An Answer to a Difficult Question

Dodge the worst question there is with this shirt
Dodge the worst question with this shirt

There are some questions that have no right answers. If your lady has ever asked “Does this dress make my butt look big?” you know that you have to answer fast. If you answer “No.” she will accuse you of being patronizing. If you answer “Yes.” well that can only end in tears. If you answer “Oh baby I love your butt just the way it is.” well then, she better never catch you watching “The Biggest Loser”. Continue reading “An Answer to a Difficult Question”

Weddings and Funerals

People have trouble remembering important dates. One of these important dates is a wedding anniversary. So some folks try to pick a wedding day on a special, easy-to-remember day. Check the number of weddings that were on July 7, 2007. Easy to remember (07-07-07) so new wives married on that day could count on their husbands remembering their anniversary and delivering on the yearly obligatory flower order and jewelry.

On top of that seven is considered a lucky number so a successful, long lasting marriage is sure to be the result. And the jewelry is only insurance.

But how ’bout someone who gets married on Friday the thirteenth?  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is that all about? My normally sensible stepson did just that a couple of years ago. Not only did the marriage last about as long as a midwestern tornado with almost as much financial damage, but his sister’s fiancé died less than a month after the ceremony. Really bad luck all around. But it did present an unusual opportunity to compare a wedding and a funeral in quick succession.

These two life altering events hold lots of similarities with each other.   First there are the side gatherings of wedding showers or wakes where people talk about the persons involved and donations are made to the cause which is probably a little better tradition than burying a pharaoh’s household slaves with him. In both cases people get dressed up, then they gather around and cry like schoolgirls at the end of term. The main ceremony is usually but not always in a church, officiated by a cleric of some sort. And afterwards it’s all about the food. Cake and catered, undersized, mystery entrees symbolizing the couple’s new life together for the wedding, and stale mystery meat sandwiches served in a church basement, I guess symbolizing death, after the funeral.

Thirty odd years ago, every month or so seemed to have a friend’s wedding scheduled. In addition, several were mine which I always showed up for, for better or worse. Now I’ve reached a time of life that I notice I’m attending more and more funerals. The last funeral I attended was a family member’s scheduled at the same time as a funeral of a work associate from long ago. In an effort to keep harmony with the people I see every day, I opted for the one for the family member. But when it’s time for mine I’ve decided I’m not going to it. I’ll be busy with other things.  That’ll show ’em.

Gardening by the Yard

How much responsibility does one spouse have concerning the other’s hobby? Well, I suppose it depends on the hobby.

Among her many hobbies my wife has a flower garden. But I don’t know if that describes it. It’s more like a collection of colorful plants, many in pots, many in the ground. The grandkids call in grandma’s maze. I call it the Land of the Lost.

My idea of yard is a nicely trimmed lawn with no weeds. In our case, about a third of the backyard has grass which edges directly up to the garden. This makes it impossible to use any kind of weed treatment without hitting plants meant for growing in the garden. Mowing is difficult but not impossible if you have the correct philosophy.

Over the past years, I’ve drilled drainage holes and moved pots to their summer locations. I’ve dug holes to drop the plant in and even leveled and landscaped the area around the potting bench. Someday I’ll tell the story of the greenhouse kit I assembled. When she leaves for a couple of days, I water daily. On hot, sunny afternoons I even set out misting hoses. And above all I never ask how much money has been spent on garden supplies. That way lies madness.

But all of the obligatory assistance aside, isn’t it her hobby? I hate yard work. As far as I’m concerned the only reason we have a yard is because it came with the house. So I try not to feel guilty when she spends the entire day in the hot sun deadheading. She must enjoy it or she wouldn’t have planted all that flora, right?

“Say sweetie, those flowers next to you over in sun look gorgeous. Can I bring you another glass of lemonade? Just a thought.”

I asked her, “What kind of gas mileage are you getting in your car?”

She answered, “I have to fill it up about every two weeks.”

“Oh…”, I said, “That’s good… Thanks.”

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