Posts Filed Under cohabitating with a man.

In honor of your birthday, I made a Pros and Cons list. About you.

by Janelle Hanchett

When I was a kid, or maybe an adolescent (is there really a difference?), somebody once told me I should write a “pros and cons” list about people I date, so I can determine if they’re the “right guy” or “the one.”

In other words, if I should keep him or bag him.

I never did that, probably because for me, “dating” was something like “meet in bar, drink, wake up next day, wonder what I was thinking, leave.”

Well, there were some long relationships, but the only real difference between those and the short-term ones is that the “what was I thinking” stage lasted longer.

But I digress.

The point is that today is the husband’s 31st birthday, and in honor of it, I’ve decided to write a Pros and Cons list about him.

I realize it might be slightly late in the game to be analyzing what the guy’s got going for him, but I think I can craft a significantly more accurate depiction of this gentleman, having spent the last 11 years with him.

So here we go.

The Pros and Cons of this Mac Guy:

(if you click on this image you can get a larger version…)

And so, there you have it. Guess the pros outnumber the cons, though as you can see, it was a bit of a close call.

So I guess I’ll keep him.

Happy birthday, Mac.

You’re pretty much my favorite.

8 Comments | Posted in cohabitating with a man. | October 13, 2012

Do chores. Get lucky.

by Janelle Hanchett

The other day Mac and I did this thing where we flirt and tease all day, temporarily deluding ourselves into thinking we’re hot and have an active sex life.

Dad, please stop reading this post.

Anyhoo, you know, we taunt and whisper things and grab inappropriately. Et cetera.

As you can imagine, this is rather fun, and by the end of the day, both of us are ready for, um, the end of the day.

So a couple days ago we were doing the aforementioned let’s-pretend-we-just-met thing all day long. That evening I went out with a friend and didn’t get home until 11:30pm. The whole drive home I was imagining how I would wake him, a-hem – and what would probably follow. I went in the house ready to assault him.

But when I walked in the door I was assaulted. By the condition of my house. The front room looked like Toys R Us spun around in circles vomiting on the floor. The living room and kitchen were barely recognizable. The real clincher, however, was the animals. They were all pacing around like the walking dead, moaning and mewing and looking at me like “Please. Do something.”

I checked the cat’s bowls. Empty. I checked the dog’s. Empty. I checked the fucking rodents’. EMPTY.

Suddenly, I was not in the mood. What the fuck, husband. It’s 11:30pm and I want to ravage you but instead I have to walk around and feed the furry beasts. Even though you were here all night, and they were supposed to be fed HOURS ago…and I’ve been asking you for like 6 months to please help feed the animals on a regular basis…you still couldn’t do it and now, once again, at the end of my day, I have to do what was YOUR JOB.

Not hot, husband.

Not hot at all.

And as I finished feeding the last small mammal and felt the last spark of sex drive fizzle out through my toes, and my desire to do my husband turned into a desire to do in my husband, I realized how drastically my idea of “hot” has changed since I was like, oh I don’t know, 20.

Of course it’s a little hard to tell what I considered “hot” when I was 20, since my man of choice was whoever showed up after I’d had enough beers to make men start appearing hot (which may explain how pretty much NONE of them fit the “hot” bill the next morning….but I digress).

Despite this difficulty, I’m 99% sure “Hey baby, I fed the guinea pigs” would not have struck my former self as a turn-on.

But now? Oh yeah. Bring it.

What? You picked your stinky ass socks off the bathroom floor and put them in the actual laundry basket?

Come here baby. I got something for ya.

What’s that you say? You cleaned out the car and changed the sheets?

Take me I’m yours.

To illustrate, I made you a few graphics, which embody my current idea of the hottest shit in the world.

Yes, I realize this makes me pathetic and old and uninteresting.

Also, tired. Very tired. And with a thrashed house. So tired am I, in fact, and so thrashed is this house, that the thought of a man doing the chores they somehow can’t manage to figure out how to do on their own EVER. (I’m serious. What is wrong with them?!) like a giant hit off the love pipe. Like roses and dirty talk and sweat and red wine. Like oceans and whispers and bare muscular chests.

