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Pulling It Together

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Chapter 1


Sure, things are fine. I’m married to a lovely woman. I live in a nice house. I like my job. I have a baby on the way. It all sounds great doesn’t it? If I’m being completely honest, I’m leaving a few things out.

For starters, sex. I haven’t had sex in nine months. In fact the last time that I did have sex, my wife and I got pregnant. Do you know the last time before that? I have no fucking idea. I can’t remember. And its not because I turned forty and my mind has turned to mush. It is because it’s that long ago. If I sat in a room with no sound and racked my brain in deep meditation for twenty four hours pondering this question I would still not come up with an answer. I have had and continue to have a shitty sex life. And don’t even get me started on positions.

Blow jobs? Are you fucking kidding me. I can’t even remember what a blow job feels like but I can tell you the last time I did get a BJ. It was about ten years ago, right after Jen and I were married. Jen and Jake. That’s our names. J & J, yes, I get it. I know, soo cute. Not really.

As I was saying, it was about ten years ago, right after Jen and I were married. We were out at Uncle Tao, a gourmet Asian fusion restaurant, waiting to be seated. I must have had four gin and tonics standing at the bar and from what I recall Jen kept up with me drink for drink. If you can imagine, back then, Jen was young and sexy. She was was dressed in a short black dress, the kind of dress that every woman should own. She was thin, great tits and an ass that snuggled in her dress perfectly. She was wearing three inch high heels that put her at about my height. We looked just about as cool as a couple could look and we made quite an entrance every place that we went.

Jen was also fun. We would talk for hours about politics and then the next thing you knew she was dancing on the table of a dive bar. She was spontaneous, intelligent, driven and sexy. A lethal combination.

This particular night, at least four gin and tonics in by the time we sat down for dinner, Jen was being her fun self. We followed the hostess, stumbling to the corner booth, inviting dirty looks from the hostess as well as the fine patrons out enjoying a nice dinner. We fell into our booth, ordered a couple of spring rolls and tried to remain upright. I was having trouble unraveling my chopsticks from the rolled up napkin when Jen scooted a little closer to me.

“This is romantic,” I said although it probably came out like, “Dis is ’oman-tit”.

Jen nudged closer, slinked up to my ear with her mouth and whispered, “I’m feeling horny. Do you want to have some fun?”

“What? Here?” I’m a bit weird about public displays of affection especially in restaurants.

Jen must have gained some sort of confidence from my timid, pathetic response. She took her hand and rubbed it over the middle of my jeans while she seductively said, “How does that feel?”.

“Ummm, good?” I uttered.

Yes, that’s what I said. For real.

The next thing I knew she climbed under the table, my jeans came down and the rest is history. It was one of the single best moments of my life.

In one of the most depressing juxtapositions thus far in my life, today I’m sitting on my couch in our house, drinking a beer and watching tv. Jen is upstairs folding laundry, I think, and I’m pretty happy about that. I need some downtime or “me” time as I like to think of it. I deserve it. After all I’m dealing with a woman that has gone way off the deep end over the past few months. Sure there are things that I could empathise with in the beginning. For example, no one wants to throw up every morning. But even that is starting to lose its novelty. Big deal. I’ve thrown up before. A couple of seconds of feeling nauseous and then out it comes. Suck it up Jen.

Then came the attitude. Even that I could deal with at first. Being pregnant is hard, so I’ve heard, so I cut Jen some slack.

“Pick up your shit,” I started hearing that one every once and awhile.

Apparently, things need to be in order. And by order I mean everything in its OCD place. I am not OCD nor do I have any OCD tendencies. So, things being put into place might mean my socks on the floor by the bed. Shirt and pants that I wore, on the floor. Dishes after we’re done eating, stacked in the sink. After all it is not like I think some magical fairy is doing the dishes or picking up my shit, I know that it is Jen. And, I’m ok with that.

Being yelled at takes its toll on a person. Especially when you’re being yelled at for no reason at all. One night I was dressed down over deciding what to eat for dinner.

“I’m hungry,” Jen said now three months pregnant.

“Ok. What are you in the mood for?”

“I don’t know. Can’t you pick a place?” The volume was starting to rise a bit.

“Sure. How about Chinese?” I suggested.


“Ok. How about Italian?”

“No,” this time with a little more edge to it.




“No,” Jen said with escalating attitude.

“Mexican, Sushi, Thai?


“I don’t know what to say,” I pleaded.

“I want meat!”

“Meat? Ok, where do you want to get meat?”

