Husband And I Had Trust Issues This Week

Husband And I Had Trust Issues This Week

Picture this, if you can.

My husband and I had trust issues this week.

Did I doubt he would provide for our family?

Pull us out of a burning building, if need be?

Step between me and a hungry saber-tooth tiger?

Nah, he’d have that covered.

This, though, was big.

Months ago, I accepted a rare work gig that was going to take me out of town for 5 days.

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I figured Husband and our girls could, would do fine. That is, until I looked at the calendar again and realized, gulp, this work trip meant I was going to miss the first day of school.

Keep in mind, our girls are big-starting 10th and 11th grades. They are capable of getting themselves ready.

But first day of school means that ever important first day of school photo!

One might accuse me of being a bit over-invested in this. As if, without that photo, the rest of the school year won’t count.

Trust me, only I know how to capture that moment in time, please grandparents, share on social media.

Dear Reader, how do you turn over to your spouse the very important thing you are usually responsible for?

It’s not like this crew hadn’t given me reason to worry.

The girls are not exactly willing participants, squirming fake smiles, complaining when I insist on single shots, two-shots, full body shots. “The more shots give me more choices to get the best picture,” I explain.

Then there’s Husband, who has a tendency to run, what’s the word, oh yes, late.

The night before, I spent most of our phone call coaching Husband with tips on how to manage time, where to place the girls for the best lighting, how to coax them to cooperate.

“Got it covered,” he said without great enthusiasm.

And so, I mentally prepared myself for the blank space to go in the scrapbook for “First Day of School 2015.”

Fast forward to the next morning. There I was interviewing some CEO mucky mucks in Las Vegas when my phone chimed.

The photos!

Husband came through, after all.

As I went to look, I didn’t even care if the quality wasn’t perfect.

The thing is—

These photos were great.

Excellent.

Maybe, perhaps, even best ever.

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Husband sent a single shot, one above-the-shoulder shot. And one of the two girls together.

They are smiling, happy and relaxed.

“Gosh,” I remarked, to one of the girls that night. “The photos are really good. I didn’t see a single fake smile.”

“That’s because Dad didn’t drag out 13 cameras and make us take 400 photos,” she pointed out in an only slight teen exaggeration. “We only had time for three shots on his phone. We were running a little late, y’know.”

Picture this—

Wife cuing up Frank Sinatra.

Husband did it his way.

Now, to get booked out of town for the start of school next year.

It’s the only way to get the best first day photos.

Trust me.

Please catch more of my columns in The Atlanta Journal Constitution and The Dayton Daily News.

You Could Call This The Worst Anniversary Dinner Ever

You Could Call This The Worst Anniversary Dinner Ever

You could’ve called it the worst anniversary dinner ever.

This week, Husband and I were excited to celebrate our third wedding anniversary.

Yes, can you believe it?

It’s already been three years since this forever-single lady found a perfectly imperfect man who wanted to spend his life with me.

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Getting hitched at Silver Run Falls, NC. July 2012.

We had reservations at a fancy, new restaurant in town. And sure, we could’ve gone there and had the latest “farm-to-table” dishes.

But at the last minute, we looked at each other with a shared streak of rebellion. “Let’s ditch this predictable Popsicle stand and head for an adventure.”

We pulled up an article featuring a list of authentic, ethnic restaurants we’ve been wanting to try.

That’s how we ended up at a little hole-in-the-wall Mom n’Pop Korean restaurant about a half-hour away.

Things went goofy from the start.

As soon as we were seated, the server ran up to our table. “You should try the seafood pancake!” she insisted, pointing to the item on the menu written mainly inKorean. “A man ordered wrong pancake. Doesn’t want it. You should eat it.”

Before we knew what was happening the steaming, previously untouched, unwanted pancake was sitting in front of us with side dishes known as “banchan.”

It was delicious.

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Meanwhile, we ordered the special chicken dish mentioned in article that alerted us to this restaurant.

We waited.

And waited.

And waited.

“So sorry,” the server apologized when she came back a half hour later. “Chef cooked your food. I gave it to someone else. We make you another one!”

And with that, she was off giving us no chance to protest.

So we waited again.

While we were waiting, I took the chance to ask Husband, “So how has the first three years of marriage gone for you?”

I asked knowing he could call this the worst marriage ever.

There’s my old stinky dog, raising teenagers, my obsession with finishing my first novel, my ailing elderly mother on the other side of the country. All things that often get my attention ahead of him.

