Tag Archives: Mrs S


Every once in a while I do something right around here. Last night an excellent example of one of those times. Mrs S turned 50 on Thursday and I wanted to celebrate half a century of grace and loveliness in way that would be meaningful for her and not get me in big fat trouble for not listening to her wishes. She doesn’t like to be the center of attention in any way, shape or form and she emphatically told me that this was to be an drama free event, no big party, no expensive gifts no nothing. A quiet dinner and we would call it good.

Can’t let 50 go like that. So knowing her as I do and knowing how much she cherishes friends I organized a little surprise birthday dinner for her at Cafe Maude in South Minneapolis. Operative word LITTLE. The restaurant is small so anything more than about 12 people would be bigger than they would probably want to handle on a Friday night. Plus she was very adamant that she didn’t really want to do anything except go out to dinner, so a big ass deal at someone’s house with thousands would not be in spirit of celebrating the birthday as she would like.

So, two months ago I put the wheels in motion. Reservations for 12 at Maude. I thought it would be really cool if I could sneak the boys home from college and have them join us at the affair. Although I was ready to fly the Auburn kid home, he had a test on Friday and Mrs S would not be happy to learn that he missed something important for this. He would have to Skype in. The Michigan Tech kid was able to get away despite losing two days of school this week to snow. 5’ of snow in Houghton in two days. Upper Peninsula living.

Arrangements were made, people invited, flowers purchased, and everything was a go.

We have some wonderful friends, really like family. Several of the women had taken her to lunch the day before, not a word was passed. On game day, she had no idea.

Here’s the thing about the other gender, just when you think you can predict their actions…

For the last 28 years Mrs S has been late to every event I’ve ever been too with her. She just runs late, it’s how she rolls. FALS- Females Always Late Syndrome I call it. Seems to be pretty common out there. But last night, the night of her big event, when I fully expected her to start getting ready 11 minutes before we had to leave, she’s freaking ready to go 30 minutes early. Yeah, half hour. Comes downstairs and says “You ready? Leszgo”. I panicked. I had instructed the guests to arrive at 7:00. Mrs S was ready to leave the house at 6:30 which meant we potentially could be sitting down 10 minutes before folks were scheduled to arrive.

“We got 30 minutes my precious turtle dove, chill.” “Been chilling all day, lets go early and sit a the bar.” Employing the following stall tactics I bought us almost 45 minutes:

  • Couldn’t find my keys. This didn’t work so well as she countered with “we’re taking my car aren’t we?” and handed me her keys.
  • Couldn’t find my muffler thingie. “It’s gone, you dropped it somewhere, it’s not that cold out LETS GO”.
  • Gotta go the bathroom. Spent about 5 minutes in there playing doodlejump until she knocked on the door to ask if I was ok.
  • Gotta let the dog out before we go. “Since when” was her response.
  • “Let me make sure the DVR is set to record CSI” “That’s on Wednesday night”..”CSI New York”, “Since when do watch that” Since you came downstairs early. “Honey just a sec I kinda forgot how to do this.” 3 minutes.
  • Took the wrong freeway to get there. That was good for about 10 minutes alone.
  • Drove 10 MPH below the speed limit. “Why are you driving so slow” “It’s icy” “People are passing us on the right now whats the deal?” “Want to be safe” “Seriously? Then wear your seatbelt.”

Unknowingly intent on blowing this event, as we got the restaurant at exactly the right time she says “let us out (daughter too) and you can go park the car.
“No, I’ll park right here.” Right here was street parking two blocks away. It had snowed about 5” during the day and as a result there was a snow bank on her side of the car. She had a hard time A) opening the door and B) Climbing over the mini-glacier only to get to an un-shoveled sidewalk.  This accentuated the gripe factor “can’t just let us off at the clean shoveled front door, blah blah blah. “

It was all worth it when we walked in (and she thankfully didn’t notice one of the party on the phone in the lobby as he was ducking behind a coat rack) and her face lit up. Seeing a little misty eye when she realized that her son was in the crowd, even better.

It was a fantastic evening judging by how happy she was chatting and enjoying what she enjoys most, time with friends.

