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My cold is essentially over-all but the sneezing and blowing. Even if it weren’t I’d feel better because SPRING IS HERE! Woo! Blooming things! pollen! They be buds on me roses! Happy Day!
Ok…I won’t rub it in.
Todays topic is Grace. Not the Baptist Washed in the Blood of the Lamb grace, but the kind of grace that allows a person to walk across a room without falling into the wall, or butter a piece of toast without dropping it butter side down on her blue sequined slipper. I don’t have much of it. I did once, actually teaching a class in Medieval and Renaissance Dance (Tordion, anyone? Earl of Salisbury’s Pavane?) without falling over a single time.
The problem is, I am now a klutz of the First Order.
Today, whilst attempting to hang a (thankfully, plastic framed) picture, I managed to simultaneously knock both computer speakers over, throw the picture on the floor and step on it, and fall off a chair. I’m fine, not hurt a bit, only wounded psychologically.
I have to keep my fingernails short because if I grow them long, I scratch everyone. I keep my hair short because if it were long I would get it caught in the ceiling fan even tho it’s 7 feet up and I’m 5’4″. Please don’t ask how I know it would happen. Please.
I regularly fall out of bed, walk into walls and drop things. Most of the contents of our house are plastic or metal, not because we’re cheap, but because we’re practical. I don’t want to replace dishes every 6 weeks.
I suppose part of the problem is my uneven stature. When you have a leg that’s 2 inches longer than the other, you get off kilter. Common sense would say I’d learned to compensate. Maybe I have. Maybe if I weren’t compensating I would just roll around on the floor, bumping into the sofa legs and smooshing the dogs. I would have trouble reaching the kitchen counter like that.
Sweet Daddio learned early on in our marriage to politely request that I wear longish clothes in public, as my legs are usually luridly decorated with bruises in all states of healing, generally a hallmark of spousal abuse, but I swear, he has never touched me in any way other than completely loving.
I try to be graceful. I find I reach peak physical coordination after 1/2 a glass of wine. Anymore than that and my Little Problem becomes exponentially worse, so I compensate by moving slower. You can tell how much I’ve had to drink by how long it takes me to get the glass to my mouth. Here’s the process I have to go through- all of this is concious, deliberate thought:
“ok. I want another sip”
“ok. To aquire another sip I must get the glass to my mouth.”
pause whilst brain figures out the process of getting the glass to the mouth
“ok. My arm is involved, somehow, I think.”
“hm..bend the arm whilst aiming the distal end towards the mouth, which is located at the lower end of the head….ok”
“don’t forget to open your mouth”
mouth is open, hanging slackly due to concentration being focused on not dumping the contents of the glass down the front of my shirt, eyes are focused intently on the proximal edge of the glass.
“ok. Rest the proximal NO! NOT THE DISTAL! edge of the glass on my lower lip and gently tip the glass ever so delicately, allowing the contents of the glass to…dang it! too fast! shoot now I smell like gin and there is a huge dark stain on the front of my shirt.”
I realize that the whole process makes me look like an inveterate drunk, but honestly, I just have to think carefully about what I am doing or I’ll chuck the glass clear across the room.
This is why I rarely drink in public. My family loves me and understands my physical shortcomings enough that they don’t even see the dark stain on my shirt, the butter on my shoes, or the crease in my forehead where I ran into the corner of the coffee table when I was 4.
I love grocery carts, not because they carry all my stuff (well, that too) but because it’s a socially mandated walker. I can grip the handlebar firmly and safely navigate my way through the store without fear of knocking over the pyramid of canned beans or falling into the dairy case. If my hip starts to hurt I can stop in the middle of the aisle and pretend to examine the Hamburger Helper as I wait for the tension to ease. Otherwise I’d be leaning against the post, eyes closed and causing all kinds of unwanted attention (“are you ok? can I walk you to your car so you’ll quit scaring the other customers?”)
My sister-in-law is graceful. She was a gymnast at one time, and plays classical violin with a moderately major symphony orchestra. She’s long limbed and willowy, and her kid’s have inherited her sense of coordination. They have white carpet. I had white carpet when we moved into this house, now it’s kind of greyish piebald brown and tan, because I can’t walk across the room or sit down with a cup of coffee without hurling it to floor or slinging it on the wall. I have a lidded travel cup I like to use. It doesn’t eliminate accidents, but it does ensure that I can pick it up before 8 oz of dark, staining beverage soaks into the carpet.
