A Leaky Faucet and a Frozen Pair of Panties

I thought I was going to stay in today on this blistery snowy Sunday, but no, my friend coerced me out of the house.
“Come on…let’s go get some lunch.”
“Lunch? It’s lunchtime?”
“What! Did you just get up?”
“No, I’m just lounging around today. Give me fifteen minutes and I’ll meet you on the corner. I still need to get dressed.”

I left the house at Noon and began my descent down the seventy-seven stairs of my brownstone. Before I got through the first twelve I was met in the hallway by one of my downstairs’ neighbors who was on all fours. He had removed a wall panel and was peering into the recessed shaft where the plumbing to his unit could be accessed.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“I’m checking the pipes. We’re going to swap out the faucet in our bathroom.”
“Oh cool…good luck.”

That’s the last I thought about it. It slipped my mind completely after I stumbled upon a pair of shiny, red panties lying in the snow bank on the way to meeting my friend. Crazy shit like this always captures my attention – oddities that I find when I’m out walking. I pulled out my iPhone and snapped a picture and kept walking. How and why were they there is always the first panties, frozen panties, red underwear, underwear, snow, valentine's dayquestions? Valentine’s Day was just the other day so I wonder if the owner of these panties discarded them after having a quickie in one of the parked cars the other night – it wouldn’t be the first time. Or maybe she dropped them after her walk of shame home – I’ve see that before too. Another plausible explanation – maybe they just fell out of her laundry bag – and yes, I’ve seen that too. Regardless – whoever you are, your panties are now in this story. As my friend said to me after I showed him the photograph,
“You gotta Instagram dat joint!” – We heard that statement recently on some YouTube video. It made us both crack up. And for the record…I did Instagram it.

We trekked through the snow and picked up our pizza and two liter bottle of Coke – that was the special of the day, and was just about to get into it and my friends phone started to chime.
“Jason…I just got a text saying that there is a large puddle of water in the hallway in front of my rental unit in your building.”
“Shit…are you kidding me? I can tell you exactly where that’s coming from. One of the new owners was in the hallway telling me he was going to change out his faucet. Do you have the number to the management company?”

Fifteen minutes later I got a call from my neighbor:
“Jason…the fucking kid was going to change out the faucet and didn’t shut the water off to the build first. It’s a fucking mess over here. It looked like a waterfall running down the wall!”
“Yes I heard. We contacted the management company and they are on their way over. That’s all we can do.”

Being in the penthouse, this mess and problem had no bearing on my unit, or me, but for some reason my wife and I always get involved. What I can say is this: If you are not a plumber, electrician, HVAC technician or contractor, do not attempt to do any of these tasks on your own. You will fuck something up. This in turn will cause problems. These problems won’t be pretty or an easy fix. Your neighbors will be pissed. You will have to file an insurance claim. Your insurance will go up. Your wife will yell at you. I think that pretty much sums it up.

It’s just another learning lesson for this first time homebuyer. In the event that you pissed yourself when you couldn’t get the water to stop, I know where you can find some fresh panties!

You know it’s love when…

You know it’s love when…

you get a Valentine’s Day card from your wife that looks like this.

valentines day, card, bitch, love

It essentially is saying, you’ve been down this road for a while.
It’s also saying, True Love.
It says, she’s in it for the long haul.
It may also say, I Love You ‘in code’.
I’d be fine if it said, Bitch, you’re mine tonight, and if that’s code for something else, then I’m in!

Try not to get too offended by the potty-mouthed nature of this card or post.
I’m guaranteeing that they’ll be more of it in the future.

p.s…I had a very nice Valentine’s Day.  Thanks for asking.

Let’s Talk About Valentine’s Day

kevin van aelst, heart, panopticon gallery, photograph, valentine's day

Kevin Van Aelst, The Heart, 2009

Here’s my story about Valentine’s Day, but first, a little back story to set the scene. So, I’ve been doing a bit of writing over that past two years – actually a bit more than normal. In fact, I started writing and keeping journals when I met my future bride to be. That was in ninety-three. For those of you having trouble, a quick math exercise brings us up to twenty – twenty wonderful years with the same woman. It’s not an easy thing to do – you know – being married. Relationships take work – and most of the work tends to be on my end. My wife is easy to live with – I’m the one who brings the drama.

