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.


Jen on the Edge said...

"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."

Those are two of the best sentences you've ever written.

You Bad Cabbage User, you. ;-)

LPC said...

My brother-in-law is from Milwaukee. He just did this accent for me today. I can HEAR it in your writing.

Class factotum said...

Jen, you are such a flatterer. But are you sure you want to be associated with a Bad Cabbage User like moi?

Lisa, You betcha that's how folks here talk!

I found this article (link below) and have been meaning to send it to my uncles and my mom because this is what people here sound like. It makes me laugh every time.

We made a video of my dad when he was dying 13 years ago. I finally watched it with SH last year (for the first time). I didn't realize it while he was alive but after being here for a while, I recognize the accent and I noticed he - my dad - had a really strong Milwaukee accent that came out when he was tired or stressed.

My grandmother said, "Ain't so?" a lot, which is on other Wisconsin lists, and my dad used the "Ain'a hey?" that is on the linked list.

So hey dere to your brother in law!

Lindy said...

I've never stopped at the Mars Cheese Castle. Recently, I was told that they have the BEST cheese curds because they squeak when you eat them. (?!?)

Class factotum said...

Lindy, I thought the squeak indicated freshness.

Joy said...

The squeak does indeed indicate freshness. In addition to the Mars Cheese Castle, that exit also features the Dick Bong State Recreation Area. It's my favorite exit off I-90.

Class factotum said...

Joy, SH and I laugh every time we drive to Chicago and see that sign.