Thursday, February 22, 2007

Good Dog, Good Man (Spoilers for Gray's)

I worked tonight. I'm leaving work after dark, and I don't see well enough to drive easily. So, I try to call Bill and let him know when I leave. That way, he doesn't waste as much time worrying I'll drive myself into a ditch. The kids worry too, because we aren't much for going out at night. Like a bunch of hibernating animals, dark means sleep and light means wake. Winter really kicks us in the butt with so few hours of light. We, good Puritans all, actually celebrate the winter solstice. From that day forward, we will have more daylight and shake off our slowing minds and spirits. The doctor would call our problem Seasonal Affective Disorder. My favorite description is from Christy at Rainbow Chills who calls it may "SAD story." A daughter of the sunbelt, I well and truly hate the dark. We use one of those photo-therapy lights on really dark days. Thank God, we don't see dark now till after 6:00.

The man and children always worry when I drive in the dark, but aren't alone in waiting faithfully. Triton worries the entire time I'm gone. Do any of you know a standard poodle? (These are the really big ones.) Poodles are smart to the point it's hard to remember they're just dogs and not people. I know everyone says that about their pet, but poodles are scary smart, and even among a race of intelligent animals, Triton is uber-smart. When I called, she knew it was me and that I was on my way home. The man calls like this when he's on his way home too. She's used to hearing us talk about getting dinner ready and doing other small chores while "Daddy" is on his way. She's always waited and watched once he called. Now, she sits for me too. Triton was the first to greet me tonight and hasn't left my side since. The dog considers bedtime as the highlight of her day. The man calls her a "rack hound" which is evidently some archaic man-speak for a person who sleeps more than others. Triton's choice spot is in bed is sleeping between the man and myself. But on these late nights for me, she sleeps patiently in the family room, either at my feet or up on the couch with her head resting on a pillow. She would rather be in the bed, but she's my late night companion staying with me no matter how long it takes me to get sleepy.

RW taped Gray's Anatomy and bought Jack-in-the-Box tacos for me tonight. When I got home, the tacos and Gray's were ready to go. The new digital service lets us do that record it, watch it, pause it at will thing. The man loves using his new TV superpowers. With both the tacos and the Gray's waiting, I have to tell you all that my husband is a total stud. Thank you sweetie!!!!

One of the fantastic things about being married for so long, is we can, at times, truly communicate love to each other. I've definitely observed that Romance means different things for different couples. One of my blog pals made amazing cookies for her wife. I thought it was an awesome gift but not likely to come my way, since the man doesn't do baking. If he did bake, it wouldn't be yummy cookies with a lovely filling and heart shaped cut-out on the top. Even so, 30 plus years have given the man insight. He knows what does it for me. So, it was a fine evening. He sent his usual dozen yellow roses to my work place. I'll have to explain the reason why these are incredibly romantic on another day. He picked a card to go with it showing two children, dressed in adult clothes circa 1935. The girl holds a bouquet of roses and the slightly older boy leans down to give her a chaste kiss on the cheek. The card spoke as much about us as did the roses. The man has celebrated every important event in our lives together with one dozen yellow roses (Think "The Yellow Rose of Texas.") The card meant, to me, he also understands of our link growing from childhood to adulthood, to middle age together. To grow-up with one's mate is a fine thing. I was greatly touched that he, in his own way, showed he got that too.

Our female child (age 17) is sometimes at a loss when it comes to our own version of the romance. This Valentines' Day, I bought our first HDTV. The girl was disgusted by the lameness of our shared gift. "How could this be romantic?????? You just bought a TV for Christ's sake!" The boy (age 12) was more open minded about the purchase. If it plugs into the wall and delivers television, it's all good. Plus, he's at the age where the idea of love between his parents is best ignored. He's enjoying the high-def but prefers we keep the gushy stuff ourselves. The man set up the TV, upgraded the cable, and played with the new functions for hours. While he and I cooed words of endearment to one another watching The Chronicles of Riddick in high def, we managed to disgusted both children. We had this incredible moment as perfect mates, a perfect understanding, a sympathy only we knew.

The children think we are old and sad at times like this. For our 20th anniversary, my husband gave me my first laptop. It was, in 1996, an incredible extravagance. I brought it to work with pride to show my girlfriends. They all recoiled in horror at the complete lack of allure they perceived in such a gift. I, on the other hand, felt it was one of the most loving gifts I've ever received. He went to a jeweler and had a gold inscription affixed saying RW and DK forever. I was moved to tears while my girlfriends looked on in horror thinking of large and fine pieces of jewelry or perhaps an expensive automobile as fitting tributes for 20 years of marriage and the gift of both a son and daughter. I don't even remember what I gave the husband. It was nothing compared to the laptop. Of course, there were also yellow roses.

I must confess that there are days when we are not perfectly attuned. I wake some days wondering how I married this creature who seems sometimes a fool of a husband. Being a fine southern gentleman, the man would never expressed such sentiments toward me. However, all long lived couples must have days of doubt. In fact, there are days when I'm ready to move him out to live in the garage.

Sometimes, on the other hand, there comes a day of perfect understanding, and I know that our 31 year old decision to be together was exactly right. The man does not ponder relationships. If I understand his opinion corectly, he considers that to be my job. At times I envy my blog pal and her wife. Surly, both of them do the girl/relationship thing together? The man does manly things like take out the trash, mow the yard, and serve as our 24/7 tech support guy. He also kills all critters which disturb his wife,.and offers to deal with any person who causes me the least distress. I have to say, this is a fine thing after 31 years. He is, even at 52, more than ready to fight for my honor with all challengers. It is a mighty thing to find one's spouse so devout and faithful after such a time.

Dog sighs, tacos, and Gray's made me feel like I'm someone who matters. My family loves me and wants me. We are together and even the pets care about us. I finally have a job again and students!!!! It's a fine thing to live with one person long enough to create a unified family. Our My dear daughter commented this week that my work was inconvenient but well worth the pleasure I seemed to gain from rejoining our capitalist economy (i.e. having my very own money.) That she also knows me so well seems a blessing beyond my comprehension. The boy, on the other hand, misses the conveniences of a 24/7 maid, cook, teacher, chaperon, and driver. Such is life.

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