Monday, January 31, 2011

Marriage 301, Lecture 706: Looking for the Pringles you've hidden from yourself is not as much exercise as you might think

After our casual, 2.6 mile Sunday afternoon stroll toPick 'n Save and back, with SH carrying most of the two pounds of Velveeta, two cans of Ro-Tel tomatoes, pound of Tennessee Pride breakfast sausage, bag of tater tots, and pound of Patrick Cudahy bacon on the return leg:*

SH: I might need to work out some before we do that half marathon.

* Oh yes we will be eating well at our house on Sunday. We also had a pound of collard greens that were mislabeled as kale and that the cashier did not believe were collards because hey look! they're labeled as kale! But collards are straight and kale is curly, but even more importantly, the collards were on sale and the kale was not.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Marriage 301, Lecture 602: Lack of serious intellectual street cred

At a boring intellectual serious play where the actors talk about what happened but you never see what happened.

Me: This is boring. I wish I'd brought a book.

SH: This is interesting! I like it!

Me: Well, look how many people left after intermission.

SH: They failed to meet the intellectual challenge.

Me: No, they just didn't want to be bored.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Marriage 301, Lecture 789: It works for the UN

As SH is getting excited at finding a P&G coupon and a Target coupon that can both be used for the same Pringles purchase:

Me: I thought you were boycotting Target.

SH: I was! But I boycotted them for a while and I sent them a sternly-worded email --

Me: And yet they did not change their ways.

SH: No!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Marriage 301, Lecture 597: Les intellectuelles

Me [after I've watched ten minutes of the movie]: Do you want to watch this movie [Mama's Boy] with me?

SH: No. I read the reviews. I don't want to watch it. I want to watch one of the other ones you got.

Me: But I think you'd like this. It's got a great cast and the main character is weird and funny.

SH: No! I want to watch a serious movie. I don't get enough serious movies.

Me: I really think you'd like this.

SH: No. Watch it without me.

Later, after I have watched Mama's Boy, because I am a gold-digger who won't get a job and spends her time on the sofa watching TV and eating peanut-butter stuffed pretzels, and after SH has returned from picking up Death by Chocolate frozen custard and a hamburger from Oscar's, we watch SH's pick, Margot at the Wedding. Twenty minutes into the movie, I have started to read a magazine.

SH: Do you like this movie?

Me: No.

SH: Why not?

Me: I hate everyone in it. They're all jerks.

SH: Do you want to keep watching it?

Me: No. Do you?

SH: It's interesting.

Me: But do you want to watch it?

SH: It's artistic. Would I have liked Mama's Boy better?

Me: Yes, you would. But I don't care if you keep watching it. I'm happy with my book.

SH: I dunno.

Me: You don't like it, do you?

SH: It got good reviews.

Me: But you don't like it.

SH: It's like that article you showed me where if you ask someone what movie they want to watch a month from now, they pick the serious, intellectual one but if you ask them what they want to watch right now, they pick Terminator Three.

Me: So do you want to stop watching this and watch Flashdance instead?

SH: Yes!

Question for my readers

First, a cat photo, because it's been a while.

Now. I am doing some work for a friend from grad school. My task is to find out who buys relationship advice books and how they decide which ones to buy. If you would be so kind as to answer these questions in the comments, I would be very grateful.

1. Have you ever bought a dating/marriage/relationship advice book for yourself or for someone else?
2. If so, how did you decide which one to get? (I.e., recommended in a magazine, a friend told you about it, went to the bookstore and flipped through a few.)
3. If you haven't bought one, but if you were to buy one, how would you choose it?
4. Are you male or female? Married or single? Age?

Thank you!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Marriage 301, Lecture 483: What's mine is mine and what's yours is not mine

SH: It's a good thing I didn't want to brush my teeth right now.

Me: Why?

SH: Because your underwear is soaking in the sink.

Me: It could be rinsed and hung in the shower now. Go ahead.

SH: Me!?

Me: Yeah. Why not?

SH: I'm not going to wash your underwear!

Me: Oh really Mr Would You Please Wash My Underwear While We're In Paris? It's OK for me to wash yours but not for you to wash mine?

SH: Yep.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Marriage 301, Lecture 695: Portion police

SH: I think there's enough pork stew for my lunch tomorrow.

Me: Looks like it.

SH: I've made it last this long because I'm trying to be better about portion control.

