Monthly Archives: August 2012

Aging Process

Aging Process

  I know I’m getting old. All the tell tale signs are there.  Things crack loudly when I get up. When I climb stairs some strange groaning sound uncontrollably escapes my lips.  It’s a constant battle to keep the gray hair under control and I have old lady liver spots on my hands.   Why are they called liver spots anyway? Does this mean I have to worry about my liver now?   My pill box can’t hold another pill.  Soon I’ll have to get one of those pill boxes that is the size of an iPad.  In addition to morning, noon, and night it has openings that say “after taking Metamucil” and “before you watch Murder She Wrote.”  It’s getting bad I tell you.  I wake up before the sun and can’t go back to sleep and then I’m ready for bed again at 7:00 p.m. I forget things if I don’t write them down.  For a while now I don’t always find the exact word I’m looking for.  For instance the other day I said “I need to put a new light bulb in the sink.  The old one is burnt out.” On my bad days I’ll declare to the children “I’m almost ready for the home.”

Painting a sexy picture right?  Usually I deal well with all this stuff and being the realist that I am, I know that aging is a part of life.  If getting older is the trade off for having grandchildren I’m ok with it. But the other day I did something so stupid that the only thing I can think to blame it on is my shrinking aged brain.

I was making dinner and as I usually do I threw on an apron because I was too lazy to go upstairs and change out of my work clothes.  When hubby got home from work he came in the kitchen and joined me and we cooked and chatted, talked about our day, our usual routine.  I had my cell phone close by as I usually do and I showed him some pictures I had taken earlier that day of my son and grandson together.  A little while later I realized I couldn’t find my phone. I took a quick look around the kitchen and didn’t see it.  I knew I had not left the kitchen/diningroom area so it had to be there.  Soon my husband joined me and we looked in every drawer, cabinet, pantry, nook and cranny of the kitchen. That phone was nowhere to be found.  My husband started sending me text messages to see if we could hear the notification but I told him I had possibly left it on vibrate. We tried calling but didn’t hear anything.  By this time my son Alex had joined the search.  We decided that maybe I had accidently dropped it in to the kitchen garbage can so I got a trash bag and piece by piece I emptied out the full kitchen trash can.  No phone.  That’s when the conversation turned to something like this:

Husband: When did you have it last?

Me: Before dinner

Husband: What were you doing with it?

Me: Showing you a picture

Husband: Then what did you do with it?

Me: I have absolutely no idea. 

Husband: You can’t remember what you did with it after that?

Me: My mind is a complete blank.

Husband: You did not leave this room.  It has to be here.

Me: It’s gone forever. I’m sad.

Husband: This is like the twilight zone.

Son: How much is the reward?

We decided to be really super quiet and call it again.  Well what do you know?  We could hear a faint ringing that sounded like it was coming from the living room. Like some slapstick comedy we all ran to the livingroom and called it again.  Nothing.  “Hey guys, I didn’t go in the livingroom.”   Back to the kitchen we flew.  We called it yet again. We could hear it ringing ever so slightly but could not figure out where it was coming from. We started playing that old children’s game “you’re getting hot, hotter,now cold, now hot again” as we tried to figure out where the ringing was coming from.  My husband put his finger to his lip and shushed us as he opened the pantry door and announced “Honey, your apron is ringing.”

I have absolutely no memory of putting it in my apron pocket.  We had to have spent close to an hour looking for it. And what’s really bad is I looked at and saw 18 missed calls and for a split second thought “oh my gosh! Someone really wants to talk to me.”

So I need to invent something like Life Alert or the Clapper for cell phones. Cool idea right?  If you lose it you just clap loudly three times and your phone emits a loud signal so you can find it.  Think about all the ways that could be used -remote controls, glasses, car keys, the cat.

 I’ll get right on that…soon as I’m done cutting all the pockets off my aprons.

