The Headlamp
September 20, 2007

If Jared and I should ever find ourselves in divorce court, vengefully fighting for custody of the blender, it will be for one reason, and one reason only--Jared's headlamp.

In case you're not familiar with headlamps, they're a little flashlight that's attached to an elastic headband. That's one pictured above. The high quality headlamps are very bright, and suitable for activities like cave exploration, coal mining, nighttime hiking, troll hunting, and driving your wife up the freaking wall.

Let me back up for a moment.

Prior to moving to Texas, I was married to a very normal man who had a penchant for outdoor activities. He'd ride his mountain bike, he'd fly fish a couple times a week, and we'd hike on the weekends. We were living in central Maine at the time, in a little college town, and people like us were a dime a dozen. It seemed very common for students to go back country skiing or white water rafting on the weekends. But movies? Those were a little more exotic.

It was fun. My husband was normal.

Then we moved to Dallas, where there isn't a decent outdoor opportunity for at least three hours, and people are really into shopping, eating out, and getting body parts lifted. The change in Jared was immediate, and it was strange. He grew a very scraggly beard, he dressed as though we would be hiking Mount Kilimanjaro later that afternoon, and he began talking about outdoor activities incessantly. It seems to me that Jared felt an overwhelming need to prove his outdoor hard-coreness, and send the nonverbal message of "I will never be like you."

I feel bad for the compassionate souls at church who are unaware of this quirk, and cheerfully strike up a conversation with Jared. I usually watch from afar and mouth phrases to the unsuspecting conversationalist like "STEP AWAY! RUN AWAY!" as their eyes glaze over listening to Jared's detailed diatribe on the subtle differences between the brown trout and the rainbow trout.

This is where the headlamp comes in. I think this small peice of equiptment is one more way for my husband to maintain his image, one more way to remind the Metroplex that he's from Maine. On a typical day, Jared gets home from school and takes off his tie--but instead of slipping into jeans and slippers, he usually walks down the stairs wearing pajamas and a headlamp.

I'm like, "Jared? Why the headlamp? I'm mean....seriously?"

And he'll open the cupboard, flip on the switch, illuminate our food supply and say something like, "Because I can find the beans much faster when I have the proper lighting. You should wear yours, too."

Yes, he bought me a headlamp. We're really cute together.

Now I wouldn't mind this headlamp so much if it wasn't so damn bright. But it is. He turns it on in our dark room and it's like we are standing half an inch from the surface of the sun, with fourteen movie-set floodlights, and a pocket full of magical illumination beans. Really.

When he's doing an activity that doesn't requires constant light, like brushing his teeth or folding the laundry, Jared likes to set the headlamp to its flashing mode. Supposedly, that preserves the battery. Well, thank goodness.

Last night, Jared and I got into a heated discussion while we were lying in bed. It was 11 o'clock, I was exhausted, and our coversation was about medical malpractice lawsuits. We disagreed on the issue, and Jared was INTENSE. He kept looking right at me, trying to make his point, blinding me with his frigging headlamp. I was seeing stars, spots, blurs--you know, the works.

Finally, I had enough. "Jared" I said, "turn the headlamp off. You're blinding me."

"Oh, sorry" he said. "This will be easier on your eyes." And he turned it to flashing mode.

"Jared, tomorrow morning I'm going to chop that thing up. I'm serious, I'm going to find a chopper and chop it up. You've pushed me to my limit."

"Why Amy? It's really cool. I don't understand."

Well, Jared's gone for the day, I'm home, and I know where the headlamp is.

Let the chopping commence!

Let the good times roll....

Let freedom ring.


Rob & Katy said...

don't do it, amy- you'll regret it later.

Sue said...

Bwa ha ha I guess I should be grateful my husband only insists on wearing the same GAP baseball cap he's had for the last 10 years. Oy.

Jess said...

Will you use an ax? Because. that. would. be. awesome. I've always wanted to ax something to pieces. And I think a headlamp would splinter in an exciting way!

Mother Smuckers said...

All together now...

