Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Brilliantly Written Argument for Food Aid for the Working Poor

Melissa nails it.

Because you know, if you look too nice that means you don’t need food stamps, and if you look too sloppy that means you don’t deserve them.
Read the whole thing

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I Get Goog'ed: Clifford Porn Is Still All the Rage

Every. Single. Day, without fail, I get Googled for Clifford porn.  Today the term was:
red dog nude
I need to let my casual readers in on a little secret.  Once and for all, I am not part of this sordid subculture.  I have no interest in seeing a nude dog.  I thought they were always nude, anyway.  Even creepier are the Google hits where they are obviously looking for Emily Elizabeth in the nude.

Two things...

1. It's a bloody cartoon.

2. (offensive language ahead....) She's a FUCKING child!!!!!!

Now stop it.  Do NOT read my blog if that's what you're looking for.  I don't want you as a reader.  Go away.  Rest your sick beady eye balls somewhere else.  Get some help.  Put your kids up for adoption.  Tell your spouse about your problem.  You must stop ... NOW!

For all my other readers, I have written about Clifford.  I'm kind of an expert.

- Showing off my knowledge of doggie turds

- Sharing my expertise on Clifford's skin, following an interview with Emily Elizabeth

- Wherein I go all ape-shit on this sordid subculture - again...

How did I get so lucky? - My Drinking Problem

I like beer.  I love to smile, laugh, giggle, whatever comes to my face and out my lips, whenever I am handed a drink.  A few down and all my secrets are then in the hands of those that are handling me.

Last night, I lost a bet.  In lieu of money, I was told that I had to drink a shot of something.  So Kristine, my bride, and a dear friend, mixed up eight different liquors and I poured pretty much six shots worth down my well-soothed esophagus.

Then they began the tape rolling.  They made me tell them Bible stories (to be sure, Bible stories are much more interesting after a few ounces of liquor), asked me to sing (which I thoroughly refused to do), and made me make a fool of myself - much to their delight.  

It wasn't long before my stomach decided to betray me and I found myself leaning over the toilet (which really needs to be cleaned...nobody wants to lean over a toilet that isn't cleaned), which I absolutely hate.  Nothing happened and I went to sleep straight away, remembering nothing more from the evening.  I have no idea how I made it to my bed.

Waking up at 7:41 AM, I felt refreshed - like a new man.  No hangover.  Nothing.  I don't get them.  I also had no desire to drink again.  Not that I won't, it's just that I don't "need" it.

How did I get so lucky?

I don't get hangovers.  I've been smashed about a dozen times in my 33 years, mostly after awesome social occasions, and yet I walk away, remembering the festive evening, and go about my merry life.  I don't crave liquor, though I do like a good tasting beer.  I don't desire the feeling of getting drunk, though it is entertaining to those around me, especially my kids.  In short, I can drink with no regrets and walk away without an addiction problem.

It's fun to tell people this, because they hate me for my lack of hangovers and it's kind of a status symbol.  But it also makes me see more clearly, how others aren't as lucky as I am.  Some people can't drink and walk away.  Some people so desire the feeling of getting drunk that they have to keep doing it, repeatedly, even though they have the pain of a hangover in the morning, their addiction being more important than comfort.  For some people, it kills them financially, ruins families, friendships, makes enemies, and otherwise destroys lives.

How did I get so lucky to be able to enjoy some fun and then move on when others can't?  I don't know the answer to this.  It's not like I have a will of steel, disallowing me to feed an addiction.  In other areas of my life (yelling about the house not being cleaned), I have a true addiction that keeps rearing it's ugly head.  I know my triggers and yet I stroll right into them - every single time.  I want to change and I make small strides toward that end, at times, but I'm never free.

So I understand.  And I have no answers.  I won't judge you.  We are all struggling with something that we are actively working to change about ourselves - or maybe not.  Even so, I won't judge you.

That being said, I won't be making any more bets in the near future.  Tonight, I'll enjoy a nice Schell's Dark.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Cold Pressed Coffee Morning: A Story of Woe

Kristine stumbled out of bed, her eyes half-closed from a  perfect night of slumber, cuddled up to her favorite husband - me.  In a daze, she tripped over my pants, stubbed her toe on a shoe I had tossed aside while falling into our Select Comfort bed the night before, and finally stepping squarely onto a G.I. Joe figure, the fake gun digging into the soft flesh of her perfect foot.

