Being Smug A Day Too Late and Why Some Marriages Work So Well

You may recall that, much to my delight, Punksin made it onto a new and vastly improved swimming team.

I am excited beyond belief.

They had a family picnic for all team members the day after she was accepted and although we didn’t yet know anyone, we went. The head coach was excited and surprised that we were brave enough to come. She doesn’t know me yet. I am brave way past the point where brave becomes stupid.

And a few days after that, the intense practice schedule began. When I say intense, I speak relatively. Before, Punksin was practicing twice a week for an hour each time.

No one is getting to the goddamn Olympics swimming two hours a week.

Now, it’s four days a week. On three of those days, she swims for an hour. On the fourth day, it’s an hour and 15 minutes. Her time in the water has increased by over 100%, and the tutelage she is receiving already looks more focused. I am excited. By the time she reaches the top level, she’ll be practicing 6 days a week for 2 hours a day, including dry land workouts. LOVE IT.

Needless to say, the Tech Guru is also excited. But his excitement is annoying the shit out of me.

Every time Punksin comes out of the pool, he wants to go over it. He’s demonstrating what she SHOULD have done, what she needs to improve, blah blah blah.

Finally one day I had enough of her being drilled all the way back home and even into the house, and I said, “You know, that’s why she’s being coached.

He was not too happy with my statement. “Well, I can still ADD something,” he retorted.

But she has COACHES, and she just came out of the POOL. Do we need to keep going on and on about this?

Well, look, I’m going to talk to her about what’s she’s doing, the same way YOU talk to her and supplement her on her English work.

And I thought, well, I guess he has somewhat of a point there, but still, it stuck in my craw. One, because I feel like after practicing for an hour 4x a week, let her get out of the pool physically AND mentally. Two, because I’m scared that he doesn’t really know what the fuck he’s talking about. What if he’s telling her stuff that’s wrong? Or what if he’s somehow fucking with the particular style and reasoning that these people are implementing? They didn’t win Junior Olympics last year for nothing. They must know what the fuck they’re doing, right? Leave it to them and shut the hell up!

And that’s when it hit me. My retort to what he said.

The next day, as we sat at her practice watching her, I said to him, “You know, I was thinking about what you said, about you coaching her in swimming and adding to what she’s doing, the same as me checking in on her school work. But…there’s a basic difference.

I paused, and he waited.

Me, I have a DEGREE in English, so I know what the fuck I’m talking about. You don’t swim professionally. You don’t have a DEGREE in swimming. You know how TO swim, but that doesn’t make you a coach on technique. Which is why we’re HERE.”

I tittered to myself. I mean, seriously, I could write Punksin’s 3rd grade teacher under a fucking table. She can’t touch me. But I don’t pretend I know how to coach swimmers. The Tech Guru thinks that just because he is an athlete, that he is jack-of-all-trades. He played football, basketball, and now he’s a Crossfit athlete, and I LOVE ALL OF IT. I love that he’s in shape. But he’s NOT A SWIM COACH. STOP IT.

He looked at me, sitting there smugly crocheting because I knew I had gotten the last word, and I knew that really, right at that moment, I KNEW…he just wanted to punch me in the face.*

I know that. Because if I had been him, I would have wanted to punch me in the face, not really because I’d said this shit, but because I said it A WHOLE DAY AFTER THE CONVERSATION HAD ENDED. I mean, was I desperate to have the last word or what? (See? This is what I mean about OWNING YOUR SHIT. I know this was petty, and I OWN IT. I don’t pretend it was cute or okay or it just happened. I KNOW it was PETTY. I DID IT ANYWAY, because I’m an ASS. And also because I know my husband KNOWS me enough not to take me too fucking seriously on shit like this.)

And that, that right there? That is why I love the Tech Guru. I really really do. Because he just looked at me, and although he wanted to punch me in the face, he said, you know what? This bitch is crazy, but I love her, and part of why I love her IS because she is crazy. So I’m gonna let her think whatever the fuck she needs to think right now to make her ass feel good,  and I’m gonna go back to watching my daughter swim, and when she comes out of the pool, I’m gonna say WHATEVER THE FUCK I WANT TO SAY TO HER ANYHOW.

I KNOW this. I knew it as soon as he looked back at the pool. I knew I had not WON anything. I just wanted him to not say anything to ME, and he DIDN’T. And then, when she came out of the pool, he went right on back to doing the same shit. I had made my point, and now he was making his, and no one had won shit but…we both felt okay!

Talk about understanding each other. It’s fucking AWESOME.

*DISCLAIMER: I want to be clear here to those of you that might be new or stupid enough to take most of the stuff I say too literally. When I said my husband wanted to punch me in the face, please be assured that I am speaking facetiously. My husband is not a man prone to domestic violence AT ALL. That’s not him, and it will never be him unless he develops a brain tumor or some shit that makes him act totally out of character. He would NEVER EVER EVER punch me in the face. I KNOW this. (He might slap me around a little bit, but that’s only when we’re naked. ) So please do not call the police, do not send me private messages with phone numbers of the nearest women’s shelters, do not wonder if I am dropping hints about domestic abuse. I AM NOT. Seriously, I’m okay, and HE’S okay. He is the most nurturing, tender, and loving person I know and he would never lay a hand on me that is not one of love. Now, I DO feel sorry for the people who WORK for him who don’t do things properly or efficiently, because at work he is the most intolerant son of a bitch there is. Thank God I don’t WORK for his ass. But WE are FINE. So please…work with my warped sense of humor here. I know he was mildly annoyed at me, but he brushed that shit off like most of the shit I do. Now, I, on the other hand, that might be something I would do, I have to admit that; I might actually punch someone in the face. But I’ve never had cause to do it to him, which is why we are married, because if I ever did feel like I wanted to punch him in the face, I’m thinking that’s time to start packing. But after 15 years , I don’t think it’s going to go that route. So calm down, people. CALM THE FUCK DOWN.

