Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Black & White

If I were writing a pilot for a new TV show it would be about two people who struggle with the way they do things differently. I would call the program If I say Black, you say White. It has always been apparent that Fred and I are different. We are the exact opposite. If we got to an unmarked fork in the road, he would go one way and I would go the other.

This would lend itself to endless episodes. One specific would be driving and navigating and trying to get to a specific destination. Even with a GPS, my right brain would click on the map and Fred would click on the linear written directions. If I say make right by the green house, he would ask for the direction north, south etc. We absolutely drive our own way.

A true-life episode around the holidays would be about simple decisions like Christmas shopping. I would want the shopping done before Thanksgiving, Fred would wait until Christmas Eve and then the stores would all be closed so there would be no gifts.

Women often get accused of taking too long to get ready in the morning because of primping. This is not who I am. I throw on a top and pants, pair of matching converse and run a comb through my hair. Fred, however, has every hair in place and not a wrinkle in sight. He looks like it is Sunday every day, even in his scrubs. He is very handsome.

We pack differently, fold or hang the clothes differently, arrange cans in cupboard our own way, file our papers with our own systems. God knows Fred can’t figure my system out.

I like the dark meat; Fred likes white meat. He likes spicy; I like mild, I like thin spaghetti; he likes fat. He likes mustard; I like mayo. It goes on and on and on.

There would be episodes about how to cook a pot roast, how to make a sandwich, how to cut the crusts off bread. There would be an episode on how to make coffee, chocolate shake, fry an egg, butter toast and pay the bills. There would be a “to be continued” cliffhanger about the toilet paper roll and the way to put it on the holder.

But the bottom line is even though I take risks and Fred likes to think things through, we are like Ying and Yang, Salt & Pepper, Jack Sprat and his wife, we fit. We laugh and we love and we respect that all of our differences are the reasons we fell in love with one another 40 years ago.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Enough Already

Today I am angry. For about the tenth time I got a nasty request from “Hearst Magazine” that I am delinquent and my information will be turned over to a collection agency. The invoice said I ordered the magazine and said bill me later. I never ordered the magazine. The first three notices I sent back saying I never ordered it. I have to laugh because the last bill said “we have reached the point where we will have to terminate your account”. Finally, they get it I thought. But alas, no another nasty invoice has arrived. It is only $10.00 but if I pay,it will happen again in six months. I resent when they take up my energy and time on a trivial fight and I wonder how many millions they make each year on people who pay the money to be done with them. My hope is they spend more the $10.97 on paperwork and mailing.

A few years back, I opened a Discover bill and there was about $100 worth of magazines ordered. I had a tough time figuring it out but finally did. I had accumulated miles on a Sky Mile account and selected free magazines with my points. Apparently because I use my card to purchase airline tickets they had my Discover number and the small print said “ 6 months free” and then automatically bill Discover. I will say “Discover” took off the charge.

But the worst was “Blue Mountain” e cards. Fred set up the account years back when it was free. It took me forever to get them to stop taking my money. Lessons I learned are to check your bills carefully and always read the very, very small print.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I Love Lucy

Today I spent a good deal of time watching “I Love Lucy” reruns. No matter how many times I have seen them they bring a wonderful happy feeling. It is like looking at an old photo album and remembering good times. Every generation thinks “Lucy” belongs to them. I was a teenager when I realized some of the shows I adored were filmed before I was conceived. In fact, the episode when she had “Little Ricky” was filmed the year I was born 1951.

We are kindred spirits. I related to her with uncanny spirit. After I was married and a stay at home mom trying to juggle parenthood and my relationship with Fred I channeled her even more. So much so that Fred’s endearing name for me was “Lucy”. Many of my antics are referred to as “Lucy episodes”.

I think it was her ability to think out of the box or take a risk. Our first homes were fixer uppers so it wasn’t unusual for me to try to paint, build things, plant things that sometimes got me into situations where I had to be rescued like the time I took apart our toilet and Fred came home to a hole in floor.

Once, I saw a sale on king size mattresses at a hotel. We had a family bed and four of us were scrunched in a queen. So even though I had no idea how I would get it home I bought it. I drove a Pacer at the time, yes that’s right an American Motors Pacer but that’s a whole other story. I tied the mattress on the top and then held the rope through the window driving home. The rope kept it balanced. When I arrived home the neighbors came out of their houses shaking their head. For days Fred would say “I can’t believe you drove it home.”

Every Halloween, I channeled Lucy when making Halloween costumes. My Annie does this too. Once I helped Fred dress red hot as a woman. He sat at the bar for an hour while I tended bar and men were trying to pick him up. Sooooooo funny. He also was Frankenstein to my mad scientist. He was always like the kid who was coming along on an adventure. Annie & Jaime remember how I embarrassed them when I dressed as “Buckbo” for Annie's Halloween birthday party. Another fond memory is when I blew up the grill. I didn't know you should not turn the gas on, close the lid and then light it up. I singed my eyebrows and all of the hair on my arms. My hair stuck out and I look like a real "Buckbo" (Buckwheat & Rambo ala Eddie Murphy)

I have had really bad hair mishaps, banking woes, furniture surprises, battles with skunks, squirrels, birds, bees and more. The worst was when I knocked down a wall; Fred took a week to recover from this one. I also have a tendency to bring home large bargain furniture finds that require his painting and refinishing expertise, often from the trash.

Fred and I live by the rule Love is a Decision. I just make sure that Fred has to make many decisions to love me to keep him on his toes.