Dinner BTW, phenomenal as always and the staff at Cafe Maude were awesome, atmosphere was outstanding as always and the food is fantastic every time I eat there. I told the server to “bring us stuff” and she did. Great choices of different flat breads, and a lobster croquette that was the best thing I’ve eaten in 2013. Soft cheese filling with a chunk of lobster.. the gourmet mac and cheese for the daughter, gnocchi in lemon sauce with capers, spinach and feta.. awesome.

Best part of the deal, came in about half the cost I had figured it would be. A huge surprise given the quality of the whiskies and wines people were enjoying.

It was a great evening for a great lady.



Filed under Life

Crazy Saturday Nights Sank Style

Mrs S and I were pleased to head over to Ikea this evening, after last Saturday nights excitement of shopping Target, we were looking to uh, you know really step out. Ikea has good dining, aka meatballs, in addition to the shopping experience, what more could a couple old folks want, what more I ask?

I have a list of stuff I’d like to do, and some them include her, but she didn’t ask for it.

I didn’t know she had planned an evening out for the two of us or not, but was unaware and I was deep into my annual baseball fantasy draft the summons came down from she who must be obeyed..

I had my nose in my computer, “shut down we’re going to Ikea”. I flashed up a set of annoyed puppy eyes, the kind that of said, you’re awfully damned annoying and aren’t I cute, all at the same time. She’s steel that wife of mine.

“Put your phone on that internet thing and bring your computer. You can do this in the car.” Hmm, use my phones mobile hot spot to draft online while she drove.. sounded rather post of you ask me. Why not.

And I did.

In the 15 minutes it took to get to Ikea, I realized, this was one bad idea. Reading a computer while in the car driving makes for one car sick papa. Ug. I was lucky to get there before full on puke. I got to green however, Vulcan green.

Apparently we’re not the only losers in this town who can find nothing else to do on a Saturday night except go to Ikea, place was packed. Matter of fact we couldn’t find a place a place to park in the same zip code, except…

Except, right up front. 6 stalls, all empty, all marked “expectant Moms and new families.” I knew what she was thinking, “Honey, you were pregnant a couple of times and we have a family”. Good enough we swept in, parked and got out, drawing some looks from some of the other customers were hiking in from the hinterlands. “don’t worry” I said to her, “same look I get when I park the SUV in the ‘hybrid’ space at the transit station.”

Fact is they haven’t exactly passed a law that would allow them ticket us for this, like they have for handicapped stalls. The local media did a story about it a while back, when they asked the transit manager what they could do to people who parked in those spots the answer, and I was telling Mrs S this “we’d write them a very stern note and leave it on their windshield.” Which I interpret to mean, park here. Mrs S made the comment that she’s received a few notes like that over the years. Not from businesses or transit folks, but from people who she’s parked so close too, that they have get into their cars on the other side. Those notes, she tells me, are not only stern but contain naughty language.

Based on her reaction, they’re nice trophies for her. That’s my girl.

As I like to say “F’um if they can’t take a joke” and into Ikea we went. Ikea is a maze. The damn Swedes have designed the place to be as confusing as possible in an effort to make us spend more money. You want a paring knife and nothing else? No matter, you have to walk through the entire store via the cattle call like maze just to get to the knives. And when you get there, the sings are in Swedish, Danish, French, German, Russian, some other kind of Russian (something with backwards R’s and no vowels that is denoted ZD) Czech.. a nice mix of Russian and German, Slovenian.. Super confusing because a Slovenian is not a Slovak even though they both use backwards R’s and eat a shitload of potatoes. Come to think of it I’ve never even met a Slovenian that I know off, and am surprised to know they visit Ikea, Twin Cities or otherwise,  Slovak, Italian and finally, English.

I’m sure the Swedish masters of Ikea, all fun and games about making the place feel Euro-Centric would stop being amused if I insisted on paying for stuff using euro’s left over from my last trip to France.. yeah, that socialist crap only goes so far don’t it.

Meanwhile back in the lobby I was uber-excited to take the maze. For me, it’s a day out, which doesn’t come that often. Not to mention, a day out with Swedish meatballs. Double plus good as  big Broski would say.

But I wasn’t with Big Brother, I was with Big Sister aka Mrs S. “Where ya going.. we’re not going up there”. Up there, is the escalator to the Ikea Product Museum.

