The Real J-Boom

First off, in kitchen progress news, all of the chaotic electrical work has been completed! In just five hours actually. Woot.

So we’re cleaning things up, taking pics, doing some pendant hunting, and writing a big ol’ post about it for you guys on Monday. But apparently when Sherry shared “The Real $herdog” on Tuesday there were a bunch of requests for a John version. Color me surprised (I honestly thought Burger and Clara would get mentioned before I would). And since I don’t really have a cool street name like Sherry, she has suggested that I use “J-Boom” for the time being. It’s a little too close for comfort to a certain busty Jersey Shore cast member for me, but since I figure there’s little risk of confusing the two of us – I’ll use it for now. It certainly has more flare to it than my childhood nicknames of “JP” and “Petersik.” Anyway, since Sherry stole some shared facts for herself (about our marriage and our daughter) – my list might be a bit more random than hers. Here goes nothing.

#1 – I don’t always enjoy shopping and decorating. If reading our blog has given you the impression that I’m always the dutiful husband who skips merrily alongside Sherry on shopping trips for our latest decorating project, well – that’s not 100% accurate. I may participate in (and often enjoy) running house errands more than the average husband, but I also do my fair share of groaning when I’m told we “need to go out for pillows.” Same goes for tasks around the house. Let’s just say I don’t bound joyfully from the couch every time I learn we’re hanging curtains or need to go up in the attic to carry something that “takes two people, one being the strong and helpful husband.” But when worst comes to worst, I just try to find the humor in being the tagalong husband:

#2I’m the king of typos. Case in point, my fingers originally made that “I’m the kind of typos.” I’ve accepted this about myself: my brain and fingers don’t always work in unison and my eyes don’t do me any favors by catching them. Sherry has little tolerance for it (especially since I will even drop an entire word or three here and there). Yes, sentences like “then I spread the grout with a trowel” might get typed out as “then I with a trowel” and Sherry is left scratching her head. It’s one of the reasons Sherry proofreads every post before it goes up and also why I’m not as active in the comments (along with the fact that I have no idea where each of our ten million pillows hails from). I confessed my typo problem in a local interview two years ago where Sherry and I had to submit secret responses about each other separately. I said I loved Sherry because “she fixes my tyops.” Sherry told me it was a sweet and clever answer… until I further confessed that I hadn’t done it intentionally. It was just the most well-timed typo of my life.

#3 – I’m sometimes insecure about being a stay-at-home dad. Those who caught my BabyCenter post a few months ago already know most of this. And though I think I technically qualify more as a “work-at-home” dad, I still often feel funny about not getting up, putting on work clothes, and trotting off to the office like other “normal” dads. Even though I can rationalize that being home with Clara is actually a very good thing, it still just feels off to me sometimes. Especially when Clara and I are checking out at the grocery store in the middle of the day and I get that “oh, he must be unemployed” look from the cashier. But I’m doing my best to just embrace it and be as good at it as I can.

#4 – I’m a shameless consumer of “new” things. Maybe it’s the former advertising exec in me (or the reason I got into advertising in the first place) but I’m a total sucker for new products. They don’t even have to be totally new – maybe Hershey Kisses’ just released their seasonal flavors, for example. I. Must. Try. Them. All. Heck, I even bought a box of Life cereal the other day just because the packaging had been redesigned. Sherry knows whenever I go food shopping alone that she should brace herself for the weird new flavor or product I’ll come home with (Dulce De Leche Cheerios? Check).

#5 – I sing. A lot. And not that well. Sherry and I are both guilty of bursting into song pretty often, whether it’s singing along to the radio or crooning an original tune that narrates what we’re doing (“a grouting we will go, a grouting we will go, high ho the tile-e-oh, a grouting we will go”). So maybe this goes along with Sherry’s admission that she’s painfully cheerful? It’s like a slightly off-key and slightly-sarcastic Disney movie up in here sometimes. And it’s probably why Clara isn’t shy about belting a little medley out too. We aren’t “real” singers or anything, but we can both (key word: sort of) carry a tune. And sometimes harmonize. Sometimes even on purpose. If we were to try out for American Idol we’d be in that in-between group that’s neither good nor bad enough to see the judges. You can catch a snippet of me singing in this mockumentary my college improv group made about a squash tournament (that obviously needed to close with a big mediocre musical number). Fast forward to about 12:10 for my extremely brief verse. Or if you care to watch the whole thing, start here with part one (warning: I can’t guarantee it’s entertaining for anyone beyond those of us who are in it).

#6 – I don’t really read Young House Love. Since Sherry proofreads every post (see #2 if you’ve forgotten why) and responds to most comments (questions like “where did you get that mirror?” are like asking me what color earrings Sherry wore three days ago), she reads just about every single word that ever gets posted on this site. So with all that we juggle each day, it’s not really the best use of our time for me to read everything too. I barely find time to read other blogs, let alone the one where I already know how things end. So if we ever talk in person and you reference something funny that Sherry wrote, please forgive me if I just smile and nod. Does it make me feel like a bad person? Sometimes. But c’mon, you know brevity is hardly a virtue of ours…

#7. I can get pissed like the best of them. This might come as a surprise but I can get pretty darn peeved in the middle of a project that’s going anything but well. I have even been known to throw a screwdriver (maybe “lob it at the ground” is a better description) while grappling to fix an incredibly frustrating mailbox issue. I’m working on it, but just know that I’m not Mr. It’s All Going To Be Hunky Dory during every project. Sometimes I’m just gritting my teeth and muttering under my breath. But when it’s all said and done and we’ve lived to tell the tale, it’s 100% worth it. Which probably explains why I keep jumping back into the ol’ DIY arena. I’m like Russel Crowe in Gladiator – except significantly less ripped.