Like yes, please.

[by the way, if I’m the only one of you who finds men-doing-chores sexy, I will in fact off myself.]


Why yes.

Yes I do.



Yo, Hallmark, I got some Valentines for ya.

by Janelle Hanchett


The other day, while scowling at the absurdity of one of those feel-good chocolate hearts and roses Valentine’s ads, I placed my pointer finger against my face in the classic thinking posture and asked myself… “Hmmmm…what would an honest Valentine’s Day card say?”

And then, as this thought rolled around in my [acutely insane] brain, I realized that this is no simple question, but rather depends entirely on how long the couple has been together.

Because as you probably know…that shit CHANGES. (Relationships, that is. Men, not so much.)

So this small, profound monologue got me thinking about the fact that there are (in my opinion) three stages in a relationship/marriage, each of them obviously necessitating a different Valentine, were it to be honest and real and able to speak the truth of the insanity. Err, I mean “budding love story.”

Wow. Deep.

Anyhoo, I give you this. I ask that you please enjoy the clip art.

Stage 1

Years 0-2: The “I haven’t Been With You Long Enough to Realize How Much You Annoy Me” stage, comprised of long walks and hand-holding, starry-eyed dinners, cocktails, discussions, movie-watching, reasonable arguments, cuddling and pet names. Also, smug looks directed at women who are in Stages 2 and 3 with their men, and a distinct feeling of superiority, having obviously been deemed the first woman in history to not wonder if she could turn herself into a lesbian to avoid further intimacy with the male population. Also, women in this stage rest easy in the comfort and surety that they will never, ever want to pummel their little love kitten with a meat cleaver. Because he’s PERFECT. Duh.

A Stage 1 Valentine looks something like one of these:





And now…

Stage 2, Years 2-5: The “Holy Shit I had no Idea You Had These Sorts of Habits” Stage, also known as the “I Must Mold You Into Something More Like What I Had In Mind” Stage, characterized by a lot of discussions with girlfriends regarding the man’s deficiencies, as well as a decent amount of wonderment and awe as the female discovers The Male is not at all perfect (and may actually have some sort of disability, as evidenced by the fact that he can’t find stuff that’s 3 inches from his forehead and leaves hair in the bathroom sink after shaving). This stage also involves the surfacing of all other incomprehensible tendencies, causing the female to realize she’s going have to fix this character if they’re ever going to make it. And therefore, she begins to WORK, which of course results in long, long, long discussions, unreasonable bickering, maybe therapy but for sure tears, cajoling, threatening, flailing and general malaise, and, most likely, the arrival of an infant or two.

Honest Valentines at this stage may look like this:




And then, if the couple in question makes it past Stage 2, they enter Stage 3 (years 6 – ?), commonly known as the “Well Obviously You are not Going to Change and I’m Tired of Fighting so I’ve Accepted you and your Weirdness” Stage. (Yes, these stages have awkwardly long titles. Not particularly catchy, I know. Don’t blame me. I didn’t make it up.) Oh wait.

As you can see, this is something of a deal-breaker stage – since it’s pretty much Stage 3 or Stage Bye-Bye. Stage 3 is characterized by a lot of glaring but less complaining, fewer divorce threats and a surface-level acceptance of small, irritating habits (such as buying odd gadgets that will never ever be used EVER, or eating onions before bed). It also involves some strange compromises (“Honey, if you pick up your bath towel from the floor every day, I’ll start squeezing the toothpaste from the bottom.”) and subtle retaliation (as opposed to the long, long, long discussions in stage 2 (or therapy)). On the plus side, this Stage results in a weird peace and vague sense of serenity and, occasionally, some intense relief  regarding the fact that you didn’t throw in the towel when things got rough (and therefore, thank god, you don’t have to deal with these hoodlum children alone). Women in this stage feel a little like badass survivors of some great calamity, like a tsunami, or fire. “We almost didn’t make it, kids. We really had to work HARD to make this marriage work. Ah, but look at us now…”

And we feel a little victorious. And yeah, alright, I’ll say it: A little in love.

Enough of the sappy crap.

