Conversations With Nick: Are You Having an Affair?

… with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich cut intricately to look like Cher?

I’m not even sure how to get into this one. I don’t really actually believe my husband is having an affair – like sleeping with someone else. I do, however, know that he has something else he loves in his life far more than he will ever even acknowledge me, which could be considered something of an affair. That, in a nutshell is: his career in film.

Obviously this is a regular bone of contention, for a number of reasons that I need not blather on about. Among that bone of contention is the fact that his career is not entirely creative and actually in film, his job includes mostly managerial tasks more often than not (payroll, telephone answering, office managing, scheduling, computer fixing); as well as the fact that it is not sustainable financially in the long term. Then there is the old adage “I guess everything you said while we were dating wasn’t exactly true, or at the very least  are now forgotten promises.” That is all sort of the tip of the iceberg. Needless to say, though, my subconscious reminds me regularly of my feelings about this in my dreams.

Usually my dreams are more like nightmares, and they almost always express the unrelenting homesickness I feel for Chicago. Last week I had the same dream three nights in a row: that we went to one of my favorite delis in Chicago, because of course we lived in Chicago (enter homesickness and forgotten promises). But then when it was time to wrap the sandwiches up in plastic wrap, I got wrapped in it instead and sent back in a To Go box to California. That is a nightmare.

But then I have nights like last night, where it is still painstakingly obvious that my subconscious is trying to work out my unhappiness and concerns with this situation, and more importantly my husband’s affair with his job – but it is so bizarre and hilarious you can’t help but be humorously perplexed.

A few weeks ago, Nick finally agreed to give Chicago a shot for a predetermined period of time. The idea was he would get a job that he can be happy in, as well as exert some of his creativity; yet, broaden it considerably so that he would actually have a shot at finding a job, rather than what he has now which is a very narrow and niche position (quite frankly, he even has difficulty finding what he wants here in LA – the film capital of the world). We made a list of things that would need to happen before said major life change would occur, like financial planning of it all, research over where we’d like to live in the ‘burbs, job searching, etc. But then no discussion was had again about it until finally I brought it up and asked: “so have we dropped this whole “give Chicago a shot”-plan, or what?” This started up the conversation again and of course the job matter is the biggest one, so I asked my husband exactly what kind of job he wanted to tailor his resume to, search for, etc. His response you ask? “One where I can make a lot of money managing and editing in film.” To me that meant “exactly what I have now.” And that was the end of the conversation; we went to sleep about 30 minutes later.

So obviously I had a dream about it all, and woke up feeling like there wasn’t even a point of getting out of bed. California really has nothing to offer me, personally, and I have run out of errands, chores, laundry, and projects to do. But the dream that I had was just so terribly bizarre, I can’t help but wonder what it all meant (besides of course the obvious).

Scene 1

We lived in Chicago-land area, and in fact moved back to the town I grew up in: Homer Glen. My mom was really involved in the church in the town over, where I went to school as well, called Shepherd of the Hill.  The church was a prevalent part of my dream last night. Nick and I became members of the church again and I decided to join the church choir (yes, I was in the children’s choir there when I was little). And I continued to stay in the choir even though Mrs. Schroll – the church’s music director – told me my singing sucked. Those were actually the words she used, too – “your singing sucks.”

Scene 2

While at choir practice one afternoon, a bunch of my friends from high school and other areas of my life in Chicago came to hang out at the church. Of particular note is that there were a few that didn’t seem too interested in meeting up while I was on my vacation there last month, but in my dream they were all about hanging out. They all wanted to take a ton of photos with my camera phone, but kept wanting to put the camera angle really high up in the air so that they didn’t look like they had double chins. They kept wanting to put it higher and higher and I kept dropping the phone, and getting really annoyed. And to make matters worse, the pictures that came out all had people making that God-awful duck face and/or Jesus continued to show up in the photo, walking around behind us wearing the ugliest pair of flip flops I had ever seen.

Scene 3

At home later in the dream, our fence was broken. Not the whole thing, just one slat that kept banging in the wind.

Scene 4

After coming back inside from trying to repair the fence, and continuing to hear it flap in the wind because I obviously did not fix it, I saw my husband talking to something in the kitchen. I walked over to him to see him quiet down immediately and hide something in a brown paper lunch sack.

B(itch): “What the hell are you doing?”

Nick: “Nothing.”

B(itch): “No, seriously – who were you just talking to?”

Nick: “No one! God, what is your problem?!”

And then he stormed out, leaving the brown paper lunch sack on the counter.

After I heard him drive away, I looked in the sack to see he had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on wheat bread in there, only he had cut and molded it very extensively to resemble Cher.

