He finally did it! Here it is in its (mostly) unedited glory! It’s long, but it’s worth it.
Hello everyone, it’s “Hubs” which is my blog name ever since I had a patient (yes, I am a physician) begin a consultation in my office by making multiple references to my private life. I felt like I was being stalked but that day triggered my interest in Erin’s blog. I have never been very interested or exposed to the blog world. I am mostly a limited voyeur on Facebook and use it as an opportunity to occasionally make fun of my friends and post pictures of activities and family. I have never used Twitter. It annoys the crap of me when I am on the computer (usually reading about sports or cars) and that damn tweet noise causes me to flinch sending everything around me to the floor.
Until I started reading Erin’s blog over the last few months, I never really understood what it is all about. All I know is that it is frequently hard to get Erin on to the next activity without a stop at the computer. I have learned to understand and respect what she is doing. I am very impressed with the number of followers she has and the blog identity that has developed. I have often criticized Erin in the past for devoting so much energy toward writing to a group of strangers instead of writing the book she has always talked about. She almost had me convinced this was going to happen when she read multiple books about how to write a book. I firmly believe in her ability to write an award-winning book that would allow me to retire when I am ready. I understand now that the audience are regulars and not strangers and that many of her readers are people we know personally who are reading this very post. With that in mind, I proceed cautiously yet somewhat openly…
Erin and I met on a blind date in 1999 when I was a surgery intern in New Orleans. If I were to think that I fell in love with her then I was probably just in love with myself because while extremely cute, she maybe said two words. I went on for a couple hours telling amusing tales of drinking and debauchery. I am sure I tried to ask Erin about herself but was greeted with the same one word answers to all questions that she still uses frequently when meeting new people in an uncomfortable setting. She also still has a hard time making eye contact with people. She may have had me with the message that was on my answering machine already when I got home that night. Or it might have been on date #2 when we were on our way to see American Beauty. She was very anxious to see this movie and she told me “The speed limit is 35 but you can go 45.” At that moment for some odd reason I thought to myself, “Can I spend the rest of my life with someone this pushy?”
These were not typical thoughts of mine at that period of my life. It was my first time living away from Kansas City. I felt like I had moved to college for the first time and was intent on living the good life in New Orleans. I was only a few months in to residency and was unfortunately doing all the easy rotations first. I would later get a rude awakening. But nonetheless, at that point I was devoted to hitting Bourbon Street on Monday nights with my friend, JB. Two years later at a Chief Resident dinner I would be reminded that I once asked if I could not be on call on Wednesday nights because that was always the party night at Superior Grill. I digress. Erin initially pretended to like going out and partying with me while reeling me in but this would eventually become a bone of contention in our relationship. Erin was good for me though because her advanced maturity helped me become serious about my residency.
Some of Erin’s previously mentioned traits can make it difficult for people to meet her. As she writes in her blog, she carries around the scars and baggage of her adolescence. When meeting new people, Erin often thinks or assumes they don’t like her but I observe that it is the other person who probably thinks Erin does not like them. She doesn’t understand that most people have the same issue trying to make new conversation when meeting. She doesn’t recognize that if someone says, “Oh you are from the planet Umizoomi and that’s where you met Hubs” that that is an opening for a topic of conversation. Instead she will respond, “Yes” while making eye contact with the wall. She wonders why that person is talking to someone else the next moment. I have given her a hard time about this for years and now you have that insight too.
Erin has become a much more confident person over the years and especially since motherhood. When given a task, she is a take charge person. She is certainly in charge at home. She doesn’t try to keep me from doing things I want to do like play golf or occasionally stay out late with friends. It is more on the level of telling me what I can and can’t do around the house. i.e. toilet seat down, placement of coasters for drinks, recycling, don’t vomit on the floor from drinking too much. I did that once while Erin was in her first trimester and had extreme morning sickness. My response was, “I thought that’s what we do when we are pregnant.” Not so funny. As far as a marriage is concerned, we have a very good balance of family and individual activities. Erin has become involved in so many activities serving on several boards, taking classes on Judaism, organizing activities at our temple, etc. that she is frequently gone on her own more than I am.
Erin is an amazing mother. We are so lucky that she is a stay-at-home mom. As I am writing this, she is in the living room reading books to the kids. We try to spend 20-30 minutes doing that most nights before bed, but right now it is 10 am. Despite her recent battle with depression, she still got up every day and pushed on with the kids, laundry, making dinner, etc. I am glad she has the blog because it is a good emotional outlet for her.
Erin is also a pain in the ass. Her lack of self-esteem can be exhausting. I remember all of her references to how ugly she thought she was when we first started dating. I told her repeated times that simply was not true because I only dated hot chicks. Erin is about 5′ 9″ and looks like a supermodel when she wears a dress. And as someone inappropriately commented recently, she does have a killer rack. In her absence, people frequently ask me, “where is your gorgeous wife?” or something to that effect. She goes to Jazzercise about 5 days a week and makes protein shakes for breakfast. When it is not winter, I run about 4 days a week. She has also just about made me afraid of flying with all of the anxiety she can generate during a rough flight. It is sometimes hard to distinguish between turbulence and her near seizures.
Erin is very into all things green and organic. We were at some friends’ house for dinner last night and I asked where I should dispose of a beer bottle. Jen disturbingly looked at Erin like a deer caught in the head lights before telling me to put it in the trash. Erin is so into recycling that she makes pick-ups from her friends’ houses when necessary. She has started juice pouch recycling programs with her friends, in the neighborhood and at our temple.
