Tag Archives: Love

Rehydrating After the Gym: Why Popular Sports Drinks Fail to Impress My German Wife

Gatorade Sports Drinks v.s. Evian Water

“Wait, so sugar and salt work BETTER than water? That totally makes sense.” — Image Credit: Anna Hirsch (https://www.flickr.com/photos/antigone/) — Subject to CC 2.0 License.

As you probably know, I’m an American expat and freelance graphic designer working from my home office in the city of Hannover, Germany. Like a lot of self-employed creative types, I am a spiteful little shut-in with introverted tendencies and a general sense of loathing for the bright, colorful world outside my nest of shadows. (Imagine a black-cloaked Nosferatu-type cringing in pain from the merciless gaze of the sun: “Hissssssss…”)

When I do manage to gather the willpower necessary to leave the house, it is only so I can go exercise at our local German gym. And since I make my own hours, I can do this whenever the hell I want. My poor wife, however, is a Gymnasium teacher; she’s gone all day long, and then when she’s home, she has to plan lessons the rest of the evening. It’s a tough job, so when she finally has time to go to the gym, she considers it a luxury.

My wife considers clean, abundant drinking water a luxury as well, and cannot fathom the attraction people — especially Americans — have for popular sports drinks. Sports drinks are supposed to help athletes replace the water, energy and electrolytes they’ve lost during training or after competitions, but I think we all maintain a little skepticism regarding their effectiveness. Even German people are skeptical about them, which I find rather contradictory, since they also believe herbal tea with honey is a panacea capable of curing all diseases and prolonging life indefinitely.

Anyway, the other day, when my wife came home from the gym, she set her bag down and took a long pull from her water bottle. She looked at it closely, then turned to me and asked in her adorable accent:

THE WIFE: “What do all the sport people drink again? Jen-er-ate?
ME: “…Gatorade.”


Graphic Designer in Portland, Oregon and Hannover, Germany - Grafikdesigner Illustrator Copywriter

My German Wife Reveals Her Maternal Intentions with a Single, Horrifying Question

demon-baby-goblin-monster-funny-sculpture

“Oh look, he’s got your mother’s tail…” — Photo Credit: Bernt Rostad (https://www.flickr.com/photos/brostad/) — Image cropped from original and blurred — Subject to copyright (CC Attribution 2.0 Generic)

My wife and I are part of that stubborn group of married people who ask not when, but if we will have a baby. We’re very focused on our careers at present, and yet, most of our friends already have kids — or plan on having them just as soon as their swollen genitals will allow. Naturally, this generates a great many conversations about the subject (babies, not genitals), all of which end with my wife or I mocking children, their parents, or the baby-making industry as a whole.

Now, at this point, I need to remind you I am a graphic designer and I work from home. For me, this means two things: 1.) I don’t give a shit about kids, and 2.) I sit in my tiny office in front of my computer all day long, wearing my favorite black Electric Six sweatshirt with the hood pulled up over my head. Keep in mind, wearing a hoodie for 8 hours straight will trap the body heat against your ears and turns them bright red. Like, dog penis red.

So, back in April of 2013, my wife and I were in the bathroom brushing our teeth before bed — probably discussing the latest birth among our circle of friends — when we started joking around about the half-breed German-American monstrosity we would produce if we ever decided to have a child of our own. (I think it would have claws like a gremlin and speak in Denglish riddles. My wife simply thinks it would be an amalgamation of all our least desirable genetic traits.) I pulled the hood of my sweatshirt back to spit a mouthful of toothpaste into the sink and revealed my freakishly red ears throbbing beneath the harsh overhead light. That’s when my wife laughed and pinched one of them, asking:

“When we have a little goblin baby, can we eat the ears first?”

If you would like to read another post about my wife’s unique attitude toward having kids, check this one out: My German Wife Shops for American Baby Gifts

 


 

My German Wife Compares Me to a Feral Child Raised in the Jungle by Apes

tarzan-swinging-from-vines-funny-fail

“Look Ma, I can swing all by myse-OHSHIT!”– Photo Credit: BillBl (https://www.flickr.com/photos/billbliss/) — Subject to CC Attribution 2.0 Generic Copyright.