Me: That's good. [I should do that.]

SH: Of course, that just means I have more room for potato chips and chocolate.

Marriage 301, Lecture 607: True romance never dies

SH: Hey! Why'd you buy a new [SimpleHuman that won't stain every time a little bit of Lysol or other bathroom cleaning solution is dropped on it] trash can?

Me: I was at Target and they had them and I hate the one that we have now.

SH: But you're supposed to wait for me to get that for you as a Valentine's present!

Marriage 301, Lecture795: Drink now, wine later

Halftime during The Game, which the Packers won hahahahaha my Bears fans friends. We are going to Dawn's for supper after the game is over, but SH has not showered yet. The plan was for him to shower when the Packers had a 21-point lead, but that never happened, as THE PACKERS GOT COMPLACENT, which better not happen when they play the Steelers. The nail-biting, heart-stopping drama of that game just about killed me.

We went to a sports bar last week for the Atlanta game (because we had no way to watch it at home on our cable-free, antennaless basement TV, which got two channels), which was easy to watch, as it appeared to be a re-creation of Sherman's March, but the Bears game? Oh man. It's a good thing SH didn't get the antenna until last week. If I'd had to watch every game this season, I'd be a nervous wreck. I don't know how sports fans do it.

So. SH. Unshowered. And instead of taking a shower? He is in the laundry room/wine cellar, picking a bottle of wine to take to Dawn's. This is a process that takes all of halftime plus the beginning of the third quarter, which might have been when the Bears scored, which meant he wanted a complete play-by-play from me but I said no way jose you're supposed to be taking a shower and he said I was mean not to tell him what happened and I said well you're the one who decided now was a good time to rearrange all your wine, something he does about once a week as rearranging and taking inventory is one of his favorite things to do, including with the fridge and the freezer, which drives me crazy because he stands in front of the OPEN fridge/freezer, pulls out each item therein and asks me what it is, so usually, I just flee to the bathroom and hide while he is doing this.

Me: Why can't you take one of the [eight bottles he spent 20 minutes picking out at] World Market wines?

SH: No! Those are new! I bought those to drink in a few years. We can't drink those now!

Me: It sure would have been a lot faster to just take one of those. They were already out.

SH: You don't understand wine!

Me: I don't care.

I had to call Dawn at the end of the third quarter and explain we would be later than anticipated because SH probably wouldn't be bathing until the game was over.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Marriage 301, Lecture 869: Maybe if I get drunk

SH and I had a fancy evening on Friday, just the thing to get us ready for the Big Game on Sunday, which required that we pray for a Packers victory at church on Saturday evening and by golly it worked.

SH won us a Secret Society Dinner at the Patron Social Club. Go to the link and join so you can win when they come to your town. If you don't, SH will run downstairs while you are minding your own business, reading a book, living your gold-digger life, to tell you that you have to sign up RIGHT NOW! RIGHT NOW! even when you whine and say, "Can't you see I'm BUSY?"

We met at the Iron Horse Hotel at 6:30, where we awaited further instruction via text. As I do not text, mostly on principle* but also because we do not have a text plan on our phone so it costs us extra every time, we just piggybacked on our 28 fellow secret diners to find out that we were indeed supposed to board the two party buses that were parked outside, just as we suspected.

I was pleased to see that my fellow Milwaukee diners had heeded the instructions in the email and worn "cocktail attire." There are those who might think, "when I'm at home, I drink cocktails while I'm wearing a sweatshirt and jeans, hence sweatshirt and jeans are cocktail attire," but not in Milwaukee. We might wear Crocs to church ("we" = "really tacky people"), but when the occasion demands, we rise to it.**

I myself was in the stylish red wool dress that SH had neglected to inform me was unzipped when we went to the theater (a location that, alas, does not seem to demand dress-up clothing from Other People, but SH and I make ourselves look right smart). SH wore the suit he was married in. Married to me, that is. I think he wore his tux (which still fits him) in his first wedding.

The bus took us to a surprise location: the North Point Lighthouse, which I have been dying to visit as we are slight lighthouse junkies. We walked into a room lit only by tiny candles everywhere. Right away, waiters gave us a Patron cocktail. Yes, this whole thing is about Patron trying to expand the tequila market and show people that tequila is not just for shooting and getting drunk and throwing up as in The Great Tequila Disaster of '87, but those days are way past me, but also for mixed drinks.

The menu.

I am not a big drinker. I am not a tequila drinker. Anymore. It had been over 20 years since I last had tequila. But I sipped the cocktail and it was good.

We had two appetizers and a different cocktail with each. Then we sat for supper. Had soup and a cocktail. Salad and a cocktail. Entree and a cocktail. Dessert and a cocktail.

SH and I got only one of each drink between us because we needed to stay sober. I wasn't tempted to drink much of most of them, but the hot apple cider/tequila combo was pretty yummy.

I was sitting next to one of the Patron folks, a supercutie whose dad was Cuban so we talked about politics and Cuban food. There are some advantages to being a certain age and married: you can talk to the really cute single guys without worry of rejection. It's not flirting because, hey, I have my super-hot SH at my other side so obviously I'm not looking and plus, who would think a cute 30 year old would be interested in a Woman of a Certain Age anyhow? Quite liberating.

The evening ended with SH and me being interviewed about the dinner, partly, I think, because we looked so sharp. We might make it to the Patron website.

* Also because I am too lazy to hit a key three times to get to the letter I want. And because I dislike the abbreviations. I am not as bad as SH, though, who is incapable of writing an email that goes, "Are you guys coming to the party tonight?" but instead must compose of a missive in which he inquires about the state of You guys' health, comments on the weather, explains that we are going to the party, expresses the wish that You guys are going to the party, then finally, after three paragraphs of fluff, gets to the point.

** Although all the women were wearing boots. Nice boots, high-heeled boots, but boots nonetheless. We might want to look nice, but we are not willing to sacrifice our nice shoes to the sludge in order to do so. Nor are we willing to let our feet freeze for fashion's sake.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wisconsin 101: Packer Nation

We're busy today.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chats du jour: Going for the motherlode

Laverne thinks if she can just knock the cat food container off the counter, it will pop open and hey! an early Christmas.

She thinks this because she has done it before. When we were on vacation. And the cute neighbor kid whom we hired to feed the cats in our absence left the container on the counter. Despite my specific written and spoken instructions to the contrary. Which meant that when we returned, there was food all over the floor and two very happy, sluggish, fat cats.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Marriage 301, Lecture 604: Don't eat the yellow snow

SH: I've taken the [bad spirally I knew they were a bad idea] lightbulbs out of the fridge and the bathroom, so don't stick your fingers in the empty sockets.

Me: I'm not really in the habit of doing such things. You really don't need to warn me about that.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Marriage 301, Lecture 650: Til death do us revert names

SH: What does your license say, "Class L Honey" or "Class Honey?"

Me: "Class L." Why?

SH: For the TSA [for the ticket he is getting for me].

Me: Screw the TSA. Stupid security theater, going after the middle-aged suburban women who keep blowing up planes.

SH: I know.

Me: If I had my way, it would say "Class Factotum."

SH: You mean after I die.

Me: No, tomorrow.

SH: You would change your name back tomorrow?

Me: Yes.

SH: You would go through all that hassle? Get a new social security card? Go to the DMV?

Me: I did just get my hair cut. The photo wouldn't be awful.

Marriage 301, Lecture 690: Step away from the chocolate

SH: Are you going to eat any more of this brownie? [Of the huge batch that SH's friend Kathy sent back with him from California on Saturday]

Me: I don't know. Do you want it?

SH: Yes.

Me: Then you better put it upstairs [in your office].

SH: Why can't you just say you're not going to eat it?

Me: If it's here, it's public property.

SH: But I shouldn't have to take it upstairs!

Me: I don't care what you do, but if it's down here, it's not safe.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Marriage 301, Lecture 567: Run away!

SH is thinking about running the Summerfest half marathon this summer.

I told him that if he did, I would run with him. Yeah, stupid, I know, because I 1. hate running and 2. hate losing.*

I suggested that he might want to start training now, as the last time he went running was in 2006 when he was visiting me in Memphis before we got married and he tricked me into moving to the frozen snow-covered tundra north Land of No Summer and declared he would accompany me on my Tuesday/Thursday run. MWF I went to the boot camp run by the former Marine drill instructor who thought resting and girl pushups were for sissies and whose pushing made my abdominal muscles visible for the very first time that I could ever remember.

Of course, I wasn't married then, which meant I ate a lot less. Marriage = eating together, eating more, and hey, you're stuck with me so I'm going to have dessert. Divorce is expensive. Easier to put up with a few extra pounds.

When he ran with me - the SH whose only exercise consists of walking from his second-floor office to the basement to retrieve the Dill Pickle Pringles he has hidden from himself - he ran faster and longer than I did. I had to work to keep up. Which I found quite annoying as I am the one who exercises and he does not. Also annoying because see #1 above, I hate running.

I told him he couldn't run with me any more. He thought it was because I don't Care About Togetherness,** but really it's because I'm lazy and I don't want to work that hard.

Now he's decided that maybe, maybe he wants to run in this race, mostly, I think, because you get some kind of discounted Summerfest ticket. But he doesn't want to start training until the snow is gone.

Which would leave him like a week to train.

I run - if you can call it that, which you really can't, as the more appropriate term is "amble along aimlessly, breaking into a light jog every now and then" and also "walking along gingerly with the head down looking for ice on the road because the last thing I want to do is slip and break my ankle" - once a week. I go to my step aerobics and my weights classes four days a week.

And yet, SH could probably beat me in a race.

He's probably right. He probably can wait until the snow is gone to train.

* My first triathlon, I was passed by the guy in the wheelchair. I finished dead last. DEAD LAST. All the food was gone by the time I got to the tent.

** I do not, however, Care About Togetherness. Togetherness is overrated. I Care About Getting Along, which means not too much Togetherness.

Blast from the past

Waiting in line at the grocery store in Rabat, Morocco:

The guy in the produce pricing line with me yesterday at the Marjane. You get your produce and wait in line for it to be weighed and priced before you go to the checkout. I had only two bags of veg (for grilling last night with Steve and Megan) but got in line anyhow even though some people had an entire cart full of stuff because one must wait one's turn.

This lady with two bags of apples went to the front of the line and asked the customer who was having her entire cart of produce priced if she could cut in. The other customer let her.

I muttered something to the guy in front of me that all the world have only a little but it must to wait like all the peoples.

He said something to the lady that I gather was along the lines of Madame, it must be done that one waits in line for one's turn.

She snapped at him that One had consulted the madame here and madame had said one could make the cut.

He replied that The madame there did not to speak for all the world in the line.

Madame grabbed her priced apples and began to yell at the guy, saying You have some nerve buddy telling one what to do and one would to say that you are a big jerk.

I was thrilled to see someone speak up about line cutting because as far as I'm concerned, respecting the line is one of the first signs of civilization.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Marriage 301, Lecture 509: The Blue Shirts

SH: Would you measure me?

Me: Why?

SH: They're giving us shirts at work and I have to make sure I get the right size.

Me: Why can't you do it?

SH: It has to be [of my chest] with my arms down.

Me: Fine. Come here.

SH: You're not doing it right!

Me: Do you have to get this shirt?

SH: It might be nice!

Me: Does it have a logo on it?

SH: Yes.

Me: Then by definition, it can't be nice. Any shirt with a company logo is not a nice shirt. Why can't you just wear one of the [132 blue] shirts that you have?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Marriage 301, Lecture 509: Nuts to you

SH offering the perfect Wisconsin drink to his grandson.

SH: I didn't know what you had done with the fudge until I read about it.

Me: Yeah?

SH: I don't care. You can take all the nuts. [Because according to the SH Theory of Chocolate, all additions, such as nuts, coconut and bacon diminish chocolate. The only acceptable item to add to chocolate is more chocolate.]

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Marriage 301, Lecture 557: La gente unida

SH and his moral dilemma: I have to decide if I am still going to boycott Target. We need toilet paper and that's where I like to buy it. I don't want to go to K-Mart.

SH and his time dilemma, as he stands in front the closet deciding what to wear, 20 minutes before we have to leave for the play: What should I wear?

Me: Shouldn't you take a shower?

SH: But what should I wear?

Me: Why not think about it while you're in the shower?

SH: That would be too efficient.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Marriage 301, Lecture 495: Nuts

SH is gone until tomorrow, so this conversation has not happened yet. But I imagine it will go something like this:

SH: Hey! You dug all the walnuts out of the fudge!

Me: Just the top.

SH: But you dug the nuts out!

Me: So?

SH: You're not supposed to do that.

Me: Why not?

SH: You're supposed to take a whole piece of fudge and eat what's there.

Me: But you don't like nuts in your chocolate. I'm doing you a favor.

SH: You're not supposed to do that!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wisconsin 101: Sausage and beer

The Klement's Racing Sausages at Miller Park.

My mom has been doing all this amazing family history research. Last week, she sent me an email noting that my dad's grandmother, Elizabeth H., had been the witness at her sister Gertrude's wedding to Frank Klement. Their son John lived in Milwaukee. Klement's Sausage, a Milwaukee sausage company, was founded by John, George and Ronald Klement, who used "Grandpa Frank's" sausage recipes.

So now we want to know if Klement's Sausage is related to Gertrude and Frank because if so, we have a kissing cousin relationship to a big sausage company, which might mean that I could get the Klement's Racing Sausages Christmas ornaments without having to buy season tickets to the Brewers. I don't care about going to the ball game but I sure would like to have those cute ornaments. I'd pay. I don't expect anything free. But I just don't want to have to buy baseball tickets to get them.

My dad's cousin Greg and his wife Dolly, who own Wild Flour Bakery (Dolly ate some artisan bread 15 years ago and that was her aha! moment that inspired her to start the bakery), decided that all we need now is a brewer in the family and our food needs will be complete.

Of course, I already have sausage on my mom's side what with my uncle's deer processing business in Medford and our freezer full of venison bratwurst, breakfast sausage, and bacon. Still, it's not unlimited bratwurst, which means SH and I argue about which of our friends are worthy of being fed my uncle's bratwurst and which are not and I won't go into specifics here but let's just say if you have badmouthed me in the past to my husband that I am going to fight pretty hard against your eating anything but bread and water chez nous.

Did you really think he wouldn't tell me? Seriously? When you marry, loyalties shift. I won't tell secrets that have nothing to do with SH - if a pregnant friend swears me to secrecy, I keep the secret, or if she is talking about other stuff that has nothing to do with my husband, then I don't mention it - but if a friend of mine talks smack about my husband, he's going to hear about it.

Not that any of my friends would do that. 1. They all like SH. 2. They all have wayyyyy better manners than to trash talk a woman's husband to her face. My friends have a lot more class than certain people whom I will not mention but who will never get venison brats if I ever have anything to do with it.

PS I found this photo online, but the associated website is dead. So no photo credit.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Marriage 301, Lecture 590: Diversity training

SH: Should we order those training chopsticks for you?

Me: No.

SH: Why not?

Me: Because I don't care if I don't know how to eat with chopsticks.

SH: Don't you want to impress people with your multiculturalism?*

Me: In this country, we eat with a fork.

SH: But you should use chopsticks to show how sophisticated you are.

Me: Too much trouble. Plus, you should know me well enough by now to know that I don't care what other people think.

SH: You should!

Me: Nope. I'm pretty secure that way.

* Note that I speak Spanish fluently and French enough to get by. I have lived in three foreign countries and traveled through about two dozen. Note also that I think that manual dexterity has nothing to do with sophistication.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday report

It's normal to keep a half a can of Betty Crocker chocolate frosting in the freezer in case you need to make cupcakes for a church bake sale - cupcakes where you will not be identified as the maker, of course, because you would not want to put your name on a product adorned with bought frosting, eat the occasional spoonful, for industrial fats do not freeze, do they?, and then toss the can when you have that one spoonful that pushes you from still full from a Saturday morning omelette breakfast to sick to your stomach because omigosh, have you read those ingredients? And push the opened can to the bottom of the SimpleHuman engagement trash can so that when you change your mind about eating industrial fat chocolate frosting, it will be covered with the juice from the bacon burgers wrapper that it touched on the way down?

Normal, right?

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Just do what I tell you

Go read what my friend Ilene had published on a national website!

Marriage 301, Lecture 490: Cheaper by the dozen

SH: Look at this cool multi-plug thing I got from woot!

Me: Why do you need that?

SH: Because I have a bunch of things plugged in behind the stereo in my office and this will arrange them.

Me: Why do you need two?

SH: It was a better deal to buy two.

Me: It's only a better deal if you actually need the second one.

SH: It's a lower unit price!

Me: You are a marketer's dream. No self restraint.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Marriage 301, Lecture 508: It's an engineer/guy thing

SH: I really like this new remote. It controls everything! Look! I can even adjust the volume on the receiver.

Me: Then why can't we get rid of the other ones?

SH: What? No! No! It doesn't turn on the receiver. I need this [other, special] remote to do that. Besides, multiple remotes are a sign of electronics sophistication.

Me: Or a sign of someone who's too lazy to move his ass five feet to the receiver.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Marriage 301, Lecture 398: Of cabbage and kings

Me: Is this Bad Cabbage?

SH: I don't know. There is a tiny spot on it.

Me: You married a Bad Cabbage user.

SH: I don't like cabbage.

Me: I know.

SH: I don't want any.

Me: I know!

SH: Why are you making cabbage if I don't like it?

Me: Why don't you shut up?

Later, after I have chopped the cabbage and fried it in bacon grease.

SH: What smells so good?

Me: The cabbage that you didn't want.

SH: But that smells really good!

Me: I know.

SH: It tastes really good!

Me: I know.

SH: Maybe the moral is that I shouldn't be so quick to judge.

Me: Maybe.

SH: Or maybe it's that things fried in bacon grease taste good.

Me: Whatever. It's for me. Stay away.

Marriage 301, Lecture 397: It's too late baby

SH: I have [an upset stomach - twice].

Me: So?

SH: It's your fault.

Me: Why is it my fault?

SH: Because I ate those old potatoes [that were still in the fridge from Christmas day that I was supposed to eat while he was gone because I should have only leftovers while he eats steak].

Me: You mean the potatoes you said were too old? And that I shouldn't have kept this long?

SH: Yes.

Me: And it's my fault that you ate food that you thought had gone bad why?

SH: You should have eaten them while I was gone. Then I wouldn't have been able to eat them.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Marriage 301, Lecture 395: How can I miss you if you won't go away?

What I did while SH was gone:

Threw away the rest of the salad dressing, olives, and seafood cocktail sauce that we had moved from his apartment to the house in June of 2008, which, in case you are bad at math, was more than two and a half years ago.

I know those foodstuffs were from then because I had written "6/08" on each jar with a magic marker.

I also know those foodstuffs were older than 6/08 because SH had most of them in his refrigerator when I met him.

In 2005.

What SH did a few months ago:

Threw away the perfectly good ketchup I had brought from Memphis not because it was old but because it had high-fructose corn sweetener in it.

What he did last night after he returned from his visit to an undisclosed location where we discovered that rinsing and re-using ziplock bags makes one overly frugal and a damn cheapskate:

Went through all the leftovers in the fridge and pointed out that many of them were from last week. LAST WEEK! Oh no! Was I trying to KILL HIM by feeding him bok choy with ginger and sesame oil cooked last Tuesday?

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Chats du jour: Let the people decide

Laverne will not SHUT UP about going outside. I am trying to convince her that she would not really like the 7 degree windchill, but she is unswayed. Vote.

Have you ever been on the receiving end of a Siamese cat who wanted something?

I am ready to betray my country just to make her SHUT UP.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Marriage 301, Lecture 449: Blood and gore

SH: Oh no! OH NO!

Me: What?

SH: The steaks [which he removed from the freezer and put in the oven to keep away from the cats] have thawed and the juice has run all over the bottom of the oven.

Me: Why didn't you put them in a bowl?

SH: Why didn't you remind me?

Me: Because this happened to you last week. It didn't occur to me that you would need prompting.

SH: You should have reminded me.

Me: But you're The Rememberer.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Marriage 301, Lecture 778: Doing time

At the Sewer Museum in Paris, one of the coolest places we went.

I have it easy. I'm here in the house with a fully-stocked deep freezer (remember my uncle the butcher/sausagemaker and my dad's cousins the bakers? yeah, we do OK on good food in this house), two cats and 18 library books.

SH is on a Mandatory Mission to an Undisclosed Location. Let's just say he did not make this trip for fun and leave it at that.

While SH Does What Has To Be Done, I have had a few days to recover and relax after the Pre-Trip Drama, which included the Hunting of the Wisconsin Sweatshirt and the Getting to the Bus Station to Catch the Shuttle to O'Hare.

1. The Hunting of the Sweatshirt
SH almost always wears his Summerfest sweatshirt when he is in a sweatshirt-wearing mood, which would be most of the time as neither of us is partial to cranking up the heat and watching all of our money fly out of the windows and uninsulated walls. (Did they not know about cold when they built this house back in 1928? About insulation? Is it such a new idea?)

I am not allowed to wear the Summerfest sweatshirt.

