the Hot Man

When He Doesn’t Love you Best

A long time ago, the Hot Man promised to love me above all others. Above all else.

But that was before he got his Holden Crewman.

holden

But I must admit, it is beeyootiful. Im half in love with it myself…

When we lived in New Zealand, the Holden only got brought out of its sacred space in
the garage on weekends and special occasions. The Hot Man would drive it to visit family and do errands but we could never go to our movie date night in it. ‘Because someone might steal it. A two hour movie is a long time.’ And of course I NEVER drove the Holden because I’m a crappy driver. So I would drive my people-mover van and loved it. (That baby’s got sensors and cameras which made reversing and parking sooooo much easier.)

Then we moved to Samoa. We couldn’t bring my van but the Holden got a sacred space in a shipping container.
And then there was a slight conundrum. The Holden is the only family vehicle we have here. The others are for the Hot Man’s steel fabrication work. We cant get another van until some money falls out of the sky. And the Hot Man doesn’t want his Holden anywhere near a construction site. Which means, who has to drive his children everywhere in the Holden?

Me. The crappy driver.

He tries to be cool about it, but I know it gives him great anxiety, wondering every day if he’s going to come home from work and find his precious car with a scratch. A scrape. Smashed. I’m pretty sure he checks it daily. And the manner in which I take care of his precious car is one that causes him great concern . The local high school was having a car wash fundraiser the other Saturday so I pulled in and had them wash the Holden, thinking that the Hot Man would be pleased to see it so sparkly and clean. Ha. The man just about popped a blood vessel freaking out about it. “You let a bunch of strangers touch my car? What if they used abrasive cleaners and scratched the paintwork?” So now I drive a filthy Holden, because on a matter of principle, I am not worthy to wash it…

If I had any doubts of where I stand in relation to this car, they were dispelled this morning. The Hot Man was driving out in his work truck when he caught sight of me staggering under the weight of a box of books that I was lugging to put in the Holden. I put them on the hood of the car while I went to unlock it. The Hot Man brought his truck to an abrupt halt and leapt out with a look of great consternation.

Oh, how sweet! He doesn’t want me to carry these heavy books by myself. He’s thinking about how I have a weak back and shouldn’t be lifting heavy things. So thoughtful and kind. What a babe!

Such were my thoughts as this athletic Ironman machine of symmetry with abs of absolute fabulousness, came running towards me. *dreamy sigh*

But it was not to be. *Insert sound of scratched broken record HERE.*

He grabbed the box off the car and said accusingly, “How could you put that box on my car like that?! You’re going to scratch it.” Then he frantically studied the paintwork and wiped at it. Furiously.

“How could a box scratch your bloody stupid car?!” I asked. Incredulous.

“It’s the way you chucked it on there. I saw you. You threw it so roughly. See! It’s put marks on the car now. You have to be more careful…blah blah blah.”

Then he patted his car, said goodbye to it and drove away. Giving me one last resentful look.

Me and my weak back – that’s PERFECTLY FINE BUT NO THANKS TO YOU – watched him go. Amazed.

Then, when he was out of sight? I kicked the tires of the bloody stupid beautiful Holden. Take that, you spoilt brat of a car.

And now I have a sore foot.

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When your Six Yr old Wants a Boyfriend.

Some conversations with a six year old just NEED to be preserved for posterity.

This morning, Bella was feeling wistful. “I want a boyfriend.”

I was horrified. “What!? Why? You’re too little. You don’t need a boyfriend.”

“You have Dad. I want my own boyfriend,” she replied indignantly.

I tried to be understanding. “But why? What do you want one for?”

“Because a boyfriend can clean the house for you and help you do all your work. Then you won’t have to do any jobs. If I have a boyfriend I will have a super helper to do all my work.”

“Whaaaaat?!” Where did this child get such an idea from I wonder?