Real valentines in this stage may look something like this:

And with that, let me just say: Happy freaking Valentine’s Day, ladies.


it all started with a bottle of Bacardi and a razor

by Janelle Hanchett

Tomorrow my husband turns 30.

Yes, baby boy. I know. I know.

I robbed the cradle. When I met him he had just turned 19. I was 21. I thought if I got a young one I could mold him into whatever I wanted.

I thought wrong.

Actually that’s not how it happened. I didn’t really choose him. He was sort of chosen for me, by whatever it is that determines that sort of thing. We met and the whole thing felt like “oh, you’re here, okay,” and that was it. We were together. There was no dating or uncomfortableness or discussion. We were just together. I loved him completely and totally, immediately.

And I love him now.

When I met him he was a scrawny fro-headed ranch boy with a giant overgrown untrimmed beard and the warmest brown eyes I’ve ever seen, and eye-lashes that brushed the tops of his cheeks. The first night we met (we were partying at my house) I couldn’t really tell what he looked like due to excessive facial hair, so I got him drunk and shaved his beard off. (Don’t say I’m not classy.) He kept calling my “Jennifer” or some nonsense and I kept shaving. I saw that he was indeed handsome, and confident and a smart-ass, and kind, but it wasn’t all that that made me try to convince him to not leave (incidentally he stayed, passed-out face-down on my futon). Romance is the word you’re looking for. Romance.

It was something else that drew me to him.

Something I can’t really describe.  Something like coming home. Something like settling down next to your best friend, who, incidentally, happens to be the hottest male to ever cross this good planet.

Eleven years later he is no longer scrawny, though pretty much every other feature remains unscathed. He’s a grown man with broad (gorgeous) shoulders and his pants fit (mostly) and his hair is (usually) contained, and I think it’s pretty safe to say the man is strikingly handsome, but all that held me then – all that I can’t quite put my finger on – all that pulled me close to this stranger – holds me now.

You see, Mac comes from the old school. There’s something about him one doesn’t find very often anymore among people in our generation (and younger).

The man works.

He works.

He serves his family with fierce loyalty.

He works all day as an iron-worker, gets home and takes his kids to the park.

He doesn’t stray. He doesn’t complain. He doesn’t feel like it’s somebody else’s job (whatever that is). He gets up and helps. In short, he’s a fucking badass who’s got nothin’ to prove and works on behalf of his family because it’s who he is, it’s what he does. He devotes himself to us. For us. Unceasingly.

I have an incredible amount of respect for this man.

By the way, if I hear one more story about the jackass unemployed deadbeat husband who sits around the house all day playing video games and drinking beer while the wife works 2 jobs, picks up the kids then comes home to make him dinner and clean the house…fuck me people…I’m going to lose it…but I digress.

Anyway, I’m not trying to brag or flaunt or claim I know how a “man” should act – all I’m saying is I believe I am damn lucky to have a husband who works with unflinching energy, who sees his wife and children as his whole life, who wakes up with the baby at 5am on his days off no matter what, so the wife can sleep in – who knows how to lift iron beams, fix shit, AND cradle a newborn.

Yeah, his fingers are black from grease. And it’s not rare for him to have chicken blood in his ear (he raises free-range chickens in addition to iron-working and butchering on his dad’s ranch). And he quite often smells a little funky. And he’s gone a lot, working.

And he’s about as neat as a flea market. And he has a startling lack of interest in postcolonial theory.

But I stand in awe of him. Every day I find myself thinking “Wow. Doesn’t he get tired? How does he DO that?”

[Well, that, and “how can somebody look that good in overalls?”]

If we’re all hanging out and somebody realizes they forgot something at the car, he’s the first to volunteer to go get it, even though it’s a ½ mile away. He just jumps up and does it. I look around and think to myself “huh, sucks to be you. Now leave me alone and let me enjoy myself.”

Last weekend in Monterey, he got up with Georgia at 5am (even though we both went to bed at 1am) and proceeded to pack her up in the stroller and walk outside, for TWO hours, around the streets of Monterey, so I could sleep. I didn’t even ask him.

I mean who does that shit? And if they do it, who does it willingly?