A random note about Piggy. I gave Piggy to Erin about 10 years ago in my absence while on an away rotation doing trauma surgery. Piggy has been in bed with us ever since. Years ago, she said, “I guess eventually when we have kids, I will have to stop sleeping with Piggy.” Yeah right. Truth is that I would probably miss Piggy too. So would Monster who tries to hump him every chance he gets. Erin’s post about a day in the life of the Mons was my favorite.
I recently met a few of Erin’s “bloggy” friends during Snarkler Weekend from “over at” this blog and that blog. See, I have even picked up on some of her blog euphemisms. They probably thought I was kind of lame, but I was just trying to stay out of the way. I was also on call and did 30 operations that week.
I think I am actually a lot of fun (for some people). I have always placed a lot of importance on my friends. A lot of my good friends are still from high school but an equal number are new friends that we have met along the way since moving back to KC. I love going to Royals and Chiefs games. One of my favorite days of the year is opening day of the Royals when the same group of my high school friends still in KC take the day off to tailgate for several hours ahead and then go bowling afterwards. So fun. I play golf on most Sundays. I once qualified at the Midwest districts for the regional competition in the World Long Drive Championship. Distance never made me the golfer I want to be.
I am somewhat obsessed with cars, and to the dismay of my entire family, I take a car to the race track several times a year. I love my job but if I think I missed my calling as a race car driver. If I could do it all over again, I might have pursued a driver racing development program when I was 18. I love music and I am known for carrying my portable ipod player from room to room in the O.R. The coolest band of all time is Tool. I have driven such places as Des Moines, IA to see Phish two nights in a row and to Red Rocks in Colorado to see Blues Traveler and Widespread Panic on the 4th of July. I have been brought to tears by Pink Floyd at Arrowhead Stadium. I had a short lived career in a rock band during college. I had hair down to my shoulders because it was the grunge era.
I used to snowboard but not since breaking my leg about 13 years ago. Recently while in Colorado with our good friends Tiffany and David, I was prohibited from making my return to the mountain. Instead, David and I went snowmobiling, which was amazing. We went up a gondola to have brunch and I told everyone that it was absolutely burning my soul not to be on the slopes. I guess I am somewhat of a thrill seeker but this is curbed by the reality that I have a family. I feel fortunate to be alive considering how reckless we were (until my early 20’s.) This scares me a lot as a parent now. The same guy that once gave someone the finger (age 17) for telling me to slow down while blazing down the street in my Plymouth Sundance Turbo is now yelling at those kids too. I love to be outside. Whenever we are out in Colorado, I almost convince myself that nothing material matters and that I would be happy with nothing but nature’s surroundings. It is a very liberating feeling temporarily.
Favorite drinks: coffee, Boulevard beer, Diet Coke, my Bloody Marys, Crown. Restaurant: Cafe Europa, Red Snapper, D’Bronx. Movie: Point Break, Batman Begins. TV Shows: The Shield, Gossip Girl, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Entourage. Cities: San Fran, Aspen, Naples. Collect: shoes and watches.
It was almost a deal breaker when we bought our first house and the guy wanted to take the basketball goal out of the ground to take it with him to his multimillion dollar new house. You see, I tend to get what I want. Despite growing up privileged, I have worked very hard for everything that I have. I am a shrewd negotiator and I am not afraid to look someone in the eye and demand what I am after. I can call a car dealer’s bluff with the blink of an eye. I have said in the past, “If that is your lowest price, that’s fine, but I am going to go to every dealer in town until someone gives me this car for what I want with the wood grain package.” I knew it was the last day of the month and by the time I was done, I had that car at invoice with a free wood grain package, and they drove the car to my house since I did not have a way to get Erin’s car home. I didn’t even have a check to pay for the damn thing.
Timberland used to have a lifetime warranty on all products. I purchased one pair of shoes which led to a free new pair once a year for about six years and one winter jacked led to not only another new jacket but a leather jacket, as well. My friends always made fun of me for this but they admired it too. You just can’t be afraid to go after what you want in life. I have never had any regrets and feel like I have always done things to the fullest. I am also very responsible and have always planned for the future. When I was in 7th grade, I was so stressed out about homework because I think I must have thought it was going to affect getting into college. That’s funny considering that when I was a freshmen and sophomore in high school I never studied.
This freestyle writing (not rambling) reminds me of a writing class that I took in high school. This particular writing class was the semester following another writing class with a different teacher. We thought we were savvy enough to adapt the same papers for the second class. One of the papers was about my genitals. While a friend got an “A” on his paper about his scab collection, I got a “D” on mine. We had a college student teaching assistant whose derogatory comments were longer than my appalling paper. Anyway, after getting caught plagiarizing, we were asked to write a bonus paper. I wrote about everything that came to mind just like this blog. I got an “A.”
My very favorite activity is when I have the chance to hang out with the kids in the morning. I like to drink coffee and read the newspaper while they watch cartoons. Abby even makes fun of me by occasionally shaking a section of the paper while shouting “Let me read my newspaper!” I don’t get to do it often enough and I feel badly every time they ask me why I am not going to have breakfast with them.
I have enjoyed writing this and I will try to answer some of your best questions…maybe…
Thanks for reading!