But she’s not done. There’s more. ” And I will get a clever builder boyfriend so he will build me a play house and a playground and a castle with a slide and a movie theatre in it. And he will snuggle me whenever I want him to. And go clean the house whenever its dirty.”

I am speechless. I think this child is making an overly astute observation of me and the Hot Man’s relationship.

Sexilicious Men (and houses) – When Fantasy meets Reality

The nice thing about being married to a man who owns his own construction company, is he can design AND build your house for you. The Hot Man is freakishly clever like that. How lucky am I??? I went out with him for his sexilicious self and had no clue he actually had like…skills…talents…housebuilding moneymaking potential… But then that’s the thing about only marrying people for their sexilicious-ness, everything else is a surprise. (Or disappointment as the case may be…)

But I digress.  We’re moving back to Samoa in a few months and since we sold our old home,  the Hot Man has to build us a new one over there. He was getting a little stressed, worrying about the costs and hassle of relocating. (As he does.) And I was blissfully thinking of how wonderful its going to be to go home. In other words, not thinking about such MINOR details like money, packing, or building a house in the blazing hot sun. (As I do.) But  I am not a cold, heartless wife. Oh no. I noted his concerns and rushed to assuage them. Magnanimously.

“Daahling, don’t worry. We don’t need a big, expensive house. No, no, no. All we need is a little space to call our own. As long as it has a roof on it, we will be fine. As long as we’re all together. Why, a little bungalow in the bush is all we need!”

I had delightful visions of something like this…rustic and reserved.

aNewHouse

Somewhat comforted, the Hot Man started the design plans for our new house. And I felt good about being such a good wife. And continued fantasizing planning our new life in our new home in Samoa.

After a week or so of designing, the Hot Man showed me the design plans. I studied them carefully. WTFudge?

“Umm, but daaahling, where’s my office? I cant write books without an office. And that office needs to be air conditioned. How can I write hot romance stories when I’m dying in the tropical humidity with sweat clogging up my computer?”

He said something about the astronomical cost of electricity in Samoa. Pffft. “That’s why we’re going to have solar panels on the roof to power our air-con. That’s why you need to make a much bigger roof. We need more area for the solar panels. Yes, I know a solar heating unit costs lots of money but just think how much money we’ll save in the long run. And we’ll be eco-friendly too! Maybe we could have wind turbines in the front yard as well….”

I studied the plans some more. “This can’t be right. The kitchen looks like a cupboard. How can I cook food for seven people in a CUPBOARD?”

He reminded me that I don’t actually cook food for them anymore. “Alright then, correction – how are the teenagers going to cook food for us all in a CUPBOARD? You have to make that kitchen bigger.”

I studied the plans some more. “There’s no way this house is going to fit us. You can’t expect all those demon children to share a room. They will KILL each other. Rip each other to shreds. Or I’ll kill them because of all the bickering they’ll be doing, distracting me when I’m trying to write books in my air conditioned office.”

More studying of aforementioned defective house plans. “No, we need another bathroom somewhere. Especially for when we have visitors. And parties and sultry summer night BBQs.”

He reminded me we never have visitors. Or parties. And he didn’t know what a sultry summer BBQ was but he was pretty sure, we’d never had one of those either.  “You’re hermit woman, remember? No friends, remember?”

Why must sexilicious men be so rude?!

“But I might be different one day. I might want to host scintillating dinner parties and tropical buffets with lots of intellectually stimulating conversation. And lanterns hanging in the trees in the garden! Lots and lots of lanterns.”

He wanted me to know there were no trees in the garden of our house site. In fact, there was no garden either. Just a wilderness of bushes, vaofefe and broken beer bottles ( because the neighbourhood has been using the empty lot as a drink-up spot.) “And I know you’re not going to plant a garden Lani.”