“This marriage has far exceeded my wildest expectations,” he smiled, taking my hand.

Does he not see all my flaws and our challenges?

Because let me assure you, they are on full display every day.

He says he sees a wife who doesn’t nag, who is a great mom, who travels the world with him, and laughs at about a third of his really bad puns.

I see a man who is incredibly generous with what he chooses to see.

Which brings me back to that darn chicken.

It finally came.

A huge mound of steaming chicken, rice noodles, chiles and spices.

I have to say it far exceeded our wildest expectations.

So yes, you could call it the worst anniversary dinner ever.

I’d call it perfect.

A reminder and celebration of life.

So often you can’t control what you get served up or when it arrives.

And a crazy chicken dish, like the right wonderfully imperfect man, sure is worth waiting for.

Find more stories on my website, DarynKagan.com

Please catch my column each week in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Dayton Daily News and other newspapers across Ohio.

Going Solo: Are You Willing To Do THIS Alone In Public?

Going Solo: Are You Willing To Do THIS Alone In Public?

My husband is still laughing at this.

Well, laughing at me.

Story goes back to a few years ago when we were dating, snuggled up on the couch watching “Dancing With The Stars.”  He sweetly asked me, “Would you ever want to take ballroom dance lessons?”

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I thought about it a second and said, “You mean, together?”

He still howls at this because, as he points out, how else do you take ballroom dance lessons? Who takes ballroom dance lessons alone?

Uh, that would be me.

When you’re single as long as I was, when you constantly picked guys who didn’t do more than toss a few cookie crumbs of their time your way, you learn to do a lot of stuff by yourself.

Yes, including sign up for ballroom dance lessons.

I got thinking about this the other day when I came across this study which confirms Husband’s theory that he married a different bird. A business professor at the University of Maryland says Americans are not going out, if that means having to go out alone.

Does this sound like you, Dear Reader?

Where do you draw your line in the comfort zone sand?

Would you go out to a restaurant by yourself?

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To a movie?

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Take dance lessons?

According to this study, most of you won’t if it means going solo.

The reason?

You’re too worried about what other people would think when they see you out by yourself.

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Here’s the punch line on that one—

Another study shows people aren’t watching you. They’re not judging you, probably because they’re too busy being self-conscious about what people are thinking about them!

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Seems to me, we all have some kind of challenge to overcome to live our lives more fully.

For me, it has been getting used to a whole cookie kind of guy. A man who wants to spend a lot of time with me and go do stuff.

Yes, together.

We haven't made it to those dance lessons yet, but have done tons of fun stuff like learning to fly fish.
We haven’t made it to those dance lessons yet, but have done tons of fun stuff like learning to fly fish.

They really do make guys like that. Who knew? Certainly not me until well into my 40’s.

And you?

You need to get over yourself and those imaginary people who, I promise, will not be judging you if you get out there by yourself for dinner, a movie, or even dance lessons.

And then there’s this—

When that hottie instructor is twirling you across the dance floor as the music makes a symphony in your heart, the last thing you will be thinking about is being alone.

dance instructor

I know because I’ve certainly danced that dance.

The last laugh is going to be all yours.

Find more uplifting stories on my website, DarynKagan.com

Please catch my newspaper column each week in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Dayton Daily News and other newspapers across Ohio.

Your Take On My Husband’s Surprise–You More Than Helped Me Decide What To Do

Your Take On My Husband’s Surprise–You More Than Helped Me Decide What To Do

Oh, what a trip it has been!

The adventure has started, even weeks before I get on the plane.

For that, I have you to thank, Dear Reader.

It was just a few weeks ago that I asked you for some marital advice.

I shared how my husband has this crazy, geeky hobby where he collects frequent flyer miles without flying.

How he’s whisking me off to a tropical paradise in the Maldives..

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And..

And…

That was where I was stuck.

The next part of the journey was to be a surprise.

Husband thought this was a grand idea.

“Romantic and fun” are the words I think he used.

I thought it was,

Well, not.

And so I turned it over to you.

“Should I let my husband surprise me?” I asked.

Boy, did you ever rally.

Let’s just say this—

You are not shy about saving me from me.

The resounding response,

And trust me, they came flooding in,

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Was to loosen up, let him surprise me and enjoy.

That’s not even the best part.

The best part was you.

You, who took the opportunity to teach me a thing or two.

Especially you husbands.

“This is how a man shows he loves you,” more than a few of you tried to explain to me in the simplest of terms.

