Taking Turns

A week and a half ago-
Today, I’ve been taught a little lesson, a lesson I’d prefer not to have learned. My husband is much maligned and under-appreciated on this blog. In real life, he is spoiled beyond belief and in our marriage, after protracted and healthy debate, he always gets his way. I participate in that because I love him more than air.

We’ve hit a small healthcare speed bump. He had oral surgery this morning. It was an ordinary procedure and went off without a hitch. The anesthesia was no more than what a patient is given for a routine colonoscopy. The “boys” helped me manage their dad, who, as it turns out, has a personality that cannot be sedated. He’s asleep now on the couch. He wakes briefly every so often to demand a cigarette, no smoking allowed, or to ask if he may take the stuff out of his mouth, sorry Buster the stuff stays.

His mouth is all bloody and his hands are a little bit too. Maybe there is blood on the couch. I know there is blood on the quilt. I don’t care. I care that he was cold from the anesthesia. I turned the heat way up and piled more pretty quilts and blankets on him. Once he wakes up, I’ll clean him off. I’ll probably rush to clean the covers when I know he’s all better.

That’s what I learned today. It’s possible that someday, in what I’ve always imagined will be a happy, immortal, future, he might not be all better. He might not know who I am or where he is. Right now there are things I’d like to tell him. He’s in no condition to listen.  Some of the things I’d like to tell him wouldn’t be good for him to hear. I know something that is good and bad at once. I love him with more intensity than I ever have and we’re getting old a lot faster than I thought.

My husband has recuperated to the degree that I decided, briefly, last week, it would be a good time for a legal separation. Divorce is too permanent, you know, in case I change my mind. I don’t hate him. He drives me batshit crazy. I would like him to be able to access my social security in the event that I kick it first. If my retirement hasn’t been spent, in spite, I guess I’d like him to have that too.

If we were to be legally separated I was going to QUIT the job I have now. There are jobs available with the government- the only thing I have left to prostitute is my integrity- I want those splendid government benefits. As you might suspect, the Department of Defense has the most postings. The good jobs, in interesting departments, are few and far between because they’re underfunded and uncorrupted. 

So here we are back to normal or whatever normal is for us, which may not be anything like what normal is for you. I hope your normal is just a tad less passionately provoking.

On Tuesday or Wednesday, before he aroused my ire, my husband called me to report, “In the paper it says there were 1,000 people at Cookie’s funeral, it was standing room only.” Yesterday, I ironed my clothes before I hung them in the closet, in order by color, I like that it looks like a color wheel in there. I hung a silk sweater next to a pair of black rayon pants and thought, With some black flats, that would make a nice funeral outfit. As my oldest and dearest friend might say, “Sweet Jesus!” How did we arrive at this place? Really, funeral outfits?

Last week, I talked with a blog supporter, and former customer, who said she missed my entries. We had an amusing conversation covering the younger generations, loves, losses, and the value of stomping and slamming in a long marriage. She and her husband will soon move to a retirement community, which she describes as “walking in on your own and coming out in a box.” We talked about the worries that accompany maturity and I confided that I don’t like it when my husband worries. I especially don’t like it when he has a worry I can’t eliminate. I told her that he expressed a sincere desire to be with me in the sweet by and by after we croak. She laughed when I divulged that I accepted his invitation with the caveat that I’ll be calling the shots in eternity and he’ll have to go along if he wants to get along. I let him be the boss this turn, my turn will last longer.

***Happy unintended consequence! My husband a two pack a day smoker for at least 40 years has quit, quit, done, doesn’t even miss them! Maybe he did it because he’s absorbed the enormity of eternity and would like to prolong his turn. We know how he is.

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Commemorating Plates

We, Mr. Jones and I, don’t celebrate much of anything in a big way. Sometimes even a tiny bit of hoopla escapes us. We are embarrassed by too much attention. Maybe we are afflicted by social anxiety. Despite all of those things, there are some occasions that make me so happy I’d like to trumpet the news from the rooftops. Yesterday was our 20th anniversary. We’ve been working a lot and we were too tired to do much. We were asleep by 7.

We bought new Fiestaware, a combination of sunflower and ivory, 4 place settings of each color. My husband likes to be prepared in case someday we entertain more than 4 people at a time. I don’t think so. You can think what you want to, you always do. What are the chances of people from the cosmopolitan world descending on us like locusts at dinner time? It will not happen. We are far flung.

I pondered the new dinnerware prior to purchase. I like to consider all of the advantages and pitfalls before I commit to spending. I loved the old Poppies on Blue. I cut a picture of them out of a flyer when we were newlyweds. We found them at an outlet and I inspected each piece until I found 6 perfect place settings. I suppose there may have been a time or two when we have entertained more than 4 people and for those times I have some mismatched, complementary, special place settings. We’ve eaten off Poppies on Blue for 20 years. That’s a long time, a lot of meals, good, bad, happy, sad.