I try to compensate socially by having a relatively quick wit and large vocabulary. It works, as I can generally distract onlookers by shouting Freudian quotes or referencing an imaginary French philosopher when I slop my iced tea on their shoes.
So, if you can walk across a room without scaring the dogs or breaking something, consider yourself Blessed with Grace.
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My son gave it to me, darn his hide to perdition. Here it is, a rainy weekend when I should be having much fun hanging curtains and playing billiards with all my favorite people, yet here I sit, armed with a box of Puffs Plus (I despise regular tissues, hard on the dainty Southern nose), cold pills, pots of hot coffee to soothe the throat and counteract the stupefying side effects of the cold pills, lemonade to feel good on the throat, and a half pint of Evan Williams bourbon to enhance the lemonade and calm the jitters from all the caffiene. Yesterday Sweet Daddio bought me 2 boxes of Girl Scout shortbread cookies (elegant in their simplicity), which I have been eating with the coffee, and today he bought me a bag of chicharones (fried pork skins in slabs the size of a dinner plate) to eat with the enhanced lemonade. You want to know what feels good on a sore throat?? Crunchy, salty chicharones and a room temperature glass of real lemonade. It’s like opening your mouth and scratching your throat with a brass wire bottle brush, it feels that good, so good it makes your eyes water and you curse the philistine who made you sick in the first place.
So now I sit in my shabby yet incredibly comfortable recliner, masterfully crafted yet aggressively colored afghan on my khaki clad legs, and silky pelted weinerdog tucked in next to me. My face is slightly flushed, whether from internal reaction to a virus or to the application of Evan William bourbon, I am unsure. I am comfortable-ish, sort of. I don’t really like the way cold pills make me feel- sort of lightweight and nervous, but I am extremely fond of breathing these days, and will do what I must to facilitate that most basic of bodily functions. I am coughing up chunky things, much to the delight of my many boy-children, who are impressed by anything phlegm-related. I draw the line at showing them the contents of my tissues, tho I have been known to check them out surreptitiously.
My hands are shaking like a palsied old woman’s, thanks to the presence of pseudoephedrine in the cold pills. That stuff decongests like nothing else, but Lord it makes my hands shake. I think it’s hereditary. My mom has the same problem.
At least it’s raining today. If it were a gorgeous day and I felt like this I’d be cranky as well as sick. There’s nothing better for a nasty cold than icky weather to go along with it.
I have a a pot of chicken soup constructing. I decided to try roasting the chicken, rather than just boiling it in the broth. I let a head of garlic roast alongside, and will add that as well. A bowl of chopped up vegetables waits: spinach, parsley, carrots, a touch of celery, and I’ll probably add some noodles. When I get a cold I want 2 things: chicken soup and gin. Not in the same bowl, but I have found that nothing kicks a cold loose faster than garlicky chicken soup and icy cold gin. I think it does, anyway. It may just be that with the application of enough gin I don’t really care that I’m sick.
ok. I’m going to toddle off now and work on the soup. That will exhaust my energy and creativity for the rest of the day. #2 borrowed a copy of the latest Harry Potter book so, since he’s away, I’ll comandeer it for the rest of the weekend.
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I am asking with hat in hand and all sorts of genuine humility and the knowledge that you might say no and my feelings truly would not be hurt if you said no:
I don’t suppose you’d allow me access to your blog? I promise not to share without your permission, I’ just like to sort of know my fan base, doncha know. And reciprocate and stuff. If it’s ok , you could email rather than post things all publically and stuff. doncha know.
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and I can’t stand it no more so I am going to post pictures even tho we don’t have the wainscoting up yet. So here it is:
THE GAME ROOM
Here’s what it looked like when we started. The room was originally used as a woodworking shop, with a concrete slab floor.
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I have never been one to have scads of friends. I am pretty content with one or two, as long as the friendships are deep and solid. Sweet Daddio is my best friend, but he is a guy, and a girl needs a girlfriend or two, someone to share chocolate jokes with, and an appreciation for Russell Crowe in tight pants and a ponytail.