Cursing into the crisp morning air, she walked off the pain, stomping down the two flights of stairs.  Arriving in the kitchen, she surveyed the coffee grinder and noticed that it was empty.  Opening the cupboard where we keep the Dunn Bros beans in an air-tight container, she was horror-struck. It was empty.

No coffee!!!  

Then she remembered that a few days back, she had purchased a liter of their black as night Infinite Black cold-pressed brew.  It was in a bottle in the mini-fridge behind her, as she squatted in her white robe, a sight for anyone to behold.

Spinning around on the balls of her feet, she opened the fridge and grabbed the bottle of black, thick liquid and stood up.  Grabbing a glass, she dumped in a generous quantity of the liquid gold, capped the bottle, and returned it to the fridge.  Then she walked over to the General Electric, stainless steel, side-by-side refrigerator, opened the door with a jerk, and grabbed the creamer.  As she is known to do, she poured enough creamer into the cold-pressed coffee to turn it white, mixed it with a smooth-handled spoon from Ikea, returned the creamer to the side-by-side fridge, and lifted the glass to her beautiful lips.

Imagine a woman, standing there, looking into the glass as she tips it upward so the liquid can pour into her parted lips and tasting the...

SPLAT!  Kristine leaned over the sink and spit every last drop down the drain, stared into the glass and wondered how cold pressed coffee could taste so...rancid.

Sadly, she wasted my perfectly good oatmeal stout from The Moose Jaw in Wisconsin Dells.  I arrived home later to find my growler nearly empty.

I might have to label it more clearly next time.

Good Intentions Do NOT Success Make

Vaughn Ohlman, the patriarch of the Ohlman family - literally, loves to tell the world how we have it all wrong.  How marriage in the hands of "young people" is the reason why marriage doesn't work.  That, if only we followed the ancient Jewish story of ole' Abe and his son, Isaac, all marriages would either be brilliantly perfect, or mostly work.  

Though, to be fair to Mr. Ohlman, his intentions are, though foolish and admittedly arrogant, expressly designed to stay in the good graces of the god he fears.  He believes in simple cause and effect solutions to life, ignoring the fact that so many of the "do this and I will give you" promises in the Bible are nothing more than hogwash - a mind trick to get you to do something. Then, when the effect doesn't happen, to fill your head so full of clauses where that god gets to back out of his promises, that you spin around in the world of cognitive dissonance, and believe that you are as evil as everyone says you are.

Recently, Ohlman got together with another gentleman and "betrothed" his son to that man's daughter.  During the next few days and weeks, it was discovered that, among other things, the two kids, Joshua and Laura, had only met each other for two hours before they were betrothed.

You keep using that word, I. C.!  What does "betrothed" mean?!

Betrothal is the "biblical" idea where two fathers get together and decide to choose their respective son and daughter to be married to each other, in the future.  They begin to "court" in some cases.  In other cases, the parents treat them as a fully married couple with all the, shall I say, "benefits".  ;)  And yes, as in the case of Vaughn Ohlman's little boy and his future daughter-in-law, they hadn't met or more aptly put, been introduced to each other.

According to Ohlman, this betrothal to an unknown serves a very specific purpose:
The point of the betrothal process was that they would be able to treat each other as brothers and sisters, all unknowing, until the day when they were bound in covenant.
 "Bound in covenant" is marriage.  In fact, knowing Ohlman's penchant for wanting to follow biblical stories as close to the vest as possible, he more than likely expects the woman veiled at this ceremony, and then consummate their marriage with awkward sex in a tent later, with all the family sitting around, waiting for the bloodied sheets.

Ohlman thinks that his critics care so much about the "two hours" of knowing each other before the betrothal, that he dedicates a full blog post to the rebuttal.  But, in this post, he reveals the real reason why most sane individuals look at his arrogance and say, "WTF!"
[The two hours] was just a logistics time while Andrew (the future daughter-in-law's dad) and I figured out how we would arrange things, what we would say, etc... Joshua and Laura had, years before, already ‘decided’. Or, rather, they had left the decision up to us, to their fathers. Together with the various counselors we sought we did all of the ‘checking out’ while our children waited, anxiously and eagerly, for us to find someone. While I’m sure they had their anxieties, from what they tell me neither one were particularly worried that we would pick a ‘bad’ spouse for them… they were just worried it was taking so long!
That, Sir Vaughn Ohlman, is what everyone cares about.  That you treat your children like property.  Something to be handled - given away.  You say you care for them.  But you discount their feelings in all your other literature.  Life, for your children, and your wife, for that matter, has nothing to do with what they desire or need, but simply what you allow them to have.  Full control by daddy, all wrapped up in a pretty "god" bow.