I asked my husband, repeatedly (in a way that was not at all annoying), if new dishes would make him sad. No, he wouldn’t be sad but will they look good in the loft? There will be no upper cabinets in the kitchen, if we have visitors they will see the dishes. You will too, if winter ever ends and we resume building. Never mind. I chose the colors I did because they will be pretty on the shelves and on the table. We have some young, single people working with us. One of them said he would like to have my Poppies on Blue. I’m happy they’ll have a new home where they will get some use and I will know who is using them.

Like my husband and me, Poppies aren’t quite as fresh as they used to be. I packed them up, 6 dinner plates, six salad plates and 5 bowls. It made me sad. I loved them, they were symbolic of all that I hoped for us when we were beginning our marriage. The Fiestaware represents something different, less hopeful but more substantial I suppose. They’re nice and heavy, I could fling one frisbee style and it might not shatter. I know you’ll be stunned to read this- there have been times in my happy home when hurling dishes was an enticing option. I loved Poppies too much to hurt them.

Twenty years have flown, we’re beginning to look like the old people we will become and I don’t mind a bit. It is likely that these dishes are the last dishes we will buy.  Just before I gave Poppies away I opened the box and took the odd bowl out and put it in the cabinet. I like the reminder of who we were. Yesterday my husband told me something I didn’t know. He told me that the day we got married he worried that I might decide I really didn’t want to. I’m still surprised by that revelation. I never had a doubt.

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Voodoo Love Song, Chapter 1

Voodoo Love Song, Chapter 1. Let’s read along with Richard. It’s cheaper than a vacation, all the fun and none of the expense!

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Enlightenment Rules

Happy New Year.

There now that we’ve dispensed with the niceties let’s get on with it. I’ve been enlightened since the last time I posted. It’s been evolutionary self-enlightenment.

First, my much maligned and under-appreciated husband, who canNOT seem to find his way into my good graces to stay, made a frightful error in judgment when he married me in February. Of course, that he married me at all is a testimony to his lofty standards and high hopes.

I am very testy in the winter, only in the winter mind you, the rest of the time I am delightfully charming. Winter grates on my nerves, all that cold and dark just wears me down. Come February I am a whirling dervish of discontent. What happens in February? Our anniversary happens in February. At the beginning of January, I make happy plans for our February anniversary. By the end of January, I’m making an appointment for the divorce consultation.

I have a fantastic lawyer, who tells me without fail that I do not really want to get divorced. Sometimes (okay, one time) I cry at the unfairness I must suffer. It’s unfair, wait until you hear exactly how unfair it is. He sends me on my way, without charging me, and goes around to his partners and support staff to collect the money they wagered against his abilities to discourage my ill-advised intentions. I know they have a pool, like a football pool. I know the assistants secretly hope that one day I’ll make a clean break and send missives from the FREE world. My lawyer has known me longer than my husband has, sometimes he laughs in admiration at the horrible things my husband gets away with.

Yesterday, while I worked on year end tax reporting and bullshit business tasks that I do not enjoy, my husband called me from the lake, where he and the people who work with us were enjoying themselves, immensely, as they cozied up to a crackling bonfire waiting to catch fish on their ice traps. Did I mention that I was in tax reporting hell? He called me to issue a directive, call a fishing supply company and order fishing equipment, could he have it overnight? I know he needs a brain transplant. When he returned last night I made it pretty clear to him that I would NOT be going anywhere for our anniversary, a big one that falls on a weekend, instead I intended to emancipate myself from this sweatshop and luxuriate on my birthday (a month after our anniversary) far away from this godforsaken place, ALONE. Perhaps I have a touch of seasonal affective disorder or maybe not, maybe I’m fine and you-know-who is unfair and deficient.

I have come to accept the fact that as long as the younger generation continues to tell all about the disagreements they have in their romantic relationships, I will not like the people they’re partnered with. I will see the others as irrefutably other, viewed, through the microscope of caring protection, as opportunistic parasites intent on destroying the hosts. Those kids all have flaws, I know they do, I see them and I’ve reported on them on this very blog. They’re decent kids who love the people they’re partnered with and they don’t deserve to be treated like that. It makes me wonder what Mum must have thought of some of the specimens we brought home and it makes me realize what mothers thought of me when things went south in the flamboyant and hurtful ways they tended to when I was young.

