Thursday, September 23, 2010


Several years ago, when hubby and I were in the throes of dating, there happened a day when I felt extremely ill after working a 12 hour night shift at the hospital. That morning I decided not to go home. (Hubby will now be referred to as bf)

Bf was not happy when I decided to pay him a visit at 7:00 in the morning. At the time, keeping my torso parallel with the floor helped to lessen the stomach pain. I hobbled over to him hunched over like Gollum. I even peered up at him sideways which only served to enhance my crippled form. Bf opened his eyes and this is what he saw:

I feel sick! Help me!
I woke him up to tell him how miserable I felt, but seemed only to receive very annoyed looks from him as he ordered me to stop walking bent over like an invalid. I told him it was a method of survival from the stomach pain. He didn't believe me.

At the same time, I was hungry, and couldn't tell if my stomach pains were that of hunger or of a bug-induced irritated bowel. I asked in my sickly voice if maybe, possibly, bf could get me something to eat.

Food? Please?
Disgruntled and annoyed, he stormed out of his warm bed to cook me some ramen noodles- the spicy kind was all he had. When I slurped up my first chopstick full of Shin ramen noodles, I realized just how famished I was. I quickly ate a few more bites, but then suddenly felt ill again. I stopped eating with still a full bowl of ramen left.

I glanced up at bf pitifully. "I don't think I can eat anymore." The look on his face was one of frustrated disapproval. "Eat it. I made that for you," he commanded. I glanced back down at my bowl of spicy ramen and felt guilty that he had gone through all the trouble of making it for me. I forced down more ramen noodles until the bowl was near empty, then curled up on his bed in the fetal position and whined. My stomach still ached, but it seemed to have subsided a bit with the food.

I think I'll be okay now
10 minutes later I could feel it- the ramen noodles were protesting in my stomach. I managed a feeble "I feel sick," before I bolted out of bed and grabbed the nearest object with which to contain my stomach contents- bf's trash can. You know the somewhat satisfying feeling you get after vomiting? Like all the bad stuff is out of your system now and you can rest in peace? This was nothing at all like that.

It burns!
The hot, spicy mess of ramen was agonizing as it hurled out of stomach, burned its way up my esophagus, and into my sinuses. It was like I had snorted a pound of red hot pepper powder into my nostrils after drinking a gallon of tabasco sauce. I writhed in pain as the spicy ramen bf had guilt-tripped me into eating poured out of me like a scene from The Exorcist.

My stomach bug was such that I vomited extremely fiery, peppery ramen 3 more times- to the point where I thought I had surely caused 3rd degree burns to my esophagus. In-between the episodes I accused bf of his cruel and ingenious method of torture. He didn't believe my horrifying experience of upchucking spicy ramen.

Bf found himself cleaning out a trash can full of half-digested spicy ramen in the bathroom 8:00 in the morning a total of 3 times. The fourth time I somehow managed to make it to the bathroom toilet. My face was a swollen thing of tears and snot- not because of any emotional toil, but because the red pepper flakes had combined with my stomach acid and had somehow transformed into LAVA.

Exhausted from my battle with the toilet, feeling sicker than ever, I returned to bf's bed and slept the rest of the afternoon. A couple days later, I had recovered and left on a vacation to visit my parents.

That night, after arriving at my parent's house, I received a phone call from bf.
"I'm SO SORRY, I am a HORRIBLE bf and will NEVER treat you like that EVER AGAIN!"

Apparently, bf caught whatever bug I had. Bf had such stomach pains that he couldn't stand up straight. He had to hobble in a Gollum-like manner to the drugstore in order to buy himself some Pepto Bismol. Apparently, earlier that day, grandma had cooked bf some spicy korean kimchee soup which had had eagerly consumed... and vomited for several hours afterwards in burning agony over the toilet. Apparently, bf had spent all day curled up on his bed in utter misery, confessing to God that he had been a bad bf and yes, he had learned his lesson.

