A really insanely touching thing that Dan said, and my new official rule on self-portraits

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life78 Comments

So last night, Dan and I are sitting at the kitchen table, eating a substantive serving of whole wheat capellini, tomato sauce and Byerly's label freshly grated parmesan, and I was telling him in a very the-world-and-Weight-Watchers-has-beaten-me-down tone of voice that sure, I was eating healthier, and yeah, my snacks were things like almonds and dried fruit, and that okay, I was walking almost every day, and so on and so forth, but that I still missed being a skinny smoker, and I would never deny that.

Trying not to sound ridiculously melodramatic, however, I weakly pointed out that I was not, in fact, a smoker anymore, and that I was still fairly proud of that, whoop de frickin' do.

Now you know guys. You know how sometimes, they just aren't sure what to say or do when they sense their partner is trapped in the suckage of a pity whirlpool. So what do they do? Usually, they start hitting the facts. The numbers. Pointing out the non-emotion related things that are supposed to make you feel good, instead of just saying, "OH, honey. I KNOW!"

Now first, a little back story before I continue: Dan is convinced he will outlive me. And rarely, if ever, do I challenge him on this fact. His grandmother is 96. Her sister lived to be older than that, and her other sister is still alive. He has longevity in his genes. We often imagine him moving to a loft in downtown St. Paul, living the hipster lifestyle as only an 80-plus year old man can, and very likely, having an endless stream of hot 70-year-old chicks at his disposal.

I mean, afterall… he IS really charming.

So there I am, in my melancholic stupor, and Dan is pointing out that YES, eating almonds and dried fruit is WAY better than potato chips, or loaves of french bread, and that the walking is doing wonders for my ass, and that the not smoking thing is absolutely HUGE as far as my health and longevity go.

And then, sweetly, with glistening eyes, he says: I only want to outlive you by one day.


God, I have no idea why or how, but this man really seems to like me.

And with that out of the way, I would like to present my new official rule on self-portraits:

they MUST include a toilet.


Have a great weekend.


Cathy ZielskeA really insanely touching thing that Dan said, and my new official rule on self-portraits

78 Comments on “A really insanely touching thing that Dan said, and my new official rule on self-portraits”

  1. #2


    “I only want to outlive you by one day”

    HEELLLOOOO…that is the sweetest thing i have ever heard!! wow Dan sounds like a really special guy if you ask me. You are a lucky lady.

    and yes, all selfies should include a toilet. oh my… that was a good laugh for a Friday!

    have an awesome weekend : )


    Ottawa, Canada

  2. #3

    Ok, so that brought me to tears, which I explained to my co-worker as “allergies”. What a beautiful thing to say. Lucky woman!

  3. #5

    aaaahhhhhhh….that is the sweetest thing. Why can’t my husband say things like that! He will pay for this one!


  4. #6

    LOL!!! Cathy I just can’t get enough of your blog. I love the honesty that is in your posts and I love that you share so much with us. Dan is a great guy, what a sweet thing to say. He was definitely meant to be with you! The self portrait will keep me giggling all weekend. Have a good one!

  5. #10

    loved the husband comment and peed myself with the toliet photo comment! Thanks for a great start to the day!

  6. #11

    As I sit quietly at my computer, eating my lunch, tears welling up in my eyes and then…then nearly spitting my lunch on the monitor when I see the toilet as the backdrop in the self protrait. Well done! I needed that!


  7. #12

    The comment by your adoring husband…awesome, but the angle at which the camera caught your very long and thin face…flippin awesome!

  8. #14

    This is why we love you, Cathy. A tug on the heartstrings and then a laugh. Only you can deliver the old one-two like that. Thanks! (and kudos to Dan for saying exactly the right thing!)

  9. #16

    I was listening to Stars by The Weepies when I read your post.

    I’m brought to tears and a simple smile.

    Thanks for sharing a piece of your life. : )

  10. #17

    I just have to say whenever I am feeling the sucking of the whirlpool I only have to read your blog to suck me right back out.
    Thanks for all of the laughs!!!!!
    I hope you enjoy the sweetness of that hubby of yours. My hubby is great too, he just never finds the right words. He gave up trying that, it was not a win win situation. Have a great day!

  11. #26

    The Dan thing – totally sweet and earns him an extra big smooch later when you’re feeling like it.

    The smoking thing, OMG! It’s been 2 years, 3 months and 4 days and there are days still that I think being a skinnier smoking b*tch would be so much better. Cuz I’d be happier right, and don’t happier people live longer? Don’t happiers people keep themselves out of jail easier cuz they don’t go around killing folks just cuz they’d rather have a cigarette in their hand than look at some totally nice dude who’s just irritating the hell out of them for no good reason at all?? *Sigh* I guess after my deep breath now I can tell you that I understand, one ex-smoker to another, how sometimes the almonds and the walks and all the good things just can’t top one long drag.

