I’m a Stripper

We all have a past. The question is, do we have a future?

I’ve been telling my lovely wife that we needed to start thinking about how we were going to spend our future together once the children leave. We are getting dangerously close now that JB is almost 15. The last thing I want is to send her to college with no plan for us.

I don’t want to be one of those couples who sits down in the empty nest, looks at each other and has no idea what to say or do. The problem is, we are vastly different people. I like things athletic – not watching them, doing them. I like running, exercising, hiking, and all kinds of outdoorsy things. I love camping! The kind of stuff that makes you sweaty and smelly.

My wife? Not so much. She’s a girly-girl, not given to athletics. She won’t run unless someone in a hockey mask is chasing her. I suggested camping where I could go off and hike a day or two and she could sit and read. No dice, she likes the comfort of her own bed and a clean bathroom.

How did we end up together? She’s a really good girly-girl and I’m a smelly but lucky guy.

Okay, but none of that solves our problem.

We both love to read, but I have yet to figure out a way to make reading a team sport.

Then it happened, quite by accident. An epiphany…

I am an excellent stripper!

Magic Mark

Let me share with you just how we figured it out. We bought a desk off of Craigslist a while back and she painted it for JB’s room. Soon after, a few more accessories joined the room including a chair. Unfortunately, all of the new pieces were white, not the freshly-painted ivory color of the desk. Something had to change.

I am reluctant to allow my wife to borrow my tools, because they are the only thing I outright own. They are mine. But she sweet-talked me into my sander which failed to take off the thirteen coats of poly she had applied to the desk.

We needed a stripper.

I prefer making furniture these days. But before I had a shop, I used to refinish old pieces. I hate to be prideful, but I really know how to strip. I even saved some of the really strong solvent from when it was still available. I wondered if it would still be toxic enough to work. I now see why the EPA banned it because even after fifteen years of storage it tore through that poly like a monkey on a cupcake.

* * * * * * * * * *

And so I stripped like nobody’s business. She watched me strip hoping to learn so we could strip together. We talked about all of the stripping we could do once the kids left. I did tell her that we would have to strip for other people because we don’t have room in our home for all of the stripping we plan to do. And now with all of this stripping to look forward to, I’m excited about our future without kids.

(Also, I’m hoping you read the whole post and not just the last paragraph.)

Gas is Good

I read an interesting article about Spanish royalty this week and it got me thinking about monarchies.  The article specifically mentioned the king’s 8 year-old granddaughter who was soon to become a princess. She won’t rule yet, but there have been many examples in history of children leading countries. Have you ever thought about that? I think of my kids when they were eight and would be very concerned about the consequences of them having absolute power. Worse yet, what would I have done as a reigning monarch at seven? (Or now, for that matter)

It happened all over the globe! Seriously, did any of their subjects think these good ideas?

Henry III assumed the throne of England when he was nine.

Puyi became Emperor of China when he was two years-old.

Ivan VI became the Czar of Russia at two months old

Alfonso VIII was named King of Spain the day he was born.

2 Kings 22-23 tells us of Josiah, who became King of Judah at eight.

According to Dennis the Constitutional Peasant, subjects lived in a dictatorship – “a self-perpetuating autocracy in which the working class…” Before he was repressed, Dennis was reminding us that peasants had no choice in who became their king. Sounds vaguely familiar, but I’m not political, so I will move on.


I know all of these children had advisors, but do you wonder what laws were transcribed inside the inner walls of the castle? Some might have been enacted, most were probably transcribed, agreed upon in the ruler’s presence, then discarded knowing the little king wouldn’t remember after his nap.

Edicts like these come to mind:

“The mere mention of peas, green beans, or brussel sprouts will be cause for eight lashes!”

“If I call for a toy and it is not handed to me in less than 10 seconds, the entire court shall have to walk like frogs for a day!”

“Bed time is when I fall asleep on my throne and not a moment before!”

For most child rulers, there would have been a whole legal treatise for passing gas. In fact, it would have been so overwhelming and encompassing that given the proper historical context, it could have replaced the Magna Carta as the defining law of the modern world.

We have rules in our house. You probably think that since I have all girls, our parental charter hasn’t needed gas addendums. You would be wrong. In fact, the doctor where my youngest is being treated completely shot any control over our gas emission laws with one simple, medical edict, “Gas is good.” In his opinion, it is more advantageous for the body to expel gas than hold it in. In the immortal words of Dr. Shrek, “Better out than in, I always say.”Shrek_Hollywood

Huh? So now, any hope we have of spending time in the absence of foul clouds is ruined. Our patient is the queen right now subscribes to the good doctor’s manner of treatment…when it suits her. We peasants bow down, joining in when nature calls under threat of law. All of us except mother, who is medically unhealthy, but socially proper. Even the doctor’s advice can’t woo her to the dark side.

In the absence of a real point to this post, I leave you with two thoughts:

1. Gas is good.

2. “Strange women, lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for government!”