My friend Ruth is just that person. We’ve known each other for over 20 years. Our friendship wasn’t one of those instant relationships. In fact, she spent 6 months or so giving me the Very Hairy Eyeball after I flirted with the guy she was engaged to. (I swear, I didn’t know they were engaged or I would’ve treated him like hot vinegar) Eventually she decided not to be engaged to him, and my attentions were turning elsewhere, and our friendship began to develop. I think it happened because our respective intellects found companionship and equality.
Grow our friendship did, yes. We were different in many ways. I was a lapsed Presbyterian with Methodist tendencies, and while I wasn’t attending church and was behaving very badly, my faith in God was always there. She was an athiest/Taoist/Buddhist/Pagan/insert non-Christian religious belief here. My strength was science, hers was language (even now, she wrote me just yesterday to tell me she was reading some obscure Latin manuscript in the original so she could catch the nuances lost in translation). Eventually she came to know Christ, marry a clown (literally. His names is Chuckles and he makes more than you’d ever guess at it), have 3 kids and live firmly and happily middle class.
Anyway, the point of this is that she’d my friend and has been for a long time. She tells me terrible jokes when I am blue, and I tell her 5 reasons to be thankful when pessimism haunts her. We both love coffee and chocolate. We both enjoy going to a Braves game (fit men in tight pants, what’s not to love?), we wear the same size: a decidedly Unpetite 20W, we both love the beach, good food, and making snide and cutting remarks about women younger and smaller than us (not all of them, just the ones we think deserve it). She had a charming tendency to just show up out of the blue and stay for a few days (tho not since having kids 8 years ago), and she is always welcome. She’s a person I don’t have to clean up for, but do anyway because i want her to feel special. Once she shared a Day Spa visit with me and we both got pedicures.
She’s coming to visit! Her and her 3 incredibly sweet and well behaved children, Noah, Dee, and Trey. I am going to take them all to the beach, and feed them junk food and let her kids rot their home-schooled minds on our X-box. I’ve warned her of all this and she said “fine, as long as we don’t have to share any chocolate with them” We have decided that her 2 girls Noah (did you know there is actually a female Noah in the Old Testament?) and Dee (short for Demaris, also Biblical) are going to marry #’s 2 and 3. They would be perfect for each other. Noah is feminine and wants to “be a mommy and have at least 6 kids”, the perfect match with #2, the Young Republican who wants a traditional family and a minivan. Dee wants to join the Marines and be an Olympic athlete/Rhodes Scholar. #3 isn’t Rhodes Scolar material, but someone as smart and fun as Dee would make him a great life companion. Thing is, Noah is 8 and Dee is 7, exactly half #2 and 3′s ages, and we haven’t actually talked to the boys about these prospects, but we are certain that they will appreciate the practicality of such an arangement. And think of it, everyone would know everyone elses in-laws and Christmas would be HUGE fun!
I am truly grateful for this one, longterm friend I have had. She is the sister I never had, and calls Sweet Daddio her Big Brother even tho she’s a year older than he is.
Now if I could convince her to come live here…
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my nose is runny and i am sick and damn tired of constantly having to find a tissue so sometimes I wipe it on my sleeve becasue holy cow who would ever know? everyone in this house wipes their nose on their sleeve.
Why do my dogs always have to poop on the patio? Why can’t they poop in the grass like every other reasonable animal on this planet? Do they dislike having their asses tickled by the grass? And how come I am the only person in the entire household who has the apparent sense to get a fricken scoop and pick the poop up? And when someone else DOES pick it up, why to they dump it in my flower bed instead of flinging it over the wall like a sensible person? Don’t answer that…I realize that Poop is in my job description, and has been since January 17, 1988.
Is there a particular reason why the toilet seat is so nasty? I mean, really, it’s like they just sort of pee in the general direction of the toilet. The hole is big enough to fall in, so why can’t they pee into it? They can hit a june bug on the side of a tree from 5 feet away, and they can’t pee in a hole big enough to park a Buick in when they’re standing right in front of it? Ridiculous!
