge me for having once filled my head with this trash…

I have a funny little story about it.

I was about 30 pages from the end of one of the books, totally absorbed. It was one of those climactic endings— everyone is about to find out whodunit, and why…. The bad guys have kidnapped some of the good guys, and have sent their representative with a little box containing a chopped-off pinky finger. (Ewwwww…. Cooooool.)

Anita and her posse have decided to fight fire with fire, and are going to chop off the fingers of the representative, one at a time, until he gives up the information on where they are keeping the kidnapped victims. (Ewwwww! Double coooool!). Anita has just realized that she can’t ask anyone to do what she’s not willing to do herself. She steels herself for the task, asking one of her team to hold out the man’s hand. She grabs the knife, setting its edge against the man’s finger. She asks him for the information one last time, and when she refuses, she…

Pushes her son down the street on his bicycle, marveling at the colors of the sunset, laughing in joy at the peace of the moment as she realizes how beautiful life truly is!

WAIT. WHAT?!

Rudely jolted out of the ether spell the book had put me under, I looked at the page I had just finished reading. Had I skipped a page? A really, really crucial page?

No, no…. There was Anita. Yeah, I remember that. And there was the bloody finger… yeah, yeah… And there was the knife, about to saw down and spray blood everywhere in a graphic, gory, totally awesome act of retribution….

And then right there on the next page, there was some random woman, with some stupid little kid on a bike, riding down some stupid little sunset-filled lane. WTH? I didn’t want sunsets and happiness! I wanted my dismembered finger! Frantic, I flipped ahead the last few pages… and to my horror, realized that the rest of the book was about the stupid woman, her stupid kid, and her stupid happiness with stupid, placid little life. Glancing at the page again, I noticed that it was different typeset. A glance at the top confirmed my suspicions: Some publisher out there had printed 412 pages of Blue Moon, and then finished it off with 20 pages of Turtle Moon.

It was 1:30 in the morning. All the stores were closed, I was less than 20 pages away from the end of a 400 page book, and I couldn’t finish the darn thing.

I was livid, pacing the floor of my apartment in my desperate need to know the end of the book. I tried to find it online, to no avail. I finally gave up, and lay down in my bed, setting my alarm to make sure that I had enough time to swing by a bookstore on my way to school in the morning.

The only thing that helped salvage the situation was realizing that somewhere out there there was a woman just like me… A woman who was about 20 pages from the end of her happy little book, smiling and teary-eyed at the beauty of the world…. only to turn the page and find someone’s chopped off finger flying at her.

I guess if I had to choose I’d rather be in my shoes. That had to be one heck of a shock.

Llamas Suck

I don’t know what it is about llamas, but they hate me. They’ve always hated me, even from the beginning.

The first time I met a llama I was a knock-kneed little 8-year-old dork at my first summer camp. I was skinny, serious, and a little arrogant about my obvious vastly superior intellect.

I also had no sense of humor, no sense of fashion, coke-bottle glasses the size of dinner plates, and a head full of unbrushed hair.

Is it any wonder the other girls were so mean to me?

At any rate, during our free time one day one of the counselors had haltered one of the friendly stable llamas and was allowing the children to pet her, one at a time. Mrs. Llama was clean, cute, and supposedly tame. She stood beside the counselor in an adorable little halter, patiently watching the noisy line of children with a pleasant expression. I waited in line for my chance to pet her, vibrating with excitement in my teal-colored high tops and my gigantic glasses. A llama! COOL! It seemed like forever, but it was finally my turn.

I stretched out my hand to pet her, smiling widely. “Hello, Mrs. Llama!” I said, reaching out to sink my fingers into her soft, thick coat.

The llama, who heretofore had been standing patiently on the end of a loose lead, took one look at me, made an angry, snake-like hissing sound, and lunged at my hand to bite it. I squeaked and bounced out of the way, and the llama handler begin trying to calm Mrs. Llama down.

“WHAT DID YOU DO?! Easy, girl… easy…. Did you pinch her? What did you do to her?”

I couldn’t convince the counselor that I hadn’t done a thing, and my llama-petting days came to a swift end. The rest of the week during my stay, every time I accidentally wandered too close to the pen, Mrs. Llama would pin her ears, glare at me malevolently, and make an threatening gurgle sound like a clogged toilet.

I may hate llamas, but it’s only because they hated me first.

Fast forward 15 years. It was during the time I was a wrangler on a dude ranch. One of the most popular attractions of the stables was our petting zoo, and two of its most popular inhabitants were our llamas: Tony Llama and Dolly Llama. Dolly was a little shy, but sweetly good-natured. Tony was friendly and outgoing, and loved being pet.