Confused and disturbed, I carefully put Cher PB&J back into her lunch sack and left it on the counter.

Scene 5

Back at Shepherd of the Hill for more choir practice, Mrs. Schroll started screaming at me that I was running late. I came in and she started doing this warm up song we did when I was really little and in the cherub’s choir – the peanut butter and jelly song. It goes something like “peanut … peanut butter … and jelly … peanut … peanut butter … and jelly.”

Choir practice ended shortly after that and Mrs. Schroll yelled at me again, only this time she said I needed to go downstairs to the church kitchen and take the macaroni and cheese out of the refrigerator to heat up because Nick and Cher PB&J would be there soon.

Then I woke up at the sound of my husband shutting the front door to go to work.

Interestingly enough, faithful blog followers, late last week Pookie entertained the idea that Nick is a robot. He rarely shows any emotion for anything and is often very controlled in what he does, and then he admitted that he never dreams (at least what he remembers). Am I just having crazy dreams for the both of us – me and my robot husband? Is this just more of the obvious – that I am terribly homesick and cannot reconcile such feelings, and that my husband will never stop having his affair with his career?

Or is it something else? Or worst of all – is it nothing?


  1. Conversations With Nick, Episode 3: Anyone In There? | B(itch) Log

    […] with nick, Uncategorized. · It’s been a while since we’ve had an episode of Conversations With Nick, although it’s also been a while since my husband (Poor Nick) talked about putting his penis […]

  2. cheryl

    The area around San Luis Obispo is gorgeous, and San Diego is beautiful too. We used to live in Ventura county 30 years ago and it was a charming area-no traffic to speak of. My earliest memories were of Chicago-we lived on George st. and went to Burley school-don’t know if it is still there. After living in Ca. for so many years I think I couldn’t take the hot humid summerts and freezing winters of Chicago. I remember my fingers becoming frost bitten on the way to school when I was a little tyke. I find theres nice people and idiots wherever you go.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I remember my feet being frozen by the cold and then wet all day at school walking through the snow. There is a LOT LOT LOT of traffic in Ventura County now. And a lot of problems with overdevelopment, political issues, spending appropriation of the taxes, etc. I love San Diego. My husband hates it – not sure how anyone could though.

  3. lauriejlong

    Looks like Cher PBnJ needs a knife in her head, too. Mangy man-stealing, sticky-fingered bitch.

    Sounds like you are incredibly unhappy and unfulfilled, girl. Try not to make more of it than what it is… but make sure something is redeeming in your life, sweet cheeks. Maybe you could invest time into your book about Trailer Trash Mom while Nick figures out what is next for him. You may be the SAHM, but you get to be happy, too.

    I think I am moving to Temecula this summer, so stay put until we can hook up for a binge-fest at that nasty-ass bar in Fullerton, okay? While TTMom and HKToaster might be nearby in Cali, the grass may not necessarily be greener in Chi-town. I learned, after being away from ‘home’ for a while, that I had outgrown what I once thought was my paradise. That realization brought my husband and I closer together than ever, despite the tough life we had shared. It took almost a year after returning to realize that home is where I was going to make it, not necessarily where I thought it should be. XOXO

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Temecula, you say? I have done much precinct walking and campaign organizing there (in my days as a politic-o between BA 1 and BA 2). While there some lady told me I had “rocks” in my head. In any event, I’m not going anywhere just yet.

      I think you are right about the whole “the grass may not be greener.” I think that definitely applied to California too, though. My dad and I thought California was going to be this great place of opportunity and a different lifestyle, and most importantly no more snow to shovel. It turned out to be much different than we thought it would be. Ah well, wouldn’t have learned it unless we tried.

      I also think that if a few things were changed about daily life it might not be so miserable here. That’s a whole other blog, or series of blogs entirely though haha

      1. lauriejlong

        Heather, Larry is never happy where he winds up either. Of course, he has dementia. Maybe….? Just kidding, lady. I get that about California, marriage and everything else. Reality just isn’t as fun as we imagine it to be. I would love to read your blog about changes of daily life. I am sure that a book could also be written about that. I have often thought about writing a book about what my life would be like if I had taken the path that I did not, starting at 18 years old. I wonder what would have happened if any one of my choices had been different.

        You are bright and resourceful and I know you will make a killer cocktail with the lemons life sends to you, dear.

        Yes, Temecula. Maybe we can scrap the crappy bar and charter a limo to take us through the wine country so we can get sloshed and laugh at people. Invite Hello Kitty Toaster and we can tag-team her. Hahaha!

