Category Archives: Vignettes

Donuts

A tall white male with movie star bed-head stumbles in through swinging doors donning black rimmed glasses, a grey and darker grey striped long sleeve shirt, jeans, and khaki slippers. He has clearly had a late night, but benefited from a full night’s sleep afterward (you do the math). He eyes some donuts.

GIRL: What can I get for you?
MAN: Half dozen please.
GIRL: Ok, what would you like?
MAN: Uh… how about… well, how much are the donuts?
GIRL: The top row are $1.05, and the rest are $0.75.
MAN: I’ll take an apple fritter, and… uh… is that one filled with anything?
GIRL: The maple glazed is filled with custard.
MAN: Uh… I’m trying to think…
GIRL: …
MAN: Six years of marriage and I don’t know my wife’s favorite donut!
GIRL (touched): Aww! Wow! What’s the occasion?
MAN: No occasion. Just picking up some donuts.
GIRL: Just because? Aww. I bet she’d like chocolate.
MAN: Right. I’ll take the chocolate glazed and the chocolate, chocolate glazed. Better give her options. Can’t go wrong with more chocolate, right?
GIRL (finishes taking the rest of the order): That will be $7.00 even [you do the math]. How’d you do that!?
MAN (tips $1): Dunno.
GIRL: Wow! Thank you so much! Have a great morning.
MAN: Thanks.

And the moral of the story? In North Idaho, the prices of certain types of goods are not as susceptible to inflation. And sheesh! Do no men ever try to consider their wives’ tastes or give flowers for something other than getting out of the dog house? Not to say I’m great; I was genuinely just picking up some donuts because I wanted some, and gave a thought to what Lindsey would want too. But that wondering aloud about my wife’s taste – and by mentioning that I am unfamiliar with it, even – meets surprise is just a little sad. Come on, gentlemen!

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Filed under Marriage, Vignettes

Untitled #3

A tall white male stalks in through sliding doors in boots and a dark green snow jacket that hangs nicely on his broad shoulders, folding naturally open at the chest and contributing to an attractive profile with its hood. He is clearly in a hurry but moves his body carefully around the strangers he would otherwise bowl over on his way toward the flower stand. He eyes some roses.

GIRL: Can I help you find anything?
MAN: No.
GIRL: Do you have any questions? Can I help you in any way?
MAN: Well, how much for th-
GIRL: $9.99 for the roses, and-
MAN: I like these.
GIRL: May I wrap them for you?
MAN: Does it cost extra?
GIRL (winks): Not for you…
MAN (chuckles): Great. Thank you.
GIRL (wrapping flowers): So… are these for an anniversary?
MAN: No, just a date.
GIRL (perks): Awww. So many guys come in here and buy flowers just to get out of the dog house. It’s so nice to see a guy buying flowers just because. Where are you taking her?
MAN: Ciao Mambo, then to-
GIRL: Oh my gosh I LOVE Ciao Mambo!
MAN: -then to the new Harry Potter.
GIRL: Oh, are you into Harry Potter?
MAN: I guess, sure. Not nerdy into it.
GIRL: Well I’m sure you’ll have a great time.
MAN: I’m looking forward to it. And her mother has our 1 year old, so it will be nice to be by ourselves.
GIRL (looks down): Oh, so this isn’t a first date? She must be a girlfriend or a wife, or something close enough…?
MAN: Yeah, uh, she’s my wife. We’re coming up on our 6th wedding anniversary.
GIRL (finishes wrapping, gestures sidewards): I see. Well, she can ring you up.

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Filed under Marriage, Vignettes

Untitled #2

Maybe I will feel like a mature
adult someday. I never
knew that feeling comfortable in my role as a father would
end up settling in prior.

A smile can make someone’s day if accompanied by eye contact.

Having to live in a place
over which the cloud cover
resists attempts at being thrown off
seriously
eases down a man’s spirits.

Refraining from
extra-
familial social engagements due to
earnest
reflections upon the seemingly
everlasting onslaught of work and other obligations is not
necessarily
cause for alarm,
every time. We just want to be home tonight, and that’s okay.

I
find my emotions so, so easily modulated by the remarks of others.

You shouldn’t be too quick to presume I even thought twice about it,
or that I even
understood what made it awkward. Until now.

‘Learn to die before you die…
or else you won’t ever get the chance. – CS Lewis (paraphrased)
“Vow to
enjoy public beaches and natural foods.” – Oscar Wilde

Almost infinite! – Max
Clark (paraphrased) | I occasionally
really try hard to figure
out how to
sincerely put
thoughts about my experiences
in with
clever
stuff.

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Filed under Death, Family, Vignettes

Bedtime

My baby son spies me from the other room and lights up, first walking, then running toward me. He bears his chin into his chest as he giggles. His cup runneth over! He just can’t believe he gets to be my son and his dimples just melt my heart. He picks up speed and then trips, slapping his hands against the tile between his room and the living room where I’m waiting. He looks up to see if he should cry and asks for help with his big blue eyes. I walk to where he has fallen and scoop him up. His fallen countenance perks up immediately and he points to my chest and identifies me, “Dadda!”. I can hardly stand how much I love him and I just squeeze him tight.

He has already been through his bedtime routine and he knows he should rest. I permit a few more stories and I relish the opportunity to have such a tiny, precious, marvelous creature sit in my lap and grin each time I pick up a book. When our storytime has run out and resting is the right thing to do, I take my seat in the overstuffed living room chair.

He knows that his freedom is being restricted and he begins fighting against my will. I look at him softly and explain with gentle words and body language that resting in my arms is the best thing for him, but he rejects it. He squirms against my arms and begins writhing in pain.

It’s painful to rebel.

I continue to speak softly to him but eventually he insists on having his way instead of mine, kicking and screaming. There comes a point when to continue holding him would do more damage to him than to let him go his own way.

Though to truly let him free would require me to take down some major boundaries: the babygate blocking the steps down to the laundry room, for example, as well as the closed doors barring him from rooms containing wonders too great, complicated, powerful, or fragile for him to safely enjoy.

But I do let him put off his time to rest as he has literally made it impossible for me to help him do so.

He gets far enough away from me and turns around. When he catches a glimpse of his daddy he giggles and comes running back but stops mid-way, suddenly remembering that I want something for him that he does not want for himself. He is entirely incapable of understanding for himself what I understand about him. He has no concept of the exponential difference between his wisdom and mine. He can’t even speak coherently yet. (Though not for lack of trying.)

As he plays apart from me he falls multiple times, hitting his head and whining. Sometimes he will accept a modicum of comforting from me, but any rifts in our relationship are due to his rebellion.

Over time his exhaustion and a combination of strength and gentleness on my part win him over. After settling into my arms, we’re reconciled. He submits to my love. At first it doesn’t last, but his squirms aren’t as forceful as last time. I am able to gently force him to stay with me. In response to his frustration with this newfound restriction he snuggles into me for comfort.

My son then closes his tiny eyelids and falls asleep in my arms.

Instead of laying him down in his crib right away, I just hold him, and treasure up all of these things in my heart.

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Filed under Fatherhood, Vignettes