What Else Are You Hiding From Me?

A couple of days ago, Bill and I were riding in the car and he nonchalantly mentioned that the pants he was wearing were 30 years old.  This elicited a number of emotions on my part:

  1.  How did these pants escape the Great Closet Purge of 1988?
  2. Why were these pants in tolerable shape after 30 years?
  3. What other clothing from previous decades might he be hiding from me?
  4. How on earth could he still be able to wear clothing that he wore 30 years ago?
  5. Did he have even an inkling what turn our conversation was going to take?

Ok, I admit that probably wasn’t exactly the order in which I thought those things.  There were a few eye rolls in there and a bit of self-loathing, too.  I couldn’t fit a leg into a skirt I wore thirty years ago.

In order to abate my weight-related introspection, I turned my attention back to Bill and his ability to hide ancient clothing from me.  It went something like this:

Me:  “Where did these come from?”

Bill:  “I bought them in Dexter in July of 1988 on the way to Joe’s camp party.

Me:  “That is not what I meant and you know it!  Where have you been hiding them all these years?”

Bill:  “Ummm”

Me: “Do you have any other ancient articles of clothing hanging about or are these pants it?”

Bill:  “Ummm”

Me:  “Spill it, what else do you have lurking in the back of your closet!”

Bill:  “I got rid of that wool brown and white jacket that I wore in high school that you hated so much.”  He said this rather hoping it would divert my attention to something he actually got rid of that I loathed.  It didn’t work.

Me:  “That was NOT my question.  But it’s good you did that because we’d be having a bonfire otherwise.  What else?”

Bill:  “Ummm”

Me:  “Don’t tell me you have that plaid shirt that I can literally see through!”

Bill:  “Ummm”

Me:  “Where is it?”

Bill:  “I got that shirt in 1978 when I was a junior in high school and I’m not ready to give it up.  It has sentimental meaning to me.  Besides, it’s a PERFECT mowing shirt.

Me:  “That was 40 years ago!  Why is it that any old piece of clothing is the “perfect” mowing attire?  You have four pairs of “perfect” mowing shoes that are coming apart at the seams!  You have a t-shirt that has more holes than fabric.  It is not a good sign when you have to wear sunscreen UNDER your shirt.  You are always saying you need more closet space for your sports gear.  Maybe if we weed out some of your decades-old “mowing” clothes we can make some room.”

Bill flattened himself against the closet door protecting the contents held within.  Why is it I think he has a pair of bellbottoms in there?  Maybe they are “perfect” mowing bellbottoms.  Worse yet, they probably still fit him!

 

Manhunt

I’m going to try to stick to my humorous tone here because that’s how I deal with scary situations.  It’s how I dealt with epilepsy and cancer and my docs thought I was nuts to be joking around.

This time I’m going to try joking about a national manhunt for local guy who just killed a sheriff’s deputy, and mortally injured another. He’s on the run nearby and the area is rife with local and state police.  The FBI is here, along with SWAT teams and helicopters.  It’s really quite exciting…or it would be if it were on the news and not nearby.

As for the humorous commentary, I’m having a hard time with this one.  Wendy is here, thank goodness.  For those of you who don’t know Wendy, she comes to clean for us and is a loyal and true friend.  She walked in with a loaded gun.  She’s not taking any chances.  Neither am I.   I am such a liberal in almost every way.  However, I live in the country and I had a very scary incident with an intruder here in the past.  That episode made me realize that I could kill someone if I truly felt threatened.  I had no weapons that night, but I do now.  I never do things halfway, as many of you know.  I currently have a Smith and Wesson snub nose loaded with hollow point bullets.  No one is ever going to enter this house unwelcomed ever again.  If they do, it will be a one-way trip.

So here we are, two crazy old(ish) ladies armed to the teeth with two huge dogs, ready for anything.  Pity the UPS guy if he walks onto the porch!  Ok, I’m not saying we would shoot the UPS guy but he’d get a surprise, that’s for sure.  Can you imagine the look on his face?  My guess is deliveries are suspended for that very reason.  We aren’t the only people ready to take the shooter out, if necessary.

Yesterday Bill was subbing at a school within walking distance of the shooting.  Thank goodness he’s in a different school today, but cops are still in the area of that school, too.  Schools are in lockdown and lockout for miles around.  They tell the kids that they have to practice for a lockdown just in case a bad man is in the area.  What?  Are there no psycho women out there with guns?  These days it could be an elementary school kid.  Bill had an eight-year-old who made threats just a few weeks ago.  Pretty soon there will be babies with bump stocks terrorizing kids at daycare!

