Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Half Empty: Valentine's Day

They say that when you hit your 40s, your life is half over. We prefer to think of it as HALF EMPTY. Our age has finally caught up with our outlook on life. Remember, it is possible to turn that frown upside down...but you might pull a muscle.

By Rick Kaempfer and Dave Stern

Here’s a question for you lovebirds who have been married for a long time: Have you renewed your vows yet?

If you haven’t, you might be a little surprised at the refreshing honesty expressed during the renewal vows these days. They use an entirely different script than they used for the original vows.

Your good friends at Half Empty have managed to acquire a copy. We’re printing the script here so that you can mentally prepare yourself for the big day.


Clergy: Do you (insert husband’s name), promise to… step over the laundry basket instead of carrying it up the stairs, wipe up spills with your socks, use the imaginary brakes when she drives, never replace a toilet paper roll, push crumbs under the fridge rather than pick them up, pretend to listen with an uncanny ability to nod at the appropriate times, remember nothing—ever, never find anything even if it’s in front of your face, buy less than 70% of the items on your grocery list, mix all colors and wash everything in warm, pretend like you’re asleep when she wants to talk, think that twelve hours of television a day is an appropriate amount for a four year old, and expend the minimum amount of effort on everything you do every single day….as long as you both shall live?

Husband: I do.

Clergy: And do you (insert wife’s name), promise to…leave an unsaid ‘dumbass’ at the end of every sentence with the tone of your voice, have a strong opinion on literally every subject, roll your eyes within two seconds of him opening his mouth, break every traffic law when you drive—even for short distances, pick the absolutely worst movie every time you go to Blockbuster, think that ballroom dance and yoga classes would be a fun couple’s activity, make snide comments about his appearance, yearn for more culture in your life, restack the dishwasher every single time he does it, expect him to tolerate your bad moods while cutting him no slack ever for his bad moods, and point out that he is doing everything the ‘wrong’ way every single day…as long as you both shall live?

Wife: I do.

Clergy: Wow. Well, then, I guess you really are man and wife. You may kiss the bride.

Husband & Wife: Is that really necessary?

Clergy: OK, you may now go to your separate televisions.

Crowd: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwww.

Cue the music: “Trading Spaces” and “Monday Night Football” (at the same time)

A show of hands: Who has a tear in his or her eye right now?

What can we say? We do too.

I guess we’re all just hopeless romantics.

Do Rick and Dave have even more love to share today?

Why yes we do.

Look, we don't like to brag, but we know a thing or two about love.

On this Valentine's Day, we're not just going to give you one measly column to help your love life. No sir. Today, we'll give you 4 more.

True love--4 ever.

Are you a wife looking for harmony in your relationship? This column is for you: 10 Questions you should never ask your husband

Are you a boyfriend or husband, desperately trying to understand your woman? This column is for you: Quiz: How well do you understand your woman?

Are you a woman who really wants to attract a man? Boy, have you come to the right place. This column is for you: 9 Ways to Attract a Man

Are you a husband who wants to be able to make your wife laugh again? We've been there, buddy. This column is for you: 10 things a husband can say to make his wife laugh

Are you a husband or wife who doesn't want to overpay for a nice romantic dinner at a restaurant tonight? Sorry. We're love counselors, not miracle workers.

Love may be one of our specialties, but we write about so much more. To read any of our previous columns, click here:

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Suburban Man: Dumb Dads

By Rick Kaempfer

You probably already know this if you watch television: Dads are dumb. It begins the moment we become fathers...

First time dad!

We can't be trusted to do the simplest of things, because deep down, we're really really dumb...

Daddy in the park

Anybody hungry? What would happen if really stupid Dad tried to make dinner for everyone?

Subway Commercial: The Dad Who Made Dinner

Don't let him out on the streets with his children, he's too stupid to stay out of trouble...

Daddy & Daughter

I'm not sure exactly when this trend started, but I noticed it when my kids were very young and Home Improvement was on television. Tim Allen wasn't helping our cause...

What did the Moron Have for Breakfast?

Dumb, dumb dad.

Of course the poster boy for stupid is also a father, so that really doesn't help...

Homer Simpson: Portrait Of An Idiot

And now the latest hot show on Fox has even taken it up a notch...

peter-family guy

The dumb dad stereotype has always bugged me a little bit, but I think I finally reached my breaking point the other day when I saw that commercial with the father who text messages his children at the dinner table.

That dad sets new stupidity records. I cringed at the stupid grin on his face. I cringed at the stupid giggles he can't restrain as he acts like a five year old. I cringed at the unawareness he has about the way his family really feels about him. Even his wife calls him stupid with her eyes.

"That's enough!" I said.

I turned off the television and went into the kitchen where my oldest son Tommy was working on his math homework. As usual, he didn't even acknowledge I was there.

"The answer to #3 is 3 5/8," I said, leaning over his shoulder.

"Dad," he said. "I don't want your help."

"Really?" I replied defensively. "Nobody wants dumb Dad to help out with math homework, right? Dumb Dad is obviously too stupid to help."

"Math just isn't your subject," he said.

"I think I can handle fifth grade math," I snapped.

"The answer is 3 3/8," he pointed out.



Never mind.

You know, most stereotypes are just slightly embellished reality.

Click here to read Suburban Man's take on the unwritten ground rules of Valentine's day: Valentine's Day

To read any previous Suburban Man column, click here: