Monday, October 27, 2014

Marriage, Then and Now.

Time elapsed: 30 years plus…

He: Your nose is like a rosebud made of spun sugar
She: (Blushing) No, yours is,my love.
He: I think there’s something terrible growing in my nose.
She: Make it stop.

He: Even when you’re not wearing perfume, you smell like an angel.
She: What a sweet thing to say (giggle, giggle)!!
She: Ugh, I feel too lazy to take a shower today.
He: You damn well better. Believe me.

She: Oh, no…I think I may have scraped the side of the car as I entered our garage, my dearest.
He: Don’t give it a second thought, my pet. All that matters is your safety,
She(Calling from a safehouse somewhere in Thailand): I hit the side of the garage last night.
He: Be afraid. Be very afraid.

She: Teehee…teehee! Look at my hair from all this wind!
He: You are as lovely as you were on our wedding day!
He: What the heck is happening on your head??
She: At least I have hair.

He: Good morning, my little persimmon. Did you sleep well?
She: Of course, my avocado. I dreamt of you!
He: Blurt, shmiggle, flooooft, smirch.
She: Goomph, splerk, flggggghh,flerm.

He: You are becoming an excellent cook, you cunning vixen.
She: (hysterical laughter): Thank you—providing you with delicious meals brings meaning to my life!
He: I don’t know what this is but if you make it again, you better run.
She: You run….all the way to McDonalds.

He:  Thank you for doing my laundry, my cherished bride.
She:  Providing you with clean underwear is an eternal joy!
He: My sock drawer has been empty for three days.
She: Alert the media.

He: I love you.
She: I love you, too.
He: I love you.
She: I love you, too.

Another example of then and now.

Monday, October 20, 2014

It's Snot Me, It's You

The ever-so-slight tickle in my throat crept in about three weeks ago.

Later, I acknowledged it with a sense of dread on a beautiful fall day and, recognizing its potential, immediately began my routine to control it.
You're getting sick????

For me, a tickle will ultimately become a sore throat or a head cold which, if not the recipient of preventive ju-ju developed over decades (if not grandmother kept a moldy piece of bread at the ready in case anyone needed penicillin)), can land me in the hospital with two lungs full of pneumonia.

Some of you may remember my last trip there.

My inconvenienced and, somewhat, worried family (as in “...Who will make my sandwich???), friends who brought casseroles to feed my starving children because everyone knows Seth considers popcorn and Snickers bars a nutritious meal but mostly the young nutritionist  -- dispatched to my room via hospital protocol -- at whom I swore like a drunken sailor and after which they put a large label on my permanent medical records stating that I was never, ever to be given prednisone again.

Me on prednisone...only I'm worse.

So, in the hope of avoiding another such episode, I hauled out the box of tinctures, the packets of Vitamin C, my line-up of assorted teas, Mucinex, lip balms in flavors of citrus, emollient-infused tissues and a bottle of Jameson's whiskey.

I had already stocked up on fresh garlic, rye bread, diet ginger ale, Tootsie Pops and the current issues of the National Enquirer, People and Star Magazine. Schlocked and loaded, I was ready for anything.
A sip or two when not
feeling well....

Despite my attempt to stave off the full frontal planned by this particular set of germs, this virus packed a punch. I was soon in the thick of it, complete with a voice so deep and gravelly that telemarketers hung up on me

I had not a shred of energy, craved sleep, had a severe sore throat, concrete in my sinuses and was totally convinced that I would never feel well again--thus adding a psychological component to the festivities.

During these periods, I love to ask for favors/issue orders from a reclining position and Seth, the true-nurturer at this address, is usually compassionate and solicitous. Therefore, I was expecting to be pampered as usual.

The red ones are most effective
when  one is ailing.
What I did not take into account is that life at Seth’s job has been very challenging. Just about every piece of machinery there broke down during the summer and is scheduled to be restored this month.

Seth's physical presence is required for these mechanical extravaganzas and, as he told me in the loving way I so craved in my hours of pain and discomfort, “DAMMIT-TYPHOID-MARY-I-CANNOT-GET-SICK-THIS-MONTH-GET-AWAY-FROM-ME-DON’T-EVEN-BREATHE-IN-MY-DIRECTION-GO-SLEEP-DOWNSTAIRS-IN-THE-RECLINER-YOU-DRIPPY-WITCH!!!!!!”

Soon after this outburst, he brought in professional surveyors wearing orange vests and dragging their tripods to precisely calculate where he should position himself in relation to me to best avoid infection. 