Sometimes I grow weary of having to take so many pills at bedtime. I realize in the grand scheme of things it’s not that bad, but sometimes, just occasionally, I would really like to be able to flop into bed as soon as I want to, and fall asleep without having this ritual that takes 2 hours. Do you remember being a kid, and falling asleep on the floor, then waking up 4 hours later in a puddle of your own drool? Not me…not now. No. Here is my bedtime routine: 8pm: drink a cup of chamomile tea to start the relaxation process. 8:30pm:take lotsa pills- 1400mg of lithium,10 mg Zyprexa, 1 mg xanax, 800 mg motrin, 50 mg diphenhydramine citrate, 2 Centrum vitamins, 600 mg calcium citrate, and a partridge in a pear tree. 8:30 to 10:00 pm: wait for the meds to kick in, the arthritis pain to subside, the mental fog to settle. Read, listen to music, watch CSI if it’s an episode I haven’t seen yet, play footsie and other games with Sweet Daddio. 10:00 pm lights out whether I am sleepy or not. If I am lucky I’ll go right to sleep, if not I’ll go downstairs around 11 pm to have another cup of herbal tea and pray to God that sleep will come in time for me to get the 6 hours needed to function with any degree of clarity the next day.
I haven’t had a single night of unmedicated sleep in over 12 years. I have learned that if I am not asleep by midnight, I won’t be sleeping. I have a host of tricks I can use in order to get a modicum of rest on the nights I don’t sleep. Don’t you EVER take for granted the ability to get into the bed and go to sleep. I would gladly pull my expensive, orthodontically enhanced teeth and wear dentures if I could just, simply, sleep. It ain’t happening. Good Dr. H. informed me that the sleep part of my brain apparetnly fried or something when the manic-depression kicked in. I think he’s right, because from the time I was 17 until I was 27, I slept 3-4 hours a night, 3-4 days a week, and that’s it.
I AM SICK OF HAVING TO SHAVE MY LEGS ALL THE TIME AND I AM TOO CHEAP TO PAY FOR ELECTROLYSIS!
I can’t believe I paid $70 for a basket. It’s a really nice basket- Longaberger Market basket and it’s amazingly practical and all that…but holy cow. $70 would buy 5 pair of jeans for one of the boys. What was I thinking??
But other than that, life’s great.
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It has come to my attention that I appear to have a fabulous and perfect life. I guess it does sound that way. I am loathe to whine, having been told from a very early age that no one cares about my problems so just shut up and deal with them alone. So. In the interest of proving that my seemingly charmed life isn’t all fresh bread and camellias, I shall now outline the issues I have in my life, that I carefully suck up and hide when in the company of people who probably don’t want to hear about them. I will list them in roughly chronological order.
1. I am born to parents who are quite self centered and refuse to allow me to whine.
2. Immediately after my birth it is discovered that I have a congenital defect in my left hip:namely, it is so badly deformed that orthopedists doubt I’ll ever be able to walk unassisted.
3. Due to the hip defect, I undergo 3 years of painful therapy incolving casting, braces, and contortionists exercises. The good news is that by age 3, I figure out how to walk in spite of the doom and gloom orthopedists. It’s an ugly walk, I still have a real hitch in my gettup, and over the years various joints on the left side of my body have become painfully arthritic and will probably soon require replacement. Motrin keeps me human.
4. The aformentioned defect prevents me from participating in all but the most basic of activities. I cannot: run, jump , ski, water or snow, horseback ride, trampoline, impact aerobics, raise my left knee more than 45 degrees,, move my left leg side to side more than 30 degrees, wear shoes with more than a 1 inch heel, stand for more than 5 minutes without moving around. I still have a pronounced limp, and due to the awkward position of my legs I utterly refuse to wear shorts or short skirts.
There are, however, plenty of things I can enjoy doing: golf, water aerobics and swimming, gardening, cooking, cleaning, sewing, singing , billiards, dinking on the computer, enjoying my family.
When I was 15 or 16, I began exhibiting certain symptoms that were difficult to differentiate from ‘normal teenage behavior’. By the time I was 27 it became abundantly clear that there was something really wrong with me, as I alternated between wanting to eat my children and run innocent people down with my car, and struggling not to throw myself in front of a train. After 2 years of keeping track, I showed my findings to my doctor, who immediately referred me to a psychiatrist, who, after a lengthy interview, determined that I was Manic-Depressive. YessireeBob…I, who had a flawless mind, was Mentally Ill. Permanently. I’m used to it now, but it prevents me from doing certain things that were on my To Do list: competitive rifle marksmanship (as a Mentally Ill Person, I am not allowed to own guns), learn to fly an airplane and own a Stearman 6-seater Bi-plane (as a Mentally Ill Person, I am not allowed to fly an airplane), and I am questioned rigorously and with great suspicion every time I try to get my drivers license renewed. I also have to deal with people who look at me like they expect me to fly off the handle and attack them with a spoon.
