Tag Archives: Family

A Love (?) Story — Revisited

When I tell this story, I always have to put in a disclaimer.  Sort of like Dickens at the beginning of A Christmas Carol, when he says

“It must be understood that Marley was dead, otherwise nothing strange and wonderful could have happened.”

In this case, this fact must be understood:

I was really, really nice to everyone

Promise me you’ll remember that.

Once upon a time, I had a job at a law school.  The most fun job I’ve ever had.  I was the administrative assistant to a student organization, the BSA.  Pretty much the Boy Scouts of America, law school chapter.  The BSA members were 2nd and 3rd year students who did a lot to make the first year students happier during their (relatively miserable and difficult) first year.  They did orientation, taught legal writing, answered questions on where to go, what to do.  The office was large, with comfy chairs and a couch, a full free coffee pot.  A good, friendly place to hang out.  The members did, and so did a core of 1st years who, naturally, tried to become members for their 2nd and 3rd years.

It was a wonderful job.  Basically I answered questions and was nice to people.  Always.  A smile on my face, a laugh, a soft shoulder when needed.  It was easy to be nice in such a fun job.

Substantively, I had to know what was going on with the members’ various activities, because I was the one in the office when the 1st year students had questions.  I had to know what was going on to give the  answers.  Because that was my job.  The BSA members were all nice.  Except Monte.  He wasn’t.  He was a jerk.  Totally uncooperative.  He deserved that name.

Monte was in charge of a very important program that was one of two mandatory moot court programs for all 1st year students.  Essentially, it’s where they learned how to present and argue a case.  A whole case.  They write the briefs and argued the case in front of a panel of judges.  The students had a million questions, and they were also apprehensive, because it was an important part of their first year.  They asked ME all of those questions.

But Monte was in charge and wouldn’t let me know what was going on.  He wouldn’t answer my questions.  He wouldn’t keep me informed or involved.  I invariably had no answer to give to the poor student who really needed one.

Now, it might surprise you to know this, but I really hate to look stupid.  So one day I’d had enough of being unable to help, unable to answer questions I was supposed to answer.  Unable to do my job.  So I took Monte into the back room and politely explained in the nicest possible way, why he had to do things my way.

He responded, and I quote:

“Don’t worry your pretty little head about it.”  And he left.

Me, except I’m blond. And in color.

To this very day I have never been so mad at anyone.

I went back to my desk fuming, steam coming out of my ears, angry tears, the works.  As I stood there, shaking mad, a tall, blond 1st year student entered the office, came up to me and said – oh I don’t remember what he said.  But it was a question about that program.  Monte’s program.

“I DON’T KNOW.  YOU WILL HAVE TO ASK MONTE WHO IS A COMPLETE JERK!” I screamed at the tall, completely innocent blond guy.

He stood there, put his hands on his hips, shook his head and left the office.  He never returned.

I remember it clearly.  Well, except all I can see in my memory is the outline of a tall, faceless blond guy.  Standing there, hands on his hips, shaking his head and clearly thinking “what a bitch she is not very helpful.”

John did not propose then and there.

In fact, we didn’t even cross paths again that we know about during the two years we were there together.  We met again in DC through a guy I was dating who worked with John.  Years after I broke up with the other guy, John asked me out after we met up again at a party.

Whenever someone asks us the “how did you two meet?” question, well, I make sure I tell the story.  Because John claims I fired nuclear weapons at him, which is a slight exaggeration.  And it makes me look bad.

Really, I didn’t shoot at him.

But hey, my husband can never claim that he didn’t know I could be a bitch.  And that has been worth its weight in gold (or nukes) for almost 30 years.

*    *    *

This is an old piece that I’m replaying for Valentine’s Day because, well, it’s one of my favorite “love” stories.  And because there are lots of new followers who didn’t read it.  If you already read it, you can stop here.  See?  I told you I was nice!

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Bat-shit crazy, Christmas Stories, Criminal Activity, Family, History, Holidays, Huh?, Humor, Law, Stupidity, Wild Beasts

Married People

Married people are screwed.

That didn’t sound right.

Married people don’t get any.

Closer.  But no cigar (which is good; cigars are disgusting).

There are no good songs about married people who have been together longer than dirt.

Yeah!  That’s it!!

This morning I was happily singing away in the shower, belting out one song after another when I came to a realization.  Songs, at least the ones that are in my vocal range (2 notes) are all either about the beginning of love or the end of love.  If it’s a country song there is a dead dog in there as a bonus.

I’ve been married to John since 1986, living with him since 1985.  Thirty years Where are the songs to describe that kind of love?

Well, there aren’t any that I could think of.  (That’ll probably happen as soon as I hit “publish.”)

So, I decided that I have to write one.

It’s a challenge in that I can’t read or write music.  And I hate poetry.  And, well, I long ago stopped singing publicly — I don’t drink that much any more.  But still, I’m gonna draft the lyrics of a song for all of us old married folks.

The Second Half

Because I love you,

Let me snuggle up with you on the couch

while I write a bit on my blog

🎼

***

Because I love you

We’ll spend some time tonight

Just hanging out together

For you, I’ll only watch the second half.

