My wife and I are continuing to pursue my wife’s dream of opening a small business, which means we spend about 40 percent of our time getting the business ready, 60 percent of our time arguing aggressively, 50 percent of our time trying to take care of two children and 40 percent of our time being atrociously bad at calculating percentages.
Because we both spent most of our lives avoiding mathematics and accounting the way Keira Knightly avoids anything resembling food, we weren’t adequately prepared for the complexities of keeping accurate small business accounting records.
To help us track our accounting, we purchased an accounting software program called QuickBooks which, contrary to its name, is neither a book and is in no discernible way quick.
Hoping to save money on an accountant consultation on how to use QuickBooks, my wife bought a copy of “QuickBooks 2012 for Dummies,” which seemed appropriate but, after reading about 70 pages, it became painfully obvious to me that we needed “QuickBooks 2012 for Lobotomized Chimpanzees with ADD.” I thought, after reading 70 pages, I was prepared to at least tinker with QuickBooks, but as soon as I fired up the program, I realized the author of “QuickBooks 2012 for Dummies” was an absolute liar. Worse, judging by the tone of the book, he really enjoyed being a liar. I can’t help but believe he sat in front of his keyboard, tapping out lie after lie, laughing maniacally the entire time.
Beyond inserting the CD into the computer, nothing about my QuickBooks experience remotely matched the smug tutorial penned by the “QuickBooks 2012 for Dummies” author. Within five minutes, I was hopelessly lost in what can only be described as some sort of accounting software Purgatory. I’m sure actual accountants absolutely love QuickBooks. They probably take a copy of QuickBooks to bed with them and whisper sweet nothings into its central CD hole. I, however, am not in any way an accountant, so I spent my first QuickBooks experience desperately wishing I could hurl that CD into a wall like a ninja throwing star.
To really round out the whole QuickBooks experience, my wife was sitting right next to me, watching me click helplessly on countless options that took me absolutely nowhere. She just sat there, waiting for SOMETHING good to happen, only to have me fail miserably time and time again. To be perfectly honest, it must have been a lot like watching a Vikings game.
After about 20 minutes, my wife understandably lost interest in watching me click aimlessly while swearing incessantly, so she walked away to do actual productive things and told me to come get her if I made any sort of progress whatsoever. Suffice it to say, I never had to go get her.
I suppose in many ways it’s all pretty much my fault. After all, I spent most of my early formative computing years playing computer games. Somehow, I failed to realize that maybe playing “Dungeons & Dragons” online wasn’t the best training for eventually using a complicated accounting program. I mean, sure my pursuit of a 30th level thief with a vorpal blade seemed important 10 years ago, but in my current situation it strikes me as a monumental life error. This, I realize now, is what my parents refer to as “wisdom.”
Which is sort of ironic, since I always liked my “Dungeons & Dragons” characters to have high wisdom number ratings. In retrospect, it occurs to me maybe I was compensating for something.
This is simply too amazing not to post on my bl. . . THUNDERJOURNAL!
Lately, I’ve had to come to terms with an unfortunate truth about parenthood, which is: I have absolutely no idea how to properly dress a baby girl.
Our first child, Aiden, was, and remains, a boy. The cold hard fact is, you can dress a boy in anything. Cut head and arm holes into a garbage bag, and you have a perfect rainy day poncho for a boy. Try that with a girl and people will likely think you’re trying to throw her away, at worst, or punishing her, at best.
The thing is, I mistook the ease by which I could dress our boy as some sort of talent on my part. The fact I could put jeans and a tee-shirt on Aiden and have him look presentable was something I viewed as a great parenting accomplishment.
But then our daughter came along and totally torpedoed my inflated opinion of myself as an accomplished dresser of young humans. This torpedoing didn’t happen right away, mind you, because for the first several months our daughter’s wardrobe consisted almost entirely of onesie outfits.
Unless you have a deeply ingrained fear of zippers or buttons, you’d have to be a colossal idiot to mess up dressing a child in a onesie. So, my inflated opinion of myself as a brilliant dresser of infants remained intact until our daughter went and grew big enough to require “outfits.” Girl outfits are astronomically more difficult to coordinate than boy outfits. A boy outfit is like a hammer and a nail, while a girl outfit is like an array of dental tools you have absolutely no idea how to use.
Girl outfits have stripes and polka dots and frilly, poofy stuff that serves absolutely no purpose other than to designate a girl is a girl rather than a boy. Personally, I would have no problem dressing my daughter like a boy—in fact, I’d probably actually prefer it, if for no other reason that it would save a whole lot of time.
Unfortunately, my wife insists on dressing our girl like a girl, which is admittedly annoying, but I’ve learned from experience I’ll never win these kinds of arguments, so my daughter’s closet is packed with all sorts of girlie outfits that have to be coordinated “just so.” And I have exactly zero talent at determining what constitutes “just so.”
With my lack of girl dressing skills thus established, allow me to illustrate a typical daughter dressing experience:
ME: Let’s see. . . I’ll try putting these multi-color polka dot pants on her along with this striped pink shirt. There, that looks cute. I’ll go show my wife.
WIFE: What is she wearing?
ME: Uh, clothes?
WIFE: She looks ridiculous. Why not put her on a street corner with a cardboard sign that says “Homeless. Please help. God bless.”
ME: Well, that’s a little harsh, I think.
WIFE: Stripes and polka dots?
ME: It looks festive.
WIFE: I don’t want her to look festive. I want her to look cute. She’s not auditioning for clown school.
ME: Wait, why are we barring her from a clown school audition? She should be able to do whatever she wants with her life.
WIFE: Do you realize how much a top quality, four year clown degree costs? We could never afford it.
ME: You never know. She could maybe secure a clown school scholarship.
WIFE: She’s not going to get a scholarship for anything dressed like that!
ME: Can’t we just dress her in onesies until she’s 18?
WIFE: Just because you did that doesn’t mean she has to.
The frustrating thing is, my wife's last barb isn't even remotely true. I actually wore bleached jeans, Zubaz and Members Only jackets, which is admittedly far more embarrassing than wearing a onesie.