Ok, my attempts at humor are falling flat, but writing here is making me feel better.  It’s funny how that works.  Not only is WP my community of friends, but writing is cathartic.  Thanks so much for letting me vent.  Fingers crossed, the guy will be caught soon.  It was reported that he had texted a family member saying that he had a high powered rifle and he wouldn’t be taken alive so he’s got nothing left to lose.

Murderous Thoughts In Springtime

Before you read this little rerun of mine, please be advised that it is all tongue-in-cheek (almost.)  When I originally published it about a year ago, some people thought I was serious.  Awww c’mon!  This is a humor blog for dog’s sake!

 

It’s been a long winter.  The snow is (almost) gone.  It’s above freezing (mostly.)  Spring is (almost) here!

One of the rites of spring is opening a window for the first time of the season.  That might seem like a simple thing…a non-important thing.  Nothing could be further from the truth!

After hibernating all winter, it will be nice to get outside.  Those of you who know me understand that in “hibernating” I am bear-like in that respect.  I do not like to leave the house in the snow and freezing rain.  Who wants to get cold?  Actually, there are a lot of people who like the cold.  They are crazy.

There should be a home for snow-loving crazy people so they can all be with their own kind.  Phrases like “oh I love the snow!” and “the cold weather is bracing” need to be removed from my sphere.  It just gives me murderous thoughts.  I’d like to stab them to death with an icicle!

I have one friend who hates warm weather.  He knows who he is.  *glares at said friend from afar*  Who hates warm weather?  I’ll tell you who, skiers!  They put on all of their gear and they are ostensibly smiling under that ski mask.  I want to hang them with their scarves and play pinata with them using their own ski poles!

When I was a kid, one of my Dad’s favorite pastimes was ice fishing.  We didn’t have a shack, we just stood on the ice, in the middle of the lake waiting for the flag to go up.  It’s a terrible thing when one wants to push one’s father into an icy hole.  He was making me suffer and that big, iron ice chipper was right there and I could just…see what I mean? Murderous thoughts!

In my world, roller skaters and rollerbladers get to live and ice skaters are doomed.  I’d slash their little throats with their own skate blades.  Of course, they have little throats because they are always perfectly slim.  Yet another reason to hate them.  Roller skaters are a sturdier lot and rollerbladers love the sun, so they get to live.

Then there are those snowshoers.  I have to admit, I really like the old-fashioned snowshoes with the pretty webbing and the bent, wooden frames.  They look lovely crisscrossed on the wall of a rustic cabin.  Those people who choose to wear them on their feet and go slogging across the terrain are another matter indeed.  For them, I wish a snow-covered stream edge would have them up to their knees in cold water.  This, of course, would cause them to lose balance and fall and hit their head on a rock.  Yet another wonderful winter fatality.  Murderous thoughts sustain me.

For those in my life who have survived another winter, I can only say that you are very lucky that I tend to hibernate.  My hibernation greatly reduces the possibility of my engineering your frostbitten death.  I have one more thing to say to these insane cold-loving people:

HAPPY SPRING SUCKERS!!!

How I Met My Husband – Part 1

A few weeks back I started a post on how I met my husband.  By mistake, I hit the publish button.  Ah well, premature publication isn’t the worst thing, I guess.  Recently, a new friend here read the first part and wanted to hear the rest of the story so here is the next part… Part 1…because the first one was the Prologue…have I confused you, yet?

 

This all started in  How I Met My Husband – The Prologue

We left off where my step aunt who, though she was a tough old bird, loved romance magazines.  When she found out that I thought her new mailman used to be my old mailman (for three weeks) was “kind of cute” there was no stopping her.

Every time Bill would deliver Aunt Polly’s mail, she would meet him at the door and call him “cutie.”  I’m not sure Bill particularly appreciated that, but he liked making her happy and he didn’t object.

I thought I would amuse Aunt Polly by putting little messages to Bill on the letters that I wrote to her.  It started out with “Hi cutie.”  This made Polly’s day, so I continued on.

Now keep in mind that I was living in Bangor, an hour away, and I figured I was safe during these exchanges.  I would never see him and this really made Polly happy, so what was the harm?   I could just picture her standing by the door waiting for Bill to see what message might be on the next envelope!

After a couple of these, Polly reported back that Bill had grown a beard.  So the next letter I wrote had “Hi cutie I hear you’ve grown a beard.  I guess I’ll have to upgrade your nickname.”  I really do like beards, so it wasn’t like I was just saying it to amuse Aunt Polly.  Ok, it was mostly to amuse her, but I do like beards.

It was April Fool’s Day when the phone rang.  A gruff voice on the other end of the line demanded that I give him his money back.  You see, I was an employment consultant at the time and my job was to place applicants in new jobs…for a fee.  When I hear this voice I’m perplexed because I’d had a rather bad couple of weeks where I hadn’t placed anyone.  Something was amiss.  I said: “WHO IS THIS!?”  There was a laugh on the other end of the phone and the gruff voice became soft and he told me who he was and said “April Fools!”

My first thought was: “Damn, I got April Fooled!”  That was quickly followed by a bit of alarm because the recipient of my very safe envelope notes was suddenly on the phone and this wasn’t some safe endeavor that would have no ramifications.  Yikes!

 

 

Social Media…Old Style

Many years ago, before cell phones were prevalent (gasp!) I had a situation that proved that social media was not necessary for quick information distribution.

A little background here…My Mom and I lived in Bangor, Maine and when I got married I ended up in Cornville, Maine.  Yup, go ahead and laugh.  Everybody does!  It sounds like a place out of Hee Haw.  For those of you who are too young (most of you,) Hee Haw was this hokey TV show where one of the skits each week featured actors dressed as country bumpkins, in a cornfield.  Someone would mention some tiny town name that no one had ever heard of and the whole group would give a hearty  “Salute!!”  It’s easier to show than explain.

 

Yes, this hokey show was on before cell phones were prevalent, as well.  I told you it was many years ago!  My age was still in the single digits so it was definitely a long time ago.  Anyhow, I”m not here to talk about Hee Haw, I just thought Cornville would have been a perfect town for them to Salute! but I’ll get this train back on track.

My Mom and I lived in Bangor, Maine and when I got married I ended up in Cornville.  See?  Back on track!

One night, out of the blue, Mom got a phone call from her friend Madeline.  It seems that my new husband Bill had been seen in a Bangor restaurant with another woman!

My Mom called me to laugh about it because she was sure Madeline was mistaken.  I couldn’t have been Bill.  Bill would never stray.  Bill could do no wrong in her eyes.  She asked if he was home, knowing full well that he was.  I told her no, he was in Bangor doing an errand.  Dead silence.

My mother was never at a loss for words, so this was a first!  She told me that Madeline had called her with this information and with a description of The Other Woman.  I burst out laughing and that really confused her.  I told her that Bill must have contacted Julie to have dinner with him.  Julie was one of my best friends and she was my ‘best woman’ at our wedding.  Once she knew who the other woman was, we really did have a good laugh.

Bill got home that night and I met him at the door.  “So, I hear you’ve been having dinner with another woman!!  Don’t think you can get away with anything, mister!” His eyes got wide and his jaw hit the floor.  I’m sure he thought I’d had him followed.  How could I know this?  Just as he was starting to nervously explain I asked, “How is Julie, anyway?”

These days information flies around the globe in seconds and everyone knows what everyone is eating, say nothing of where they were and who they were with.  In the old days, a landline telephone was our fastest means of communication.  In this instance, it was social media…old style!

My Mother’s Honeymoon

After my father died, my Mom found love again. Most children would see this as a mixed blessing, but I didn’t.  I was in my early 20’s and I had known John my entire life.  He was my Dad’s cousin’s first husband.  Got that?  I’ll wait a few minutes till you do.  It’s confusing.  I loved John, he was a great guy and he treated my Mom like a queen.

Anyhow, my Dad and his cousin Ruby both died around the same time.  My mother sent a sympathy card to John and he sent one to her. They started writing back and forth and it was, as they say, meant to be.

I was really happy for my Mom and I just adored John, so it was great news when I heard they were to marry.  The plans were made and my boyfriend at the time agreed to go with me.  I figured it could be a nice romantic weekend for us, in addition to attending the nuptials.

The wedding was lovely, and when the gifts were opened there was a gift certificate from John’s daughter.  It was for a local hotel so that they could have a proper wedding night.  My Mom was in her mid-sixties, and John was older than that, so the gift was amusing to some.  What was amusing to me was that the hotel they would be staying in was the very one my boyfriend and I had booked. This was an amazing coincidence considering that there were scores of hotels in the city.  What were the odds?

After the reception, my boyfriend and I went back to the hotel for our own romantic evening.  Not long after we settled in I heard voices outside the door.  They sounded familiar.  What a way to break the mood!  My Mom and John were walking past our room!  Then I heard OUR doorknob rattle slightly and then more forcefully!   I looked out and there was John with his key in OUR door trying to get in.  I flattened myself against the door so there wasn’t any chance at all that they could see me there in my skimpy attire.  I was also hoping to impede their progress should he somehow get that door open!

Come to find out, their room was right next to ours.  Not only were they in the same hotel, which was a huge coincidence, but they were right next door!!

I didn’t get a lot of sleep that night. Come to think of it, I didn’t get a lot of anything that night!

 

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Humph! Day #18 A Son’s Revenge

When I found out that a number of my posts were buried away in the archives rather than published in order, the first word that came out of my mouth was Humph!!! I decided I would reincarnate some of my old posts in a regular weekly series and I’d call it Humph! Day.  What better day of the week should I have Humph! Day?  Wednesday, of course.

 

A Son’s Revenge

Bill has a cousin who lives in New York City.  Andy is a college professor and quite the character!  We don’t see him often, but we do see him when there is a significant family get-together.

On Aunt Ida’s 80th birthday the entire family gathered at Goose Rocks Beach on the coast of Maine.  We stayed at this awesome inn and had a great time the first night reminiscing with the family.

The next morning we awoke to the sound of bagpipes.  It was an eerie sound coming from the beach.  Eerie, but beautiful.  Come to find out it was cousin Andy playing the pipes!  It was a unique and wonderful way to start the day.

Being relatively new to the family, I was curious how Andy had chosen the bagpipes out of all of the instruments he could have played.  Come to find out, Bill’s Uncle Joe had insisted that his son take up an instrument.  Bill comes from a musical family: his father played trumpet in a local band, his brother plays drums with local artists and every one of his aunts and uncles played one instrument or another.  Uncle Joe wasn’t about to have his son break the tradition.

Andy wasn’t having any of it.  His father suggested one instrument after another and Andy remained steadfast.  He wasn’t about to play an instrument just because his father wanted him to.  Uncle Joe told Andy he had to play an instrument and that was that!  So one day Andy brought home his bagpipes.  He figured if he was going to forced into playing something then his father was going to suffer the consequences.  There are few things in this world more annoying than hearing the first sounds from a new bagpipe player, especially in a small New York apartment!

In the end, it worked out rather well.  Come to find out, Andy liked the bagpipes and became a proficient player.  He plays every year in New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.

If Dinosaurs Had Telephones

My husband Bill isn’t one who revels in technology.  He has only recently learned how to email.  Yes, I know.  I know all too well what you are thinking.  Browsers baffle him.  If he has a problem and I ask him a question about it, he throws his hands in the air and says: “I don’t know what I’m doing, I have no business trying to do this!”  Still, he struggles on.  Mostly because I told him I wasn’t going to be the go-between for emails or Facebook posts his friends wanted to send him.  I was done enabling him.  It was time for some tough love.

I won’t say he’s a knuckle-dragging troglodyte when it comes to technology, but I wouldn’t be too far off the mark.  The idea of a laptop was overwhelming to him so I handed him my ancient iPad and we set to work.  His friends called him One Button Bill.  If it had more than one button, he would be frustrated.  I lovingly pointed out that the iPad had only one button.  I swear that’s the only reason he agreed to give it a go.  I know there is a learning curve, but it’s tough to teach when someone doesn’t want to learn.  He might not be a knuckle-dragger, but he’s extremely competent at foot-dragging!

This was not his only resistance to technology.  He held out for years before he gave in and got a cell phone.  YEARS!  When he finally acquiesced, he chose one of those little flip phones.  You can make calls on it and even text if you have a great amount of patience.  After all, you have to hit each key a few times before you actually get the letter you want.  It’s painful to watch.  It’s even painful to hear.  Beep boop beep…all the tones are a little different and there are times when I swear he’s playing Mary Had a Little Lamb just to drive me crazy!

Bill got his first cell phone about 9 years ago.  For the first six years, he wouldn’t even turn it on unless he wanted to make an outgoing call.  It took many more years before he learned how to text.  I still don’t know what possessed him to take that giant leap!  A couple of years ago his phone died.  Yup, he had gotten seven years out of that little flip phone, but now it was time to move on.  I was hoping he’d finally get a smartphone.  Texting would be so much easier.  He could check the weather.  Even if he did nothing else with it, it would be worth getting.  This is where I was wrong.