 

 

 

 

Married Life

Married Life

 I promised my husband when I started this blog that I wouldn’t make it too personal.   I think he was worried that if he made me mad by leaving clothes on the floor or clipped his toenails in bed it would end up as a blog post the next day.  I told him not to worry, that I wasn’t going to put all our business out there for everyone to read.  However, I think I can safely say…and I think many of you would agree with me…marriage is hard.  You would think that after 25 years of being a wife, having two husbands and surviving one difficult divorce I’d have this marriage thing nailed. I am in no way an expert but I have learned a thing or two along the way. I am smart enough to be able stand outside my relationships and see that I do a lot of things wrong.  So why isn’t it all smooth sailing if I know so much? Why is it so hard to put those lessons in to practice?  Oh don’t worry; Joel and I are fine. This entry doesn’t indicate trouble in paradise.  I’m just making observations based on my experiences and those of people around me. A therapist once told me “It isn’t that couple’s fight that is the issue, it’s how they fight that matters.”  She was right of course.  How low you go during a fight says a lot about a couple and experts say it indicates if you've got staying power. My favorite newlywed advice to give is “Don’t forget to respect each other during disagreements.  Fights are not a license to say anything you want. No matter how much you apologize, words can't be unsaid.”  When I was a kid and was having a disagreement with a sibling my mother would make us go in the bathroom together and not come out until we were hugging.  Sometimes she wanted us to sing hymns together until family harmony was restored.  Could you imagine how my husband would react if the next time we bicker about something I say “Let’s go in the bathroom and sing Onward Christian Soldiers until we work this out."

We have certainly had our share of struggles, some of them pretty serious, but we are in a really good place right now.  When we got together I had two teenagers and a pre-teen living under my roof.  At times it was not easy on him.  He often did not get as much of my time and attention as he wanted or needed. I would tell him “Just be patient. One day they’ll all be gone and you’ll have me all to yourself.”  That day is pretty much here. (I do have one still in the basement but he is for the most part an adult.)  There is sweet freedom in being able to run away for the day with your spouse and not have to worry about kid stuff.  No lunches to pack, no PTA cookies to bake. Sometimes when we’re in the car driving off on some little adventure I’ll look over at him and say “This is what we have been waiting for honey!  Isn’t it great?”

Having the children out of the house however does not automatically guarantee marital bliss. The give and take of everyday life can sometimes be challenging.  We come from very different backgrounds so we each look at the world from a completely different point of view .  For example, he likes high thread count fancy schmancy sheets.  I consider a bed sheet still usable if you can’t see through it yet.  Nothing we can’t overcome. The trick is learning to meet somewhere in the middle.  I’m a terribly messy cook.  When I’m done making dinner the food will be delicious but the kitchen looks like a tornado went through it.  He is much neater in the kitchen than I am. He just jumps in and starts washing dishes and cleaning up my mess. God bless him.  We are definitely two individuals both with strong personalities. We have just enough in common to keep us together but our differences is what makes life fun and interesting. 

Back in the day I read some marriage advice from Dear Abby that really stuck with me. This particular column someone wrote her a typical letter “Abby, My husband is a big slob, forgets our anniversary and drinks too much beer but I love him and can’t think about leaving him.  What should I do?” Abby’s response was simple.  She said “Look at your life and ask yourself this question “is my life better with or without this person in it?”  I know this oversimplifies things but it really is good advice.  I’ve had to ask myself this question twice in my life.  The first time the answer was “without”, definitely without but unfortunately it was years between this realization and the time I got up the courage to do anything about it. The second time I asked myself this question was in the middle of a crisis. Putting everything else aside I realized that I would be completely heartbroken and miserable without him. We decided to do whatever we had to do to make it work.

The movie “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” is one of my husband’s favorites.  If you have ever seen the movie you know that every time they get in to a jam George Clooney’s character would say “Damn, we’re in a tight spot.”  Marriage is kind of like that.  You get in a lot of tight spots but the trick is being clever enough to get out of them.  And like the pals in the movie…sticking it out together.  A friend recently asked me to help her set up a dating profile.  As I rattled off things like “You should say you want someone who calls just to hear your voice, someone who surprises you with heartfelt gifts and romantic dinners, someone who can be your best friend” my husband said “Geez, I sure hope I check some of those boxes for you.” I looked at him and said “Of course silly, how do you think I knew what to ask for in an ideal mate! Now get in the bathroom and start singing. Someone forgot to take the trash out last night.”