Sure, Joshua and Laura might have a happy marriage, as much as it can be happy.  They may even have good sex, as they learn each other's bodies, and so long as they can foray into fields of sexual freedom, such that you would frown upon.  They may even write a blog about how happy they are and how they did everything right, according to god, concluding that that is the reason for their joy.

But that's Joshua and Laura.  That isn't every other boy and girl that follows your impassioned words.  You compare every other marriage, not done like you say to do, to Bill Clinton screwing Monica in the Oval Office.  You forget about the happy couples who had sex before marriage.  You forget about the miserable couples who had no sex before marriage.  You forget that this world is filled with nuances and differences, all beautifully mashed together in this epic ball of individuality and how that individuality creates unique relationships - some good, some horrid.  But all different and revealing to true humanity.

No.  I'll stick with real life.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Sinister Side of Homeschooling

You may have heard of Michael Farris, founder of The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and Patrick Henry College.  Michael is very active in the homeschooling community and uses the advocacy power of the HSLDA to pressure governments to remove any and all regulation on those that teach their children at home.  

This gentleman has unflinching trust in every single parent that homeschools, including defending those that are accused of abusing or murdering their children.

This article, The Sinister Side of Homeschooling, by The Daily Beast gives a clear narrative of why Michael Farris is dead wrong.  The facts do not lie.  Lack of regulation and increased secrecy, coupled with the large percentage of homeschoolers that follow ultra-conservative teachings, like the child abuse practices of Michael and Debbie Pearl, make stories of physical abuse, death, and sexual abuse an all too common story.

Now, should you think that I, Incongruous Circumspection, am against homeschooling, I will put that thought to rest right now.  I am not.  I think that it can be done well and I have dear friends that are living proof of this.  It works for some and I wish them the best of luck.  

But the frequency of the stories found on Homeschooling's Invisible Children gives succinct examples as to why those that do it well should want to make sure they are proven both legitimate and loving.

Try not to weep as you go through the stories.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Smash Your Television With an Axe to Keep Your Wife In Line

Pastor Larry Brown is a sexist, fearmongering, radical.  According to him, television - anything with a screen, for that matter - is the reason why wives don't participate in their duties, like cooking and getting pregnant. 

Larry gets the crowd pumped up by yelling platitudes like...
"Of all the things that have destroyed our testimony, that have wronged our homes.  You're looking at it right there...that's it," Brown says, directing the whooping crowd's attention toward the old television on the stage.
The crowd gets louder.

Then, he starts listing everything the television has destroyed.

  • Monopoly - Brown gets it wrong here.  KIDS destroy monopoly.  They see the money, the houses, the cards, the small silver play pieces and think, "Hey!  I bet I can stuff this in a purse!"  Or, "You know what?  These twenty-dollar bills would look really good, floating around in the dog's water bowl.
  • Family time - Wow.  Some of my favorite memories of family time happened around the television. We've watched movies, played Wii, dancing until the Wii hours of the morning, enjoyed football, threw stuff at the television when the Minnesota Twins lost (there would be much less of a mess if we threw stuff at the television when the Twins actually win a game), stared at the thing when the screen went dark, wondering why, then noticing that all the power was off.  Yes.  Television is one way to enjoy good family time.
  • Husband and wife fellowship - Well now.  I'm blushing.  There is nothing like watching a horror movie, blood and guts flying all over the place, proper death sounds emitting from the gasping mouths of those disemboweled alive, feeling her hand lightly touch yours, and hitting the pause button to enjoy some hot fellowship.
  • Good readers in your home - My kids can read just fine.  They eat books.  Renaya (11) will have read through the entire local library by the time she reaches 15 years of age.
  • Picnics - Just take a look between the fibers of the carpet.  There are full seven course meals in there.
  • Checkers, Scrabble - Done and done.  Especially when the kids are watching Sponge Bob.
  • All dirty rotten things - Unless, of course, you're watching Larry Brown give a sermon about smashing televisions.
But Larry doesn't stop there.  He sneaks an axe onto the stage and obliterates the dear old TV with it.

