When you marry a man, you have no idea how he’ll turn out. There’s a lot of baiting and switching in romance, if you ask me. The handsome, fun-loving guy you start with can prune up, become a tightwad, and never budge from the TV. Fortunately, my husband has stayed a lot like the guy in this picture. It’s 1984. We are at the lake. It is his first time meeting my parents and he is walking toward me, keeping one towel on his shoulders with his teeth, carrying two other towels, two packs of cigarettes, and two beers, and he is smiling. He doesn’t look exactly the same, but this is still pretty much him. He doesn’t know it but this is going to be his funeral home portrait.
Since my husband quit working, every day seems like Saturday. This is a good thing because our Saturdays have always been grand. We spend a lot of time outdoors with our dogs, we work in our cozy offices, we talk about what’s for dinner, it’s all lovely and relaxed. This period of time seems like a cleanse. We are shedding worry and stress like our dogs blow their coats. What we used to worry about, spend hours in the kitchen discussing and debating, are just so many little scraps of paper fluttering to the floor. Funding deadlines! Neighborhood conflict! Board issues! We just wade through all those old issues like they’re confetti. It feels like freedom.
It is deeply distressing to see someone you know and like be deeply and thoroughly drunk. A lot can happen to a person who is exceptionally drunk and little of that is good. There is such a great vulnerability that is part of drunkenness. We miss this because we are so often angry at drunk people. They are unpredictable and sloppy and cause trouble. If they are driving they almost certainly will cause some harm – two people in Milwaukee this past week were killed by drunk drivers – but if they are not driving they are likely to harm themselves. They fall down and hit their heads. They pass out in the cold. They drink until they are poisoned. It’s wicked to see. And very sad.
I own a pair of giant beaver mittens. Today I used them for the first time. They are preposterously warm.
Someone emailed me the other night that a candidate I am supporting for a local office is anti-abortion. This happens to me a lot. I jump in with my support for someone and find out later there are “issues.” So I messaged the candidate and relayed what I’d been told. Was it true? He answered, “I’m against abortion but for a woman’s right to choose.” This was good enough for me and I think I have first class judgement rights on this, being a pre-Roe v Wade survivor and all, but the answer doesn’t make everyone happy. I don’t need everyone to believe the same things I do. I just need them to leave my body alone.