Lost art, in my opinion. Most dudes I know are lazy-asses just like me. There’s no way in hell I’d do the things he does without at least a few minutes of whining and then, if I did do it, I’d hold it over your head for, oh, I don’t know, forever.

You would owe me for pretty much the rest of your life.

But he doesn’t even bring it up later – and 15 minutes after he gets back to the hotel room, when I still haven’t had enough sleep and I’m cranky and pissed off he says “Janelle calm the fuck down,” then he hands me the coffee and scone he brought me. Even though he could, he never dangles his efforts over my head, you know…“but I just took the baby for 2 hours on a walk around the cold streets of Monterey, what the hell are you complaining about?”

“Nothin’, honey.”

I’m not complaining about anything.

Thank you, my husband.

Thank you, Mac.

Happy 30th Birthday. I’m glad you’re on this planet. I’m glad we found each other.

You are my heart.



We’re going to be featured on Hoarders!

by Janelle Hanchett

We’re going to be featured on Hoarders!

No, we are not.

That was a lie.

[But you probably knew that already, because who the hell would excitedly announce online “We’re gonna be on a show featuring sociopaths who collect shit!”? Okay, I know. I know. It’s a mental illness. It’s serious, very sad, what a shame, etc. But it’s a damn funny mental illness. And a weird one. And I make fun of everybody, including myself. Plus, I’m rude. The end.]

Though we didn’t actually get invited to Hoarders, I bet if we sent them pictures of our hallways, living room and kitchen, we might get the green light.

Now you may ask, “Why does your house suddenly appear like one of those whack-job homes on Hoarders?”

Let me lay it out for you in plain English: because my husband and I are fucking psychos.

That was not a lie.

So you all know what my life has been lately, right? Okay, perfect. So the full gravity of the following story will hopefully sink in appropriately: on Tuesday the husband and I went to Ikea (swoon – so much crap! Most of which I can afford! And it looks only like semi-crap once it’s installed in the home! Yay!). No seriously I love that place. Don’t judge.

ANYWAY, so we get there and we’re buying a few organizational items for what will become the homeschool room, and Mac sees these fake wood floors for very, very cheap and announces “Dude, let’s put this in the homeschool room, TODAY.” And since I’ve been asking for non-carpet in there and we’re poor and I’m a total and complete lunatic, I say “for real? Yeah. Good idea.”

Holy fuck why can’t we just  be like normal people? You know, the kind who plan shit?

Why isn’t there a little voice in my head that says “MAYDAY JANELLE MAYDAY!! – redoing the floors requires moving everything out of the room in question and all that furniture and stuff will be in your hallways and living areas and it NEVER takes one day to do projects like this you steaming pile of idiot! SAY NO SAY NO!”

 But I say “yes.” Because there is something wrong with me.

So for the last 5 days you have to walk sideways down my hall and there’s a piano in my entryway and we’ve all been eating in little huddles on the floor, where there’s space. The best part is trying to carry the baby down the hall, sideways, so she’s facing the photos hung on the walls…and grabbing for them. So you have to like DART quickly sideways down the hall.

Somebody please shoot me.

Because it’s even worse than previously indicated. Once we got the floors down I realized I hate the wall color with the floors. So.we.painted.  But while at Home Depot buying the paint for the walls I saw crown moulding and said to myself “well now looky there! Ain’t that pretty?!” So we bought some. But it had to match the base boards. So we painted all.of.that.too.

And now? We’re running like hell to put this together and I ask you, from the bottom of my heart, “WHY DO I DO SHIT LIKE THIS?”

Perhaps more importantly, “Why do I never LEARN from doing shit like this?”
Because I can guarantee you the next time we do work on our house, the circumstances will be just like this time.

And it will suck just as bad.

Though in our defense, it looks damn good (I’ll post pics when it’s done). Plus, we’re having a really good time making up “caulking” jokes [read: “cock-ing”]. Yes, we’re classy.


[To cheer me up, please CLICK HERE (or on the badge on the right) to vote for me for CBS Sacramento’s Most Valuable Blogger Award. I’ve never been nominated for anything, let alone won anything. So please. Hook it up, friends.]