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Larry wrote, “DON’T spoil your husband’s surprise. He sounds like me, and if he is, then it’s very hard to come up with an original romantic idea.”

It was as if you were interpreting that exotic foreign language known as “Husband Love,” that clearly too many of us women are far from fluent in.

I read the fellow husband replies aloud to Husband who nodded and smiled as if finally, someone understood.

There were those of you who really gave me a reality check.

“I think you need a real problem,” Sally wrote.

You got me there, Sal.

And those who brought a similar point home with a little more sugar sprinkled on top.

“Oh, what I would give for any more time or adventures with my late husband. He’s been gone three years now,” said Marie.

I get it.

I’m lucky.

You have been heard.

So, stand down troops.

I’m taking your advice—staying in surprise mode.

Won’t know until half way through the trip where Husband is taking me.

A few of you, like Jolene, want to make sure I know what to pack.

For that, Husband has given a clue—it’s going to be in the 60’s during the day, 50’s a night.

This one has thrown me.

Where is that chilly in June?

Southern Hemisphere?

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Northern Europe?

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Those are just guesses.

I’m not trying too hard.

After all, I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise.

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Find more uplifting stories on my website, DarynKagan.com

Please catch my newspaper column each week in the Atlanta Journal Constitution,the Dayton Daily News and other newspapers across Ohio.

Marriage Teaches Me Something I Should’ve Known About Love

Marriage Teaches Me Something I Should’ve Known About Love

I gave a little prayer of thanks this morning as I walked my dog in the still morning dark.

Thanks that my husband made it home last night.

Was he gone on a business trip?

No.

Pushing limits on a drunken bender?

Oh, that’s a funny one, if you knew him.

So was he somewhere I should’ve been worried about?

Not at all.

He was,

Are you ready for this?

At his first baseball game of the season.

Every Spring he pulls out the bat, mitt, stretchy pants, high socks and baseball hat and joins his men’s baseball league.

Baseball means once a week when he leaves for work I won’t see him until the next morning because he gets home from these games way past my bedtime.

Have I really turned into Her?

Forever single gal, now a couple years into marriage is now Clingy Wife.

Hardly.

I love that he has a thing.

Just for him.

Pure fun.

This is simply another lesson that marriage has taught me about love.

Simply, it’s easier to be the one who leaves.

The one who walks out the door.

door

Who gets to go.

For you, too, Dear Reader?

You, who probably knew this even without marriage.

I’m just slower than most figuring this stuff out.

The more you love, the harder it is to see that love walk out the door.

Harder to be the one who watches your kid get on the school bus.

Easier to be the friend who goes on the journey, rather than the one who stays behind to worry.

“Be safe,” Husband will say to me as his final words whenever I leave the house, be it to drive one of the kids across town or meet a girlfriend for coffee.

“How silly,” I think to myself. I feel safe when it’s my turn to be the one who leaves.

I’ve been around the world and back in my days as a news anchor and reporter. Never once worried that I was going to be okay. I do have faint recollection of my parents and friends worrying as I covered a war in the Middle East

kuwait

or volunteered at an orphanage in Africa.

I was fine because I could see I was fine.

I was the one who got to go. I had a faint idea that it was harder for the ones left behind.

Now, that I’m married and a mom, I know this to be true.

So, when the neighborhood owl hooted me awake this morning, first thing I did was look over to the other side of the bed.

There he was.

Husband.

Snoozing away, probably dreaming of almost beating the best team in the league last night.

And so I smiled as I walked DarlaDog down our street in the final moments of darkness.

He was just gone for a small thing.

And he made it home.

Safe.

When you love someone, that’s no small thing.

Find more uplifting stories on my website, DarynKagan.com

Please catch my newspaper column each week in the Atlanta Journal Constitution,the Dayton Daily News and other newspapers across Ohio.

Is Husband’s Surprise A Good Thing?

Is Husband’s Surprise A Good Thing?

To be surprised? Or not surprised?

That is the marital question I need your help with this week, Dear Reader.

I’ve shared in previous columns my husband’s rather quirky, geeky hobby.

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Crazy, mad genius obsession, might be a better description.

Husband collects frequent flyer miles without flying.

Millions of them.

It’s all the way we spend our money: mortgage, power bill, grocery store, clothes.

No dollar goes out the door without generating miles. Make that multiples of miles.

We live by spread sheets, blogs, Twitter feeds, all tipping him off to the latest deal to multiply the miles.