Ever since that incident, hubby has been good to me whenever I'm tired or sick. He pampers me and doesn't doubt my suffering or pain anymore. Most of all, we've both learned to stay away from spicy foods when even remotely suspicious of being sick, though you don't always know until it's too late.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


My hubby likes to complain about me being a nurse and I can't blame him. When it comes to garnering sympathy from me for cuts and bruises, stomach aches, headaches, or other such ills, well, all he gets is a snort, an eye roll, and a pat on the back. "Oh, you're fine. I've seen patients with their jaws bitten off by horses and guts spilling out their nostrils. Take two tylenol and go to bed."

I will take that apple out of your mouth,
and your chin with it! True story
Anything less than being on the ventilator, paralyzed and sedated with 9 drips going at the same time- isn't worth getting excited over.

When hubby is in the presence of myself and a nurse colleague sitting at a table eating dinner, he knows it involves lengthy, unedited conversations involving play-by-play graphic detail of blood, guts, and other bodily fluids. Whatever it is that hubby is about to consume somehow finds its way into my description of something utterly unappetizing. Hubby sits there traumatized with the fork at his chin, eyes wide, mouth hanging open as he mentally visualizes the very horrific things I describe. For some reason I can sit in my patient's room for an hour cleaning out a rotting limb and still be thinking about what I'm going to have for lunch.

Brain jello consumed without hesitation
At work I'm like the Energizer Bunny on steroids. Sometimes it's "go, go, go" or else your patient might crash and die on you. For a critically ill patient who is taking a turn for the worse, there is seemingly no end to the number of bags of fluid, antibiotics, and IV medications that need to be hung, labs that need to be drawn, lines and tubes that need to be inserted, X-rays, EKGs, MRIs, CAT scans and other tests or procedures that need to be completed, monitors that need to be watched, vital signs, inputs and outputs that need to be charted, doctors and families that need to be notified.

Literally, there is no time to eat lunch, pee or even scratch your nose. I am running my rear off to stabilize the patient and there are a slew of serious, life-saving drips that constantly need to be titrated. I admit to a surge of satisfaction when pressing a few buttons on an IV pump can almost instantly bring up a patient's dropping blood pressure. But then again, there's nothing scarier than having a patient's life in your hands.

I know how to titrate human rocketfuel
That's why I crash when I get home from work- which, having had pure adrenaline running through my veins all day, is unavoidable. This means that hubby has a wife who can barely stand and barely stay awake, much less make dinner, go out, or do anything remotely productive. I am then a blob who sits in front of the television, shovels food in her mouth, and 10 minutes later, crawls into bed.

Thanks to hubby for his tolerance, his understanding, encouragement, and the tall glass of cold water he always has ready for me when I step through the door after work. You're the best.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


When I first open my eyes in the morning over the weekend, there are but a few things on my mind. One is to go back to sleep. The second is to empty my bladder. The third is an overwhelming need to WAKE UP HUBBY IN THE MOST ANNOYING WAY POSSIBLE! A feeling of pure and utter GIDDINESS comes over me. I chuckle uncontrollably and maneuver about the bed with a burst of unexplainable, hyperactive energy.

I have been known to do the following:
  • Roll over hubby back and forth several times and comment on how lumpy the mattress is.
  • Inspired by a song upon wakening, sing it loudly and with gusto.
  • Burrow under covers and headbutt hubby until he must either climb over me or fall out the bed.
  • Cover hubby completely with comforter, 2 heavy Sobakowa buckwheat pillows, 4 extra fluffy pillows, and 2 microfiber blankets, wait until hubby is annoyingly hot and stuffy, then body slam him.

  • Spin around in circles sideways on the bed and yell "WEE!"
  • Pull the white comforter around my head and torso, insist on being a fluffy white cloud, then fall on hubby.
  • For quickest results, place cold feet on hubby's warm back. 
  • Talk to hubby frantically with mouth closed and expect hubby to understand what is being said.
  • Balance pillows on my feet and propel them at hubby.
  • Manipulate hubby's limbs to act out a scene in which I am being assaulted by an alien octopus.
  • Blow air into hubby's face until his eyes open, then sputter to a stop and lie quietly back down. Repeat. 