The crowd loses it.  One can imagine, if the camera were to pan the audience, you would see people running up and down the aisles, stomping their feet, high five-ing their buddy next to them, who they just spent an evening with, the other night, watching American Idol. Yes, these religious crowds love this sort of thing.

And then Brown hits his stride.  Assuming a combative position, the axe in both hands, he confidently tells the crowd that their wives would never argue with them about smashing the television.  The audience wonders why he is so confident and he gives them what they want by demonstrating how to look completely insane with an axe in your hands, when your wife walks in the room.  

We get the message.  

Women love television and men hate it that their wives are bringing that filth into their holy home.  Only men desire to rid their homes of this evil presence.  Women will want to argue and beg for the television to stay.  Men must take it upon themselves to ignore her and do that which is right.  Women then will wait it out and later beg for the television to return.  A man's only option is to threaten her with an axe - cementing the idea into the woman's mind, that she is to go back into the kitchen and begin supper.

Well played, Larry Brown.  Well played.  And to Ms. Brown, make sure you know the address of your nearest women's shelter.  Oh...and all you women in that crowd.  You too.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

JimBob Duggar Thinks Intense Monitoring of Lovers Guarantees Perfect Matches

Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald (Facebook)
The world is abuzz with the news that Jessa Duggar is "courting" her parent-approved beau, Ben Seewald.  She's following the unwritten and copiously written rules of courting to a proverbial 'T'.

Sure, they are touching in this photograph, a much talked about indiscretion in the Bill Gothard and Doug Phillips/Vision Forum circles.  But, no matter.  The parents have nothing to worry about!  This chap is golden!

(Here is where you imagine me do a Sarah Palin style wink.  I close my left eye, lifting that corner of my mouth nearly up to the level of the most southern point of my nose, revealing my perfectly coffee-stained teeth, finishing the effect off with a click of my tongue, abstaining from shooting my pistol finger - I mean...I'm NOT a product of the 80's...oh wait...)

No, you read that correctly.  The ever-smiling Jim Bob Duggar is confident in this perfect gentleman he has found for his daughter.  The usual family settings being the only interaction allowed.  The family doting on the couple, already marrying them off before they really know each other.  The smiling faces.  The awkward "30 second or less" side hugs.

And then, there's the electronic spying.  

See, Ben and Jessa like to text.  That's what young kids do these days.  But Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar can't have that happening under there noses.  No, that would be like having private conversations!  And that cannot be allowed!  

Thus, Ben and Jessa text back and forth on their parents' phones.

According to Michelle:
It has been fun to watch them and both of our phones are going off back and forth, ping, ping, ping. It has been interesting to watch their interactions because for her personality type, they share very similar beliefs.
Oh yes, Michelle.  You get to see their most intimate and private conversations right there on your phone.  They hold nothing back.  Everything they ever wanted to say to each other, everything they really are, their deepest darkest secrets, their true beliefs, their burning doubts, their independent from their parents' wishes hearts, yes...everything that you ever wanted to know, those kids are laying it all out before you.

Jim Bob is also completely oblivious to how young lads and lasses know to keep things inside or pretend to be who they aren't, knowing exactly what to say to impress an adult:
When a guy is pursing your daughter, you want to check him out and see if there are any red flags and with Ben, there hasn't been. He is very sharp. It appears like a match made in heaven.
Yes, Jim Bob and Michelle.  Of course it appears like a match made in heaven!  Your carefully controlled children know exactly what you want to hear.  One day, you'll realize that human beings are independent thinkers and have separate dreams, goals, and yes, even beliefs.  Maybe not with these two - but I guarantee you, as many children as you have, you WILL experience a shock one day.

Count on it.

Is Forgiveness ALWAYS the Correct Answer?

I'm 33 years old.  I've been alive for 12,193 days.  Ample time for people to rough me up physically, emotionally, mentally, or any other way they may have been able to dig in a proverbial knife.  I remember everything - mostly.  I can see their faces, hear their voices, even imagine placing myself in the same situations, and coming out the other end, worse for it.

Many religions and other creeds claim that a person needs to forgive.  Some even go further and say to forget.  Wise people attribute their longevity and lack of poor health to a lack of holding in the hurt from their past.  But is that just a misplacement of cause and effect?

I mean...does a person really need to forgive someone who hurt them?  Or, can they just use it as a learning mechanism, feel the pain, know what they don't like, and never allow that to happen again?  