So maybe my list was less “surprise, I’m not perfect” than Sherry’s since I figure you guys already knew I was no Matt Damon / Edward Cullen  / Justin Bieber or whoever else is the epitome of male perfection these days. Just don’t tell Clara that. I think she’s pretty convinced I’m all that and a box of raisins. And I’d like to keep it that way.

Pssst: We are not famous. But somehow we’ve been invited to be part of the Richmond Comedy Coalition’s series called “Richmond Famous” that’s happening next Friday night (Jan 27). We’re not totally sure what we’re in for, but supposedly we’ll tell some true stories from our lives and they’ll improvise scenes based on them. And yes, Sherry is beyond nervous that we actually “have to talk” so we’d love to see you guys there. At least I would. Sherry might rather hide in the car. Get more info here.

Psssst again: We announced this week’s giveaway winner. Click here to see if it’s you.


    • KathyG says

      Me too! But way too modest! What he didn’t say – and correct me if I remember wrong here – is that there wouldn’t still be a YHL if he had chosen not to become SAHD!

  1. says

    What a great post! It’s so fun to see your side of things.

    I wouldn’t get too down about being a work-from-home dad. My dad worked really long hours while I was growing up so I didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time with him. I think your working from home will be something Clara really appreciates later on in life!

    • says

      Kudos to you, John. Growing up, the workshop where both my parents worked together was literally the other side of our house. I think that changed my perspective on what ‘work’ was so that I’m more innovative and creative in my own life. It gave us happiness and well-loved security, which has been more valuable than anything they could have provided us by going out to work.

    • says

      If I were a cashier I would make up stories about people to pass the time. I’d like to think the cashier thinks you’re some big time entrepreneur freelance guy who makes enough to have you’re own work schedule and spend time with your family…. oh wait! that’s the truth homes. just keepin’ it real :)

  2. alex says

    Loved…although not shocked. Haha. My only question would be, does he miss the “male comradery(?)” aspect of not working in an office…like, my boyfriend needs his dude time with his buddies…does John do that or no? I admire you both as a normal, functional, this-isnt-the-Leave-It-To-Beaver family…youre straight up and loving. :]

    • says

      Oh yes I do. Thankfully I’ll sneak out to lunch with a friend who works downtown sometimes. And email a lot of “the guys” to stay plugged in. Gotta keep up with guy gossip. Hah.


  3. says

    J-Boom. I love it. It’s like Stool Boom.
    So glad to hear you aren’t always the cheerful shopper and that you grumble to yourself… and I’m sure my hubby will be SUPER glad to hear it too.

  4. cjw says

    If it makes you feel better, I had to buy Cinnamon Roll Mini Wheats because they were new…

    And the answer is “Ryan Gosling.”

  5. says

    Thanks so much John for sharing. My husband Doug was a stay at home dad for 16 months! He had been laid off work 4 months before our daughter was born, and didn’t go back to work until she was 16 months old. He honestly made the same exact comments you did in your babycenter blog, as well as on here. But truly Clara and our daugther Calla are some of the luckiest girls to have so much face time with their daddy’s.. it will never be forgotten, and the bond the two of you will have will be even stronger. Enjoy your Work from Home Dad life, and cherish every moment!!

  6. sandy says

    LOL! Great post John. It must have taken alot out of you to bring that to the table. You sound like my husband but he would have said it in less words “It’s all good!” Hahahaha

  7. says

    Thanks for sharing this, John! I have to agree with what Kristen wrote. My dad was a VP for Chase Manhattan Bank. He left the house at 6:00 or 6:30 am everyday and didn’t get home until 7:30 or 8 pm. Growing up, our bedtime was always 9pm just so that we could see my dad for that hour or hour and a half every day. Not to mention that the stress of such a high powered job and crazy hours literally killed him by the time I was a mere 14. I’m not saying this to be a bog ol’ poor me comment, just the contrary. I just wanted to give you another perspective about how you should feel good about the decision you have BOTH made to be home with your child. :)

    PS – I like the name J-Boom, given the affinity you have for the stool boom thingy. :)

  8. Melanie says

    You guys are totally famous in Richmond! I’m waiting for the day when I spot you in Home Depot or Lowes in Midlo and I nervously approach you and ask you to autograph a paint brush or something. I hope you don’t think I’m a weirdo, but I might even ask to get a picture with y’all.

    • says

      Haha, we’ll be awkward as ever! The other night a guy walked up and asked to get a picture to show his wife and we said sure and waited for him to take it and he handed the phone to John and posed next to me! So John took a pic of me and him. Haha. Poor John, being the picture taker. We giggled about it for hours afterwards.


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