  12. #27
    Sue in Grapevine

    Have you seen this quote?
    If you live to be a hundred, I want
    To live to be a hundred minus one day,
    So I never have to live without you. —— Winnie the Pooh

    Your Dan seems to be a great guy.

  13. #28
    tammy t

    Oh my….that really is a beautiful thing to say. Really. And I love your description of him as a hipster old geezer. Maybe he could start a new band….”Geezer!”


  14. #31
    Lorrie Spotts

    My husband would be a happier person if he learned from your husband. I have had many a many a many conversations about my fights with Weight Watchers. Right now I am not letting WW beat me down. I am beating them down. With my vanilla scones from Starbucks, leftover chocolate bunnies, and avocados from my mom’s backyard tree…turned into guacamole. (which “needs” tortilla chips) I am pretty darn good at this fight.

  15. #32

    Who is this guy? I think Winnie the Pooh said something similar in that β€œIf you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.” OK I know it’s a tad different but in the same respect Dan is so much like Winnie the Pooh. How sweet! I’m a sugar addict but that is WAY too sweet for me.
    By the way, you look great! You are a very lucky person!

  16. #34
    April Driggers

    Oh my GAWD that is TOO f-n sweet! πŸ™‚

    They go on and on and on and just bug the ever lovin crap out of us and then say something like that … and it’s like… awwwwwwwww!!!

    and the toilet… that cracked me up! πŸ™‚ (just as long as nothing’s floatin’ in it! πŸ˜‰

    Love ya girl — you always make me smile!

  17. #35
    Chris Ford

    Dude, thank God every day you’re not a smoker. We go in next Friday so my grandma, a lifelong multiple pack a day smoker, is having half of her lung surgically removed because she has lung cancer – and we’re thanking our lucky stars she’s even eligible to *have* half of it chopped out. And she is *still* smoking.

    She says she’s gonna quit the day after surgery, but she also said she was throwing her pack away the day they told her she could have the surgery. And my mom is sitting right next to her sucking the damn things down, too.

    As a reformed “secret smoker” like you, that’s all it took for me to swear I will never, ever again (even when I’m drunk! I swear!) suck down another coffin nail.

    Muffin tops are way better than lungectomies (or, you know, whatever -ectomy medical term they use for this thing).

    Smooches. And tell Dan he’s the man. What a keeper!

  18. #36

    I will be heading to the toilet for my self-portrait as soon as I finish writing this. Bhwaaaaaaaaa!!!!!

  19. #39

    Shocked you have a shorty toilet with two boys. Is’nt there a saying for shorty toilets? Somehow I feel cheated when using a shorty toilet. Just a thought. cheers.

  20. #40

    super sweet.

    Your skin is absolutely radiant, I don’t know whether it’s the toilet or the yellow top, but whatever … it’s working for you.

  21. #41

    What a sweet thing your guy is! Love when they can pull those romantic words out of thin air…

    um, nah, lose the toilet, there’s gotta be a better prop out there! Great self portrait though!

  22. #42
    mary bartolotta

    Hi Cathy,
    sounds to me like you got one of the good ones..how can you not love a man who says something like that!! hate to throw this in, but you got me thinking about “fame” and how I was so into that…someone else from the movie died yesterday…makes me feel old. (45 in 2 weeks..)but I will love that movie and how it made me feel until my dying day..have a great weekend, maryb

  23. #48
    Sue Martin

    What a sweetheart Dan is and the photo with the toilet is too funny.

    Many years ago one of my colleagues was retiring so we put together a video and each person talked about the different memories they had with Walter. I convinced the guy doing the video to film me inside the ladies’ room right next to the Tampax machine. Walter just cracked up when he saw it.

    Don’t ever go back to smoking…watching my stepmom slowly die of emphasema,in a nursing home for a period of six months would be a cure for anyone. She weighed 59 lbs. when she died.

  24. #50

    You definitely met your soulmate!What a sweet comment(so Jerry MaGuiresque) TFS! BTW,
    I like the self portrait con bano idea and I, for one, appreciate that yours was flushed and the seat was down! LOL
    Have a great weekend!

  25. #51

    I’m in the middle of a divorce that really is good for me, but still I’m all worried about never meeting anyone else. Thanks for giving me something to live through vicariously that sounds so sweet and so cool and so what I want the next time around.

    The toilet is a nice option. πŸ™‚

  26. #52

    awww! How sweet! Then the – this man really likes me – how funny! And the toilet – you are a riot! thanks for the laugh!

  27. #53

    ONLY YOU!!! Only you could make me go from ‘awww, I’m gonna cry’ to laughing hysterically, all within 30 seconds.

    Did you catch the rainbow at 5-6ish? Was that viewable from your St Paul digs? I was in Edina. It was awesome. Spring is awesome. Have a great weekend!!


  28. #54
    Heather H.