      2. Heather Christena Schmidt

        Oh now this Hello Kitty Toaster thing has some possibilities hahahah…

  4. Chris

    Is that a nipple in that painting…he….he…oh wait, seriously though…

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      HAHA! An important question – clearly the most important hahah. I am pretty sure the answer is YES. Yes, it is a nipple hahah

  5. rich

    i soooo hate that friggin’ duck face. it says, “i’m too cool for you, but i’ll let it go this time.” i want to punch that face.

    also, i don’t know how many blogs you have, but this is the best one. fyi.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      That is so sweet of you (about the blog). I hate the duck face too. It makes me sick to see it, really it does. It doesn’t just say “I’m too cool for you” but “please, tell me I’m hot. I need validation!!”

  6. paralaxvu

    If it were nothing, you wouldn’t have written a whole blog about it. Methinks, however, that you know exactly what it’s about and just want someone else to okay your thoughts and feelings. Ain’t gonna do it, nope, huh-uh. You’re one smart cookie, m’dear, and I’m sure you’ll figure it out all by yourself. Maybe. Or maybe not. Just sayin…;-)

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Yes, of course you are right, and yes of course I know exactly what it means (as it always does). Sadly, after I left graduate school I lost all sense of trust in my own judgment, so would not be surprised at all if all I was looking for was someone else to confirm what I already believe. Thanks for reading 🙂

    2. alienredqueen

      Yup… I concur. You seem so unhappy and it seems like your hubby is not really concerned with your feelings.

      1. Heather Christena Schmidt

        At least it was entertaining with the Cher peanut butter and jelly sandwich!! What a weird assed dream that was… hahah

      2. alienredqueen

        Every time you say Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich, my brain short circuits to a part of a Denis Leary comedy skit where his kid crammed a sandwich in the VCR. LMAO

      3. Heather Christena Schmidt

        A sandwich in the VCR?! That’s AWESOME hahahah

  7. Abby Rae

    Venus in Gemini~~ sorry, I’m a DORKUS for astrology! Fascinates the hell outta me to see how it affects EVERYONE! My brain went POP after the first paragraph~ You are one bitchin’ writer! 😛

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I’m interested to learn more about this “Venus in Gemini” stuff … I usually am not too into astrology, but that is more because I am oblivious and/or don’t get it than anything else.

      And thank you so much about my writing 🙂

      1. Abby Rae

        More than welcome! As far back as I can remember I was drawn to the stars and such but “Oh-Holy-Hell!” did I say when I REALLY got the got on the majority of it. It is really about learning about yourself firs (like you have all the signs in you the only one that peeps usually talk about is Sun sign) I’m certainly no expert, though! I have a link to a Super teacher and I have basically learned it all from her site. I’ve talked to her twice (paid 60 bucks) and then one other time I was goin through some shit and she just said CALL ME (no charge). She’s Grade A. Okay, I’ve rambled enough~~ 😉

  8. Smaktakula

    Hey, I’m not dissing on Chicago (it doesn’t make me claustrophobic the way so many big cities do, and the people are friendly), but I’ve been to or through 49 of the 50 states, and I still haven’t seen the equal of California. You just live in the wrong part. Still, hope you guys go where you’ll be happiest.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I’m interested as to what in California, though I think you are right that we are in the wrong place. I would love to live in San Diego. It’s got such a different feel to it than where we are now, as well as where we were in West LA. I hear Northern California is much different as well, although have never been.

      1. Smaktakula

        Yeah, I lived in SoCal for about 10 years. They were great years, and I met my wife there, but the air, the heat, the noise, the gazillions of people–it got to me. I still love to visit for ballgames or concerts (in fact, I was in Glendale yesterday for my boy’s 3rd birthday at a place called Travel Town), but I like living in Nowheresville.

        I live on the Central Coast, about 200 miles north of you. There’s only about 250K people in all of SLO County, so we’ve got elbow room.

        Northern California IS very different from Southern California (and the Central Coast is wholly distinct–and altogether awesomer–than either one), as are the inland, Sierra and Cascades area. The Humboldt area is kinda crunchy, but not in the slick, self-consciously sophisticated way that marks the Bay Area. Up in the far north it gets kinda weird and backwoodsy. There’s been an ongoing separatist movement (which seems to vary in its degree of seriousness) to create “The State of Jefferson.”

        And then there’s the Great Central Valley (the San Joaquin & Sacramento Valleys), which the Economist cheerfully labelled “The New Appalachia.”

      2. Heather Christena Schmidt

        I used to work along the Central Coast, when I worked in politics. SLO County always did have a much different feel than the smog and everything in LA. And the atmosphere with the culture, the things to do, and the people is much different as well.

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