Back in March of 2012, my wife and I were in the kitchen cooking chili. (And not just any chili, but ultra spicy, bowel shivering, anus puckering death chili.)

During the course of the food preparation, we struck up a conversation about German vocabulary. Specifically, she taught me how to say the word “television,” which is “der Fernseher.” Literally, “Fernseher” translates into English as “far seer.” I nodded and stroked my chin, and we both took a moment to enjoy the blatantly obvious logic behind this discovery. Then my wife smiled and gestured with a large wooden spoon in her hand, swirling it in the air like a magic wand of knowledge, declaring:

“I like when we speak German together so that we are both learning. Like Tarzan and Jane.”*

*Guess which one of us is the cultured debutante, and which one is the talking monkeyboy in a loincloth…

If you would like to read another post about my German wife’s wonderful talent for unique articulation, check out this other gem: Coastal Breezes at the Oregon Coast Affect Exactly ONE Part of My German Wife’s Body

 


 

German Woman Explains ‘Disc Parking’ to Her American Husband

German-Parking-Disc-Parkuhr

“Parking discs are like little time machines fueled by guilt.” — Photo Credit: “Zeichen 291″ — Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Zeichen_291.svg#mediaviewer/File:Zeichen_291.svg

Back in February of 2013, my German wife and I were driving through a small village in Niedersachsen when we decided to stop and take a look around (which obviously means she made us stop so she could do some window shopping.) And as usual, my wife was behind the wheel because, A: just looking at the Autobahn gives me a panic attack, and B: I haven’t driven a stick shift since I was 16 years old, so the clutch would probably detonate the moment my foot touched it.

As she parked the car, I noticed my wife reaching for something under the seat; a rectangular piece of paperboard with a rotating dial on the front indicating the time of day. She spun the dial and set it on the dashboard facing outward. I climbed out of the passenger seat, looked through the windshield and saw she’d set the dial to the exact time we’d arrived.

German-Disc-Parking-Meter-Europe

“Honey, I know you’re a good person and all, but now is not the time for honesty.”

Now, there were absolutely no other cars to be seen. No people around either. In fact, the whole place seemed to be asleep. (Asleep or dead. It’s hard to tell with these village Germans.) I couldn’t understand why it would matter how long we parked there, or if some parking inspector would actually be dick enough to check our dial and ticket us for staying too long. Furthermore, I could not understand my wife’s reluctance to take full advantage of a rule system so naive it actually bases itself on trust. Holy shit, I wanted to spin that dial so hard it would say we got there tomorrow.

Anyway, I pointed to the dashboard and said to my wife, “Why not just crank that thing super late, so if you’re asked, you can say, ‘I’m just a silly little German. I made a mistake.’ ”

Without even looking, she dropped her keys in her purse, stepped up onto the sidewalk and said, “Germans don’t make mistakes.”

 


 

My German Wife Offers a Simple Solution to the Problem of Clothing vs. Closet Space

german-closet-clothes-hand-funny

It’s like a forest. An impenetrable, haunted forest.

About a year ago, my German wife was in the middle of her teacher training (Referendariat) here in Hannover, Germany. It was a busy time for her, involving lots of classroom observations, seminars, lesson plans, tests and essays. (Her future career as a Gymnasium teacher depended entirely upon her performance during this period.) Needless to say, it was also a stressful time. The days were long, the nights were short, and patience was a commodity in high demand.

One day, as my wife came home from school, I greeted her with a smooch and helped take her hoodie off. As I carried the hoodie toward the closet, I noticed she was following me. Like, she was right on my ass, and I realized she did not trust me to hang up her clothing properly. She has good reason for this though: I am a terrible folder of clothes, I hangs things in random places and my attitude toward laundry in general lies somewhere between “good enough” and “fuck it, it’s just gonna get wrinkled anyway.”