He kept the attic fan on throughout the night so that a “cleansing” wind would blow away any spores that might try to “attach themselves to his face” and he carefully sealed my pillow from our bed in a plastic bag. Setting aside one fork, spoon, cup and bowl for my exclusive use, he attempted to make me sign some sort of waiver peppered with phrases like “relinquish all rights” and “may require total ostracism.”  I refused but finally agreed to sleep in a chair downstairs like Lucca Brasi, the semi-catatonic hit man in The Godfather, sat as he waited to pay respects to Don Corleone on the day of his daughter’s wedding. Luca was later garroted to death.


I poured my own ginger ale, warmed up my own broth, unwrapped my own Tootsie Pops and spoke with no one as he had hidden all the portable phones lest I irreversibly contaminate them. I was not allowed to touch the computer or the TV clicker until I threatened to smear him with snot as he slept.

He also lured the cats away with promises of unlimited ‘nip and treats, afraid they might harbor germs in their fur. Et tu, Buzzy?

Despite this demoralization, I am nearly fully recovered. Seth, however, is at my mercy since, regardless of the final addition of the Hazmat suit and the holy water, he got sick anyway.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Prison Break

The unthinkable happened.

On the softest of late summer Saturdays, on a day so sweet and fragrant that you cannot imagine something bad in the forecast, I heard Seth calling from the front yard. He sounded scared: “THE CATS ARE OUT!!!!” 

I leapt to my feet and running toward him, found myself moving faster than when, at a recent wedding, there had been last call for cake at the buffet. I was but a streak of light.

It appeared he’d come inside from a nap on the deck and left the screen open. Who, in a household regulated by the needs of five furry dependant beings, does such a thing? Especially since my mantra, repeated in an ominous hum to him and all who enter this house every ten minutes for the past two decades, is simple—“Whatever you do, do not let the cats out.” 

Maybe this is easier than I thought it would be....
None of my cats has ever faced a car, a coyote or, worst of all, someone grabbing cats for torture and captivity at a testing lab. “WHO’S OUT???” I shouted, bracing myself for the answer.

We have three old and infirm cats…Fritzi will be soon be 20. An eccentric  geriatric, she is stone deaf and leaves her little fleece “donut” only to use the box, have a bite or, for some reason known only to the feline gods, stand up and bellow so loudly that she can be heard as far as the mailbox outside….or, possibly, Jupiter.  She does this roughly every half hour around the clock, waking us through the night with her volume.

The other seniors, at 17, are siblings. Total wrecks, one is so arthritic you can hear her legs snap and pop as she unfolds them to creak down the hall to illegally poop in my shower. These two -- slow movers like me -- would be easily caught even if we all broke out at once.  In truth, I have tried, several times, to run for the hills...mostly when it’s time to perform certain domestic duties including stultifying dishwasher emptying rituals  or, even worse, putting away the groceries . Seth has easily out run me, dragging me inside to resume my work.

But I also have two young cats. Quick and curious, my fears were focused on Buzzy and Tito. Seth’s face said it all--it was them.  I have a hit man divorce lawyer on speed dial for this specific reason. I thought murderous thoughts as I saw my husband searching among the pachysandra.

Tito was left behind by Charlie who heart-brokenly dropped him off when relocating for a job. It’s like when you babysit for someone else’s kids---if a serious emergency occurs, God forbid, who will you save? 

You want to grab yours first but are responsible for someone else’s most precious possessions.  This is why my fearful mother – who, long ago, passed me the mantle of Supreme Worrier of the Universe  -- never allowed me to attend a sleep over. She feared that if one of my friend’s apartment buildings became engulfed in flames, I would be left to die. I still remember her firmly saying as I pleaded, “You play together all day, sleep at home.”  In other words, I had to save Tito first. But that left Buzzy, my hairball-hocking pride and joy. Anything bad happening to him is unthinkable.

Luckily, there exists a product to which my cats are hopelessly addicted. Friskies Party Mix sounds light hearted enough but it’s as addictive as crack and I am my cats’ pusher.  Once, in the past, when Buzzy got out, we lured him back with the shake-crinkle-shake of the treats bag.  

Would it work again??

Stumbling to retrieve the pouch from the cabinet, I ran back outside and tossed it to Seth who began the crinkle-shake routine. 

The cats, who now could be seen sniffing blades of grass and, for the record, appearing very happy, looked up and bounded over to Seth who grabbed them and ran into the house where, upon release, collapsed.  I, in an uncharacteristic moment of mercy, decided to spare his life….this time.

There was much celebratory hugging and under-the-chin scratching but then the lectures began as I questioned why, in a dangerous world of speeding teens, predatory beasts and Cover Girl Cosmetics would they throw caution to the wind?

As for the treats, I've secretly wanted to pop a small handful myself to see if this phenomenon works on humans but am afraid to
lest I, too, become an addict.

Seth, whose punishment has yet to be determined, would surely use this technique next time I flee the dishwasher. I’m just grateful it worked today.

Buzzy and Friends