Sunday, September 5, 2010


The other night my hubby said, "My wife is my girlfriend." Normally, wife and girlfriend don't mix if they're two different people. But since I choose to believe that I am one and the same, I found his comment to be very sweet indeed. Now, I don't claim to be knowledgeable or wise in the way of marriagehood, but I have learned a few things from my insightful mother-in-law by observation. One of which is to always put forth effort to make one's wifely self a constant source of interest, a mysterious and lovely specimen, by way of reinvention or preservation- but only towards your husband, ladies. Whether its pursuing music, beauty, intellect, health or physical fitness, I do so in a way that engages the hubby to rediscover (or newly discover) what it is he finds so attractive about me, and I continue to put forth effort into the very things I know he enjoys and finds appealing about me as well.

But no! For shame! I protest! Why should a wife have to cater to the hubby? Am I anti-feminist? Old school? Nay, I say! My very innards cringe at the thought of all things submissive! But for love, and the wisdom of the happily married in-laws, I shall be humbled.

I recall fondly the yester-years of girlfriend & boyfriend obsessions- when one stayed up all night and fell asleep to the voice on the other end of the phone; of every moment spent living and breathing to be with the one person so madly loved. Though that sort of excitement and drunken stupor of love may pass with time and gently sagging body parts, who is to say that it can't stay put for a little bit longer? (I'm speaking of love, not of plastic surgery). I refuse to go stagnant into the daunting middle-aged years! I hope to persist in my efforts to be an ever evolving and exciting partner for my husband- even after my teeth fall out and i've resorted to extra absorbent adult briefs.

Start your kegel exercises- today!
So while other elderly couples are sitting in their chairs on the front porch napping, I will be prancing around with my walker to the beat of Girl's Generation's GEE in an effort to remind hubby of our once youthful vigor.

For hubby and I, it's a matter of finding and keeping the laughs, the fun, the excitement, the deep conversations, the romance, the joy, the love in each other CONTINUOUSLY. Marriage and love don't promise a perpetual influx of bunnies and rainbows. I imagine that when I stop trying, those happy little bunnies of love and all things nice get butchered slowly and painfully with blood and guts and dying cries of agony in an isolated forest somewhere. Isolated- because I tend not to notice the sorry state of our relationship until it's short one too many happy bunnies. That's when I will spontaneously combust into a ball of angry unhappiness if hubby so much as BREATHES, and stay as such until we both realize the reason is because we've stopped trying.

Bunnies under attack
So in an effort to convince you not to destroy your marriages by lack of effort, I present to you: pictures of cute animals. Don't butcher them, please. Keep the love.

Sorry, that last one kind of slipped by me.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


"It is better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife." Proverbs 21:19

I have a way about me- perhaps the bipolar side of me, that delves out the disdainful looks, the unemotional coldness, the biting remarks. Friends and acquaintances are relatively safe, but my immediate family members, and my newly acquired hubby receive the brunt of my psychosis. They undergo periods of extreme dislike towards me, to the point where I'm sure they envision themselves reaching into my chest, yanking my heart out and crushing it in their fist while making Bruce Lee noises.

I will rip your heart out!
Props to hubby for sticking by me, and loving me all the same- even more.

Having been raised by a perfectionist for a mother, I admit, I have adopted some of her ways. The things she repetitiously told me throughout the years are the very things I find coming out of my mouth. "You know, you shouldn't do-" this, and "it's not good to do-" that. I nag about hubby not following OCD guidelines, I nag about his eating habits, and I nag about his driving skills like a certified professional backseat driver. If I spy hubby doing something incorrectly, inefficiently, or not to my standards, there's no end to my extremely worthless and annoying NAGGING.

I can see the kind of precarious teetering I am doing on the fence between the encouragement I can be to hubby, and the discouragement I can be to him as well. There is too much criticism on my part and not enough praise and validation. I must calm my inner beast in order to make hubby a content man in a peaceful home. Though I have the compulsion to point out every flaw, every mistake- seeing them sadly as "teaching opportunities"- I believe that God desires more faith from me- faith to pray on my husband's behalf, faith that God's will for my husband is greater than my own, and that ultimately, buying two overpriced, calorie-loaded milkshakes at the ball game with much disapproval from me, won't matter in the long run. Especially for God's purposes.