Given my spectacular failures as a dry cleaner, I wasn’t at all irritated as I opened the closet door — even though my wife was hovering over me like an anxious mother whose son is about to stick his finger in hot coffee. I understood it, and I was cool with it. I was downright surprised, however, by the sheer volume of clothing in my wife’s possession. Her “side” of the closet — which comprises 90% of the whole — was so packed I could not hang the hoodie inside. Seriously, I was unable to separate the other items widely enough to fit even one more thing.

Now, I am the sort of man who follows the doctrine that one should own only so many articles of clothing as one’s closet can hold, so it was with no small amount of amazement that I remarked:

“Woah. You have way too many pieces of clothing. You gotta get rid of some of those.”

To which my wife replied with a heavy sigh:

“I know… I need a bigger closet.”

 


 

My German Wife Is Impressed by a Bagpipe-Playing Lawyer

bagpipes-player-funny-man

“Stop playing that thing or I’ll shove it down your Scotch-hole.” — Photo by Jonathan Stonehouse (https://www.flickr.com/photos/gizmo_bunny/)

Back in 2012, just a few months after we moved to Germany, my wife made me watch all 5 seasons of Ally McBeal. That’s 112 episodes, each one lasting 45 minutes, which adds up 84 hours of total viewing time. (Coincidentally, 84 hours is exactly how long a man can have his testicles squeezed together in a woodworker’s vise before he begs for death’s sweet, everlasting embrace.)

As you probably know, Ally McBeal was a popular television series which ran from 1997 to 2002. It was a surreal comedy-drama, following a young, self-obsessed lawyer named Ally McBeal as she hallucinates her way through a series of romantic misadventures and magically relevant court trials, which hammer the moral of each episode into your skull with all the subtlety of a howitzer.

Ally works for a fictional law firm called Cage and Fish. One of the firm’s eccentric co-founders, John Cage, has a pet frog named Steffan (pronounced Steh-fahn.) After a series of unfortunate hijinks — involving a lot of girlish screaming, frog-tossing and the poorly timed flushing of toilets — Steffan is killed. A funeral is organized around the toilet in which Steffan met his demise, and the entire cast of the show listens as John memorializes his friend by playing the bagpipes. (The actor, Peter MacNicol, actually plays them in real life.)

I watched this scene with the predictable amount of stone-faced apathy until my German wife raised her eyebrows, nodded her head and announced:

THE WIFE: “It’s pretty impressive he can play the doodle-sack.”*

*The word “Bagpipes” in German is “der Dudelsack.”

 


 

 

My Wife Suggests Long John Underwear to Help Fight Winter Chills in Germany

long-thermal-underwear-funny-winter

“Keeps my junk so warm I gotta smile.” — Photo by Anthony Easton (https://www.flickr.com/photos/pinkmoose/)

We’ve all heard winters in northern Germany can be pretty harsh, right? They’re long, dark, scary and depressing, like a prolonged nightmare or just about any movie starring Jeremy Irons. Winters pass so slowly here, the Germans have constructed a series of traditions and paid holidays systematically designed to keep you from playing chicken with the next subway train you see and screwing up the U-Bahn schedule for everybody.

I don’t mind winter, but even I have to admit the winter of 2012 was a real penis shrinker. In Hannover, winter lasted from October until May. Seriously, it was May when my wife and I were finally able to turn off the heat in our apartment and not freeze to death like a couple of white chocolate popsicles. Luckily, my wife is German and she knows how to deal with these long winters. She’s always telling me to wrap myself in a blanket, drink hot chamomile tea (because Germans think chamomile is a panacea), place a hot water bottle on my lap and wear thermal underwear beneath my pants (known more creepily as “long johns”).

I generally follow her advice, but the truth is I am a profoundly lazy man. Sometimes I cannot be bothered with all 4 aspects of her winter defensive strategy, which is why, back in November of 2012, I wore thin pajama pants while working at my computer and then complained about the fact that my legs were cold. My wife came into the office, put her teacher’s bag on the floor and announced:

THE WIFE: “It is getting very cold. Your pee-jammy pants are not warm enough. Tomorrow we buy you Johnny Long Bottoms.”