I stayed as far away from him as I could. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…. well, let’s just say I wasn’t about to fall for the whole “I’m a friendly llama! Come closer so I can bite you!” line again. Whenever it fell on me to clean their pen, I would throw down some fresh treats in the clean corner and do my best to pick up all the llama poo before they finished.

Just so you know, I think I may have actually set llama-poo-shoveling records, but I’m not one to brag.

We had an uneasy truce between the three of us. I ignored them, and they didn’t try to eat the skin off my face, which is something I’m deeply convinced that every llama wants to do to me. For all you llama-lovers out there, I don’t CARE that they don’t have any teeth on the top. I believe they are carnivorous, and there’s nothing you can do to change my mind. By keeping my distance from Tony and Dolly, I managed to maintain a cordial peace for many months.

Unfortunately, that peace was shattered the day that Dolly Llama caught her halter on a fence and slipped it around her neck. Removing Dolly’s halter had been on our list of stable to-do’s for quite some time. The problem was that the other cowboys didn’t think it was that big of a concern, and I didn’t actually want to touch the llamas. I kept warning them that Dolly would eventually get it snagged, and I was right. Naturally, it happened on a day when I was all alone by myself in the stables. After stalling for as long as I could (ha, ha, aren’t I punny), I squared my shoulders and slipped into their stall.

“Hey, Llama, llama, llama. Niiiiice, llama, llama, llama. Who’s a sweet llama? You are! Heeeeere, llama, llama, llama.” I approached them cautiously, slowly, as if they were wild mustangs.

The two llamas stared at me placidly.

I crept closer, holding out the coffee can of grain, rattling the contents of my offering to the angry-llama gods. “Want some grain? Want some sweet stuff? Huh?” Dolly and Tony perked up immediately, giant rabbit ears quivering in interest. I scattered a little on the ground beside me, and they immediately came forward to eat.

Dolly grabbed a mouthful, cheeks bulging and jaw waggling in sweeping motions as she chewed contentedly. Her head was about six inches from my shoulder. Well, it was now or never. Reaching out, I grabbed the halter that was circling her strange, ostrich-neck. Almost immediately, Dolly quit chewing and glared at me, sidling away nervously. My fingers scrabbled at the buckle, but of course the ancient nylon halter’s buckle wasn’t budging. When I didn’t immediately turn her loose, Dolly began trying to escape in earnest. Setting back, she began flopping back and forth, making a strange, guttural cry. Luckily I was able to hang on— llamas aren’t very strong when compared with horses.

“BWWWEEAOOONK!” Dolly moaned, split hooves scraping against the dirt of her stall. “BEWEEOOOAANK!”

You would have thought I was killing her, instead of gently trying to remove a halter from around her neck. “Almost got it, little girl. Aaaaalmost…”

“BEWEEEEOOOOAAANOOOOONKK!!!” Dolly tried to run in a circle around me, but I blocked her with my shoulder. In a strange way, I was actually starting to enjoy this. It felt good to be able to get something done with brute strength for once, instead of having to use sweet-talking, gentle training methods you use with horses. I almost had the buckle-free when I sensed it.

Or rather, I sensed him.

I’m not sure if he made a noise, or if I just felt his malevolent presence.

Tony. Tony Llama. A very, very, very angry Tony Llama. Pinning his ears flat against his skull, his eyes rolled around, exposing the whites in his sheer rage. He looked like the Demon Llama from Hell.

“Hey, hey, hey, boy. Hey, boy,” I started talking nervously, trying to calm him down. “Hey, Tony. Just trrying to help your wife. She needs help. Almost done. Almost done,” I said frantically. The sad thing is, I was almost done. If I had been able to ignore Tony, I probably could have slipped that buckle loose and been done in 2 or 3 seconds.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t bring myself to completely turn my back on the Demon Llama from Hell. Dolly, as if sensing that Tony was gaining the upper hand in his angry stare-down contest, began struggling even harder.

“BEEWWEEEEWWEWOOOOOOOONKKKKKK!!!!! BRAAAAAAANNNNNNNEEEOONK!!!!” Her cries were so frantic even I might have felt sorry for her, if I wasn’t already busy trying to de-halter the obviously dying, flopping llama while keeping an eye on Tony to make sure he didn’t try to kill me. Turning my back on the angry, male llama for a brief second, I finally managed to pull the latch out of the worn halter hole and was slipping the halter off of Dolly’s neck… when I heard something like a wet cough, and felt something fly past the side of my face.

What on earth?

