Wedded Blitz

17 Oct

She was a big woman, with tightly permed hair perched on top of her head like a nest, a ‘do that made her face look all the more round. She was driving a big pink Cadillac, with the top down, and she started whooping and waving as she turned down the street to my house. Well, I assume it was my house, since I was sitting on the top step of the big front porch like I owned the place. And since it was my dream, I figured I did own the place.

Unlike my real abode, my dream home sat on the top of a rise, oozing old-fashioned charm. I had a good view of Charlaine as she motored up to the house, calling out to me. “What the hell is Charlaine Harris doing at my house?” I thought, both in my dream and in that part of the brain that realizes that we’re dreaming.

Those of you who know me well know I love TrueBlood, the HBO series. Many of you also know that Charlaine Harris wrote the Sookie Stackhouse books that inspired the series. So, Ms. Harris is something of a pop fiction writing goddess in my orbit of the universe. What, indeed, was Ms. Harris doing riding her pink Cadillac convertible down my not-street to my not-house?

“You should be writing about your mother!” she called, leaning back in her Caddy, one arm resting on top of the steering wheel, one extended so that she could point directly at me while admonishing me. There was a Dr. Pepper in the cup holder.

“But I’m not ready!” I called back. I think I heard her mutter a “P-shaw” under her breath before she gunned the Caddy and pulled away shouting, “Yes, you are!” and waving as she pulled down the street.

She missed my reply. “Hell, no, I’m not ready to write about my mother!” I yelled at the retreating car. When I told my sister about the dream, she said something like, “Oooooooh!” which I took to mean that she thought just because I had dreamed I was ready to write about my mother that I actually was ready to do so. I figured, it being my dream, I was completely at liberty to ignore it.

Last Monday, October 10, was my mother’s birthday. You may recall, I wrote nothing. It was a holiday, for crying out loud. A lame-ass holiday to be sure, but a holiday nonetheless. I’ve gotten into the habit of giving myself a blog break whenever my children get a break from their grueling schooling and was glad to take it if it gave me an out on the Mom post.

Writing about my mother is problematic in so many ways. She died three years ago, so there’s the grief stuff to wade through. She wasn’t a particularly simple woman, either. So, my thoughts about all things Mom are pretty complicated. Add to that the fact that many of my readers knew my mother and some of my readers are my Dad and siblings and, well, blogging about Mom just doesn’t have whole lot of appeal.

I know that it doesn’t have to be Mom’s birthday for me to write about Mom. I could, for instance, write about Mom this week. But I have another excuse! Today, you see, is my wedding anniversary. I am, indeed, so averse to writing about my mother that I will gladly write about my marriage. How’s that for avoidance?

I am pretty sure I have been married for 19 years. I say “pretty sure” because I am really bad with ages and dates. I have no idea how old my father is, for instance. He’s somewhere around 75. My kids I have to keep track of for school and other official business. My dad? Nah. Actually, my kids are what I call time anchors. In the temporal muddle of my mind, I can always grab on to one of their ages and get a rough guess about the age of something else. Our house, for instance, is as old as our son. So around the time he is going off to college, we will need a new roof.

My husband is the keeper of things like anniversaries. He has a Ph.D. in history; he knows when everything happened in our lives. It probably used to bother him that I can never really remember that our anniversary is October 17 and not October 16. I say the right thing when I’m asked lately, but I still have to pause and remind myself that we got married on the 17th.

I’m sure there are people who consider 19 years a long time to be married and I suppose it is. Marriage is, in some ways, like a really long nap. You know the kind where you lay down thinking you’re just going to snooze for a little while and then get up and be really productive but you wake up two hours later and wonder how the hell that happened? You could swear you were only asleep for twenty minutes, but the clock doesn’t lie.

So I don’t really feel like I’ve been married 19 years. But I have two kids, one old enough to drive. My husband has lost a lot of the hair that he had when we wed. I’ve gained a crepe-y, looseness around my neck. We’re both heavier than we were. He’s in worse shape; I’m in better shape. And I gloat about it. We used to go to the symphony and opera. Now our big thrill is watching Modern Family a season behind on DVD.

I was pondering marriage as I folded laundry yesterday afternoon in our bedroom while my husband watched TV. He flipped around and finally settled on a historical film. I recognized the male lead, Richard Burton, but not the woman. I meant to ask, “Is that The Taming of the Shrew?” but it came out, “Is that The Tamming of the . . .” which my husband immediately picked up on and said, “Yes, it’s Tammy and the Shrew, starring Connie Stevens and Richard Burton!” We both lost it, giggling “Tammy and the Shrew” at each other for quite a while. Recovering, I grabbed another t-shirt to fold, and thought, “This is how you stay married. Find someone who giggles at the same things you do, doesn’t mind (much) when you gloat, and understands that even a fat lady with a bad perm in a pink Cadillac can’t make you write about your mom if you’re not ready.



3 Responses to “Wedded Blitz”

  1. Elaine October 17, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

    Loved this one for many reasons. Keep dreamin’ & happy anniversary!!

  2. jmlindy422 October 17, 2011 at 10:12 pm #


  3. The Hook November 22, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    “Marriage is, in some ways, like a really long nap. You know the kind where you lay down thinking you’re just going to snooze for a little while and then get up and be really productive but you wake up two hours later and wonder how the hell that happened? You could swear you were only asleep for twenty minutes, but the clock doesn’t lie.”
    That’s gold, Jerry, gold!

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