Ends lives slowly
If only old habits could be changed by pushing a button on your nose, or coughing really hard. But no. I continue daily to struggle against myself, the old nature, the inexplicable urge to vomit out useless, destructive, harmful rhetoric. This becomes more evident if I leave the Bible untouched in my drawer. It is God's Word, Christ's example of perfect love, that inspires me and instills in me a desire to become the Good Wife. Failing in every way to remain spiritually faithful these days, I find myself sorely lacking in grace, in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. And so, spiritually in a rut, I have become the proverbial "Bad Wife," the quarrelsome, annoying, nagging, you-would-be-better-off-alone-on-a-deserted-island wife.

How can a man learn to love a "Bad Wife," and how can two flawed and ragged people come to love each other? While writing this entry, I remember once again that God is faithful. And that's the only thing that has ever sustained us. With all the sin, shortcomings and failures, we are thoroughly a product of God's grace.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I'm an organizing fanatic and I should have the letters OCD tattooed to my forehead. Everything has its place in my home- whether it's in a box, a drawer, or on a shelf. Order, and maintaining order daily is how I spare myself the stress of accumulated disaster. Presentation is also crucial. If something looks messy, I find a different way to organize it. Symmetry, cleanliness, style, uniformity are all factors. I will choose them over convenience. Therefore, all like items must be placed in the same container. If all like items cannot fit in the same container, and the specified container is the only one I will allow, then a few of the like items will be disposed of in order for all to fit in said container. Problem solved.

I become flustered if things are a mess or out of place to the point where I will spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to "fix it." A simple vase on the table will be moved to the right, now to the left, now a smidgen to the right, now a smidgen forward, no, backward, now back to where it began, now in a completely different location- before I am satisfied with how it looks against the wall, in reference to how others will see it when they enter to door, in relationship with the corner, synchronous to the colors around it, angled with the picture frames, in proportion to the lamp, congruent to the little dent, friendly to the neighborly bug, and approved by the imaginary canary.

Chirp, chirp. I approve
Sometimes I will glare at the offensive mess with murderous intent, leave, scheme, return, then fix it. This usually occurs when rearranging furniture. My compulsion is such that I will use all the strength in my 5'2" body to lug furniture across the room, even if it means a millimeter at a time. It cannot wait for hubby's assistance. It MUST be done. NOW! 

I prance around the corner with a huge grin on my face as hubby steps through the door. He stares at me in bewilderment, noting the crazy hair sticking out in all directions, and the battle wounds on my arms and legs. 

"Hubby!" I yell in his face. I think I must look high on illegal substances but really I'm delirious from having had nothing to eat or drink all day. "How do you like what I've done with the place?" Hubby looks over my head at the apartment that no longer, in any way, resembles the apartment he left that morning. 

In the middle of the night, while we're both lying in bed and hubby is trying to fall asleep, I turn towards him and say, "I don't think I like it."

I have limitations when it comes to color. I don't do well with too much colorfulness decorating one room because it doesn't appear orderly to me. It clashes catastrophically in my brain. I must begin with a neutral color like white, black, beige, or grey, and add only a few splashes of color therewith- currently light blue against white or a dark brown. If something doesn't match my decor, I will find a replacement, or a drawer to put it in so it doesn't offend my eyes.

All my clothes hangers are of one color- white. I spent hours hanging and rehanging clothes to unify them after my hubby and I moved in together when we got married. When I thought black hangers would somehow make our clothes look cooler, I made the mistake of not buying enough of them. So upon discovering that I didn't have enough black hangers more than halfway through the pile, I had to rehang our clothes back on white hangers to satisfy my inner OCD. If you open the guest room closet, you will see what I've done with all the black hangers.

Hakuna Matata
Bane of my existence
Furthermore, if things are a mess and forces of nature are such that I am unable to clean it at that exact moment, I will flutter about in a state of mildly induced panic until something can be done about it, or until hubby escorts me out the door before we are too much later for our appointment.

I recall an incident where my mother-in-law was teaching me how to cook a korean dish. Normally, one focuses on the act of cooking before the act of cleaning, but due to my mental state, I am unable to do so. My work environment must be clean and orderly at all times. I wash dishes in the midst of cooking, I rearrange bowls of chopped vegetables so they look cute sitting there on the counter all in a row. If I drop a crumb on the counter, i will clean it up even though I know I'm going to drop more crumbs and will subsequently have to clean the counter again multiple times.

