Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Your assistance please

The following is a tiny snippet from my life:

I had just come home from a more-stressful-than-usual day at the office. It was dark and I was hungry. I went into the kitchen to fix myself a sandwich: two slices of untoasted, multigrain bread, roasted turkey, and mayo.

My wife was on the sofa, watching "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central. I sit next to the seat next to her, about five feet away.

Wife: WHAT are you EATING?!?
Me (surprised): a....turkey sandwich?
Wife: You're chewing too loud.

Partially out of deference to Jon Stewart, my wife, and the fact that I was mentally-exhausted from my job, I tried to finish my sandwich as quietly as I could. However, it is now that I must ask for some guidance:

1. I was hungry: Those of you who know me, know that I love food. Some of you would say I take loving food to an entirely new level. It really was an effort to hide my lust for that turkey sandwich on that night - it was just so satisfying, so reliable. I also find it a source of pride being able to provide for myself and my family - having the resources to eat when I'm hungry.

2. Bread: My wife also prefers getting the multigrain varieties, which have loads of nuts, seeds, and other various plant-matter baked inside. I, myself, can do rather well on plain, soft, quiet, Wonderbread white. So, I think her loaf choice is partially to blame here.

3. Just a sandwich: I didn't go through my entire repertoire of exotic ingredients for this sandwich - I didn't even toast the bread! No potato chips, or crisp lettuce leaves, not even crunchy strips of bacon. No, the sandwich innards were, in my opinion, as quiet as they could have been.

So, am I crazy here? Do your significant others' eating volume annoy you? Have you been labelled a loud eater?

I'm wondering if I should cater to this, or lash out in the totally opposite direction and start making slurpy ramen noodles or hard-shell tacos for dinner. This, however, would go against my policy of using food as a weapon. But, is it my chewing or is my wife getting at something more? I wonder.

Monday, September 13, 2010

This is 40

I turned 40 last month. Since then, I've noticed some radical changes in myself:

1. Finance. I've always considered myself fiscally-responsible. Not really splurging on things - rather, I was more-occupied with saving up for life expenses, like college tuitions. I've started listening to news more...figuring out when it's time to refinance my home (rates are low, btw!) Now realizing the value of that good credit I've been working on...

2. Fashion. Probably fueled by item #1 above. Since I've been "running my numbers", I started to get an idea of how much lower my monthly expenses would be. More disposable-income can be very dangerous and very powerful. My own social circle also changed. I find myself attending more weddings and sadly, some funerals as well. My attention focused on my wardrobe.

For the longest time, I've been jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers. Comfortable, inexpensive, long-lasting, totally inappropriate for these formal-events I keep getting invited to. Time to buy something really nice to wear. It's been well over fifteen years since I needed a new suit - I take pride in the fact that I can still fit into it. But it has broken stitches and the style just isn't relevant anymore. Now that I have the means, motive, and opportunity, it's time to commit a crime.

Research. I research the hell out of everything before I buy anything, especially when we're talking about a potential four-figure spend for a new look. For style and fashion, there's NO shortage of information. I've already read up on fully-canvassed vs. fused, which labels to avoid (pretty much every label I knew in my limited exposure to suitmakers), good tailoring and alterations, and which sources to acquire quality goods from. I've realized I don't need the most-expensive, I just want to feel good in what I have - that means spending that perfectly justifiable amount of money. And hey, if it's on sale with a newspaper coupon, all the better.

You always hear about how lottery-winners suddenly change. Well, not necessarily change, but how the money brings-out those long-dormant qualities in people. I suppose that's what this is, too. I didn't think I was a closet clothes-horse, but here I am, going slack-jawed at a $1,600.00 pair of John Lobb double-monk buckles while critiquing the lack of pick-stitching on someone's lapels...

Wish me luck.