Well, he at least got THAT right. I don’t do gardens. “We can make the children do the landscaping. It can be their creative project. Oh! But maybe we could fit a teensie weensie swimming pool in the yard? For YOU daaahling. For your training for the Ironman. Wouldn’t it be useful for you to have a pool right in our yard to help you achieve your athletic dreams?!” (See how I did that!?  Clever #GoodWife, right there. The blessings in heaven are piling up, I can feel it!)

The Hot Man sighed and looked dejected. While I was swept away with visions of our new house. Which now, looked like THIS!

aVilla

Doesn’t this look like a house of a woman who hosts scintillating dinner parties? With Martha Stewart-like décor and My Kitchen Rules-type cuisine? I could be that woman! Anything is possible. Right?

At that point, the Hot Man gave up. “We can’t afford to build a new house. Forget it.”

“But where are we going to live then?” I wailed.

“With your parents. Maybe your mum will let the kids sleep in the fale in their garden.”

Nooooooooooo! I thought about Little Son and Bella driving my mum nuts and just like that – the rustic, reserved two-bedroom shack just got a whole lot more attractive.

And the Hot Man went back to his design drawings with a big (sneaky) smile on his face.

Kick-Butt Awesomeness AND a Giveaway

Today was a good day. We (finally) left the house and took the Fab5 to the city to try ice skating and look at the city. Which transported them into paroxysms of delight because these poor woebegotten creatures hardly ever get to go anywhere and the sight of bright lights, shop windows and an endless array of well-dressed people going about their night life socializing was an otherworldly experience for them all. And even though I’d been dreading going out with them all – I ended up having a blast and reflecting upon how much I love these people who live in the same cave as me. Especially after ice skating when we bought a bucket of hot sugar-covered donuts from a donut stand and then sat under sparkling winter wonderland lights in the cold and ate them. And everybody was smiley and cheerful and happy. (Because donuts can do that to you.) Me and the Hot Man were feeling rather in synch that yes, it rocks being parents to five fabulous children. Here we are, looking and feeling this transient feeling…

MeAndDarren

But today was also a kickbutt awesome day because I got my copy of ‘The Bone Bearer’ in the mail. It came to me all the way from America where the books are already available from Amazon. The NZ printer isn’t done yet with the books so I have had to endure people on Facebook posting pics of themselves with THEIR paperback copies of MY book when I hadn’t even gotten my hands on a copy yet. BUT, today I got my book and it was beautiful. And I was super excited. Im now the author of six books but I gotta tell you, the buzz of getting your new book in your hands never goes away. I don’t scream as loud and I don’t dance all over the house – which the children greatly appreciate, but otherwise, I’m pretty celebratory!

awolt

And then I was a little tearful because its kind of the end of Daniel and Leila’s great love story which has taken me over two years to tell. And I thought about all the wonderful people who have helped me on this journey and supported these books and gone out of their way to share them and take them to the universe…and I wanted to tell you all how grateful I am for you. For your enthusiasm and willingness to embrace a story from a little island in the South Pacific. You’re kickbutt awesome. Thank you.

To celebrate FINALLY getting my book…I’m giving away TEN print copies of ‘The Bone Bearer’. This giveaway is open to the universe and to enter – tell us WHO your favourite character is in the Telesa Series and WHY. Please also tell us where in the universe you live and where/how you first found out about the Telesa Series.

The Hot Man gets Hotter?

dad

Follow up on my Complaining Blogpost about my Athletic Husband…He did a triathlon in Samoa on Saturday and killed it. Big Son said it best (stole this from my child’s Facebook page. This is the beauty of being a #BadMother. One can Facebook stalk their child and plagiarize them and steal things from them and not even feel bad.)

“He’s 42… He just competed in his 1st Triathlon in 20 years, against athletes half his age , not only did he win but he set the new record for the event. He’s a beast, he’s the Samoan Triathlon Champion, Former Samoan Marathon Champion, Former South Pacific Games finalist , Former Ranked Australian Kick boxer, Former Body Builder… He holds all these titles but the one I am most proud to call him is… Dad Hurry up and come back from Samoa already, I love you Dad.
He’s also the only person i know who has the guts to wear a tri-suit!”