So many nights I sit by my window
Waiting for someone to sing me his song
So many dreams I kept deep inside me
Alone in the dark but now
You've come along

You light up my life
You give me hope
To carry on
You light up my days
and fill my nights with song

Rollin' at sea, adrift on the water
Could it be finally I'm turning for home?
Finally, a chance to say hey,
I love You
Never again to be all alone

You light up my life
You give me hope
To carry on
You light up my days
and fill my nights with song

You light up my life
You give me hope
To carry on
You light up my days
and fill my nights with song

It can't be wrong
When it feels so right
'Cause You
You light up my life

Brad and Becks said...

chop it up. you'll have at least 24 hours of peace before he buys a replacement. knowing Jared, it will be be bigger and brighter than the last. so, now that i think about it.....don't do it!

smelly said...

You should have me on speed dial for times like these. Put me on speakerphone and we can make that "most annoying noise in the world" that we used to do. Remember, that super awful dissonance type noise? That might help even the playing field!

Anonymous said...

I love headlamps! I wish I had one. Don't chop it up, it would be a waste of a perfectly useful tool.

I might need to get myself one of these for my birthday or something, so I can find things in our closet at night, or read a book when my wife wants to go to bed, or get up without tripping on all the stuff on our bedroom floor. Think of all the energy I could save.

A headlamp would have saved me from stepping in a hill of fire-ants last night when I was helping a friend jumpstart his car at night. What a great idea, Tell Jared thanks for the illuminating idea of using a headlamp in non-outdoor settings.

nomadic gnome said...

Oh wow. I thought I loved my headlamp, but that is just craziness.
He's lucky to have such a patient wife who hasn't already smacked him senseless whenever he turns on the blinking function. I would've committed that sin long ago.

Vanilla said...

Put it in the blender! Put it in the blender! Or better yet send it to and let them do it so we can all watch the video.

By the way I'm seriously LMAO at this post Amy! Excellent work!

Amy said...

Ok, I won't chop it up.
Everyone's comments are CRACKING ME UP today!!!!!!

Mother Smuckers--I will share that song with Jared! I think it captures his deepest feeling quite nicely! Seriously? How much do you get paid to work so hard!

Michemily said...

I know what you mean about the flashing setting. That is ANNOYING.

RunningCrazyAfter3 said...

I vote for Vanilla's idea. I definitely think we all need to get to share in this moment!

I honestly would probably just hide it. The blinking would drive me up the wall.

Amy said...

Once when we lived in Dallas, it rained so hard that the power went out. My husband immediately donned a full body rain suit and his headlamp and started making dinner on our camp stove right outside the front door of our apartment, which faced all the other front doors of all the other apartments in the complex. I went out to assess flood damage to the parking lot, and at least 6 neighbors asked me, "What in the world is that guy doing?" "Oh, you mean my husband? He's just excited to use his outdoor gear that has gotten dusty since our move to Texas." Now that we're in CA, he keeps his headlamp in his bedside drawer and uses it every time the power goes out, every time he looks for something in the garage, every time he goes outside at night, and every time he attempts to fix anything. He even put a headlamp on our 1-year-old when we were camping so the kid could see where he was crawling.

jkrunning said...

Do IT!! We'll deny everything.

Grandma said...

you could paint it black...or actually use both of yours for high electric bills up north!

Jes said...

Oh boy... this is not going to be good!

Vanilla said...

Amy, during the 40 hours I spend at the office in a week I'd say I work roughly 3 or 4 of those.

If you calculate my hourly wage using those 3 or 4 hours instead of 40 then I'm getting close to what I feel I'm worth.

Anonymous said...

I want one!

katieo said...

Ah the headlamp. My boys went bizerk-o for headlamps after a unit about camping in their preschool. We bought them. THey never turned them off. We never replaced the battery. Now they just play "pretend headlamp."

Mary said...

OK I'm going to go out and buy one for Bill for his birthday. I'm surprised he hasn't bought one for himself. He loves new toys!

candis said...

do it, do it! so many mental pictures! hilarious.

norabarnacle said...

I need that headlamp! Mine is so NOT bright. And flashing lights, oh boy! What kind is it?

Please don't give it the axe. Catapult it over to England instead! Ka-joing! It would find a good home.

The Carrie Collection said...

Oh Amy. I love the headlamp too. Jenny, my MTC companion, introduced me to the strobe mode one night in our room after a long day of pretending to learn Portuguese. Our Brazilian rommates couldn't understand our broken Portuguese so what did we do instead? Turned the headlamp on to stobe mode and made our own techno dance noises and just danced around the room for about 20 minutes. We were all best friends after that. The headlamp was the first thing I used my REI discount on.

Penny said...

I think you definately should wear YOUR headlamp every time you do the wild thing.