Here we are at the final enlightenment.
Oh dear Gawd, I am not young anymore. I could catalogue the ailments and indignities but I will spare you the indelicacy. I feel as though springs and wires and gizmos must be flying out of me as I walk around. The stuff that holds me together has come undone. I don’t like it one bit, not at all. For the record I am OPPOSED. I don’t mind getting old or watching my skin slide toward the floor. I mind losing function and I mind the never-ending unladylike afflictions. Yes, I do! I don’t care if everyone has them. I am not supposed to have them because I am not everyone. I am ME and there is a different set of rules for me, just ask my husband.

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The Ladies Room is Anything But(t)


Humor from the loo.

Originally posted on The English Major: A Dramedy:

It was a Friday night and I needed to use the bathroom. We were at a minor league softball game, and the toilets were inside a trailer. That already spelled trouble. If someone is storing something inside a trailer, that person is basically saying “I give zero fucks about this.”

As soon as I stepped inside, I was slapped in the face with the stench of human excrement. I swear to god, the US Government could have bottled the smell in that trailer and used it at Guantanamo Bay. Of course, I didn’t really expect a public restroom inside a metal trailer, in a dirt lot, at a minor league softball game to have a pleasant smell. But this was over the top. What in god’s green earth caused such a horrid, gut wrenching smell?

Mount Poopsuvius.

Someone had taken all the toilet paper rolls from each stall and sculpted…

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Crazy Irony

It’s been crazier than usual around here. In the great State of Maine, where voter turnout was the highest in the nation, we rolled over Republican. I’ve been knitting up a storm just like Madame Defarge. Well, maybe not exactly like her. Knitting is a mindless occupation for me, it keeps pesky thoughts at bay.

The other night I had a dream where I told someone, quite earnestly, that my fingers were burning to write a story, when I woke up I couldn’t remember what it was about.

My husband continues to commit infractions. Yesterday, he roasted a 14lb turkey, mashed 5 great Jehovaless potatoes, cooked a mountain of green beans, pounds of sausage stuffing that wasn’t nearly as good as mine is (I could tell from looking because I ate none of it) and a freaking swimming pool full of the greasiest hybrid (part homemade-not the right way, of course- and part bottled) gravy you’ve ever seen. I hear you, out there, clucking,  thinking “Oh that poor, long-suffering man.” Whatever.

Yeah okay, so moving right along- This is November, Turkey Month. We only eat turkey on the designated holiday. We don’t spoil it for everyone by having it too soon. No, we do NOT. I told him not to count on me eating any turkey before its time. I told him I would not participate in dining on anything but the regulation turkey on the designated day. Do NOT sympathize with him. He is the enemy. Not only did I tell him once, I had to reiterate and tell him twice, because the first turkey he purchased was ruined during last week’s power outage. Really? You get a message from Gawd and you choose to defy the Great One by appropriating another turkey after the first one was destroyed in a natural DISASTER, really? That was not prudent. The whole house reeked of turkey. I closed the bedroom door and opened the windows. If I wanted my flannel sheets to smell like food I’d slumber in a cafeteria somewhere. I did dishes four times yesterday, by hand. He’ll be eating leftover turkey for a month, force fed or otherwise. I ate homemade guacamole with tortilla chips for dinner.

This morning with the fridge stuffed with leftovers, a deer runs out in front of the car, in front of my husband’s truck. Another message. My husband, who likes to pretend he still hunts, happened to have his hunting license and his gun with him and he put the deer out of its agony. I washed the floor at 4:30A before I trundled up here to work. Of course, he’d called me umpteen times to report the news as it was breaking. Deer, hit-shot, game warden, gutted, butcher, blah, blah, blah. As we’ve established, the floor was clean. Whodoyathink returns? That’s right, it’s himself. Whatdayathink he has with him? A drippy mess, all over the kitchen floor. Nothing would do but I should drop everything to help because that’s what I am, I’m HELPFUL. I get a stupid Ziploc out of the drawer and he looks at me with those big, baby-blues as he puts a bleeding heart in it. I just grinned, stupidly, because I see the irony and I get the message in that.

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Just a Bunch of Tomorrows – Part One


Richard Daybell always tells an amusing story.

Originally posted on Tis Pity He's a Writer:

I really don’t know why my mother took me to see Bessie and Cora.  Perhaps she was worried about the future, my future, and the future was Bessie and Cora’s forte.  These two sixty-something ladies shared a bungalow on the upper end of D Street, a bungalow from which they told fortunes, mostly to the young women whose husbands were off trying their best to wind down World War II.

Bessie and Cora were twins as well as fortunetellers.

Although they looked very much alike, they were not identical, which made life much easier for Wilhelm, Cora’s husband, who also shared the bungalow and whose eyesight and mental prowess had been waning since about 1939, so that it was difficult enough for him to identify his wife as it was.

Bessie and Cora each took a slightly different spin on divining the future:  Bessie was an avowed palmist; Cora dabbled…

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