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Posted in The Fam | 10 Comments »

10 Responses to “Being Smug A Day Too Late and Why Some Marriages Work So Well”

  1. Adina says:

    I enjoy your writing style very much. Proper English, combined with the right amount of ‘shit’ and ‘fuck’ and a warped sense of humour are a winning combination.


    • Leila says:

      Oh Adina, if I could marry you I would. Because you clearly GET me. I am completely anal about things like grammar and as noted, I do have an English degree. On the other hand, the English language would not be quite so colorful, particularly when talking about things like STUPID PEOPLE and funny anecdotes, if one had to shy away from curse words altogether. There are some who do it quite well and I certainly don’t think that curse words are NECESSARY to getting one’s point across, and I am quite adept at conversing without them.

      But they sure are fun as FUCK!

      Come back. There will always be a mixture of poignancy, happiness, sadness, hysteria and sheer hilarity, liberally sprinkled with curse words. It’s how I roll.

  2. TwoNuse says:


    Does this mean clothes are your version of a safe word? If you come to bed with only one sock on, it means no Marquis De Sade action? If he wears a beret is he saying “not tonight dear, my hand hurts”?

    • Leila says:

      Well clothes can’t really be a SAFE word, if you think of it. Safe words are for use when you’re already in full swing and stuff gets out of control, and if you’re already naked, where the hell am I supposed to pull a sock from? I don’t keep them stuffed up my ass for emergencies. Also, I could never see my husband in a beret. He’s just not a beret kind of guy. I think for him a beret would be less of a safe word and more of a “I think I’m gay” word. Which is not to say that berets in general are gay, because if that were so then we all need to take a much closer look at the French. I’m just speaking about MY husband here. It’s just…not his thing. Kind of like pink pants. As you know, SOME men wear pink pants. Just…NOT MY HUSBAND. EVER.

      • Leila says:

        Although he DOES wear pink dress shirts, which I think are extremely hot, especially the ones with the French cuffs. A man in a suit with a pink dress shirt with white French cuffs and collar, kick-ass cufflinks and a killer tie, is someone I want to sleep with get to know. Although I think it’s less about the pink shirt and more about the French cuffs. I don’t know what it is about French cuffs that sends me over the moon. I just love to see a man in killer business attire. Either that, or I have a thing about cuffs of any sort.

  3. Adina says:

    I agree with you on the proper business attire. Not the off-the-rack kind and definitely with French cuffs. Cufflinks bought separately, not the ones functioning as stand-ins. I am a bit more particular than I thought, now that I look at how many words I wrote about cuffs and cufflinks. As for the pink shirts, they look great on the right man. Just not in combination with berets.


  4. TwoNuse says:

    You do know I don’t actually own pink pants, right?

    Besides, I would only wear them on the golf course (or on a bet where there is significant $ on the line). I feel the golf course is a special place where ridiculous attire is accepted, nay, demanded.

  5. TwoNuse says:

    As for cufflinks, I made the switch sometime in the last decade. If I was forced to analyse why, I would guess, as a poor boy from Brooklyn, I equated cufflinks with financial success and that kernel stayed in my head until I was buying my own dress shirts. Not to mention cufflinks are the only jewelry a man can wear that no one would question his sexual preference for wearing them.

    Of course, questioning someone’s sexual preference because of what he is wearing is a horrible thing to do, well below the upbringing of those who graduated from the best public high school in the world.

    I haven’t gone so far as the solid color shirt/white collar&cuffs combo though. I don’t like the look without a suit jacket and I don’t regularly wear them.

  6. Leila says:

    I disagree about cufflinks being the only unquestionably male jewelry! I know men who wear rings – besides wedding rings – and necklaces. (Although do men call them necklaces? I’m writing through a sleeping pill so I’m fuzzier than normal…) Also, the Tech Guru had both ears pierced and actually wore hoops at our wedding, per my request. They were most subtle but I thought they were incredibly sexy. But I do love choosing cufflinks for him. He is nowhere into his clothes as much as I am and I think he gets into more because he knows I like it as opposed to HIM actually liking it. Which is fine by me, I don’t give a shit WHY he’s doing it, just put on some dress clothes.

    Um, I know you don’t own pink pants – at least you didn’t the last time pink pants were under discussion. But I do believe they came up because you were lusting after a pair, no? And this brings me to a huge question: why DOES golf demand such insane attire? Plaids galore, pink pants…is it so golfers can see one another and therefore (hopefully) NOT hit each other? Or is so men can gossip about their clothes while they’re out there?

    Adina, beret and French cuffs definitely not a match made in heaven. Give me the French cuffs anytime.

  7. TwoNuse says:

    My guess is golfers want to self identify and (outside walking around with a 5 iron) the plaids and argyles scream that the wearer tees it up much more that khakis and polo shirts do.

    BTW, if you want the cutting edge of ridiculous golf attire, watch Golf Channel in the morning on weekends. That is when the European Tour events are broadcast; those gentleman are throwing out colors and styles that would make the most flamboyant homosexual go with a grey hoodie and baggy jeans.

    Speaking of clothes (& homosexuals), when did bow ties signify an interest in penis? I was waking in midtown Wednesday and I’m sure I was hit on with a passing ‘like your bow tie’ from a gentleman.