This throws out the notion of "forgetting," which I think is unhealthy anyway.  Otherwise, you're throwing caution to the wind, allowing the victimizer to mess you up again.  

What say you?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Cindy Jacobs Saw Jars of Oil Fill Up Before Her Very Eyes

Self-proclaimed prophet, Cindy Jacobs said that she has watched God fill up jars of oil, right before her eyes - a thinly veiled plagiarism to the Elisha story in the Old Testament.

We can know that Cindy Jacobs was telling a tall tale because, who in the hell, and everything worth anything, puts oil in jars anymore!!!!

She could have modernized it and said:

"I was sipping on Mountain Dew, and I watched the Lord keep that can full as if I had never sipped it.  AND HE KEPT IT ICE COLD!!!!!"

I would have fallen on my face and worshiped.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Something different: What makes you happy?

Answer the following question in the comments below:

"At the end of the day, I still have..."

My answer is simple: 

Kristine (my bride of 12 years), my health, no E.D. (knock, Pearson Salted Nut Rolls, Schwan's strawberry ice cream, and Rwandan coffee.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Being a Nerd Has Its Benefits: An Ode to the Bullied

We were poor.  There were seven of us.  We lived with a single mother who refused to work, thinking it was religious anathema for a woman to do so.  So, we lived on about $16,000 a year in food stamps and cash assistance.  My mother may have struggled, but we never noticed.  The government helped, as well as everyone else that either took pity on us or fell in love with our family.

Life was good.

Then we got on the school bus.

The clothing we wore was old.  The styles from a decade past, remembered by the olive greens, the oranges, the browns, the long hair on both men and women, the drugs.  The seventies were over and yet our clothing was from that era.

My hair was always in my eyes, my welfare glasses always broken and taped up with masking tape, never smart enough to try the clear stuff.  My teeth were always brushed, but a bit crooked.  My shoes were older.  My backpack tattered and sometimes held together by those safety pins with the plastic animal heads at the end.

But I didn't care.  

Stepping up the stairs of that bus, my six siblings and I were met with chants of "NERDS! NERDS! NERDS!"  The other students were brutal.  They called us the Adams Family, because there were a lot of us and we looked weird.  For all they knew, we were magical and our mom had cast spells on the plum tree in the front yard, causing it to whither and grows prunes instead.

But these kids needed us.  They didn't care about school.  They wanted to have fun, bully other kids, and live up the life of an inner-city reprobate.  They needed us to be able to copy our papers.  We were smart and worked hard.  Their taunts were just that - words.  We could walk through the ghetto of North Minneapolis and hear perfect strangers whistle at us and yell, "It's the Adams Family!!"  Then they would run off and physically pick on other people.

I still go back to the old neighborhood and watch my classmates, hunched over, wearing oversize parkas on a hot summer day, walk up to me, and ask me for bus money.

It's sad, really.  The taunter has to watch the success of the taunted.  A sweet victory to those that are bullied.  Less of a win for the old jeerer. all you nerds out there.  You fine girls and boys that are being picked on in school.  Focus on the prize.  There are plenty of adults who are more aware and more helpful if you claim that you have been bullied, than when I was a child. 

This is your time.  

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My Fashion Advice for Girls: The Side Ponytail Is Back

Renaya (11) crept out of the bathroom with her head slightly cocked away from me.  Then she turned toward me and asked, 
Daddy, does this look good?
She was wearing a side ponytail, and it looked adorable.  I was a product of the 80's and side ponytails were all the rage in those days, coupled with the scrunchy worn around the wrist.  What would I know?  I thought girls were gorgeous then.

I also knew that I had been picked on incessantly while in school, our clothes coming from Goodwill, The Salvation Army, and a little thrift store down the street, The Silver Angel, where we could pick up a pair of last decade's tennis shoes for twenty-five cents.  People also dropped bags of clothes they didn't want anymore on our doorstep.  

We thought we were rich, but found out quickly that the reason they tossed them our direction was because nobody wore clothes from the 1970's in the 1980's.  Even so, I didn't much care.  I wore whatever I wore anyway, sticking my chin out, caring not that I didn't "fit in," disqualifying myself, as a parent, to ever counsel my own children about what was stylish or not.

So, here was Renaya, asking me if a decades-old style looked good.  I couldn't lie.