My nose wrinkled as a sudden stench filled the air. I turned around just in time to see Tony give another disgusting, wet, vomity hack, and I found myself suddenly covered in llama spit.

For those of you who don’t know what llama spit is like, please allow me to edify you. Before Tony, I always thought that when llamas spit, it was like a human—they worked up a solid little loogie in their mouth, and then spit a little angry bullet at you. I figured if you were quick, you could probably dodge the loogie, and be none the worse for wear.

Alas, it is not so.

Llamas don’t really spit— they spray. Who out there has seen Jurassic Park (the first one)? Do you remember the scene where the fat guy is in the car with the little tiny dinosaur and it spits venomous, sticky goop all over his face?

Yeah. That’s exactly what it’s like.

Llama spit (spray) is about the consistency of thick snot, and it actually stings a little when it hits you. It comes flying out of their evil mouths so fast that you really don’t have any hope of avoiding it. It sticks to your clothing and your hands, and it is absolutely disgusting.

That’s not the worst part, though. The worst part is how it smells.

Oh, man. Don’t get me started on the smell. It smells like decaying bodies and boiled cabbage. It smells like rot, and filth, and HOW IN THE WORLD CAN SUCH A CUTE ANIMAL HAVE SUCH A WRETCHED STINK BOTTLED UP INSIDE OF THEM? Oh, man. It smells. It’s rancid. It’s disgusting. Please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t ever piss off a llama.

In the brief second after Tony sprayed me with his spit and the moment when that stench hit my nose, I tried to figure out if I should reprimand him. On the one hand, he was coming to the defense of his mate. But on the the other hand we probably didn’t want Tony thinking it was okay to spit at people.

In the end, it didn’t really matter, because the second the stench of that goopy, icky spray hit my nose, I started gagging too hard to even consider reprimanding.

You know what’s kind of interesting? I bet you didn’t know, but I’m going to share it anyways – the way a human convulses and the sounds they make when they gag… well, it looks and sound like a llama spitting. Yeah. So, there you go. There’s a bit of random information for you.

So, like I said, when the stench of Tony’s nuclear spit hit me, I began gagging. When I began gagging, Tony immediately decided that I looked for all the world like a strange, hairless llama trying to spit back at him.

Was he going to stand for that? Was he going to just sit there and let this ugly, pink, 2-legged llama come in here and mess with HIS woman, and then try to spit on him?

“No freakin’ way!” thought Tony Llama. “GAME ON!” And he proceeded to spit on me again.

Which caused me to gag again.

Which caused him to spit on me again.

Which caused me to… Well, you get the point. And so on, and so on.

Retching and on the point of puking, I stumbled my way out of the stall in complete defeat, Tony angrily spitting on me the entire way. I threw myself between the slats in the pipe corral, crawling on the grass until I was a safe distance away. When I had recovered enough to be able to see, I glanced back at the stalls.

Both llamas stood pressed against the fence, ears flat against their head, daring me to come closer. Wisely accepting my defeat, I radioed up to the head office that I needed to take a quick break and returned to my trailer to desperately scrub at myself with soap. For the record, Herbal Essences does nothing to cover the stench of llama spit.

Oh, and Dolly and Tony never forgave me. Elephants have nothing on llamas.

I really hate llamas. But like I said, it’s not really my fault. They hated me first.

I Need Some Hot Stuff, Baby, This Evening….



Uh-oh! You know what the Unicorn means! That’s right. Attention all ye innocents…. read no further! Stare at the pretty pony and avoid scrolling down!

Ha. Like my unicorn diversion really even works.

At any rate……

I was having one of those days.

You know the kind of days I am talking about.

I don’t know how it feels to a guy, but if you’re a woman, it’s the kind of day where your skin feels a little too tight, and a little too warm.

You feel restless, almost itchy. The pen you are writing with spends more time being rolled between your fingers than it actually does being used. Each movement you make is slow and sensuous. Each breath feels hot, full of promise.

You find yourself biting your lips a lot, just to make them tingle.

Mmm, yeah.

I was having one of THOSE days.

I have no idea what makes THOSE days come around, but they used to be the bane of my existence back when I was single and trying to wait for marriage.

But guess what I am now?

Well, okay, I’m married with one DragonMonkey, but that’s close enough! It’s LEGAL now! Yippee!!!

I spent all day trying to figure out how to set the mood.

For the record, I am absolutely TERRIBLE at setting the mood. I think it’s because I’m not very romantic. Somewhere, deep in the back of my mind, I know I’m supposed to lead into things. That’s what romance is all about, right? I can usually drown that feeling out without much trouble. I’ve had years of experience ignoring that inner voice of reason.