The good part about Manic Depression is that people with it tend to be very creative. I love that. Creativity is like air to me, being able to make something new, or shake things up a bit, that’s the best feeling in the world to me, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The bad part of it is that i have passed the gene on to my kids, and at least one of them is manifesting it. That truly sucks. I would be willing to eat tater tots every day for the rest of my life to take that burden off of him.
So…those are essentially the major problems in my life. I have minor ones, too. My hair is very fine and difficult to style. I have pores you could hide a buick in. My bottom teeth are crooked. The black paint is flaking off the patio furniture, and my kitchen that the ugliest wallpaper I’ve ever seen. However, at least I have hair,skin, teeth, patio furniture, and a kitchen.
After reading through all this I am uncomfortable with it, because I fear that it sounds like I am complaining, and I try mightily not to complain, especially to people I am not related to. In fact, whenever I was in labor with babies, I would stop shouting when a nurse came in the room. My psychiatrist, the Good Dr. H., put it this way: “rootie,” he said, “you are not a public bleeder.” And he was right. This is why I have never done group therapy. God forbid that I spend an hour whining about my problems. One-on-one therapy was hard enough, until Dr. H. said: “Rootie, you are paying me $200 an hour just so I can listen to you whine.” Well, I thought, if you put it that way…
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Whee! Friday is my Day Off…when I do nothing I don’t want to do, and get to have lunch at The Cedars or maybe Thee Barbeque House with Sweet Daddio.
I intend to spend today ignoring the phone (I love caller i.d.) and putting finishing touches on the shelving parts for the entertainment center SD is putting up this weekend. I got everything painted a warm chocolate brown yesterday, and today I’ll be nailing on strips across the front of the plywood to make them look nicely finished instead of mere plywood. I’ll have to do a little touchup painting, but the weather is supposed to be sunny at 75, so gosh….what a hardship…I’ll have to do it all outside.
The pool table arrived yesterday, totally unassembled, of course. We even have to glue the fabric down on the “slate and epoxy composite bed”. This means it’s not really a slate bed, but a slab made of ground up slate and glue….sort of like corian or that granite looking stuff people use for kitchen counters. SD said if the top doesn’t work out we can order a genuine slate bed. Ok.
The box of accessories came as well, cues, balls, racks, all that. The boys are foaming at the mouth to get playing, but SD issued an Edict: No one under 40 will play pool in this house until March 15.
Ok, so it’s Friday. That means I’ll fix something fun for supper tonight, and we’ll eat late, like 7:30 or so. It means, if the weather is right, SD and I will sit on the patio with cold adult beverages and discuss all sorts of stuff…maybe where we might go for a short vacation just the two of us, or when we can go play a round of golf together. Middle-class, pedestrian stuff like that.
Right now I feel like my life is in this comfortable lull. At some point in the future a crisis will unfold, or some sort of earth shaking change..but for now I am treading philosophical water, drinking my coffee peacefully and pondering the ideal placement for daffodil bulbs and daylilies. Right now the biggest worries in my life are the impending graduation of #1, the problematic housebreaking of the weinerdogs, and which posters to hang in the new gameroom.
Have a peaceful and contented weekend. Enjoy some people you like, and eat something tasty and bad for you.
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Four jobs I have had:
1.Waitress in the dining room of an Assisted Living Facility
2.Staff EMT at the same ALF
3.Clerk at a fabric store
4.Waitress at the local Golden Corral (the highest paying of the 4 jobs)
Four movies I can watch over and over
1.Gone With The Wind
2.Pride and Prejudice
Four places I have lived
1.Fort Worth, Texas…for the first 6 weeks of my life. I really don’t remember much about it.
2.Champaign, Illinois…I remember picking cherries off the neighbor’s tree
3. Athens, Georgia…I lived here the longest of my childhood:8 years of hard time.
4. Tennille, Georgia..we were newly married, very poor, and had to tie rocks to the curtains to
keep them from flapping. The toilet flushed itself, too.