“I don’t know?! I want meat!” She screamed.

“Where - do - you - want - to - get - the - meat?” I said in my best staccato voice.

That was a bad idea on my part. I learned that day you don’t want to fight pregnant fire with fire.

“What’s wrong with you? Yelling at a pregnant woman. I’m your wife! I’m

having your child! You callus prick!”

Then came the tears. The tears turned to sobbing and then to more yelling until we ended up going out for Italian.

This episode lasted at least thirty minutes. Twenty minutes of discussing dinner choices and at least 10 minutes of trying to define “meat”. Meat, dinner and life, in that order, should not be this hard.

With the pregnancy progressing, it is suffice to say that things have become a bit dicey at home. Even my beautiful black labrador, Jabber, can attest to that. Poor Jabber. She can’t win either. Jen can’t stand the sight of her or the smell of her for that matter. But, it is hard to hide when you’re a ninety pound dog and you smell like a dog.

“Get her out of my face,” Jen says when she enters the room.

“She’s sleeping,” I say taking a sip of my beer.

“Well, wake her up. I’m going to vacuum.”

“But, I’m watching the game,” I protest on both of our behalves.

“Well then you and Jabber get out of here,” Jen says.

Are you starting to get the picture? I’m chalking it up to hormones. Well, I’m praying it is hormones. Otherwise, I have to accept the fact that my wife has gone fucking crazy.

“Ok, we’ll go upstairs,” I finally concede.

“I just cleaned upstairs,” she shrieks.

When the shrieking comes, I cower. Not necessarily outwardly but that’s how I feel inside. I’m not afraid to admit it. I’m scared. Do you know what its like when a woman eight months pregnant screams? It is blood curdling.

You look at this woman, carrying your baby, and all you see is raging hormones coming at you like daggers. You try to duck, bob, weave your way out of any confrontation but you’re fucked. You are going to get nailed. So, you just need to buck up and take it like a man. Even if that means you’ve become a total pussy.

“Jabber, let’s go,” I say turning to Jabber with her leash in my hand.

“Yes, go walk your dog,” she snaps. “But be back by five. We’ve got dinner plans at Dave’s.”

Does she really think I’m going to walk the dog for three hours?

That exchange was tame compared to the other day so Jabber and I proceed to leave the house. As we walk down the street I head towards Mike’s house.

Mike is married too. In fact, all of my friends are married. When did that happen? He has two kids and for all intensive purposes it appears as if he’s happy. It also appears that he loves his family. It is an inspiration to me. It means that the pregnant insanity ends although that is hard to envision when you’ve just been kicked out of your house.

I always look at his life and find it hard to believe. After all, his wife is best friends with Jen. She didn’t appear nuts when she was pregnant. I have even asked Mike about this odd fact. He claims his wife was normal when she was pregnant. She’s just crazy now he tells me.

“Mike,” I say knocking on his door.

No answer. I put my ear up against the door and hear the kids playing loudly and the television on.

“Mike,” I say louder, this time pounding on the door.

Mike arrives seconds later. He cracks the door a little and pokes his head out, “Hey, Jake. What’s up?”

“Umm, can I come in?”

The noise level in the house is almost deafening. I try to peek in and all I can see is his oldest kid jumping off the couch, sword in hand, while the younger one attempts to punch him in the stomach screaming bloody murder.

“Not the best idea right now Jake,” he says as I hear his wife yell asking who is at the door.

Mike turns his head and screams back into the house, “It’s Jake! One second!” He then turns back toward me, “Buddy, look things are a little hectic, what’s up?”

“Jen just kicked me out of the house.”

“Listen, she’s a little hormonal right now. Just take it in stride. Walk the dog, grab a drink, take a Xanax. You’ll be fine.”

Mike turns his head back toward the house, “Max, STOP! You’re going to kill your brother.”

Then as if its perfectly normal to scream at the top of your lungs at your kids he proceeds, “Listen, this is the easy part. So you got kicked out of the house. Get a grip. Take a look - MAXIE THAT’S ENOUGH! - take a look at what’s going on here. I’m a camp counselor. Not even a head counselor. I’m a junior counselor. Karen is the head one,” and as Mike is telling me this I hear Jen scream at Mike to get his ass inside.

“That’s my cue, pal,” with that Mike shuts the door.

This odd prison like exchange got me thinking. Perhaps Mike was right. Maybe this was as good as it was going to get. Because, once the kid was here things were going to change. That was for sure. The question was how things were going to change.

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