🎼

On second thought, I guess there’s a reason there aren’t any songs about old, fat, bald, married folks.  My bad.

But I wouldn’t change a thing.  Well, maybe a few things.  I have a list, in fact …

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Bat-shit crazy, Conspicuous consumption, Family, Farts, Flatulence, Huh?, Humor, Taking Care of Each Other

Can Ya Help a Girl Out, Here?

Do you like a cliffhanger?

A story that traps you, makes you want to know what happens next, and then doesn’t tell you?

I hate them.  I just hate them.  And when you, my bloggin’ buddy do it to me, well, I remember.

A little while ago, I read another damn cliffhanger, this time from Doobster at Mindful Digressions.  Doobster wrote half of a really great story.  A mystery.  His characters are realistic, the scene and plot work.  The dialog flows.

UNTIL IT STOPS.

I yelled at him.  But he won’t finish it for me.

Would you?

Go on over there to Doobster’s, read it, and tell me what happens.  http://mindfuldigressions.com/2015/01/31/i-seen-it-all/

Please leave the comments over there at Doobster’s — he likes his stats.  You can also leave them here if you want.  I’d turn off comments, but well, I’m not only mystery-plot challenged, I am comment-stopping challenged.  Yeah, I know.  First World Problems.

Please go and read his story and finish it for me.  I gotta know what happens.

Thanks! You’re the best.

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Bat-shit crazy, Bloggin' Buddies, Campaigning, Criminal Activity, Huh?, Humor, Mysteries, Taking Care of Each Other

Devil Dog

As a kid, one of my very favorite snacks was a Devil Dog.  A Drake’s Devil Dog.

Google-lishous

Google-lishous

 

Folks who live in Maine, or whose moms baked know them as Whoopie Pies.  But every day after school, I’d come home and open that plastic package, inhale the chocolate-y goodness, smush the two cake pieces together, and lick the cream inside. Kind of like a giant Oreo.

Devil Dogs were wonderful, although I’m pretty sure my memory is selective.  I hardly remember the taste of plastic from the package at all, although I know it was there.

Some time in my 20s though, I realized I had to stop eating them. Because, when I DID eat them, I couldn’t stop eating them.  So I stopped eating them.  (Life begins to get complicated in your 20s, doesn’t it?)

Giving them up was a smart decision.  Because about 5 years ago I had a cupcake that tasted just like a modern non-plastic-y Devil Dog.  I still dream about it.  And I am afraid to ever have another because, well, I can’t stop.

Still, even with out the chocolate-cream goodness, I still have a Devil Dog every day.

My Current Devil Dog Picture taken by Jacob

My Current Devil Dog
Can you see his horns? (Picture taken by Jacob)

 

Duncan is now nearly 9 months old.  He is mostly sweet, but sometimes his horns show.

Don’t worry, though.  I love him differently than I loved Drake’s Devil Dogs And I never lick the cream out of him because I  am not a perv.

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Filed under Bat-shit crazy, Dogs, Duncan, Family, Farts, Huh?, Humor, Maine, Pets, Wild Beasts

Four Thousand Crazy People?

Today I reached a milestone that makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

The day didn’t start out quite so warm.  In fact, just the opposite:

My picture.  Taken with MY iPhone.  Take THAT Google images!

My picture. Taken with MY iPhone. Take THAT Google images! The Potomac River, expressing my feeling that with the GOP in charge of both houses, Hell IS Freezing Over.

 

But now I have a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.  Coffee and oatmeal helped, but really it was the number that did it.

“I have 3,999 blog followers!” I told John last night, excitedly.

As in all things blog-related, he just looked back at me and politely held back the “so what” he was thinking.  (Can I see a show of hands of folks whose significant other has zero, zip, nada interest in all the wonders of blogging?)

For a non-stats watcher, well, I was watching this one.  It was kind of like New Year’s Eve, when I just have to watch the countdown.  And I have to do it aloud.

So this morning, while I was reading blogs I got my 4,000th follower!

PROOF!

PROOF!

There I was, commenting on Felix the Cat and I saw the orange star light up!  And heeeeeerrrrreeee he is — my 4,00th follower:

Snakes in the Grass

A Blog of Retirement and Related Thoughts

Stolen directly from his blog.  Yes, I am that kind of woman.

Stolen directly from his blog. Yes, I am that kind of woman.

He blogs about retirement, technology and his new life in Florida.  He’s a new blogger — I am his 33rd follower!  And that’s a nice number, too.  Go check him out.

Thank you all for reading my stupidly named blog, for commenting, for “liking” and even for arguing.  Thank you for writing the crazy, varied, dramatic, thoughtful, sarcastic, mind-blowing pieces you guys post.  Blogging is a blast, and I really treasure the very real relationships we have developed here in the tubes.

Do I hear 5,000?

 

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Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Family, Humor, Word Press, Writing

New Year’s Celebrations for Cheapskates

It’s been years since I did a big, bang up New Year’s Eve.  In fact, not since the time that John, Jacob and I not only broke a Guinness Book of World Records but did not die a fiery death have I done anything terribly exciting for New Years.  Times Square in diapers holds no attraction for me.