But any way, here I am frantically trying to do both- cook and clean until my mother-in-law tells me to just "clean later." Of course I obey, like a good daughter-in-law. But little did I know that the OCD monster would rear its ugly head.

The panic creeps in with every spoon, bowl, vegetable peel that is not placed either in the sink or the garbage can. Soon the kitchen looks like- to me, a complete and utter mess, beyond the point of no return, and my mother-in-law is calmly adding more to the chaos. The whole time I'm thinking:


And then, she asks me to grate the onion in the food processor. I look around at the chaos, and I think- she wants me to add a food processor to all this? My brain cannot possibly handle it. I put my foot down. "No. I will use this!" And I pulled out a chopper you mash manually by pushing down on the top of it in order to bring the blades down on the vegetable. Somehow I think this contraption is more manageable.

Food Chopper
She comments by saying, "I don't think that will be good enough. It needs to be very finely chopped."(At the time I didn't realize she meant "into mush"). I stubbornly insist. "I'm going to use this! It's going to work!" I proceed to mash up the onion, one little chunk at a time- since the area the blades can reach is small. With each chop, it slowly dawns on me. This was not working. She nicely comments again. "I think we should use the food processor." But I must save face. "No, this is working just fine! We don't need the food processor!"

10 minutes later, sweating profusely beneath mother-in-law's gaze, I'm still working on the small piece of onion, slamming down on the chopper with a vengeance. Eventually, I pull the demolished pieces of onion out for her to see. "See? It works!" I smile gleefully. She looks at me in confused pity. Shakes her head. "Food processor?"

My stubbornness having reached no victory, no satisfaction, I relent. My OCD monster has been shot down, embarrassed and stupefied. All I am left with is a dirty kitchen, an extra food chopper on the counter I shouldn't have used, and my mother-in-law who thinks I'm a total nut for refusing to use the food processor.

It used to be that maintenance of my OCD world was easy. The way I left something was the way it was when I got back home. Until now- and all because hubby refuses to participate in my insanity. Now I step foot through my front door and... trip over a sandal that wasn't put away. I kick it into the corner. A few dishes in the sink I'll ignore. At least it's contained. But still, I'm irked. Entering the walk-in closet, there are clothes thrown haphazardly into the corner.

I storm out with my hands on my hips. "Hubby!"
"What?!" he says. He knows he has done something to displease me.
"Follow me." Grudgingly he gets off the couch, follows me back into the closet.
"Look!" I point to the clothes hiding in the shelf corner. I grab a handful and throw them on the ground in front of me. "How many times do I have to tell you to put these away!" I step on his shorts, grinding it as best I can into the carpet. I kick it away, back into the corner. Take that. Ha. I stare up at him with my scrunched-up angry face. He looks back at me, doesn't say a word. I get to work on his t-shirt next. 
"Hah!" I yell with glee, stomping on it, jumping on it, and finally kicking it up so high it lands on the dresser. But hubby grabs at the sock on my foot and I almost fall while hopping on one leg. "Hey!"
"Hieeyah!" he yells, a sort of kung fu master cry, and flings it to the ground as I did. He pounds at it with his foot.
"Gahh!" I yell as I take his khaki pants, ball it up in my hands, and chuck it as hard as I can in the opposite direction. He follows suit with a shirt of mine he had to tug off the hanger to get.
"Hey! Put that back!" I exclaim while reaching for another one of his rumpled shorts. This one I fling at him, and it hits his back. He slowly turns around with his eyes wide. I hold on for dear life as he grabs at the jacket I'm still wearing. 
"Yahhhh! No fair!" Kicking his shin, I run away.

Goodbye to the organized, the cleanliness, the stress-free home life. Now I leave the shoes at the entrance, wash the dishes a day or two late, and leave the shorts by the bed where they always- without fail- end up. Woe to my attempts at training hubby in the ways of keeping things in their proper place. I think I shall count my blessings.

"Organized people are just too lazy to look for things." -Bertrand Russell


Hand in hand, we stepped out of the chapel doors with love for each other, commitment to see it through to the end, and faith that God would do the rest. But God has done it all.

From the very moment we met, our entire romance-that unique and miraculous story- was in the Maker's hands.

And it is for his glory
that together we love,
and cry,
and rise,
and live.

This is only the beginning!