Friday, January 16, 2009

Snow Day Haikus

The kids have been off school for two days now because of the dangerous wind chills.  My son has been sick with the stomach flu the entire time.  My mental survival mechanism has kicked in with some haikus.  Enjoy.  

Dance mat on the floor
Rock 'em, Sock 'em Robots rule
No chores getting done

Kids toys on the floor
Backyardigans on TV
Doll clothes on the cat

Two kids - one is sick
Where's my antidepressant?
No one hears my screams

"Snow" day number two
The brilliance of Kahlua
In my breakfast bowl

Okay, I never said the haikus were going to be good . . . 

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Can You Come Hook Up My VCR?

My very first date with my husband was 23 years ago today.  We met through a mutual friend who lived across the street from him.  She phoned me up and said, "I know this guy who would be perfect for you."  At the time, I was casually dating a guy that I really didn't like, but he had money which appealed to my very materialistic 21 year old self.  My friends were all either getting married or in long-term relationships, and they were constantly trying to hook me up with all kinds of guys.  

I told my friend that I wasn't interested.  I had just moved into my own apartment a few weeks earlier - a one-bedroom apartment in an old house that had been renovated into four apartments.  My rent was $270 a month which included heat.  You could stand in one spot and see the entire apartment.  But, it was cute and affordable - I was probably making about $575 a month at the time.  And since I already had Mr. Money hanging around, I didn't see any reason to complicate matters.  

One Tuesday night, my friend called and asked me to go out for Chinese food.  She asked that I pick her up, and when I showed up, there was the guy who would become my husband.  The very first time I saw him, I heard a voice in my head say, "It's you" and a sound that sounded like a door shutting.  I wasn't raised to believe in reincarnation, but I have always believed that I knew my husband in a previous life.  It has always felt that way to me.  

We went to the Chinese restaurant, chatted, and then returned to my friend's apartment.  From then on, every time I would go over to her apartment, she would find some excuse to call him.  She gave him my phone number, and he called me up.  I thought he was cute, so I unhooked my VCR from my TV and asked him if he could come over and hook it up for me.  He did.  Not long after that, he called and asked if I would like to go out for dinner and a movie.  Of course, I did.  

He picked me up in his green 1972 Dodge Coronet with a smashed-up fender.  We went to see "Out of Africa" and then out for pizza at a little pizzeria not far from my apartment.  On the way home, I slid over to sit right next to him in the front seat.  And that is how my good fortune all started over Chinese food and a VCR.  

Oh, and I ditched the other guy.  He was constantly watching "Miami Vice" tapes on his Betamax, and he lived in his parents' basement.  He was an obsessive neat freak who would always arrange my magazines in an insipid fan pattern.  It would've never lasted.  

So, today's post is dedicated to my husband.  He willingly signed up to be my partner in this crazy life of ours.  We argue over bath towels.  He puts up with me not always finishing my sentences.  He gave up trying to figure me out years ago.  He makes fun of my cooking disasters.  We each think the other is high maintenance.  He gets frustrated because I don't always finish projects.  I wish he would actually put the clothes IN the hamper.  He must love me an awful lot, but it would still be less than I love him.  And I make fantastic omelettes.  He loves omelettes.  

Here's a video that quite accurately depicts how I have felt this past year and how my husband has helped me through it.  So, honey, if you're reading this, this one is for you . . . 

"Cuz I love you more than I could ever promise, And you take me the way I am."  Lyrics from "The Way I Am" by Ingrid Michaelson

Friday, January 2, 2009

Forever Your Girl

"He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it." Clarence Budington Kelland

It was 20 years ago today that my father passed away. I was 24 at the time, and all I could think about today was how he has been gone for almost as long as he was here with me.

There is a photo of him that I keep in a dresser drawer. It is a Polaroid that has changed color with the years. He is cutting a birthday cake and smiling widely. It is my favorite photo of him because he rarely smiled like that.

I have a lot in common with my Dad: As I get older, I see that I look a lot like him. He used to tinge almost every conversation with something humorous, and I share that trait. He could never sit still for very long, and, as I get older, I'm becoming the same way. He had a terrible temper, and I know I got that from him. And he was sentimental and emotional, and I inherited all of that.

The things I admire most about him are: He rarely complained about anything. He had infinite patience with me most of the time. He had a strong faith that he mostly kept to himself. He always knew the right thing to do. And he could fix absolutely anything. Or maybe it just seemed that way to me. And when he was proud, he would always grab my arms and kiss my cheek, and I could see that he was fighting back tears. I loved how he made my then- boyfriend/now husband nervous with just a glance. He was my daddy, and he made everything alright.

I remember the very last time I saw him.  He proudly put on a sweater that my Mom got him for Christmas, and he did a little jig around the living room while modeling it for me.  He had been having a good day.  He was working, and he came back home a couple of times that day just to see what was going on.  I was drying some dishes when he left for the last time and said, "See you later."  Unfortunately, life turns on a dime.  

Lately, I'm having a hard time remembering what he looked like which makes me sad. I had dreams in the past where I can see his face very clearly, but I rarely dream about him anymore. He has been gone for 20 years, but I think of him often. From time to time some of his sayings come to mind. My son has his brown eyes that dance with mischief and his sly smile. He loved it when there was snow on the evergreen trees. He would have loved my kids. I am still very sad that he isn't here.  And no amount of time will ever change that.  

"Fathers be good to your daughters . . . You are the god and the weight of her world." Lyrics from "Daughters" by John Mayer