New Orleans

You know what Dr. Phil always says: That the same sex parent is the most powerful role model in a child’s life. That’s one of the things I like about Dr. Phil—his astute grasp of the obvious. But it never hurts to be reminded of these things. In our house, Herbie is clearly following his dad down the road to potted plant perdition, but Peaches is so much like me it’s uncanny—and that might not be any better. She has become the junior partner in all my guilty pleasures. We love to sit in the dark watching marathons of America’s Most Haunted British Hotels (or whatever they call those ghost shows) on the Travel Channel. We go to trashy movies together. And ice cream parlors. So, yeah, it may be hypocritical for me to be complaining about my husband’s passivity under the circumstances, but at least we females aren’t wholly root bound yet. Not like some people whose name shall remain Howser.

This weekend I took Peaches to a see a movie called Skeleton Key. As I mentioned, we like that ghosty stuff, and this movie was adequately spooky without being bloody. And it’s hard to go wrong with Kate Hudson. Other than that, the movie didn’t have a whole lot going for it, but I mention it because it was set in Louisiana, largely in New Orleans. It was full of swamps, Spanish moss, and Hoodoo—all the atmosphere you could ever want. I hope New Orleans isn’t gone forever.

Family Photos

Here is my husband Howser and our son. Herbie wants to grow up to be just like his dad. I was worried about their relationship when Herb was a baby. Fortunately, once he developed the hand/eye coordination to play countless hours of gratuitously violent computer games, they really started to bond! Howser has even taught Herbie how to eat chips left-handed while running a joystick with his right, and how to grunt single syllable responses if someone makes the mistake of trying to engage him in conversation during the course of an on-screen battle. I used to suggest that they expand their activities to include things like taking a walk, reading, or riding bikes. “You know,” I suggested, “something a bit more important…?”

“This is important,” my husband assured me. “It’s not like these aliens are going to kill themselves, right boy?”

“Uh,” Herb grunted in evident agreement.

Special times.

100 Reasons Why I Feel Completely Neutral About My Husband

I promise you that this isn’t going to be a blog about how much I hate my husband—two reasons: first, Christine already writes that blog, and it’s fascinating. Reading it is as irresistible as slowing down to get a good look at a car crash on the side of the interstate. You want to smugly believe that something like that could never happen to you, but there’s always that little needling voice reminding you, “There but for the grace of God.” One of these days I intend to learn how to install a blog roll on this page so you can see what I mean for yourself (sorry I’m such a beginner!). Second: I don’t hate my husband. Not even remotely. Think of your neediest, most high-maintenance house plant. Do you hate it? Of course not. It may be messy, droopy, or otherwise irritating, but certainly not to the degree of inspiring hate. It’s hard to hate something as passive as a houseplant.

On the other hand, it’s hard to love a house plant too.

My husband is a houseplant in all ways but one. A ficus tree, like my husband, is passive. My husband, unlike a ficus tree, is passive aggressive. I’ve yet to meet a passive aggressive ficus tree.

I’ve met a couple of maples with bad attitudes, but that’s another story.