Before you ask for more details, let me say, our home is “Crazyland.”

“Never heard back from your friend, Judy,” Husband mentioned after he sent her his introductory single-spaced mad-scientist miles explainer.

“Remember the movie, ‘Jerry Maguire,’” I told him. “’You had me at Hello?’”

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“Sure.”

“You lost her at ‘expect to spend 8-10 hours a week pursing this hobby.”

He still doesn’t get how funny that line is to normal folks.

His craziness does mean we usually take at least two big trips a year.

For this year’s Grown ups only trip, Husband is whisking me off to the Maldives.

Yeah, I had to look it up on a map, too.

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Basically, it’s one of those magical huts over clear blue water kind of places on the other side of the world.

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We’re flying some super luxurious airline over there. I think we get our room or something crazy like that.

The tickets to get there would coast $45,000.

I kid you not.

Husband paid $7 a piece.

Again.

Not kidding.

Seven bucks.

Yep, life with Crazy Husband has its perks.

The challenge is the way back.

We are stopping somewhere on the way home.

Allegedly as fantastic as the Maldives.

Husband doesn’t want to tell me where.

“This will be so romantic,” he insists. “A surprise.”

He laughs when he says this because he also knows it tests my desire, to well, control things.

Gasp!

Husband being great husband doesn’t want to be too tortuous, so this week he made an offer.

“I’ll tell you where we’re going,” he said. “If it will help you relax and have a better time.”

So there it is—offer on the table.

My question to you, Dear Reader, should I find out now? Blow the surprise, but ease my international travel butterflies?

Or do I go with the flow and pretend this is, what’s the word he used, oh that’s right. “Fun.”

Our girls will be with my sister and her wife. They will be so well taken care of and spoiled at “Aunt Camp” that their only worry will be that our trip doesn’t last longer.

And all the aunts, adults outside of me will have an exact itinerary of where we are headed.

To know or not to know?

That is my challenge and question to you this week.

Do you like being surprised by your spouse?

Please weigh in and help me decide.

Find more uplifting stories on my website, DarynKagan.com

For Husband’s tips on how you can get into the crazy miles capturing game, click here.

Please catch my newspaper column each week in the Atlanta Journal Constitution,the Dayton Daily News and other newspapers across Ohio.

Four Reasons I’m Against Gay Marriage

Four Reasons I’m Against Gay Marriage

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-I’m against gay marriage, because to me, there is no such thing. It is simply, er, marriage.

-I’m against gay marriage, because I would never want to be married to a gay man. I imagine our love life wouldn’t be all that great. Oh, and I’m already married. To a straight man. A wonderful straight man. There’s that.

-I’m against the gay marriage ban. Oh, that’s it. That’s what I’m really against. Gay marriage bans, which of course, are only selective marriage bans. I live in one of the final four states to hold onto an all out marriage ban, which is a wonderful thing because that’s going to be one amazing party when it’s lifted. How boring to be in the 18th or 34th state.

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-The picture above says it all. There is only one man in this picture whom I would want to be married to. That hunky guy on my left. The rest of them? Not a chance. However, even though I don’t want to be married to them, doesn’t mean I’m not thrilled they are married to someone else.

There’s Roger & Mark, together 10 years. Married 2 years.

There’s Craig & Michael. Together 20 years. Married 10.

Craig & Michael actually introduced me to my husband and worked their magic to get him to ask me out. Thank goodness for friends who knew I wasn’t going to see my way out of 47-years of single-hood without some intervention. (Which answers the question single women across America have been asked, “How you ever going to find someone if you’re just hanging out with your gay boyfriends?”)

So let it be said, that my marriage is not threatened by these men being married to each other. It was created and inspired and now supported by them.

We love you guys. Thank you for being the kind of people who pour your energy into creating a new marriage rather than seeing it as an exclusive club where yours only counts if others don’t get to get in.

-Oh, the fourth reason I’m against gay marriage.

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My sister and her wife. Couple years ago, after being together 10 years, they went and eloped in Canada. Eloped! How can I support a marriage where I didn’t get to eat wedding cake?!  It’s all about the cake, right?  The part how they are the love of their lives, have created a loving wonderful family, support each other to the moon and back? Eh. Cake. I want cake.

Here’s hoping that other Kagan (Justice Elena—no relation, btw) and at least four other justices see the light when they hand down their historic decision later this year.

Find more uplifting stories on my website, DarynKagan.com
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