I like to pretend it’s a museum and the room displays are like little dioramas that show my what my life could have been like had I been born in Bonn and not gotten married or had kids. It would have been a clutter free paradise of exposed metal, blonde woods, and uber-cool Swedish foamy mattresses.

“We’re not looking at stuff tonight” she said, “I’ve already taken care of the looking part of the deal, we’re buying tonight” and with that hit the button on the remote that shocked my collar and off we went through Ikea.. ready for this BACKWARDS.

Holy crap we’d parked in a forbidden stall and now we were going against the rules at Euro-Central. I hadn’t rebelled like this since time I voted Republican in  College. It was almost hard to breathe I was so excited and tense.

Mrs S must spend a ton of time at Ikea.. somehow she found the desk we were buying in the “do it yourself, self-service warehouse” warehouse. I asked if we could go onto the showroom floor and look at it, and get some meatballs too.. nope. She was on a mission.

An Ikea warehouse is designed for women. Only a woman could find what they’re looking for among 100,000 sq feet of shelving stacked with identical brown boxes. Men can’t find a remote in sofa, we’d be, and I was, lost in there, not to mention I didn’t know what we were looking for.

There they were, three boxes, two small ones and one big one. “Grab that big one”. It had a number on it, 38. I grabbed it lifted and instantly learned about the G-d Dammed metric system. Once again, the Swedish overlords of cool had signed shit in Kg’s.. I don’t like Kevin Garnett and I don’t like Kilo’s.. when they’re furniture related that is.. Mrs S looked at me and said “Be careful, that weighs like 80 lbs.” I knew that then, and I had new testicle to prove it.

Dropping the glass top on the cement floor, using my foot to cushion the blow I just had to know. “how the f’3K did you know it was 80 lbs.?” She showed me the secret Swedish Ikea Code… see where it says 38kg on the box?” yea.. Well any idiot knows that 1 kg is 2.2046 lbs. Just double it and you are close.”

I was flabbergasted.

“But in case you forget Sank, on the other flap, it says eight zero l b s. Which is the abbreviation for pounds. And if that’s confusing, there on the shelf, right under the box, it says 80lbs. Lbs is the..”

Got it. I’m not liking Ikea any more, but I won’t make that mistake again.

We got in line, the LOOOOONG line at self check out, and well, since I was denied what would have been for me the best part of the trip, the Ikea Product Museum of Scandahoovian living, I cruised the foodmart while she waited. I was looking for the Ikea coffee that used to come in a yellow and blue bag. Swedish coffee, without the traditional eggshells like Minnesotan Lutherans put in theres.

Don’t ask me.

I found some coffee, new packaging, bricks.. half kilos, if I didn’t know better.. and Swedish fish, which while I’m not sure are actually Swedish, are delish. I made it back just in time to find Mrs S swiping her card. Too late to add my stuff on.

Oh boy. Ethics, morals, what to do, what to do.. Here’s the deal. There was a long line of folks waiting to use the check out. I’d arrived too late to throw my items on our tab.. but I’d butted in line in a way that most people would probably not notice if just snuck the things through. Quick like, they’d thinkj we were just paying for the desk we’d bought. Again.

Or do I go to back of the line and wait.. which Mrs S let me know, would be a great way to get left at Ikea. Hmmm. Since we’d already parked in preggo stall and done the in-through-the-out-door thing.. I was feeling super rebellious. The little devil popped up on my shoulder and said DO IT. And I did. With little hesitation, and no eye contact with the people behind me. Act like you’ve been there before.. the key to getting away with stuff.

I swiped my items, swiped my card, glanced at my wife with a knowing snicker.. except she had a little regret thing going and was making space between me and the mob behind us who were starting to catch on, and doing that thing with where you look like a bird cocking your head trying to see what’s going on in front of you as you realize that some ugly fat ass has just jacked your line and has created his own express lane at your expense.

Just get the receipt and we’d be outta there.. just get the receipt, just get the receipt, just get the da… crap

Tack så mycket!

Which is Swedish for “YOU, are screwed”. Resisting the flight response as best I could I waited, and a cashier came over, pressed a button and another thrilling Saturday night with the Sankary’s was over.

How were going to top that next week, I have no idea.


Filed under Life