    That is very sweet! I wasn’t expecting the toilet. I thought maybe it was going to be looking UP at the camera because it is more slimming, but not the toilet. Could it always be a CLEAN toilet, please!?
    Anyway, great story. I think it should be a layout. That story and that photo! If anyone could make it work, it’s you!

  29. #56

    Wow I would swoon if my man said that to me… but glad to see you brought us back to earth with your normal everyday photo xxxx

  30. #57

    at least it’s a CLEAN toilet!
    You look great in yellow – good lighting in that bathroom of yours.
    And Dan the man? I have no comment at all. He’s sucking up for something. Watch out. πŸ˜‰

  31. #58

    That is the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard of a many saying EVER!!!

    And I think you’re looking great in this pic!!! So you must be doing something right.


  32. #59
    Christine Campbell

    I actually sighed and went awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

    you’re one lucky gal Cathy Z. πŸ™‚

  33. #60

    I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy over your sweet husband moment and then BLAM, you hit me with the toilet (so to speak) and I laugh right out loud. Gosh, I just love ya.

  34. #61

    I have been reading your blog for a some time now. (Probably since you put it up)
    I’ve never commented, but I can’t help myself tonight.
    You CRACK me up!
    Thanks for being you and being real.
    Love all the inspiration. You rock!

  35. #62

    I have been reading your blog for a some time now. (Probably since you put it up)
    I’ve never commented, but I can’t help myself tonight.
    You CRACK me up!
    Thanks for being you and being real.
    Love all the inspiration. You rock!

  36. #63
    Shelly in the NW

    my hubby once had a dream that i died before him and he never remarried but instead made custom furniture and he and our dog sold it at Pike Place Market – i’m not sure what that means, but I guess on the one had i was flattered about the not remarrying part – on the other hand was he finally glad to be living his dream?????

    well, it’s been almost 19 years since then and the dog is now gone but i’m still here πŸ™‚

  37. #64
    Nicola in NZ

    I’m gonna have to get me some “smoke and mirrors” cos spring never looked that good on me.

  38. #65

    Two things…clean toilets should be shown off and secondly, hubby & I have a similar conversation, about his family living so much longer than mine so all my (trying to)live clean, exercise, hrs of health research and my love/hate affair with WW will not have me live even remotely as long as him LOL…which he says smugly as he sits there eating his Munchie Mix and ice cream.

  39. #67

    I can’t say that any of my selfies have included a toilet. And I have been taking them for 96 days straight.
    I will make it my personal challenge to see if I can get through the whole year without including the toilet.
    Yes….thats my new challenge. Not only to finish a year of selfies, but to keep them toilet free.

  40. #68

    As a fellow 11 years clean recovering smoker (Marlboro Kings Light in the flip box) I completely understand your sentiments. I still remember leaving the health club after an amazing workout, and heading straight to McDonald’s for a diet Coke and a cigarette. Everything’s better followed with cig.

    But, quitting is the right thing, if nothing else than to give our kids the right example and a chance at still being around to be a great grandmother to their children.

    I still stand real close to smokers in public places though, hoping to inhale a bit of the smoke they so wastefully exhaled.

    Sick I know, but sadly true.

  41. #70
    rubberbandgirl Cami S.

    Bonus points for the man!
    That’s gonna stick with me.
    Thanks for sharing that.
    You’ve obviously married the right guy.

  42. #73

    such a lucky lady and lest we forget how lucky Dan is too. I love it when they say the right things. and the toilet thing? dear god what have you made me do? it’s on the blog…

  43. #75

    (warning early Sunday morning, typo’s/grammar errors may occur)

    Cute post! A man who can start he only wants “one day” longer then you, is a keeper. Maybe, he should teach other men to speak like this. I know my hubby couldn’t not even think to say something like that on his own. I’m probably afraid to hear what he would have to say, on that topic. Oh and your too cute to have a pic with a toilet in the background, but cute top. Thank you for being so real in your post, this struggle about non-smoking and weight and so tough. I have been saying exactly what you wrote in this post about this exact subject lately. I do not want to become overweight. I have never dealt with an weight issue, until I quite smoking, and wham! I swear I am blowing up, what is up with this? It cannot happen and I’m working hard to not let it, but wow is this hard, it really leaves you tempted to light up again, but I really don’t have the desire too, but it makes you think about it.

  44. #76

    Awww that was sweet of Dan to say.

    Love the toilet in the self-portrait. I’ll have to try that.

    What I really want to know though is what did you think of the latest Rock of Love??? I’m dying to read about that in your next blog post. πŸ™‚

  45. #77
    Wendy z.

    Love the self portrait….Need to get a picture of myself by a toilet…..

    Oh…by the way…I’ve had four really potent margaritas tonite….which gave me the courage to type this……

    I hope to live one day longer than my husband….love him to death…the best friend I have eva had…but I’m really competitive…I’ll be damned if the knucklehead outlives me….

    but he probably will….

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