When Your Husband Runs Away From You

asics

I used to say that the only way I could ever get a holiday from my Demented Domestic Goddess duties – was to get pregnant. Because then I would have to go live in New Zealand for a few months before and after the baby busted out because I have a small problem with sustaining an alien lifeform (I nearly die every time.) A rather extreme way to get a little ‘me-time’…

Now, the Hot Man is our resident ‘Demented Domestic God’ for a few months and he’s decided to cross a few things off his bucket list while he’s at it: a triathlon and a Half-Ironman.  So in between laundry and dishes and making sure everyone brushes their teeth – he also bikes, runs and swims a lot. It makes him very tired. And a little grouchy too because he has to reach a certain weight so he can’t eat what he wants to.

He’s been doing a fabulous job with the Domestic Duties though, making it possible for me to write lots. ( And eat lots…) Until he tells me that he has to go to Samoa to run in a half-marathon and get some training done in the humidity there. He’s going away for ten days, he says. So I can acclimatize, he says. It’s essential preparation for the Half-Ironman in August, he says.

Okaaaay, I say.  So he makes his flight bookings. Excitedly.

Then he tells me, when he comes BACK from his half-marathon, he has to go BACK to Samoa nine days after that so he can do a triathlon there. And be there for another ten days. So I can acclimatize, he says. I can’t do the Half-Ironman later in the year if I don’t do this triathlon first, he says. You know the roads there are very different from here in NZ, I’m taking my racing bike so I can get used to the terrain there, he says. We don’t want me to have any accidents in the Half-Ironman, he says.

No we don’t want that, I say.

So he makes his flight bookings. Gleefully.

I watch him pack all his gear. The bike, the protein powder, the carbo bars, the energy gels, the shoes. He’s excited and I’m excited for him. For the most part. It would help if he didn’t look so damn happy about the thought of escaping from us and the laundry and the dishes and the making of school lunches…

I wish I’d won the lottery  so I could afford to go with him. (Actually purchasing a lottery ticket would probably have been helpful with that.) I wish we didn’t have five children who needed looking after so I could go with him. I could drive alongside him while he runs on the road, blasting encouraging music, throwing water at him – all while I eat panipopo from Siaosi’s shop. While he’s recovering from his event, I could be meeting up with my girlfriends, Kristin and Kathy  for sundaes and gossip at McDonalds. ( okay, so we’re too old to be ‘girlfriends’ but you get the idea…) What a shaaamahzingly awesome trip it would have been. If I had gone.

But I didn’t.

Because I’m not the one who’s an athlete. Because I’m at home with the five children I gave birth to just so I could go on ‘holiday’ each time. And get a break from the rest of the children.

I’m such an idiot –  what I should have done  – is take up running. And run AWAY instead.

 

HIS Turn to Roll Around Naked in Chocolate Sauce…

I hated it when people assumed that because I was a full-time, stay-at-home mother – therefore I had oodles of time on my idle hands and I spent my days rolling around naked  in chocolate sauce, waiting for the Hot Man to come home for lunch…surprise honey! Not.  Indeed I have blogged at angst-filled length about this hatred and overwhelming loathing for such assumptions. (Read angst-filled, loathesome blogpost from a Demented Domestic Goddess here.)

But you know what I now hate EVEN MORE? When my husband takes over as the full-time parent and stay-at-home Dad for a few months so I can finish my next few books and people make even worse assumptions about him. Because he’s a man. And because I’m a woman. And because I’m ‘just’ a writer and that’s not a ‘real’ job anyway.

