Category / Wives

Yorkshire Terrier who obeys wife better than husband.

1. LOSING BATTLE. At times, I simply cannot stop myself from being jealous about the other man in my wife’s life — our Yorkshire Terrier, Jake. When I teased her this week about how much affection she showers upon the dog, she tousled his hair and explained, “How could you not love this little guy? He’s always in a good mood, doesn’t ask for much from me and always obeys my commands.” Okay, Jake, you win. There’s no way I can compete with all of that.

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Kids on school bus are scarier than a drill sergeant

1. SHARPER TONGUES. Now that the school year has commenced again, it is time to confront once more the startling reality: The kids on your children’s school buses could make the drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket cry.

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Typical dad relaxing in recliner.

1. REMAIN BLISSFULLY IGNORANT. When you catch your wife watching you and then nodding to herself as if she’s just resolved something, if her response to your question of “Watcha thinking?” is “Nothing much,” you will undoubtedly be better off if you decline to probe any further.

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Father and daughter touring college campuses

1. DIFFERENT MINDSETS. We squeezed in a couple more college tours this summer, and on every one it becomes immediately apparent that parents and prospective students approach these campus visits with distinctly different mindsets. Parents ask lots of questions: “Do graduates find jobs?”, “Do I have to pay tuition during co-ops?”, “Is the campus safe?” Kids rely more on their eyes to take everything in, assessing if the campus matches what they’ve come to expect from college movies, how far they’ll have to walk from dorm to class, and whether the other kids interested in the school seem “normal” or “weird” to them. With the adults present, they don’t pose many questions, except for that one kid who asks 20. That level of eagerness and the audacity to put it on display makes my daughter furtively roll her eyes at me. I shake my head in quiet commiseration, knowing better than to admit to her that at 18 I was that kid!

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Photos of Cape vacation activities - beaches, hikes through marshes, fine restaurants

1. RESTORED AWARENESS. Beginning our traditional full week at a house on Cape Cod fills me with wonder at the breathtakingly clear blue skies, the warm temperatures complemented by balmy ocean breezes, the automatic de-stresser of lounging around in shorts and sandals – and the slow dawning remembrance of the fact that I’m really not that much of a beach guy.

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Pictures of blogger's mother, wife, mother-in-law and two daughters.

1. NOT SO PREPARED. All my life I have been surrounded by brilliant women. My mother’s prodigious memory enabled her to recall every detail of moments from our family’s past that I could barely recall. My big sisters share the same razor-sharp intelligence, and in my school days I benefited from their tutoring. My wife’s profound insights into what makes people tick helps me navigate every relationship in my life. My mother-in-law’s encyclopedic knowledge of an array of topics makes her as valuable a resource as Google. So did being surrounded by so much female brainpower prepare me for the next generation of women in my life — one quick-witted daughter and another scientifically inclined one who outsmart me at every turn? Simply put: IT ABSOLUTELY DID NOT!!!

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Father wearing red shirt, pink shorts

1. A DANGEROUS MIND. Last week, we dropped our oldest off at a two-week, pre-college session on fashion merchandising. While I am happy that our fashionista will have an opportunity to immerse herself in a subject matter she is so passionate about, I am worried about the impact this intensive training may have on me. She already gives me ruthless fashion critiques, although admittedly they are at times needed. . .

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father and daughter before lake at

1. NOT READY FOR THIS. We dropped our youngest off at camp last weekend. On the drive up to the middle of New Hampshire, I kept asking if she was nervous, but she assured me, “No, I’m just excited.” Except for a momentary look of hesitation when she had to step into a cabin full of unknown girls, she did seem perfectly fine. She is very independent and self-confident, so I’m sure she won’t get too homesick. But we did follow all the tips for forestalling homesickness – she packed a few familiar items from home and we had her list all the things she wanted us to send her in care packages. While it was easy to find those tips online, I didn’t find any for helping parents deal with kid-away sickness. Mine kicked in right about when we pulled out of the parking lot.

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father in the scale of human evolution

1. PREHISTORIC TERMS. Every time I say “junior high” instead of “middle school” or “stereo” instead of “sound system,” my daughters look at me as if I’m so ancient I belong somewhere between Neanderthal and Cro-Magnan man in that scale of human evolution.

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Yearbook photographs

1. YESTERYEAR YUKS. To counter my bathroom mirror’s sad daily evidence of how much I’ve aged, I try to take comfort in remembering what a handsome young lad (at least I imagined!) I used to be. Too bad the only support I have for that contention are my high school and college yearbooks. And breaking those out sends my teenaged daughters into fits of hysterical laughter. I have to believe when they look at my graduation photos, it’s just the high school leisure suit and big glasses that they find so ridiculous. But I don’t test that assumption. Age has brought me one good thing – the wisdom to know when not to ask questions.

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