Bill steadfastly dug his heels in and replaced his old flip phone with a new flip phone.  I didn’t even know they still made them!  I called it his dinosaur phone.  I protested!  I tried to dissuade him.  I cajoled.  I nagged!!!  Finally, he got exasperated with me and said:

“You know how some people are high tech? And some people are low tech?  Well, I’m NO tech!”

Picture Imperfect

My father-in-law Archie was a fantastic man.  I loved him very much.  His disposition was so much like Bill’s that it would have been crazy if I didn’t love him.  He was a great father and successful jeweler.  He was also a very talented trumpet player and was part of local musical groups.  He wasn’t, however, a talented photographer.

Bill and his brother tell stories of how Archie was always lining the family up, making them squint into the sun and then being exasperated when the photos didn’t come out well.  Apparently, his idea of a good photo was one where his subjects were exceedingly well-lit and had eyes that were wide open.  Poor Archie was his own worst enemy in the photography department.

I really laughed when I heard the story of how he got everyone situated just so for a nice family photo on a beautiful college campus.  Things were going really well.  Everyone was well-lit and their eyes were open…mostly.  He happily backed up to get everyone in the shot.  He wasn’t quite far enough back.  With his eye peering through the viewfinder he suddenly took a tumble.  He fell backward into a duck pond, camera and all.

Much later when the kids were older, he was attending a school function.  It might have been a graduation, I don’t remember.  What I do remember is that he had quite a surprise when he got the prints back from the photo lab.  He was sure he’d gotten someone else’s photos because there were no photos of the event at all.  He went through each and every print and they featured a woman he didn’t even know!  In the first photo or two, she looked somewhat startled.  Photo after photo showed this unknown woman getting progressively disturbed and then angry!!!

Archie was flummoxed.  This made no sense at all.  Where were the shots he’d taken?  Who was this woman?  It was obviously a mistake.

When asked exactly how he’d taken the pictures, he said the only way he could get the shot was if he raised the camera over his head so the people in front of him wouldn’t be in the way.

It all became clear.  Archie had been taking pictures with the camera pointing in the wrong direction and that poor lady was sitting behind him being flashed repeatedly!  No wonder she looked startled…and then angry!  I’ve never seen the prints, but from what I hear they are hilarious. I would have paid good money to be in the photo lab the day those photos were developed.

 

Humph! Day #17 Pikachu I See You!

In the past, I found a glitch that made a bunch of my posts difficult to find and my reaction was HUMPH!  I was not pleased.  For those of you who are new to my blog, I should explain that I rerun old posts on Wednesdays.  That way the ones that were buried where no one saw them will be revived.  What better day to have Humph! Day than Wednesday.  I hope you have a great hump day, as well…

Pikachu I See You!

The summer before last I started to play Pokémon Go.  For those of you who aren’t gamers, Pokèmon is one of the most beloved video games of all times and the characters are called Pokèmon which is Japanse for pocket monster.  Ok, I know it was the “game of the moment” and I was one of those lemmings falling off the cliff. I really shouldn’t malign lemmings here.  After all, I was once reminded by husband Bill that I might want to move. aside.  I was standing in a parking lot and just then realized that there was a very patient driver waiting for me to get out of the way.  Lemmings rejoice!  I have joined your ranks!  In my defense, there was a really rare Pokémon there and I wasn’t the only one in that parking lot trying to get it.  I was just the only one holding up traffic.

When I met up with my cousins that summer I found out that Maggie was also playing.  We had a very fun competition to see who leveled up fastest and who got the more interesting Pokèmon. Our other cousins were quite amused by our rather childish pursuits, but then we were probably each in our second or third childhood.  We had reached a rather high level in that department, too.  I was rather amused when I was in that parking lot holding up traffic that a guy who might have been 20 was very impressed that someone my age was playing.  I think his exact words were, “and I thought I was too old to play this game!”

After Maggie left to head south for the winter we still kept up on each other’s progress. She was ahead of me by a level or two and I knew I had some catching up to do, but I lived in the sticks and she lived in the city.  Her chances of finding Pokèmon were much higher than mine.  I was doomed to be second-place…or was I?

One lovely fall day Bill and I couldn’t find a parking place near one of our favorite stores.  We had to park around the corner and there he was…the ultimate Pokémon coup!  Pikachu, one of the coolest Pokèmon of all, in the flesh!  I had to have a pic taken with him just to prove to Maggie that it didn’t matter what level I was on in the game.  I caught the coolest Pokèman of all in real life!