I used to write in a journal every day when we first met. This was well before the advent of Facebook, email and text messaging. When we would get together, she would read what was going on in my life during any given week. Some people forget that there was a time in the past that used to be like this. So for those of you reading this that are smirking at the fact that I was writing in journals – well – most of you are doing in now – that is – those of you who type something every day in Facebook, Twitter or on a blog. Those are the virtual journals of the now generation.

My journals were packed with poems and stories, pictures that I drew, pictures and comics from magazines that I glued in, and photographs of us. Yeah, I was a real sap…but I was also creating memories and those are important to me. Come to think of it…I’m still a sap. Other people created memories back then too buy sticking photographs in photo albums. I’m guilty of doing that, however, with the amount of photographs that I used to take, being a photographer and all, most ended up in boxes.

I asked my wife if she wanted to go out this year on Valentine’s Day. Her response, “No, there are too many shmoopies out.” When you have been together for close to twenty (gulp) years, you should know each other by now – know what the other is thinking (for the most part) and what they really want.

They don’t want store-bought valentines. You know what I’m talking about…they come in many shapes and sizes. I’m sure that most of you are familiar with the popular ones. There are the trademark flowers, of course: roses and carnations et al. Red, pink, yellow, white – they’re all the same thing. In February the florists mark them up and there are a lot of suckers out there who will drop a mint on a few dozen just to get their heart broken a few weeks later. I know some of you have bought the little teddy bears on special at CVS, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates from whatever bon-bon shop you fancy, and let’s not forget those lovely little numbers that are silky and lacy and can be purchased at a place that prides itself for offering the best secrets, stolen from a girl named Victoria, right? It’s the same shit every year. My valentine doesn’t want more of the same. She wants originality and fine execution, pretend like Ed McMahon is judging you on Star Search – right? That’s what she wants.

Then comes the agony of dinner reservations, and if you can’t get reservations at her favorite place, well then, call it a night, or start your Plan B. Reservations are a bitch to get on Valentine’s Day. Since her favorite restaurant is booked up solid months before, and remember she told you this a while ago, you try to be slick and pull some last-minute reservation out your ass at some place that neither of you have been to. After waiting in line in the vestibule freezing your ass off for over two hours, you finally get seated around eleven pm, your date’s irate, the service blows and they still swipe your credit card for one hundred and fifty cause it’s a prix fixe menu. The night ends in a fight and no one gets any nookie. I know this, because it’s happened to me before. In hindsight, the safer play would’ve been to give her that card with Charlie Brown on it with the tag line, ‘Be Mine’. Worst-case scenario would be your ‘Lucy’ pulling the old football trick on you.

The bottom line is, you don’t have to indulge your lady friend, lover, partner, significant other or your wife with these store bought icons of love that they don’t really need and often times don’t want, because let’s not kid ourselves – most of the times the gifts are for us. You don’t have to wine and dine them at the trendiest restaurant with the hottest chef from Europe either. What they really want, what they really deserve, is a moment of true love, honest praise and a whisper of sweet something’s in their ears. Sweet nothings are what they expect from us. Let’s surprise them this year. Let’s offer them something that they least expect. Let’s flip the script! Let’s make them dinner, rather than going out. Let’s do the dishes and clean up afterwards – “Hey honey, it’s Palmolive and I’m soaking in it!” Let’s do the laundry and put away the clothes so they don’t have to lift a finger but make sure you lay out their favorite pair of flannel pajama bottoms on the bed next to their pillow, okay? Let’s offer to be at their beck and call – even if it’s just for one day. Let’s make sure that our valentine is so happy that they brag about us tomorrow to their friends on Facebook! Wouldn’t that be awesome?

If your lady friend is anything like mine, maybe she just wants you out of her hair for the afternoon so that she can relax in peace. I can hear her already, “Jason, go phone a friend.” And if that’s what she wants, then my queen, I shall obey.

If tomorrow comes, I will have survived another Valentine’s Day, and another year without being in the doghouse. Just don’t forget to tell your special someone ‘I Love You’. That’s very important!

~ Jason Landry
February 14, 2013