I’m also an absolutely terrible salesman. I could talk a starving man out of a hamburger, even if that was his only means of survival. “Well, I guess you could eat it,” I’d say doubtfully, as he lunged at it with painful, debilitating slowness. “I mean, it’s been sitting there in the sun all day… it may look good, but it’ll probably give you the runs. Then you’d be even worse off than you are right now. It does smell good, but I wouldn’t eat it. I mean, go ahead, if you want, but I dunno. It doesn’t even look like beef. I bet it’s Chihuahua or something. I mean, buy it if you want. It’d help my profits, but….Oh? You’re crawling away? How come? Come back!”

Also for the record yet, that’s pretty much the same sales tactic I use when I’m trying to sell The Bean on the idea of making Yippee! with me later on that evening. Usually, by the time I’m done trying to get us both all hot and bothered, we’re both laughing too hard at how ludicrous the idea of sex is to even consider trying it.

Not this time, though! Not when I was having one of those days! Bound and determined to make it happen, I went through all the necessary mood-setting steps.

Heck, I even stopped off at Kohl’s and bought myself a little white nightgown to make it obvious to the Bean. I never wear nightgowns to bed– I’m a fluffy flannel pants and stained ol’ tank top kind of a gal.

After we put the DragonMonkey to bed, I set a plate of food in front of the Bean to distract him while I slipped off into the shower. I even poured him an enormous glass of wine to help mellow him out

Dashing off to the bathroom, I got ready in record time. I showered. I scrubbed. I used the expensive soap (Sensual Amber Pleasures by Bath and Body… How could I go wrong with a name like that?) and I slathered it on with generous abandon. I even shaved my legs.

I blow-dried my hair, and even curled the ends slightly. I ripped the Clearance tag off my new nightgown ($11.99! Yeah!), and I dabbed on some light makeup.

I ran my fingers through my hair, flipping it over one shoulder.

There. Perfect.

Out I sashayed into the living room, leading with my hips. I wished I had though to turn on a little Nora Jones (I’m just sitting here…waiting for you to come on home…and turn me ooonn)

I paused at the entrance to the living room, posing against the door frame. I glanced over the Bean, hoping he’d make an appreciative sound, and maybe even comment on who I so-OBVIOUSLY resembled.

The Bean did not comment.

He didn’t even make an appreciative sound.

In fact, the only sound he was making was the sound of deep, even breathing. He was face-down on our new Lovesac, completely asleep. His face was smashed into the cushioning, mouth akimbo. I think I even saw a little puddle of drool.

Annoyed at myself for obviously taking too long getting ready, I realized I might still be able to salvage the situation. After all, it was one of those days. I wasn’t about to let a little thing like my husband’s exhaustion get in the way.

Sinking down to lay beside him, I arranged myself in my most nonchalant sexy pose. I laid a gentle hand on his back, and rubbed slightly.

ARE YOU ASLEEP?” I asked in a booming voice.

The Bean jumped slightly, then turned to face me. “Huh? Oh. Uh. Yeah.”

OH, SORRY. DID I WAKE YOU? I DIDN’T MEAN TO WAKE YOU UP.” I rubbed his back softly, gently, to make up for my linebacker voice. “I JUST WANTED TO FIND OUT HOW YOUR DAY WENT AT WORK.

To his credit, the Bean didn’t show any annoyance at my sudden, mundane chattiness. Instead, he stretched, rolled over on his side, and began to sleepily recount his day in between jaw-cracking yawns.

I ignored his yawns and obvious exhaustion and feigned total absorption in what he was saying. “YOU’RE KIDDING! YOU WENT UP TO THE BUSINESS OFFICE AT WORK? THEN WHAT?

As he spoke, I leaned on my side, sucked in my belly, and did my best to look like I was posing for a page in the Victoria’s Secret magazine.

The Bean did not notice. So I took it up a notch.

I ran my fingers through my hair, laughing in warm, suggestive tones at all the appropriate places in his stories. I encouraged him to continue speaking, asking interested, open-ended questions to keep him from going back to sleep. I licked my lips once or twice.

Still, the Bean did not notice. Obviously, I was going to have to go all out.

Running a hand from my hair down to the collar of my new nightgown, I began to play with the straps. I looked up at him from beneath my lashes, smiling slightly as I fiddled with the low-cut top.

The Bean stopped mid-sentence, and glanced downward at my inviting hand, then glanced back into my eyes. “Why are you scratching your boob? Do you have a rash?”

SIGH.

“No, Bean, it’s just itchy. Come on. Let’s go to bed and go to sleep.”