But I wore it on Friday when my sweatshirt was in the laundry. Oh no! I am a Bad Bacon Eater and a Bad Sweatshirt Wearer!*

Don't tell SH. Not to worry. He rarely reads this blog. He says why should he? He lives with me and knows what goes on and he has a point.

So the Summerfest sweatshirt is his favorite, but it is not the appropriate sweatshirt for watching Wisconsin play TCU.

Wednesday night, when SH was packing, he opened every drawer in the house seeking the Wisconsin sweatshirt (the one my sister gave him for Christmas the same year she and SH bid against each other on the Purse of the Magi for me), which he needed to watch the Rose Bowl and the lack of which undoubtedly explains the Badger loss last night.

He went through basement boxes and looked in the closet in his office, the guest room and the bedroom.

No luck.

There was no sweatshirt to be found.

SH, whom I love dearly and who makes my life better every day, bless his OCD heart, is not one to let something like this rest. When he starts a project, he finishes it, which is usually good. But I had fears that he would open and close every single box in the house in search of the sweatshirt and I was not interested in staying up for that.

Fortunately, he had an epiphany. The Wisconsin sweatshirt? Was in the closet of the place he was visiting!

Whew. He could stop looking.

Only when I spoke to him today, after the Badger loss that was all his fault, he said that the sweatshirt was not there at the Undisclosed Location after all.

I opened and closed all the drawers. I went through the guest room and the office closet. The coat closet.


Then I checked our closet.

And there it was. Right there nestled in the blue shirts, but easy to see because it is red. Dread does strange things to people.

2. The Getting to the Bus Station to Catch the Shuttle to O'Hare (which had a cheaper flight than Milwaukee)
A shuttle bus runs every hour at ten minutes past the hour from Milwaukee to O'Hare. We left the house at 9:45 only to discover that the exit we usually take to the bus station was closed because of construction. Which meant we had to overshoot the exit to go to the next one. Where we were stuck behind some very slow drivers, which only happens when you're in a hurry, right? Where we caught Every Single Red Light. Where at 10:11, SH was leaning his forehead against the steering wheel and moaning that it was Too Late, Too Late.

I said nothing because I would have been quite happy for SH to cancel the trip altogether and stay home. Unfortunately, Drama Delayed is not Drama Denied, so his Total Grief Quotient would just have increased if he'd missed his flight. Sometimes it's better just to get the pain over with and move on.

Then I said, "We can drive to Chicago if we need to. We'll get you to your flight."

"That would ruin your day," he answered. "To have to go all the way to Chicago and back?"

I shrugged. "You need to make this flight. But let's go by the bus station just in case. Maybe there was bad traffic on the way up here."

He shook his head and said that it was hopeless, but we had to go that way to return to the highway anyhow.

We drove past the station. Looked.

The bus was still there. It was late! Nothing in Wisconsin is ever late. People show up half an hour early to supper. Workmen show up 15 minutes early, even when you've told them Do not knock on that door before 8:30 a.m., so help me.

The driver stood next to the luggage compartment, rearranging some bags.

Two bearded men in unzipped down coats, Packers sweatshirts and plaid hunting caps stood a few feet from the open bus door, finishing their cigarettes.

We jumped out of the car. "Chicago?" I yelled at the driver.

He nodded.

"Wait!" I yelled again. SH was getting on that bus come heck or high water. I would have driven to Chicago but I really didn't want to.**

While he ran inside to buy his ticket, I carried SH's bags to the bus and waited next to the cigarette guys. The fragrance of the fresh cigarettes was divine. When I'm old, I'm going to start smoking.

"A little late dere," one of them said as he blew smoke in SH's direction.

I rolled my eyes. "Yeah. Closed exit." And maybe a lack of desire? I didn't say that part out loud, but I was thinking it.

"Ya not goin'?" one of them asked.

"Not my thing," I explained.

SH rushed out, ticket in hand. He kissed me, grabbed his bags, and boarded. The cigarette guys carefully stubbed out their cigarettes in the big pot by the station, then ambled to the bus door.

"Hey you have a nice day dere, OK?" one of them said.

Well OK. I would.

* The latest is that I am also a Bad Cabbage User. Sorry I can't tell you any more. Classified.

** I didn't even want to go as far as Racine, which is where the bus stops on the way, although I could have made a detour at the Mars Cheese Castle on the way home.