Four TV shows I love
1. Sesame Street…without it I would have gone 4 years without a shower.
2.E.R….I love anything medically inclined.
3. CSI…refer to #2
4.What Not To Wear…I keep hoping I’ll learn something
Four places I have vacationed
1. Estes Park, Colorado..camping, fly fishing, watching my father’s red-capped head be molested
by hummingbirds. I was 9
2. Portsmouth, Dominica, Lesser Antilles, Caribean…for 4 months I played on the beach, ate
gingery sweet bread, flirted with dubious medical students. I was 17 and it was perfect.
3.Manhattan, NY…Sweet Daddio and I spent a fabulous week checking out The City.
4.Dillard, Georgia…polar opposite of Manhattan, in the mountains of North Georgia and
essentially 5 miles of antique shops. I bought a clay piggy bank and SD bought me a lovely cut
crystal cocktail glass.
Four of my favorite foods
1. Fried chicken. with hot sauce on it. My kids turned me on to hot sauce.
2.French toast…made with Roman Meal bread, cinnamon, and served with real maple syrup
3.Mixed greens salad, no iceburg, plenty of arugula and cress, toasted nuts, tomatoes, carrots,
crumbled goat cheese and raspberry vinagrette
3.extra thin crust pizza, italian sausage, 3 cheeses, green peppers, olives, pesto instead of tomato sauce
Four blogs I visit almost daily
1.Deep Thoughts of a Shallow Mind http://lab_munkay_9.blogspot.com She has a great way with words even if her spelling is sometimes purely phonetic. The pattern of her life is eerily similar to mine, in many ways, completely different in others.
2.NCTRNL in KC http://www.nctrnlinkc.com/ About the complete opposite of me, a single guy in Kansas
3.Whaling Season http://whalingseason.blogspot.com The All American Woman, just trying to make it through the day with sanity intact
4. Post Secret http://postsecret.blogspot.com You just have to see it to believe it. What’s your secret?
Four places I’d rather be right now
1.On an airplane flying somewhere I’ve never been before
2.At a spa having my toes done
3.At the bottom of the Palo Dura Canyon, with my camera and all the time in the world
4.on the patio with Sweet Daddio and a pitcher of martinis
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I am the happiest person on the planet. I am because I am married to a person who makes every day Valentines Day. Sometimes he brings me flowers, but never when expected. Sometimes he buys me chocolates, but not just one day a year. He makes every single day special because he wakes me up at 5 am by running his fingers through my hair and rubbing my back. It’s the best alarm clock ever.
He calls a couple of times a day, sometimes when I am up to my elbows in paint or hamburger meat, just to see how my day is going, and do I need him to stop and get anything from the store on his way home. I am always happy to hear his voice, even when up to my elbows in something.
I have learned not to ask for too much, because he will go extra miles to get something for me, like the time I test drove a Beetle Convertible and 3 hours later it was delivered to my driveway.
He buys my clothes, because he knows I’ll only buy something if it’s 70% off and the wrong color. He is better at picking stuff than I am, anyway.
He’ll even listen to my “Godzilla Japanese Fairy Choir” music with little complaint, when most men would heigh off and break the disc ‘accidentally’ to keep from hearing it again.
He never complains when I poke a thousand holes in the wall trying to hang the pictures just so. Nor does he gripe when I decide to relocate the 3 huge bookcases…Again. If I paint the walls the color of creamed blood, he never says “I told you so” when I realize just how offensive the color really is.
He fills up my gas tank!
He indulges my artistic whims, which change seasonally.
He can fix ANYTHING, the dishwasher, the car, a bounced check, a psychological meltdown. That’s one of the reasons I married him, to avoid the frustration of having to deal with repairmen.
The main reason I married him is that we think alot alike, just enough different to keep things interesting, but not so much to cause strife.
He’s my favorite person! The one I want to rub up against on a regular basis! He’s big enough to make me feel petite! He’s smart enough to keep me on my toes, constant enough to keep me on this planet (most of the time).
I love him completely, he’s the best Valentines gift I ever had, and I wish he’d hurry up and get home because I made him a kick-ass meatloaf and homemade mashed potatoes for supper.