Yes!  It looks freaking gorgeous Naya.  But, keep in mind, I love ponytails anywhere.  On the back, on the side...heck even in the front of your head or eighteen of them scattered around all over the place, including braided neck hair.
But Naya, you have two choices with fashion:
1. Figure out if a side ponytail is "in," wearing it if it is, or
2. Screw all fashions of the day, be a non-conformist, and just be you.
Because, look perfectly lovely.

She blushed, gave me one of her toothy smiles, and left it in.

Ladies...the side ponytail is "in" now.  Start wearing it.


I. C.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Suspect Beaten by Police, Left with Broken Bones, Collapsed Lung

Police brutality isn't anything new.  With the proliferation of cell phone cameras, it has become easier to highlight their tactics, though.  To be fair, many cops do good and use these tactics where they are necessary, to placate violent alleged criminals.

But, as you watch the video (WARNING! GRAPHIC!) in this article that I wrote you can clearly see that the beating of the gentleman was completely unnecessary.  I am unabashed in my assessment.  One expert who viewed the video footage agrees with me.

Frankly, it reminded me of a parent trying to get her kid to do something (in this case, the cops told him to get on his stomach) and then beating them, rather than assisting them when they refused.

This video is not for the weak of stomach.

Friday, September 6, 2013

5 Ways Abortion Protesters Can Improve Their Message

I wrote this article after my experience at a Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin.

I am not a abortion supporter, nor do I not support abortion.  I simply support the environment of freedom where a woman has the ability to heavily weigh all her options, and choose the best one for her.  Some may disagree with her choice, but they can rest assured that the woman alone knows all the circumstances surrounding her decision.  Theory be damned.  Life is complex.


Miley Cyrus' Twerking Causes Men to Rape Women

I wrote an article for, rebutting Washington Post columnist, Richard Cohen's opinion piece.  In it, he states that Cyrus is to blame for the Steubenville Rape,

Take a look...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Love Isn't - My Poetry for the Bride and Groom

I recently had the great honor to write a little poetry for my brother in law and his new wife.  I read the following writing at their reception.  I hop you like it as much as I enjoyed writing and reading it.


Love Isn't

Love isn't seeing a girl for the first time, across a clearing, struggling to set up her tent, and walking over to help. 
Love isn't sitting in the rain for hours, trying to learn everything about this girl through deep conversation. 
Love isn't watching her eyes and lips move, never being able to get enough of the way her nose jiggles up and down when she talks. 
Love isn't realizing that this is the first girl you've ever been able to talk to without your cheeks turning twelve shades of red. 
Love isn't wrapping your arms around the woman you want to spend the rest of your life with, drinking in the scent of her unique perfume, your ears filling with the sound of your beating hearts. 
Love isn't finding every waking (and sleeping) moment to see her smiling face, learning everything there is to learn, giving everything there is to give. 
Love isn't driving for hours, in the middle of the night, seeking the darkest corners of the moonlit world, to get out and walk in the tall fields of corn, or the mosquito infested woods, surrounding each other with your arms as you went, trying as hard as you could, to halve the distance between you and her. 
Love isn't standing up by her head, whispering in her ear, as she grits her teeth in agony, over bringing a new life into this world. 
Love isn't casting off unnecessary impediments to living a life free of shackling ideology, strolling swiftly and deliberately into the unknown. 
Love isn't standing in the living room while children perfect their wall art with pencil, crayon, marker, hammer and nails, anything that etched, talking about new paint colors, new carpet and trim, to be installed just when the grandkids begin the art all over again. 
Love isn't washing mountains of dishes, thousands of loads of laundry, hundreds of toilets, changing hundreds of thousands of diapers, even the ones where the diaper seemed to be the only object on the child unsoiled. 
Love isn't engaging in an all-out war or argument for days on end, working out bits and pieces of the discussion at the edges, slowly moving to the core issues, which just happen to magically disappear the second you’re about to grasp them, leaving you staring into each other’s eyes, hearing nothing but the soft breath escaping her lips. 
Love isn't walking into a messy house and yelling at the top of your lungs at the scurrying children, willing them to pretend to placate you by picking up a toy just long enough for you to be satisfied, then dropping it when your head is turned, and then hearing your bride say, “Shut up and kiss me.” 
Love isn't pulling her close when the stresses of life and new fields of discovery cause her to break down in tears, resting her head on your chest for hours, talking about the realities of Princess Bride and the evils of the importation of dandelions. 
No, love isn't any of these things – for you. 
For you, I look forward to your life, defining what love really is, moment by moment, year after year.