The Hot Man is the cleverest man I know. ( But thats because I havent met MacGyver. Or Dr Seuss. Both very clever people, or so I hear.) He can design and build everything from a fence, to a house, to a gymnasium, to a hotel, to a mini-mall, to a warehouse, to a school hall, to a church…you get the picture, right? The man is a building genius and makes enough money to get his wife all the Diet Coke and Doritos she could ever wish for. However, he’s on leave from his genius career because he wants me to finish my next book (before the Zombie Apocalypse preferably.) He said, “You’ve taken care of our family all these years so that I could pursue my career. Now its my turn to do the same for you.”

It’s not easy for anyone to switch jobs, especially not when the new job requires that you perpetually clean, cook and wash for a family of seven people with a perpetual smile and emanating love and happiness. The Hot Man is the driver, homework supervisor, head chef, laundry specialist, chief cleaner, President of Discipline and Order, Law enforcer, Peace keeper, family shopper, accountant, bedtime story-reader, prayer-time boss and more. He’s only been in this new position for a few months but he’s thrown himself into battle 100%, making it possible for me to sit on my backside all day and write. (and eat.)

Im very grateful that I have a partner who’s willing to take over in the home for a little while so I can get my books done. Which is why, its driving me up the wall when friends, family, strangers and blaardy idiots alike – get on the Hot Man’s case about his new (albeit temporary) calling in life.

They ask him stupid things like, “So what do you do all day? Don’t you get bored of sitting around doing nothing?” (I really want to hire an assassin to abduct such people and leave them on a deserted island WITH five children. And a cellphone. So I can call them up and ask, ‘What are you doing? Are you bored yet? Had enough of doing nothing?” And then hang up the phone and let the assasin carry out the rest of their contract.)

They say idiotic things like, ‘Aren’t you scared your wife will be the boss of you now?” Or “How can you be the man of the house if she’s the one working?” (Clearly these are people trapped in a time warp and nothing I say will save them from their stupidity.)

Other beauties he gets asked, are – “What if she leaves you because you’re staying at home all the time? She might not want you anymore because you’re not earning any money.” To them I say – there is nothing sexier than a man who has cooked dinner, read bedtime stories to a five year old AND offered to get you some ice cream. Not to mention, that unlike my lazy self – the Hot Man is combining full-time parenthood with training for a Half-Ironman event – which means the man cooking dinner in my kitchen is flexing some pretty impressive musculature while he cooks… check out the ab’s, woohoo!

It continues to bemuse me how much OTHER PEOPLE love to have an opinion about how me and the Hot Man have chosen to parent our family and structure our relationship. How badly OTHER PEOPLE just cant resist  butting in with their busybody selves. Especially when they want something. They want the Hot Man to drive an hour one way, every day – so he can do their renovations. And they get mad when he tells them he has to ‘discuss it with my wife first because she’s the one working right now and my first priority is the children.’ They demand to know, WHY does he have to discuss everything with his wife? And WHY can’t he just hire somebody to look after his kids so he can do their renovation job?’  Perhaps to such people, the raising of children is something THEY are happy to leave to a television. Perhaps they don’t understand how much time is required to actually listen to a kid when they come home from school wanting to tell you everything about what they got up to in the playground, who hit so and so, who drew a cat when they were supposed to draw a pig, or who called so and so a stinky bum… Perhaps they have no clue how much work is involved with making sure teenagers grow up to be half-way decent members of society – because they’ve never parented a kid. Or five. And I sure as hell don’t appreciate complete strangers trying to tell my husband how he should communicate (or NOT communicate) with his wife.

No, I am unimpressed. People – its the 21st century. You do realize that men AND women have flown to the stars and back? Right here, right now where I’m standing – we are fortunate to live in a place where men AND women can choose what they want to do, how they want to live, love and laugh, how they want to parent. You don’t have to agree with our choices, or like them. Just like I dont have to agree with or like yours. But it would be wise to keep your nosey-pokin’, busy-bodyin’, bossy-pantsin’ opinions to yourself. It’s called – being respectful of other’s and their choices.

As for me, now that I’ve finished ranting – I’m going to see if I can convince the Hot Man that he should roll around naked in chocolate sauce. (Not.)