But still, it is a time to celebrate.  And so I will let you in on a wonderful, yet dirt-cheap way to ring out the old and ring in the new.  Or is that “Bring”?

Damn, I haven’t even opened the champagne yet.

OK, here’s what you do:

On the stroke of midnight,

Open the back door –

to force out all the BAD luck.

Open the front door –

to let in the GOOD luck.

The rest is optional, but we always:

  •  Drink a toast to the New Year.
  • Kiss anyone and everyone who happens to be nearby
  • Hope for all the best for all we care about in the New Year.

This year I will of course add to family and flesh friends a wish the happiest, healthiest of new years to all my blogging buddies.

 Happy New Year – may your good luck always be stronger than your bad.

***

Yup, this is a re-tread.  I will probably post it next year, too.

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Bat-shit crazy, Bloggin' Buddies, Family, Holidays, Humor, Love

Home for Christmas (Reprise)

She told the story every year with a warm smile on her face.  Sometimes her eyes got a little bit misty.

“It was 1943, and the War was on, and your father was in the Navy, on a ship somewhere in the Pacific.  We never knew where he was.  Like all the other boys I knew, he was in danger every day.  We lived for the mail, we were terrified of unfamiliar visitors in uniform.  A telegram sent us into a panic.  And ‘I’ll be Home for Christmas’ had just been recorded by Bing Crosby.  It was Number One on the Hit Parade.”

That’s how Mom started the story every time.

Of course I’ll Be Home For Christmas was Number One that year.  Everyone, or just about, was hoping that someone they loved would, in fact, be home for Christmas.  That all the boys would be home for good.  But all too many people were disappointed.  I doubt there were many dry eyes when that song came on the radio that year or for the next few.

Mom and Dad got engaged right around Pearl Harbor Day, but the War lengthened their courtship significantly because Dad enlisted shortly after the attack.  It was to be a long war, and a long engagement.  But Mom was in love with her handsome man.  Dad was even more so.

Mom, Circa 1943

Mom, Circa 1943

 

My Dad was drop-dead gorgeous, and I’ve heard that in his single days, he was a bit of a ladies’ man.  Every girl in town, it seemed, had a crush on him.

Dad, Circa 1943

Dad, Circa 1943

 

In fact, my Aunt Sally once told me that she had been manning a booth at a church bizarre one Saturday in about 1995, when an elderly woman came up to talk to her.

“Are you Freddie E’s sister?” the woman asked Aunt Sal.

“Yes I am.  Do you know my brother?” Aunt Sal responded.

“I did,she sighed.  “I haven’t seen him since we graduated from high school in 1935.  Sixty years ago.  He was,” she stopped to think of just the right word, “… He was dream-my.”

“I hope you told her I still am!” Dad quipped when he heard the story.

One day not long after Mom had passed, Dad and I were looking at some pictures I hadn’t seen before.

“Dad,” I told him with wonder looking at a particularly good shot, “You should have gone to Hollywood.  You’d have been a star.”

“Nah,” Dad said.  “Mom would never have gone with me.  And once the war was over, well, I wasn’t going anywhere else without her.”

Dad circa 1935

Dad circa 1935

Dad never quite got over feeling lucky that he had Mom.  And he never stopped loving her.

But back to Mom’s story.

“It was Christmas morning, 1943, and I went over to visit Dad’s mom and dad.  Grammy E’d had symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease for seven or eight years at that point.  She could still move around (she was later, when I knew her, almost completely paralyzed), but she could barely talk.”

Mom continued.  But your Dad’s mom was singing ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas.’  Well, she was trying to sing it, any how. She kept repeating that one line, over and over again.  ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas.’  I thought she was crazy.”

“You see,” Mom would say, “Your father had somehow managed to get Christmas leave – he was coming home!  He wanted to surprise me and wouldn’t let anyone tell me he was coming.  He was expected any minute, and there I was, trying to leave.  But I couldn’t stay.  That song made me cry; Freddie was so far away, and in so much danger.  I couldn’t bear hearing it.”

So Mom left after a while, she had other people and her own family to see.  Later Dad caught up with her and they spent most of Christmas together.  Both of them always smiled at the memory.  Dad was home for Christmas that year, just like in the song.  It was a magical year for them both.

Mom was always touched by Dad’s surprise and by his mother’s loving gesture in fighting back the paralysis that was taking over her body to try to get her son’s girl to stay.  To sing when she could barely speak.

“I’ve always wished I’d stayed.”

We lost Mom on Easter of 1997, and Dad really never got over her passing.

The song and Mom’s story took on an even more poignant meaning in 2000.  Because on Christmas of that year, Dad joined Mom again for the holiday.  He went “home” to Mom for Christmas again, joining her in the afterlife.

Even through the sadness of losing Dad on Christmas, I always have to smile when I hear that song.  Because I can just see the warmth in Mom’s eyes now as she welcomed Dad home.  This time, I’m sure she was waiting for him, with open arms.

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Christmas Stories, Dad, Family, History, Holidays, Love, Mom, Music, Taking Care of Each Other